This cheapo unit is especially well designed for the price. The basic unit is just the center barrel, but add the side firebox and it’s a pretty nice beginner’s unit. The flanged lids on the firebox and the smoke chamber makes the unit relatively airtight. The charcoal hopper slides out for easily adding charcoal and wood or for cleaning, a nice feature missing on more expensive units. There is also a way to adjust the grate heights in the smoker box for temperature control. This is especially nice if you wish to grill in the smoke chamber. There are two wooden shelves on the outside, one more than most competitors, yet another nice touch. It has a cast-iron grate that is good for distributing heat to the meat if you are grilling, but they will rust if you wash them with water. There is an optional rotisserie attachment for only $40, again a nice touch missing from more expensive units. Not surprisingly, the temperature gauge is a poor substitute for an accurate thermometer, but you can replace it. Although it is made of lightweight metal and is not built as meticulously as more expensive models, for the price it is unbeatable. That’s why I’ve given it my Gold Award, because it is good for the price. If you can afford a better unit, go for it, but if you want a cheap starter unit, this is the way to go. Before buying an offset smoker, read my article here. Click here for more info and pricing: Char-Griller Smokin Pro

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