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A black barbecue ready for grilling a slow cook pulled pork and ribs

Your Guide to Buying an Offset Smoker for Superior Backyard BBQ

Offset smokers have become hugely popular for backyard barbecue aficionados looking to make competition-quality smoked meats at home. Also known as horizontal offset smokers, these classic BBQ pits have stood the test of time for producing incredibly tender and flavorful brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and other smoked delights. If you’re shopping for offset smokers for sale, here’s what to look for to find the perfect offset smoker for your needs and budget.

What Makes Offset Smokers Unique?

Offset smokers have a horizontal cooking chamber that is located to the side of the heat and smoke source, rather than directly above it. This allows the smoke and heat to slowly pass through the cooking chamber before exiting through a chimney. The indirect heating results in precise temperature regulation, excellent smoke infusion, and minimal hot spots – leading to perfectly cooked smoked meats every time.

Offset Smoker Benefits

Here are some of the advantages that make offset BBQ smokers a favorite choice for serious smoking enthusiasts:

  • Precise temperature control through adjustable vents and chimney
  • Smoky flavor permeates food due to extended exposure time
  • Very large cooking surface to handle a crowd
  • Easy access to food through multiple openings
  • Customizable design allows for personal flair

Factors to Consider When Buying an Offset Smoker

There are a few key factors to evaluate when shopping for the best offset smoker for your needs:


  • Steel – Long lasting and retains heat well. Stainless steel is low maintenance while carbon steel must be seasoned.
  • Brick, Stone, or Ceramic – Excellent heat and smoke conduction but very heavy.
  • Thickness – At least 1/4 inch thick walls optimize heat retention and durability.


  • Cooking chamber size – Determine how much food you typically need to smoke at one time.
  • Overall footprint – Measure your outdoor space to ensure your smoker will fit.


  • Multiple racks and shelves
  • Stacked design for more capacity
  • Insulated firebox for fuel efficiency
  • Temperature gauges and chimney damper
  • Removable ash pan for easy cleanup

Custom Built vs. Prefab Offset Smokers

You can purchase high-quality pre-fabricated offset smokers from brands like Oklahoma Joe’s, Dyna-Glo, and Horizon. Or, work with an experienced metalworker to design and fabricate fully custom BBQ pits based on your preferences. Custom offset smokers allow you to choose:

  • Exact dimensions and volume
  • Materials and thickness
  • Location of racks, shelves, doors
  • Unique personalized design elements

Building a custom offset smoker does come with a higher cost, but the end result is your dream BBQ pit tailored specifically to your backyard setup and smoking style.

Your Custom Offset Smoker – The Ultimate Backyard BBQ Investment

For passionate barbecue masters, partnering with skilled metal fabricators to create your very own customized offset smoker is the ultimate backyard investment. Work collaboratively to turn your offset smoker ideas into reality, incorporating design elements like:

  • A deep firebox to accommodate wood logs
  • Multiple adjustable shelves
  • Strategically placed thermometers
  • Custom smoker box for cold smoking
  • Unique personalized design touches

Taking the time to plan the ideal offset smoker for your backyard BBQ setup will result in years of smoked meat masterpieces you’ll be proud to serve. Your customized offset pit becomes a party centerpiece that friends and family gather around, enjoying tender brisket, fall-off-the-bone ribs, and other mouthwatering smoked creations. The superiority of offset smokers combined with customized fabrication makes your dream backyard smoker well worth the investment.

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