The offset smoker is the titular “BBQ smoker,” with horizontally barrel shape cooking chamber, an “offset” firebox attached to it and an exhaust vent. Now the best equipment does not have to be the priciest since it is still only a tool, but higher price does guarantee quality and reliability. Here are some factors to consider when purchasing the best offset smoker for the money.
Estimate your budget. You can get a smoker unit for as low as $100 or even $3000 and up for a custom built ones for those who have been using it. However, of course, lower end model does not necessarily mean it’s worse. Make sure that the smoker is made of heavy gauge steel, strong wielding, preferably insulated handles. Make sure the base is stable like every other grill. One of the more important factor is if the both the cooking chamber and firebox seal well, the seal between the chambers is key too, do note that it is often difficult to tell until you had actually use it before.
Size of the grill is another one to consider. The occasional ribs and jerky uses a different model to say, an entire stuffed bovine. If you are new to the world of smoking, go for smaller one. As you expand your skill set, a larger one would accommodate your imagination better. Additional options such as a place to fit a counterweight should be up for consideration too.
Lastly, the warranty and gimmick features. A warranty should be self-explanatory but still critical nonetheless. Gimmick features include those additional racks, shelves, a cup holder, and more others.
That’s said, what is the best smoker currently in the market for the budget conscious?
For starter, the standard Char-Broil American Gourment Offset Smoker is an excellent value. It’s one of the best-selling models available for a reason. It’s small (288 square inch), wieldy and easy to clean. With a price tag of around $100, it’s pretty much a steal! However, major complain is that the paint flakes off easily, so additional care for that might be needed.
Next up we have the 830 Square inch Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro. As Char-Griller would describe, it “is a professional grade grill offering more features than many grills twice its price.” Versatile and with a complementary woodwork shelf, this can be yours for $180. Although saying that, they would cut some corners which are actually available for anyones’s use in terms of the cosmetic and assembly issues.