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If you’re someone that enjoys cooking delicious, barbecued meats, you’ll have to invest in an offset smoker. While you can most definitely use a standard grill to whip up a delectable meal, there’s nothing quite as impressive or reliable as an offset smoker. The perfect offset smoker will not only cook your meat to perfection, but it’ll also add some lovely extra flavor.
If you’re new to purchase an offset smoker, we’re here to help. Below, we’ve rounded up a list of seven of the best offset smokers to get you started. Before delving into the products however, we’ll give you a brief rundown of how to choose an offset smoker and answer some frequently asked questions.
Pros and Cons of an Offset Smoker
There are some pros and cons to purchasing an offset smoker and we’ll discuss each of them in greater detail below.
- They’re great at cooking a good amount of food at once
- You can add more fuel or wood chips without opening the cooking chamber that can disrupt both the temperature and smoke levels
- They aren’t expensive to operate
- If you’d like, you can also grill on an offset smoker
- If you maintain your offset smoker properly, it should last for a considerable amount of time
- It takes longer to heat up than a gas grill
- Depending on what you’re cooking, it can take hours to cook
- It can take a bit of time to figure out how to cook on an offset smoker
- It can be difficult to cook in colder climates
- Offset smokers are also relatively heavy and take up a good amount of space
Tips for using an offset smoker
New to using an offset smoker? Here are a couple of tips to get you started:
Cook with a charcoal and wood combo
You shouldn’t just be using wood in your offset smoker. In fact, it’s best to use a combination of both charcoal and wood to get the right smoky flavours.
Use a digital thermometer
As the temperature in your offset smoker can vary, you’d need to regularly check the temperature to make sure that you’re cooking the meat evenly. To do so, you’d want to do so with a digital thermometer.
Preheat your offset smoker
You should always preheat your offset smoker before adding your food. If not, you run the risk of creosote on your food.
Rotate the meat while cooking
As the temperature fluctuates, it’s important that you’re rotating the meat – especially if you’re cooking on both ends of the offset smoker.
Take note of the weather
The weather that you’re using your offset smoker in will affect the temperature inside your smoker. If it’s really wet, windy or cold, you’ll also want to ensure that you’ve got sufficient charcoal and wood on hand.
Tips for cleaning your offset smoker
There are a couple of things to take note of when cleaning your offset smoker:
- To start, you should always have a protective cover – especially if you plan on leaving your offset smoker outside.
- It’s up to you when you want to clean it, but most individuals clean their offset smoker either the morning after or before they’ve used it.
- It’s best to do a full clean-up of your smoker at least four to five times a year. When doing so you’d also scrape and clean the cooking grates.
- When emptying your firebox, you can use a small brush to sweep the ash into the ashtray.
- When you’re cleaning the cooking chamber, try not to use a hard-surface paper or anything abrasive as it can damage the proactive coating that’s sprayed over the surface.
- When cleaning the heat deflection plates, you can use either a scraper or a spatula to scrape and lift any stubborn parts.
- A quick tip to cleaning your cooking grates is to use a BBQ degreaser.
The Best Offset Smokers
1. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package
This offset smoker comes with everything you need for a delicious meal. Not only does it have eight stainless steel hooks for you to hang your meal, but it also has a standard grate that you can use for both grilling and searing. For your convenience, you’ll also get a coal basket that comes with a good amount of charcoal for you to make the perfect meal. Additionally, minimal assembly is required, and thanks to its unique design, you’ll be able to produce perfectly cooked meat in shorter cooking times. It’s also portable, not difficult to use, and will last for a considerable amount of time.
2. Ivation Offset Electric Smoker and Grill
Another fantastic offset smoker, this one comes with automatic digital temperature control that’ll allow you to cook your food with ease. Space-wise, you’ll have a whole 711 square inches for you to grill, and it also comes with a built-in meat thermometer, cover and drip tray. Since it uses digital controls, you won’t have to worry about anything else – just turn the dial and you’ll be provided with the exact pellets you need to maintain your temperature. Use this offset smoker for plenty from baking chicken to grilling burgers and smoking ribs.
3. Oklahoma Joe’s Offset Propane Smoker and Grill
If you’re a lover of smoky flavour or grilled food, you can’t miss this particular offset smoker. It comes with both an offset smoker and a grill for you to cook up a range of delicious food. Material-wise, it’s constructed with heavy-duty steel that’s incredibly durable. You’ll also have a good amount of space to whip up your meals as it has a total of 1,060 square inches of cooking space. As there are temperature gauges mounted on each lid, you’ll be able to completely control both the heat and smoke levels. Cleaning’s also a breeze with this offset smoker as it comes with an access door on the firebox that’ll allow you to tend to the fire without losing heat.
4. Dyna-Glo Signature Series Offset Charcoal Smoker and Grill
This is a great portable offset smoker if you plan on wheeling it around. Additionally, it’s also a multifunctional smoker that can be converted into a grill – how neat is that? It also comes with a charcoal grate that you can remove as well as an ash pan that’ll allow you to dispose of ash with ease. There’s also plenty of space for you to grill and sear, and it comes with a heavy gauge steel body construction that’s both long-lasting and durable. It’s truly one of the most highly rated offset smokers out there, and customers have given it raving reviews. They love how there’s plenty of space to cook all of their food and mentioned that it also wasn’t too difficult to set up. You can’t go wrong with purchasing this particular offset smoker!
5. Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
If you’ve always wanted an offset smoker that can do plenty, look no further than this particular purchase. Not only can your barbecue and bake on this offset smoker, but you can also braise, smoke, grill, sear and char. It comes with pellet grill technology, and you can easily set the temperature in accordance with your needs. You’ll get consistent results every time, and it comes with enough space for small households. Construction-wise, it’s made with sturdy stainless-steel material along with a powder-coated finish for added durability. It’s a highly rated offset smoker that customers have mentioned is easy to install and reaches its target temperature quickly and accurately.
6. Broil King Offset Charcoal Smoker and Grill
This high-quality offset smoker is sure to satisfy all of your needs. Construction-wise, it’s crafted with porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grids that are reversible for versatility. It also comes with aluminum dampers that will allow you to control airflow and achieve the perfect temperature. The charcoal trays are crafted with stainless steel for durability, and specially constructed to allow you to set up and light your charcoal with ease. To make sure that you’ve got the right temperature, your grill also comes with a thermometer, and there’s a convenient front shelf that’ll allow you to store all of your tools.
7. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
Last on the list is this vertical offset charcoal smoker that’s meant to achieve a delicious smoky flavour on your food. Not only does it come with six adjustable cooking grates to accommodate different sizes of food, but it also comes with plenty of cooking space. As it comes with a removable steel ash pan, it can accommodate large amounts of ash for maintenance-free cooking, and you can dispose of the ash easily.
The smokestack also comes with an adjustable flue for added flavour and temperature control, while the built-in stainless steel thermometer will let you know of the ideal temperature to infuse that smoky flavor. With so many great features, it’s no wonder that this offset smoker has such great reviews. Customers are a fan of the adjustable and removable racks, and like how it’s easy to assemble and can hold heat for a long time.
Related: Be Your Neighborhood’s Best Outdoor Chef With A Gas and Charcoal Grill Combo
FAQ – You Ask, We Answer
Are offset smokers any good?
They’re fantastic – especially if you know how to operate one properly. Not only do they come with sufficient volume to cook a good amount of food, but they’ve also got a cool aesthetic to them.
Why use an offset smoker?
There are multiple reasons why you should use an offset smoker:
- You can stoke the fire, add wood chips, wood pellets and a range of other materials without even having to open up the cooking chamber.
- Since it’s relatively large, you can use it to smoke large quantities of food.
- There’s no electrical circuit or moving parts that need to be replaced.
- You get to indulge in perfectly cooked high-quality meats.
What is an offset smoker?
Offset smokers come with a large chamber where you can place the food that you’d like to cook. The fire is situated in a smaller chamber that sits to the side of the main chamber. They’re a relatively traditional type of smoker that’s capable of producing high-quality smoked meats that are incredibly delicious.
Can you use an offset smoker as a grill?
Yes, you most definitely can! In fact, all you’ve got to do is install a grill grate over the firebox and you’re good to get grilling. Some offset smokers also come with grilling accessories that allow you to grill with ease.
How to choose an offset smoker?
There are a couple of things you’d need to consider when choosing your offset smoker.
You’ll need to consider how much space you need. If you’re throwing parties for example, you’d want to make sure that you’ve purchased a model with large capacity. On the other hand if you’re only using it for the family or a friend or two, a smaller model will do the trick. When considering the size, you should also think about the amount of storage space that you’d need for your offset smoker.
While it might be tempting to get an inexpensive offset smoker, these are made with flimsy material and won’t last long. It’s best to invest in a good quality offset smoker that’s made of thick metal as they’re better at retaining and transferring heat. When it comes to construction, you should also look for an offset smoker that comes with good ventilation.
You’d need to think about whether you’re getting an offset smoker that stays in a fixed or position, or one that’s easy to maneuver. If you’d like to move your offset smoker around, you might want to consider getting one that comes with wheels or rollers at the bottom. Make sure that they’re firmly attached as the last thing you’d want is for the wheels to fall apart when you’re moving your offset smoker around.
Finally, the offset smoker you choose to purchase is also highly dependent on what you plan on cooking with it. If you’re smoking meats, you’d want to go ahead and purchase an upright smoker. On the other hand, more traditional offset smokers are ideal for steaks or burgers.
We hope that you’ve found this offset smoker article helpful and learned a little bit more about what to look for if you decide to purchase one. If you decide to purchase an offset smoker, remember to purchase one that’s made with high-quality material as you’d want it to last for many years to come. You’d also want to make sure that you’re maintaining your offset smoker and taking care of it properly. Then, all you’ve got to do is grill up some meats, and you’ll get to enjoy perfectly cooked smoky meats every single time.
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