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Char-Griller makes some of the cheapest cookers on the planet. Almost all of their models are round, horizontal charcoal grills and smokers. They also offer a charcoal and gas combo cooker and their best product: an inexpensive, insulated, steel Kamado cooker. Char-Griller epitomizes the old saying that you get what you pay for. Budget conscious buyers often can't pass up the Char-Griller price tag and many models are very popular. Hence they have wide distribution coast to coast in all the big box stores and online. Unfortunately, many novice cooks aspiring to slow smoke are drawn to Char-Griller's super cheap offset smokers. Offsets are already difficult to work with and Char-Griller's tin can, drafty construction has been a source of consternation for generations of first time smokers.
Char-Griller is a mysterious organization owned by the equally mysterious A&G Manufacturing. A&G makes woven wire grills and grillwork for industrial applications. Although we tried different phone listings for Char-Griller and A&G we always got the same "Executive Assistant" who refused to put us in touch with any person of authority in design, manufacturing or marketing.
Char-Griller Smokin' Pro
About the only good thing we can say about the Char-Griller Smokin' Pro is the price is unbeatable. MSRP on this is way inflated. You can easily find these for substantially less. Many wide-eyed first time smokers, including me, thought it made sense to buy this tin can as a starter model to learn what smoking is about before moving up to a more expensive cooker. The problem with the Smokin' Pro and many other cheap offset smokers is they are hard to use. And once you finally get a feel for them, it's still tough to get good results consistently. You can really get turned off to smoking altogether by these crummy cookers.
A lot of people buy cheap smokers and either take what they get or spend time and money trying to make them into something they're not: good smokers. The Smokin' Pro does have a few features that some other offsets in this price range don't: the charcoal hopper slides out for easily adding charcoal and wood or for cleaning, the adjustable charcoal grate in the smoker box let's you do some large capacity burger searing and you get two wooden shelves for work space.
$280 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.
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