Brisket, ribs, pork butt, even blocks of Gouda taste amazing on a smoker.
Smoking can take anywhere from a few hours up to an entire day, depending on what you’re cooking and its size. But remember: every second is worth it because the longer you let it smoke, the more time the smoky flavor can penetrate the food. Cooking via an offset smoker uses indirect heat at constant, lower temperatures to get that irreplaceable, tender, smoke-kissed and flavorful outcome every time.
From the backyard to large gatherings, or even competitive events, we’ve got a list to suit your wallet— no matter how thick or thin.
What You Need: The Lang legacy has produced decades of high-quality smoker cookers which are great for BBQ enthusiasts at any level. The smaller (by comparison) 36” Deluxe Model can actually hold up to 70 lbs. of food! Think: 8 full racks of ribs or a whole piglet.
Why You Need It: Also known as stick burners, Lang smokers burn wood in the offset firebox for clean heat circulation. Its novel reverse flow method drafts heat and smoke to flow under–then-over, resulting in moist, evenly cooked meat. And the warmer box comes in handy when you’re away from the kitchen, whether down at the lake or at a festival, you can warm up that side dish of beans on the spot.
Price Tag: $1,795*
What You Need: We were always taught in chemistry class that heat rises right? Vertical smokers like the Dyna-Glo kept that in mind as a highly efficient way of cooking meat. The adjustable smokestack and side damper further help airflow and transfer heat into the cooking chamber.
Why You Need It: The cooking grates can be removed and adjusted to fit anything from a few flanks of salmon to a 20-lb ham, as charcoal and wood remnants collect into the removable ash pan for easy clean-up afterward. Not to mention, the Dyna-Glo is a great economy choice.
Price Tag: $179.99*
What You Need: We play no games here. The Wichita’s heavy-duty build (nearly 600 lbs) is telling of its precision craftsmanship. After all, Yoder is a highly respected maker among the barbecue community, so it will cost you a pretty penny.
Why You Need It: You’ll get a little over 1600 sq. inches of cooking area, but the slide-out rack adds extra space and ample headroom. Underneath is the heat management system with circular vents to regulate the heat from one end of the main cooking chamber to the other, keeping it at optimal smoking temperatures.
Price Tag: $2,199*
What You Need: Affordable yet durable, the Broil King Smoke XL is one of our favorite practical choices for a charcoal offset smoker.
Why You Need It: Broil King’s cast-iron grids are reversible, so on the pointed side you’ll get perfect grill marks, and on the grooved side, you capture the juices for continuous basting as you cook. And the most understated feature? A chrome-plated steel bottle opener to quench your thirst in an instant. Cheers to that.
Price Tag: $799*
What You Need: Any serious smoking starts on a Meadow Creek offset. With this high-performing model, you won’t be kicking it to the curb in a few years, she will last you a lifetime.
Why You Need It: The SQ36 is very well-insulated and will maintain steady temperatures. Like many smokers, this offset doubles as a grill. You can slow cook meats to your liking, then use the charcoal grilling panel for some burgers. This versatility makes it an invaluable asset.
Price Tag: $1,495*
*All prices provided in this article are estimates and subject to change based on retailer.