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Best Charcoal Grill/Smoker Box Combo under $800 (around the $150-$300 range)


Fire Starter
Joined Sep 12, 2013
When I checked the Amazing Ribs website, one of the moderators said that you should avoid the offset smokers (charcoal grills with smoker boxes) like the  Brinkmann Pitmaster, Brinkmann Smoke'N Pit Professional (a.k.a. SNPP), Char-Broil Silver Smoker, Char-Broil American Gourmet, and especially the Char-Griller Smokin Pro. He did recommend the Brinkmann Trailmaster with a vertical meat chamber but I can't find one in my area. He recommended ones like Horizon and Lang, and they are right now more than what I can afford.

I was wondering if I should just fool with these brands, just get their grills and ignore the smoker boxes, or bite the bullet.


Meat Mopper
Joined Aug 5, 2013
I have the vertical trailmaster, have only had it a couple of months but I'm loving it so far. There's a link in my signature line to the modifications I did when I put it together. If you're looking for that you need to look at Home Depot, they had free shipping when I got mine. Not sure if they do that everywhere.


Meat Mopper
Joined Jun 29, 2013
Hi Jaybird,

Back in June I purchased my first smoker , it is a horizontal offset - The 20" Oklahoma Joe Longhorn.

I got it at Lowes for just over 400 bucks. Granted not between 150-300 bucks, but certainly below 800 bucks.

Now while it is an "ok" smoker, it has some weaknesses that will a little mod work can be made into a very good smoker for the money.


The area where the cooking chamber lid, and firebox lid, close on the unit leaks - ie not the greatest fit.

The gap between the firebox door when closed and the firebox, is fairly large - not good when trying to control the draw through the dampener  to control temp.

The area where the smokestack enters the cooking chamber leaks.

The temp variance from the right side of cooking chamber, to left side, was fairly large.( guess typical for horizontals perhaps).

The mods I did to improve:

Applied a Nomex gasket to the firebox and cook chamber, practically eliminated the leaks there.

Ordered a custom convection plate from Horizon they make for this smoker to help even out the temps across cooking chamber. Got a custom charcoal basket from them as well.

Before I do a smoke, I fill the gap between firebox door and firebox best I can with aluminum foil. I do the same where smokestack enters chamber.

I did my first boston butt yesterday for pulled pork, was able to maintain around 240 degrees very consistently throughout the day. I am pleased with the end result. The additions added around 160 bucks or so. Still below 800 I guess.

Anyway just wanted to mention as an option you might consider.

You can see the mods I did to it here:


Good luck in your quest!

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