what to look for in an offset smoker

Last Updated on: 26th April 2023, 09:42 pm

An offset smoker is a versatile smoker that gives the traditional feel of smoking. They come in a huge variety and definitely all of them are not equal.

 So beginners might get confused while choosing their first offset smoker. In this article we will discuss what to look for in an offset smoker to make sure it’s an ideal one. Let’s get started.

what to look for in an offset smoker

Offset Smokers come in a large Variety which makes it difficult for a beginner to choose his first smoker. If you choose a wrong smoker then you can face difficulties during smoking. 

To make sure you don’t go wrong with this step,you should consider checking these aspects of your smoker.

Thicker steel

The thickness of smokers’ build is an important factor that determines the durability of a smoker and also helps in heat Retention.

 If the thickness of steel is higher than the smoker will not get affected by the external conditions which helps in heat Retention.

Untitled design 5 1

You should consider buying an offset smoker that should not have a flimsy build quality. Normally  good quality offset smokers have a steel thickness of 1 inch but it can vary depending on the environment in which you are planning to smoke.


The insulation is a must have property of an offset smoker. If the smoker is not insulated then it can get affected by the external weather conditions which leads to temperature fluctuations which eventually affect the food quality.

The offset smoker should be insulted especially if you are smoking in a cold weather. Then uninsulated smokers can take ages to heat up. 

You should make sure the offset smoker is insulated before making the final choice.

Built-in thermometer

Smoking in an offset smoker depends on the expertise to control temperature during the smoking process.

 But if your smoker doesn’t have a smoker or has an inaccurate one then it’s like shooting arrows in the dark on a moving target.

Your offset smoker should have a built-in thermometer that should give accurate reading without opening the lid. 

AnyConv.com Untitled design 6 1

Opening the lid too often can lead to heat loss. It’s better to have a dual thermometer so that you can compare the readings of both thermometers and decide the accurate temperature.

The thermometer should have longer probes so that it can measure accurately from the center of the offset smoker. 

If your smoker doesn’t come with an accurate thermometer then you may need to modify it with an accurate thermometer.

Build quality of frame

The frame ,legs or wheels of an offset smoker are used to support the offset smoker and elevate it from ground to increase ventilation.

 Moreover it helps prevent the bottom of an offset smoker from developing rust.

You should consider buying an offset smoker that has a sturdy frame which should last longer. The offset smoker legs should have enough strength to bear the weight of the smoker. Flimsy legs can break down after some time


You should also consider checking if the smoker comes with a warranty or not. The manufacturers that are confident in their products always provide warranty. 

So if a manufacturer provides warranty then there is a good chance that the smoker is of good quality.if not you will still be on the safe side.

Firebox size

The size of a firebox is also a major determinant of the quality of an offset smoker. It makes sure that the smoker doesn’t run out of Fuel during the process.

 If the smoker runs out of fuel during the process then the sudden drop in temperature can affect the food quality

You should consider buying an offset smoker that has a large firebox so that you should not have to refuel during the process. 

Opening the firebox lid for adding the charcoal can affect the temperature of the smoker and cause overheating.


Offset smokers use charcoal and wood as a fuel source. So ash is produced which should be cleaned to avoid blockage of ventilation. The ideal offset smoker should have an easy process for cleaning.

 It should come with removable grates and an ash pan so that they can be cleaned easily.


The portability of an offset smoker is also crucial for using them efficiently. If the smoker is not portable then you will not be able to use it for outdoor smoking .

 Moreover portability is also essential when moving the offset smoker within the house.

The most important component for the portability of an offset smoker are its wheels. Wheels make them easily moveable so they can be transported from one place to another. 

Moreover it should also be lightweight to make it portable.

Smoking capacity

The cooking capacity of an offset smoker should also be taken into consideration before making your final choice. The offset smoker should have a large cooking capacity so that it can smoke more food in a single go.

Smoking is a time taking process and can take even days to complete. So you can’t afford to smoke your food in multiple batches. 

Moreover if the cooking capacity is smaller than you have to trim the larger chunks of meat before placing them inside the smoker.

Why should you buy an  offset smoker?

Offset smokers are the one of the most efficient smokers when it comes to smoking meat. In addition they also give us the traditional feel of smoking. 

There are multiple benefits that make the offset smoker worth buying. Some of them are discussed below.

  • The major factor that separates offset smokers from their competitors is the smokey flavor they provide. The food within an offset smoker is cooked with charcoal and wood which enhances the flavor of meat.
  • Offset Smokers are a versatile smoker which can perform different tasks with the same design. They can work within a huge temperature range from low temperature  for cold smoking to higher temperature needed for grilling.
  • The offset Smokers also have an even heat distribution due to which the meat gets Cooked evenly. To further enhance the heat distribution, reverse flow offset smokers have been designed which retain heat for a longer time.
  • The offset smoker has a horizontal design which provides a large cooking capacity. The cooking grates can Hold larger chunks of meat without trimming. Moreover a grate can also be attached in the firebox to further increase the capacity for grilling.
  • Offset smokers use charcoal as a fuel which helps them to heat up to higher temperatures. Moreover it also helps generate a consistent temperature. They don’t require any electric outlet for smoking so can be used for outdoor smoking easily.

How much space does it occupy?

The ideal offset smoker should also have a compact design meaning that it should cover less space while providing more cooking capacity. 

Some don’t have much space for the storage of bulky smokers so it should also be taken into consideration.

Are pellet smokers healthy edited

By having a smaller size it also makes it easier to store them easily when not in use. Moreover they also need to be protected from rain and wind during bad weather conditions . 

If they occupy less space then it becomes easier to find a shelter for them.


Choosing your offset smoker is a really important step to make your smoking journey more fun. You should consider checking all of the above mentioned aspects in the available offset smokers. It will help you narrow down your choices and make decisions easily.

Jakob miller