Top 10 Best Offset Smoker Reviews For The Money 2018 (UPDATED)
You’re doing some renovations behind your house and suddenly, you smell the most incredible aroma from your neighbor’s backyard. Peaking over the fence, there stands the most appetizing barbeque you’ve seen in a long time. You can’t help noticing the shiny offset smoker too.
And now, you’re yearning for one of your own so you can smoke your turkey, beef, pork, and so on. But there’s a problem – there are so many options that you can’t decide on one. You don’t even know what features to look for.
I started in the same place and honestly, it took great efforts to get the right offset smoker and become the meat smoking guru I now am.
So, I will take you through a simple but effective guide on smoking using the offset smoker. I will not only show you the best offset smokers in the market today but also present you with great info and tips on meat smoking with the offset smoker.
If you don't have time to read the whole article, check our top 3 picks below in short!
Things to Consider Before Buying of an Offset Smoker
There are lots of things you have got to look out for to ensure that you choose the best offset smoker particularly with regard to performance. Let’s go through the most important ones.
I recommend you spend as much as your budget allows. Why? There’s a wide variation between inexpensive offset smokers and those that are more expensive. You’re looking for the best quality, right? If you want a smoker that will last a lifetime rather than just a few months, go for the most expensive model you can afford.
I don’t mean you have to spend a fortune, no.
There’s an assortment of affordable smokers that have excellent features and with the review below, you’ll definitely get yourself a great offset smoker affordably.
What You Will Be Smoking
After setting your budget, it’s time to think about the meat you will be smoking in terms of type and quantity. If you will be catering for a crowd, that means you will need to smoke more meat, translating to the need for a bigger smoker.
What you need to consider here is the capacity of the cooking area. Some smokers allow you to cook your food in the main cooking chamber as well as the firebox.
If you love searing steaks and sausages, you might want to get a model that lets you grill.
The benefit with vertical offset smokers is that they don’t consume too much storage space. But, even the best horizontal offset smokers are quite bulky, and you’ll possibly have to store them in the same place you cook.
Find a cool, dry place that is protected from direct sunlight or rain. Ensure it’s a place where the smoke from the smoker will not drift into your house.
Here comes the fun stuff. What internal rack layout do you have in mind? Do you prefer a ¼-inch steel?
If you’re looking for a smoker that facilitates uniform cooking, I suggest you go for a reverse flow model.
Looking to move the smoker from time to time? Then you will need a model with wheels and handles. Another important feature to look out for is warranty.
With that said, you can proceed to the next section. I have reviewed only the best models based on my experience and also what other BBQ lovers say. With this review, I am sure you will find the right offset smoker for your needs.
Top 10 Best Offset Smokers Reviews 2018
1. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker
One of the most important considerations you need to make before purchasing an offset smoker it’s cooking capacity. This is particularly vital if you’ll be serving a crowd.
Smoking more than 100 pounds of food per session, the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D is, without doubt, a perfect fit for mass smoking.
Moreover, its wood chip box is porcelain-enamelled. This makes it not just durable but also ideal for holding your coals and maintaining temperature levels. And, with a dual door design, you don’t have to worry about heat loss at all.
The dual door design doesn’t just help with heat maintenance; it gives you easy access when you need to add more coals or wood.
The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D has 6 cook grates that you can effortlessly adjust to add more food. In fact, I normally set mine to hold up to 150 pounds when I have my cousins over (we’re a large family).
Maybe you want something that will look great sitting on your yard; something you can be proud of. The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D’s exteriors are made of cold-rolled steel with a black finish. It’s basically a fine piece of art and I’m sure you will love it.
2. Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker
Are you a beginner? Instead of focusing on the quantity of output, maybe you should concentrate more on sharpening your skills. With that said, I’d encourage you to go for a simple offset like the Char-Broil.
This smoker is also ideal for anyone who’s not looking to feed a crowd.
The door has a simple design, allowing you easy access so you can remove the ash effortlessly. The drawers are also easily accessible, and therefore replenishment of water and wood is a simple process.
With a steel make coupled with square legs, the smoker is very stable and robust.
The smokerbox is welded such that the heat and smoke get locked inside for some time before escaping through the chimney. This helps the meat gain lots of flavor.
The Char-Broil Offset Smoker comes with an adjustable heat control, meaning you can manage the heat levels easily. Moreover, with an adjustable chimney vent, managing the smoke level is also pretty easy.
Looking to move your smoker about from time to time? Maybe you want to be able to move it from the store to the backyard and back to the store in the evening. In that case, the Char-Broil Offset Smoker would be perfect, as it comes with wheels and handles for easy movement.
3. Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker, 30'' L
Maybe you’re looking for a smoker that will keep looking good as new for a while. That would be the Royal Gourmet Grill with Offset Smoker. It’s built with a revolutionary design that prevents the paint on the firebox from flaking even with the high temperatures.
The cooking area is made from porcelain steel, which facilitate not just quick cooking but also longevity.
The Royal Gourmet Grill with Offset Smoker is a two-in-one gadget. It has a heating surface, where you can roast side dishes, while smoking your meat. Maybe you can take advantage of the heating surface the way I do.
I use the heating surface to roast veggies and corn for the vegans in my family while using the cooking chamber smoking ribs for the rest of us.
The charcoal pan has a huge capacity, as it can hold 5 pounds of that at a time. And, it has lifting handles to help you adjust the charcoal’s height for more efficient cooking.
Apart from that, this smoker comes with a heavy-duty lid and a damper that you can adjust easily. These give you lots of control over the air flow.
4. Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box
Want to do Texas-style barbecue? Go for the Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro. It’s the perfect traditional grill with a firebox on the side.
Its firebox and grill barrel feature a heavy-duty steel design with a powder coating. Also, the cooking grills are made of cast iron and are non-stick, thus offering maximum protection for your food against damage.
This smoker’s charcoal drawers are removable, meaning you get to add coals and dump the ash with ease.
With a double bottom, the smoker allows you to enjoy Texas-style smoking for a really long time.
Aside from that, the smoker comes with a temperature gauge and a storage rack where you can keep various items. And, with two sturdy wheels, transporting the smoker is virtually effortless.
The Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro is one of the offsets that offers you plenty of smoking room. There’s a 250 sq.in. firebox that you can also use for smoking some of your food, and there’s the 580 sq.in. main cooking chamber. That’s a total of 830 sq.in. worth of cooking surface.
5. Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box
Looking for a smoker suitable for picnics or camping? The Char-Griller 2-2424 is the best portable offset smoker. You can easily take it with you wherever you’re off to if you’re looking to enjoy some grilling fun away from home.
And, with a robust steel construction and cast-iron grills, you don’t have to worry about damage. The smoker can withstand the harshest of conditions.
The smoker has a sliding drawer to help you access the charcoal and ash quickly. It also comes with an ergonomic pan for damping the ash. This makes the clean-up process fast and easy.
This smoker comes with a grilling space of 250 sq.in. but maybe you’ll want more space sometimes. You can easily mount the entire smoker on a Char-Griller barrel grill and in so doing, create more grilling space.
Additionally, you can attach this smoker on the Chargriller Pro Deluxe, Outlaw, Duo, or Wrangler as a side firebox. Note however, that once you do that, the modification is permanent and can hardly be reversed.
6. Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill
Maybe you need a machine that you can switch from a smoker to a grill whenever you want. If that’s so, the Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D by Dyna-Glo will do.
It has a smoking part and a grilling part. That empowers you to diversify your cooking options.
And, if you’re looking to attend to a crowd, this smoker will work just fine for you. With a cooking area of more than 1380 sq.in, you can smoke lots of chunks of meat and serve an army.
The cooking grates are chrome-plated, and thus they are able to retain the heat for a long time and distribute it evenly on your food.
Furthermore, with a heavy-gauge steel make, this offset is able to retain the heat more effectively, minimizing the amount of fuel needed and thus enabling you to save on fuel expenses.
It’s a robust offset smoker that offers easy heat and smoke control for those looking to enjoy smoking with a vertical smoker.
Maybe you have a huge family or you normally have many friends or relatives over from time to time. With this smoker’s 1382 sq.in. total smoking space, you’ll be able to smoke lots of meat at once for them.
The charcoal grate and ash pan are removable, thus providing you with fast access to the fuel, and making ash disposal effortless.
Moreover, this Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker makes it possible for you to diversify your options. You can either use it for grilling or smoking food.
Besides that, the Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D comes with a removable ash pan and charcoal grate. That not only allows you to add the fuel easily but also enables you to dispose the ash easily and quickly.
7. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package
How about a smoker that lets you hang your meat? That’s exactly what the Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package offers you.
It comes with 8 hooks, made of stainless steel, where you can hang your meat as it cooks. Apart from that, it has a standard grate, where you can grill and sear your food.
In the firebox, there’s a charcoal basket, perfectly sized for a moderate cook.
And oh, maybe you’re wondering why it’s called a package. Well, that’s because it offers you all you need to get started with smoking. That includes hanging rods and hooks, grates, hook remover tools, a steel drum (porcelain-coated) and a charcoal tray.
If you’re looking for a special vertical smoking experience, the Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package is ideal for you.
It’s made in such a way that the cooking session is shorter without requiring you to regulate the smoke and heat levels very closely.
And tell you what? This smoker has received much acclaim from some of the biggest names in barbecue. For instance, Steven Raichlen, a renowned TV host and writer, showed admiration for this smoker by adding it to his Barbecue University’s smokers and grills collection.
Many review sites, including amazingribs.com, have given it very high ratings and awards because of its ease of use, exceptional performance, and great value.
8. Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Smoker
Nothing beats a reverse flow offset smoker when it comes to smoking food. The reverse flow mechanism is all about guiding the smoke and heat through a duct system to the main chamber, so the food benefits optimally from them.
The Oklahoma Joe's Highland is the best reverse flow offset smoker, with four baffles for guiding the smoke and heat to the smokerbox. This mechanism helps you achieve delicious, even results speedily.
Even better, you can remove the baffles and customize them in whatever manner you like.
With a cooking surface of 900 sq.in, you can smoke food enough to feed a huge family.
The firebox contains a big charcoal basket made stainless steel and an easy door. This makes adding fuel, emptying ash, and clean-up easy processes.
The smoker features a heavy-duty steel construction and the cooking grates are porcelain coated. This not only means efficient heat retention but also longevity. With the smoker’s multiple dampers, smoke and heat control becomes effortless.
The Oklahoma Joe's Highland comes with huge 10-inch wheels. That means mobility is never a problem.
9. Landmann 591320 Smoky Mountain Bravo Premium Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker Box
The Landmann 591320 Smoky Mountain Bravo is another great option for those who look to feed an army from time to time. With a total cooking area of more than 1000, you can smoke plenty of meat at once.
This smoker has two huge front panels that help you access the coals easily and with removable charcoal pans and ash trays, you never have to worry about filling or emptying.
The ash trays cover the grill’s entire bottom, making ash removal even easier.
The smoker comes with robust caster wheels. These allow you to move and place the unit with ease. There’s a big storage cabinet and a side table that provides you with convenient working space.
With the smoker’s adjustable side vents, temperature control also becomes very efficient.
10. Landmann 560202 Vista Barbecue Grill with Offset Smoker Box, Black
Got a small patio or compact cooking space? Then you need a compact offset smoker like the Landmann 560202 Vista.
This smoker’s foldable side shelf and huge wheels makes it very easy to move about or take with your wherever you go. Looking for a model suitable for camping or picnics? Get this one.
It comes with a 363 sq.in. cooking space made of porcelain-coated cast-iron grates. And when you need to do a larger cookout, the firebox has a cooking grate that gives you 169 sq.in worth of extra grilling space.
The charcoal tray has a crank handle that lets you adjust it to multiple positions. And, with a big front panel, you can easily access the coals for filling, ignition, extinguishing, etc. The ash accumulates on a huge tray that occupies the entire bottom. This tray is removable, making clean-up quick and easy.
In addition to that, the Landmann 560202 Vista’s chimney has a damper that you can adjust and control the heat levels effortlessly.
11. Oklahoma Joe's LP Gas/Charcoal Smoker Combo
Maybe you want a smoker that offers you total versatility. In that case, I’d suggest the Oklahoma Joe's LP Gas/Charcoal Smoker Combo. With this smoker, you can use either charcoal or gas. That means you get to enjoy smoke-cooked food even if you live in an apartment (unless they have banned the use of propane).
With a total smoking area of 1060 sq.in, this smoker is a great option for those looking to serve a crowd.
750 of that is in the main cooking chamber, while the other 310 is in a chamber in the firebox.
The smoker features porcelain-coated grates made of cast iron. That means there’s uniform distribution of heat plus excellent retention of that heat.
The gas grilling chamber has a capacity of 36000 BTU. That means high efficiency even when you choose to smoke using gas.
The Oklahoma Joe's LP Gas/Charcoal Smoker Combo features a heavy-duty steel construction that not only makes it durable but also makes heat distribution and retention even better.
12. Outsunny Backyard Charcoal BBQ Grill & Offset Smoker Combo With Wheels
A grill and offset combo offers you flexibility in that you can easily switch between smoking and grilling food.
This smoker is a two in one, in that you have the option of using it as a griller or a smoker.
To experience the ultimate backyard experience, you need a smoker that gives you options. The Outsunny Charcoal Grill & Offset Smoker Combo comes with 2 different openings – one for the smoker part and the other for the griller part.
There are two separate wooden shelves on this smoker, providing you with ample work space. One is on the side while the other one is in front. Apart from that, there is a metallic grate on the lower side, thus maximizing shelf space.
If you have a sense of adventure, you need a smoker that is lightweight, like this one, so you can move it around easily. It even has wheels for better mobility.
What Is an Offset Smoker Precisely?
Maybe you’re wondering what an offset smoker is precisely. It’s a popular classic smoker design where meat smokes in a stretched chamber with charcoal burning in a firebox connected to the smokerbox on one of the sides.
It normally features a few shelves in the smokerbox. These shelves enable you handle many meat pieces at the same time.
How Does It Work?
Remember, offset smokers have a long cylindrical chamber where the smoking takes place while a side attachment, called a firebox, houses the charcoal.
To smoke the meat, all you have to do is light up a small fire in the firebox. Airflow in the firebox is rigidly controlled, and so the smoke plus the heat from the fire are conveyed to the smoking chamber via an opening or a connecting pipe.
The smoke and heat cook and add flavor to the meat and then escape through a small outlet located on the other side of the smoking chamber.
This is the design that comes to the mind of meat smokers think of BBQ smokers. Even huge commercial units utilize the same central design of a large smoking chamber with a smaller firebox attached to the side.
History of Offset Smoker
Before we dive into the history of the offset smoker, it’s important to know a thing or two about the history of smoking meat.
It’s believed that the first guys to smoke meat were the primitive cavemen. It’s thought that these early men hang meat so it could dry without infestation by pests. By accident, they discovered that meat that was hung in smoky places gained a better flavor and stayed longer without going bad than meat that was dried in non-smoky areas.
The smoking strategy was thereafter combined with curing meat in salty brines prior to smoking, creating a preservation method that was even more effective.
Before the modern era, the main purpose of smoking was to preserve meat rather than to add flavor. But at the dawn of the modern era and with the invention of better transportation systems, the purpose of smoking started shifting to adding flavor.
In the 1930s, a machine known as the Torry Kiln was created in Scotland. It facilitated even smoking of large quantities of meat and is seen as the prototype for the offset smoker and other modern smokers.
With technology advancement and technique refinement, the offset smoker was introduced, making smoking a lot easier. Nonetheless, the basic steps of smoking have remained the same as they were in the ancient world.
It’s supposed that the first offset smoker was designed by oilfield workers in Oklahoma and Texas.
Away from home and with no restaurants nearby, the BBQ-starved workers looked at the oil pipes and steel drums and sae smokers and grills. The design was based on old-style brick BBQ pits where a fire was lit in one chamber and the heat and smoker crossed to the food in a separate chamber.
In the 1980s, oil prices dropped tremendously. Mr. Whitworth, who run an oil-dependent metal fabricating business in Texas, began making BBQ pits to keep his workers engaged in the oil recession. He named his smoker venture “Pitt’s & Spitt’s”, and it has since been among the most reputed brands in the offset smoker industry.
Advantages of Using an Offset Smokers
An offset smoker is an equipment that produces the smokiest, richest meat. Here’s why you ought to get one:
- You can install a grill grate on top of the firebox and use the unit for direct grilling. And, most models come with a custom grill grate.
- It has a huge cooking chamber that enables you to smoke big chunks of meat.
- It doesn’t need electricity so there are no electricity bills to pay and there are no moving parts so you will hardly ever have to replace anything.
- The best brands provide you with a broad range of accessories and customization options.
- It has a high cool factor, particularly if it’s a big black steel offset smoker.
- There are several fuel options and they’re all cheap. These include wood chips, wood pellets, logs, wood chunks, and charcoal.
- You can add the fuel without having to open the cooking chamber. This way, you avoid disrupting the heat and smoke levels.
- With proper maintenance, the smoker will last a lifetime.
Types of Offset Smokers – Best Overview
There are 2 main types of offset smokers. Let’s go over them quickly:
Traditional offset smokers
In these ones, the hottest part of the cook chamber is the one that is nearest to the firebox.
This can result in imbalanced cooking, and therefore, you will have to turn the food frequently or plan how you position the meat carefully so that some parts don’t cook faster than others.
With traditional offset smokers, the bigger the equipment, the larger the heat disparity.
Reverse flow offset smokers
Looking to lower the need for frequent turning of the meat for even cooking? Go for a reverse flow offset smoker. This smoker has a special addition – the steel baffle plate.
The purpose of this addition is to safeguard the meat against direct heat. The plate functions as a uniform heat sink that lets the smoke move around the BBQ slowly, supplying the meat with even flavor and heat.
The Difference Between a Traditional and a Reverse Flow Offset Smoker
Wondering how to tell if an offset smoker is traditional or reverse flow? Just look at the position of the chimney.
On a traditional model, the chimney is positioned a little too far-off from the firebox while on a reverse flow model, the chimney is much closer to the firebox. This is because in a reverse flow smoker, the smoke is pushed forward and backward through the smoking chamber before being expelled.
Apart from that categorization, we can also divide offset smokers into 2 categories based on quality:
The price of EOS normally ranges above 800 dollars and as you might guess, these smokers are far better than COS.
COS, on the other hand, range below 400 dollars most of the time but you’ll find that the low price is because some important features have been compromised.
Let’s remind ourselves a few things from our physics classes: smoke and heat are less dense than air, and so they will naturally want to go upwards rather than sideways. So, as the smoke and heat exit the firebox, they try as much as possible to go up, making the side of the cooking chamber that’s closest to the firebox much hotter than the other parts.
For that reason, if you placed 5 ribs in there, some will smoke faster and better than others. You can try moving them about, but that can be quite tiring and ineffective with a COS.
The problem with COS is that they lack features to distribute smoke and heat evenly. Then again, their fireboxes usually leak, so some smoke and heat will escape before it ever reaches the meat. With this issue, you also can’t control the fire very efficiently.
This issue is due to the fact that COS are built from thin metals, making heat retention quite difficult especially in cold weather. These smokers are also vulnerable to fast rusting.
EOS, on the other hand, are manufactured from thick metals that absorb and distribute heat much more uniformly. Their dampers and doors are so tight that temperature regulation becomes effortless.
In fact, some EOS come with a duct system to ensure efficient conveyance of smoke and heat through the entire length of the cooking chamber. The duct system normally travels beneath a thick metal plate so the chamber warms from below.
Moreover, the chimney is positioned on the side where the firebox is located so it can pull the heat and smoke across the top of the meat.
My recommendation? Go for a EOS if your budget allows it. It will serve you much better, and for longer.
What are the Best Offset Smoker Brands in the Market
Dyna-Glo offset smokers are made by the GHP Group, which is a leading manufacturing firm that centers on fireplaces, BBQ grills, and related accessories.
The good thing about their smokers is that they’re a common, and thus it’s likely that you will find one without searching too much. In the North, they are regarded by BBQ fanatics as the best offset smokers for home use.
Dyna-Glo smokers are normally put through a rigorous testing exercise to make sure that the industry standards on functionality and durability are not only met but also exceeded.
Then again, their customer care is exceptional. They are always ready to assist you should you have trouble with the offset.
I trust this brand, and that’s why the first product on my review, the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Offset Smoker, is from them. Don’t hesitate to get it.
Oklahoma Joe is a household name among BBQ enthusiasts. Guess you have heard of it, no?
Anyway, the company started back in 87 when Joe Davidson, the founder, designed 12 smokers and displayed them at the Oklahoma State Fair. He not only managed to sell them all but also got numerous orders to supply his invention.
If you love Texas barbecue, I’d encourage you to go for Oklahoma Joe’s smokers. They are manufactured from 12-gauge black oil pipes, with Texas BBQ in mind. For that, they are efficient and durable.
Though Char-Broil purchased this brand from Mr. Davidson back in 98, it hasn’t lost its touch. It still helps pitmasters all over the US realize their dreams of enjoying their unique BBQ flavors.
It doesn’t matter what is driving you into the pit, Oklahoma Joe’s smokers have you covered. Start off with the Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Smoker and see how it goes.
Are you from the south? I take it that there, you people take grilling pretty darn seriously, right? I have some good news for you. Char-Griller, one of the most trusted names in barbecuing, is based in Georgia, and makes some of the best offsets in the market.
Instead of going for an overrated griller that costs more than your first car, go for a simple, fair-priced Char-Griller offset, and I am sure that you will have an excellent grilling experience.
My neighbor has the Char-Griller 1224, and I tell you, that machine is his pride. He calls it Garry; tells me that’s the name of his great grandfather who happened to love barbecue.
So, if you’re from Georgia, don’t look too much, get an offset from a manufacturer near you, Char-Griller.
Landmann is a US-based manufacturer of high-class grills and smokers among other fireplace items.
They have a dedicated design team in Fairburn, GA, that works toward innovating cutting-edge offsets of the highest quality.
The benefit that comes with their products is that they offer you ease of use, excellent performance, and longevity.
This company has a physical store in Fairburn, GA, where you can get all of their line of products. You can also find their products in the best retailers in the US, including Lowes, Home Depot, and Costco.
But, if you love internet shopping, which, needless to say, happens to be more convenient, find them on Amazon. I bet you will love the Landmann Smoky Mountain Bravo.
How to Use and Cook on an Offset Smoker
That offset smoker might look intimidating but it’s actually really easy to use when you know how to regulate the temperature.
Start the smoker by lighting some briquettes and tossing them in the firebox. Place your meat in the cooking chamber and be sure to stick to low temperatures as the meat smokes.
Regulate the vents and put some more coals in the firebox to sustain the fire. You can add some flavoured wood to enhance your meat’s flavor.
Smoking meat (or any other food) with an offset smoker is easy. I have broken the process down into 3 easy steps and I believe you’ll understand them effortlessly.
Here i add a video, if you watch this video i hope you can use offset smoker in Under 5 min.
Step I: Starting the offset
Smoking with a new offset smoker? Consider wiping it clean with some soap and water and a piece of cloth. Then, rinse it to remove any remaining grease or dust. As soon as the smoker is dry, sprinkle some cooking oil over the cooking chamber on the interior side.
Open the vents and light the wood chips or charcoal in the firebox. Let the fire burn for around half an hour before you start smoking your meat.
There’s something you’ve got to know about that built-in thermometer you see at the offset’s lid. It measures the heat level at that zone only rather than the exact place where the meat is smoking. That’s why you can’t rely on it.
Here’s what you can do: get 2 digital air probes and insert them at both ends of the chamber. These probes will provide you with the most reliable readings as they measure the temperature inside the cooking chamber. Want to be able to move them about? Get some with wires attached.
On the firebox’s side, there’s an air intake vent. Open it to provide the fire with some air so it can keep burning. Also, open the chimney vent so smoke can get an escape route.
Note: in the smoking industry, we also call vents baffles or dampers.
Put some charcoal in a chimney starter and ignite them. Let the charcoal heat up till it starts glowing and ashes over. The process should take just about 10 to 20 minutes.
Now, transfer the burning charcoal to the firebox and spread them a little. And, if you’re looking to boost the flavor, include a log of hardwood like mesquite or apple.
Close the firebox’s and cooking chamber’s lid.
Pro tip: don’t make a fire out of wood entirely, as it will be difficult to maintain or control over a lengthy period of time.
Don’t forget to monitor the heat level in the cooking chamber. I suggest smoking your meat between 230 and 280 °F.
Step II: Adding the meat
Arrange the meat or any other food you’re planning to smoke on the cooking chamber’s racks. I recommend putting refrigerated meat in there without warming it first, as cold meat absorbs the smoke more than warmer meat.
Close the chamber’s lid.
Need to maintain the fire or enhance it? Put some unlit briquettes into the firebox. A grill hoe will help you push the ashy coals to one corner to make room for more fuel.
I suggest checking the firebox twice every hour to make sure the fire is still burning.
Is the cooking chamber’s temperature still dropping after adding new coal? Place a log of wood in the firebox. Also, ensure the air inlet vent is open so the fire can get enough oxygen. A minute or two are enough to bring the temperatures up.
On the other hand, if the temperatures are too high and you need to decrease them, just close the vents. And if they’re not reducing as you’d want them to reduce, open the cooking chamber’s lid for about one minute. This tactic drops the temperatures very swiftly.
Don’t forget to shut the vents once the cooking chamber attains the heat level you want.
Step III: Smoking the meat
Place a big log of wood or two into the firebox once per hour.
The idea here is to smolder the log rather than to burn it up with an open flame. So, set the log next to the fire. Also, consider using a log of wood rather than wood chips, as these burn off rapidly.
Looking to attain the finest flavor? Go for hardwood, nutwood or fruitwood.
There’s no need to soak the wood, as the moisture will only cool the coals, and we don’t want that.
It’s important to turn the meat at least once every hour. To do that, just open the cooking chamber’s lid and move the meat. A pair of tongs will be really handy here. The purpose of turning the meat is ensuring even cooking.
If you’re smoking several pieces of meat, all the pieces cook evenly and if it’s just one huge piece of meat, both sides get access to the heat uniformly.
Worried that the meat will dry out due to the long smoking duration? Introduce some moisture in the firebox. Here’s how to do that:
Set up a metal rack over the charcoal. Then, put some water into an aluminum pan and place it on the rack. This strategy is aimed at moistening the smoke before it makes its way to the meat.
Spray the meat with some water, juice or even beer. Wondering how to do that? Put the liquid in a clean spray bottle and spray it on the meat when the smoking session is almost finished. You can do the spraying every 20 minutes in the last hour of smoking.
How to Clean and Take Care Your Offset Smoker
Maybe you just spent $800 on a brand new, high-quality offset smoker. It’s only natural that you’ll want to take care of it exceptionally. In this section, I will be showing you exactly how to do that.
Haven’t bought a cover yet? It’s about time you did so, particularly if you’ll be leaving the smoker outside.
After a great cook, you’re likely to be left with several things to deal with. Possibly, there will be a few pieces of meat or wood in the smoker but most certainly there will be grease and fat deposits on the floor of the cooking chamber.
Also, there will be some ash in the firebox.
Maybe you feel worn out after a long smoking session and don’t feel like cleaning the smoker immediately. That is okay; I don’t clean mine immediately either. However, I recommend you don’t let it sit there dirty for too long. Do it the day after.
If you let it stay dirty for days, you’ll without doubt, be reducing its lifespan by increasing the rate of wearing.
The following steps will help you clean and take care of your offset so it serves you excellently and for a long time:
Step I: Emptying the Firebox
This step will take 5 minutes or so.
Remove the firebox’s grills and allow the remaining woods and the ash to fall to the firebox’s base. With a brush, sweep the ash into the ash tray.
Do you see some big pieces of wood or charcoal? Take them out first as they can get jammed in the ash tray.
Open the ash tray. Transfer its contents to the garbage bin or sprinkle them in your flower garden. They make a great fertilizer for plants. Wipe the tray clean and slide it back into the firebox. You can use a moist piece of cloth for the first wipe and use a clean, dry piece of cloth for the last wipe.
Noteworthy tip: some charcoal/wood varieties produce more ash than others. If the ash is too much, try scooping some out first then remove the tray to avoid spillage.
Step II: Wiping Out the Cooking Chamber
This step will take just about 5 minutes also.
To clean the cooking chamber, you will need access to its floor. To gain that, just remove the heat deflection plates and the grills.
Why focus on the cooking chamber’s bottom more? Now, after a smoking session, the bottom portion of the chamber is normally left with a deposit of solidified cooking fat.
What you want to do is wipe out that fat with a paper towel. I strongly discourage using an abrasive, as it might ruin the chamber’s protective coating.
Remember, if you don’t remove that fat, it will overflow when you use the smoker again.
Step III: Cleaning the Heat Deflection Plates
This step needs only 2 or 3 minutes.
A paper towel will help you wipe out the fat deposits from heat deflection plates. Are there some stubborn deposits? Use a spatula to carefully scrap them out then wipe down with a clean towel.
Step IV: Dealing with the Cooking Chamber Grills
If you’re using a high-quality smoker, the grills will most likely be food grade and made of stainless steel. That makes them very easy to clean.
If you have a large sink, consider smoking the grills in hot water. Alternatively, you can spray them with a barbeque degreaser and let them sit for about 7 minutes before scrapping with a brush.
After scrapping, wipe them down with a clean towel, and if they’re moist, allow them a few minutes to dry before placing them back into the cooking chamber.
Minus the drying part, this step takes only about 10 minutes.
As you can see, cleaning your smoker doesn’t take too much time. 25 minutes should be more than enough.
How to Set Up and Modify an Offset Smoker?
So, you have just purchased a new offset smoker but have no idea how to set it up so you can get started with meat smoking? This section is for you. We shall first go over the setup process, then look at the modification process.
Here, we shall look at the steps involved in setup along with some important tips.
Light the fire
I suggest cooking with charcoal instead of wood chips, as charcoal fire is much easier to manage. Also, a wood fire can damage your meat with excess smoke, soot, and ash.
Wondering how much charcoal you should start with? Now, that depends on a few factors, among them, the atmospheric temperature, the wind levels, the tightness of your smoker and the thickness of its metal. You can start with a chimney of charcoal or more based on the conditions. Don’t forget to use a thermometer to measure the temperatures.
Preheat the smoker
Light the coals and wait for about 30 minutes for the cooking chamber to heat up before putting your meat in there.
Are the coals fading and the temperature declining? Use a chimney starter to add some fully lit coals.
Test the heat levels
A pair of barbeque thermometers will help you with this.
Drill small holes in the door at both ends of the cooking chamber and insert a thermometer probe in each. Ensure that they’re in close proximity to the meat so you can get the most accurate readings.
Close the lids
If you keep the doors of the cooking chamber or the firebox can upset the balance of the air reaching the coals, and subsequently affect the temperatures in the cooking chamber.
Turn the meat
This is very important particularly if you have more than one piece of meat in there. And even if it’s just one piece, you want to ensure that both the upper and lower sides get uniform exposure to the heat and smoke.
Regulate the vents
If smoker is like most models, it has an intake vent and a chimney vent. Start regulating the heat level with the intake vent and let the chimney remain wide open.
The intake vent regulates air flow to the charcoal; it has the biggest impact on the cooking temperatures.
The chimney, on the other hand, regulates smoke and the heat variations from one side of the cooking chamber to the other.
Open the intake chamber fully and let it remain that way till the temperatures inside the cooking chamber stabilize somewhere between 230 and 260 °F. When this range is attained, close the vent halfway.
Don’t ever close the intake vent fully, otherwise you will starve the fire inside.
Don’t shut the chimney till the temperatures inside the cooking chamber have stabilized for half an hour or so.
Don’t let it get too smoky
You could easily ruin your meat with excess smoke. Therefore, only add around 4 oz. wood chips, pellets or chunks 6 to 8 times every hour. Start adding them when the cooking chamber temperatures reach 200 °F.
Be wary of the weather
The atmospheric temperature will affect the cooking temperatures. Rain, snow or winds are conditions that will significantly affect the cooking temperatures.
Get a chair
smoking sessions are typically lengthy, taking several hours, and you need a way of getting rid of the boredom or sitting on chair. You could maybe bring a beer, a book, and have some tunes to go with that. I love playing some country music while monitoring the smoking; just my taste.
Add some moisture
Place a grill over the coal. Put some water in a pan and place the pan on the grill. This will create humid conditions in there and the water vapor in the smoke will moisten and add flavor to the meat. I have seen some people placing water pans underneath the meat while it smokes; don’t do that.
So, you’ve just acquired a new smoker? The first thing you need to do is season it with several dry runs without smoking any food.
This helps get rid of any manufacturer’s grease that might still be there. It also helps you practice using your smoker. One of the main practice elements is temperature.
There’s one thing you have got to realize about the temperature settings when using an offset smoker. The built-in thermometer is mostly unreliable no matter the smoker’s quality. It’s often off by 50 °F or more. This thermometer normally measures the temperatures at the lid, instead of the temperatures at the base of the cooking chamber.
That’s why you need to get a good digital thermometer suitable for a food smoker.
various modifications of offset smoker
Looking to turn your new device into a serious smoker producing the very best results? This section will help you make various modifications to optimize your smoker for the job. Smokeheads call these modifications mods.
Add a convection plate, a duct, or a deflector.
The part of the cooking chamber that is nearest to the firebox is normally hotter than the other sides. That’s because as the heat travels from the firebox to the cooking chamber, it scatters a lot and loses intensity.
But, the heat won’t scatter as much if the cooking chamber is made of a thick metal.
Unfortunately, most offsets’ cooking chambers are thin, especially the cheap ones. To deal with the problem, here’s what you can do:
- Fix a metal flap between the opening of the firebox and that of the cooking chamber at an angle.
- This way, you will be deflecting the smoke and heat downward and in so doing prevent them from scattering and losing intensity.
- If you have trouble doing this, you can have a metal works guy do it for you.
- Maybe the temperature difference between the side of the cooking chamber that’s nearest to the firebox and the opposite side was 50 °F initially. The deflector can reduce that to around 10 °F.
- Maybe you cannot afford a commercial convection plate and your wife won’t let you improvise with her cookie sheets (they also work pretty well). Just wrap the cooking rack nearer to the firebox with a foil and poke slits in the foil.
- Some people say it works very well for them and evens out the temperatures efficiently.
- Maybe the two previous modifications don’t work for you. Here’s the ultimate solution. Have a metal works guy fabricate a duct for you. This modification, called a reverse flow, is very effective at radiating the heat to the side opposite the firebox.
- As a matter of fact, the duct system is applied in the large commercial offsets to distribute heat evenly in the cooking chamber. As the meat cooks, the duct heats up the cooking chamber from below.
Here are other important mods:
Lower the chimney
Most offset smokers have the chimney positioned at the top. For that reason, smoke and heat from the firebox are naturally drawn toward the top of the cooking chamber, where they have an escape route.
Consider this: if you can extend the outlet downward, the heat and smoke will also move across the grate of the smoking chamber at a lower level.
Here’s how to do that. Roll up an aluminum roof flashing and insert it into the lower end of the chimney to act as an extension of the chimney. Let the extension reach the level of the cooking chamber grate.
The flashing will only cost you about 8 dollars so you can see that’s cost-efficient.
Get a new chimney
In case you don’t want to try the chimney extension method, you can try removing the entire chimney, cover the hole, and create a new chimney just below the grate level.
Just cut a hole below the grate level and weld an elbow to the pit’s side. Then, stick an exhaust pipe or a metallic tube (with a dimeter of about 5 inches) into the elbow.
Get a water pan
This is another modification you can do to improve your smoker and since we’ve already talked about it before, I won’t say much about it. Just keep in mind that it helps moisten the smoke so it adds flavor and moisture to your meat. With a dollar or so, you have a great water pan for the task.
Boost the capacity
Maybe your COS’s capacity is around 6 St. Louis cut slabs. What if you’re hosting a party and you need to smoke more meat? Just use shorter baby backs and 3 rib racks.
The strategy can boost your capacity by around 9 slabs, and you will only have to spend around 75 dollars on the modification.
Something else you can do to increase your smoker’s capacity is adding a grill to the firebox. Mount it just beneath the door. That way, you can smoke some of those ribs directly over the coals.
Apart from that, you can add a coals grate to the firebox, just below the normal grate. Position it in such a way that it hovers several inches over the firebox’s bottom so there’s some space left for airflow. This works great I tell you, and the modification will cost you just around 10 dollars.
The idea is to make a charcoal tub to hold a coals heap in the firebox.
Fill the tub with unlit charcoal and pour lit charcoal on top when you need to increase the temperature. The lit charcoal will gradually ignite the unlit ones, thus helping you maintain the heat levels for a long time.
To get the tub, just go to a metal works guy and ask them to make a square box with a length of around 12x12 inches and a height of around 6 inches (take the dimensions of your firebox to be safer). They can use carbon steel sheets to make that. There’s no need to make a floor for the tub if you have added a grate below the firebox’s door.
Are you in Louisiana? Look up YokeUp.net; it’s a Louisiana firm that makes nice charcoal tubs for smokers.
Also known as the snake technique, the mud pan concept is a clever means of creating a slow, steady burn. Some people place the mud pan in the firebox while others position it on one side of the smokebox.
Add charcoal on one end of the pan and let them ignite progressively from that end all the way to the other end of the pan. As the charcoal ignites, it’s able to put out a steady heat level all the way.
Wondering how to do that? Here’s what to do. Purchase 2 stainless steel mud pans from a hardware store. Each will cost your around 10 dollars. Avoid using pans made of galvanized steel, as they can let off toxic gases.
For instance, my mud pans occupy a width of 8 inches collectively and with a height of 4 inches, they’re able to hold lots of coals and wood chips.
Just drill holes in the ends, bottoms, and sides of the pans and cut out uniform notches on both pans to create a connection between them. There’s no need to connect them permanently as you might need to place them individually sometimes.
With 2 trays, I bet you’re good to go but if you got extra space, feel free to add a 3rd or 4th one to prolong the burn time.
Going through a very long smoking session? When a tray’s coals get burned out, just remove the entire tray, empty the ash and refill it, then place it back in the smoker.
The mud pan is very handy and easy to apply. With proper fuel load, the mud pan setup can help maintain a 225 °F temperature for 5 hours.
Seal the leaks
If you’re using a COS[Cheap Offset Smokers (COS)], chances are, it leaks badly particularly around the lids. Now, that’s a bad situation as it leads to poor control of the temperatures.
To alleviate the issue, just make a gasket. Some people purchase replacement gaskets meant for a Big Green Egg and they work excellently. These materials have an adhesive at the back, which act as great sealants.
The problem with COS is that they’re made of thin metals, and thus the heat escapes fast.
To deal with the problem, I suggest putting bricks on the floor of the smokerbox and covering them with a foil.
Although the smokerbox will take longer to heat up, it will be able to keep the heat for longer and distribute it more uniformly.
Another tactic you can apply to insulate the cooking chamber is to drape it with a foil insulation or a welding blanket.
The next mod you should do is make a drain to make cleanup easy.
To do that, drill a one-inch hole and use a half-inch black pipe nipple, a half-inch ball valve, and a half-inch conduit nut to install the drain.
A chimney cap
A chimney cap is great for keeping out the rain and snow and preventing rust. You local hardware store might have one.
Add a computerized thermostat
The BBQ Guru or the Rock’s Stoker is perfect for the job. These thermostats have a damper and blower, which regulate the amount of air reaching your charcoal. They give you greater control over the temperature.
You can set the computer such that the blower gets turned high to get the coals started speedily or gets turned down for a low or slow burn. Also, you can turn it off so the fire gets extinguished by cutting air supply.
Additionally, you can set the thermostat so that it rings when particular heat levels are attained or when a certain duration is reached.
A can of cooking spray
You bought a super shiny COS and want it to look that way for a really long time? Here’s what you can do. After completing your smoking session, ensure that you spray the exteriors with some cooking spray. This will season the metal and prevent it from rusting. Even if you leave it outside, this strategy works and will help you keep your smoker looking as good as new.
Oh, and by the way, if you normally leave your smoker outside, get a water-resistant cover for it. It’s pretty helpful.
So, those are the most important mods to make. You don’t have to do them all immediately; take your time and do each at a time. Then, if you’re really looking to be a pitmaster, you’ve got to practice.
Smoke one slab at a time till you’ve mastered the smoker.
Safety Concern of an Offset Smoker
Just like most of the gadgets or machines that we use in our daily lives, offset smokers are pretty helpful but they also pose certain risks to us and the environment around us.
On one hand, an offset smoker provides you with tasty smoked food but on the other, it presents certain dangers.
This section is dedicated to informing you about these dangers and showing you the best way of protecting yourself against them.
All sorts of food are vulnerable to bacterial infestation at any heat level between 0 and 165 °F. Temperatures above that are able to destroy the bacteria totally.
As your food cooks in the offset, the bacteria are vanquished completely but what about when the smoking session is done and the heat level goes down?
If you’re going to store some leftovers after serving, be sure to store them carefully to prevent bacterial infection. You can freeze the meat to protect it against bacteria.
The fire Safety
You need to watch that fire very carefully, as it can devastate anything if not monitored efficiently. Apart from learning how to control a fire effectively, you ought to keep a fire extinguisher there with you as you smoke.
Offset smokers that use charcoal as fuel actually pose more dangers than those that use electricity or gas. Why? The gas that is released (carbon monoxide) when charcoal gets burned particularly with limited access to air. The gas can not only ruin the quality and taste of your smoked food but also pose certain risks to you.
First, it can ruin your clothes and hair but more importantly, it can damage your lungs and cause you to become hypoxic. The condition can range from mild to life-threatening and that is why it’s crucial to be very careful as you use the smoker.
Here’s what you ought to do – ensure the firebox has adequate access to air to minimize the production of carbon monoxide. Also, don’t sit too close to the smoke and avoid inhaling it.
Don’t smoke the food indoors; do it outdoors where there’s adequate air.
Offset Smoker Vs Electric Smoker Vs Vertical Smoker - Unlimited Battle
Maybe you’ve been wondering what the difference is between these three types of smokers. In this section, I will unravel the mystery and help you realize which one best suits you.
Though an electric smoker might not be the first thing that comes to the mind of traditional barbeque lovers when they think about smoking, there are certainly advantages to it.
Maybe you live in an apartment and the management doesn’t allow you to make wood fires or use propane. In that case, your best option is electric smoking.
The good thing about an electric smoker is that there is almost no set up difficulty or mods to make, and if you’re not concerned with the method as long as the results are fine, I’d encourage you to go for it.
Moreover, there’s little mess, and the smoker can be used indoors, meaning you can have smoked food even during winter.
Are you attending to many cookout duties? Have an electric smoker alongside the conventional offset smoker. As you attend to your guests, the smoker will help you smoke more food without straining too much.
An electric smoker is also good if you’re looking to save on fuel. You won’t need to buy charcoal. With a bag of wood chips, you’re good to go.
Vertical or Cylinder Smoker
The vertical smoker is probably the most common type, as it is small, cheap, and easy to operate.
A vertical smoker normally comes with two trays in it. One is at the bottom, where you put your charcoal or wood. The other one is located at an upper position in the middle of the smoker. This is where you put water or other liquids to keep your food moist.
You can open the lid at the smoker’s front side to feed new coals or increase air supply and subsequently the smoking heat.
The smoking grill is usually at the top so that as the smoke and heat rise, they reach your food adequately.
Maybe you have limited space but still look to have the offset smoker-quality food. Go for a vertical smoker. And, tell you what? A cheap vertical smoker is much better than a cheap offset smoker in terms of output and ease of use.
Offset Firebox Smoker
Looking to have a smoker and charcoal grill at the same time? Get an offset smoker.
The concept here is to put your wood or coals in the firebox and place your food in the smokerbox. The smoke and heat travels vents in the firebox all the way to the smokerbox.
You can adjust these vents to control the temperatures.
The best thing about the offset smoker is that it’s absolutely versatile and if you’re looking for the ultimate flavor of smoked food, it’s your best choice.
Now, let’s compare the three based on a number of factors as follows:
The electric smoker is the most convenient one as there’s no mess involved. Also, you can use it the whole year long no matter the season.
If you’re looking to enjoy the best flavor of smoked meat, get an offset smoker. It produces really smoky and tasty results. The food might take longer to cook than it would take with an electric smoker, and the process will be more involving but it’s most definitely worth the trouble.
Got limited finances? Go for a vertical smoker. You will make a small investment on the smoker and the only fuel you will use is charcoal and possibly wood chips. An electric smoker might be easy to use but that comes at a cost – electricity bills plus the cost of the wood chips.
If you have a huge backyard, then you don’t need to worry about space; you can go ahead and purchase an offset smoker. But if your space is limited, a vertical smoker would be more convenient, and if you live in an apartment and don’t have a yard at all, an electric smoker would be the best choice.
The electric smoker involves lots of repairs and part replacements. Offset and vertical smokers on the other hand, are not electronic, and thus repairs and part replacements will be minimal.
3 Smoked Food Recipes Ideas and Procedures
Barbecuing is an incredibly tasty means of enjoying many food varieties, and for most of us, smoked meat takes a huge part of it.
This section introduces recipes with the aim of highlighting how simple it is to enjoy smoked food. Once your family and friends have a taste of what you will prepare with these recipes, they will be lining up with their plates, waiting to have more.
When shopping for ingredients, don’t forget to get some marinades for seasoning your meat. They’re crucial to creating these smoked wonders.
Joe’s Tasty Barbecue Ribs Recipe:
These will take a while to prepare but once it’s all over, you’ll know it was worth the wait. As you eat them, go easy on your fingers or else you’ll lick your skin off. Mmm! I like smoking with hickory wood but of course, you can use your favorite.
- Paprika (2 tablespoons)
- Cayenne pepper (1 teaspoon)
- Garlic powder (1 teaspoon)
- Onion powder (1 teaspoon)
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Ground cumin (2 teaspoons)
- Brown sugar (1.5 tablespoons)
- Ground cinnamon (1/4 teaspoon)
- Ground cloves (1/8 teaspoon)
- Ground nutmeg (1/8 teaspoon)
- Pork spareribs (5 pounds)
- Hickory wood chips (2 pounds, soaked)
Prep time – 15 minutes
Cook time – 8 hours
- Blend all the ingredients in a medium bowl (except the pork and the wood chips, of course).
- Apply the blend to the pork ribs generously.
- Put the ribs into a large roasting skillet, cover it, and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Remove the ribs from the refrigerator an hour before you smoke them.
- Prepare your offset smoker, and bring the heat to around 220 °F.
- Smoke the ribs for around 8 hours. Don’t forget to add the wood chips from time to time (maybe every 30 minutes) to keep a steady smoke. When you notice the ribs have become crispy on the outside and tender interiorly, then you know they’re done cooking.
- Remove the ribs from the smoker and let them cool down for at least 10 minutes before serving.
I can already see your mouth watering. As you plan when to barbecue these pork ribs. Let’s move on to the next tasty smoked food recipe.
Fennel-Smoked Salmon Recipe:
This is for those who love sea food. Maybe you’re trying to enjoy smoked salmon but it keeps sticking to the grill grates. In that case, try fennel-smoked salmon. With this method, the salmon doesn’t have to touch the grill.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 bulb fennel
- 2 seven-ounce salmon fillets (trimmed and sliced very thinly)
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 cup of quartered cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- A juiced lemon
- 2 tablespoons of fennel fronds and threads
- A pinch of white sugar
- 2 cups of wood chips
- Transfer the wood chips to a bowl and cover them with some water. Let them soak for around one hour.
- Preheat your outdoor grill moderately and oil the grates lightly.
- Sprinkle the wood chips over the charcoal in the grill and close the door. Leave the chimney open but when the smoke starts escaping, close them.
- Place the fennel slices on the grates.
- Season the salmon fillets with the pepper and salt and place them on the fennel slices.
- With the vents shut, let the salmon cook till it goes tender and starts flaking. This should take 30 minutes at most.
- Remove the salmon from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes.
- Mix up the olive oil, lemon juice, tomatoes, and fennel fronds in a bowl and add a little salt and pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the smoked salmon and enjoy.
Spicy Chicken Wings Recipe:
This is without doubt, my family’s favorite dish. Yummy!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours 15 minutes
- 3 cups of hickory wood chips
- 3 pounds of chicken wings (divided)
- 4 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 16 ounces of hot sauce (I recommend Frank's Red Hot)
- 4 cups of vegetable oil
- Preheat the smoker to around 200 °F.
- Add one cup of the wood chips to get the smoke rolling.
- Coat the chicken wings with some of the Cajun seasoning generously.
- Position the wings on the grates and add more wood to keep the smoke going. Let them smoke for about 2 hours.
- Blend the garlic, butter, and some Cajun seasoning in a saucepan and place the pan over medium to low heat. Let them cook for a minute or till the butter melts. Add some hot sauce to the blend and let it simmer for around half an hour o till the sauce thickens.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan, at around 370 °F.
- Preheat the grill to 370 °F.
- Cook the chicken wings, ten at a time, in a deep fryer till the wings get lightly browned. This should take around 5 minutes. Remove them from the oil and let the excess oil drain.
- Transfer the wings to a baking sheet and coat them with the hot sauce blend.
- Place the wings on the grill and cook them till the sauce caramelizes and the wings become a little crispy. 5 minutes should be enough.
Frequently Asked Questions About Offset Smoker
1. How does an offset smoker work?
An offset smoker has two parts, the firebox chamber and the cooking chamber, also known as the smokerbox. There are little doors or lids in the firebox and the cooking chamber, with some of them connect the two chambers. Some smokers have a duct system to relay the heat and smoke to the cooking chamber.
You normally place your food on the grates in the cooking chamber and place the fuel (wood or charcoal) in the firebox and lit it to produce the smoke and heat. The smoke and heat then travel through an aperture to the cooking chamber or get relayed there by a duct system, where they cook your food slowly.
But of course, you should wait for the smoke to get rolling before putting your food in the cooking chamber.
2. How can I use a smokerbox with a charcoal, gas or electric grill?
Position the smokerbox directly on top of the of the charcoal if using a charcoal grill or beneath the cooking grates on the lit burner if you’re using a gas grill.
If, on the other hand, you’re using an electric grill, position the smokerbox on the grates directly over the grill’s hot side.
Now, shut the grill’s lid and wait for the wood to heat up and produce some smoke.
3. How do I use a charcoal smoker correctly?
Give the coals at least 30 minutes to heat up to the right temperature. Also, give the water (I am hoping you have some in there) to heat up. Then, put dry wood chunks or dump wood chips on the coals.
Next, put your food on the grates in the cooking chamber and let it cook slowly.
4. How do I use wood chips in a charcoal grill?
Soak them in cold water for half an hour. Remove them and place a handful in the chip-box, then put the box in the grill. Allow the chips to start producing smoke before smoking your food either directly or indirectly.
5. Which is better – lump charcoal or briquettes?
Briquettes are wood by-products that manufacturers compress with additives that support consistent burning. When considering the effectiveness, they are better than lump charcoal as they offer you a more stable burn with steady heat levels over a longer duration even with minimal supervision.
Unlike briquettes, lump charcoal doesn’t contain additives; it’s just pure wood. For that, some people might say it’s better than briquettes. Nonetheless, inhaling too much smoke can have adverse effects on your health.
And guess what? There isn’t much evidence that the additives in briquettes impact the food in any way.
6. For how long should I smoke ribs at 225 °F?
5 to eight hours should be enough, as long as you’re applying your mop every 30 minutes.
Pro tip: for the last half hour of the smoking session, wrap the ribs in a sturdy aluminum foil and put them back in the smoker.
Smoked food is a common delicacy in many cultures.
The main benefit here is that the food is cooked on low heat, and thus it’s able to retain most of the nutrients. For that reason, smoked food is the best health-wise.
Apart from that, the smoke adds flavor to the food. Do you have a poor feeder in the family? Try giving them some smoked pork ribs. The additional flavor might just prove helpful.
Most types of meat are ideal candidates for smoking. That includes pork, beef, lamb, turkey, and chicken. Sea food, including salmon, can also be smoked.
Remember, the offset smoker is the best kind of smoker for smoking meat, because it produces the finest results. Go through the review section to find the best offset smokers on amazon. Don’t forget to look over the buying guide to know what to consider when shopping for an offset smoker that fits your needs.
I bet you have a friend or family member who loves barbeque (we all do). Why not share this post with them and help them find the best gadget for the smoking meat? Feel free to leave your comments.