Any connoisseur of grilling and outdoor cooking is familiar with smoking. There are different types of smoking: cold smoking removes moisture and is used primarily for preserving meats, this process can take days or even weeks; hot smoking smokes the meat then follows the smoking process by cooking the meat, this process typically occurs within hours. Smoking meat can kill some types of bacteria and slow the growth of other types. It can also prevent mold and/or fermentation and extend shelf life.
For the most part, any kind of meat can be smoked, even some kinds of vegetables and cheese can be smoked. Smoking can improve the appearance of some types of meat, but can also enhance flavor. Different flavor opportunities are available thanks to different types of wood used when smoking.
(from the Char Broil user manual)
There are a lot of different types and styles of smokers out there. One of these types is the offset smoker. While there is a wide variety of these smokers out there, the Char Broil American Gourmet offset smoker is one of the more cost effective as well as easy to use smokers. Let’s take a closer look at the features of this product:
The main chamber features an 11” by 23” cooking surface, and the offset or firebox adds another 11” by 10” space for a grand total of 430 square inches. Either section may be used for traditional charcoal grilling. When smoking, the main chamber is intended for the meat while the offset is to be used as the heat and smoke source.
The three cooking surfaces can be removed for easy cleaning. A clean-out door can be found on the end to make ash removal easier. Ashes should be cleaned out after every use to help prevent the chance of rust. The smoker is compact and light enough that it can be placed on its side and cleaned with a backyard hose. The smoker should be covered when not in use to protect the exterior finish. If the need arises, the exterior can be touched up with any high-temperature black paint. One owner recommends black engine manifold paint.
The Char Broil American Gourmet offset smoker is covered under a 1-year limited warranty. All parts are covered under the warranty, and the warranty protects the smoker in the event of perforation and manufacturing and material defects.
Almost half of the Amazon Char Broil American Gourmet offset smoker reviews are 5 stars. Overall, it received a 3.8 out of 5 stars. The positive reviews refer to the ease of use and clean up. Many customers expressed their satisfaction with the smoker as a Char Broil product while other’s satisfaction is in comparison to other brand smokers. The value for the price is another factor making this item quite popular.
Negative reviews, only around 10%, often refer to shipping problems and/or damages during shipping. There are sometimes issues with smoke leaking, videos can be found on YouTube on suggested modifications to improve the performance. Char Broil customer service representatives seem eager to offer repairs or replacements quickly. Some complaints over estimated the size. One reviewer was disappointed that the size was more appropriate for a single family as opposed to a houseful of guests. Other reviewers felt the thin gauge of the metal used for the body and the light weight made it seem flimsy or simply not sturdy enough.
The Char Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker is great for grilling or smoking. While not meant to cater to larger crowds, it is more than adequate for the average family’s needs. There is plenty of cooking surface space and temperature monitoring is easy with a thermometer mounted directly on the lid. It is easy to use, easy to clean, and holds up well when properly taken care of. Char Broil stands behind this product, and they offer resources on their website including tips and tricks as well as recipes. This is a great product for smoking smaller amounts of meat or perhaps as a starter smoker for someone just beginning to learn the skill. The price is reasonable, again for a starter as well as someone not looking to make a large monetary investment. This is the standard model. The price obviously increases with the higher end models.