The 7 Best Offset Smokers of 2023

Meat eaters, veggie lovers, and even cocktail drinkers can prepare something tasty at home

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Best Offset Smokers

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Is there anything better than driving by a BBQ restaurant and smelling the sweet scent of smoked barbecue? Now imagine having that at your own house whenever you want. That’s exactly what can happen with a little patience and an offset smoker. There is an abundance of brands and styles of offset smokers, some of which can have a dual purpose, unlike a more traditional charcoal grill. 

Most offset smokers are easy to maintain and incredibly durable—they have to be since they are being used for hours at a time, after all. The majority of offset smokers come in the more traditional southern model, but there are some stand-up tower-like versions. We researched the best offset smokers available out there and chatted with Atlanta-based grilling expert David Rose, executive chef and spokesperson at Omaha Steaks, about what he looks for when buying one. The list below takes the build, temperature control features, cooking area, and ease of cleaning into account.

Best Overall

Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Offset Smoker

Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Smoker


What We Love: Removable baffles, firebox has a clean-out door for easy cleaning, all-steel construction

What We Don't Love: Wheels are on the firebox side of the smoker, which can cause ash to fall out if it hasn’t been cleaned properly

With almost 900 square inches of cooking surface between the main chamber and the firebox, the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker is our choice for best overall. The construction of the smoker is ideal, with the smoking box as a separate piece and set more toward the bottom of the main chamber. Ash removal is a breeze, as the firebox features a separate door just for this purpose.

The all-steel smoker helps to hold the heat in and allows the smoke flavor to evenly permeate whatever you’re cooking, from classics like deliciously smoked chicken wings to more adventurous pursuits like desserts or cocktails. There is a series of four baffles to guide the heat, and each of them is removable for a custom setup, just like the pros have. To avoid a lawn full of ash, make sure the firebox is cleaned before you move the smoker as the wheels are on this side.

Price at time of publish: $500

Material: Steel construction, porcelain-coated cooking grates | Weight: 180.8 Pounds | Cooking Surface: 879 square inches | Dimensions: 33.5 x 57 x 53 inches

Best Budget

Char-Griller Smokin' Champ Charcoal Offset Smoker in Black

Smokin' Champ Charcoal Offset Smoker in Black


What We Love: Sizeable cooking surface area, easy to move around, budget-friendly

What We Don't Love: Assembly can be challenging, some reviewers mentioned rust forming after about a year

Those looking for a budget-friendly offset smoker with plenty of cooking space should look no further than the Smokin’ Champ Charcoal Offset Smoker in Black. The smoker features cast iron grates that absorb plenty of heat to keep meat cooking at an even temperature. Though smoking is a practice often associated with animal protein, the only limit is your imagination. Delight the vegetarian in your life with a whole smoked cauliflower.

Backyard pit masters will also find the adjustable charcoal tray and dual damper controls helpful as they smoke meat and veggies. After the smoker is cleaned up, just wheel it back to the shed or cover it with a grill cover—customers mentioned the appearance of rust a year later—and it's ready to go for the next session. We recommend assembling well before you plan to use this model as it may take longer than expected.

Price at time of publish: $379

Material: Painted steel | Weight: 123 pounds | Cooking Surface: 1,263 square inches | Dimensions: 65.7 x 27.50 x 50.4 inches

Best Combo

Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Combo Charcoal/Gas Smoker and Grill

Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Black Triple-Function Combo Grill


What We Love: Easy to move, dual chambers allow for more cooking control, side burner for charring vegetables

What We Don't Love: Bottom can rust out over time if it is not stored properly

Those who don’t want to have multiple grills or smokers in the backyard will want to look into a combination offset smoker, the best of which is the Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Black Triple-Function Combo Grill, which can function as a charcoal or gas grill, as well as an offset smoker.

The small side burner is nice for cooking side dishes or roasting vegetables over an open flame. The combo grill-smoker has two separate chambers: one for grilling and one for smoking, so you can easily do both at one time. We appreciate how easy it is to move, as this model requires proper storage to avoid rusting.

Price at time of publish: $549

Material: Steel, porcelain-coated cast iron | Weight: 204.6 pounds | Cooking Surface: 1,060 square inches | Dimensions: 31.5 x 50.6 x 74 inches

Related: The Best Charcoal Grills

Best for Beginners

Broil King Regal Charcoal Offset 500

Broil King Smoke Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill


What We Love: Combination grill and smoker, integrated tool hooks, leg levers

What We Don't Love: Short chimney struggles to get smoke out efficiently

If you’re looking to hone your smoking skills in the backyard and want a grill that can help you level up, consider the Broil King Smoke Offset Charcoal Smoker and Grill. The mid-range smoker is ideal for beginners looking for an elevated learning experience while using a smoker that isn’t considered a budget brand, thanks to thoughtful touches such as four tool hooks on the large front shelf and a built-in bottle opener. It also has adjustable leg levers that ensure stability over uneven ground.

The smoker features reversible cast iron cooking grids, a stainless steel charcoal tray, and adjustable dampers for heat control. With 625 square inches of cooking space in the main chamber, you’ll be able to smoke and grill enough to feed your entire family and perfect the craft of smoking in no time. The chimney could be taller, so a bit of smoke should go a long way.

Price at time of publish: $1,099

Material: Steel, cast iron | Weight: 186 pounds | Cooking Surface: 955 square inches | Dimensions: 52.5 x 60 x 26 inches

Best High-End

Texas Original Pits Luling Loaded Single Lid Offset Smoker with Counter Weight

Texas Original Pits Luling Loaded Single Lid Offset Smoker with Counter Weight

BBQ Guys

What We Love: American-made, hand-welded, large chimney to draw smoke, large wheels make it easy to maneuver 

What We Don't Love: Very heavy

Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes smokers. If you’re looking for an American-made offset smoker that can handle Texas-sized meals, as well as give you a similar experience to professional grill masters, then the Texas Original Pits Luling Loaded Single-Lid Offset Smoker is the one for you. The hefty price tag is outweighed by the stellar, hand-welded construction of the smoker, complete with large wheels and a whopping 1,610 square inches of cooking surface in the main chamber. The firebox also has a grate that can turn the space into a small charcoal grill, and a large chimney effectively releases smoke. Be sure to scout out the right spot for this big boy—the premium experience weighs much more than the other options on this list.

“100 percent natural oak and hickory lump charcoal is the best fuel source for offset smokers. It has no additives, chemicals, or nitrates, which could taint the taste and smell of the cook. It lights up relatively quickly, in about 10 minutes, and burns slower than less premium charcoal. Then, you can add your desired wood chunks or wood chips on top of the charcoal to impart flavor." — David Rose, an executive chef at Omaha Steaks

Price at time of publish: $3,000

Material: Steel | Weight: 591 pounds | Cooking Surface: 1,610 square inches | Dimensions: 74 x 34 x 54 inches

Related: The Best Smokers

Best Upright

Dyna-Glo Signature Series Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill

Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill


What We Love: Vertical construction saves space, firebox can be turned into a grill, cool-touch handles on both doors of the smoker

What We Don't Love: Vertical construction may not allow smoke flavor to evenly disperse over meat 

Those with a smaller backyard and who don’t necessarily have room for a large smoker may want to consider a vertical offset smoker. The large tower with this model has five cooking grates and a total cooking space of 1,382 square inches. Vertical offset smokers work essentially the same way as a traditional offset smoker, with a smoking chamber to the side where you can place charcoal and wood—and converts to a grill for direct heat cooking—and a larger main cooking chamber where the food is smoked. 

Many users like that it holds temperature heat well, and there's minimal air leakage due to the door seal and the smoker's thick construction. They say it also doesn't need as much wood as some other smokers to get that distinct smoky flavor and that the temperature gauge is close to accurate. Safety is always a concern when cooking, so we appreciate the addition of cool-touch handles.

Price at time of publish: $400

Material: Steel chambers with chrome-plated cooking grates | Weight: 124.3 pounds | Cooking Surface: 1,382 square inches | Dimensions: 58 x 45.5 x 24.9 inches

Related: The Best Electric Smokers

Best Wide Upright

Dyna-Glo Vertical Wide Body Offset Charcoal Smoker

Dyna-Glo Vertical Wide Body Offset Charcoal Smoker


What We Love: Easy to assemble, six removable racks, supports large cuts

What We Don't Love: Frame feels a bit flimsy

For those not afraid to break with tradition, this vertically-oriented smoker offers a healthy 1,890 square inches of cooking area in a slightly different silhouette. Each of the six cooking grates holds up to 25 pounds of food and can be adjusted to the height you need. And, thanks to the pre-installed sausage hooks, this smoker is versatile enough to handle large pieces of protein like a whole turkey. Customers agree that this model is easy to assemble and easy to use.

Keep in mind that while some offset smokers can be converted into grills for direct heat cooking, this is not one of those. But, because smoke rises, you'll have no shortage of low and slow cooking capacity as the tower design delivers more even heat and smoke distribution. We would like to see heavier-duty construction as the exterior seems a bit flimsy, but for the price and capacity, this model is great for those who have limited space and like to entertain.

Price at time of publish: $349

Material: Porcelain-enameled steel | Weight: 83 pounds | Cooking Surface: 1890 square inches | Dimensions: 21 x 43.3 x 50.2 inches

Final Verdict

The best overall offset smoker is the Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Smoker (view at Amazon), which is a reliable model that can be used over and over again without the fear of rusting or decay. If you’re looking for a more economical offset smoker, consider the Smokin' Champ Charcoal Offset Smoker in Black (view at Home Depot), which has a moderately sized cooking area.

How We Selected

To choose the products for this article, Megan sifted through customer reviews and manufacturer information on the scores of offset smokers available on the market. She kept several features in mind during her search: a heavy-gauge metal build, accurate temperature gauges on both the top and bottom of the smoker, ample cooking space, and well-fitted dampers and seals. She then interviewed grilling expert Executive Chef David Rose from Omaha Steaks, who draws from his culinary background as a classically trained and, at the same time, decidedly Southern chef, as well as his experience being a self-professed lifelong meat-lover.

What to Look for When Buying Offset Smokers


The best offset smokers are made with heavy-gauge metal that's at least 0.25 inches thick, which helps with smoke, heat retention, and overall durability, according to Rose. Cooking racks should be easily removable for cleaning and be made from cast iron for maximum heat retention.

Temperature Control

Look for temperature gauges on the top and bottom of the smoker. This will give an accurate reading of the true temperature inside. “Make sure to inspect that the dampers and seals are well fitted and easy to open and close; there should be no gaps in the seals," so the smoke stays inside the main cooking portion of the smoker, says Rose.

Cooking Space

This depends on what you’re going to be using the smoker for. Those looking for a backyard smoker to make meals for family and friends should stay in the 500 to 700 square inches of cooking space in the main chamber. Grill masters looking to level up their barbecue may want to look for 1,000 to 1,500 square inches of cooking space. 

Ease of Cleaning

An offset smoker should be easy to clean up with removable grates that can be wiped clean and a firebox with a door to sweep out ashes. 


How do I use an offset smoker? 

Offset smokers use indirect heat to cook a variety of foods. “Utilizing a horizontal cooking chamber and tending to the firebox on the side, you smoke your protein, side, or vegetable using indirect heat as a method of cooking. Fire doesn’t come in direct contact with food. You continuously feed the firebox throughout the cook with charcoal and wood to maintain ideal smoking temperature,” explains Rose. 

What can I cook on an offset smoker?

“Just about anything can be cooked on an offset smoker: from brisket, ribs, pulled pork, or steaks; to seafood to vegetables; to desserts or even smoked cocktails. Anything you want to give a smoky flavor to can be cooked on offset smokers,” says Rose.

Are offset smokers better than vertical ones? 

It depends on what you’re cooking. “Offset smokers are a lot more versatile in usage than a vertical smoker. Adding fuel to the firebox won’t disturb the heat and smoking process in the cooking chamber,” says Rose. Offset smokers are easier to use for larger cuts of meat that you want to lay flat, like ribs or brisket, he says, because it’s easier to maintain temperature and rotate your meat. "It can double as a grill, too, with direct heat usage,” he adds.

What is the difference between an offset and a reverse flow smoker?

The main difference between offset and reverse flow smokers is the ability of the latter to maintain a more uniform and consistent temperature inside the cooking chamber. Offset smokers allow heat to enter the cooking chamber from a firebox and to a chimney opposite the firebox. Reverse flow smokers, on the other hand, push the heat under a sealed drip pan to the far end of the smoker before the air is reversed through the smoking chamber and exits through a stack on the firebox end of the smoker; this allows the heat to be distributed more evenly.

Why are they called offset smokers?

This smoker gets their name from the firebox. The most common style is a barrel, laid horizontally with the firebox attached to the main chamber. Because the firebox is located outside the cooking chamber, it is called offset.

Why Trust Simply Recipes?

This article was written by Megan duBois, who is a kitchen and lifestyle expert for Simply Recipes. Throughout her career, she has tested an endless amount of products, from TikTok-famous gadgets to chef-approved knife sets.

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