Debating to get a Charcoal/Wood Grill vs a Charcoal/Wood Smoker with offsite firebox

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Original poster
Apr 3, 2014
I am currently looking to replace my old charcoal grill that I've had for 10 years.

I am more of a grilling person, (fajitas, chicken,etc) never smoked but love to start now. I am debating weather to get a heavy duty grill with a smoker box or just a heavy duty grill.

My concern is that can I use the cooking area just like a regular grill in an offset smoker?


My current budget is between $300-$600.
You may consider getting the grill you want and buying an inexpensive Brinkman "bullet" R2D2 looking smoker.   This way you are happy with the grill that you use all the time and you can try smoking for only a few dollars more.    You can also do both at the same time with two separate pieces of equipment.  Many, many of us learned and started out on the ECB (el cheapo brinkman) and upgraded to what we want once we decided to make smoking a regular thing.

Welcome to the forum!!
The answer to your question is, it depends on the model of smoker you purchase.  Some smokers will have the option to be setup as a grill, others may not.  I'm a computer programmer from Burlington, ON, so I have no interest in BBQ retail.  That being said, I would recommended checking out a store like BBQ's galore in Burlington.  They have a wide selection of "toys," so you should be able to find what you need within your budget.  The Burlington one is on Harvester just East of Guelph Line.  There's one in Oakville too, but I'm not sure exactly where it is.  Google them and you'll find the website.

Based on what you usually cook, I would recommend not getting an offset smoker.  Good offset smokers are expensive.  Unless you're going to smoke on it weekly, for the money you're investing, you'll probably be happier with a simple charcoal grill like a Weber performer.  As a grill it's great, as a smoker it's ok.  Temperature control can be frustrating at times, but if you're only smoking a few times a year, you shouldn't have any issues.

It's your money, so take the advise with a grain of salt.

Hope this helps.

Guelph Smoke

Weber 22.5" Gold

Brinkmann Smoker
Thanks for the posts.

Yes, I am from south texas, and most weekends we like to grill. My wife gave a kingsford grill that worked great. She bought it a local Sams club. But since it was not a solid steel the heat is not retained now and I constantly have to add more charcoal during my cooks.

A friend of mine just purchased a Lyfetyme grill and he can cook for hours with very little wood. He paid top dollar.

The model I was looking at were the smokers from academy.

And Grill


has good reviews about this brand. For 100 I can get the mid size smoker and for 200 I can get a little thicker smoker.

I guess you guys are correct. I can buy a separate smoker and try it like that.
Buy a 22.5" Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) for $399, then grab a 22.5" Weber Kettle off of craigslist for and additional $50-$100. They both use the same fuel, and since the top racks are the same you can take chicken staight off of the smoker and pop the entire rack onto the grill to finish off stuff with a nice char.

Both have the same size footprint as well so they don't take up much combined space.
you could also build your own that would do both, not that hard to build and you wouldnt be out much. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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