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Reverse flow smokers are the superior alternative to regularly designed smoker grills. There is a more even temperature distribution and thorough smoke flow, which makes a reverse flow smoker the ultimate tool for creating deliciously smoked meat.
Reverse flow smokers are a subset of offset smokers with an additional metal plate. This additional plate both protects the meat from the highest temperatures and directs smoke underneath and back over the meat for the perfect smoky flavor.
Basically, it’s an adaptation of a traditional offset smoker. It works by creating a more uniform cooking environment by forcing the hot air and smoke under an additional metal plate and back through the cooking chamber. This reverses the airflow to escape through a smokestack on the firebox side of the unit.
In this article, we’ve compiled our top picks for the best reverse flow smoker on the market. Read on to see which cookers make our list!
Here is a quick look at the best reverse flow smokers:
- Texas Original Pits Luling Offset Smoker
- Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker
- Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker
- Dyna-Glo Signature Series Heavy Duty Reverse Flow Smoker
- Backwoods Chubby 3400 Charcoal Smoker
- Char-Griller E1224 Smoker
- Char-Griller E1224 Smoker
Why Reverse Flow?
On top of improving the flow of the smoke, a baffle plate helps to block the harsh direct heat from overcooking the meat closest to the firebox.
A reverse smoker also creates a more even cooking temperature by acting as a heat sink. There are more flavors from a reverse flow smoker due to the double as a greased pan. The grease pan sears the dripping fat which adds a great flavor.
Reverse flow smokers are a great investment and will definitely bring out the best of your meat smoking skills, but you have to remember they are an investment financially and personally. You need to do careful research to determine, which is the best reverse smoker to fit your needs and budget.
All of the listed products provide high quality outcomes for all of your smoking needs. All are not overly complicated to use and help you implement your cooking skills regardless of your technique level.
Best Reverse Flow Smokers
The Texas Original Pits Luling Offset Smoker is a great reverse flow smoker that brings a quality smoker with user-friendly features, perfect heat guidance, and construction that has a limitless warranty. This product provides everything you need for a high-quality smoker.
Whether you are cooking for a large group or a small intimate gathering, this is an easy to use setup and shutdown system. This smoker gives your food a high-quality taste while providing a pleasing aroma that is attractive to yourself and others. It also contains a whopping 1,610 square inches of cooking space.
This product also helps prepare quality food with a slide-out top shelf, removable bottom storage rack, and fixed wrap around prep area and handles. All of these features help you promote a safe and comfortable cooking area to make high-quality meat. Other wonderful features are an expanded flat metal grate and square metal tubing frame prevents warping.
You can also grill on direct heat in the offset box, with 342 square inches of cooking surface over the fire.
You can also experience when purchasing this smoker a heat baffle design that works with its firebox that optimizes smoke control within a clean heat. The heavy-duty wheels and tires let you roll this smoker where you need it to be, make it great for a competition type set up.
Overall this smoke is from an award-winning brand that gives you a quality taste and smells while providing a fun cooking experience that makes the process smoking enjoyable.
- Puts off an outstanding smell that draws a crowd
- Heat design controls smoke and heat making a perfect taste
- Great quality design and construction of the product – this is without a doubt a high end offset smoker
- Not most suitable for beginners (more of a competition based use)
- Offers smaller cooking space than previous smokers (limits your ability to cook with large quantities)
Oklahoma Joe’s is a brand that makes high-quality reverse flow smokers under a thousand dollars. You can find an affordable and top quality product with Oklahoma Joe.
This smoker comes with all of the features you would want for a high-quality smoker. There is a heavy-duty construction with multiple baffles, dampers for optimal heat control, and various customizations.
The main chamber offers 751 square inches of cooking space while the firebox chamber provides an additional 309 square inches. You can use the four baffles to guide the heat and smoke into the main chamber before even heating and smoking.
There are also multiple heat dampers to improve the ease of heat control. The construction of this product is a heavy-gauge all-steel body, porcelain-coated cooking grates, and stainless steel fuel basket.
The features are easy to use and offer a great option for anyone wanting to demonstrate they know more than the basics of smoking meat. This product has an amazing design, performs professionally, and is easy to modify the heat’s content.
Other additional features are cool to touch handles, a bottom shelf for utensils, and additional fuel and wagon-style wheels for easy transport.
Overall this product is an affordable smoker that offers quality performance and fantastic reverse flow functionality. This is an excellently performing product that you will enjoy tremendously.
- Durable construction with excellent user security
- Easy to customize and modify the smoking preference
- Even temperature on both sides of the smoker
- Paint peels on the firebox when the temperature rises too hot
- Baffles are challenging to clean
The Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker is slightly smaller and more affordable. This smoker is an efficient and straightforward reverse flow smoke that is a highly rated product. Like the previous Oklahoma Joe model, this smoker provides a durable construction, heat control, and customizability.
The main difference is the smaller space, but the price is more affordable to help make up for this change. This product is easy to assemble and allows the temperature to remain consistent.
The baffles work consistently while maintaining the thickness of their construction. You should be aware of the chance of smoke and heat leaking if you do not install additional sealants or latches.
This product contains a main chamber that offers the main chamber of 619 square inches of the cooking area while the firebox chamber provides an additional 381 square inches. Along with these features, there are four baffles and multiple heat dampers work together to produce amazing heat and smoke control.
The product is constructed with a heavy gauge all steel porcelain-coated cooking grates and stainless steel fuel basket. There is an ashtray that is removable for a quick cleanup, which is a great additional feature.
- Thick baffles excellently retain heat
- Firebox holds up well
- Simple to assemble and modify
- May need to personally install
The Dyna-Glo signature series smoker is a great reverse flow smoker that uses a gauge to make it easy to see if your smoking is at the correct temperature. This smoker has both grilling and smoking capabilities that help you work in either a grill or smoke zone. This helps perfect your grilling and smoking skills – it’s also offered at a budget price point.
This product has a removable ash and charcoal pan that makes for easy cleanup. Because it is an offset smoker it can grill other foods at different temperatures. This smoker also runs on wood pieces, wood chips, and charcoal. There are five inches of space on each rack, which can be removed for extra height and larger cuts of meat.
This product features five chrome-plated cooking grates that offer a large cooking space of 1,382 square inches that maintains a heavy steel body construction. The temperature gauge features a smoke zone that helps you find ideal smoking temperatures for infusing the perfect amount of smoking flavor.
Also, your safety is of the utmost importance with the cool to touch handles and easy to access your fuel and food safely and securely. Also, this product has oversized steel wheels for mobility before and after use.
- The temperature gauge has zones for grilling and smoking
- Ashtray to improve grilling
- Internal sausage hooks
- No assembly tools
The Backwoods Smoker Chubby 3400 Outdoor Charcoal Smoker is a professional quality smoker that does not need to have constant monitoring while you are preparing your meat. A huge benefit of owning this smoker is the fact that it is the smallest model from a line of professional-level smokers.
This product is a great middle-ground between a restaurant quality smoker and a smoker that is still accessible to backyard grillers. This high-end smoker uses water for steam to keep the meat moist and tender. It is a simple, high quality and low tech charcoal smoker that you will love.
Once you learn how to dial the temperature of this smoker this is a highly accessible and user-friendly smoker.
This smaller buy heavy-duty Backwoods charcoal smoker has four racks that are 16 ½ x 15 ½ inches and comes with one extra slider for more flexible arrangement of your meat. There is enough space where you can comfortably cook a brisket, leg and thigh combos, a rack of ribs, and a pork butt all at the same time.
The cooking compartment is 13 inches high with 17 inches deep and 16 inches wide. The first box is 2 inches high, 18 inches deep, and 16 inches wide. The Chubby 2400 is a great versatile smoker that is great to utilize your BBQ flavors into your meat.
You can convert the Chubby 3400 into a grill or a BBQ pit by sampling removing the stainless water pan. You can also add wood to your charcoal for some extra smoky flavor that would be an exciting way to build your techniques.
- Comes fully assembled
- Fully insulated double wall design
- No grilling ability
The Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro is a reverse flow smoker & grill combo. It’s a great reverse smoker that you should consider based on its affordability and user-friendly features that make this a great option to improve your smoking skills. This reverse smoker boasts a total of 830 square inches of grilling space between the main grill and side firebox.
This product is formed with a classic barrel design for smoking and comes with a charcoal drawer that promotes easy cleaning, temperature gauge, wheels, and storage racks. This traditional charcoal grill with a side firebox offers a great option for Texas-style barbeque.
The grill is composed of iron to avoid any warming to increase its lifetime use with proper care. This powder-coated steel is made to endure high temperatures and adjustable dampers and fire grate to allow you to control the heat.
This smoker is a great option for large gatherings and parties with a large amount of grill space that offers many versatile options for your smoking needs. This product contains a high-quality grill barrel and side firebox that provides a heavy gauge powder-coated steel and removable charcoal drawers that allow you to add charcoal and dump ashes easily.
- Grate height can be adjusted for different food sizes and temperatures
- Slide-out coal drawer for easy adding and cleaning
- Exterior paint tends to chip
How to Choose a Reverse Flow Smoker
Because of the nature of a reverse flow smoke, reducing smoke and heat takes longer for you to reach the desired temperature and requires more fuel to maintain that temperature. When you are reducing your heat and smoke you do not have exact control over this function.
You need to be aware of the time and patience required for your reverse flow smoker.
A smoker is nothing if it does not hold up over time. You will always want to look into the construction of the smoker if you desire a heavy-duty smoker.
A heavy-duty smoker requires stainless steel, iron, or ceramic to make the parts last for a long period and that do not require much maintenance and cleanup.
Cooking Surface Area
Like any smoker, you need to consider how many you are feeding. If you are smoking the food yourself, you need a smaller smoker, but if you are preparing food for a large crowd then you need a larger unit. A large holiday meal requires a bigger unit to adequately prepare for the quantity.
Many smokers are stick burners. A stick burner uses wood as its fuel type, which adds to the feel and flavor of the meat. The wood fires require precision and patience to get them going. You will need time to figure out this step.
If you are short on time you can also look into purchasing a gas-powered or electric smoker instead for a quicker start time.
You can always work on taking the time to adapt to using a stick burning smoker. Natural wood provides the best flavor for your smoker that cannot be beaten.
Most smokers need to shut shit their food is being smoked, therefore you need a way to monitor the temperature of your food. A way for you to monitor your food is by investing in a separate thermometer.
There are smokers with temperature gauges built into them; this is a great feature you should have to monitor the food in your smoker.
Latching and Insulation
The last component of your smoker you need to worry about is not allowing the smoke or heat to leak out of your smoker. Some smokers come with latches that lock, while others have secure lids that help with this job. You can find a smoker that promises a secure latching then you should prioritize this feature.
What makes the reverse flow smoker better than other types of smokers is their ability to protect your meat from burning while maintaining its smoky, high-quality flavor. Other considerations you need to have when deciding on which smoker to purchase include:
- Double as grease pan and watertight pan
- Distribute smoke much better and more evenly for better flavor
- Reduces temperature spikes
- Returns temperature quicker than a regular smoker
- Cleaner heat that permeates your meat more thoroughly
The best backyard reverse flow smoker for us is Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker. This smoker gives you amazing heat control and customizable features you can adjust to your liking. It’s a high-quality smoker that is a simpler product just as durable.
Overall when searching for a quality smoker you need one that smokes your meats with quality and power that produces that perfect flavor every time. A reverse flow smoker is without a doubt one of the best cookers to get the job done successfully.