MiscProducts

Best Offset Smokers in 2020 – Reviewed

A question that we’re frequently asked is why should consumers take the time to buy the best offset smoker available. And the answer to that question is quite simple. These smokers can help the cook make some of the richest smoke-infused meats, can allow the consumer to cook large quantities of meat at one time, and allows the consumer to add fuel to the smoker without disturbing the cooking process. Another thing that makes them a must-have for just about anyone who enjoys meat is that it can be used for grilling as well as smoking. All good reasons why we just had to uncover which models were the best ones available so that we could review them.

Quick Summary of Best Offset Smokers

 Editor’s Choice 
Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D Vertical Offset Smoker  (review)
 Also Recommended 
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Offset Vertical Smoker  (review)
 Also Consider 
Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Cooker  (review)

Reviews

Editor’s Choice: Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D Vertical Offset Smoker

Anyone searching for an offset smoker that can handle a large volume of meat and can do it perfectly might want to consider this smoker. This is a model that has a total cooking area of 1,382 square inches that allows the consumer to smoke five levels of food quickly and expertly. The size of this smoker isn’t the only reason someone should consider buying it. It also has another thing going for it: it’s construction. This smoker is made with a heavy-gauge steel body that’s sure to provide the consumer with many years of faithful service. It also features a cool-touch spring lid that allows the consumer to easily check on their food and a stainless temperature gauge that allows them to easily monitor the smoking temperature.

It’s also worth mentioning that this model has oversized wheels that allow it to be moved from one location in your outdoor area to another. This smoker comes with pre-installed sausage hooks and five chrome-plated steel cooking grates that give the home cook many options as to the size and variety of food they smoke and/or cook. We also liked the fact that the offset firebox doubled as additional grill space and has porcelain-coated steel cooking grates that are perfect for making kabobs or other grilled food items. To make adding or checking on the fuel easier, this model also has a pull-out side-tray for charcoal that’s very convenient to use. It can even be removed for cleanup.

After carefully considering all of these smoker’s features, it’s easy to see how it could be a welcome addition to any outdoor grilling area. Yes, it’s a little more expensive than smaller or lesser quality models, but we do think that it will be worth it to most people. We found it to be an amazing offset smoker and grill that gets the job done quite well.

PROS:

  • This is a well-built smoker.
  • This product does an amazing job of smoking meat.
  • It has a ton of cooking space.
CONS:

  • None

Also Recommended: Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Offset Vertical Smoker

This vertical offset smoker is also manufactured by Dyna-Glow and is similar to the DGSS1382VCS-D, with a few minor differences between the two. One of the first differences is that it only has a total of 1,176 total square inches of cooking space, which is quite a bit smaller than the other model that has over 1,300 square inches of cooking space.

Regardless, this model is still plenty big enough for most people and its measurements are approximately 20.2×34.52×47-inches in size, and it features 784 square inches of actual smoking area. And because it has a porcelain-enameled steel charcoal chamber, it holds up to high temperatures and allows for more briquettes to be more tightly packed into the unit.

This smoker also features six adjustable cooking grates that are large enough to accommodate just about any food, and each one can hold approximately 25-pounds of meat. And because this model has a built-in thermometer, the consumer can always keep track of what’s smoking on those racks without having to open the unit up and take a quick look. This thermometer even features a smoke zone marking, so it’s easy to read, and the consumer can make sure their meat stays in the smoke zone for the length of time they need it to stay. All of this makes this smoker a great smoker that people are going to want to take a closer look at buying.

Of course, the above features aren’t the only ones that can be found in this model. This unit also has an adjustable flue that allows the consumer to control how smoke is released from the smoker, and it has a removable firebox that’s easy to maintain and clean. All of these features combine to make a smoker that’s perfect for home use.

Although some consumers might balk at the costs of this model in comparison to some of the cheap smokers out there, we have to say that this model is way better than those lesser quality models. This smoker is designed to last quite a long time, it smokes well, and although it does cost more than other home smokers, it’s quite a deal when compared against professional models.

PROS:

  • It works extremely well.
  • It’s a well-made smoker.
CONS:

  • Costs more than some smaller smokers.

Also Consider: Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Cooker

To start off this review, we need to set some things straight about this grill. One, it’s not a professional quality smoker. No, its construction does feel a little bit flimsier than what we would expect from a professional model and it does leak quite a bit of smoke—meaning it doesn’t form a tight seal. However, we’re not putting this model on our list because we think it’s as great as the first two models we’ve reviewed. It’s on our list because we think that it’s the best entry-level smoker available.

What we mean is that this smoker isn’t so expensive that people can’t afford to buy it, but it’s not so cheap that it’s going to fall apart after a couple of uses. It’s a model that should last the consumer for quite a while, but it probably won’t win any awards. What it will do, however, is to provide the consumer with the ability to quickly and efficiently smoke and/or grill their food. That alone makes this a product worth checking out. By and large, it’s a great budget offset smoker.

This model features 290 square-inches of cooking space and has a 140-inch cooking surface in the firebox chamber. It also features an adjustable fire grate that’s made out of quality steel, and it has a clean-out door that makes ash removal easy. Additional features found on this model include multiple dampers that allow for smoke and heat control, a temperature gauge on the lid, and a porcelain-coated wire cooking grate. All of these features come together to make a product that many novice smokers are going to appreciate.

PROS:

  • It’s not as well made as professional smokers.
  • It’s a decent entry-level smoker grill.
CONS:

  • It has a tendency to leak smoke.

A Guide To Offset Smokers

As it can be seen clearly, offset smokers are a tool that every household can use to great effect. Most of these smokers not only smoke meats, but they can also be used to grill meats and veggies as well. Of course, how well a particular smoker is going to perform depends a lot on whether the consumer has done their due diligence and have picked a smoker that will work quite well for their needs. To help our readers better choose between competing smokers we’ve decided to put this guide together. A guide that we hope will help all of our readers buy the best offset smoker for their needs. 

The Smoker’s Construction

One of the first things that you should look for when buying a new offset smoker is how the smoker is made. It should be made of a heavy gauge metal such as steel that’s at least 1/4-inch thick. This will ensure that the smoker can hold up to the rigors of the environment and is less likely to rust or warp. 

The Size Of The Smoker

The next thing that the consumer should think about is the size of the smoker. The smoker should be large enough to handle your smoking needs and has enough racks to separate the meat and veggies being smoked as needed. Some of the better smokers available not only have a large interior, but they also have features such as sausage hooks that help increase the amount of food it can smoke. 

The Size Of The Firebox

The firebox is an important feature to think about. Although we don’t have any specific firebox recommendations to share with our readers, we do urge everyone to buy a smoker with a firebox big enough to accommodate the fuel they’re going to use in the smoker—regardless of whether that fuel is charcoal, wood pellets, wood chips, or split wood. 

Consider The Smoker’s Seals & Dampers

With great seals and dampers, it’s almost impossible to maintain proper temperature control for the smoking process. If the seals leak, then it will be difficult to raise the temperature in the smoker, and if the smoker doesn’t have proper dampers, then it’s going to be difficult to lower the temperature in the smoker when it’s necessary. 

Does It Have Temperature Gauges?

Speaking of proper temperature control, it’s also important for you to make sure that whatever smoker you’re thinking of buying should come with a quality thermometer—hopefully, a thermometer that’s built-in to it and doesn’t require the smoker to be opened to function properly. A quality thermometer will ensure that you can keep the smoker in the “Smoke Zone” for the amount of time that you need it to do.

How Easy Is It To Clean?

Another thing that you might want to think about is how hard the offset is to clean. To determine how easy it is to clean the smoker, you should take a good look at some of its features. Are its racks and sausage holders removable? Does it have a drain plug so that it can be easily hosed out? Or does it have a firebox chamber that’s easy to remove and empty? Not every smoker is going to need every single one of these features, but having a couple of them can make a big difference when it’s time to clean up your smoker. 

How Portable Is The Smoker?

It’s also a good idea to think about whether you need a portable smoker or if a larger smoker is acceptable. Although some people like the convenience of being able to move the smoker from one place to another in their yard or maybe to a friend’s house, other people don’t need a portable smoker because they’re simply going to park it in one place, and there it will remain. What you need will depend on your personal needs, of course. 

The Smoker’s Warranty

The one thing that many people overlook when they buy a new offset smoker is the warranty that is provided for the smoker by the manufacturer. If it’s a quality, well-made smoker, then there’s no reason why the manufacturer wouldn’t provide a decent warranty with the smoker. Although warranties can vary from one smoker to the next, you should look for one that offers at least a 2-year warranty—although a 3-year warranty would be better. 

The Smoker’s Footprint

The last thing that the consumer is going to want to think about is the smoker’s footprint. The footprint is how much space the smoker takes up. Some offset smokers take up a small amount of space, while others need a much bigger yard. If the space in your yard is limited, then you might want to think about buying a vertical offset smoker. However, even when choosing a vertical smoker, you’re going to have to make sure that there is sufficient space around the smoker for it to work properly and to avoid it becoming a fire hazard. 

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