10 Superior Offset Smokers — Reviews and Buying Guide

38 Models Considered
64 Hours of Research
10 Experts Interviewed
287 Reviews Analyzed

There is something special about food that has been smoked. The flavors, juices, and tastes are out of this world. From ribs to steaks, pork chops and pulled pork, there is nothing quite like a smoked meal. Of course, cooking this type of food can be quite tricky. That is unless you have the best offset smoker at your disposal. Offset smokers have two different chambers, one for food and one for your fuel source. This makes it very simple to get the right amount of heat and smoke to your food so that you can get the flavor you desire.


There is a multitude of factors that make one smoker better than another. When we were putting together this listing, we took the time to look at each of these factors so that we could find the best models on the market. We first looked at the cooking area and hopper capacity, as the size of both of these areas will determine how much food you can cook at a time. Next, we checked out the materials that were being used to build the grills, as that will determine the weight of the smoker and the temperatures they can handle.

Top 10 Offset Smokers Review 2019

In order to put together our comprehensive list, we spent tens of hours reading through hundreds of user reviews. This allowed us to find the best offset smokers out there. Once we had our list, we took the time to do in-depth reviews for each model. If you already know what you are looking for when it comes to a horizontal smoker, then be sure to read these reviews, as they’ll help you pick the right model for your needs. If, on the other hand, you are new to the smoker world, be sure to read through buyer’s guide, which will give you all the important information you need to find the perfect smoker.

Image and Rating
Name and Features
Price
9.8
1. Traeger TFB42LZBC
Editor’s Choice
Editor’s Choice
This smoker is fairly compact yet capacious enough for family reunions and get-togethers; boasts digital elite controller that keeps the temperature within +/- 20 degrees
9.6
Best Reverse Flow
This cooker features a huge 1,060 square inch cooking area, while its heavy-gauge all-steel construction makes it sturdy and durable
9.5
Best Vertical
A charcoal vertical cooker with an astonishing 1,642 square inch cooking area for large backyard parties
9.3
4. Camp Chef Woodwind Classic
Best for High Temps
Best for High Temps
This unit can heat up to 500°F which makes it suitable for grilling as well
9.3
5. Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E
Best under $1000
Best under $1000
A sturdy-made unit that features an internal temperature sensor with digital control and ample cooking space of 700 square inches
9.0
Budget Pick
Despite being the most budget-friendly on the list, this smoker is one of the most spacious as well with its 1,890 square inches of cooking space
8.9
7. Cuisinart CPG-4000
Best under $500
Best under $500
One of the most popular fairly compact models with a stationary side shelf and a collapsible front shelf
8.7
Best under $300
Capacious charcoal smoker with an offset that can be used as a grill
8.6
9. Char-Griller 1224
Easiest to Clean
Easiest to Clean
Cleaning this unit is a breeze thanks to the straightforward design and non-stick cast iron cooking grates
8.5
10. Traeger TFB29PLB
Best for Small Areas
Best for Small Areas
Being only 38 x 35 x 22 inches in dimensions, this smoker is one of the most compact ones on the market
1.

Traeger TFB42LZBC Editor’s Choice

Features
  • Total cooking area: 418 sq. inches
  • Hopper capacity: 18 lbs.
  • Temperature range: up to 450 F
  • Fuel source: wood
  • Dimensions: 42 x 22 x 49 inches
  • Weight: 98 lbs.

Extra features: digital elite controller keeps the temperature within +/- 20 degrees, locking caster wheels

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If you are truly looking for the best offset smoker, then you should definitely check this model out. To start with, it is very simple to utilize. It uses wood pellets rather than regular old wood or charcoal. This makes the temperature much easier to maintain since wood pellets burn in a very efficient manner.

Getting to the optimal temperature is also very simple to achieve with this smoker. This is thanks in part to the digital temperature control. These easy to use controls take all of the guesswork out of your cooking. All you have to do is simply set the temperature that you desire, and the system does the rest for you. Of course, you will need to make sure the fuel stays full still, but that isn’t too big of a deal.

This setting also allows the smoker to be used as a standard grill too. It warms up very quickly, which is perfect for use as a smoker or a grill. The temperature gauge is, thankfully, very accurate, so you can rest assured that your food is cooking at the temperature you need.

Unlike many other smokers, this model is elementary to start. You don’t need to use any external flames or methods. All you need to do is push the ignition button, and you will be off and running in no time.

While this is certainly not the lightest cooker on the market, when it comes to offset smokers, it is basically as light as a feather. While this usually means that a cooker is not made with durable materials, this is not the case with this model. In fact, its lightweight design is because it is rather small, which is both a positive and a negative. Its small size makes it easy to fit just about anywhere, though this does limit the size of the cooking area.

Pros
  • High-capacity hopper
  • Digital temperature controller
  • Lightweight
  • Durable wheels
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to start
  • Warms up quickly
Cons
  • Relatively small cooking area
Features
  • Total cooking area: 1,060 sq. inches
  • Hopper capacity: not specified
  • Temperature range: not specified
  • Fuel source: charcoal
  • Dimensions: 35.5 x 64.2 x 55.5 inches
  • Weight: 253.5 lbs.

Extra features: heavy-gauge all-steel construction, porcelain-coated cooking grates, and multiple dampers

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You can always tell the quality of an offset smoker based on its weight. Some of the best models available happen to be the heaviest. Such is the case for this cooker, which weighs in at an absolutely gargantuan 250 pounds. It has a large cooking surface and a massive hopper. This makes it a bear to move, so be sure to have a place set aside for it at your home that you won’t have to move it ever again.

All of this weight is necessary to the design of this cooker. It is made out of extremely durable and thick steel. Simply put, this smoker has been built to withstand as many smoking sessions as you can dish out without breaking down in the least. If you are a serious smoker or barbecuer, then this is the model for you.

Thanks to its well-built design and porcelain coated grates, this is also one of the most efficient smokers you could buy as well. It has multiple dampers and baffles so that you can tweak the amount of heat and smoke you use for a unique flavor every time you cook with it.

Something else that helps to make this such an efficient smoker is its cooking process. It utilizes a reverse flow method to cook that uses less fuel while producing more heat than a standard smoker. This is because the air is heated twice before it even gets to the food, which allows it to heat up more quickly and maintain that temperature level more effectively.

Pros
  • Large cooking area
  • Uses reverse flow for efficient cooking
  • Cooking grates are very easy to clean
  • Durable construction
Cons
  • Very heavy; takes two people to move
Features
  • Total cooking area: 1,642 sq. inches
  • Hopper capacity: not specified
  • Temperature range: not specified
  • Fuel source: charcoal
  • Dimensions: 26.9 x 68.5 x 40.9 inches
  • Weight: 118.8 lbs.

Extra features: five cooking racks; bottom shelf; steel construction

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Even though barrel style offset smokers are much more common than vertical models, that doesn’t especially mean that they are better. For instance, if you are looking for the biggest possible cooking area, then it is a no brainer to pick a vertical model. This smoker, for instance, has almost 1,700 square inches of cooking space! With this amount of space, not only will you be able to make enough food for your family, but you could do the whole neighborhood as well. If you are looking for a cooker to use for a BBQ business, this model would also be a good bet.

Another big advantage to using a vertical style smoker is the amount of room that they take up. Since most of the cooking surface is going up instead of over, this smoker is relatively compact in comparison to a barrel model. This compact design makes it an excellent option for pretty much any space, no matter if you have a large yard or a limited patio that you are going to be doing your cooking on.

This is also a very portable model. While you wouldn’t think so based on its overall weight, it is quite easy to move from place to place. The reason that this smoker can be moved with such ease is because of its oversized wheels. These make it very easy to roll into different areas, even if you are on your own.

The RiverGrille Rustler is made with extremely durable and easy to clean steel. With proper maintenance, there is no reason that this smoker shouldn’t last you for a good long time. You just need to make sure you set lots of time aside to assemble it each and every time you clean it, as the parts are not always easy to get in and out.

Pros
  • Very large cooking area
  • Compact design
  • Oversized wheels make it easy to move
  • Durable and thick steel construction
  • Can be used for grilling
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Difficult to assemble
4.

Camp Chef Woodwind Classic Best for High Temps

Features
  • Total cooking area: 570 sq. inches
  • Hopper capacity: 18 lbs.
  • Temperature range: 160-500 ° F
  • Fuel source: wood
  • Dimensions: 52 x 50 x 25 inches
  • Weight: 146 lbs.

Extra features: dual LED temperature readout; automatic pellet auger

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When you are looking for a great offset smoker, you should always look for one that can be used for a wide array of applications, not just smoking. This model is a perfect option if you are looking to cook in a wide range of temperatures. In fact, of all the different models that we checked into, this one has the highest temperature rating. This makes it perfect for pretty much any type of cooking, no matter if you want to grill or smoke your food.

This is also one of the easiest smokers on the market to use. It utilizes wood pellets, which are very easy to keep at a stable temperature. This model takes the level of ease up a notch, however, as it uses an automatic auger to keep the pellets moving into cooking position. This auger helps to make it a much more efficient smoker since all you really need to do is set the temperature and let the unit do its stuff.

This model also has a simple-to-use ash removal system which makes it a cinch to clean out the high-capacity hopper. It basically does all of the work for you. You just need to be sure to keep the ashtray in place. The cleanup cup is a different story, however, as it is difficult to get to since it is on the underside of the smoker.

If you are looking for a portable model, this is a good option as well. While it is somewhat heavy, the wheels are large, and the cooker is compact so that maneuvering it isn’t that difficult. Of course, as you can imagine with a small smoker, the cooking area is not all that large.

Pros
  • High-capacity hopper
  • Easy-to-read temperature display
  • Durable construction
  • Large temperature range
  • Automatic pellet auger
  • Easy to use ash removal system
Cons
  • Small cooking area
  • The cleanup cup is difficult to access
5.

Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E Best under $1000

Features
  • Total cooking area: 700 sq. inches
  • Hopper capacity: 20 lbs.
  • Temperature range: 160-450°F
  • Fuel source: wood
  • Dimensions: 22.5 x 48.4 x 51.2 inches
  • Weight: 176 lbs.

Extra features: internal temperature sensor with digital control; warming rack

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When it comes to finding a good offset smoker, the more you spend, the better of a cooker you are going to get. This is especially true with this model, which is definitely a pricier option, though it is well below $1000. The first thing that will stand out with this cooker is how durably built it is. It is made with nice, thick steel, which will allow it to withstand lots of use without ever breaking down.

Of course, this does make it a bit heavier. While it does have some wheels on the bottom, it certainly isn’t easy to move around. So if you do decide to purchase this grill, be sure that you have a good spot for it in mind so you won’t have to maneuver it more than you need to.

Another facet of this grill where the price point really shows is how well-designed the cooker is. Not only is it easy to use, but it is also very effortless to assemble. Even if you aren’t much a handyman, you shouldn’t struggle with following the excellent instructions to get this cooker up and running.

The hopper and cooking area are nice and expansive. The large hopper makes it an excellent option for cooking over long periods of time at lower temperatures, which is perfect for smoking. The cooking area is actually separated into two different racks. Between the two of these racks, there is plenty of space for pretty much any amount of meat that you intend to make.

One thing that you need to keep in mind with this grill is that, while it does have a temperature gauge, it is not always very accurate. The higher the temperature goes, the less accurate it seems to be. If you intend to use this smoker at higher temperatures, you might want to purchase another thermometer so that you have a better amount of control over your cooking temps.

Pros
  • Large cooking area
  • High-capacity hopper
  • Wide temperature range
  • Digital temperature control
  • Warming rack
  • Easy to assemble
Cons
  • The temperature gauge isn’t accurate at higher temperatures
  • Heavy
6.

Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D Budget Pick

Features
  • Total cooking area: 1,890 sq. inches
  • Hopper capacity: not specified
  • Temperature range: 100-350 °F
  • Fuel source: charcoal
  • Dimensions: 21 x 43.3 x 50.2 inches
  • Weight: 83 lbs.

Extra features: smokestack features an adjustable flue for additional flavor and temperature control; built-in, stainless steel thermometer

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While shopping for a high-quality smoker, you usually want to err on the heavy side. Heavier models usually are made with better materials, and will thus last a much longer time. Of course, this isn’t always the case. This model, for instance, is extremely lightweight (as far as smokers go). It weighs in at a relatively feather-light weight of only 83 pounds, which makes it a great option for a portable smoker. Or it would be if it had some wheels added to it. As it is, this cooker would need to be carried if you intend to move it, which isn’t always the easiest.

One of the ways that Dyna-Glo was able to make this such a lightweight cooker is by limiting its heating range. This smoker can only be used up to 350 degrees, which is quite low. If you were to try and heat this model any higher, you would probably do some serious damage to it. Though this will limit what you can cook and eliminate the possibility of using this model as a grill, it is still a highly effective tool for smoking food for an extended period of time.

Even though this is a very lightweight cooker, it has a humongous total cooking area. In fact, it is the largest of any of the different smokers we looked into. It has a total cooking area of 1,890 square inches. This makes it a great option if you are looking to feed a small army of folks with your cooking. The easily adjustable flue makes it simple to get to the temperature that you want so that you can get just the right type and amount of flavor for all of your meals.

Pros
  • Extremely large cooking area
  • Compact design
  • Easy to adjust flue for additional flavor and temperature control
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • No wheels for added mobility
  • Low-temperature range
7.

Cuisinart CPG-4000 Best under $500

Features
  • Total cooking area: 450 sq. inches
  • Hopper capacity: 15 lbs.
  • Temperature range: 180-475 °F
  • Fuel source: wood
  • Dimensions: 45 x 39.4 x 49 inches
  • Weight: 103 lbs.

Extra features: comes with a stationary side shelf and collapsible front shelf

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Even though offset smokers are expensive by their very nature, that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank in order to buy a quality machine. This is an important thing to realize, especially if you are just getting started in the world of smoking. This model from Cuisinart is a relatively cheap, and straightforward option that will allow you to make delicious food in a very user-friendly manner.

To start with, this model has a high-capacity hopper. This larger style hopper makes it easier to get the cooker up to the proper temperature so that your food is made with just the right amount of heat without having to worry about refilling it anytime soon. It also uses wood pellets, which are an especially efficient fuel source, so you won’t have to refill this smoker often at all.

Even though this is not the most expensive option out there, it still has a pretty wide temperature range. The one thing that you need to be careful with this model, however, is when you get into the higher temperatures. While the temperature gauge works just fine at lower temps, it becomes increasingly inaccurate at higher temps, which limits the cooker’s versatility. This smoker should only be used as just that, a smoker, and not as a grill.

As you would expect from a smoker in this price range, this model is relatively small. It has a very compact design, which is perfect for limited spaces. It even has a collapsible front shelf, which makes its overall dimensions even smaller. This cooker is also quite lightweight, which makes it an easy grill to move around, even if you are on your own.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Large temperature range
  • High-capacity hopper
  • Compact design
  • Collapsible front shelf
  • Simple design for easy cleaning
Cons
  • Inaccurate temperature gauge
Features
  • Total cooking area: 1,382 sq. inches
  • Hopper capacity: not specified
  • Temperature range: not specified
  • Fuel source: charcoal
  • Dimensions: 45.5 x 24.9 x 58.8 inches
  • Weight: 124.3 lbs.

Extra features: 5 x chrome-plated steel cooking grates (17″ dia. ea.); offset can be used as a grill

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While most vertical style smokers are relatively compact, this model is not. It takes up a ton of room. This isn’t all that surprising, however, especially when you look at how large the overall cooking is. At 1,400 square inches, it packs plenty of cooking space into its oversized dimensions, making it perfect for a person who wants to smoke a ton of food at a time.

Surprisingly, this smoker can also be used as a grill, which is very different for a vertical style smoker. Usually, with their multiple racks and large main cavity, vertical smokers are not able to maintain a high enough temperature that would allow you to grill. This is not the case with this model, which only helps to make it that much more versatile as a cooker.

Even though this is such a spacious unit, it is actually quite easy to move. It has excessively large wheels, which make rolling its 124 pounds seem like a walk in the park. Even if you have to move this smoker on your own, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty.

Each individual cooking grate is quite large, so it’s easy to cook on and very effortless to clean. That is, of course, once you get them out of the cooker. The lower grates are a bit tricky to maneuver in and out of the body of the smoker. They would be especially difficult for someone who has a bad back, so you might want to get help to clean this model if this is the case.

Pros
  • Very large cooking area
  • Easy to move thanks to the oversized wheels
  • Can be used as a grill
  • Easy-to-clean cooking grates
Cons
  • Very large; takes up lots of space
  • Lower racks could be a problem for someone with a bad back
9.

Char-Griller 1224 Easiest to Clean

Features
  • Total cooking area: 830 sq. inches
  • Hopper capacity: not specified
  • Temperature range: not specified
  • Fuel source: charcoal
  • Dimensions: 62 x 29 x 50 inches
  • Weight: 146 lbs.

Extra features: adjustable fire grate and a heat gauge in the hood

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One of the unfortunate realities for most offset smokers is that they are very difficult to clean. It is, to put it simply, the price you have to pay for cooking using smoke. This process creates a ton of creosote, and because the environment inside of the cooker is so full of moisture, you also have to deal with a ton of liquid residue as well. This is, to put it lightly, very difficult to clean. That is, of course, unless you get this cooker.

The Char-Griller 1224 is extremely easy to clean, thanks in part to its simple design. Where many other models have lots of different smoke channels, dampers, and flues to clean out, this one is a very straightforward model. There aren’t that many places for ashes, soot, grease, and grime to hide inside of this cooker.

The other reason that this model is so easy to clean is because of its well-designed and durable cooking grates. Unlike many other models that use steel for the grates, this cooker from Char-Griller utilizes non-stick cast iron. Cast iron is well known as an excellent cooking material since it conducts heat so evenly. Since these are non-stick, all you need to do is wipe them down after each use, and they are spotless and ready for your next smoking session.

This smoker is also very easy to move and has a nice sized cooking area, making it a perfect option for all of your smoking needs. It comes with a very easy to read heat gauge, which makes finding the right temperature a simple task. Although this model has a wide heat range that it can handle, it is better used for lower temperatures. The heat gauge is not always very accurate above 350 degrees, so it isn’t well suited for use as a grill.

One other issue that you need to keep in the back of your mind if you wish to purchase this model is that it is a bit tricky to put together at first. The assembly instructions are not well written, which makes it take a bit longer to assemble than you might think it would.

Pros
  • Large cooking area
  • Easy to read heat gauge
  • Durable
  • Portable
  • Non-stick cast iron grates are easy to clean
Cons
  • Difficult to follow directions
  • Not good for higher temperatures
10.

Traeger TFB29PLB Best for Small Areas

Features
  • Total cooking area: 300 sq. inches
  • Hopper capacity: 10 lbs.
  • Temperature range: 180-450°F
  • Fuel source: wood
  • Dimensions: 38 x 35 x 22 inches
  • Weight: 76 lbs.

Extra features: LED Digital Elite Controller display shows the internal grill temperature and has precision temperature settings

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The very first thing that you will notice about this smoker is its size. It is much smaller than a standard size offset smoker. This, obviously, can be positive in the right situation, and a negative in a different one. On the positive side of things, the small size of this cooker makes it perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to cook enough food for a small army. It is also great for anyone who has a smaller home or backyard since it is very easy to fit into pretty much any place you have available.

Since this cooker is so small, it is highly portable. It weighs in at a minuscule 76 pounds. Thanks to its lightweight and rugged wheels, this is a very easy to move grill. You would probably even be able to transport it to different locations, making it a good option for tailgating or family parties.

Of course, if you are hoping to cook a ton of food at the same time, this might not be a good smoker for you. It has one of the smallest cooking spaces of any of the smokers on the market today, so keep that in mind before you make your purchase. As you would expect with its small size overall, this model also has a relatively low-capacity hopper, which will need to be refilled more often than you would expect.

Much like other cookers from Traeger, this model uses a digital controller. It has an LED display, which makes it very easy to read and use. It isn’t quite as accurate as other models, but will still get you within 25 degrees of your desired temperature reliably.

Pros
  • Easy-to-use LED temperature controller for precise temps
  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • Can be used as a grill
  • Very compact
Cons
  • Small cooking area
  • Small hopper capacity

Buying Guide

In this section, we will go through all of the important factors you need to take into account to find the best offset smoker. We have also taken the time to answer some FAQs, so be sure to read through those answers if you are still looking for clarification when you are done with the buying guide.

Is it worth investing?

No matter how you slice it, getting the best offset smoker grill isn’t going to be cheap. Even the least expensive option, the Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D, is a significant investment. Of course, this can be well worth the money, especially if you are looking to produce the richest tasting smoked meats possible. Not only can you cook high-quality meals with an offset smoker, but you can also produce a high-quantity. Since these grills have their fuel source built on the side of the grill, it frees up more room in the main cavity for food racks. This allows you to make a lot of food at once, so if you are big into backyard parties, or you just want to cook all your weekly meals at once, this is a great option.

Offset Smoker

You might be wondering why an offset smoker has to be so expensive. There are definitely much cheaper options on the market, but you should steer clear of them. The best offset smoker for your money is going to be made out of heavy-duty, thick, and durable steel. This excessive bulk helps to trap the heat inside the smoker so that it is easier to cook your food evenly since the heat level will remain steady. These durable designs will also last you a lot longer. In fact, with routine maintenance, the best value offset smoker should last you a lifetime. This lifespan is very different from a standard grill, which will probably break down after ten years of use. So even though a high-quality smoker is more upfront, you won’t need to replace it, which will save you tons of money in the long run.

The final reasons that you might want to invest in an offset smoker are that they are very easy to use and cheap to run. Unlike gas grills that rely on propane or natural gas, smokers do not have gas tanks that need to be refilled often. Instead, they use cheaper materials, such as charcoal or wood to cook food. This helps to make them very cheap to keep up and running. Using a smoker will take a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, it is effortless to do. Since the cooking process is slower with a smoker, you have plenty of time to make adjustments before your food is done. This is very different from a standard grill, where a slight miscalculation will result in overcooked and burned food.

Features to consider while choosing an offset smoker

Offset SmokerAs you can imagine, there are several different factors that you will need to take into account when you are looking for the best offset smoker. In this section, we will go through everything that you need to know to find the right model for your smoking needs.

Type: vertical vs. barrel

There are two basic types of offset smokers. You can either get a vertical or barrel model. The main difference between these two different options is how the cooking area is configured. Both of them are cylindrical in shape usually, but a barrel style cooker lays down, while a vertical one goes up. They work in the same manner when it comes to cooking your food, and they will both work effectively, so no matter the type you select, you are guaranteed delicious food at the end of the day.

The biggest advantage of getting a vertical smoker is the amount of cooking space that you will gain. Since the cooking area built up instead of over, these cookers can fit a lot more food in them than a barrel model. They also take up less space. If you don’t need to cook a ton of food all at once, then a barrel smoker is a sound investment. They are also more efficient cookers, especially if they use reverse flow, like the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker, which uses the heat twice to cook food more quickly.

Total cooking area

The total cooking area for your smoker is going to be totally dependent on how much food you want to cook. If you are looking to cook for big gatherings or you have a business, then you will want an offset smoker with more space, such as the Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D, which has 1,890 square inches of cooking space.

Of course, all of that extra space is going to mean more maintenance and a bit of additional cost when your first purchase your smoker. Even if you don’t use all of the racks in the cooker, you will still need to clean them on occasion, since they will be exposed to all of the heat, juices, and smoke that the used racks are. If you are looking for a compact style offset smoker for small batches of meats, then the Traeger TFB29PLB is a fantastic option. Since it is smaller, it will also heat up faster than a much larger smoker.

Hopper capacity

The size of the hopper on an offset smoker is going to determine how much fuel can be added at one time. Thankfully, no matter what size hopper you decide to go with, you can add more fuel during the cooking process without messing up the heat within the smoker itself. With a larger hopper, like the one on the Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E, you can add a bunch of fuel at once, making it easier get the smoker up and running to the correct temperature without having to do it during the cooking process.

Smaller hoppers don’t take up as much room and are much easier to clean. Since they don’t have as much space for ashes to accumulate, they are much simpler to sweep out than their larger counterparts. If you are looking for a smaller hopper, then the Traeger TFB29PLB is a great option.

Temperature range

Offset SmokerWhen it comes to smoking food, you need to have the ability to really control the temperature. If you use too much heat, you risk drying the food out. If you don’t use enough, however, it will end up taking you a lot longer to get the results that you want.

The best thing you can do when you are looking for an offset smoker is to find the one that has a wide temperature range, like the Camp Chef Woodwind Classic. That way, you will be able to cook a wider variety of foods at a wider array of temperatures.

Fuel source

When it comes to selecting a fuel source that you want to use in your smoker, you have two options. You can either go with wood or charcoal. Each of these fuel sources will, obviously, cook your food effectively, though they will provide it with very different flavors.

Charcoal is usually easier to get up to temperature and maintain the amount of heat that you need to cook your food. Wood, however, provides a much richer taste, though it can be trickier to get the right temperature until you get the hang of it.

 

Dimensions and weight

As we mentioned before, you are going to want to invest in a high-quality offset smoker so that it will last you for a good long time, if not forever. That means that you’ll have to get a model that uses at least ¼ inch thick steel for its body. Otherwise, it will end up warping and leaking on you because of the high temperatures. This thick steel body is going to make the smoker very heavy, so you need to be sure that the spot you have picked out for it in your backyard can handle the weight.

Apparently, the larger the smoker, the heavier it is going to be. This can affect where you plan to place it as well since some of the smokers on the market cannot be moved by only one person, even if they have wheels like the Traeger TFB42LZBC. Before you buy, make sure the smoker you are looking at will fit in your space, since you won’t be moving it around all that often once you get it in position.

Extra features

The most significant extra feature you should look for, so you get the best value out of your offset smoker is an accurate thermometer. Since cooking with a smoker is so dependent on lower temperatures for a long duration, you want to be sure that you are hitting the right temps for the type of meat you are cooking.

You should also look for a model that allows you to adjust the temperature easily and accurately. That way, you will be able to cook your foods to perfection each and every time, without a lot of guesswork.

 

Finally, you should look for a cooker that is very easy to clean. No matter if you have a vertical or horizontal smoker, these cookers get dirty, very quickly. This is due to the fact that they are using smoke to cook your food and they are excellent at trapping lots of juices. To make your life easier, you should get a smoker that is very easy to clean, like the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker. This smoker has porcelain coated grates, which make it much easier to clean than a standard metal grate.

Tips to maintain your offset smoker

As with any type of smoker, offset models will need to be cleaned regularly. With a clean unit, you will be better protected from grease fires and your grill be better protected from breaking down. To properly maintain your grill, be sure to do the following:

    • Clean out the cooking grates with soap and water. Otherwise, rancid grease could accumulate, which could ruin your food or cause fires.
    • Clean the lid and the interior of the cooking chamber. The carbon buildup on these areas could fall onto your food during cooking, which could make it taste awful.
    • To save yourself from having to clean the grease out of the smoker chamber, line it with aluminum foil and replace this foil after every other use.
    • Be sure when you are cleaning the interior to clean off the thermostat probe as well. Otherwise, it will not read the temperature accurately.
    • Last, but not least, take the time to clean out the hopper. That way, you will be able to fit the proper amount of fuel in your smoker when you are cooking.

FAQ

Some offset smokers, like the Camp Chef Woodwind Classic, can also be used as charcoal or wood-fired grills. This is because they can reach the much higher temperatures necessary to cook food quickly.

While it isn’t completely necessary to clean an offset smoker after each and every use, it is best practice. If it is not possible to clean your smoker out after every time you use it, then you should at least clean it out every other time. That will help to prevent any nasty things from building up inside your smoker and ruining your food.

Offset smokers, like any grill, can be stored outside all year round. That is, of course, only if you have a cover for them. If you don’t have a high-quality cover for your cooker, then it will rust on you over time. Be sure to keep it covered, and you shouldn’t have any issues if you leave it outside all year round.

Our Verdict

If you are in the market for the best offset smoker, then you need to check out the Traeger TFB42LZBC. Its digital temperature control system is, by far, the easiest system out there for getting the right temperature every time. It is also easy to clean, assemble, and move. We highly recommend you check this model out. We are sure you won’t be disappointed.

The Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E is one of the more expensive models you could buy. It is also made out of the best quality materials possible, so it is easy to see why this smoker is so costly. It is effortless to assemble, clean, and use, making it a sound investment.

If you are looking to both save space and have a lot of cooking area, then the RiverGrille Rustler Vertical Smoker and Grill just might be the option for you. It has over 1,000 square inches of cooking area, even though it doesn’t take up a lot of space itself, which makes it great for anyone with a smaller deck, patio, or backyard.

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