Can't decide on a budget offset smoker , Char-Griller smokin pro vs. Chair Broil Deluxe Gourmet, vs

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by martytheman, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Char-Broil Americal Gourmet Deluxe Offset

    0 vote(s)
  2. Oklahoma Joes Highland

    0 vote(s)
  3. Char-griller Smokin Pro

    0 vote(s)
  1. martytheman

    martytheman Newbie

    Hi all, I was hoping you could help me with making a decision between the 3 offset smokers mentioned above. I know they will all need work, such as sealing leaks, chimney extensions, coal baskets, new thermometers at grate level, etc.

    I am planning to do all those mods to whichever I buy, so that being said the only one I was able to physically inspect at a store was the char-griller. I could find no displays for the other two at any stores where I live, so that's the other reason I'm posting this here, I can't visually inspect the other 2 smokers. So here are the big pros/cons I could find for each.

    Char-Broil American Gourmet Deluxe: price $144


    cheapest one

    adjustable coal grate, can pull double duty as a grill/smoker (which I would be doing)

    **does it come with an ash catcher for the main cooking area? I can't tell from the pics

    large cooking surface


    qc issues? I read they fall apart/rust out within a year even with covers?

    sfb has NO drawer to clean ash :(

    barrel of main body seems awfully small to me

    Char-Griller smokin pro: price $200


    adjustable coal grate/ash catcher for main cook area

    sfb has a pull out drawer for ash cleanout

    cast iron cook grates


    the one I saw at the store seemed flimsy, thin metal on body, handles were cheap wood vs the spring ones on the char-broil models

    reports of it rusting out quickly like the char broil model

    Oklahoma Joe Highland: Price: $ $229


    heavier, best built of the 3 (from what I've read)

    tends to leak less than the other 2?

    ash drawer for sfb


    char-broil made exclusively for walmart?  am I confusing this highland with the longhorm??

    price- most expensive of the 3

    does not have a ash catcher for main cooking area (if it weren't for this it would be the runaway favorite, I don't want to be trying to shovel ash out of my cook chamber)

    non-adjustable coal grate for direct grilling
  2. Hey there!

    I have owned a Chargriller Smoking Pro for the last 8 years, and I often leave it uncovered outside. It is STILL not rusted out and the wood actually has help up really well. That being said, I use it as a grill and not as a smoker. I purchased a Brinkman Trailmaster Vertical smoker and the build is much sturdier than the old Chargriller. I have recently purchased a Chargriller AKORN Kamado, the price is right around 300 dollars, but I am still waiting for it to be delivered. It has capability to smoke or grill, and the reviews are excellent. I would not suggest any of those units you are asking about, I would say spend the little extra and have something that you wont have to excessively modify, and will last longer. Just my two cents, have a great day, and smoke on!
    country73 likes this.
  3. merrymanb

    merrymanb Fire Starter

    I have a charge idler smoker combo gas grill. I use it every weekend sometimes twice. Never modified anything and don't use water pan. Smoke with real wood only. My friends and neighbors say best food they ever had. Always cover it Sunday night through Saturday morning. I have had it three years in houston area and still works great
  4. merrymanb

    merrymanb Fire Starter

    Dam spell correct. Chargriller
  5. If your plenty fine with few mods and want cheap offset id go with ok Joe highland. However I thought price is 269.

    Well heres the math, the thing is roughly 140dollars of raw steel 60 to 150 in powdercot charge, plus labor, and hardware. This is an extremely good price for one that will last  a long time. These are just my thoughts on it...

    I will however be purchasing a vertical trailmaster as well, I like the bologna hooks
  6. martytheman

    martytheman Newbie

    the majority of the stuff for the mods I have already, and am going to buy thermometers regardless of what I buy.

    so far char griller in the lead.
    the ok joe is made by char griller for walmart.. wonder if the quality is worse than the original ok joe stuff?
  7. martytheman

    martytheman Newbie

    it is 269, but I get a discount of $40 (employee fam mamber could buy it for me)
  8. study up on Kamados before you buy .......
  9. tc fish bum

    tc fish bum Meat Mopper

    all three grills are good for what they are made for, the old tune you can grill/smoke in a trash can is true. good Q is not rocket science, its time and temp. I personally would spend a few more bucks and look for something you don't need to mod as much. I have a char griller that works just fine,,,,,,, when I use it. got other grills and smokers I go to way more.
  10. nlambert

    nlambert Newbie

    I just went through the exact same dilemma looking at the exact same smokers. Eventually I decided against buying any of them as I don't want to have to heavily modify something I bought for it to work as intended. I ended up building a UDS which I should complete this week. I figure if mods are necessary anyhow I might as well do it my way. Not to mention I have less than $200 in the entire thing and it is exactly how I want it to be. Don't know if you've considered something like that, but it's always an option. I think you will get better quality for less money.
  12. beansbaxter

    beansbaxter Newbie

    I had a Char-Griller Smokin' Pro with the side fire box until tree crushed it during an ice storm. I replaced it with a Weber 22.5" kettle that is better at grilling. With a couple of fire bricks and a cheap ATC it's better at smoking too. I'm able to smoke two butts or 4 racks of ribs or a turkey or a packer brisket and get 14+ hours on one load of lump.

    As an aside, I just bought a WSM 22.5" to add capacity and the ability to grill while I'm smoking but I have no complaints about the Q from my kettle.

    You can buy a kettle and ATC for about what you're looking to pay for an offset. Something to consider. . .
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  13. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    I agree with the above! Buy a weber 22.5 kettle. You can find one on Craigslist for really cheap. You'll be able to get parts for it for a long time.

    I got my kettle for $5! I then bought a new grill grate for another $20. $25 and I use it more than my other smokers/grills. I wouldn't do a brisket or pulled pork on it but I just today did 3 2 1 ribs that turned out awesome.
  14. beansbaxter

    beansbaxter Newbie

    Now that I have a WSM, I wouldn't either but it's definitely a viable option, especially with an ATC.

    Another thought is picking up a 14.5" WSM for $200 to take care of your smoking needs and a craigslist kettle for few bucks more. That would be in the same price range as your other choices and give you the best of both worlds.
  15. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hey Marty

     One of my smokers is a WallyWorld elcheapo side fire box smoker.  Thankfully I was given it when relatives split the sheets.  Works great as a cold smoker.  Best I can say about it.  But WTH everyone needs a cold smoker for things like cheese and raw veggies.  This "Spring" if the snow around here ever melts (although I have to admit my Crocuses are doing well through the snow) I'll be buying a MES 30--plus, plus, plus.  You know how that goes.  LOL

    Just me saying

  16. bryanmp9c

    bryanmp9c Fire Starter

    I would go with the Oklahoma joe. With a few mods you would be set
  17. concordeer

    concordeer Smoke Blower

    Love my Ok Joe Longhorn. Sealed all the cracks with high temp sealant for $8. Lined the doors with wood stove gasket for $14. Lowered the exaust to grate level with a 3" elbow for $3. Cooks as good as a $900 unit.
  18. bryanmp9c

    bryanmp9c Fire Starter

    Yea I haven't used mine yet but I like the build quality. I have a thread going in the wood smoker section with my mods. Check it out and let me know what you think.
  19. Just remember that the Highlander is considerably smaller in cooking area than the Longhorn. 1060 si

    compared to 874si of cooking area. Of course it's lighter and takes less space as well.

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