I’ve been testing several Dyna Glo grills lately and been really impressed. Several readers have asked a question I’ve been dying to answer for a while.
Which Dyna Glo Smoker Grill is the best?
I’ve pretty much narrowed down the 4 best grills in the Dyna Glo range, the Premium Charcoal Grill, Dual Zone Charcoal Grill, the Heavy-Duty Charcoal Grill and Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker
All three cover the middle price range, meaning you aren’t spending thousands to get something solid. I quite like this price range as it offers something for everyone, from beginners, through to those who want an upgrade.
Dyna-Glo Premium Charcoal Grill
- Primary cooking area is 576 square inches
- Secondary cooking area is 240 square inches
- TOTAL cooking area is 816 square inches
- Protect your grill with a custom-fit Dyna-Glo premium cover - Model...
I’d seen the Premium Charcoal Grill in my local store and always wanted to give it a test. It apes the look of grills from Smokey Joe’s and River Grill, yet without the high price tag.
The Dyna Glo Premium Charcoal Grill is a large unit and comes with some pretty awesome features for $220. The charcoal tray comes with a feature that allows you to evenly distribute the coals, allowing for a more even cook out. It also comes with a solid barrel and cooking lid, the former with a temperature gauge inside.
The external finish is pure Dyno Glo, with a nice satin enamel finish that seems to stand up to scratches and rust easily. The grill section offers up 816 square inches of cooing space and there are two substantial table tops either side of the barrel.
Setting It Up
Assembly time is about half an hour, and includes the side tables, legs and the top hood. As always when assembling a grill for the first time, it pays to really ensure everything is a good fit. Luckily for me, I had a friend to help with the assembly so if you’re doing this alone, you’ll want to give it a good hour for best results.
This grill is listed as “extra-large”, and they’re not wrong! It weighs 96 pounds and although that sounds a lot, there’s a heavy duty set of wheels to help you move it about.
Instructions are pure Dyna Glo, easy to read and quite helpful – not all parts are easy to figure out during assembly so you’ll likely need to read the booklet before you get your tools out!
I love the barrel style of outdoor grill, and the Dyna Glo Premium Grill doesn’t disappoint. The hood is strong and the cooking space on offer is huge – you’ll be able to feed quite a party off the back of this grill.
To give this grill a good test, we invited our entire family over for dinner. I cooked sausages, hamburgers, chicken wings/thighs and corn on the cob. Like I said before, the cooking area is huge and probably a bit big for most people’s needs.
One awesome feature, is the bottle opener at the side. Ever forgotten where your opener is mid party? Well now you’ll never go without! It’s a small touch, yet it’s a big one! This is something I’ve really become to love about Dyno Glo. They seem to have a knack for bundling features into their grills that you’d find useful.
There are temperature vents, yet the grill isn’t completely hassle free to cook on. It takes a little getting used to the Premium Grill to get a consistent temperature across the entire cooing area. Once you do get the hang of it though you’ll be able to cook for huge numbers of people with ease.
To note I did test a Dyna-glo offset smoker in another article, and i’d have to say just from reviewing four of their grills and smokers, they may quality grills that are made to last.
It’s a two person lift to carry the grill anywhere, and you’ll want a small van or RV to transport the grill to a party. However, those heavy-duty feet I mentioned earlier make short work of patios and even mildly uneven ground.
I think the Premium Grill is a good bet for someone who needs a full-size grill, yet will want to transport it too. Everything is a compromise at this price range, I think Dyna Glo got the portability factor right with this one.
- Removable firebox divider for single or dual cooking zone
- Primary cooking area is 576 square inches
- Secondary cooking area is 240 square inches
- TOTAL cooking area is 816 square inches
- Protect your grill with a custom-fit Dyna-Glo premium cover - Model #...
A very similar product to the Premium Grill, yet with some tweaks to make the Dual Zone Grill an even better choice. It also comes in a very professional stainless steel finish that helps with temperature control too.
The best feature of the Dual Zone Grill, is the two-door arrangement on the front. This dual basket system makes the Dual Zone Grill easier to maintain equal temperature across the cooking space.
Cooking space is the same as the Premium Grill, at 816 square inches. The main difference between the two are the dual zone system and higher quality finish.
Assembly was the same as the Premium Grill, although putting together shiny pieces of stainless steel is a far more exciting process! I got to have a good look at the dual basket system whilst assembling everything – I’m impressed.
I put together the Dual Zone Grill on my own, it took a full hour to get it up and running. Once again, the quality of the fit and finish was impressive and Instructions were the exact same (no really, they’re the same) as the Premium model.
First things first, what a difference the dual zone system makes! It’s easy to maintain an equal temperature across the grill space. It’s also easy to create a slightly hotter side of the grill to char some meats off before serving. The amount of control this system gives over the Premium model is insane! We considered this grill for our charcoal grill reviews article, but the other products were just a bit better.
I decided to cook the same number of ribs, chicken and burgers with this model (I’m a popular garden party guy these days!), and it gave the exact same results.
The big difference between this model and the Premium model, is the ease at which you can get those same results. Temperature control is easy and I’ve a feeling that shiny metal hood helps to keep the heat in. One of the big problems I had using the Premium model, is the way temperatures would fluctuate wildly mid cookout. The simple addition of dual doors and charcoal spaces have turned what was an okay grill, into a true badass!
So far, the Dual Zone model is the winner. There’s no reason why you wouldn’t spend the extra $50 to get this much of an upgrade.
The same as the Premium model, not too heavy and with a set of killer wheels that will go anywhere. This is a party animal grill that can go on the road with you.
Dyna-Glo Heavy Duty Charcoal Grill
- Charcoal tray adjustment system for fine-tuning heat control and...
- 2 Heavy-duty, porcelain enameled, cast-iron cooking grates retain heat...
- Heavy duty cart with side shelves, storage basket and 6-inch resin...
- 568 Total square Inch of cooking space provides plenty of room for all...
- Steel smoke stack with adjustable flue for heat control, stainless...
The Dyno Glo Heavy Duty Grill is a different design to the Premium and Dual Zone versions. It’s a smaller offering and probably going to be a hit with people who don’t need the huge capacity of the previous models reviewed.
Cooking space is just over half of the Premium and Dual Zone grills, at 568 square inches. In my view that’s a nice size for small to medium sized families and small gatherings.
Once you start looking at the Heavy-Duty Grill, you realise that it shares much in common with other Dyna Glo Grills, with the same heavy duty enamel finish and quality charcoal basket system. The only real difference between this model and both Premium and Dual Zone versions is size, period.
A smaller size means one person can manhandle this grill without too much fuss. It only weighs 69 pounds which when you look at what’s on offer, isn’t a bad deal at all.
Assembly is essentially a small version of previous models. Wheels, hood, table sides and a few door related parts all requiring a good fit. I did have an issue with the grill hood this time around, it’s a slightly different design to other Dyna Glo models; however, a quick browse of the Dyna Glo website allowed me to get it working properly.
With the Heavy-Duty model, we’re back to the standard Dyna Glo barrel finish. It’s a look I’ve long admired across the range and it’s great to see it again on a small sized grill.
Being a smaller grill, it was easy to achieve a decent temperature across the grill. Even with its small size, you can do more than you’d think within the cooking space. I think a party of about 15 is probably about as large as you’d want to cater for with the Heavy-Duty Grill, anything past that and you’re probably into Dual Zone territory.
As the temperature is steady and constant, you’ll get a good cook out from the Heavy-Duty Grill. I decided to grill burgers for my children, which all came out lovely – slightly char grilled yet juicy.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go the full hog when testing the little grill; however, what I did cook came out lovely.
The only negative issue I found with the Heavy-Duty Grill, is the ash tray. For some reason, the one bundled with the smaller grill is very thin and unlikely to stand the test of time. It’s a real shame because Dyna Glo products are usually so good.
Solid wheels, carry handles and a much smaller stature than the Premium and Dual Zone grills make this your go to unit for portability. It has enough capacity to cope with most parties, although you might want to consider the two models above if you’re catering to 20+ people.
To be honest, the winner is a tossup between two of the three grills featured. The Dual Zone Grill, is a real powerhouse of a unit that can cater for a colossal number of people. It’s dual zone system helps you maintain an equal temperature across the grill and makes it so much easier to use than the Premium model. I like the stainless-steel finish, even if it goes against the Dyna Glo tradition of satin black enamel.
The Heavy-Duty grill, is basically a small version of the Premium Grill, and that’s not such a bad thing. It has all the plus points of the Premium model, without the temperature control issues. It’s also easy to carry and once the legs have been unbolted, it should be easy to get into a car boot.
And what about that Premium Grill? Well, it’s a perfectly okay grill, yet for an extra $50 you could be cooking with the dual zone system. For the sake of $50, I can see a reason why you wouldn’t throw down a little extra cash for the better model.
That basically leaves us with price. The Dual Zone Grill is a good price for a decent middle of the road grill. Meanwhile, the Heavy-Duty Grill is a bit expensive for a small, portable grill; however, it’s packed with features and built to a high quality (ash tray notwithstanding).
My advice, pick the Dual Zone if you’re king of garden parties and the smaller Heavy Duty version if you’d rather party with close friends instead!
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker
- Heavy gauge porcelain enameled steel wood chip box
- 15,000 BTU Heavy Duty Cast Iron Burner; Electronic pulse ignition...
- 784 square Inch of total smoking area; Smokes up to 100lbs of food at...
- Dual door design minimizes heat loss while adding wood chips...
- Heavy duty steel body construction with High Temp powder coat finish...
Oh the burdens we bear when we own a quality smoker. You invite some friends over to drink a few beers and watch some football and suddenly they’re unloading chunks of chicken and slabs of meat from their cars. They don’t even say anything, not a peep pops out of their mouths. They just raise their eyebrows, shrug their shoulders and delicately place their offerings into a cooler before heading over to the couch.
A smoker’s design says a lot about how it smokes. One look at the Dyna-Glo and two things stand out. First, it’s an offset. Offset means that the heating element is positioned on the side — in this case the right side — of the smoking cabinet. This allows for the heating process to take place away from the food so that the heat of the smoke and its delicious aromas are all that come into contact with it — perfect for that slow, flavor-infusing roast. The firebox also comes affixed with its very own door. You can open it up, add additional charcoal or throw in a handful of wood chips, all without compromising the atmosphere inside the cabinet.
Size matters when it comes to smokers. Sure the inside is what’s important, but you have to make sure that your new favorite cooker has plenty of room to breathe. Horizontal offset “barrel” smokers often have trouble, safety concerns and it prevents the smoker from cooking at uniform temperatures. Without the right amount of airspace, a smoker could ruin dinner, damage furniture, kill a few trees and even blacken the outside of your home.
Heat hugs steel like children do their parents. And just like parents, good solid steel often hugs right back, evenly absorbing the heat and then redistributing it across its exterior — in this case, the inside of the smoker.
Not only is the Horizontal offset “barrel” smokers often have trouble, but each of its major parts have been coated with a high temp powder that aids in durability and leads to a longer lasting life.
Steel. Steel. Steel. In addition to the body and its overall finish, the smoker’s various moving parts are quite formidable as well. Its charcoal tray is made from heavy-gauge, porcelain-enameled steel and its wire racks are built from chrome-plated steel wire. And then, to top it all off, the smoke stack is constructed from an iron-carbon alloy — which is a fancy way of saying that it’s also made out of steel.
Whether smoking for too-many friends or a sizable family, capacity is key. Barbecuers and bakers, eaters and freeloaders alike know what happens to the vibe of an otherwise fun get-together when good food goes gone.
Fortunately, the Dyna-Glo holds a rather respectable amount of food for its stature and size. With an overall smoking capacity of 1,176 square feet and a maximum load size of around 150 pounds, you can smoke to your heart’s content. (As a point of reference, the heaviest turkey ever raised was around 86 pounds. So, hypothetically speaking, youcould smoke both the all-time biggest and the all-time second biggest turkeys in one sitting.)
The six wire racks each measure at around 14 inches wide by 13 inches deep, ideal for briskets, hams, whole chickens, pork shouldersand small-to-medium sized slabs of baby back ribs. The racks are also adjustable — they can be moved up, down and out — just in case you need that extra space for hanging some sausage.
Often found on the lower end of the price line, the Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker is a bang-for-your-buck type of appliance. It’s not the biggest one you’ll ever see. And there aren’t too many bells or whistles that come attached to its exterior. But, if you’re looking for a quality smoker that gets the job done for a fraction of the price, then the Dyna-Glo is the way to go. As long as you don’t mind making a few new friends.
Dyna-Glo Charcoal Smoker vs Weber Smokey Mountain
- Your purchase includes: One Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker,...
- Item overall dimensions: 19" W x 21" D x 41" H. Item weight: 47 lbs
- Cooking Grid Dimensions 17 1/2 X 17 1/2". Main Grilling Area 240 Sq....
- Easy assembly required, instructions avaialable in User Guide...
- Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker reaches approximadetely 190°F inside...
Ease of Use
The Dyna-Glo smokes meats much easier than the Weber. Vertical smokers are all-around simpler to use than bullet designs. With its vertical design, the Dyna-Glo can be opened and the smoking racks can be easily removed. With the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, you will deal with much more hassle accessing the meats due to the bullet design.
Even though the Weber Smoker is a bullet design, the smoker is of higher quality than the Dyna-Glo. Weber makes their smokers in the USA, not in China. As such, the quality of Weber products are all much higher. Along with that, Weber is made of much thicker and durable metal.
Quality of Smoked Meats
I prefer the taste of meats made in Weber. While the Dyna-Glo does great job smoking meat, it lacks one key function, a water pan. With the Dyna-Glo, you will get meats that taste extra smoky, you will miss out on the added flavors/textures water pans add. With the Weber, your smoker comes with a quality water pan to hold whichever liquids you like to smoke with. This makes for meats that come out tasting moister than what you would get from the Dyna-Glo.
There are things to like about each smoker and things to dislike. For the Dyna-Glo, you will have an easier to use smoker that delivers rich tasting smoked meats. The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is made of more quality materials and comes with a built in water pan, but the bullet design makes for a more difficult time accessing the meats.
Value for Money?
The Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker offers a charcoal smoking experience for one low price. Many charcoal smokers lack the ease of vertical smoker designs. Dyna-Glo can be easily accessed and used by any new user of smokers. With an Offset Charcoal chamber, the control over heat becomes even simpler to operate as a smoker. While a few rigs may be needed to achieve a perfected smoker, the out of the box design of the Dyna-Glo still works well. Overall, I give the Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker a total of 3/5 stars.