Offset smokers are of different sizes, weights, designs, features, and prices. The offset smokers are both horizontal and vertical. These horizontal and vertical offset smokers provide the best taste, texture, and aroma. The food is cooked perfectly with a smoky flavor in any offset smoker. The consumer looks for the offset smoker according to his need, and he checks every factor to buy the best one from different brands. It can be an electric smoker, stick burner, or charcoal smoker. It’s not about the fuel type. You can cook food with perfection, and it is easy to cook if you are a beginner or professional; every type of offset smoker gives its best quality, but you need to find it according to your requirements.
History of Offset Smoker
There are many types of equipment and tools used to enhance the flavor of your food and to make you a great master chef. BBQ was famous for years, but with the rise of the grilling techniques, now different types of grills are famous around the globe. People started using offset smokers; Oklahoma built them in Texas with the workers of oilfields. There was a remote area where the disposed steel drums were in massive amounts. The workers started making their offset smokers from these drums.
The design was similar to the brick BBQ pits, where the fire is built in one room, and the smoke produced flows towards the next room and passes through the BBQ or meat. The same cooking approach can be seen in the latest designs of the offset smokers, in which the fire is produced in the firebox present at the side of the offset smoker. The fire is built in it, and the smoke flows through the main cooking chamber where the food is placed. The heat moves out through the chimney or smokestack, passing through the meat. With the attachment of this firebox at the side, known as “offset,” this offset is attached to the smoker, and thus known as the “Offset Smoker.”
The two benefits of using an offset smoker are that the meat was previously cooked directly on the grill, and there was a direct fire under the grill. Still, in an offset smoker and grill, the fire is lighted in the firebox, which is present at the side of the main cooking chamber. But the food is cooked from the heat and is simmered. The second benefit is the flow of heat is so adequate that it flows from the firebox towards the main cooking chamber, swirls around the meat, and smoke is fully infused into the meat to give the smoky taste with tenderness.
Working of Offset Smoker
Before using the offset smoker, you first need to know what an offset smoker is and how to use offset smoker? You should know how it works. The name “offset” means how a smoker looks. There is a cooking chamber made up of metal and an attached firebox at its side. This firebox is built a little low with the cooking area. Some intake vents and exhaust vents are present in the smoker to control the heat or air throughout the cooking chamber.
There are also reverse flow offset smokers present in the market, which are famous and give excellent results, but they have a different airflow for cooking meat. The offset smoker starts working and cooking the meat when the fire is lighted. After the fire is lighted, the heat is generated and then passes to the main cooking chamber, where the meat is placed over the cooking grates. The heat swirls around, and the smoky taste is infused into the meat. The heat flows out from the chimney. The chimney has specially designed adjustable dampers. The intake vents let the air enter the firebox, and the exhaust helps them move out. It does not matter what the size or weight of your offset smoker is. You need to cook and handle it with care and perfection to get the fully infused meat from the offset smoker.
A Smoker Box for Charcoal Grill
Are you aware of how to use a smoker box? Then first, you must know what a smoker box is? Many offset smokers are used to get tasty smoked meat. There are some modern influences of the modern era to make BBQ directly over charcoal grills. Such innovation and modern influence are actually the use of the smoker box. A smoker box is made up of metal with high heat resistance, and it holds the wood chips to smoke the meat. Put this smoker box near the heat source. Now add the meat and refill the wood chips when needed. You need to follow some steps to use a smoker box.
- Choose the dry chips into the smoker box, and to reduce the risk of catching fire, you should soak them before using them. There is no need to soak them when using the modern smoker boxes, as they have holes in them, and there are fewer chances of getting intact with the fire.
- Now put the smoker box near or over the heat source (charcoal). If you are using a gas burner, put it on the top of the burner and wait for it to start generating the smoke. Note that to get the results quickly, you need to turn on the gas burner at the maximum heat level.
- Adjust the burner to regular heat temperature when your smoker starts producing the smoke. When the smoker box is heated, it will remain hot throughout the entire cooking process. Now put the meat on the barbeque and cook.
Charcoal Smoker Grill-Offset Smoker
Charcoal smoker grills are horizontal offset, barrel smokers. People who love to do grilling must know how to take control of the BBQ process. They must know how to measure the temperature and then quickly decrease or increase the temperature ranges. So that offset smokers can simmer food gently and for a longer time. The slow cooking method gives a moist tender and amazing texture to the meat. When you get perfection in grilling on an offset smoker charcoal grill, you’ll feel better at cooking meat than other smokers and grills. A charcoal offset smoker is a unique design to generate a smoky flavor in meat using a long horizontal cooking chamber. You place the brisket or ribs over the cooking grills, heat comes directly from the firebox, and adding the fuel into the firebox is easy. There is no need to move the meat in the cooking area to get the heat, as the heat flow in the cooking chamber through the meat and moves out through the exhaust. The smoke produces a rich flavor, aroma, tenderness, and crispiness from the outside to the meat. You must know how to use a charcoal smoker grill with ease, and for that, you must know all the tips and tricks also. Whether you choose the low-weight cheap offset smoker or the expensive charcoal smoker grill, the simple method and technique will help you smoke the meat that gives your taste buds an unforgettable flavor.
Easy Steps for Using Offset Smoker Grill
Different offset smokers look dangerous, but they are super easy to use and handle when they are once bought and used. It is easy to regulate the temperature and control the airflow that will pass through the food that is placed over the grill for smoking. Add the fuel into the firebox and then maintain the heat with the help of a thermometer and vents according to the type of food. Every type of food needs a different temperature and time to smoke. As fish takes less time to grill than chicken, beef needs more time to smoke than chicken. Do you know how long it takes to smoke a turkey? Yes, it takes about 30 minutes for each bird at 230 degrees F, but it also depends on the size of the turkey. Smoke the turkey until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Try to take an average size turkey for cooking. Adjust the vents and charcoal into the firebox to maintain the heat. Different steps make the cooking easy follow them to get the perfect meat after cooking.
Step-1: Start the Offset Smoker
Season the offset smoker before cooking, and if you are using the new offset smoker, you should clean it properly by washing it and wipe out with liquid soap and water. There should not be any dirt, dust, or grease. After washing, spray oil all over the cooking area where you will grill or smoke the meat. Light the fire in the firebox, or you can use the lighted charcoal in the firebox. Open the vents until the dark smoke leaves out from the internal cooking area, and then again adjust the vents to preheat the cooking area.
Setting of Probes
You need to buy two probes, and to get the most accurate result use digital probes. Insert the probes into the cooking area and set them in the offset smoker. To get the most accurate readings, put the probe near the meat at each end of the cooking area. If you want to move or mount the probes onto the grates, then use the probes attached to the wires. The thermometer mounted on the lid of the offset smoker sometimes does not give the exact temperature. Do not rely only on the mounted temperature gauge if you need the proper measurement.
Adjusting the Vents
To get the amount of fire perfect for cooking food, open the vents and let the air come inside the firebox. That air will stoke the fire and also open the vent present on the chimney so that the smoke can flow out through it. The vents are also known as dampers/baffles. You should adjust them before cooking as it will help to cook and generate the best-smoked food.
Step-2: Light the Chimney, Spread Coal & Maintain the Temperature
Fill the chimney starter full of charcoal and then light them. Heat them until they start glowing. It should burn for 15 minutes. Now spread the charcoal in the firebox over the wood logs. Wood logs are for producing flavor in the food. Do not make the fire entirely with the wood only because it is difficult to maintain the heat, and it will take a longer time than charcoal only. Monitor the temperature and try to maintain the heat inside the cooking chamber until the required temperature is maintained. The offset smoker temperature is mostly maintained between 225 degrees F to 275 degrees F. Keep the lids closed to preheat the offset smoker properly.
Step-3: Adding Food & Heat Adjustment
- Place the marinated food on the cooking grate that you want to smoke or place the cold meat in the smoker, as cold meat absorbs more smoke. Close the door of the main cooking chamber.
- Add the fuel into the firebox to produce fire and maintain the heat, and you can add more fuel to it. Also, add the unlit wood logs or charcoal to the firebox. When the coal turns into ashes, remove the ashes with the help of a grill hoe. Move the ash coal to one side to add the new logs on the other side.
- Check the temperature frequently after every half an hour so that the fire does not finish early. Add more wood logs if needed.
- Open the vents and let the oxygen into the firebox to get a good fire. Open the chimney vent and get a good fire. Now close the vent of the chimney.
- Reduce the temperature. If the internal temperature of the cooking area gets too hot, close the vents and if it does not get low, then open the lid of the cooking chamber for a minute to lower the temperature quickly.
Some Tips to Get Flavorful Smoking Food
- Use the wood chunks as fuel to add to the firebox. After every hour, add 1 to 2 big chunks so that they will smolder instead of burning quickly. Do not use the wood chips as they’ll burn out quickly. Use fruitwood and hardwood to produce the best flavor and aroma. Avoid using soaked wood. It may cool the charcoal.
- After every hour, change the direction of the food with the help of BBQ tools so that it can cook from the colder side.
- Put the water pan so that your food does not get dry. Set the rack and put the water pan over it in the firebox. In this way, the smoke will get moist before moving towards the main cooking chamber. To keep the food moist, use the spray. In the spray, you can use water or juice. After every 15 minutes, spray the BBQ by the end of the session.
To get the offset smoker best practices, you should buy the one according to your requirement. Many offset smokers are easy to use and easy to maintain. Buy the offset smoker and grill for desired results. How to Use an Offset Smoker Grill? The answer is simple; follow the steps for using a smoker grill so that you can cook your food with amazing taste.