Offset Smoker Vs Kamado: What Should You Buy?

Which is better to buy an offset smoker or kamado? The whole discussion, offset smoker vs. kamado, will create a sense of comparison for an educated reader. Kamado has some ancient touch, whereas offset smokers are now in the heights of the horizon. The truth is that both have their merits and demerits. So, let’s dive deep to check what the discussion Offset smokers kamado proves?

Offset Smoker Vs Kamado

What is an offset smoker?

Offset smokers are classic models with a separate firebox. To operate an offset smoker, you need to make some manual efforts. The terms horizontal smokers, stick burners, pipe smokers, pit smokers, and side firebox smokers are all used for one unit as offset smokers.

How does offset smoker works?

The offset smoker has a large firebox which I attached to the smoking food chamber. The offset smoker is preferably designed to cook food on low and slow heat. It requires several hours to smoke food on it. 

The meat cooked over low temperature is soft, juicy, delicious, tender, and chewable.

Offset smoker needs fuel in bulk quantity because the cooking of several hours needs fuel to provide heat. Some offset smokers can serve you as a smoker and a grill. With some modifications inside, you can convert the main smoking chamber into a large sized grill.

What kind of Fuel Offset Smoker Takes?

Talking about the fuel type of offset smoker takes natural wood or charcoal as a fuel source. The smoker created by this wood contains flavor that is original, pure authentic, and tasteful to the undeniable extent.

What is a Kamado smoker?

Kamado is the real copy of the oldest form of oven. Kamado is a Japanese word that means cauldron or stove. Hundreds of years back in the old form, people used it in many parts of the world.

To add this, in India, it was even known as tandoor. So, after changing many forms, now it is popular with the word Kamado among its fans. It is highly durable, fuel-efficient, and convenient to use, offering exceptional heat retention properties, made of ceramic and insulated steel material.

How Does a Kamado Smoker Work?

The Kamado smoker is mechanized to produce quality results. The durable and strong walls absorb the heat coming from the bottom and impart it to the food.

Hence it is structured in the simple way that the walls store the heat and send it back to the food after a while.

Kamado smoker has vents both on the upper and lower level. These vents manage the flow of heat and smoke, and air in an exceptional way. These vents work to balance the temperature.

Moreover, Kamado has a firebox at the bottom. You can put wood chunks or charcoal into it. Using it, you can manage fire without much effort; once you manage it, close t6he lid of the smoker and leave it to do its work amazingly.

In addition to this, it can get high heat easily. So, they can work as grill also. The smoker can do quick smoking. The unit gets tightly sealed and keeps the smoke, heat, and moisture inside. The smoke adds a strong flavor to the food, and moisture keeps your food soft.  So, it is amazingly ideal for smoking meat quick sessions.

Offset Smoker Vs. Kamado

Now we will compare units based on few characteristics.

Cooking Chamber Size

The size of the cooking chamber is mainly the hub of attention of the customer.

To add this, offset smoker comes with all sizes. They cover a wide range in this respect, from small to medium and medium to large, depending on the price you pay. The extra-large-sized models are expensive.  Moreover, they provide you a chance to smoke large cuts of meat as well.

Furthermore, kamado smokers do not have a large size to offer as the rival offset smoker offers. They have only the area from small to medium. It does not enable you to smoke food for a large gathering.

Ease of using

Talking about the fact as to how much they are easy to use, it goes without saying that kamado smokers need the practice to operate it. Keeping a balanced temperature is too much essential.

Moreover, to add fuel, you need to open the whole smoker. You have to remove the cooking grate to add fuel. Due to this hectic process, you need to fill the firebox according to the food’s required quantity.

Furthermore, the proper check and balance of temperature level are particularly essential. If the airflow is too much, the level of heat will get increased. This will be a great problem. Because once kamado gets a high level of heat, it cannot get the temperature under easily.

On the other hand, an offset smoker needs your attention to start it. To lit fire, you need to do some extra manual work.  To add more fuel, you need not open the cooking chamber; you can do it without disturbing it. Moreover, from the separate firebox, heat travels to the food chamber.

Cleaning Process

The life of the unit depends upon the care and cleanliness of the unit. The cleaner you keep it, the more years of service get enhance.

Kamados are easy to clean. These smokers have an ash drawer below the firepot. All the burnings ash and grease get collect into it. You can draw it and wash it.

Moreover, in case of high temperature, the extra drippings and greas4e get stuck on the unit. But, definitely cleanable though it is a time-consuming and annoying process.

As far as offset smoker is concerned, they are quite easy to clean. The removable grates can be removed to wash and can be adjusted to use again. Furthermore, the inside and outside can be cleaned using a soft towel and cloth. In addition to this, the stainless steel coating provides easy cleanliness.

Temperature Range

As far as temperature range is concerned, kamado smokers can get them as high temperature up to 400F. It can get high temperature so early and absorbs heat in its walls.

Moreover, it prefers cooking over high heat. When opening the kamado, it is important to be conscious. Before opening and closing the lid, wait for few seconds. This will keep you safe from burning.

Whereas using an offset smoker, you cook food on low and slow heat. Due to reverse flow design, heat comes from the indirect source, so heat distribution is even for the food.

To cook tough cuts of meat like pork shoulder, turkey brisket, or rib offset smoker is ideal. 

Price Range

The offset smoker comes with all prices in the market. Essentially, the price of the smoker defines its quality. They offer the price ranging from $100 – $2000+. The customer can select one which suits its budget.

On the other hand, kamado comes with a price starting from $300 -$4000+. With this, the purchaser has the facility to buy at the price which seems appropriate to him. The expensive models produce exceptional results.

Type of Fuel

The fuel type maintains the taste and flavor of the food. The offset smoker takes natural wood or charcoal with wood chips. The smoke created by original wood gives authentic flavor to the food. This enchanting aroma is praised a lot by its lovers. On the other side, kamado takes chips or charcoal with wood chunks. These also add taste to the food but not as strong as the rival can give.

Types of Cooking

The efficiency of the unit depends upon its versatility. In the case of offset smokers, you can enjoy smoking and grilling—most of the smoker offer 2 in 1 type of cooking facility.

Whereas utilizing kamado, you cannot smoke only but grill, bake, braise, roast or sear. So you get the best for the price paid.  Above all, you enjoy 6 types of smoking food utilizing single body kamado.

Which One to Buy

After probing into the discussion’s details, offset smoker vs. kamado, it has become difficult which one has to select.

Keeping the advantages of these units in front of us goes without saying that no one can compete with the taste and flavor imparted by offset smokers as it is designed especially for this specific purpose.

The kamado has the special feature of having versatility in itself. Using it, you can bake, smoke, grill, sear, braise and roast your food.

Both these units are quite different from one another. Having both in your backyard will be great fun for you. The foods that need low and slow temperature will be cooked in an offset smoker, whereas having kamado, you have 6 in 1 option of cooking.

Electric Smoker Pros

Pellet Smoker Pros

  • Electric smoker makes your smoking food experience hassle-free.
  • Using an electric smoker, you do not need to struggle to balance the heat level.
  • It provides you set and forget the experience.
  • You have good space for cooking food.
  • Easy to keep clean.
  • Even a single person can move the unit from one place to another place.
  • User-friendly unit.
  • Installing the unit is also easy.
  • Provides real smoky Flavor in the food.
  • Best choice of an expert user.
  • Takes charcoal or wood chips as fuel.
  • It is pretty simple to manage components.
  • Large cooking capacity.
  • The separate firebox makes better the flow of oxygen and smoke to balance the heat level., essential for tasteful food.
  • Cheap as compared to the rival unit.
  • Cooks tough cuts of meat using low and slow temperature.
  • Easy to add fuel due to separate side firebox.
  • Durable and long-lasting enough to serve you for years to come if you keep it with great care.
  • The firebox chamber is of good size; you can stuff the fuel of your need once.
  • Versatile in nature. You can smoke, grill, sear, roast, bake and braise as well.
  • Set it and forget it come true to it. Does not require your babysitting.
  • Produces best results in snowy weather.
  • The ceramic-made walls absorb heat.
  • Fuel efficient unit because of heat retention quality.
  • Durable and long-lasting unit. No need for maintenance.
  • Space-saving item.

Electric smoker Cons

Pellet Smoker Cons

  • It needs multiple free hours to cook food using it because it needs full attention.
  • To start a fire is a difficult and annoying process. The novice and an inexperienced person cannot light fire easily.
  • Inexpensive units do not perform in the best manner in tough weather conditions.
  • Most of the customers complain about the heat and smoke leakage.
  • Most units made of ceramic are heavy. So, they are not portable.
  • Expensive models.
  • Small cooking capacity.
  • It suits you only in a small family.
  • It does not take natural wood or fuel, so it fails to produce authentic flavor.
  • Opening of the lid needs your extra attention because there is pressure inside. You can get burn in case of a hurry.

Some of the smokers compared concerning features.

After the whole debate offset smoker vs. kamado, here we intend to show you the comparison between the low-priced, moderate, and high-priced models.

The Best Budget Offset and Kamado Smokers

Char griller Smokin Pro

Char Griller Akon Kamado

Char griller Smokin Pro offset smoker
Char griller Smokin Pro offset smoker
  • Inexpensive but durable model.
  • Made with steel.
  • Cooking grates are made of iron.
  • Lightweight and highly portable.
  • Removable ash pan.
  • Side and bottom shelves for extra storage.
  • Cooking capacity 830 square inches.
  • Wheels made of heavy-duty material.
  • Smokestack for a good crossing of air and smoke.
  • The temperature gauge gives an accurate reading.
  • Can do smoking and grilling.
  • Warranty of 1 year.
  • Yields good insulation system.
  • Cooking space 314 sq. inches.
  • Triple steel-walled make it durable and long-lasting.
  • Removable ash pan.
  • Rust-resistant material.
  • Durable iron grates.
  • Heavy-duty wheels and bottom shelf for extra storage.
  • Can do the grilling, baking, searing, roasting, braising, and cooking.
  • The warranty period is 1 year.

The Best Mid-Range Offset and Kamado Smokers

Oklahoma Joes Longhorn

Kamado` Joe Classic ii

Oklahoma Joes Longhorn Reverse Flow Offset smoker
Kamado` Joe Classic ii
  • 751 square inches of food smoking capacity in the primary chamber, whereas 309 square inches in the grilling area.
  • Can do both smoking and grilling.
  • 2.5mm painted steel body.
  • A separate firebox provides improved heat and smoke flow.
  • Multiple dampers for heat and oxygen flow.
  • Accurate temperature gauge for observing inward temperature.
  • The bottom and side shelf provide ease of putting extra utensils.
  • Cool-touch handles.
  • Portable unit.
  • Heavy-duty wheels.
  • The main chamber can be converted to a grilling area.
  • 2 years’ warranty.
  • The body is made of high-quality ceramic.
  • The whole body is cool to touch.
  • Heavy-duty wheels.
  • Accurate temperature gauge.
  • Weatherproof control tower.
  • Expanded grates design.
  • Grilling, baking, smoking, searing, braising, and roasting…provides 6 in 1 cooking option.
  • Components are made of stainless steel material.
  • Easily cleanable ash drawer.
  • The firebox is designed exceptionally to avoid breakages.
  • Lifetime warranty on ceramic, 5 years on metal, 1 year on the gasket, and 3 years on heat deflector.
  • 2-year warranty on the whole unit.

The Best High-End Offset and Kamado Smokers

KBQC-60 BBQ Smoker Pit

Blaze Cast Kamado

KBQC-60 BBQ Smoker Pit offset smoker

Blaze Cast Aluminum Kamado smoker

  • 100% stainless steel design.
  • Dual convection fan.
  • Famous award-winner item.
  • Takes areal wood fire.
  • Auto Draft control box suggests temperature.
  • With 12 racks 60 lb. capacity of smoking food.
  • Having two wheels.
  • Ideal for use for beginners.
  • Can do smoking only.
  • 2 years of the warranty period.
  • Made of aluminum and good for heat retention.
  • Cap prevents breakages.
  • Stainless steel cooking grate for easy cleanliness.
  • Can do all types of cooking as searing, braising, smoking, roasting, and grilling.
  • The cooking capacity of 314 square inches.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Heavy-duty wheels make you move it easily.


The whole debate offset smoker vs. kamado reveals that both have their advantages. Offset smoker is designed with certain characteristics of smoking meat which provides you the original smoky taste.

Whereas using kamado, you can have versatility in the cooking range. You can smoke, grill, braise, bake, roast and sear. So having both will provide you with the best results in your backyard. Do not forget to read our review on Offset Smoker vs Electric Smoker Review.