How to Use an Offset Smoker – Tips and Guidelines For Beginners

How to use an offset Smoker is the question that directly comes to mind after spending money on an offset smoker. Stick burner, Horizontal Smoker, Offset Smoker whatever you call it, is the item that rules the barbecue world due to the taste that it provides to the meat and seafood.

To purchase an Offset Smoker is not less than the battle because there is the versatility of Offset Smokers in the market.

After buying a model, there is a big game as to how to use an offset smoker, what to do with it, and how to do with it. How to function is a big game. Because it, not an electric smoker that you get relax after making it on. In this case, you have to manage certain things before it starts smoking the large slabs of meat. It demands your keen attention throughout the food smoking process.

In the below article, we have presented a step by step guide to assist you, so that you may enjoy your smoking experience. We hope you will find the answer to all your questions as to how to use an offset smoker, following easy steps and simple explanations.

Before probing into further details as to how to use an

offset Smoker, let’s see first as to how can it do work?

How an Offset Smoker Works

An Offset Smoker comprises one main cooking chamber which looks like a steel box. It is the primary cooking area where you smoke your meat and seafood.

The firebox is attached to the main chamber. It is fixed a little below.

The fire is built in the secondary chamber, which is positioned below the main smoking area. Heat and smoke travel to the main chamber for cooking and adding a smoky flavor to your nourishment.

Apart from the main firebox chamber holds the smokestack usually at the end away from the firebox, making it possible to control the heat and smoke.

To balance the required heat, it comprises of intake vents and exhaust vents. This ensures a tasteful smoked experience. To keep the temperature at a moderate level demands your extraordinary labor and mastering skill for the whole process.

A Step by Step Guide as How to Use an Offset Smoker

Choose the Offset Smoker

The first thing before enjoying a friend’s and family get-together and enjoy delicious Smokey barbecue you need to decide which one to purchase out the whole versatility available in the market, keep in mind the place where do you want to put this model? Do you think a barrel or vertical offset smoker suits your place? Do you need a standard one or reverse flow technology? Aside than this, other questions like does it has an ash pan or a temperature gauge, etc. are some of the worth thinking about knots.

How to Start with Fire

It is not a surprising fact if we say that start firing up from wood is a little bit difficult. You can take the initiative from charcoal as it is easy to fire up. After that, when it gets burning fast, you can add chips of wood. In this way, start a fire up does not demand a lot of labor or skill.

1; In the absence of any fancy gas ignition system, lighting charcoal with a chimney starter is the best possible way for performing wondrous tasks.

2; When the coals are fire up, they start lighting up, you need to throw them away from the chimney to the firebox for smoking nutriment.

3; After that put a few pieces of wood in the firebox gently. Please do not throw them roughly in the firebox but slightly doing it will result in the easy startup of wood burning. Just heating the logs should be your entire purpose, so that fire could catch them easily, even in stormy weather conditions, especially when you are enjoying outdoor parties. The cutting wood size needs equal to that of soft drink diameter.

4; Now when logs are heated and dried in the good possible manner, place them on the top of the coal and wait for temperature increasing after fire catches the log.

5; Meanwhile, when you are waiting for temperature increasing, put a few more logs on the sides of coals in the firebox and give them time for drying up. It assures easy fire burning without mastering over hazardous skills. It will decrease white smoke, adding good taste and flavor to your nourishment. 6; Keep in mind to open the vents fully and keep the firebox door slightly open when waiting for the main cooking chamber to heat up and get ready for the starting procedure.

Maintaining The Exact Temperature

Before measuring up the temperature, make sure that your smoker has an accurate thermometer for predicting the inside temperature.

You must have a probe set up at the grate level, right at the place where your meat will be cooking.

1: Once you got the temperature of your meat, set the vents on the side of the firebox to 1/3 open along with adjusting the chimney cap to be ½ open.

2: You need to observe the inner temperature of the cooking chamber throughout the process and also examine the vents essential for good airflow; the outside temperature can affect the whole process.

3: Meanwhile, continue examining the firebox, if the logs are turned into fireplace another log and roll the previous one.

4: You cannot adjust vents in one go. So do not pursue your wish of setting them as early as possible. A gradual effort will result in too fine adjustment of temperature finally resulting in tasteful cooking for your family and friend’s parties.

Offset smoker fire management:

fire managment in offset smoker
fire managment in offset smoker

Fire managing in an offset smoker demands expertise. It can create a problem if you are not used to this process. A newbie can create a problem. It is particularly mandatory to know the quicks of your offset smoker. In addition to this outside weather as a powerful element can entirely affect the process.

1: To light a fire is something that can vary from unit to unit. Anyhow you must check the fire pit once in every 45 minutes.

2: You need to observe the smoke and temperature in every 15 to 20 minutes.

This way you can easily overcome the problems any in the firebox. If the smoke is coming out in a large quantity, then indeed there is a problem and log are not burning in the firebox. Continuous checking of fire with regular intervals helps you in reaching out your goal of smoky foods.

3: If the thermometer indicates a minimum temperature, you have to add a few more wood logs in the firebox to send it to the required maximum level.

How to cook in an Offset Smoker

What to use as a fuel in an offset smoker is a question that is to answer that the best combination of wood and charcoal shows the best results.

Cooking with wood is somehow a bitter experience. It will create a white smoke in a bulk quantity which can spoil the flavor of meat gives a sour taste.

Using charcoal as fuel only will deprive you of the taste that wood can include.

1: Start cooking with fire that you light in the chimney, carry on adding wood logs and rolling the previous ones.

2: To adjust temperature Before Adding the Meat: 3; For a healthy experience of smoked meat, you do not put the meat directly in the cooking room, but waits for the right temperature before putting the meat.

Use an Accurate Thermometer On Both Sides

The temperature difference can be of 75 degrees from one corner to the other of the cooking area.

In this case, you need a thermometer on both sides. You can get it through drilling a hole inside it.

Close the lid

Do not open the doors of the cooking chamber as well as the firebox. To check the meat while cooking, open the door periodically and after a while, close it. Observe the inside temperature, examine the fire in the firebox through chimney smoke.

Rotate Meat

To stop gossiping and leave your mates and guests for sometimes is a little bit difficult, but to ensure a tasteful experience, you ought to rotate the sides of the meat.

The meat rotating skill applies to all the smokers even if it is a Reverse Flow unit or standard offset Smoker.

In the standard offset Smoker, you must keep your thermometer probe somewhat close. Offset smoker heat management is more challenging in the standard offset smoker comparatively electric one, though not impossible.

You just need to open the lid, use a thermometer probe, adjust the dampers, and change the sides of large slabs of meat.

Tips of Vent Position

In this article, we wish to give you some tips about the position of vents.

1: The vents in the firebox should be your hub of attention at first. It plays a vital role in balancing the temperature of the cooking room.

2: Leave this vent in the open position when the fire is burning. As soon you get the desired heat you can close it

3: Get a balanced temperature when the chimney is open. When the temperature remains balanced for 30 minutes, then you can think of adjusting the chimney.

4: If you close the chimney and firebox vents for more than 25 minutes, there are chances of getting bitter taste smoked meat.

Weather Condition

The outer weather creates a great impact on the process. Predict the weather and collect a good quantity of charcoal or wood so that you may not face any problem.

Water Pan

The addition of water pan will surely add flavor to the smoked meat saving it from drying up. Moreover, it will regulate the temperature.

Add rack above the fire pit, and place a tray full of water on the rack.

Do Practice

To be aware of the fact as to how to use an offset smoker needs a couple of dry runs. If this practice consumes a lot of charcoal or wood pieces, then you can continue cooking cheap cuts on your practice runs.

Do not get worried if results aren’t outstanding; keep in mind the fact that you are just trying to be aware of the fact as to how to use an offset smoker.

Clean your Smoker

The next step is too much important. There are chances that you can forget to clean your Smoker in a hassle or you would like to clean it after a delay.

Clean your smoker if you want the next experience smoky and tasty.

It is a good habit to clean your unit after every BBQ for the next gathering.


Enjoy your new experience of smoking nourishment happily.

Bottom Line

 We hope that this article how to use an offset smoker will help you a lot in getting knowledgeable facts about using an offset smoker. For mouthwatering taste special to BBQ it is reliable, the assembling process is easy so it is a user friendly unit. Don’t feel panic if you make a few mistakes while using it; be calm and happy with your practice.