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You haven’t truly experienced the wide world of barbecuing until you have tried your hand at an offset smoker. What is that? An offset smoker is one of the most popular tools for serious barbecue fans.
Over the years this very specific type of barbecue has only become more and more popular and now they are one of the most prominent cookers in the world.
What is an offset smoker? That is quite simple to explain and even easier to understand once you take a look at one. When you lay your eyes on an offset smoker, you can see that it is a regular barbecue device that has a slight twist, in length and design.
The offset smoker is a typical smoker that contains a horizontal cooking chamber and firebox on the side. It is made to cook with low and slow heat and its lengthy build provides that. The air flows into the firebox, travels through the body of the oven, then out through the tall stack.
Offset smokers have become one of the favorite home items for people who love to invite friends and family over during the wonderful summer months. There is nothing lovelier than entertaining those closest to you with some outdoor fun and a delicious barbecue feast. That is one of the reasons why offset smokers have exploded in popularity.
Why Offset Smokers?
Their focus on flavor is just another reason why so many people love offset smokers. Typical barbecues can only create so much taste and there isn’t much room for nuance in terms of seasoning. You usually do not get a lot of variety with barbecues.
That isn’t the case with an offset smoker. Because of your ability to cook with smoke and control that smoke in some very important ways, you can create multiple meals that taste vastly different with an offset smoker.
It allows you to hone your talents and try new things. And it allows you to craft some sensationally strong flavors that don’t just feel burnt and well done. This is yet another reason why so many people are flocking to offset cookers.
There is a lot of science behind what makes them so special too. True offset smoker masters perfect their food by opening and closing the vents to give more air and raise the temperature inside the smoker.
It takes a certain amount of skill to create a delicious, mouth-watering meal with an offset smoker. There are a lot of ways to screw it up and do it wrong. But when you do it right, there is nothing as good.
However, you won’t get anywhere if you invest in a cheap and unremarkable offset smoker. As the popularity of this type of barbecue grew, so did the number of knock-off ones on the market.
Therefore, it is doubly important that you purchase the offset smoker that is right for you and will get the job done. It is time to take a look at some of the best high-end offset smokers you can put your time and money and energy into.
Keep in mind that most offset smokers are not cheap. There is a good reason for their hefty price tags: these are barbecue tools that you will be able to use for a long time in a variety of ways. Plus, these are built to last.
Throughout our list, you will see multiple brands that take great pride in creating smokers with only the finest metals and materials. These things are more than just outdoor smoking barbecues, they are works of art.
*Note* If you are looking for more budget friendly options then please check out our post on the best offset smokers under $1000!
Which offset smoker is right for you? No matter if you are new to the scene or an expert BBQ pro, you have a lot of choices to sort through.
Best High End Offset Smokers
Texas Original Pits Luling Loaded Offset Smoker
This name is quite the mouthful but could be better summed up with just one word: wow. This is one of the finest offset smokers in the world and something that will work wonders in the backyard during your next family barbecue.
It features all the hallmarks of a great offset smoker and is a terrific choice for someone who is just starting their grilling career or has been doing it for years already.
The Texas Original Pits Luling Loaded Offset Smoker is a beauty that comes with 703 square inches of total cooking surface area and is made with superior steel that prevents any leaking and keeps the burn consistent no matter how much meat you lay down.
It looks gorgeous and durable on the outside, built to last with American steel. But the interior is great too. The inside of this grill is what sets it apart. This smoker comes with a second-level cooking grate that easily pulls out and greatly expands the amount of room you have. It is almost like two smokers in one.
The smoker also has hand-welded flanges on the doors to seal in heat and smoker. You decide when you want to emit smoke and when you want to keep it inside. You are in control and your food will be better because of that. Simply put, this thing is built to cook and to cook well.
The construction here is what sets this Texas Original Pits creation apart from the other offset smokers available to you. You can tell that this is hand-crafted with care. Sure enough, the company produces their projects by hand in Houston, Texas and it shows.
The little details shine and you can tell that someone with great knowledge inspected this smoker and made sure it was going to hold up. It feels strong, heavy, but also somewhat sleek and attractive. It is odd to say that an offset smoker can be easy on the eyes but this one can be.
The hand-welded smoker is more than just good looks though. It is created to provide a wonderful, thorough smoking experience. The thick steel construction keeps heat in excellently and the valves that you control allow for smoke to be distributed and released at your will.
This gives you a lot more freedom and control over what your meal will taste like. Smoke and heat will not leak out of this smoker unless you want it to.
The size of this smoker is also a strong asset. It has a large, spacious body that allows you to cook something small or possibly multiple briskets.
This means that this Texas Original Pits smoker could be the last one you ever need, capable of feeding your entire family and house guests all at once. You could expertly cook an entire meal at one time with this smoker.
This offset smoker just works smoothly. Everything from the opening of the door to the sliding of the multi-level grates to the management of the smoke and fire inside the cooker is a breeze. Nothing about this smoker is a challenge, it all works with little effort and exactly as it should.
There is a reason so many people sing the praises of this offset smoker: it works. In every sense of the word, this one works amazingly well.
Cajun Grill Combeaux Built-In Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
This offset smoker features a dual-chamber design and comes in built-in and freestanding configurations. The charcoal hopper included allows for more than 16 hours of burn time and all together, this smoker provides you with 1,215 square inches of cooking surface.
That is a lot of areas to cook and you will want it all because this smoker is a charcoal BBQ pit that is a smoker and grill combo.
No matter what it is doing, this smoker is doing it well. This is the sort of smoker that you can fire up for a lovely afternoon with friends or a long, simmering weekend cook that results in something soft and mouth-watering.
There are a lot of stunning and memorable features included in the Cajun Grill Combeaux. It comes with four steel cooking racks, allowing for that mammoth 1,215 square inches we spoke of. With that much space, you can handle an entire barbecue – or two – all at once.
The temperature range for this smoker is anywhere between 200 and 700 degrees, allowing you a lot of variety. That means you can cook all sorts of things in this smoker. You can cook at different temperatures at the same time, a feature that is something of a game-changer.
But an offset smoker is nothing if the final product doesn’t taste wonderful. Thankfully, the taste is exactly what you get with this smoker. Your food will come out vibrantly and strongly thanks to this smoker.
With the extra space and the long cooking time and strong construction that keeps smoke within, you are always going to be satisfied with how your food melts in your mouth. Your family and friends will quickly become fans too. This is a serious smoker for a serious barbecue fan.
It is called the Cajun smoker because so many fans of Cajun cuisine flock to it. Cajun food is hard to perfectly cook, it requires a lot of skill and some specific techniques that are handed down from generation to generation.
Cooking authentic and delicious Cajun also requires a cooker that can handle it, something with personality and history and power. That is exactly what this smoker has. Even if it is straight out of the box, you can still create a delicious Cajun meal.
It is constructed with double sidewalls that make sure all the smoke and flavor will stay inside the walls of this smoker. The construction of this device is remarkable and created with care and a focus on ease and the quality of the final product.
Like everything made by Cajun Grill, it is made in the United States by a team of experts who know cooking, Cajun, and offset smokers. No wonder they created something so special with the Cajun Grill Combeaux.
Texas Original Pits Luling Single Lid Offset Smoker
Texas Original Pits is one of the biggest names in the offset smoker industry. They are repeatedly cited as one of the best names in the game.
However, it wasn’t always that way. Just a few years back Texas Original Pits had nothing to do with barbecuing. The company was a manufacturing firm that saw its profit drop during the 2007 recession. So what did they do? They turned to the thriving industry of backyard barbecues.
But Texas Original Pits was already a cut above the rest because of their knowledge and skill when it came to creating metal-based manufacturing. So it makes perfect sense that they would be so good at creating offset smokers and other barbecue supplies.
Sure enough, their abilities shine strongly in all of their products including the Luling 16x36x18 Single Lid Offset Smoker. This BBQ is strong, tough, and built to last. It stuffs a whole lot into its 503 square inches of cooking surface.
About that 503 square inches: there is more space than that inside this smoker. In the offset firebox, you get an additional 200 square inches of space. But despite all that space, this smoker is compact and slim, you will be shocked by how much area you have to use when you open it up.
The entire smoker is created with industrial steel that feels incredibly strong and nearly indestructible. You won’t be knocking this thing off its wheels anytime soon.
Speaking of the wheels, they help keep the smoker portable and its comparatively small size means that you can take this smoker on the go or move it all over your backyard. Do you want to bring this to a neighbor’s barbecue? That won’t be a problem with this smoker.
Everything about this creation is crafted with an extreme focus on the details that take it up a notch. Look at the hood, for example. Its domed curve design means you have a lot more space to play around which means you can fit all sorts of large meals.
The side smoking box is a separate compartment that allows you direct flame cooking that feels like its own independent workstation. This entire smoker has so many opportunities and space and it is all made with the utmost care and craft.
This is one of the best offset smokers on the market for a lot of reasons: its design, its portability, its space within. There are no weak links in this smoker.
Texas Original Pits Persal Fully Loaded Vertical Offset Smoker
The Texas Original Pits Persal gives you 1910 square inches of power and control. This is an offset smoker that just works and looks exactly like it should. From its stark and classic exterior design to its spacious and reliable interior build, this is an offset smoker that is perfect for beginners or seasoned pros.
No matter your experience level or what you are wanting to cook, this smoker is going to get the job done. Why? It all comes down to design. This smoker is spacious, in multiple ways. Not only does it retain nearly 2,000 square inches of space thanks to its 2nd level slide-out cooking grate that essentially doubles the size inside, but this cooker is also laid out in a very easy-to-follow and use arrangement. Everything you need is just an arm’s reach away. Whether you are looking for the grease pail or wanting the built-in pot warmer, it is all laid out comfortably and with great forethought.
What else do you get with the Texas Original Pit Persal? You get a whole lot more. The smoker also comes with 3-inch temperature gauges – one in the main chamber and the other in the vertical chamber – as well as a chrome temperature probe port, an extra 3-inch temperature gauge, and a firebox clean-out tool.
The construction of this Texas Original creation is made with serious strength and attention to flavor like all offset smokers should.
The retention of heat is a majorly important feature that affects the flavor of your food in some huge ways. Thankfully this device does not allow for any leaking of heat or smoke unless you want it to. That’s right, you get to control the heat and smoke disruption and that allows you to tweak the taste of your food exactly as you want.
The tall vertical smokestack at the end of this barbecue allows for that smoke to stay safe inside the cooker or to be released, all whenever you deem necessary. The master smoker chefs know that a vertical stack like this one will enhance the entire cooking and eating experience.
This is a great offset smoker for anyone who loves cooking and wants to dive headfirst into it. This is a great starter smoker for someone who has never owned one before and comes with all the bells and whistles of the highest-quality smokers on the market. That is because this is one of the highest-quality smokers on the market.
The Good-One Open Range Charcoal Smoker
Sometimes what you want and need is just an old-fashioned and reliable charcoal smoker. That is exactly what you get with the Good-One Open Range Gen III. Now, there is nothing wrong with being old-fashioned. Old-fashioned can be great because it is easy to use, does away with all the bells and whistles that other smokers come with, and simply focuses on results.
And what are the results with the Good-One Open Range Gen III? The results are darn good. Your food will come out juicy, soft, and decadent. The flavor will be strong and smokey in the best ways. The internal damper system in this smoker lets you control how much smoke enters the chamber and lets you decide if you want something rich or light with smoke.
Inside this smoker, you have 332 square inches of grilling area. Altogether, the 2 smoke chamber grates will give you 664 square inches to play around with. This may not look like the biggest smoker in the world but it houses lots of space and tall lids. You may not be able to cook a full-sized turkey without a bit of squeezing but you will be able to fit a whole lot of delicious treats in this smoker.
The construction of this creation is fantastic, crafted with 11 gauge US steel. That means that you will be able to take this smoker on the road or let it sit in the backyard during some sunny, hot days without it dulling or scratching. Its dark color makes it stand out, especially during a hot summer day’s barbecue.
Some people are daunted by the idea of buying their first offset smoker. They are overwhelmed by the idea of learning the ins and outs of the system and the cleaning and upkeep.
A smoker like the Good-One Open Range Gen III is perfect for people like that. Not because it is somehow considered a “starter” smoker. No, this is a great approach for a new BBQ pro because it will show just how much power and taste you can create with these.
Cooking on a smoker shouldn’t be that complicated. The little things like adding certain flavors and seasoning might require a learning curve but the actual act of using a smoker shouldn’t be that hard.
Thankfully, you don’t get much complication when it comes to the Good-One Open Range Gen III. You get fantastic food and a lot of fun but you do not get something that feels unseemingly hard to handle. That is why it is one of the best offset smokers for a beginner – or a seasoned pro.
The Good-One Open Range Gen III comes with easy-to-use wheeled and durable handles to grip and open it frequently. It looks great, it is made with superior smoker technology that focuses on flavor and will fit wonderfully even in the smallest areas. It is a freestanding beauty that will do more than just get the job done.
There you have it. Some might think that a high end offset smoker is overkill. After all, at the end of the day all you really need to make BBQ in a smoker is a cooking chamber and a heat source. But when it comes down to it, the difference in quality between a cheap smoker and a top notch one is undeniable when you taste the end results side by side.
It’s not without downside though. High end units are by definition expensive, and might not be worth the price tag unless you are a big time BBQ enthusiast. Either way, let us know which smoker you ended up with!
Unsure of whether you’re looking for a grill or a smoker? Check out our resource on the best high end gas grills next to help compare.