A step-by-step guide for how to build an offset smoker

About Offset Smoker & Its Types

About Offset Smoker & Its Types

Offset smokers are best for making BBQ with delicious taste and pattern. These offset smokers allow users to make food with different styles, techniques, and temperature control to get the most unforgettable smoky flavor. These smokers can be regular offset smokers and grills, reverse flow smokers, homemade, customized, electric, vertical, horizontal, and different sizes. Consumers pack these offset smokers and take them to their favorite picnic spots, backyard, near the river to grill the fish, or for small BBQ business.

Cooking BBQ in different ways by using the best skills and using these skills one can become a master chef. Smoking the meat with the use of an offset smoker, some extraordinary skills and efforts will give the best result.

What is Smoking?

What is Smoking?

People love to eat BBQ for ages, and cooking it in a different style is developing in the passing years with innovation. Usually, for the BBQ, the meat is placed directly above the fire. The heat can be natural, gas, wood, or charcoal. The cook guards and monitors the BBQ and marinades some meat to make tender BBQ and to prevent dryness. It needs to flip again and again. If the charcoal grill is used, the smoky flavor is infused fully into the BBQ. If you want to smoke, the BBQ from the charcoal grill is excellent.

In smoking, the meat is not directly placed over the fire. Instead, you put the meat on the side over the grill to allow heat and smoke to pass through the meat thoroughly until the meat is cooked completely. Smoking is slow cooking, and the temperature is slower than other grilling techniques. Smoking takes about three hours, but it also depends upon the size of the meat. This cooking technique makes the tender meat and retains the moisture; meat becomes soft and falls off the bone. You can get unforgettable delicious meat. To know more about how to build an offset smoker? Read the content.

Steps on How to Build an Offset Smoker Grill?

Steps on How to Build an Offset Smoker Grill?

Building an offset smoker is quite a difficult task. The easy steps will help in building an offset smoker. The smokers can be built with simple tools perfect for parties, businesses, competitions, or catering. The manufacturing process can be easy if proper design, size, and principles are followed. The offset smoker must be fuel-efficient, and a maximum flow of air and clean smoke is maintained throughout the offset smoker. Follow the steps and build your own offset smoker with ease and perfection.

Step 1: Design of Offset Smoker

In the first step, one must make the perfect design while building an offset smoker and one must know what it looks like. There are different styles of offset smokers, such as vertical offset smokers and horizontal or barrel offset smokers. One should know his design. Make a design of the outer structure first and select the gallon tank, which must be made of 1/4th thickness of the steel and ceramic insulation as it is easy to find and will work best for the design. The ceramic insulation will help to maintain the heat and improves fuel efficiency. For the firebox, use the excellent quality thickness of the steel; if the thickness is of low quality, it will lose the heat and burn more fuel. Size the firebox roughly about 1/3 volume of the cooking area for enough heat. With the help of a calculator, make the design with suitable dimensions. According to your requirement, make a design; if you want to build the offset smoker for business, it must be big and if you want it for your regular BBQ parties, then select the most suitable dimensions for it. If the design of the offset smoker is too small, then it is difficult to maintain the flow of air, and the combustion is incomplete in the firebox. The design of the chimney must also be considered, and the diameter of the chimney of six to ten inches is most suitable. The best place to attach this smokestack is at the side of the main cooking area and with the help of hot air and smoke can easily the across the grates.

Step 2: Required Material & Tools

After designing the offset smoker, collect and choose all necessary tools for building an offset smoker. These tools will help to make an offset smoker with ease.

  • Welder, Grinder, Wheels, Clamps, Metal Cutting Chop Saw, Circular Saw, Jigsaw, and Torch.
  • Propane Tank for Cooking Chamber.
  • Ceramic Insulation for Firebox.
  • Tubing for Firebox & Grates (Square).
  • Steel Plate 1/4 inches for Firebox.
  • Expanded Metal for Cooking Grates.
  • High-Quality Thermometer.
  • Pipe for Chimney.
  • Tubing for Handles & Hinges.
  • Iron for Cooking Grates Brackets.
  • Door Seals.

Step 3: Cutting Doors

In this step, after the designing phase, you need to cut the doors, and for that point, mark outs on the propane tank where the doors are going to be. Use the measuring tape and measure the length from the top, bottom, and around the tank. Consider two doors for your offset smoker, as it is best for cooking with perfection. Please cut the door with great care as it is dangerous to cut, and there will be a great distortion. While cutting the door, the internal stress in the steel is released, this can flatten the door or cause distortion. It is easy to weld the hinges onto the door. After cutting is finished, it is easy to align the door.

Buy the hinges which are made of good quality material, as there are different types of hinges. You can also make your own hinges with some tubing. Cut some tubing and round stock with the help of a grinder and cut off the wheel, or use a metal cutting chop saw—tack weld tube above where you will cut out the door. Make the hinges, and these hinges will slide into the tube. It is easy to bend round stock using a piece of tube. You can also use a torch to heat and make the bending much more effortless. The spring is used to create a bend in the hinges to create the place for the seal. After making the hinges start cutting the door, do not cut the door completely until the hinges are welded fully. Cut the door from the marks. Use the grinder for cutting. If most of the door is cut out, start welding the hinges. Slide the hinges and start welding onto the door. When the welding is done, now finish the cutting of the door.

Step 4: Door Handle & Seal

In an offset smoker, the handles are used to open and close the door. These handles must be strong and should have a strong grip. Handles are made much more effortless than hinges. Bend the round stock and fit a tube in them if you want to make the handles. The best thing is these types of handles rotate on a round bar when you open the door. To get the perfect results and best taste, maintaining heat and temperature is essential. As the heat is controlled through the dampers and if there are no seals, the chance of air loss increases. Add the trims and the doors help keep the heat, and there will be no leakage while cooking. You need to calculate the curves and the length and trim the welded place from the door. For the best results, use 1×1/8 inches of flat stock. These door seals are clamped and welded properly that matches the curvature. For proper measurement and calculation, use a measuring tape.

Step 5: Smokestack

After finishing the doors, now start building the smokestack. The pipe of the smokestack is easy to attach to the offset smoker. The smokestack helps control the heat throughout the offset smoker. To attach to the smokestack, cut a hole where you want to attach it. The best place to attach a smokestack is at the side of the main cooking chamber. You can also attach it at the top of the cooking area. Weld the smokestack pipe and make sure that it is in line with the cooking grates. Select 5 to 10 inches of large steel pipe. Always measure the length of the smokestack before welding as it is only cut once and you must check how the offset smoker works.

For perfect results and you don’t want the heat to leak from the welds, and then you must make a proper measurement before attaching the smokestack. Mark the center point and make sure the opening is not big and wide. It must be accurate in width so that the smokestack thoroughly collects air, not just from the center. After finishing the markings on the cooking chamber, start cutting with the grinder. Cut the pipe correctly, and it must be the same height as the opening. Cut out the pieces of the smokestack if it does not have proper height. Cut out the pieces of 1/8 inches sheet that matches the thickness of the pipe. You can also use the cardboard to get the exact shape that matches the curvature. Use a jigsaw to cut; use a grinder if you don’t have it. When the cuttings are complete, weld them onto the tank, first weld with the bottom plate, then to the pipe; after welding with the pipe, weld them with the sides and then to the top. Make sure to weld properly and support the weight of the smokestack tank.

Step 6: Cooking Grates

For the cooking procedure, an essential thing without that you cannot cook, and that is the cooking grates. When the question arises, how to build an offset smoker grill? You can make an offset smoker with easy steps. In those steps, the building of the cooking grate is one of the most important tasks as there are many techniques for creating the cooking grates. The number of cooking grates is also important, through which you can cook a large amount of food at a time. There are multiple grates in the vertical offset smoker, but two cooking grates can be found in the horizontal offset smoker. The cooking grates are present at the bottom of the door. You can also increase the number of cooking grates by adding shelves above the bottom grates.

The easiest method of building grates is to weld them simply with the support of the tank. If you build the removable grates, it will help in the cleaning process. You should use the expanded steel, angle iron, and squaring tube to select the grates. Weld the angle iron into the cooking area to support the grates. These supports must be parallel to each other and perpendicular to the door. With this technique, the cooking grates will fit properly. Now measure the size of the cooking grates and make a frame using metal. After welding, the grates do not wrap anything in it. When you finish the welding method, it’s ready to put into the cooking area.

Step 7: Firebox Building

After completing all the above-discussed steps, start building the firebox, which is the essential part of the offset smoker. A firebox is a chamber where you add fuel. The coal is placed in the center and ensures the flow of air. The airflow from the firebox then moves to the cooking chamber from all sides above, under, and sides. If the smoke and airflow are better, then the result of BBQ is also excellent. To build the firebox, take the rough volume of 1/3 inches and should be made 1/4 inches of steel. If the steel is not thick enough, it cannot hold the heat properly and can get damaged due to coal burning. It will also take time to produce heat. The small fuel tank can also be used to make a firebox, and you can also build your own firebox. There is a need for proper insulation and exact size according to your design. Take the sheet of 1/4 inches thickness and for exterior covering insulation, use 14 gauge steel.

  • Cut all the sides of the box.
  • Use the cutting circular saw, or you can use a cutting torch for cutting.
  • When all the sides are cut down, start welding of all sides. Ensure that all the edges are correctly welded.
  • After welding all the boxes, cut the opening for the door and the connection with the cooking area.

The next step is to insulate the firebox, and for that, use 1×1/2 inches square tubing for insulation. Tack the tubing and insulation in a proper place. Complete the firebox by covering the insulated sides—Weld all the exposed sides and at last, weld the top side of the firebox. The use of a 14 gauge steel sheet will save the cost and weight.

Step 8: Attachment of Firebox

Building the firebox can be completed by following simple and easy steps. Start its attachment with the main cooking area. Follow the design and alignment of the firebox and main cooking chamber. Place the firebox at the level of the cooking grates, so that the hot air reaches the food that is placed over the cooking grates.

  • From that line, cut down the tank just like a half-moon shape.
  • Use the cutting torch to cut the tank.
  • Once the firebox is fitted perfectly with the cooking area, weld the edges around the tank.
  • Weld the cover sheets for the completion of the firebox.

Step 9: Final Touch

The offset smoker is complete, and now, you can give a final touch to the offset smoker. Attach the legs made of angle iron with the offset smoker. You can also attach the front and bottom shelf to it.   Also, add the wheels with the legs so that it helps in mobility. Select the perfect temperature gauge that will help to maintain the heat in the cooking area. Mount the thermometer to the lid of the cooking chamber. The temperature gauge is used to maintain the heat according to the food. With the control of heat and temperature, the food will cook perfectly with accurate measurement. Buy the best quality thermometer; otherwise, the cheap and low-quality gauge will give you the incorrect measurement.

After giving the final touch, paint the offset smoker to protect it from rusting. Buy high-quality temperature paint, the offset smoker will be long lasting, and the paint will not peel from the heat. The offset smoker with the best quality gives you the tasty food. For easy cleaning, add the grease drainage at the bottom of the cooking chamber. You can easily clean the offset smoker without any trouble.

Weld the pipe at the bottom of the tank. Add the cooking grate to the firebox, which helps airflow. For the proper airflow, there is a need for a damper. Using the dampers makes it easy to control the airflow throughout the offset smoker, which helps to cook food in a best way. Add the smokestack at the smokestack to control the air. If you are not adding the dampers, there is no problem. The air can also be controlled by opening and closing the firebox’s door.

Apart from this if you are interested to know about How to use an offset smoker grill then visited our Blog category.



Building the offset smoker is easy by following the above steps. The offset smoker builds up with the help of tools. Do you know how to build a vertical smoker with an offset firebox? The vertical offset smoker can also be made with easy steps but with a vertical design. You can cook food with great taste in it. Handle the offset smoker with care and build the offset smoker with care, as the tools are sharp and can hurt someone. Also, take proper measurements before starting to build the offset smoker. You can also add new features to the offset smoker to enhance the design and generate the best quality flavor.

About Abdul Waheed

I am an SEO expert and tech-savvy. I love to write blogs on various niches. I have been writing incredible reviews and blogs for many years. Reviews of products are based on my own personal experiences. The purpose of this website is to provide accurate information and honest reviews about offset smoking. My passion for product reviews comes from the desire to help people choose the best product and save their money and time.