Offset smoker is something that may be challenging and giving you a lot of exciting. Beyond its intimidating and awe-inspiring looks, it can give you the best-smoked meat you’ve ever tasted.
The problem is finding the best one for your needs can take the fun out of it. You end up with options that can cost you a lot more than what you budgeted.
With your skills and determination to learn, a good offset smoker doesn’t have to break the bank. In this buying guide, we’ve got the research part covered. We’re going to give you everything you need to know about the top 10 offset smokers under $1,000.
As a bonus, we’ll also teach you what you need to look for before choosing to buy one. Our hope is that by the end of this article, you’re one step closer to smoking meat.
Table Comparison for Recommended Offset Smokers for Less than 1000 Dollars
We’ve compiled a list of the top offset smoker models in the market. To make sure you’ll have nothing but the best to consider, we’ve reviewed each one.
Top 10 Offset Smokers Under $1,000
At this section we will give you the pros and cons as well as everything you need to know. From cooking space to cleaning requirements, these are the top offset smokers that cost less than $1,000:
1. Broil King 958050
Broil King’s offset smoker sports only 625 square inches of primary cooking surface – the smallest on the list. But don’t let that seemingly lacking cooking area fool you.
Sure, you may not be able to cook all the smoked meat you need for a large crowd. But Broil King’s contribution to the list is more than capable of producing quality food without costing you $1,000.
This offset smoker is armed with porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grids, which makes it durable and easy to clean. Smokers also love how these cooking grids are double-sided. One side sports deep grooves meant to keep the juices below the meat. The other side boasts the edges of the grooves, which gives your meat the perfect grill marks.
It’s also designed with a 2 mm steel construction and a finish that is heat-resistant. A thermometer is included in the cooking chamber lid. From the handle to the charcoal tray, everything is constructed to be a heavy-duty offset smoker. Combined with 330 square inches of charcoal smoker space, it’s heavy-duty and double-purpose.
Broil King’s offset smoker takes the crown when it comes to the warranty period. The company offers coverage of 5 years for the cook box and 2 years for all other parts.
2. Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn
Another offset smoker that you might want to consider is Oklahoma Joe’s contribution to the list. It’s easy to clean and even easier to use.
An example is how the offset firebox is equipped with a door that lets you access the burning charcoal and wood without needing to lift the chamber lid. Speaking of the lid, its handle is always made to be cold to the touch, which ensures your safety.
There’s also the huge cooking space to consider. At 1,060 square inches, you’ll be able to cook large quantities of meat.
The temperature gauge mounted on the door of the cooking chamber lid is also one of the reasons why this smoker made it into our list. Unlike most smokers, Oklahoma Joe’s offset smoker doesn’t fail in this category.
Its accurate temperature gauge makes heat control easy. As such, this smoker is perfect for both high-heat cooking and slow smoking.
The only weaknesses we could find in this smoker are the heat coating and the rails in the firebox. The heat coating needs improvement as it can easily peel off if there is constant heat and smoke. Meanwhile, the rails in the firebox are susceptible to rust.
3. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker
Not one to be left behind, Dyna-Glo also managed to make it onto our list. This charcoal offset smoker sports a vertical design. Dyna-Glo is known for these designs, and this particular offset smoker is one of the best in their lineup.
This smoker is equipped with a modest 784 square inches of cooking space. Its vertical charcoal smoker design allows for six cooking grates that can hold up to 25lbs of meat. To top it off, these grates are height-adjustable.
Dyna-Glo’s contribution is also a heavy-duty vertical offset charcoal smoker thanks to its 15,000 BTU cast iron burner.
The removable ash pan is also a plus for this smoker as it makes it easy to clean and maintain.
Of course, no smoker is perfect. Dyna-Glo’s vertical smoker suffers when it comes to space for the meat. We’ve noticed that some meat, like ribs, has to be put in diagonally. You’ll also need to look into investing in gaskets for the lids and silicon for the gaps.
You’ll also benefit from coating the entire smoker with heat-resistant paint.
4. Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker, Deluxe
Whereas the previous smokers excel in convenience and other categories, Char-Broil American gourmet offset smoker is one of the most versatile we’ve seen. This particular unit triples as an offset charcoal smoker, barbecue, and grill.
This smoker achieves its 3-in-1 feature through the charcoal grates that can be pulled and used as a grill. It’s also versatile in how the design allows for direct and indirect smoking. Specifically, the firebox can be used for slow and indirect smoking because it is especially resistant to high temperatures.
Char-Broil’s smoker also includes the standard porcelain-coated cooking grates and firebox ash drawer, which makes it easy to clean. The company also adds an adjustable top chimney vent to the list of features.
This smoker fails in terms of the temperature gauge mounted on the door of the cooking chamber. Because of its positioning and manufacturing issues, the temperature gauge is pretty much inaccurate all the time.
It should also be noted that the Char-Broil’s warranty period leaves much to be desired.
5. Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
This vertical offset smoker from Dyna-Glo makes the list because of the sheer cooking space available. Sporting a whopping 1,382 square inches of cooking space, this smoker is perfectly capable of large cooking.
Made with a barrel design, this smoker boasts heavy-duty construction with a heavy-gauge steel body and chrome-plated cooking grates. This combination results in a smoker that is more than capable of handling the needs of a serious and frequent smoker.
As is the norm for Dyna-Glo’s smokers, this particular unit also doubles as a grill. It achieves this through the offset firebox, which comes with porcelain-coated cooking plates. While not as versatile as Char-Broil’s smoker, Dyna-Glo’s second contribution to the list is a serious contender if only for its durability.
The only gripe that you might encounter with this smoker is the lack of ash clearance mechanism. It doesn’t come with an ash pan like most offset smokers. The consequence is that the ash could impact air intake.
6. Royal Gourmet CC1830S BBQ Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker
Another versatile unit that recommended in this list is Royal Gourmet CC1830S 2-in-1 charcoal grill and smoker. It packs an impressive 782 square inches of space in a compact package. It claims a spot on our list because of its features that make temperature control a breeze.
Aside from this smoker’s porcelain-coated cooking grates and chrome warming rack, it is also equipped with a combination of side doors, dampers, and plenty of vents. These features ensure that the user is more than capable of controlling not only the temperature but also the airflow.
Cleaning is made easy by the removable charcoal pan that allows you to pull it out, add or remove charcoal, and get rid of the ashes. The temperature also isn’t much of a problem.
The know issue with this smoker is the firebox which is the paint on the firebox will peel and flake. This is to be expected, especially if it is exposed to a lot of heat and smoke.
Another problem with the firebox is its construction and shape. Because the lid is curved, you might find a lot of gaps that you will have to fill with gaskets and silicon to prevent the smoke from the firebox from escaping.
7. Char-Griller E1224 Smokin’ Pro
Char-Griller’s offset barbeque smoker is probably the most attractive on the list. With wooden handles and shelves, this smoker drags and maintains the attention of anyone in your backyard.
Beyond its looks, Char-Griller’s smoker is also more than functional. The main characteristic of this smoker that pushed it straight into our list is the powder coat finish. It’s a perfect complement to the looks of the smoker as the powder coating ensures that the paint lasts.
The theme of durability continues with cast-iron cooking grates, which also helps in even and consistent cooking. The charcoal drawers are not only removable but also double-bottomed to help it resist continuous heat and smoke.
Despite the looks, you’re going to have to be vigilant about gaps around the firebox and the cooking chamber. This makes smoke control a bit harder to do. Temperature control is another challenge of this smoker.
Due to the gaps you might find, the smoker struggles to maintain the heat during cold weather.
8. Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Offset Smoker
As the first and only reverse flow smoker, Oklahoma Joe’s second contribution to the list deserves ample recognition. It offers 1,060 square inches of cooking space, which makes it one of largest smokers on the list.
This smoker excels in providing options. For example, you can choose if you want the smokestack at a location that allows you to do reverse flow smoking or traditional offset smoking.
Oklahoma Joe includes a charcoal basket in the package. This basket makes it easy to achieve versatility in cooking and to get a longer burning batch of charcoal. Briquettes don’t fare as well as lump charcoal but the basket is still useful.
The package also includes a warming area on the firebox, which allows for indirect smoking.
This smoker falls short in the construction department. The metal used for it is thin and susceptible to leaks. You’re going to need to get a few gaskets and other mods to compensate for the flimsy construction. The firebox leaks smoke.
9. Smoke Hollow Barrel Grill with Offset Firebox
Among the smokers in this list, Smoke Hollow’s contribution is perfect for a beginner smoker. That’s mainly due to how it is constructed with heavy-duty metals and porcelain.
This means that you don’t have to worry about getting mods for the smoker that are usually meant for peeling paint.
Another important feature for a beginner is having a chimney cap that is wide enough for the smoke. Smoke Hollow’s barrel smoker is equipped with a chimney that has 3 inches of diameter. This is perfect for a beginner offset smoker as it makes it easy to see and determine if there’s enough smoke to cook the meat.
The final thing that beginners could benefit from is the perpetually cool temperature of the handles. For someone who might not be used to wearing protective gear, this is a safety feature that is much appreciated.
This smoker does fall short with the temperature gauge and the barrel style design. You might need to get a separate thermometer or temperature probe if you go with this smoker.
Meanwhile, the barrel style design makes it vulnerable to some leaks, which means you might have to spend some more time than necessary to smoke all your meat.
10. Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo
The final and most versatile smoker to make the list is Oklahoma Joe’s charcoal, gas, offset smoker combo. And yes, it does mean that it can function as an offset smoker, a propane gas smoker, and/or a charcoal grill.
It achieves this by offering two separate cooking chambers for charcoal or gas smoking. All side burners are equipped with the ability to handle 12,000 BTU, which makes it durable even for a propane gas smoker.
The construction of this smoker deserves commendations. As is consistent with Oklahoma Joe’s smokers, this unit is built like a tank. Combined with 2 years of warranty for all its parts, and you have a smoker that won’t give you problems for the next year or so.
Just like everything else on this list, this smoker has its own weaknesses. The first one we could think of is the temperature gauge. It’s wholly inaccurate for the gas side of this offset smoker, and it’s only marginally better for the charcoal side.
This smoker is also amazingly heavy. This means that it isn’t as mobile as the other smokers on our list despite being equipped with wagon-style wheels.
What to Look For Before You Buy a Budget Offset Smoker
1. Check the Price and Your Budget
Beyond knowing what smokers are the best in the market, you should also consider the price you’re willing to pay and the budget you have. As we’ve demonstrated in our list, budget-friendly doesn’t mean that you will have to settle for a low-quality smoker.
Take the time to consider what your budget is and remember to count the cost of the fuel source too.
2. Fuel Source
Speaking of fuel source, that’s also another thing you might want to think about. Ask yourself if you want a smoker that can only handle charcoal and wood pellets. Know if you also want propane or electric option.
3. Trays, Vents, Chimneys, and Baskets
Another thing that you should look for is the quality of the airflow and fuel source storage features. Having plenty of vents means that you’ll be able to control the heat and smoke better.
Baskets and trays are also particularly useful in cleaning up charcoal, wood chips, and water. Chimneys are perfect when you need to tell if you have the right quality and amount of smoke in the chamber.
4. Cleaning and Maintenance
The fourth thing you should look for in a smoker is the features that make cleaning and maintenance easy and manageable. This includes access doors, side lids, and drawers. Having these features would help in maintaining the quality of your smoked meat as well as the state of the smoker itself.
5. Construction and Build
The last but most important thing to look for is the construction and the build of the smoker. The key things to find are porcelain or chrome coating and heavy steel bodies. You might also want to consider the warranty that it comes with.
Remember that no matter how it is built or constructed, heat and smoke causes wear and tear. The best thing you can do is to delay it or protect yourself with warranty coverage.
Finding an offset smoker is a task that doesn’t have to involve a huge check and big bucks. With less than 1000 dollars you should still get a good one. You can choose between Broil King 958050 or Oklahoma Joe’s since they are proven brand which provide good quality smokers.
I spent most of my life fascinated by food, and the outdoors. I can’t think of a more fitting combo that leads to mastering the art of BBQ one day. I ended up decent enough to grill the perfect burger and choose the best equipment after years of improvement. I create this website for outdoor cooking enthusiasts, who are fueled by interest but lacking in help, feel educated when they leave because I see my past clueless self in them.