Offset Smoker Vs Pellet Smoker | Which One Is The Best?

Last updated on October 17th, 2020 at 06:36 am

Generally, this question confuses every buyer. Should they buy a traditional offset smoker or a trending pellet grill? We are here to clarify the differences, advantages, and disadvantages among both of them. It basically Offset Smoker vs Pellet Smoker. A comparison that will solve many of your problems undoubtedly.

Though they both look similar in shapes, they run on different fuel sources. The cooking method in both cases slightly varies too. A notable difference between them is their ease of use. And, that’s before you even consider their varying price points. But, if you are still curious about more, this article will help you analyze the most important features of both the offset and pellet smokers. You will see a clear comparison that will help you decide the best one for you.

offset vs pallet smokers

What is an Offset Smoker?

There are multiple names of Offset smokers. Generally, people name them as side firebox smoker, pipe smoker,  horizontal smoker, barrel smoker, or stick smoker. The most traditional and simplest cooking procedure makes offset smoker different from others. You will see a firebox attached to a barrel in almost every offset smoker. The barrel is the main chamber which holds all the meal for cooking especially BBQ.

But, in comparison case, the basic isn’t everything for sure. If we categorize smoker types, offset smokers would lie in the golden category undoubtedly. It is in the diamond category especially in the case of smoking. The ideal temperature settings of offset smokers help you cook and smoke the best foods for you and your guests. There is a specific control system responsible for controlling heat and smoke properly.

Its fuel source can be charcoal, wood, or wood chips for better smokey food.

What is a Pellet Smoker?

A pellet smoker or usually named as a pellet grill is a modern type of smoker with comparatively advanced features. We can say it is an updated version of the offset smoker. They look like twins and work on almost the same protocols. The difference comes when we talk about their fuel sources. Pellet smokers need 100% pure wood pellets. We place pellets in the firebox because the smoker needs to automatically maintain the temperature we have already specified.

Offset smokers usually need babysitting. Pellet smokers need a push at the start and don’t need too much attention as compared to the offset smokers. But, pellet smokers require power every time. Extreme professionalists say that pellets smoker produce slightly low smoke in the food as compared to the offset smokers. The food prepared by pellet grills will also have a little extra moisture in it.

Offset Smoker Pros
  • Offset smoker generates a true taste of food especially barbecue.
  • Ideal for cooking lots of food
  • You are free to cook food over the fire of the firebox. If you want to cook more food, maintain the charcoal under the cooking chamber and place your food inside it.
  • The firebox has a separate door. Generally, you can use it to add more fuel. You won’t have to open the cooking chamber which will save a notable amount of heat and smoke
  • If you take care of your offset smoker, it will be your long term companion. Though you have to maintain it properly, you will enjoy its availability.
  • They’re generally cheaper than pellet smokers
  • Offset smokers don’t require electricity. You can take it anywhere you want.
Pellet Smoker Pros
  • Pellet smokers work on set and forget technology, It means, you just have to set it up at the start, and it will do most of the rest itself.
  • They have an automated temperature control system. This system usually prevents the smoker from dipping the temperature. Dips and spikes can effectively harm the meat.
  • It’s very hard to burn meat and end up with that bitter, charred taste
  • Few of the pellet smokers have a wifi system. It will help you handle the necessary things through your phone.
  • Though pellet smokers are the best for beginners, professionals also use these smokers most often.
  • Some of the convection fans regulate the smoke and heat so that all parts of meat get even heat and smoke.
  • Some pellet smokers can be used to grill as well
  • They can work efficiently in terms of fuel usage.
Offset Smoker Cons
  • Generally, it takes some time to learn how to cook well on offset smokers.
  • It means they are not for beginners.
  • You will have a hard time duty of checking the temperature on regular basis during the cooking procedure.
  • If needed, you will have to adjust the temperature yourself.
  • It will become pretty hard to cook in a wet and rainy atmosphere because of the difficult temperature control system.
  • Check out our article about the necessary precautions you have to take while grilling in the rain.
  • Many offset smokers have a steel body that may rust if the paint starts to flake but you can fix it easily.
Pellet Smoker Cons
  •  It needs electricity to run, So you might need an inverter in case of an emergency.
  • Generally, they are expensive than offset smokers.
  • Mostly, the food obtained through pellet smokers has less smoke as compared to the food obtained from offset smokers.
  • Grilling can not be an option in many of the pellet smokers. Because the temperature can not get to the required one.

Offset Smoker Vs Pellet Smoker Comparison

 
Offset Smoker
Pallet Smoker
Cooking Types:
Smoking and Grilling
Smoking, roasting, baking, and grilling (in some pellet smokers only)
Capacity:
Small to very large
Same as an offset smoker
Price:
$100 to $2000
$300 to $5000
Type of fuel:
Wood, charcoal, wood chips
Wood pellets only(pure)
Running cost:
Too High
Moderate
Power
Not needed
Yes, required
Portable?
Available, but a bit difficult
Some of them are portable

Best Offset Smokers vs Best Pellet Smokers | A Brief Comparison

We will describe a few offset as well as pellet smokers according to their price range. We will cover the best budget, mid-range, and high-end offset, and pellet smokers.

For more details, please read best offset smokers and best pallet smokers

Offset Smoker vs Pellet Smoker | Best Budget

 
Char-Grill Smokin Pro Offset BBQ
Z-Grills ZPG-450A
Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro
Z-Grills ZPG-450A
Features

  • Steel Smoker with paint

  • Cast Iron gates

  • Handles are of timber, can get hot


  • Digital controller keeps the temperature within 10°F

  • Fuel usage is efficient, 1 pound per hour


Cooking Types
Smoking and grilling 
Smoking, roasting, baking, grilling
Capacity 
580 sq. in. smoking + 250 sq. in. grilling 
450 square inches
Warranty
1 year   
  3 years

Offset Smoker vs Pellet Smoker | Best Mid-range

 
Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn
Traeger Pro Series
2. Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse flow Offset Smoker
Traeger TFB42LZBC Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
Features 

  • Heavy-duty 2.5mm painted steel barrel

  • Firebox for excellent heat retention

  • Reverse flow technique for even cooking

  • More dampers for easy heat control

  • Thermometer available

  • Cool handles


  • Powder-coated steel

  •  keeps it secure from rusting

  • A Pro controller reads 60 readings per sec

  • Cart and wheels

  •  Hopper cleanout feature, easy changing of pellet

Cooking Types
Smoking and grilling 
Smoking, roasting, baking, grilling
Capacity 
751 sq. in. smoking + 309 sq. in. grilling   
884 square inches
Warranty
2 years
  3 years

Offset Smoker vs Pellet Smoker | Best High End

 
KBQ C-60 BBQ Smoker Pit 
Memphis Grill Pro
best wood smoker
Features 

  •  Stainless steel

  • Inverted flame firebox, creates blue smoke.

  • Convection fans available for heat regulation

  • Controlled heat level

  • Multiple racks, large capacity

  • Smaller footprint

  • Hand made

  • Too much storage space


  • No rust possibility due to 100% stainless steel

  • Dual-fans to distribute the heat around

  • Efficient pellet consumption

  • Duo of pellet hoppers to mix flavors easily

  • Wifi available, control it by your phone

  • 3 meat probes space available

  • Exceptional heat retention due to double wall

Cooking Types
Smoking and grilling 
Smoking, roasting, baking, grilling
Capacity 
960 sq in 
562 sq. in. or 834 sq. in.
Warranty
2 years
 3 years on electronics

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