If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

What is the Best Offset Smoker? Your Top Grills For The Money (2022)

by Outdoor Cooking Pros March 30, 2021

What is the Best Offset Smoker?

Decided to finally get that grilling party rolling?

You've probably got all the luck on your side because we've prepared a list of the best offset smokers in the market!

Without further ado, shall we get these smoker reviews started to ignite the flames?

Reviews of the Best Offset Smokers

1. Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Smoker - Best Overall

Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Smoker

Known for being a one-of-a-kind offset smoker, this one's the ultimate all-rounder!

Oklahoma Joe's Highland is built as a quality smoker within the SWEET SPOT ofretention [1] and customizability.

The smoker makes use of heavy-gauge steel, a porcelain-coated grill, cooking grates, and 619 square inches of cooking space.

Its cooking space is enough to cook a ton of food while not compromising the smoker's heating element and temperature control.


  • Heavy-duty cart with wheels
  • Removable smoking chamber
  • Comfortable handles
  • Easy heat control
  • Efficient warming rack and combo smoker


  • Susceptible to smoke leakage
  • Uneven heat distribution

2. Dyna-Glo Signature Series Heavy-Duty Vertical Smoker and Grill - Best Value

. Dyna-Glo Signature Series Heavy-Duty Vertical Smoker and Grill

Got limited storage space?

This particular offset smoker has got your back! Designed as a vertical offset smoker, it's everything in one compact package!

You'll be getting 1098 square inches of cooking space, sausage hangers, and an additional 284 square inches of cooking space in the firebox.

With specs including a flexible cooking configuration, temperature control and temperature gauge, and vertical design, this baby spreads heat flawlessly.

How else could this not be part of the best offset smokers!


  • Sturdy build
  • Huge cooking capacity
  • Fuel efficient design
  • Consistent temperature
  • Easy-to-clean sliding ash pan
  • Doesn't require large storage space


  • Prone to smoke leakage
  • Tendency to lose heat easily

3. Dyna-Glo Vertical DGO1176BDC-D - Best Budget Pick

Dyna-Glo Vertical DGO1176BDC-D

Just starting out with charcoal smokers? This charcoal offset smoker is a great option!

The specs include 1176 square inches of cooking space spread over 6 different shelves. It also includes removable cooking racks and cooking grates. Still not satisfied?

With an adjustable smokestack flue and porcelain-enameled cooking chamber and fire chamber, charcoal briquettes are optimized to their best efficiency when cooking just about anything!

Not bad for a budget pick, right?


  • Inexpensive
  • Large cooking space
  • Easy-to-clean smoker box
  • Effective grease management system
  • Great temperature and smoke control


  • No additional cooking grates
  • Uneven heating distribution
  • Prone to heat and smoke leakage

4. Yoder Wichita Loaded

Yoder Wichita Loaded

Standing at a cooking area of 1600 square inches, this is a charcoal offset smoker for competition.

Usually, too much cooking space and cooking capacity would cause uneven distribution but not this charcoal monster!

Yoder innovates by separating the 1600 square inches between two cooking grates, a slide-out shelf for cooking racks, and another of those cooking grates in the firebox.

Quality materials for insulation purposes, temperature gauge control, heat retention, and heat distribution are its greatest assets.


  • Top-notch quality materials
  • Removable slide-out cooking rack
  • Intelligently designed for even temperature
  • Portable wheels
  • Competitive cooking capacity


  • Expensive

5. Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker

Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker

Finally, the last of our best offset smokers, we have the Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn reverse flow smoker!

The reverse flow technology edition is a must-have and will cripple you in total flavor appeal thanks to its charcoal offset smoker combo!

751 square inches of cooking area in the cooking chamber and 309 square inches of cooking space in the firebox result in anunparalleled charcoal grill experience!

Designed with heavy-duty wheels, storage shelves, and quality stainless steel construction, it's no wonder why it's one of the best charcoal smokers.


  • Even heat and smoke distribution
  • Rust-resistant stainless steel
  • Durable cooking grates
  • Includes built-in thermometer


  • Not exactly smoke tight

Offset Smokers Buyer's Guide

Design and Build

As unbelievable as it may seem, the design and build of your smoker affect its quality!

How It Affects Cooking Quality

For example, an intelligently designed smoker could provide even heat and smoke distribution, a compact size, or make your charcoal smoker and grill fuel-efficient.

How It Affects Convenience

Beyond that, the design and build of your offset smoker could also affect the convenience at which you're going to use it.

Having the cooking grates of your charcoal grill tightly installed could make it hard for you to clean, or the exhaust vent could be misplaced or poorly designed for heat and smoke to escape easily.

Tips: How to Choose

When buying an offset smoker, it would be a good idea to evaluate which qualities you'd love to prioritize.

Write up a checklist for the type of features you absolutely need, don't be shy of asking about them, and cross-reference as to whether its designing principle's jeopardizing that or not.

It sounds like a lot of effort, but it is one of the greatest and most systematic ways for you to get the most optimized product possible!

Size and Weight

Another crucial factor you have to consider is the size and weight!

There's no point in having top-notch quality or the best offset smokers and grillsif you don't have enough storage size for it.

Before you buy an offset maker, it'd be in your best interest to measure the location of where you're planning to put the said offset smoker.

Amount of Food

You should also consider the amount of food and meats you're planning to cook in the said smoker and grill.

Do you think the number of square inches of the cooking area will give you sufficient cooking capacity?

If you're only planning to buy an offset smoker to cook food for you and your immediate family, then you wouldn't exactly need a competition-sized offset smoker.


On the other hand, the size of your offset smoker could also affect its weight. This one's a huge factor if you plan on moving your offset smoker around like a portable pellet grill.

If you happen to be leaning towards buying a heavy offset smoker, you could consider grabbing a model with wheels for easy portability, too!


Insulation is key if you want evenly cooked food.

Believe us when we say that you'd be able to cook at a more comfortable pace if you knew that your smoker was insulated.

It also helps you cook more efficiently, so less fuel, pellets, and charcoal here!

What Is Insulation?

Basically, this means that heat loss is controlled, cooking spaces are more likely to be even, and you won't have to worry about temperature control anymore!

Really, you wouldn't want to adjust temperature over and over as you grill.

That said, don't be shy of asking about the materials used in the smoker you're trying to buy. More than not, the materials will have a say in their insulation properties.


Ventilation is another factor you'd want to look into.

With the right adjustments, you could actually control the temperature by making modifications to the apertures of your smoker's vents!

Bottom Vents

Remember how you can't have fire without oxygen? Yes, combustion reactions such as the one when grilling requires air.

Also, yes, chemistry!

That said, you want to make sure that your smoker's bottom vents can amplify the fire enough for you to cook your food in the best manner possible.

Top Vents

As for the top vent of your smoker, make sure it releases just the right amount of oxygen when needed.

Why does it matter?

Because too much oxygen could consume too many pellets or charcoal, which means the combustion reactions will continue to proceed.

Make sure your top vent can regulate just how much air is needed inside the smoker so you can cook evenly and achieve cooking perfection!


This one's really important, so make sure topay attention to these details:

A low-quality offset smoker made with low quality could directly jeopardize the quality of your smoker and grill.

If you haven't guessed yet, even the cheapest of the offset smokers in the market are a bit pricy.

So you'd want to take this as a chance to grab yourself a lifetime investment that ensures that all your meals are safe.

How to Evaluate Good Durability: Materials

Thin metal models could affect how you could control the heat and smoke in the cooking chamber.

This could also potentially affect where the smoke could escape from your offset smoker, as a thin metal model would not be smoke-tight andwouldn't be able to retain the heat radiating from its grills and chambers.

Good Durability: What to Look For

If you have a good budget, a sure way to get the best quality offset smoker is making sure the metal is at least 1/4 inch thick steel, with a quality exhaust vent and a food chamber door.

You could also opt for stainless steel if you're particular about scratches, bents, or rusting.

How to Evaluate Good Durability: Paint

Another thing you should consider regarding durability is the type of paint used in the smoker.

Please don't be shy to ask whether the manufacturing companies used heat-resistant pain because otherwise, the paint could chip off and fall onto your meats.

We don't think we have to explain to you the DANGERS of paint potentially going into your food or you accidentally inhaling the paint fumes through the smoke.


Being able to move around the smoker is an important factor in offset smokers which some take into consideration. This is even more important if you intend to move your smoker around during trips.

The best way to maximize portability in this sense is wheels!

Yes- most definitely wheels!Did you expect something else?

Here's why.

Meat salad

Many small offset smokers have wheels on them, but heavy-duty ones don't usually have any due to their weight.

That said, when you find a heavy offset smoker with wheels, it's best to ask about the quality of the wheels themselves.

You want to make sure your smokers' wheels are durable enough to bring about such heavy equipment. In short, choosing a smoker with WHEELSprevents complications or accidents.

After all, even during grilling parties, we should ALWAYS prioritize our safety!


Thermometers on offset smokers could vary on the type of offset smoker itself.

For example, there's a standard dial unit, an electronic thermometer, and a precise thermometer.

What Qualities Should You Look for in a Thermometer?

Anyhow, having a good built-in thermometer gauge you can easily understand and control is important.

As it is very likely that while you're cooking meat for the temperature to fluctuate as you cook, it should be in your best interest to monitor the temperature to avoid burning anyway.

Why Should You Be Picky Over Thermometers?

Moreover, charcoal offset smokers are quite susceptible to rising and falling temperatures depending on the smokers' build quality.

If you're not sure about how to work any of the thermometers above, you could read on them before you get yourself one of those offset smokers first!

Extra Features

Good offset smokers most commonly include a ton of extra accessories.

If this sounds important to you, then it's best to check for the list of extra features a product is offering!


Steak and skewered sausages on grill

Keep in mind these extra features actually ADD TO THE COST of the smoker itself. Don't believe them if they say otherwise!

That said, once you see the list of extra features, evaluate if these are worth it and if you'll actually be able to use them.

Otherwise, you could opt for a package or model with similar functionality at a probably lower price.

Price and Warranty

Ah, yes. One of the most important factors when evaluating which of the offset smokers to purchase.

A good way to evaluate the price range of the offset smokers is to check the specs. Is the price point they're offering reasonable?

Don't give in to the trap of extremely cheap offset smokers, either. (Don't make the same mistakes we did).

Steak being grilled

Quality offset smokers more typically require

  • Clever designing
  • Advanced technology
  • Heavy-duty materials

If you want one that WON'T stress you out as you cook, you might want to think whether those cheap offset smokers in the corner are too good to be true.

If they're being advertised as being one of the best, but at an unbelievably small price, RUN.


Another factor you'll want to consider is the warranty.

We've already discussed how good offset smokers won't be too easy on your pockets, but this doesn't mean an expensive one is immediately your choice.

In case you happen to have any problems, and you know you're using it well, you'd also want to check on the warranty.

How long can you keep it? And if any problems arise, it's nice to know you can always bring it back to the manufacturer or have it repaired.

It's not required to have an exactly long warranty, but do remember that this is a promise of quality and performance of your charcoal smoker and grill.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Offset Smoker to Buy?

There are a wide range of options for backyard smokers, including barrel smokers, pellet smokers, and, well, the offset. The best offset smoker could greatly depend on what you need in a charcoal smoker.

If you don't have a big budget, it's worth looking for a quality performance offset smoker, which only jeopardizes the smoke-tight feature, for example.

If you're out shopping for a grilling competition, the offset smoker option for you would be one with ample cooking space. Potentially one with a removable warming rack or grill grates, too.

Anyhow, what's the secret to finding out the most compatible offset smoker for you? Evaluate what you need, what you want, and the resources actually available to you.

Which Is Better, Offset, or Reverse Flow Smoker?


While we'd like to give you a straight answer to this question, this would also depend on what you're looking for. Offset smokers are ideal for cooking large amounts of food.

Moreover, the firebox isn't located inside the cooking chamber, so you're able to add in more fuel or charcoal without letting the heat escape. Preparing offset smokers for operation is quite a long process, too. And its performance could depend on the daily weather conditions.

Reverse flow

On the other hand, reverse flow smokers draw the heat from over and under the meats. Basically, reverse flow smokers use the same smoke and temperature source in the process. This means that they cook food at a uniform temperature.

However, as you'd imagine, this could cause problems when you're cooking different types of meats at once.

Our Top Pick for an Offset Smoker: Oklahoma Joe's Highland

Oklahoma Joe's Highland

As one would expect from Char-Broil, Oklahoma Joe's Highland tops our list of best offset smokers!

Priced as a sub $500 smoker, this one's ability to power through like typically $10000-$3000 options.

If you happen to have any problems with the reverse set system, the good thing about Highland is you're not required to use this option all the time.

If you're cooking separate types of meat at once, you may just turn it off.

Best of both worlds, really!

More than that, it uses high-end materials with a notoriously clever design but doesn't make any of this barbecue process difficult.

In fact, it's as simple as it can be!

If you were looking for another sign to purchase this model, this is it.

We wouldn't even think twice about it, really!

Explore more of your options! See our other roundups below:

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.