Horizon Smokers: The Classic, The Marshal, and The Ranger

Buy one of these and you may never need to buy an offset smoker again. Here's why:


Horizon Smokers Classic BBQ Smoker

Based in Oklahoma, Roger Davidson’s BBQ Smokers are among the most versatile and well built, if expensive, of any range.

While these models cost a lot, you certainly get what you pay for with the Horizon range.



All Horizon models are built with heavy duty 1/4" steel; they are built to last a lifetime.

They are big, made for catering for gatherings of 40 or 50 people. They are so large and robust that they make most other barbeque smokers look kind of weak and feeble.

If anything, even though the models in this range are billed as being backyard for backyard use, they could easily handle some commercial use. (Horizon do manufacture commercial trailer mounted models as well)

The Classic, in particular, looks like a horizontal offset BBQ smoker should - an efficient and traditional design that has withstood the test of time.

Horizon Smokers: The Classic


Charcoal as well as hardwood can be used as fuel in the main cooking chamber and it heats to temperatures of around 250 degrees, depending on model.

The two Classic models and the Marshal are all standard horizontal offset smokers. They all come in two sizes, 16" and 20", in the Classic's case they are 660 and 973 square inches of cooking space respectively.

Horizon Smokers: The Marshal


Horizon Smokers: The Marshal

Labelled the ‘King of the Backyard’ by Horizon, the 20” Marshal smoker has a cooking capacity of over 1200 square inches. It is the largest 20” backyard smoker provided by Horizon in terms of cooking capacity.

It comes with a thermometer and clean out tool and customers are encouraged to purchase a counter weight for $140, to provide extra stability when cooking.

At a price of $1,439 the 20” Marshal is certainly an investment, but one that is worth it if you barbecue for big groups on a regular basis or are a pro.

For around $300 dollars extra you can purchase the 20” RD special. The RD special is basically the same barbecue as the standard 20” model, however, it comes packaged with a plethora of extras.

These include:

  • An extra thermometer for use with the firebox
  • A warming tray, perfect for keeping a side dish or cooked meat hot
  • The RD special also comes bundled with a sliding convection system
  • A heavy duty charcoal grate, with framed grates for the main chamber and firebox included as standard.

For anyone planning huge parties, the 24” Marshal backyard smoker may be exactly what you are looking for.

The 24” model boasts a massive 1600 square inches of cooking space and all the accessories bundled with the RD special model.

This BBQ is so large that Horizon has had to include a counter weight in the package as standard. This allows for far easier opening and closing of the main cooking chamber door.

Horizon Smokers:The Ranger


The industrial looking Ranger series (16” and 20”) comes with both main cooking area and firebox, but also includes a large vertical slow smoking chamber, which cooks at temperatures ranging from 160 - 200 degrees.

Horizon recommends the vertical chamber for cooking sausages, fish, turkey, jerky and cheese while your steaks grill on the firebox.

It should be noted, if you're not already aware, that different types of BBQ wood will give different smoky flavors suited to different foods.

Optional Extras

There are various accessories for smokers available to purchase on the Horizon website.

These include convection plates ($45-$55) which help to eliminate “hot spots” during the slow cooking process, and Horizon offers charcoal baskets that can be purchased to increase the capacity of any 16” and 20” smoker.

Furthermore, made to fit water repellent barbecue covers ($62-$165) to protect your BBQ smoker when it is not in use.

Warranty

Horizon Smokers offer a comprehensive warranty, due to the quality of steel they use when manufacturing their barbecues. Their website offers a lifetime guarantee against burnout.

If ordering from the Horizon website, you need to be aware that the items are built to order, and will take anything up to 8 weeks to arrive.

Endorsements

The Horizon series is always well received by critics. About.com awarded the Classic line a four and a half out of five star rating, praising its durable construction and labeling it ‘ideal for the backyard BBQ cook who wants to go old school’.

These BBQ Smokers have been well received by consumers, gaining four and five star ratings on BBQ forums such as www.smokeymeatforum.com and www.basspro.com.

The Verdict

I think these might be some of the best offset smokers around. Every aspect of the design, build, customer service, warranty is delivered honestly and with certainty.

The Good

  • Rock solid and will last a lifetime
  • Beautiful traditional designs
  • Vast cooking areas

The Bad

  • Expensive for the average weekend barbecue chef
  • Big for the average garden
  • Slow build delivery time from manufacturer

Where to Buy Horizon Smokers

Check out the BBQ smoker bestseller list at Amazon.com

Related Reading on BBQ Smokers

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