offset smoker under 1000

Picking the Best Offset Smoker Under 1000: A Detailed Guide

Finding the right offset smoker under 1000 is a rather complicated, responsible, and even risky job. Complicated – since there are so many various models on the market and you struggle to understand which of them actually of the highest quality. Responsible – because you make a purchase, and when your budget is on the line you need to make sure to choose only the best offset smoker for the money. The cheap models available in the market turn out to be unreliable, while the expensive ones might just leave quite a dent in your budget if you pick a bad model. But why is it risky? Because after all – smokers are rather dangerous, hazardous appliances. And when you pick one of low quality it’s a potential fire hazard. After all, about 10,600 home fires are started a year because of the grills. That is due to the improper following of safety rules, low-quality smoker/grill, or both.

That is why picking only the best offset smoker under 1000 will not only give you great meals but will also offer premium quality and security.

Top 7 Best Offset Smokers Under 1000: Comparison Chart

Power SourceTotal Cooking AreaSizeWeight
Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-DCharcoal/Wood1890 sq. in.21 x 43.3 x 50.2 inches83 pounds
Char-Griller Competition ProCharcoal/Wood1091 sq. in.66 x 33 x 52 inches140 pounds
Broil King 958050Charcoal/Wood955 sq. in.52.5 x 26 x 60 inches186 pounds
Char-Broil 12201570-A1Charcoal/Wood420 sq. in.17.5 x 46.25 x 44.75 inches46.5 pounds
Oklahoma Joe’s 15202031 HighlandCharcoal/Wood619 sq. in.39 x 20.9 x 23 inches176 pounds
Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-DCharcoal/Wood1382 sq. in.45.5 x 24.9 x 58.8 inches124.3 pounds
Royal Gourmet CC1830FCharcoal/Wood800 sq. in.45.3 x 26.8 x 48 inches57 pounds

How Do Offset Smokers Work?

It is not clear who exactly built these smokers, but the most common belief that the offset smokers were created by oilfield workers in Texas and Oklahoma back in the late 1900s. Of course, with time the offset smokers received a lot of modifications and changes, and now the basic horizontal offset wood smokers look and have almost the same properties as the pellet smokers

They have a lidded barrel/box-shaped smoking/cooking chamber, with a firebox connected slightly lower to an end (explains the name ‘offset’) and a chimney rising from the other. And one of the great things about these devices is that while cooking in the offset smoker, you control the heat and smoke flow in it by adjusting the air intake and the exhaust vents.

Are Reverse Flow Offset Smokers Better Than the Regular Ones?

The regular flow models draw the heat and smoke from the firebox over the meat only once on its way to the chimney. The reverse flow technology introduces a baffle system that pulls the same under the cooking chamber before it’s pulled back over the meat again.

Plus, the reverse flow offset smokers use the heat and smoke twice by the rotational over-and-under method. This flow of heat and smoke enables the meat pieces to be evenly cooked, tender, and more flavourful. 

However, although reverse flow offset smoker seems to sound quite impressive on paper, the preferable smokers for beginners are still the regular offset smokers, since they require less experience in handling.

What Can You Cook on Offset Smokers?

While all the best offset smokers under 1000 are perfect for a variety of meals, they work the best for smoking and grilling meat, especially sausages and chicken. Plus, briskets and ribs turn out to also quite delicious when prepared in offset smokers.

Pros and Cons of Offset Smokers


  • You can stroke the fire; add wood or wood pellets without opening the cooking chamber.
  • Most units can be used for direct grilling by installing a grill grate over the firebox. For many models, the units come with custom grill grates.
  • The spacious cooking chamber of top offset smokers gives you enough room to smoke large pieces of meat. 
  • There’s no electrical circuitry to burn out or moving parts to replace in the whole body.


  • There are so many poorly assembled and finished equipment in the market that it’s very difficult to spot an adequate one to buy. For some, the hinges break, for others the metal becomes rusty.
  • The initial cost is neck-to-neck at $1000.
  • It generally takes an hour or so for the pit to preheat. After that, you have to keep on checking it frequently. 
  • Offset smokers are quite heavy and take quite an amount of space. Thus, for houses with less outdoor space, it might be a severe headache.

Why Avoid Cheap Offset Smokers?

It’s not uncommon to run across poorly manufactured and inexpensive models available. However, you shouldn’t opt for a cheap offset smoker because of the:

  • Poor seal: If the joints and doors don’t seal properly, the heat and smoke will escape the chamber. That enables fluctuation in temperature and results in uneven cooking. Not to mention, you will also end up spending more on fuel. 
  • Poor metal: Cheap offset smokers are built of metal that cannot hold the heat, so the cooking isn’t any good either. This, time and again, cost you more fuel.
  • Flaking paint: Inexpensive, entry-level offset smokers often have poor paint quality. It flakes off at high temperatures, causing your food to be rustier.
  • Poor design: Poor finishing on offset smokers doesn’t enable smooth flow of heat and smoke, resulting in unevenly-cooked food.

Choosing the Best Offset Smoker Under 1000

When you want to find only the best offset smoker, you need to pay attention to several important aspects:

  • Size: First, consider the size of the equipment. The best smoker under 1000 is made of heavy-gauge ¼ inch steel. The base should be stable and wheelable to move the smoker around. 
  • Fuel source: While most of the models have the firebox connected slightly lower to one end of the cooking chamber, some have the firebox in the backside as well.
  • Construction and build quality: Check if the lids on the cooking chamber and the firebox seal well and the insulation on handles. 
  • Ventilation: The chimneys should work fine to eject the heat and smoke.
  • Temperature gauges: Make sure you choose a model made of substantial metal. It should hold the heat and good paint finish that doesn’t flake off at high temperatures. In the best vertical offset smoker, the controlling of heat comes as an easy feat to pull off.
  • Cleaning and maintenance: Maintaining the equipment well is an important job. So you’d want to go for a version that’s not too hard to clean off. After every cookout, make it a ritual to clean up the smoker so that it lasts long.

Tips to Use an Offset Smoker

  • Always opt for the charcoal/wood combination. Fire up the smoker with charcoal first. Once the coal is heated enough, add the wood. 
  • While cooking, the temperature can be different from one end of the chamber to another. To maintain a balance, use digital thermometers at both ends.
  • In the case of smoking, the formula to follow is “less is more.” When you’re using the charcoal/wood combination, keep adding chips or chunks of wood every once in a while.

Wood Not to Use in Offset Smokers

While it’s best to use the charcoal/wood combination in offset wood smokers, we strongly suggest against using evergreen wood for the burn. Hardwood works just fine for the top offset smokers, so it’s best to go with it.

Final Word

So all and all, to choose a top offset smoker you need to first determine how much space you have, what is your budget, and how easy it is to clean the smoker – and choose the model that checks all these boxes! However, you must also pay attention to the feedback this grill and brand have.

While creating our offset smoker under 1000 reviews, we’ve determined that Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn deserves to top our chart as to be the best offset smoker under 1000 in 2023, for its amazing features, easy control, and amazing design. 

So whether you decide to go with this offset smoker, or choose another model, we sincerely hope that our work will help you find just what you’re looking for. So best of luck, and feel free to share with us which model you think is the best, and why? Perhaps you have some experience with some of these brands and smokers?

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