offset smoker under 1000

Picking the Best Offset Smoker Under 1000: A Detailed Guide

Finding the right offset smoker under 1000 might be a risky job. 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. We’re here to help you find the best offset smoker for the money.

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?

Possibly built by oilfield workers in Texas and Oklahoma back in the late 1900s, the basic horizontal offset wood smokers have similar constructions. It has 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. 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. 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. Although reverse flow offset smoker seems quite impressive on paper, the preferable smokers for beginners surely are the regular offset smokers.

What Can You Cook on Offset Smokers?

These are the best for tender and flavored meat to be served on your plate. They work great for smoking and grilling any meat, especially sausages and chicken. Briskets and ribs turn out to be delicious when prepared in offset smokers.

Pros and Cons of Offset Smokers

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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 quite 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. One cannot just be absent-minded while cooking in an offset smoker.
  • These are quite heavy and take quite an amount of space.  For houses with less outdoor space, it might be a severe headache.

Why Avoid Cheap Offset Smokers?

There are several poorly manufactured and inexpensive models available in the market due to popular demand. You shouldn’t opt for a cheap one for the following reasons:

  • 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. It also increases your cost of 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 are often poorly finished off with the poor quality of paint. It flakes off at high temperatures, causing your food to be rustier.
  • Poor design: Poor finishing on offset smokers don’t enable smooth flow of heat and smoke, resulting in unevenly-cooked food.

Choosing the Best Offset Smoker Under 1000

There are some key factors that you should consider before you get yourself the best offset smoker.

  • 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 Built 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 buy 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 unnecessary to waste fruit woods anyway.

Final Word

According to offset smoker under 1000 reviews, Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn tops our chart to be the best offset smoker under 1000 2021. Although the model you buy will have to meet the requirements. Hence, it’s always advisable to go with the choices that align with your necessities.

Oh, and happy barbecuing!

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