🔥 Offset Smoker vs Pellet Smoker – Which One is Better?

If you are planning to buy a new BBQ smoker but are stuck between offset smoker vs pellet smoker. Which is better, the new leader of trending pellet smokers or traditional offset smokers?

Some offset smokers and pellet smokers look almost alike but both cook your food in different ways, as the fuel is on opposite sides of each other, and when it comes to ease of use, the one is far ahead.

Before you buy one of the two, let me ask you a question, do you know the difference between the two and which one is the better option?

You can’t decide by toss because your money comes from hard work. This compression article from pellet smoker vs offset smoker will give you all the information so that you can choose the best of the two that are best for your version of the backyard.

Overview – Offset Smoker vs Pellet Smoker

You have come here so go ahead so that you can make the right decision.

What is Offset Smoker?

There are many designs and types of offset smokers that are marketed. For example, the horizontal smoker, barrel smoker, stick smoker, pipe smoker, or side firebox smoker are the most traditional types of barbecue. Most offset smokers have a small fire that is attached to a large cooking box.

What differentiates a firebox from a cooking compartment is its basic design, which does no harm as it cooks your meat at a lower temperature for a longer period of time and gives you the best taste of food cooked at a lower temperature.

The firebox is designed in such a way that it protects the food from direct heat. The heat and smoke go into the cooking box through a chamber that comes out of the chimney, which you can control. You know it’s a priceless gem when it comes to smoking an offset smoker.

Offset smokers use 100% hardwood or charcoal as the fuel that gives a traditional and authentic smoky flavor to your meat.

What We Like

  • Cheaper than pellet smokers
  • Plenty of cooking areas for a backyard party
  • Best barbecue bark that tastes great and has traditional flavor.
  • Direct fire allows you to roast meats, for this, you need to arrange charcoal at the bottom of the cooking chamber.
  • You can add fuel through the firebox door without losing smoke and heat.
  • No electricity is required to bring anywhere without any hassle.
  • It will last more years with less care

What We Don’t Like

  • Dealing with offset smokers requires some time and practice.
  • When it comes to temperature control in cooking in cold and rainy weather it is very difficult.
  • With offset smokers you need to repeatedly check the temperature and adjust the heat, smoking manually.
  • Most offset smokers are made of steel that has been high-duty painted. The paint will wear off over time and the unit is prone to rusting, although this can be easily fixed.

What is Pellet Smoker?

Both pellet smoker and pellet grill are similar, in simple language, it is a modern version of offset smoker which is equipped with electronic features. It looks and performs well too. It has a firebox on the side where the heat is released from which the food is cooked.

Running the firebox requires 100% pure hardwood pellets that are ignited by the auger system, producing as much heat and smoke as it needs to do automatically. The LCD display panel for temperature information is integrated with the Firebox. It usually cooks at the temperature you set.

Offset smoker and pellet smoker are for longer and lower temperature cooking, pellet smoker gives you more convenience and freedom than offset smoker by monitoring the food at all times, but it needs electricity to function properly.

We’ve found that some hardcore enthusiasts believe that the smoke from pellet smokers is less traditional and a bit moister.

Whatever one may say, the truth is that the popularity of pellet smokers continues to grow. There’s so much to love in the competitive barbecue pellet smoker that you can’t argue too much, as it’s capable of producing competition-worthy meat with ease.

What We Like

  • No more babysitting, set and forget technique means you’ll get messages when the food is ready to eat.
  • Great for both beginners as well as a professional smoker.
  • Some pellet smoker models are also excellent for grilling.
  • Excellent in terms of fuel efficiency.
  • Automatic temperature control means there will be no effect to your food due to a drop in temperature or a rise in temperature.
  • Some pellet smokers go a step further with temperature controls that use a WiFi enabled system so you can control from your phone.
  • The pellet grill virtually reduces the chances of the meat burning, bitter or foul-tasting.
  • Convection fans distribute heat to cook evenly for an ideal environment for baking and roasting.

What We Don’t Like

  • A pellet smoker is more expensive than an offset smoker.
  • If you want to use it for outdoor grilling, you need to provide electricity to run this pellet smoker.
  • Palette smokers smoke less than offset smokers, depending on the flavor and color you want.

Comparison Chart

Let us move a little further where you will understand the difference between a pellet smoker and an offset smoker. Let’s compare (Pellet smokers vs charcoal smokers) in the chart below!

Offset SmokerPellet Smoker
Price range $200-$2,000+ Price range $200-$2,000+
Cooking capacity from 300 sq. in. to 1100 sq. in. Cooking capacity from 300 sq. in. to 950 sq. in.
Need experience in using Easily used by beginners & experts
Some models are suitable for smoking and grillingMost of the models 8-1 cooking versatile (smoking, baking, roasting, braising, and grilling)
Hardwood and charcoal as a fuel source100% hardwood pellet uses as a fuel source & electricity for running
Running costs are low to moderate, depending on what type of wood is used.Running cost is moderate
Generally, offset smokers are not portable.Some pellet smokers are portable and some are designed for tabletops.
A simple design classic designStunning designs will furnish your backyard kitchen

Best Offset and Pellet Smoker Models Comparision

Char-Griller Smokin Pro

Offset Smoker vs Pellet Smoker

The Char-Griller Smokin Pro is made from heavy-duty steel and coated with high-quality black paint and has cooking grates made from high-quality cast iron that’s great for evenly distributing heat to all areas.

The char-griller smoking pro has a total cooking area of 830 square inches, 580 square inches for the primary, and 250 square inches for Texas-style BBQ.

This unit has a great sealing lid for heat and smoke. It has two air vents to control heat and smoke. It has a lid-mounted temperature gauge that allows you to monitor the temperature of your food, plus adjustable fire grates let you cook over slow and high heat.



  • Large cooking area
  • Smoking efficiently
  • Adds flavor
  • Easy to clean
  • Portable


  • May it will get rust
  • Plastic wheels

Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2020 Upgrade 

Offset Smoker vs Pellet Smoker

This Z-Grills ZPA-450A comes with great features and excellent performance. It is made of heavy-duty steel and high-quality powder-coated gray paint that resists corrosion. Porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates are excellent at heat distribution and work great in harsh weather.

It comes with a total of 452 square inches including a 128-square-inch warming rack and a 324-square-inch main cooktop. This versatile pellet smoker is great for 4-6 people and is ideal for the patio or backyard.

Already discussed above to control the temperature. It has a digital automatic temperature control system that maintains +-/10 degrees. Hopper capacity is 15-pound which is great for 8-15 hours of cooking time.

This portable pellet smoker is upgraded with PID technology to better maintain the temperature and deliver the best smoky flavor of meat, just set up and enjoy time with guests or friends.

This pellet smoker includes a meat probe, side table, front table, two wheels, grease tray, and tools holder.


  • Portable design
  • Value for money
  • Price tag
  • Easy to use


  • The side table doesn’t make sense

Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker

Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker is made from heavy-duty steel and cooking grates with porcelain-coated cast iron that’s great for retaining heat.

This offset smoker provides a spacious main cooking area with a total cooking surface of 1060 square inches, 309 square inches for the warming rack, and 751 square inches, making it an excellent choice for a backyard party or event.

The best part of this offset smoker is the multiple adjustable dampers to control the temperature and smoke, the lid also includes a thermometer that helps monitor the firebox temperature.

This reverse flow smoker has a customized setup that allows the use of reverse flow smokers removing the baffles and options you have for traditional offset smokers.

It has a large fuel basket that allows charcoal to be added for longer cooking times without losing temperature and smoke, as well as providing the easiest way to clean.

This offset smoker includes some basic features like front shelves, bottom shelves, cool-touch handles, two legs, and two stands for easy portability.


  • Designed for reverse flow
  • Huge charcoal box
  • Durable
  • Easy convert into classic smokers
  • Smokestack improves airflow for the best smokey taste
  • Dampers made it easy to control temperature precisely


  • Price
  • Paint peeling

Traeger Pro 34

I have no words for Traeger Pro 34. How can I appreciate it? We have recommended it to many pellet smoker fans. Crafted for best performance and powerful steel and durable powder-coated finish, porcelain-coated cooking grates deliver long life.

The high gauge lid keeps smoke and temperature inside. The warming rack and main cooktop have a cooking area of 884 square inches which is excellent for impressing your guests.

The Digital Pro Controller comes with advanced grilling logic which means temperature control to guarantee precise grilling and dual meat probes to check the internal temperature of the cooking foods.

The temperature ranges between 180°F – 450°F which is excellent for low and slow cooking, and the 18-pound hopper capacity is also good for cooking all night long.

This pellet smoker comes with all the neat features needed for a great smoky meat tortilla. This versatile pellet smoker features stability, easy to clean, and easy maneuverability. Read full compression between pit boss vs Traeger


  • Price
  • Excellent temperature control
  • Great cooking area
  • Removable grease tray
  • Temperature range from 180 to 450 degree


  • No table

Final Verdict

I hope this Offset Smokers and Pellet Smoker article has answered all your questions. The question is, which one is better and which one is the best option for you?

Both are great for smoking. But if you are new to smoking then offset smoker is not exactly right for you. It will require a lot of work on temperature control but is perfect for a classic smoky flavor.

Pellet smokers are a great option so if you want to start smoking today you can do so by following some temperature control tips but they are a bit more expensive than offset smokers and with the classic smoky charcoal expected here the taste doesn’t last.

An offset smoker vs a pellet smoker totally depends on your requirement and what type of smoker you prefer. Both are great but these days pellet smokers are gaining more popularity.

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