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Vertical Smoker -vs- Offset Smoker? - Need advice on buying one

Daba's BBQ

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Good morning all.

A few weeks back I got a very cheap, very small, Char-Broil offset from FB Marketplace. It is a piece of junk. I sold it and now I am in the market for another smoker.

I always liked the idea of vertical smoking and heard that WSM is a great one, but I am turned off by that flimsy little aluminum door. I don't know much about Pit Barrel smokers but read great things about them, and they do seem a bit easier to work with. Now, don't laugh, but how does one add charcoal/wood to the Pit Barrel? I don't see an outside opening.

As for offset smokers - Oklahoma Joe is the name I keep hearing good things about, but honestly, I don't know much about specific brands to make a fair assessment of what is available.

Given that this will be my first crack at using a non-pellet smoker, I was thinking about getting a used one from FB Marketplace, OfferUp, or Craigslist. I don't want to go through the nightmare I went through with the Char-Broil.

Any advice is appreciated

"Feed the love"

Peace
 

Marknmd

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Which thread would you like us to reply to?


 

DougE

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I like my Oklahoma Joe Highland, and it works fairly well. While the steel is thicker than the cheap char grillers, and the like, it's still an entry level stick burner. If I ever upgrade, or do a build, it will be to something with a minimum of 1/4 inch steel. Thicker steel = better heat retention.

On the drum smokers, basically you're starting with all the fuel you need for the cook at the beginning, as I understand it.
 

DougE

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Which thread would you like us to reply to?


Maybe give answers that contradict each other in both? :emoji_laughing:
 

tx smoker

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Which thread would you like us to reply to?
I noticed that. Double posting again. I thought that topic had previously been covered.

I love my insulated vertical cabinet smoker. Just a recommendation: build one. You can fabricate it in any way you like that's to your preferences and specifications.

 

SecondHandSmoker

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Vertical:

Offset:

Vertical/offset combo:

Offset Vertical:
 

Daba's BBQ

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Vertical:

Offset:

Vertical/offset combo:

Offset Vertical:
Thanks. But there is no way I can afford any of these. I appreciate the help though
 

sawhorseray

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So what's your price range? As with most things in life, you'll get what you pay for. RAY
 

millerbuilds

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Good morning all.

A few weeks back I got a very cheap, very small, Char-Broil offset from FB Marketplace. It is a piece of junk. I sold it and now I am in the market for another smoker.

I always liked the idea of vertical smoking and heard that WSM is a great one, but I am turned off by that flimsy little aluminum door. I don't know much about Pit Barrel smokers but read great things about them, and they do seem a bit easier to work with. Now, don't laugh, but how does one add charcoal/wood to the Pit Barrel? I don't see an outside opening.

As for offset smokers - Oklahoma Joe is the name I keep hearing good things about, but honestly, I don't know much about specific brands to make a fair assessment of what is available.

Given that this will be my first crack at using a non-pellet smoker, I was thinking about getting a used one from FB Marketplace, OfferUp, or Craigslist. I don't want to go through the nightmare I went through with the Char-Broil.

Any advice is appreciated

"Feed the love"

Peace
I have both a off set and a Pit Barrel. If I had to choose one, it would be the Pit Barrel Cooker(PBC). The PBC has a basket in the bottom that you fill will cold charcoal and wood chunks. You then pour a hot coals on top, load with meat and let it do it's magic. You either hang food or use the grate. Out of the box it is not a true smoker as it runs at 270-300 degrees, with some simple mods it can easily be run at 225. A full basket of Charcoal will go 8-10 hours depending on the ambient temp.

Pit Barrel Pros:
- Set it and forget it use
- Ceramic coated
- Ability to hang or grate food
- Versatile
- Huge network of recipes
- Ton of commercial modifications available
- Rib cooking machine

Pit Barrel Cons:
- Out of the box it does not operate below 270
- Long runs require adding fuel, depending on what you are cooking
- Does not come with wheels (most people buy a 30 gallon drum wheel kit off amazon)
- Size, even the biggest one can only cook one packer brisket

In reality it is tough to compare against an off-set, but for it's price and quality it is tough to beat

I use my PBC as a daily cooker along with my kettle, I only use my off-set for big cooks when I am cooking for more than 4-6 people. If you are thinking about buying one, I would spend some time on their website and if you are on Facebook, I would check out the page Pit Barrel Nation to learn more.

- Jason
 

raymo76

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Joined Aug 8, 2011
I always liked the idea of vertical smoking and heard that WSM is a great one, but I am turned off by that flimsy little aluminum door.

I heard Harry Soo say he replaces all his WSM doors with Cajun Bandit doors for that very reason. He’s won a lot of competitions with the humble WSM. I’d say he knows something about the topic.
 

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