Offset Smoker

How To Build An Offset Smoker? A Complete Tutorial.

how to build an offset smoker

There are variance offset smokers that are like masters in their field. But have you ever thought of building that smoker at home? It seems strange but believes me it is the most fun activity. But the query is How to build an offset smoker? Like every time, we are always here to teach you the complete process. For this purpose, you must have proper tools and a lot of patience if you’re doing it for the first time. 

Building this offset smoker at home will be pocket friendly for you. From start to end, we have everything that will guide you to build a DIY offset smoker. You have to stick with this blog until the end to know how to build an offset smoker. From picking the right tools to giving an ending touch, you’ll know at the end.

How to build an offset smoker? 

When you search for offset smokers, they are in a variety. Here, anyone would need clarification about choosing something right. Many people thought of building a DIY offset smoker at home. 

Here a thought comes to mind How to build an offset smoker at home. Building an offset smoker is easier than you think. All you need is the high-quality material and right tools, and, of course, the proper guidelines. 

Selection of tools

If you have an idea of building a DIY offset smoker at home, you should have the right tools and some expertise. Whether you get it from the market or build it on your own, every offset smoker has three main parts. Cooking compartment, firebox, and body frame.

The main purpose of the firebox is to provide heat and smoke to the cooking chamber. A cooking chamber is used to place food that you want to smoke. And the frame is the original support of the chambers. 

Now the main material you need is a barrel or a steel sheet that you can use for the chambers. If you choose a used barrel, then make sure there will be no chemicals on its surface. These remaining chemicals can harm your food badly. 

Conversely, if you want to choose a steel sheet, ensure its quality. It should be 50-52 inches for a large size chamber. It should be large enough that big wood logs can easily place there. 

One more thing that you need is a welder to join all the parts together. There should be different kinds of welders there in the market. But you have to choose one that will not destroy your smoker. Adding one more tool here is the angle grinder. It will not need much, but you can use it for molding the corners of the sheet. 

For your ease, we should make a list of tools here:

  • Barrel or a steel sheet
  • Welder
  • Angle grinder

Making the Frame

After selecting the tools, the first and most concentrated part is making the frame. The frame is the base of the smoker. It provides support and reliability to the whole body of the smoker. It should be strong and of high-quality stuff. 

The material for making the frame is all your choice. Many people use steel, and others choose wood as the frame of their smoker. Steel sheets should be good for this purpose because steel has less chance of damage. On the other hand, you can choose wood, but it can catch fire, damaging your smoker.

One thing you should remember while making the frame is its height. The height of the frame must b relevant to the height of the pit master. It will prevent you from bending and doesn’t make the reason for muscle pain. The main chamber’s height should be the chef’s waist size. 

Adding here one more factor while building the frame is its thickness. It should be one and a half-inch thick so that there would be no danger of leakage. Thickness depends upon the weight of the body. It should be secure enough to bear the smoker’s weight easily.

After deciding on all the main points, you can cut your steel sheet per the designed frame. You can cut it with the help of an angle grinder, and after this, you can join them by using a welder.

Building of chambers

As you have built the frame, making the chambers is time. If you are using barrels, be careful about having no harmful chemicals on their surface. This can interact with your food and can burst the taste of the food. 

If you choose two same-size barrels for the chambers, cut one in half because the firebox must have a short height than the cooking chamber.

Now cut doors on both chambers. One vent is at the top of the cooker, and the other is at the end of the firepot. While cutting the doors, remember that the main chamber door must be larger than the firebox. 

One important point you should remember in mind while cutting is your safety. Also, cut the door in a round shape that will not hurt the pit master while putting food. Be careful while cutting so that it doesn’t damage the smoker, which will cause leaking smoke and heat. Cut it softly and smoothly. This will give you another level of satisfaction if you pass this level accurately.

Joining all sections together

After making the frame and chambers, it’s time to join them together, as you have used two barrels and have cut one of them. Then join them by using a welder. As you read before, you should choose a high-quality welder for this purpose.  

While welding these sections, make sure that there is no gap between the two barrels. You have to be very keen about this because this can cause a loss of heat. When you are welding them, keep in mind that the firebox barrel should be at the bottom part of the main chamber. Now mark that part of both barrels and cut a hole there. After this, you can weld them from that cut part. 

The main purpose of every offset smoker is to avoid the food directly from the heat. In an offset smoker, a firebox should be on the opposite or at the lower part of the cooking chamber. So you have to weld the firebox at the lower part so the food will be safe from direct heat.

You can add handles at both edges of the smoker. These handles can help you to grab the smoker carefully. 

Adding the chimney 

Chimney, also named air vents or air dampers, plays an important role in smoking. Building a DIY offset smoker, you should add these air vents. These vents can use as a temperature controllers.

Every offset smoker has two dampers. One is at the start of the cooking compartment, and the other is at the end of the firebox. A damper of the main chamber is used to let out the smoke. Similarly, the drag at the end of the firebox is used to let the air inside the smoker. 

While making air vents, ensure that the main chamber’s vent should be above the cooking grates. This can make a better flow of heat and smoke.

Placing cooking grates

You are near to your curiosity about How to build an offset smoker. At this stage, you need some grates to place inside the smoker. These grates will use to place the food on them. It would help if you used the grates of the best quality. Most people use cooking grates made of iron cast, and some use stainless steel. They can bear high temperatures.

These grates have an extra ability to maintain the heat balance. That will prevent the food from burning and cook it in an even heat. Some people suggest cast-iron grates with a layer of ash to prevent the food from burning.

Make sure that the size of grates are large enough that they get fixed inside the smoker. You can also add some hooks on top of the main chamber for grilling. And also, some hangers to hold the grates but ensure you can remove them easily.

Some key factors you should remember.

Whatever method you use to build the smoker is your choice. But if you consider these factors, you’ll never regret it. These are as follows:

Great airflow

Airflow is the most important factor in using a smoker. The purpose of airflow is to travel from the firebox towards the main chamber and get out from the exhaust. 

Making exhaust also satisfies that there is no excess smoke inside the smoker. A great airflow is proof that the meat is in good condition. The whole smoking scenario is based on airflow. 

Easy to move

Movability is the critical point for your smoker. It should be lightweight so that you can easily move it. You can use wheels at the ends of the frame to make it moveable.

Portability doesn’t mean you must take it to the road or some distant place. It means that you can move it easily for a few feets. If there is some dirt or mess under the smoker, you can easily move and clean it. Portability means you can take it out when you want to smoke in good weather. 

Burn the smoker

After getting done with welding and placing cooking grates. It would help if you created a great fire inside the smoker. First, fill both chambers with wood and charcoal and lighten them up. This will burn all the stuck chemicals and scrap from the barrels. Let the fire burn for some hours and let it stop on its own. 

After the fire has stopped and the smoker has calmed down, clean all the ash from inside. After cleaning the remains of the fire now, you can season it with any vegetable oil. For this, fill any spray bottle with oil and spray the chamber completely. 

Now your smoker is ready to use. You can smoke your food before every smoke and season it like this. Guess what? Your DIY offset smoker is ready to smoke a tastier barbecue. You can use it whenever you want and smoke everything you want to eat. 


As we have provided you with everything about How to build an offset smoker. It is a relatively easy task. The essentials for this task are materials, tools, and guidance. Use these tools correctly, follow the guidelines, and get your desired smoker at home. Just make sure that the smoker has good insulation and portability. 


How to start a fire in an offset smoker?

You must collect some fuel to start a fire in an offset smoker. You can choose wood or charcoal as well. Now fill the firebox with the fuel and lighten them up. When the woods catch a great fire, and the smoker is heated enough, put the food in it.

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