Holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics, loves traveling and learning new languages. Fluent in Spanish, is learning French and Czech at the moment. Enjoys exploring national cuisines every time he visits new countries.
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous online and offline grilling masterclasses runs his own BBQ accessories shop.
Last updated: September 14, 2021
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If you’ve been told that you can’t find a high-quality offset smoker under $1,000 – trust us – you were not told the truth. We understand being wary of buying a low-quality offset smoker but luckily for you, we also know how to find the best offset smoker under 1000 and you’re about to find out how to do so.
No doubt, identifying the best offset smokers at a relatively low cost is no joke. Hence, we decided to test many cheap products on the market and picked the best among them. We’ll recommend 8 of the best smokers based on their impressive cooking capacity, easy controls, decent temperature range, durability, and a few other features that make them deliver the best results.
The Dyna-GloSignature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker takes a deserved number one spot on our list thanks to its many cool features at an amazing price. Or what’s there not to like about the heavy-gauge steel body construction that promises durable use. The smoker also features an analog temperature gauge with a “smoke zone” and “grill zone” that help to maintain an ideal cooking temp.
Besides, if you want a versatile product to help you cook different food items, the Dyna-Glo offset smoker is just perfect for you thanks to its offset smoking and grilling capacity. As if that wasn’t enough, five chrome-plated cooking grates are available to ensure maximum heat transfer.
What makes it special?
First of all, we were impressed by the heavy-duty steel body construction of the Dyna-Glo offset smoker which guarantees durability. We also liked the temperature gauge with two different zones to help you maintain the best cooking temp for your foods. Also worthy of mention are the cool-to-touch handles that allow safe access to fuel and food. Lastly, the smoker’s chrome-plated cooking grates caught our eyes thanks to their ability to allow maximum heat transfer.
What cons did we find?
During our testing process, there were a few things we felt could be better despite us enjoying the smoker’s abilities. One of them is the absence of any real ash remover mechanism. Hence, it’s challenging to clear ash when smoking food. Although you may not see an issue with it if you’re using it for a few hours, it can be a problem when you smoke for long hours. Another issue we encountered was the front door that does not fully seal.
The Char-Griller E1224 Charcoal smoker is another product that greatly impressed us during our search for the best cheap offset smoker. It boasts a heavy-gauge powder-coated steel construction as well as nonstick cast-iron cooking grates that promise even heating. The grill also features removable charcoal drawers that allow you to add charcoal and remove ashes easily. Apart from that, the product comes with a temperature gauge, two wheels, and a storage rack.
If you’re a lover of Texas-style barbecue and you’re on a budget, we got you the perfect smoker in the Char-Griller Smokin’ Pro BBQ Smoker. It features a side firebox that provides that unmistakable Texas smoke flavor.
What makes it stand out?
Of course, the Char-Griller BBQ smoker’s heavy-duty steel construction impressed us because that’s what you want to see in a durable product. We also liked the smoker’s removable easy-dump ash pan that allows you to remove ashes and add charcoal without any hassle. Besides that, the adjustable dampers help to control the heat and the heat gauge that indicates the temperature. Also, the cast iron grates provide even heat whether you’re cooking burgers or ribs.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
After a few cooking sessions, we noticed that the paint was burning off quickly due to heat which is not a great sight. Also, it’s a tough job trying to adjust the heat to a certain temperature. Another issue we had with this smoker is the confusing assembly instructions that we felt could be simpler. Overall, this unit does not boast the perfect engineering so if you’re looking for the perfect one, it’s not this product.
The Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker boasts a vertical design that allows naturally rising heat, thus creating improved smoke flavor and greater efficiency. There’s also the offset design that protects the food from direct heat, thus giving room for slow cooking.
Moreover, if you’re searching for an offset smoker under 1000 with wide cooking space, you’ll get that from the Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D smoker. Also, if you’re a sucker for extra flavor, the smoker’s smokestack comes with an adjustable flue for added flavor and temp control.
What are its best features?
As you might have probably guessed, the Dyna-Glo smoker’s cooking space is what we liked the most because it allows you to cook enough food for multiple people at once. The height-adjustable cooking grates can also make cooking easier for you. Besides that, the offset design which allows slow-cooking is perfect for the infusion of smoke flavor. The removable steel ash pan is also a great part of the smoker that you’ve got to appreciate.
What could be improved?
If you don’t want to use a lot of charcoal to cook, this smoker may not be the best option for you because it may use a bit more charcoal than normal. Also, the ash drawer is not quite safe. Pulling the drawer too far could leave hot coals all over your legs in no time. The drawer could be redesigned to stop well before it causes problems for the user.
The Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker is another one with heavy-gauge steel construction. It comes with porcelain-coated cooking grates that provide even smoke and heat through the cooking chamber. The smoker also boasts multiple dampers that promise smoke and heat control. Apart from that, there’s a lid-mounted temperature gauge to accurately monitor temperature.
If you want multiple cooking options, you should strongly consider the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker because it embodies versatility. Thanks to the presence of removable baffles, you can choose between traditional offset smoking or reverse flow smoking. Also, the budget offset smoker features a large charcoal basket that helps you enjoy longer cooking sessions with fewer interruptions.
What stands out?
We liked the Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn smoker’s all-steel construction that gives the air of a reliable product. We also liked that the smoker adds a reverse flow technology that provides an incredible smoking experience. For the smoker’s price, the cooking surface of 1,060 total squares is also quite impressive. Also worthy of mention are the tool’s cool-touch handles that keep your hands safe from the heat and the large wheels that ensure easy mobility.
What cons did we manage to find?
After the first couple of cooking sessions, we found that the paint peeled off the firebox which doesn’t look great. Also, this smoker leaks smoke but does the job although some may not be fine with it. Besides that, we didn’t like the fact that we had to do some modifications ourselves which costs extra efforts that could be avoided. Even after the modifications, some issues still exist, sadly.
The Royal Gourmet CC1830FG Charcoal Grill comes with a reliable smoker, giving you two different cooking tools at a great price. That’s what we call a bargain. The seamless combination of the grill and smoker provides a good circulation of smoke and heat. Also, the grill and smoker combo boasts porcelain-coated wiring grates and chrome-plated warming racks.
Moreover, if you want the best value from an offset smoker under $1000, the Royal Gourmet CC1830FG Charcoal Grill is ideal for you thanks to the presence of a front shelf for seasonings, a bottom shelf for extra storage space, two rolling wheels for easy mobility, and heat-resistant gloves for hand protection.
What do we love it for?
Firstly, we liked that we got a versatile grill and offset smoker combo at a good price. The grill’s main chamber retains heat quite well, making your meat very tender and juicy with a nice smoky taste. Assembling the grill and smoker combo is also easy. We also liked the two rolling wagon-style wheels that make the grill easy to transport. Apart from that, the two racks provide enough workspace to put on different tools.
What were we disappointed with?
The grill’s design is a bit complicated and makes cleaning the ash a hard job. The design could have been better done to make cleaning much easier. Plus, the temperature control isn’t the best and may put some users off. However, it still gets the job done if you’re not doing much grilling or smoking. Notwithstanding, you may still not be cool with the decent job if you want more accurate temperature control.
The Broil King Smoke XL 32-Inch Offset Charcoal Smoker is another one we found to be very reliable in smoking your food just as you want it without breaking the bank to get it. It features two dual-purpose stainless steel smoke-diffusing charcoal trays that make cooking and cleaning much easier.
Besides, the Broil King offset smoker is the ideal option for you if you want excellent sear marks on your food. It uses its porcelain-coated cast-iron grates to retain heat and deliver the marks. Apart from that, this is the smoker for you if you want precise temperature control thanks to the adjustable air dampers.
Why did it make our list?
We liked that the cast iron grates retain heat pretty well while delivering nice sear marks on your food. We also liked the ashtrays that are easily accessible from both sides of the smoker. We can’t forget the adjustable air dampers that give you the freedom to precisely control the cooking temperature. Plus, the total cooking space of 955 square inches is impressive and can cook enough food for your family at once.
What is not ideal about it?
In our opinion, the smoker’s chimney could be a bit taller because the current one doesn’t offer much of a draw. Also, the firebox screws could be thicker because the current ones may rust over time as a result of extreme heat. Besides that, the ashtrays don’t catch everything, causing parts of the smoker to rust. Avoiding this means regular cleaning that you may not find cool.
The Char-Broil 12201570-A1 American Gourmet Offset Smoker is a product of a 73-year-old brand that is quite popular. This smoker boasts a vertical pipe smokestack with a temperature gauge, adjustable dampers, and an offset firebox that stokes the fire and does not lose heat. It also comes with porcelain-coated cooking grates that ensure east cleaning.
Moreover, the Char-Broil Offset BBQ Smoker is a reliable option if you want one that offers easy ash removal thanks to the clean-out door. The smoker also boasts cool-touch handles that make it a great choice if you want to protect your hands while cooking.
Why did it make our list?
We liked the adjustable built-in dampers that helped us control the airflow and inadvertently, the temperature and heat within the smoker’s cooking chamber. We also liked the temperature gauge which provides precise monitoring of the internal temperature. Also, cleaning up is easy thanks to the clean-out door that gives room for easy ash removal. Plus, the smoker features wheels that make it easy to transport around your backyard.
What is not ideal about it?
This smoker leaks, no thanks to the lid not having a good enough seal. You’ll have to buy a smoker gasket to rectify the problem. If you’ll be cooking for up to four hours, you’ll need to keep adding charcoal due to the small firebox capacity and that can be inconvenient. Controlling the heat is not very easy so you may need to buy a digital Bluetooth thermometer with multiple probes to monitor both smoker and meat temperatures.
The Outsunny 48″ Steel Portable Backyard Charcoal BBQ Grill and Offset Smoker Combo is a unique combination of two cooking tools – offset smoker, BBQ, charcoal grill. The combo boasts a sturdy construction with angled legs that make the grill stable and tough. It also features two shelves (one on the side and the other in the front) and a metal grating that provide ample space for storing grilling essentials.
If you’re the type who won’t allow anything to tamper with your lovely smoky flavor, the Outsunny BBQ grill and offset smoker combo is for you thanks to the presence of the firebox that helps to offset the heat and deliver a delicious smoked flavor.
What stands out?
We liked the BBQ grill and offset smoker combo’s sturdy construction and the two wheels that support it for easy mobility. Besides that, an easy-to-read thermometer that is connected to the main lid makes controlling the cooking temperature easy. Also, the wooden handles are safe to touch, even during cooking sessions. Plus, the combo is portable and easy to transport for outdoor cooking. Lastly, we liked the handy combination of a charcoal grill, BBQ, and offset smoker.
What cons did we manage to find?
The combo’s metal is a bit flimsy and lightweight. Although this is not a deal-breaker for most users as we observed, some who don’t mind paying more won’t take the product. Also, assembly is a little tricky because the screws are not marked, leaving you to figure out what the numbers mean yourself. In our opinion, the assembly instructions could be better.
Things to Consider
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, identifying the best offset smoker under $1000 is not exactly straightforward. Luckily for you, we’ve developed a comprehensive and easy-to-understand buying guide that can help you make the right choice seamlessly.
What to expect from budget offset smokers?
There’s a common belief that budget products don’t provide the best functions. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t high-quality budget products. In the case of budget offset smokers, there are high-quality ones as we found out during our research. You can expect durability and a great performance from the best of them. But don’t expect the sophistication of the expensive smokers from them. Ultimately, budget offset smokers get the job done although not in the most sophisticated way(s).
How to use an offset smoker?
Of course, not everyone knows how to use an offset smoker. However, it’s not a tricky exercise as long as you get familiar with the process. In the video below, you’ll learn everything about how to use an offset smoker:
How to pick the best offset smoker under $1000
Picking the best offset smoker under $1000 is no easy task as we’ve mentioned a couple of times in this article. There are some important factors you need to consider before making your choice and we’ll help you break them down below:
The first factor to consider before picking the best offset smoker under $1000 is the fuel type. Does this smoker use wood or does it use charcoal? Does this smoker use both wood and charcoal? These are questions you must answer before making a choice. The Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D, for instance, uses both wood and charcoal while the Char-Griller E1224 Charcoal smoker, like most of the products on our list, uses only charcoal.
Eventually, you’ll have to choose based on your preference but the idea of having a budget offset smoker that can use both wood and charcoal is quite tempting because you also get very nice smoky flavors.
Regardless of the fuel type you end up choosing, ensure that your cooking area is not indoors to avoid the threat of carbon monoxide. According to the Gas Safe Register, the official gas registration body for the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Guernsey, there should always be an adequate supply of fresh air in the area where the smoker/BBQ is being used.
What’s this smoker’s cooking capacity or total cooking space? This is another question you must ask yourself and answer. This choice is mostly based on how much you are planning on cooking. For example, the Char-Broil 12201570-A1 smoker with a total cooking space of 290 square inches can be enough for some people but won’t be enough for them.
If you want a large cooking space on a budget offset smoker, the Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D looks like the right fit for you thanks to its total cooking space of 1,890 square inches.
Another question you’ll need to ask before picking the best offer smoker under $1000 is if the offset box/firebox is large enough. The offset box is where the fuel, whether charcoal or wood, is burned. The smoke and heat from the wire are then drawn through an opening into the cooking chamber.
If you have the Char-Broil 12201570-A1 smoker, for instance, you’ll be refueling it more often than the Broil King smoker because it has a firebox size of 140 square inches compared to the latter’s 330 square inches.
Controls are quite important when using an offset smoker because you need to control the smoke and heat flow properly to ensure even cooking. You’ll need a smoker that provides adjustable air dampers to help you control the temperature and ensure that your food is well cooked. You also need a smoker with a well-calibrated temperature gauge.
Smoking is all about temperature so you need a smoker with enough temperature range to cook your meat to your satisfaction. Different smokers have different temperature ranges. Picking a smoker with a wide range helps to cook to your desired temperature level without restriction.
The Royal Gourmet CC1830FG smoker with a maximum temperature range of 400°F is a good example of a budget offset smoker with an impressive range.
Accessories and racks
Different manufacturers include some accessories in their packaging. These accessories, such as rib hooks, weather guard, warming racks, and shelves, are provided to make your cooking easier but don’t expect many accessories from a budget offset smoker.
The dimensions of a smoker determine whether it can fit in your kitchen or not. Also, larger smokers are typically harder to move around. For example, the Outsunny Charcoal BBQ Grill and Offset Smoker Combo with dimensions of 48.75 x 41 x 20.74 inches will fit in a space more easily than the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker with dimensions of 64.3 x 55.5 x 35.5 inches.
Even though you’re buying a relatively cheap offset smoker, you still want it to last long. You should pick a product that promises long life and comes with a good warranty that covers potential workmanship defects or more. The Broil King smoker is a great example of a product with a good warranty with its 5-year limited warranty on the cook box and 2-year limited warranty on paint and parts.
Most people are quite familiar with regular flow offset smokers and many don’t know how the reverse flow works. While regular flow offset smokers draw smoke and heat from the firebox over the food once, reverse flow offset smokers utilize a baffle system that draws smoke and heat under the cooking chamber before pulling them over the food again on their way out of the chimney. Essentially, the reverse flow uses the smoke and heat twice.
Remove the ashtray and get rid of the ash. Also, sweep away any remnant from the firebox. Then, remove the tuning plates and grates from the cooking chamber and wipe away any remaining ash or fat on the inside of the unit using a paper towel. You should clean the smoker this way after every use.
By now, you know that the common belief that there’s no high-quality budget offset smoker is not true. Notwithstanding, you need to look for them in the right places before you can find them as we’ve done. The number one product on our list, the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D smoker, is our editor’s choice thanks to its many valuable features such as sausage hooks, temperature gauge, cool-touch handles, and more.
Right behind this unit is the Char-Griller E1224 Charcoal smoker, an equally reliable option with removable charcoal drawers, a built-in temperature gauge, two caster wheels, and more. And there’s also the unit with the best value – the Royal Gourmet CC1830FG smoker that boasts a side door, 400°F max temperature, two rolling wheels, and a built-in temperature gauge. With this article, you have the right material to pick the best offset smoker under 1000.