Do you desire to make the tastiest BBQ for your family but you’re new to the game? Well, it all starts by owning the best offset smoker for beginners!
These simple yet effective smokers use ordinary charcoal and wood chips to achieve uniquely tasty meat. It allows you to grill your meat while regulating the temperature like a pro.
This way, you can be sure that your BBQ will be well-cooked, soft, and with a smoky flavor.
However, purchasing the best offset smoker for beginners is not a walk in the park! You can be sure that this unique asset will set you back several hundred dollars! But the investment will be worth it.
If you find it difficult to select your best offset smoker for beginners, then worry no more! This article offers crucial guidelines that you need to shop for your smoker without a hassle.
What is an Offset Smoker?
An offset smoker is a simple BBQ equipment that uses charcoal or wood chips. It is also called an offset barrel smoker, horizontal smoker, or a stick burner.
Your best offset smoker for beginners should have a large chamber where you can place your food when cooking. This chamber appears like a metal box and can come in different shapes depending on the manufacturer.
Additionally, the horizontal smoker has a fire chamber that’s usually located next to the main chamber but a bit lower. This will be the source of your heat and its location will affect the efficacy of the equipment.
It also has an intake damper and an exhaust vent. The intake supplies the fire with adequate oxygen necessary to keep the fire burning. On the other hand, the exhaust will remove the exhaust.
If you want to increase the intensity of the fire, you can open up the intake vent to allow in more oxygen. Closing it reduces the fire, thus enabling you to control the temperature.
Best Offset Smoker for Beginners – Comparison
Product Image Product Name Product Features
Z-Grill Series for Beginners -Basic Series, 600 series, 700 Series, and 1000 series
- Comes with a PID controller
- Come with a hopper view window
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker -784 square Inch of total smoking area; 1176 square inches of total cooking space with 25-pounds capacity per grate.
-Porcelain-enameled steel charcoal chamber is designed to keep briquettes stacked tightly for improved burn efficiency
-Smoke stack features an adjustable flue for additional flavor and temperature control
-Built-in, stainless steel thermometer
Char-Broil 12201570-A1 American Gourmet Offset Smoker, Black, Standard -Combination Offset Smoker, BBQ & Charcoal Grill
-290 square inch cooking surface in main chamber
-140 sq. in. cooking surface in firebox chamber
-Adjustable height steel fire grate
Royal Gourmet CC1830F Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker, Black -Stainless Steel construction
-Total 800 sq inches cooking surface, 438 sq inches of main chamber, 1/4” diameter porcelain steel cooking grates; 179 sq inches for chrome warming rack; offset smoker provides extra 183 sq inches cooking area with porcelain steel cooking grates
-Heavy duty lid, with professional thermometer, big stack and cool-touch spring handle
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker -784 square Inch of total smoking area; 1176 square inches of total cooking space with 25-pounds capacity per grate
-Charcoal & ash management system with the charcoal chamber, grate, and sliding, removable steel ash pan
Best Offset Smoker for Beginners
1. Z-Grill Series – the Ultimate Smoker for a Beginner
The basic series would be the most ideal one of beginners. The model comes with a PID controller that helps in maintaining a steady temperature throughout the grilling process. It helps you to keep your temperature within a range of 5 degrees F for consistent results.
Additionally, these offset smokers come with a hopper view window to help you monitor the pellet supply without a hassle. Even better, cleaning these grills is a breeze! The pellet cleanout system ensures that the emptying of the hopper and switching out pellets is a straightforward process.
The Z grills will offer the ultimate smoky flavor on your meals without a hassle. It is portable and you can use it at your backyard.
Dyna-Glo is known to make some of the most sturdy offset smokers in the market. This particular one has adjustable cooking grates, which guarantees convenience throughout the entire process.
The six-height grates can accommodate diverse food items occupying a space of up to 1890 square inches – each of the grates has an impressive capacity of 15 pounds.
Additionally, this unique offset smoker has a porcelain-enameled steel fuel chamber designed specially to save on fuel. The charcoal briquettes will remain stacked, which means that you’ll use less fuel without necessarily compromising on its efficacy.
Just like any other smoker, we’re sure that you wouldn’t like an offset smoker that’s difficult to clean, right? Well, the Dyna-Glo GGO smoker comes with a unique charcoal and ash management system. All the grates and ash pan are easily removable using a pull and slide technique.
Its vertical design ensures that heat rises faster to reach the food while ensuring slow and reliable cooking. Even better, it has a built-in thermometer to monitor temperature and ensure that you achieve an evenly cooked BBQ.
- Easy to clean
- Highly efficient in-built thermometer
- A large cooking space ideal for a large family
- Relatively difficult to move to in case of outdoor cooking
This Dyna-Glo vertical smoker is uniquely constructed to guarantee an easy rise of heat, thus ensuring great efficacy.
Additionally, this smoker guarantees a unique smoke flavor in your BBQ.
It keeps the heat away from directly heating the food. This feature ensures that your food cooks slowly, thus achieving a tender, crisp, and uniquely tasty meal.
Even better, this offset smoker has special six-height adjustable cooking grates that have the capacity of 784 square feet smoking area and an excellent 1176 square inches total cooking area. Each grate has a capacity of 25-pounds.
Its porcelain-enameled charcoal chamber guarantees fuel efficiency. It has a sliding ashtray and cooking grates that are removable for guaranteed ease of cleaning.
- Ashtrays can handle large volumes of ash, thus reducing the frequency of emptying
- Durable steel construction
- Easy to clean
- Quite bulky
Looking for the best offset smoker for beginners? If yes, then this uncomplicated Char-Broil smoker is an excellent fit. It features a vertical pipe for controlled smoking with easily adjustable dampers.
Additionally, this smoker has an easy-to-read temperature gauge to ensure that you regulate temperature adequately throughout your grilling and smoking escapades.
Even better, the Char-Broil smoker boasts of an offset firebox that allows you to stoke the fire without necessarily losing the heat. Its porcelain-coated cooking grates are highly effective yet so easy to clean.
If you want a portable smoker, then this Char-Broil model will serve you right. It has soft handles for a firm grip. This coupled with its highly flexible wheels ensures that you get the latitude to move it to any location of your choice.
It comes complete with an incredibly large cooking area. The main chamber measures approximately 23.75 inches by 11.5 inches with a cooking space area of up to 290 square inches. It also has a 140 square inches firebox.
For beginners, using this offset smoker will be a breeze! It has multiple dampers that are easy to close and open, thus guaranteeing easy air adjustment. To monitor your temperature, the smoker has an integrated temperature gauge which is accurate and easy-to-read.
- Highly portable
- Easy to clean
- Easy temperature control
- Relatively small
This Royal Gourmet grill is easy to assemble. It comes with a unique painting that does not flake, thus guaranteeing durability and aesthetics.
Also, the offset smoker has a total cooking area of 800 square inches with 438 square inches located in the main chamber.
While this space is not quite big, it is ideal for any individual with a small family.
The smoker has highly durable ¼ inches diameter porcelain steel grates and a unique chrome finished warming rack of up to 179 square inches.
Other unique features that make this offset smoker stand out from the rest include:
- Combination offset smoker
- Side door for easy fuel addition
- Air vents for better flow of air
- Heavy-duty lid with an adjustable damper
- Cool-touch spring handle
Additionally, this smoker comes with an integrated thermometer and a big stack to ensure that you achieve uniform heat distribution. This guarantees an evenly cooked meal for assured enjoyment.
- Big capacity charcoal pan (can accommodate up to 5 lbs of charcoal)
- Easy-to-use lifting handles to adjust the height of the charcoal for temperature regulation
- Easy to clean
- Plenty of storage and working space
- Keeping it in moist areas lead to flaking
This Dyna-Glo offset smoker has a vertical design that ensures that heated air rises naturally, thus ensuring top-notch efficacy and enhanced smoke flavor. Additionally, this offset construction keeps the fire from heating the food directly, which guarantees slow cooking and tastier meals.
It has a six-height adjustable cooking area that can accommodate different types of different shapes and sizes. It boasts of a total cooking area of up to 1176 square inches (25 pounds for every grate).
Additionally, this offset smoker is designed with a porcelain-enameled charcoal chamber. Its unique design ensures that the charcoal remains stacked tightly for guaranteed burning efficiency. This way, you can be sure that you’ll save fuel and get the best out of every briquette you place on the smoking chamber.
For ease of cleaning, this smoker comes with a charcoal and ash management system. It has a simple sliding design that makes it easy to remove the steel ash pan and the grates. Even better, the ashtrays are designed to hold large volumes of ash, thus guaranteeing a maintenance-free cooking process.
It incorporates a highly efficient built-in stainless steel thermometer. This feature makes it easy for you to monitor temperature changes, thus ensuring that you evenly cook your meals.
- Easy to clean
- Effective vertical design
- Ideal for outdoor grilling sessions
- Relatively pricey
Best Offset Smoker for Beginners – Buyer’s Guide
Without a doubt, shopping for the best offset smoker for beginners is not easy. It can be confusing due to the wide variety of smokers available in the market.
Interestingly, you can get a smoker worth just a few bucks while another one worth several thousand dollars. So, what’s the difference between the two?
Is it the brand? Is it functionality? Or is it its efficacy? Well, this section provides comprehensive answers to all these questions. Read on.
How to Use an Offset Smoker (with wood chips)
Using an offset smoker is a straightforward process. If you’re a beginner, you should follow the following simple steps to achieve a scrumptious meal with little hassle:
- Light Your Charcoal
To get the best result from your smoker, we recommend that you use a combination of charcoal and wood chips. Pick your charcoal and light them.
You can either use a gas ignition system or a chimney starter to light up the charcoal and produce sufficient heat for the best BBQ. When entirely lit, you can transfer the charcoal into your offset’s fire chamber.
- Place Your Wood Chips
While this is an optional step, we recommend that you include it if you want the best results. Pick a few pieces of wood (you may choose the flavored ones) and place them in the firebox together with the burning charcoal.
To start with, you can place the chips next to the charcoal to dry them out. After they are completely dry, you should then place them on top of the burning charcoal.
Drying the logs/chips ensure that they burn faster to produce smoke, which yields tastier BBQ while ensuring that you have an easy time throughout the process.
- Wait to Achieve the Right Temperature
When the wood chip starts burning, you need to start monitoring the temperature. We recommend that you buy the best meat thermometer for smoking for easier temperature management. The in-built thermometer can greatly mislead you!
- Place Your Meat on the Grates
Once you’ve achieved the desired temperature( 225°F to 250°F), you can now reduce the opening of the fire chamber and adjust the chimney to be half-open. This helps to retain a relatively steady temperature, ideal for cooking.
Place your meat on the grates and continue smoking them until you achieve a soft and tasty BBQ. Always use your digital thermometer to monitor the meat’s temperature (including the innermost parts).
Offset Smoker Fire Management
For a beginner, managing fire for an offset smoker can be tricky. It requires that you be keen on how you open and close the chimney and air inlets. However, this guide will make the process relatively easier for you:
- Check Your Wood Chips Regularly. You should check/ add your wood chips after every one hour. However, this will depend on the capacity of your best offset smoker for beginners.
- Monitor Your Temperature. Always ensure that you regularly check your temperature readings. If it starts going down drastically, you should consider adding wood chips. Additionally, excessively white smoke on the chimney could signal a problem in the firebox.
- Check Temperature in All Corners. In most cases, the grates will not heat uniformly. There can be a temperature difference of more than 75 degrees Fahrenheit from one corner to the next. As such, you can keep rotating the meat to achieve uniformly cooked BBQ.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Offset Smoker for Beginners
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced shopper or not, just never ignore the following factors when shopping for the best offset smoker for beginners:
- Material of Construction
Offset smokers are constructed from different types of metals. If you want to achieve the best results, always ensure that you get one made from a heavy gauge metal.
Ideally, the best offset smoker for beginners should be at least ¼ inches thick for guaranteed heat retention and superb results.
- Ease of Handling
If you want an easy time when preparing your BBQ, you should ensure that your best offset smoker for beginners has insulated handles. This guarantees safety and eliminates the risk of injuries throughout the entire process.
Additionally, the welds should be durable to avoid breakages. The cookware equipment should have lids that are durable and easy to open, thus easing the process of temperature management.
Finally, you should check the accuracy of the in-built thermometer. While we don’t recommend that you rely on it, there is no harm in having an offset smoker with an accurate thermometer.
- Quality of Dampers and Seals
One of the key determinants of the success of your smoking escapades is your ability to control the temperature. To achieve this, you should ensure that your best offset smoker for beginners has top-notch seals and dampers for excellent temperature control and smoke retention.
Do you want an offset smoker for outdoor smoking? If yes, then you should be careful to only select one with wheels for easy movement.
When looking at this feature, always ensure that it has sturdy hinges and latches to prevent wear and tear throughout its usage.
- Availability of a Cover
If you want a top-notch performance of your best offset smoker for beginners, you should ensure that you always keep it dry.
To achieve this, always buy a smoker with a cover (whether as part of the package or an optional extra).
While most offset smokers will serve you for a lifetime, it doesn’t hurt to purchase one with a warranty. This ensures that you’re covered for defects occasioned by manufacturing errors.
If you’re looking for a portable offset smoker, always ensure that you get relatively small one.
Additionally, you should consider the size of the firebox and the cooking chamber. The smaller the firebox, the more frequently you’ll be required to add wood chips, which can be draining.
Also, small cooking chambers limit you, especially when you want to cook a lot of meat for a party!
- Ease of Cleaning
To easily clean your best offset smoker for beginners, we recommend that you buy one with removable plates.
Additionally, ensure that it has a drain/plug to collect oil trickling from your meat. This way, you’ll save yourself from the difficulties of cleaning greasy grates.
Is a Cheap Offset Smoker Worth It?
Before you settle for a cheap offset smoker, you should always check out its potential deformities. This is not to say that all cheap smokers have defects. Just a caution that you should be careful!
Some of the common problems associated with cheap smokers include:
- Poor seals
- Thin material leading to low heat retention
- Poor quality paint
- Poor heat and smoke distribution
Considering that your best offset smoker is a lifetime investment, price should be the least of your factors to consider.
Best Offset Smoker for Beginners -The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for the best offset smokers for the money, then this guide is everything you need before stepping out to shop.
It highlights all the critical issues that you should look out for before you settle for your best offset smoker for beginners. It explicitly includes what to avoid.
We understand that you can be confused when shopping for the best offset smoker for beginners, especially when you have no prior experience.
As such, we’ve compiled a well-researched list of some of the best offset smokers for beginners that you should consider. Read on and purchase one for yourself. This will be the best decision you’ll ever make if you love smoking.