If you're been perusing the displays of BBQ smokers for sale in your local hardware stores, you may be thinking that you'll have no problem picking one up for a couple hundred bucks. While this is true for your initial spend, we can almost guarantee that this won't be the last money you put down.
The proliferation of cheap BBQ smokers, especially those modeled after the traditional offset smokers of Central Texas fame, may seem like a bargain but usually don't have the staying power necessary to qualify as a good buy.
Higher end smokers definitely come with a heftier price tag, but it's for good reason. These offset smokers that run into the thousands are built to last. Made with thick, ¼" steel pipe and plate, round, durable tubing for the legs and steel wagon wheels, you won't have to worry about these smokers warping or falling apart on you. Not to mention, the thick steel will heat up and hold temperature better.
Theseoffsets will also often have fully welded pits and strapped chamber doors to contain the smoke. We recommend looking for one with a convection plate to help evenly distribute the heat.
If you're going to need to feed an entire little league team or wedding at any point in the near future, these roomy smokers will let you cook up enough meat to feed an army, or at the very least at least 45 burgers or so.
You will still have to watch over the cooking and it takes practice to control the vents and heat, but that's why lounge chairs and cold beer was invented. In the end, a well-made offset smoker will usually run you over $1,000 but will be well worth the cost over time.