best offset smokers under $500

Best Offset Smokers Under $500

What is the one thing that you love to do on the Fourth of July? Have a large-scale cookout for your friends and family! Juicy BBQ is the favorite dish of almost everyone at this time of year and the best way to cook it is with an offset smoker. Here are five of the best offset smokers under $500.

Cooking the tender meat on a grill in the backyard of your house is enjoyable, but with the right equipment it becomes and absolute joy. Offset smokers are specifically designed to smoke meat over a long period of time and don't require you to constantly check on your food.

This slow method is what gives your tender meat a fall-off-the-bone texture. Offset smokers are long, horizontal chambers that are placed alongside the heat source. So when you place the food on the grill, you don't end up putting it directly above the heat source.

These smokers also have large cooking spaces that allow you to cook as much food as you want - the smoker will be perfect for cooking for a large family and friends. A small firebox is attached to the smoker where you burn charcoal or wood.

This separate box is what has lent the grill its name "offset". Even though offset smokers are a bit complex to operate, they are ideal for cooking juicy and tender meat.  

People who love barbecuing will love owning an offset smoker grill. This is because of the cooking space the equipment provides. Cooking on small grills can be a pain. You will end up spending almost half of your day standing beside the grill, preparing the meal for your guests.

With an offset smoker, however, you will have a large cooking space to cook for almost the entire neighbourhood - sounds convenient, no?

You’re probably are thinking about owning an offset smoker, but are confused about which one to buy?

We have written this article to help you get the best smoker grill for your needs. If you are intimidated by the high prices of grills, you will be in for a surprise. In this article, we have specifically listed the best grills under $500.

Even if you are a budget-cautious buyer, you will be able to buy a suitable smoker for yourself. Read the article until the end to find out what grill you can purchase and what are some of the factors that you must look into while purchasing a smoker grill.

Our winner after 35+ hours of research

McCook MC41 6 Pieces Forged Triple Rivet Kitchen Knife Set in Natural Beech Wood Slim Block(Black)

Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker

Our Rating

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Too tired to read until the end to choose which smoker grill is best for you? We have got your back! In this section, we will share what we think is the best smoker grill.

Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker is a power-packed smoker grill that boasts impressive features.

Why It's Our Top Pick

Available in an elegant design in black, the smoker grill is quite easy to assemble and is made of durable and sturdy materials. It has a big-capacity charcoal pan, which lets it hold around 5lbs of charcoal, allowing you to have better heating throughout the cooking.

Available at an extremely affordable price, this offset smoker has an impressive 800sq inches cooking surface. It is also accompanied with a heavy duty lid and a professional thermometer that lets you manage the temperature accordingly. It is equipped with an adjustable damper that promotes better air flowing.

The Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill is perfect for a quick BBQ grill for the time when your friends show up unexpectedly and ask you to cook a perfectly-well BBQ dinner. It is easy to set up and use. And once the dinner is served and enjoyed and everyone has said their goodbyes, you can clean it in a short time.

Who wouldn't want to own such a convenient product?  To read more about the amazing features of this amazing smoker grill and others in the list, read the rest of the article.

Best Offset Smokers Under $500 - Comparison Table

Best Offset Smokers Under $500 - Our Reviews

McCook MC41 6 Pieces Forged Triple Rivet Kitchen Knife Set in Natural Beech Wood Slim Block(Black)

#1. Our Overall Top Pick

Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker

Our Rating

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Our top pick, the Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill is perfect for budget watchers. The product boasts heat-resistant black paint, which doesn't flak because of heat.

It comes with porcelain wire cooking grates that retain heat for a long period of time. Since the heat is evenly distributed throughout the cooking space, you will have tender and juicier meat. These rust-resistant and extremely durable cooking grates are also quite easy to clean.

It has two storage racks, front and underneath, for convenient storage. It is equipped with an adjustable vent that provides better air flowing and gives you great heat control. It is a multifunctional smoker with a combination of BBQ and charcoal grill and an offset smoker.

The top lid of the Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill comes with groove design that doesn't only increase the seal performance but is also efficient in holding the heat quite well. The offset smoker grill has an adjustable charcoal pan that helps adjust the height of the charcoal so that you can cook at a temperature you like.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • 2 wheels provide easy transport
  • Great seal performance
  • Two storage racks

Cons

  • Small cooking space
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KitchenAid KKFSS14BO 14 Piece Classic Forged Series Brushed Stainless Steel Cutlery Set, Bamboo Wood

#2. Runner Up

Char-Broil Offset Smoker, 30"

Our Rating

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If you are on the lookout for a budget-friendly smoker grill, we recommend you don't look beyond the Char-Broil Offset Smoker.

Available in a classic cylindrical design, the grill has a cooking surface of 477 sq - ample space for about 24 burgers - which is sufficient for cooking large amounts of food.

The Char-Broil Offset Smoker is equipped with porcelain-coated cooking grates that and a firebox ash door, which ensures that you are able to remove the ash after you are done cooking. It has a temperature gauge that is mounted on the lid. This lets the pitmaster to easily monitor the grill's inside temperature without having to open the lid every now and then. Its porcelain-coated grates are rust-resistant, which means that you don't have to worry about the frequent rains if your smoker is kept outside. These grates are also quite easy to clean and are made up of durable material that ensures that they are long-lasting.

The offset firebox has an ash door that is ideal for easy cleanup after cooking. The smoke chamber of the smoker is also suitable for temperature control as it reduces air draft. In addition, the top chamber adjusts for heat and smoke control.

The Char-Boil Offset Smoker also comes with a side and bottom side that provides ample storage and prep space to the user. For increased and easy mobility, the set comes with large 8-inch wheels that let you move around the smoker grill without any difficulty.

Pros

  • Easy mobility
  • Convenient cleanup
  • Large cooking space
  • Extra prep and storage space

Cons

  • The paint peels fast
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Emojoy Knife Set, 15-Piece Kitchen Knife Set with Block Wooden, Manual Sharpening for Chef Knife Set, German Stainless Steel

#3. Runner Up

Dyna-Glo Signature Series Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill

Our Rating

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One of the best offset smokers under $500, the Dyna-Glo Signature Series is a steal. Featuring five chrome-plated cooking grates, the smoker grill has an impressive cooking space of 1382 square inches.

It is impressive and will let you cook fairly large amounts of food.

Its heavy-gauge steel body construction gives it a long-lasting life. The built-in temperature gauge has a separate feature called smoke zone that tells you about the ideal temperature, which is required for the tasty smoky flavor. It has cool-to-touch handles that let you check on the food and fuel safely.

Perfect for providing the classic smokehouse flavor, the Dyna-Glo smoker grill is a multifunctional BBQ machine that lets you try different recipes. It boasts sausage hooks that give you cooking flexibility. It has a removable offset charcoal grate and ash pan that provides quick disposal of ask and easy access to fuel. 

Pros

  • Cool-touch spring handle
  • Oversized steel wheels, great for mobility
  • Steel body construction

Cons

  • Not durable, some parts break off easily
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Farberware 22-Piece Never Needs Sharpening Triple Rivet High-Carbon Stainless Steel Cutlery Set, Assorted

#4. Runner Up

Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker

Our Rating

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With its heavy-duty steel body construction, the Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker has 784 square inches of cooking space that lets you smoke up to 100lb of food at one time.

Its double door design is ideal for minimizing heat loss when you are adding wood chips throughout the smoking process.   

The body of the grill has a powder coat finish that gives it a long life and durability. It also has an electronic pulse ignition system, which ensures quick and reliable ignition. With its indirect heat flow feature, the Dyna-Glo offset smoker is ideal for infusing smoke flavor and slow-cooking.

So, if you are interested in polishing your cooking skills and taking your BBQ game up a level, you must use this multifunctional BBQ machine.

The grill's charcoal chamber is suitable for keeping the briquettes stacked tightly to ensure increased burn efficiency. The 'smoke zone' indicator on the temperature gauge tells you the ideal temperature for smoking. 

Pros

  • Durable build
  • Double door feature
  • Smoke up to 100lbs at a time

Cons

  • Not portable
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McCook MC35 Carving Knife Sets,11 Pieces German Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Self Sharpening Kitchen Knife Set in Acacia Block

#5. Runner Up

Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker (Grill + Cover)

Our Rating

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Easy assembly and 800-sq inches cooking space, the Royal Gourment Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker is available in an elegant black color that gives a sophisticated look to the grill.

The grill has a seamless connection between the main chamber and the side smoker that lets you heat up the food quickly and kept the grill warm for a long time. The top lid has a groove design that ensures that the grill is sealed properly and that no heat escapes the grill.

The built-in thermometer lets you control the grilling temperature. The product has a durable finish that ensures that the paint doesn't flake because of the heat.

Pros

  • Includes a cover
  • Groove design for seal performance
  • Portable

Cons

  • The lid is a little offset
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Best Offset Smokers Under $500 - Buyers Guide

In the above section, we talked about some of the best offset smoker grills that are available in the market. In this section, we will let you know about the important factors that you must pay attention to when you set out to purchase a smoker grill.

Size 

This is perhaps the most important factor that you must consider when buying a smoker grill. Since smoker grills are kept outside your house, you should measure the space where you are planning to keep the grill. When measuring the space, don't forget to add the space of the pitmaster who'd need ample space to move around and cook the meal. As its name suggests, the offset smoker grill comes with a firebox that is attached to the grill. So, when measuring up space, don't forget to add additional inches for the space taken up by the firebox.

Price 

People often say that price is not the sole factor in determining whether or not a product is genuine. But, if you ask us, we'd say that when it comes to offset smoker grills, price is indeed a deciding factor about the credibility of a product. You are definitely going to spend a couple of hundred dollars to get a well-constructed offset smoker. So, you must have a look at the price tag of the grill before you end up purchasing it.

Portability 

A single look at the smoker grill will tell you that it is quite heavy and will give you a hard time when you would like to move it around. Offset smokers weigh around hundreds of pounds and maneuvering them around in your property can be a headache. Suppose that you have planned a family trip by the lake with BBQ lunch. Now, you cannot possibly cook the food before you set out for the picnic. After all, what will be the point of the picnic if you cannot enjoy it? So, if you can carry the grill to the outdoor location, what could be better than that? Keeping this into consideration, it is best to go with a model that has wheels. This will allow you to move around the grill conveniently around your house or even take it with you to certain outdoor events.

Cooking Space

Do you have a big family that loves to spend the holidays at home? As the designated chef of the house, you might be responsible for arranging the lunch and dinner for your family. And what is the best American food other than perfectly grilled beef stakes? We all know the answer, it's nothing. This love for steak of your family members and friends brings us to yet another important factor that you should consider before finalizing a purchase. Always have a look at the cooking space of a grill. Offset smoker grills that have a large cooking space will be perfect for you if you want something to cook large amounts of food on. Grills with small cooking spaces will not be suitable for you mainly because they will increase the overall cooking time significantly. Obviously, since you have a smaller cooking space, you cannot place large steak pieces on the grill and you will have to cook dinner for a large family in pieces. This is why it is important to consider the cooking space of the grill to avoid any inconveniences.  

The Longevity of the Grill

Grills, in fact, kitchen appliances in general, are not changed every other week or month. It is usually a given that these appliances will continue to work for a long period of time. Offset smoker grills - even the models that are available under $500 - are not cheap. You cannot possibly spend a couple of hundred dollars every month on a grill. This is why it is important to thoroughly check the body of the grill before you buy it. Grills that are made up of double thick iron or galvanized steel are long lasting and durable. Also, they are weather-resistant, which lets them withstand any kind of weather conditions. Before buying the grill, make sure that you get one that has a minimum lifespan of four years so that you can use it for a long period of time.  

Multifunctional 

Some models of offset smokers also come with plenty of cooking methods, which include searing, smoking, roasting, and grilling. If your grill is multifunctional, you can try different recipes on it and cook a variety of food. So, buying a grill that is multifunctional will be the better choice.

FAQ's

Q: What is the difference between smoking and grilling?

The big difference between smoking and grilling relates to cooking time. Grilling generally takes a short time and is done at a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, smoking takes a painfully long time. It takes somewhere between 3 and 15 hours. The meat is cooked at a temperature between 225 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit. This time difference, eventually, leads to a significant difference in the taste. Smoking gives the scrumptious and hard-to-miss smoky taste that makes the meal even more delicious and tasty.

Q: I am overwhelmed after looking at the size of my smoker grill and have no idea how I am going to clean it. Are there any tips that I can follow to clean a smoker?

The large size of the grill can be a bit intimidating. However, you might be surprised to know that it is very easy to clean them. The grills and the racks can be easily loaded into the dishwasher for quick and thorough cleaning. In addition, you can use paper towels to clean the interior of the grill.

Q: How should I keep my smoker grill safe from the harsh weather conditions and other exterior elements?

A majority of people keep the smoker out in the open. If you are leaving the smoker outside, you have to pay attention to its protection. For that, the best option is to get a cover. What type and size of the cover you should get depend on the size of your grill.

Q: Are there any cons of using offset smoker grills?

Offset smoker grills are not lightweight. They weigh hundreds of pounds and it might get difficult to move them around in your backyard, in case you feel the need to change their location. So, if you don't have enough space in your lawn, you should get a compact-sized grill. In that case, however, another drawback will be that you won't be able to large amounts of food because of its small cooking space.

Q: What are some of the essentials for smoking?

A quality digital thermometer is very important for grilling. In addition, a chimney start will help get the fire going. You will also need a set of sharp knives to get the carving done with ease.

Q: How can one grill in an offset smoker? 

Offset smokers have various options of grilling available that allow you to cook different meals easily. The standard ways that you can adopt to cook a meal are: the direct grill, the indirect grill, and the smoker grill. Here is a brief guide to what these types of grilling actually mean:

The direct grill: Under this method, all you have to do is to convert your smoker's regular cooking chamber into a grill. You will have to use charcoals to build a fire under the cooking grate. Then, grill your meat by placing it over grill grate.

The indirect grill: In this type of grilling, you will build a fire in the firebox. Don't forget to keep the vents open to ensure that you don't end up killing the fire.

The smoker grill: If you want to give a bit of smoky flavor to your meat, you must opt for the smoker grill. Here, you will direct heat to the meat by using the firebox function. Then, let the meat get cooked at a relatively low temperature.

Final Words

Who doesn't love munching on a beautiful rack of ribs? BBQ is all about beef - smoked, juicy meat whose insides ooze with flavor. Be it a long weekend or an off-day in the mid of the week, having a homecooked BBQ dinner with friends and family is the perfect way to enjoy any day. Ideal for cooking large amounts of food, offset smoker grills are the perfect cooking equipment that every pitmaster should have. Since the smoker comes with a separate firebox, you don't have to disturb the cooking process - when the meat is being cooked - and let the heat and smoke escape. Even though these smoker grills are very large and heavy, and ideally not very portable, when it comes to grilling, the efficacy of these grills is unparalleled.

If you are looking to buying a smoker grill, we hope that our guide provided you with all the help you needed to choose an offset smoker grill. As mentioned above, cooking on offset smokers can be a bit of a challenge for beginners. But once you have mastered your technique, you can cook on the grill with so much ease. The next time you think about what to do on the long weekend, ask your friends and family to come over for a perfect and juicy BBQ dinner made in your very own lawn.

We have tons more information on our other posts about smokers under $1000 and for the more budget minded, electric smokers under $300, be sure to check them out. If you are looking for a smoker that will take a huge cut of meat or even your whole massive Thanksgiving turkey, then check out our post on the best smokers for turkey.