Charcoal-grilled meat with its fire-kissed flavor and smoky aroma is a tradition that goes back hundreds if not thousands of years in human history. The same is true of charcoal and wood smokers that can be used to make competition-level barbecue.
So, it’s no wonder that grill manufacturers have been more than happy to produce charcoal grills with offset smoker boxes as a combination unit. They allow you to grill a steak over a charcoal fire in the primary chamber for an average Tuesday night supper.
Yet when the weekend comes you can fire up the offset smoker box and open the vent to deliver a pleasant level of hot smoke to the primary chamber for some barbecue ribs, pork shoulder, or classic beef brisket.
Of course, this also means that there are more than one charcoal grill and smoker combo out there that was rushed to market in hopes of capturing some quick profits.
The manufacturer may have cut corners in materials, been sloppy with the engineering, or simply threw the grill together from other components used in other parts of their line.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the characteristics and features that you want to prioritize in the best charcoal grill and smoker combo. This includes things like material selection, versatility in features, and thoughtfulness in engineering. Along the way, we’ll explore how some of these features work better for preparing certain dishes.
This versatile combination charcoal grill and offset smoker typically calls for a barrel style body. The primary charcoal grilling area is often larger and longer.
A picnic is a memorable experience, especially when the whole family is present. And get together, camp parties are more fun with smoked and grilled food.
The Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill CC1830F features an offset smoker that makes your cooking experience fun and interesting. Of course, we all want a grill smoker combo that provides a practical solution to our smoked recipes, ideal for home use, and as well as accommodates many guests.
This unit is clean and super easy to use. I highly recommend it for an easy and quick BBQ grill for family picnics and pool parties.
The primary grilling area is 438 square inches. The warming rack has an additional 179 square inches, making a total of 617 square inches.
I think that's sufficient enough to cook for a family of 5. The grill smoker combo offers a smoked taste, keeping your meat tender and juicy.
What I like
Excellent built and construction: Royal Gourmet used high-quality paint that is heat resistant. I've been using mine for several years, and the paint has never peeled or chipped off.
The porcelain-coated wire cooking grate retains heat evenly and adequately, keeping the juices inside and maintain a tender and juicy meat.
Durable: Thanks to the porcelain steel cooking grates, this unit is 100% rust-resistant.
It is solidly built with durable construction. You can roast, grill, smoke, bake, braise, and barbeque whenever you want to.
The unit features a heavy-duty lid, a large spring handle, and a cool touch. To enhance the airflow, the model features an adjustable damper.
Good performance: The Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill combines charcoal grill, offset smoker, and barbeque. This means you can grill and smoke meat on the go, and with no hassle.
Portable and convenient: Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill CC1830F is a really comfortable charcoal grill smoker combo. I find the temperature quite easy to read because it is boldly displayed on the built-in thermometer.
What's more? For portability, Royal Gourmet added two wheels specifically for more comfortable transportation. You cannot get that with your traditional grill.
Feel free to move the unit around your yard or patio. And when it comes to storage, you will find two storage racks, beneath and at the front of the charcoal smoker.
What I don't like
Assembly can be a hassle: Although I'm generally happy with this unit from Royal Gourmet, especially with its durability and portability, some customers find it difficult to assemble.
Others find the assembly fairly easy to do, with the included labels on its parts. I think you should seek help from a professional. I did mine under an hour.
Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill is an excellent grill with impressive portability, durability, and excellent performance.
I love the fantastic features, even at a very competitive price. I can't but commend the charcoal pan with an adjustable height. The charcoal grill smoker combo is appropriately designed and perfectly suits any exterior or interior home decor.
Good Buy or a Good-Bye?
If you're looking for a practical and durable Grill, the Royal Gourmet CC1830F Charcoal Grill will be a good buy. It comes with a nice feature that won't disappoint you. It is portable, convenient, and easy to maintain.
The Char-Griller 1224 is one of the best charcoal grill smoker combos on the market. But on the higher end of the price spectrum.
This unit offers 830 square inches of cooking space and the ability to smoke and grill.
It comes with an independent firefox, removable charcoal drawers, and the cast-iron grates. What's more: expect a built-in temperature gauge too.
What I like
Large cooking space: The main grill comes at a cooking space of 580 square inches, and the firebox takes 250 square inches. That's a total of 830 square inches.
This puts this model ahead of the Royal Gourmet (space-wise). And if you plan to host large parties or simply want to roast and smoke your meat in bulk, this unit from Char-grill is worth considering.
Durable Cast-iron grates: Char-Griller made this product, using incredibly durable cast-iron grates, which are personally a boon as they are sturdy, durable, and won't wrap. Remember that these are iron materials. So make sure you have them cleaned thoroughly after use.
Outstanding Side firebox: The side firebox is the exceptional feature of this model and allows you to smoke and slow cook your favorite meats easily. It comes at a total storage space of 250 square inches to grill and smoke on the go. You can smoke meat inside the firebox or grill directly in it.
Flexible charcoal drawers: I love that you can slide the charcoal drawer of the Char-Griller 1224. I was able to add more charcoal inside and clean the ashes easily. You don't need to slide or lift the grates when cooking, which makes it faster and hassle-free.
Temperature gauge: As said earlier, Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro 830 comes with a built-in thermometer, which makes it a good smoker because it helps maintains an even temperature. And you don't need to open and release the smoke.
What I don't like
Difficulty in transport : Because this charcoal grill smoker combo comes with two wheels for its four legs, it can be bulkier to move. Coming at 146 pounds, transporting the grill is not a one-man job.
Assembly issue: Although I'm generally happy with this unit, I think it can be challenging to assemble. Others find the assembly reasonably easy to do, with the included labels on its parts. I think you only need to recruit a friend who knows how to put things together or a professional to help with assembly.
Good buy or goodbye?
The Char-Griller 1224 is a perfect grill for anyone passionate about smoking and grilling at the same time. Since it's possible to smoke meats on the grill while grilling on the other, I find it very versatile; its spacious surface area also works for anyone who wants to grill in bulk — not forgetting the excellent cast iron grates and the built-in thermostat for easier smoking and grilling. This is a good buy for any professional chef.
3. Oklahoma Joe's Highland Charcoal Smoker Grill Combo
Okay, I'm presenting another unit from my list of the best charcoal grill smoker combo. It's the Oklahoma Joe's Highland Charcoal Smoker Grill Combo. This beast allows you to grill delicious barbeque, smoke your favorite ribs, roast a whole turkey, and more.
The huge cooking space makes this unit outstanding when compared to other brands.
Will you continue compromising the wacky taste of those so-called BBQs and say, " at least, this is better than nothing."
It's pretty good to overlook many things, but when it comes to food, you shouldn't. I don't.
Being foody, I love to eat tasty, juicy, and delicious barbeque. I know you do, too, right? Imagine every bite reminds you of all the goodies in this world? That's why I'm introducing the Oklahoma Joe's Highland Charcoal Smoker Grill Combo to you.
What I like
Large cooking space: If your barbeque lacks much of cooking space, you may not prepare several foods at once. Let's assume you have a barbeque party, and many people will be around. You don't expect your guests to wait for long hours for your food to be done. You should make your cooking fast and with a large space for grilling and smoking.
The Oklahoma Joe's Highland Charcoal grill and smoker combo come with 619 square inches of cooking space. That way, you can have sufficient space to prepare many barbecues to serve your guests.
Portable option: Oklahoma Joe's Highland is a really convenient charcoal grill smoker combo. I find the temperature quite easy to read because it is boldly displayed on the built-in thermometer (like the Royal Gourmet)
What's more? For portability, Oklahoma Joe's Highland added two wheels specifically for easier transportation.
Feel free to move the unit around your yard or patio.
Temperature gauge: As said earlier, Oklahoma Joe's Highland comes with a built-in thermometer, which makes it a good smoker because it helps maintains an even temperature. And like the Royal Gourmet, you don't need to open and release the smoke.
High-quality Cast-iron grates: Oklahoma Joe's Highland made this product using incredibly high quality cast iron grates, which are excellent as they are sturdy, durable, and won't wrap. Remember that these are iron materials too. So make sure you have them cleaned thoroughly after use. You can use a rough brush. However, this feature makes it easy to clean.
What I don't like
Issues with Transport: Like most units reviewed, because this charcoal grill smoker combo comes with two wheels for its four legs, it can be bulkier to move. Transporting the grill can also be difficult due to its large size. You will need a helping hand.
Good buy or goodbye?
If you want to grill delicious barbeque, smoke your favorite ribs, roast a whole turkey, and do more, checking this charcoal grill smoker combo from Oklahoma Joe will be the right decision. The huge cooking space makes this unit outstanding when compared to other brands. Plus, it is durable and easy to use.
If you love to BBQ up different kinds of food and enjoy the outdoor experience for an extended period of time, then considering this heavy-duty charcoal grill smoker combo will do the trick.
This unit from Giantex is portable and can serve anywhere from 5 to 6 people. It has a space for additional racks that can be packed up when necessary.
One thing I noticed is that the manufacturer designed this model for heavy-duty usage, especially for trips and vacations.
I love that this charcoal grill is versatile. You can cook in three different ways, such as barbecuing, grilling, and slow smoking using charcoal or wood.
What I like
Portable: The porcelain-enameled cooking grates, foldable shelves, and a space for tools are some of the qualities that make this unit flexible.
The side firebox is also a cool feature of this model and allows you to smoke and slow cook your favorite meats easily.
High quality built and construction: Giantex used high-quality black paint that is heat resistant. I've seen many customers use the combo for several years, and the paint has never peeled or chipped off.
The porcelain-coated wire cooking grate retains heat properly and evenly, keeping the juices inside and maintain a tender and juicy meat.
Large cooking space: The Giantex BBQ Charcoal Grill comes with a total of 642 square inches of cooking space. The primary cooking space is 432 square inches, and the secondary takes 210 square inches. That way, you can have sufficient space to prepare many barbecues to serve your guests.
Excellent quality material: Giantex BBQ Charcoal Grill is specifically made of black coated steel. I also noticed that it is rust-resistant, offering several years of reliable use. Furthermore, the glass fiber bbq mat is handcrafted using a modern and flexible composite material.
Great design: The top lid consists of a thermometer that displays the temperature for an easy read. Wooden handles carefully to prevent your hand from getting burnt.
I checked the front wood shelf, and it is a place you can put your grilling tools for quick reach. Apart from that, Ginatex installed two rolling wheels at the bottom, and they effectively help the charcoal grill smoker combo achieve a free movement. And at the bottom shelf is the additional storage space designed especially for you.
Great working temperature: The working temperature stands from -76 to 599°F, a safe temperate for BBQ.
What I don't like
Not easy to go Transport: Like most units reviewed, because this charcoal grill smoker combo comes with two wheels for its four legs, transporting the grill can also be stressful.
Good buy or Goodbye?
Giantex BBQ Charcoal Grill Portable allows you to enjoy the outdoor experience for a long period of time. The best charcoal grill smoker combo is designed for heavy-duty usage, especially for trips and vacations. The charcoal grill is versatile, allowing you to cook in three different ways, such as barbecuing, grilling, and slow smoking.
The 2 BBQ pieces of mat feature a totally nonstick surface, making it perfect for grilling different types of foods, including eggs, ribs, chicken, steak, bacon, vegetables, shrimps, and more. This will definitely be a good buy.
5. Outsunny 48" Steel Portable Backyard Charcoal BBQ Grill and Offset Smoker Combo
The Outsunny steel portable backyard charcoal BBQ grill and offset smoker combo is the right choice for a newbie griller or for anyone who wants a compact-sized model.
This unit comes with two separate openings: the first for the grill and the offset smoker takes the second, allowing an optimal backyard experience.
An easily read thermometer connects to the lid so you won't have to open the lid before checking the temperature.
A metal grating and two shelves give maximum storage space.
Sturdy, lightweight, easy-to-transport, this charcoal grill smoker combo is a perfect option for anyone looking to cook outdoors.
What I like
Side firebox: The side firebox is a good feature of this model and allows you to smoke and slow cook your favorite meats easily. Feel free to smoke meat inside the firebox or grill directly in it.
Cast-iron grates: Outsunny made this product using incredibly high quality cast iron grates, which are personally excellent as they are sturdy, durable, and won't damage. Remember that these are iron materials. So make sure you have them cleaned thoroughly after use.
Convenient Option: Outsunny 48" Steel Portable Backyard Charcoal BBQ is a convenient charcoal grill smoker combo. I find the temperature quite easy to read because it is boldly displayed on the built-in thermometer.
Outsunny 48" Steel Portable Backyard Charcoal BBQ added two wheels specifically for easier transportation. You cannot get that with your traditional grill.
Feel free to move the unit around your yard or patio. And when it comes to storage, you will find two storage rack, beneath and the front of the charcoal smoker.
What I don't like
Assembly issue: While I love this unit, some people think it can be difficult to assemble. Although I find the assembly fairly easy to do, with the included labels on its parts. I think you only need to consult a professional to help with assembly.
Good buy or goodbye?
This unit is perfect for a newbie griller or for anyone who wants a compact-sized model. With two separate openings: the first for the grill, and the other for the offset smoker, this beast allows you to grill delicious barbeque, smoke your favorite ribs, roast a whole turkey, and more.
Everything to know about charcoal smoker grill combo
With different charcoal grill smoker combos on the market, it can be very time consuming to decide which one to choose. The descriptions, materials, and proprietary “Special Features” that aren’t always all that special can be deceiving
So, I’ve taken a little extra time to take a more in-depth look at just what goes into a quality charcoal grill and offset smoker. This can help serve as a primer for you to sort out the characteristics you prioritize and which ones you might want to filter out, or at least move lower on your list.
How did I pick the best charcoal grill smoker combo?
The most crucial factor which I considered here is the price. Obviously, I know how costly the price of a charcoal grill smoker combo can be.
So what I did was to choose these models in different price ranges. With that, everyone will be able to choose the one that meets their budget.
Here is a quick tip: the best charcoal grill smoker combo comes within the $200-$1000+.
So I focus on this price range.
Because I know that if you choose within these ranges, you're still going to get a good, durable and high-quality grill.
Low budget Categories
Of course, I also did some research on those grills within the lower price range. Many people usually long for cheap grills with high-quality features.
Remember that they are cheap for a reason. You won't be getting the desired result you need.
But I also understand that not everyone wants a durable, high-quality grill that will last for many years. They just want to smoke and grill for the moment. I also selected a brand for them.
Other categories are the luxurious charcoal grill which mostly falls within the higher price range. I know that there are some people who don't have a problem buying this expensive grills.
Luxurious charcoal grills usually feature high-end technologies, large cooking spaces and made with the best materials.
And of course, they are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. So if you got a really big wallet, don't hesitate to go for one.
less significant aspectsI also considered less significant aspects of the charcoal grills. For instance, whether the manufacturer's manual is easy to comprehend.
How did I test?
Having chosen the charcoal grill smoker combo which I find worthy of my lists, next is to carry out the most important thing which is a test. Before I write a review of these grills, I needed to test them accurately.
And this process took me some days. To start the process of testing, I have the grills divided into groups based on their price range.
Obviously, a charcoal grill on the lower price spectrum will be less functional than the expensive ones.
So that's why I segmented them into groups to create a totally unbiased review. So I had to spend a couple more days to cook different kinds of food.
I analyzed the performance during the cooking session. I checked the result for each different cooking technique.
Firstly I cooked a large quantity of whole chicken to see if the grilling part of these combo performs well. I mean if they heat up evenly.
What I did was to heat up the grill to a specific temperature, then Place the meat on it. Using this technique I cooked whole turkey and hamburger for a certain period of time. After completing the cooking section, next was to check how each of them went.
My goal is to confirm if each of the grills was able to warm the meat evenly. And I did that by comparing the meat temperatures.
And I choose the grills that did well. I also applied the same technique with smoking to test the smoking property of this combo.
What I did was to cook these meats and see how they performed under Low temperature.
I babysit the grills and monitor how the temperature fluctuated to know how they were able to maintain the temperature.
After completing this process, I moved over to the cleaning and maintenance aspect. I carefully noticed how easy it was to clean these grills. Of course, I chose the ones that were easy to clean.
Features to consider before investing in a charcoal grill smoker combo
You can find charcoal grill smoker combos in different price ranges. And in most cases, higher prized combos have more features instilled in it.
But also, buying the most expensive grill doesn't automatically translate to the best results.Many cheaper models out there provide superior performance. It's all about knowing which factors to consider and their effects on durability and functionality among different factors. Here are a few of the most essential attributes.
Grilling and smoking really took off at the residential level in the 1950s and 1960s. This was due in large part to contractors rushing to build homes to accommodate the housing boom that went right along with the post-World War Two baby boom.
A lot of the cookie-cutter homes being produced at that time left contractors with excess materials, especially bricks. Which they would fashion into makeshift outdoor charcoal grills, as a hopefully added selling feature.
Many a novice backyard chef burned off their eyebrows and arm hair trying to grill up a simple hamburger on these early improvised household grills.
Something else there was a lot of back then was metal 55-gallon barrels. It didn’t take long for aspiring charcoal grill chefs to grab a hacksaw or a reciprocating saw to cut one in half the long way. A little expanded metal for a grill grate and they had the first charcoal grill and smoker combos.
Of course, this level of improvised engineering left them with air leaks and other design faults, which made it difficult to produce truly high-end meals.
Yet, it earned the barrel-style grill a passionate following that charcoal grill and smoker combo manufacturers draw on to this day.
There are some advantages here that are as true today as they were then. Some offset smokers struggle to maintain a consistent 225 to 250 degrees in the primary smoking chamber.
Anytime the temperature under the lid drops below 225, it’s going to increase the smoke time. With the long barrel-style body, you can build a secondary small charcoal fire in the primary chamber to keep the internal temperature up. This is especially handy in cold weather.
At the same time, the additional square inches inside the offset smoker chamber can double as a warmer for times when you are just grilling up a weeknight meal. It’s also handy for times when you are making two different types of food.
Let’s say that you want to grill up chicken for the adults, and hot dogs for the kids. Being able to sear the hot dogs over the side chamber prevents concerns over cross-contamination, but keeping them from ever accidentally touching the chicken.
The cooking area is a crucial factor to consider. It determines how many foods you can cook on a grill at once.
Before choosing your cooking space, you must determine whether you want to cater to a small group of people (family) or maybe a larger people.
Do you only need this combo for an occasional family Barbeque section? Then a small charcoal grill smoker combo will do the job.
The cooking space will also determine the amount of fuel need for the whole cooking process. Additionally, you also need to consider whether the combo comes with different cooking sections.
Charcoal Grill smokers combo features different temperature ranges.
Before deciding on a grill, ensure that it reaches the temperature that is suited to fit your desired cooking methods. Here are some pointers to keep in mind. Generally, a suitable temperature range for smoking should be around 225°F-250°F.
You will need a high temperature to perform searing. Slow roasting or smoking only requires a low temperature.To perform indirect grilling, ensure that your grill is preheated to 350°F.
Durability and construction
The construction of a charcoal grill smoker combo is equally important because it determines the longevity of the grill. To avoid making a repeat purchase, I'll advise you to select a unit made with high-quality material. That way, it can last for long.
What's the dimension of your backyard? Do you have a small or large backyard? Answer these questions correctly and you're on your way to choose the right grill with an accurate dimension that suits your available space.
Purchasing a large charcoal grill smoker combo when the space in your backyard or patio is minimal, may result in a cramped, unprofessional setup. Instead, measure your backyard space and select the perfect for ease of use.
You also need to consider the weight of the unit especially if you know you'll move it around occasionally.
If you're going to station it in one place, then opting for heavier models won't be a problem.
Alternatively, you can buy a unit that features a wheel for convenient transportation irrespective of its weight.
Add-ons: Racks, Thermometers, and controls
Does the charcoal grill smoker combo feature any extra? It's important to consider these factors if you don't have plans of making an additional purchase, which usually proves to be expensive, apart from the inconvenience.
Some manufacturers often include additional racks, thermometer, and control with the total package- all to simplify your grilling process.
For this long term investment, you need to consider if the model has a warranty on it. This will keep you secured. And in case of any malfunctions, you can confidently contact the manufacturer rather than buying a whole new grill, which is another expense.
Using the best charcoal grill smoker combo- 5 tips
Here, I'm going to outline some helpful tips that will help you fully utilize your investment. Applying these pointers will help guarantee optimal performance and durability.
- Always prepare your unit before use. To start, I usually file the firebox with charcoal before lighting it.
- Preheat your grill to remove any form of contamination
- Check your food regularly to ensure that it's cooking accurately. I check mine every hour.
- After completing the cooking process, clean the grill grate when it is warm. I find it much easier at this stage.
In this last section, I've compiled a list of the frequently asked questions about charcoal grill smoker combo and answer them.
What differentiates a smoker and a grill?
A smoker uses indirect heat, and the grill uses direct heat. The temperature range produced by hot smoke generally only reaches around 225 to 275 degrees.
How can I add a smokey flavor to my food?
Well, that's why you need to choose one of our best charcoal grill smoker combos. They will help you achieve that smoky flavor.
How long can it take a charcoal grill smoker combo to cook food?
Let's say you're cooking meat: the time to complete the meat will largely depend on factors like thickness and type of the meat. A thicker cut will take between 6-8 hours. Other food will depend on its type and the smoker temperature.
Does pre-heating up take longer?
The average charcoal grill smoker combo may take between 30-45 minutes to heat up.
How Can I Maintain A Consistent Temperature In The Primary Chamber When Smoking?
There’s sort of a double-edged sword with having a large primary grilling chamber. Yes, it lets you grill up a lot of food for a large gathering of people.
It also lets you do things like hybrid grilling. When you want to smoke meat, all those extra square inches let you do things like smoke a whole turkey, two Boston butt pork shoulders, or even a full-size brisket.
However, it also means that you have more area to try to heat from the offset smoker box. Which might struggle to keep a consistent 225 to 250 degrees if the outside weather is colder than say 50-degrees.
Yet you shouldn’t let this put you off charcoal grills with a large primary grill grate. To maintain a consistent temperature, you could build a second small fire in the bottom of the primary chamber.
If you are worried that might put the flame too close to the meat, you can get some “Fire Rated” bricks. Wrap them in heavy-duty aluminum foil, then place them over the fire in the smoker box when you first light the charcoal.
The bricks will absorb an enormous amount of heat energy over the course of half an hour or so. You can then move them into the primary cooking chamber, where they will radiate the heat into the chamber without searing or drying out the meat.
This simple trick of thermal dynamics means puts even the largest grills in play as a smoker on cold days.
What Is Hybrid Grilling?
The earliest gas grills with independently controlled burner elements were quick to point out their ability to create two or more heat zones. Which is something you can’t do with the kettle-style charcoal grills that were popular in that era.
With hybrid grilling, you essentially create one heat zone with a low flame, and then you can grill bone-in, thick, or tough cuts of meat “Slow and Low.” When they’re cooked through or tender, you then move them from low heat to high heat. This will sear off the exterior, making attractive grill lines, and crisping the skin.
With a large barrel-style charcoal grill and smoker combo, you can create two if not even three different heat zones.
So, if you like to grill things like bone-in & skin-on chicken, leg of lamb, roast petite, and stuffed pork chops, you might want to prioritize a barrel-style charcoal grill that’s on the larger end of the spectrum.
I hope you've found this guide to the best charcoal grill smoker combos helpful and are now informed enough to purchase a new grill.
By getting a better understanding of how you are most likely to use it, and how to properly maintain it, you can filter out the features your prioritize from the ones that you may not even use that much. This will help you find the charcoal grill and smoker combo that’s right for you, and the way you cook.
Make sure you read and understand how each grill works before investing. From portable grills like Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill CC1830F to huge grills like the Oklahoma Joe's Highland Charcoal grill and smoker combo, make a choice based on what works for you. Happy grilling!