The 5 Best Offset Smoker Under $2,000

Hotdogs

Smoking food is a traditional way of infusing it with mouthwatering, savory flavor. Finding the right smoker can be difficult, though, because there are so many similar models out there.

But they are not all created equal. Some models look impressive but contain serious design flaws, so it’s crucial to know what to check before you buy to ensure that you get one that works for your needs and lasts for a lifetime! 

Many cheaper offset smoker models comprise inferior materials. They might work well for a while, but then start to rust or show other signs of wear quickly. With this in mind, we upped the budget a bit for this post to help you find the best offset smoker under $2,000.

We looked at durability, design, quality of materials, and overall utility to create our list of the five best offset smokers under $2,000. Read on for details.

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If you don’t have the time or inclination to peruse our entire review but want to get the best overall smoker

How to Pick The Perfect Offset Smoker For YOU

Choosing the best offset smoker means you’re making a substantial investment. The upside is that high-quality models will work well for many years to come, so much so that when you work out the cost per use over a lifetime, they are the less-expensive option. You spend more, and you get more!

It’s worth spending a bit more to get high-quality products. But how do you know if you’re making the right decision? Well, for starters, determine whether you need a model with all the bells and whistles, or whether something simpler will do.

In this section, we’ll go through the things to consider when buying a new offset smoker.

Types of Offset Smokers

There are two main types of offset smokers: 

  • Traditional: These are the most common and require a bit more of your involvement in the cooking process.
  • Reverse Flow Offset Model: These are less common but are becoming more popular and are closer to a “set-and-go” model.

What’s the Difference?

With a traditional smoker, you must monitor the internal temperature regularly (good temperature monitoring tools will be good for the job). If you don’t, the meat might not cook evenly. You’ll also need to flip the meat over for it to cook evenly on both sides.

Purists tend to prefer the traditional smoking method, and they generally are a bit less expensive than the reverse-flow ones. 

The reverse flow offset smoker, on the other hand, cooks using indirect heat. The meat is shielded from direct heat, usually by a steel plate. The upside of this is that you don’t have to flip the meat because the internal temperatures are relatively evenly spread.

What Can You Do With It?

This might seem like a silly question at first. After all, you’re buying a smoker to smoke meat, right? Still, you’d be surprised at the number of things that you can do with your smoker-grill combo. You can cook brisket, big chunks of meat, pork butt, ribs, and so much more.

Choosing the Best Option

There are five primary things to consider when you’re choosing the right smoker for your particular needs:

Materials

It goes without saying that you want your smoker made from high-quality metal. Stainless steel is a popular option in this industry, but it’s essential to get heavy-gauge steel. While it might add to the cost, it means your smoker will stand up better against the ravages of time.

What’s more, heavier gauges help to retain heat better. You’ll save money over the long run – but also in the short term because better heat retention translates to less wasted fuel.

Temperature Gauges

Smoking meat safely means tracking of the internal temperature of your smoker. Having a built-in temperature gauge makes it a lot easier to monitor heat levels for more even results.

Cover

A cover is not always essential. At least, that’s the message manufacturers send us by not including one with most smoker purchases. But don’t overlook adding a cover to your purchase.  

The cover keeps excess moisture and dust off your smoker, thus preventing rust and extending the life of your smoker.

Seals and Dampers

Check the quality of the smoker’s seals and dampers. If they’re flimsy or cheap, they generally won’t seal properly, in turn making your smoker less efficient. If smoke and heat are escaping the seals, the smoker won’t be able to maintain a precise temperature or enough smoke to create the perfect cut of meat. 

Take some time to understand the seals and dampers on any model you consider. Does their placement make sense? Are they good quality, or do they look or feel cheap?

Stability

Finally, test the sturdiness of the smoker’s legs and wheels. If you’re loading it up with meat, will the legs and wheels give way? A model with two wheels offers a good balance between mobility and stability, and if you’re considering one with four wheels, lockable castors are a good investment.

Top 5 Offset Smoker Reviews

Why is the KBQ C-60 BBQ Smoker Pit our top choice? It simple, really: We love its straightforward but highly effective design. Hearth & Home awarded the Vesta Award for Innovation in recognition of it.

Key Features:

  • Uses real wood, so you don’t need to buy charcoal, gas, pellets, or plug it in 
  • Suitable for use in competitions, as it’s fully KCBS-compliant 
  • KBQ’s patented Inverted Flame Firebox automatically creates a steady, blue smoke
  • Autodraft Controlbox automatically helps keep the temperature even
  • Smoke Selector customizes color and bark flavor automatically
  • Made in Texas, the home of barbeque
  • Made from stainless steel
  • Comes with a two-year manufacturer’s repair-or-replace warranty from the date of sale
  • If you change your mind, you can return the smoker before you use it and get a refund for your purchase price, less a 10-percent restocking fee

This is a BIG smoker. It fits up to 60 pounds of meat at a time! 

You get a twelve-position shelf rack and four wire shelves, which you can swap out for a hotel steam pan, if you prefer. The rack configuration leaves you with plenty of options when it comes to placing the meat. Whether you’re smoking chickens, briskets, pork butts, turkey, or whatever, you’re covered.

The smoker has two wheels on its back legs to make transporting it more manageable. And when you finish using it, you can simply let it cool down, clean it out, and put it away.

Overall, this KBQ model is a great smoker, as it operates smoothly and is highly efficient. And while gas smokers work, too, there’s nothing like real wood to infuse that savory, smoky flavor to any meat.

On the downside, you can’t just set this smoker and leave it to do its thing. You must stir the coals about twice an hour or so.

This combination smoker and grill lets you choose between real wood and charcoal to delicately flavor any meat. Good One designed this combo smoker and grill for competitive smokers.

Key Features:

  • 996 square inches of cooking space 
  • Innovative firebox provides even smoking and prevents hotspots from forming 
  • Good One also sells a range of flavored smoking timber
  • Charcoal box is larger than average to allow for longer burn times
  • Smokebox lid is reversible to increase versatility
  • Ash pan is removable to make cleanup a breeze
  • Made in the United States

The original design proved innovative in 1988. At the time, the smokers on the market were still a bit unreliable. Getting a consistently even temperature or quality results was extremely difficult – that is, until this smoker’s original offset box came on board.

The new design held heat significantly longer and helped cooks create more reliable results. Since the original model came out, of course, the design has been tweaked a little and refined. 

The Open Range model here is a combination smoker and grill. Be warned, though: It will take a little experimentation to find that sweet spot for vent positions and temperatures.

The lower level of the smoker runs up to 20 degrees cooler than the top level. And the lever controlling airflow is a little stiff – by design – to trap the smoke properly in the smoker.

Once you master it, you’re going to love the results that you get!

This smoker will run for up to 18 hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, and the body’s construction is solid, including back wheels that make it easy to move. Overall, this is a great model that will see you through many years of smoking.

This Broil King offset smoker will deliver fantastic smoking results every time. And the price is right in this high-end category!

Key Features:

  • Made using 2mm high-quality steel
  • Cast iron grids coated in porcelain for maximum durability 
  • Easy to clean
  • Innovative air-vent system
  • Two dual-purpose charcoal trays diffuse smoke
  • Two separate doors, each with durable, stainless-steel handles
  • Durable wheels for easier moving
  • Removable ashtrays for each chamber
  • Handy rack beneath for extra storage

The Accu-Temp stainless-steel thermometer makes it easy to get an accurate read on the temperature in this smoker. The probe for the thermostat is longer than average, which enables it to extend further into the oven so that you can read the temperature in the center of the cooking area.

The cast iron grids on the Broil King are unique, in that they’re reversible. The top of the grids come to a point, so you get fabulous grill marks. Turn the grid over when you’re cooking meat that tends to dry out, as the reverse side is grooved to catch juices dripping from the meat and hold them in place, effectively basting the meat as it cooks

The porcelain coating makes the grills easy to clean and removes worries of rust of improper seasoning of the cast iron.

What makes this model special, though, is the unique damping system. It features dampers both on the top and bottom, compared to most models, which have only one damper. 

By incorporating two dampers, Broil King makes it possible for you to exercise more control over the internal temperature. Lower the damper setting to decrease the internal temperature and raise the setting to increase the internal temperature. 

All told, this is another model that you must experiment with to find the best settings for you. Once you do that, it’s easy to get reliable results every time.

Why is the KBQ C-60 BBQ Smoker Pit our top choice? It simple, really: We love its straightforward but highly effective design. Hearth & Home awarded the Vesta Award for Innovation in recognition of it.

Key Features:

  • Total of 2,167 square inches of cooking area 
  • 1,327 square inches of grilling space
  • Total internal volume of 2.5 cubic feet
  • Three stainless-steel burners
  • 36,000-BTU LP gas grill
  • Charcoal grill has an adjustable grate and dampers for perfect airflow
  • Lower smoker is electric and has a wood pan with front access
  • Cast-iron grills and the warming racks are coated in porcelain for maximum durability
  • Easy to clean
  • Choose between cold or offset smoking – with adjustable vents to fill the charcoal or LP chambers
  • Electric element is 1,500 watts 
  • Use liquid gas or charcoal to grill food
  • Includes hooks to storing utensils
  • Four wheels

This model looks impressive, and if you’re a gadget freak, you’ll love all the adjustments that you can make. Pit Boss incorporated impressive smart-design features and several hooks for hanging cooking implements.

So, how does it perform? When we initially looked at this model, our first thought was that it tried to incorporate too many features. On further reflection, however, we realized that these features made it the most practical smoker on our list. 

If you want to host an impromptu barbeque and don’t have charcoal, then just fire up the gas grill. Or if you want to have an authentic barbeque experience, keep some charcoal on hand.

The electric smoker allows you to get the perfect level of doneness. We also were more comfortable leaving the smoker on for extended periods.

Last, but not least, on our list is the monster Z Grills Grill and Smoker. Why? Because it allows you to: 

  • Grill
  • Bake
  • Smoke
  • Roast
  • Braise
  • Sear
  • Barbeque
  • Char-grill

If you’re a purist, you might not want all of these features, but if you’re looking for a great outdoor oven, this fits the bill. You can create any meal any time, from this one unit.

Key Features:

  • Convection cooking assisted by a fan cooks food faster and more evenly
  • Works on a combo of wood pellets and gas
  • The 2019 model also includes a system to control the temperature the way you feed in the pellets. This allows more versatility, as you can set the temperature at between 180 degrees and 450 degrees Fahrenheit, creating a set-and-forget option. 
  • Grilling area of 19.2 inches by 26 inches 
  • Smoking area is 9 inches by 27.5 inches
  • In total, racks cover a surface area of 700 square inches
  • Hopper can hold up to 20 pounds of pellets
  • Manufacturer’s guarantee is three years
  • Auto-Start electronic ignition means never having to look for matches or lighters again
  • Waste-oil collector makes cleanup easy
  • Locking wheels make it easy to move your cart
  • Free cover comes with this grill and smoker

OK, that’s a bunch of features. But how useful are they? 

The wood pellets allow you to achieve that traditional smoked flavor in any meat, and you’ll get about an hour of cooking time per pound of pellets. Meanwhile, the gas element makes it easy to achieve and maintain the temperatures that you want. 

There’s no question that this is the most versatile model on our list. Why then, didn’t it get the top spot? 

A few consumers reported that the temperature controls might wear out within months. The company will replace them once, but subsequent replacements may be more difficult. 

That said, this grill and smoker is worth the price and delivers excellent value for your money.

Final Verdict

Why did we pick the KBQ C-60 BBQ Smoke Pit as our top choice? Because it is a high-quality product that, while a bit more expensive, is guaranteed to up your smoking game. It’s well worth the extra expense. 

This KBQ smoker is an excellent model for those with large families, or for competitive smokers

This is one BIG smoker. It fits up to 60 pounds of meat at once – something you’ll be hard-pressed to find in many smokers in this category. It’s not a set-and-forget option, but we don’t believe that’s a big deal. How many times do you leave your grill or smoker unattended for long periods, anyway? 

Overall, the solid construction and innovative nature of the KBQ Smoke Pit is going to win you over. But get yours fast, because the company is battling to keep up with demand. If you see one available, grab it straight away or risk a long wait for delivery.