Would you like a classic offset charcoal smoker like your Grandfather used? He built his own, but you don’t need to. This functional and good-looking smoker will look great in your backyard kitchen.
Meet the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker is the best of its kind in this price bracket. It’s a highly-rated functional smoker with no bells and whistles.
With 1176 square inches of cooking area and 6 height adjustable cooking grates that can hold 150 pounds of meat, it’s a respectable smoker. It’s devoted to giving you the best smoky flavor and tender meat that it can.
Dyna-Glo is owned by GHP Group Inc and is based in Illinois. They have been around for about 100 years and specialize in patio and home products such as heaters, fireplaces and accessories, grills, and smokers. Their offerings are reputed to be well-designed and durable. Having been around for the last century, this makes sense to me.
This smoker is built in the traditional offset style. Because the firebox is offset to the side, there is no direct heat applied to the vertical cooking chamber. The firebox feeds smoke and heat to the cooking area where it naturally rises through the cooking grates towards the chimney. You need low temperature and slow cooking for smoking, so this is a great design for authentic smoky flavor.
The unit is constructed of 14-gauge powder-coated steel. The steel is cold-rolled steel at a thickness of 1.2mm. This lightweight steel is not suitable for very cold weather, but it saves on weight and cost.
The porcelain-coated firebox has an open steel basket to hold the charcoal and wood chips. This rests on a sliding steel grate so that you can get better access to the inside of the basket. There are raised edges on the grate so that your charcoal basket won’t slide around.
Below this is the removable ash pan, which slides out for easy cleaning. There is also a metal insulation plate between the firebox and the firebox roof.
The charcoal box holds the coals together in a tight stack rather than having them lying around on the base. This ensures efficient and targeted fuel use. It also gives you easier handling of a compact area, and it slides out! I think whoever designed this unit is not new to smoking!
For lateral thinkers, you might wonder if you can make use of the firebox roof. Yes, you can. You can place anything that you can place on a stove on the firebox roof to be warmed, with monitoring of course. Think Dutch oven, pot, pan…too hot for plates.
There are two doors, which means you won’t be reducing heat retention if you’re checking the charcoal chamber.
Both doors have heat-resistant chrome-plated handles which will stay cool during the cook. They latch tightly but have a quick-release feature.
Taking the lightweight steel into account, the build quality is good for the price. Smoke leaks through a gap between the firebox and the cooking chamber, but this can be easily fixed with some high-temperature smoker gasket tape.
The strategy for controlling temperature in this smoker is by controlling the amount of charcoal used plus the use of dampers or vents.
The cooking chamber has an adjustable smokestack damper on top; I like the look of a chimney on a smoker! The chimney is not designed to close completely. It is meant to always be open at least a little. This will allow the smoke that has worked its way through the system to escape.
The damper that you will use most during the cook is on the side of the firebox. It’s adjusted by sliding the metal handle to open or close the slots. When it’s closed, it’s not airtight, so there will always be a small amount of airflow.
There is a built-in thermometer in the door of the cooking chamber. It has a neat “smoke zone” to confirm that you’re in the right area for most smoking cooks. The owner’s manual has a smoking chart to assist you with required temperatures.
This thermometer is only meant to give you an idea of the heat level; use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat before serving.
The only thing that I really don’t like about this smoker is that there is no port for external temperature probes. This means that you’ll need to open the door whenever you want to check the temperature, and this will let the heat out.
The airflow naturally pulls the heat to the top of the cooking chamber. Take some time to plan the positioning of your foods. Items such as vegetables should go on the lower racks and meats such as brisket on the upper racks.
Ease Of Use
Any charcoal smoker will take some time to get used to. You need to get acclimatized with the airflow and temperature. Don’t plan any parties on the first weekend!
This is not a set-and-forget smoker. You will need to monitor it, but for a lot of pitmasters, this is half the fun.
To set up the smoker for use after it’s seasoned, use a chimney starter to get the coals going. Tip the lit coals into the firebox with some unlit coals. Open all the vents and leave both doors open until the fire is ready, usually about 20 minutes. Layer the smoking wood on top at intervals around the charcoal holding box. Soaking some of the wood overnight will extend the smoldering time and will lessen the chances of a flare-up.
With 1176 square inches and 150 pounds worth of cooking space, this smoker will satisfy most backyard pitmasters. There are 6 removable adjustable cooking grate shelves and they each hold 25 pounds!
Baby back ribs will fit on the grate just fine, but other racks of ribs will need to be cut.
If you have something tall or big to smoke, you can remove the top cooking grates and you’re set to go. Similarly, if you want to hang some items to be smoked, you can remove the lower grates and tie your sausages to the top shelf with heat-resistant cooking twine. Just keep the maximum weight of 25 pounds per shelf in mind.
These shelves, although functional, do require some care and maintenance. They have no protective coating, so they need to be washed with hot soapy water and thoroughly dried after each cook. Before each cook, it’s a good idea to season the grates with cooking spray or oil.
At 34.52 inches by 20 inches, I don’t think this is a good choice for a small patio. But on the other hand, it’s a traditional offset shape, so it was never meant to be petite.
The firebox measures 9 x 11.4 x 5.5 inches, just to give you an idea of how much charcoal you can burn.
This smoker weighs 57 pounds. It has a handle on either side for 2 people to transport it. The handle on the left is a handy spot to hang your tongs!
The owner’s manual contains the assembly information, plus other helpful information, such as smoking temperatures and choice of wood chips.
There are some nice easy cleaning features with this unit after the smoker has cooled down, of course.
The ash buildup is caught in a tray below the firebox. All you need to do is slide it out and tip it out.
The floor of the cooking chamber slopes to the middle where there is a grease cup to catch all the drippings. You can pull the cup out, empty it and give it a wash. This drawing from the owner’s manual gives you the idea:
If you’re using a water pan, this can be washed too. You might consider putting heavy-duty aluminum foil around the pan and on the floor of the cooking chamber to assist with cleaning.
The only item that needs some work is the cooking grates. They are not coated with any protective substances and need to be seasoned with cooking oil or spray before each cook.
Afterward, when the smoker has cooled down, wash the grates with hot soapy water. Allow them to dry completely. We don’t want any pockets of dampness that will proceed to turn into rust.
There are two items of “extra” maintenance for this unit. These are really not unusual points regarding maintenance, but they should be highlighted.
1. As noted in the previous section, the grates need to be washed and dried after each cook.
2. The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D needs to be seasoned before the first use.
The warranty on this smoker is 1 year, which is less than other manufacturers. Having said that, it has no electronics and very few moving parts, and any potential problems should show up in the first 12 months.
Is This Dyna-Glo Vertical Smoker Value For Money?
Yes, I believe it is. This is a hardworking old-fashioned style smoker. Its perceived “cons” mean that the price puts into the affordable range for a lot of folks, and most of the cons can be fixed.
Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker Summary
What’s Nifty About The Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker?
- Lots of cooking area without taking up too much space – this smoker has 1176 square inches of cooking space and can handle 150 pounds of meat in one smoke
- Built-in thermometer with a “smoke zone” – the thermometer in the door will tell you when you’ve entered the “zone”
- Two doors – when you need to add charcoal or wood chips you don’t need to open the door to the cooking chamber and interrupt smoking time
- Easy removal of ash and grease – the ash catcher and the grease cup contribute to easy cleaning
- Few moving parts, no electronics or circuits to burn out – this is a functional smoker that uses the time-honored technique for efficient smoking with few of the new-fangled devices
- Affordable – Dyna-Glo has trimmed down the extras to lower the costs
What’s Not So Nifty About The Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker?
- Uneven but predictable heat – place your foods according to the heat distribution – the hottest temperature will be at the top
- Grates not big enough for the whole brisket – brisket needs to be cut to fit the cooking shelf
- No port for internal temperature probes – you’ll need to open the cooking chamber door to check the internal temperature of the meat
- Smoke leaks from gaps between firebox and cooking area – high-temperature smoker gasket tape will easily fix this problem
- Not suitable for use in very cold weather – the lightweight steel construction means that you probably won’t be able to smoke when it’s very cold outside because it’ll be harder to maintain the heat
- Takes a bit of getting used to in terms of temperature and airflow – don’t plan a party to show off your smoked meats on the first weekend; you’ll need some time to get to know your smoker
- Short warranty – the warranty is for 1 year, but any problems should show up in this time, and there are no electronics to worry about
- No cover included – a cost-saving measure, but purchasing a cover is advisable to give your smoker the best chance of a long life
How Could The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Be Improved?
The only feature that I think needs adding is a port and grommet to allow use of internal meat temperature probes.
Who Is The Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker For?
This no-nonsense smoker is for someone who wants the great old-fashioned smoke taste. Someone who doesn’t mind getting to know the smoker and will be happy to monitor during smoking sessions.
- Lots of cooking area without taking up too much space
- Built-in thermometer with a "smoke zone"
- Two doors
- Easy removal of ash and grease
- Few moving parts, no electronics or circuits to burn out
- Uneven but predictable heat
- Grates not big enough for whole brisket
- No port for internal temperature probes
- Smoke leaks from gaps between firebox and cooking area
- Not suitable for use in very cold weather
- Takes a bit of getting used to in terms of temperature and airflow
- Short warranty
- No cover included
Optional Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker Accessories
Tips For Best Performance Of Your Dyna-Glo Smoker
- Season your smoker before use
- Consider lining the floor of the cooking chamber with aluminum foil
- Use top racks for meat and lower racks for vegetables and fish
- Smaller dry hardwood chips are better
Contacting The Manufacturer
“Top Notch” on GHP website customer service department at 1-877-447-4768, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CST, Monday – Friday or e-mail email@example.com
If you’re looking for a serviceable smoker for a reasonable price, this may be the one for you.
Should You Buy The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker?
This smoker is not for someone who wants a combo grill smoker. This is unashamedly a dedicated smoker. It’s also not for someone who doesn’t like dealing with flames or babysitting their smoker. And if you want a smoker that will take whole briskets, this is not the one for you. One of the other models below may suit you better.
What About Other Dyna-Glo Models?
|Smoker Name||Smoker||Cooking Racks (Each)||Cooking Surface (Square Inches)||Weight (Pounds)||Footprint |
(W x D x H Inches)
Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
|6||1890||83||43.3 x 21 x 47.03|
|5||1382||124.3||45.5 x 24.9 x 58|
How Does The Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker Stack Up Against Similarly Priced Smokers?
|Smoker Name||Smoker||Cooking Racks (Each)||Cooking Surface (Square Inches)||Weight (Pounds)||Footprint |
(W x D x H Inches)
|1||830||146||62 x 29 x 50|
|3||811||54.3||27.95 x 53.39 x 48.82|
Answers To Common Questions
Can you grill on the Dyna-Glo Offset Smoker?
Sorry, no. This unit is dedicated to smoking and does a great job at it.
Is the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D suitable for beginners?
There are smokers out there that are easier for beginners, but if you’re just starting out and you want to become a charcoal smoker connoisseur, this would be a great choice. If you’re not used to dealing with fires, do some research first.
Does the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D need to be seasoned?
Yes. You’ll find the instructions in the owner’s manual.
Basically, it means that you should do a smoking session exactly as you would normally do with all the normal ingredients, but with no food. This will seal the surfaces inside your smoker and will add to its durability and performance.
Is the Dyna-Glo suitable for cold smoking?
Yes, but take the time to get used to the temperature behavior first. Then you can smoke just about anything.
Wishing you sunny smoking days!
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