Offset Smoker

How To Use An Offset Smoker- A Detailed Overview

how to use an offset smoker

Everyone wants to have a slice of delicious smoked meat you should know everything about How to Use an Offset Smoker. They are made in horizontal shape. They consist of two chambers, a firebox, and a cooking compartment. They are designed to cook food slowly by smoke. Along this, there is a chimney that works as a temperature controller.

Smoke pulls out of the firebox and goes to the cooking chambers. This is what offset smokers are specially made for, to give a delicious bbq at the end.

How to use an offset smoker?

Let’s have a look at How to use an offset smoker. Whenever you set a party with a group of friends, your best activity is to have a barbecue and have fun with your best ones. Offset smokers made this desire so much easier.

All you need is to buy a best-value offset smoker. These smokers are thought to be a bit difficult, but once you have started practicing, you’ll become an expert pitmaster. Our offset smokers have a helpful guide. Let’s take a look at How to use an offset smoker step-by-step to have a tasty bbq.

Add fuel of your choice 

The first step of How to Use an Offset Smoker is adding fuel to the firebox.

You must put some fuel like wood or charcoal into the firebox. Whatever fuel you want to add the choice is yours, whether you want to put a simple wood, charcoal, or fruitwood. If you use any flavored wood this will add flavor to the food something more than tasty.

Experts say that cherry wood would be more classy for smoking ribs. Whatever you like to use as fuel in the smoker you should use them dry don’t soak these woods in the water because soaked wood will produce white smoke and a harsh creosote taste that’ll definitely make nobody like it. So you should use the wood carefully as your barbecue party is absolutely based on this smoked meat.

Start the fire in the firebox

After filling the firebox with wood, lighten them and let them glow and turn into ash. Let the duct open for a while so the wood can catch a good fire because opening the vent will make the air comes inside which will help it to get your desired level of fire. Besides this, you should put a log onto the chimney so it’ll get heated.

This will help you to maintain the fire because when you add a cold log into the firebox the temperature goes down and the smoke will become white which will affect your food’s taste. As we read above that these offset smokers need to practice you should try some dry runs to become an expert in smoking.

Get the right temperature

These smokers are designated at a temperature of 225-275 degrees as the standard temperature. For monitoring the temperature you should adjust two temperature regulators at the end of the firebox and another one is on the end of the cooking compartment. As there is a 75-degree temperature difference at both ends so it’ll be good to monitor the temperature from both ends.

It’s very important to keep the temperature level balanced throughout the smoking session. If the temperature is too high then there will be a danger of burning the food into ashes. Sam as it the meat will not cooked completely if the temperature is too low. To keep the temperature balanced you should adjust the ducts of offset smokers when you get your desired temperature bring the ducts a little bit closer but don’t shut them completely this will bring some difficulty inside the firebox.

Managing the fire

 Managing the fire is a little bit hard. But the same rule applies here that “practice makes a man perfect”. To do this task accurately:

  • You have to check the firebox time by time roughly every half an hour.
  • You have to monitor the temperature as well as the smoke leaking out of the chimney. If the smoke is pouring white there is something wrong inside the firebox.
  • If you noticed that the temperature is going lower, you would have to add some more wood chunks or charcoal to make the fire back to flash.
  • When you add more fuel you should open the vent for a while it’ll help to get back to the right temperature. This opening duration must be of two to three minutes.
  • Keep checking the fire in the chimney to open the ducts after some time this will help you to maintain the fire.
  • If you observed the temperature is getting too high then you should take out some wood from the firebox this will lower the temperature and your food will become safe from burning.

Tips on How to use an offset smoker for experiencing an amazing bbq 

1. Clean your offset smoker thoroughly before smoking.

If you are using the smoker after some time gap then you should give it some time to clean it properly and make sure to give it a water shower. After cleaning completely try to lubricate it if necessary.

2. Keep the cooking chamber preheated

Before putting your food in the cooking compartment make sure that it has preheated. If the chamber is cool then it’ll take more time to get the right temperature for smoking. For this, you have to open the duct of the cooking chamber which is towards the firebox. It’ll help to heat the cooker quickly.

3. Set temperature regulators at both ends.

The best way to monitor the temperature is to place temperature readers at both ends. Instead of opening the vents every minute you simply keep an eye on the probes and notice every minute change in the temperature. If the temperature goes down you should open the duct for a while not for more time. And if you notice that the temperature is too high take some wood out of the chimney this will decrease the temperature.

4. Adding wood chunks to maintain the temperature

Time by time whenever you observe that the temperature is slowing down and white smoke is coming out of the chimney, then there is some mess inside the compartment. This is the time you should add some wood chunks into the fire box to maintain the temperature. 

5. Adjusting the vents 

Vents are the most important part of smoking that shouldn’t be neglected. You have to adjust them so the temperature remains moderate. Don’t let them open all the time just for checking the food or adding some wood chunks. Otherwise, keep them close but not completely shut them because this will cause the temperature to decrease.

6. Use wood along with charcoal

You can use the wood alone as fuel but this will give the meat a harsh and dry taste. We recommend you use wood with charcoal. Start the fire with charcoal and then add up some wood chunks to give a taste to the food. You can add some flavor too. The best time to pour flavor is when the temperature reaches 200°F and put just 2-3 drops of the flavor. This will give your bbq a mouth-watering flavor.

7. Place the food on the grill

When your cooker is preheated and the temperature is at the right level, you have to put the meat on the grill and insert it into the cooking chamber. One thing you should keep in mind is that you should try to make the meat slices small in size because smaller pieces cooked earlier and evenly from all sides instead of larger pieces but in the end the choice is all yours its totally on you that the slices should be small or large.

8. Put a water pot on the charcoal chimney

If you are trying too hard to make tasty smoked meat then you shouldn’t want to ruin your hard work to get dry food at the end. Obviously, if the food is placed inside for 10-12 hours there is some chance of dryness. To avoid this you should put an aluminum pot full of water on the chimney so that the smoke doesn’t make the meat dry. The water produces moisture in the smoke and this keeps the food moist and soft till the end.

9. Apply oil or any moisture on the food.

One more trick you should definitely try is oiling the food. You can apply any vegetable or olive oil or anything you want. This brings a tender and juicy touch to the meat and you’ll absolutely like it by the heart.

10. Rotate the food regularly.

As the food is kept inside at the maximum temperature so there’s a chance of burning the meat or unevenly cooked food at the end. Keep rotating the food to keep it safe from burning. You observed that the food which is near the fire chamber will be cooked earlier than the food which is far away from the heat. Also, you should exchange the location of the food from heat so all the slices will get proper heat and will be cooked evenly from all sides. 

11. Weather affecting the smoking

One of the most important factors that will affect your smoking is the weather which shouldn’t be ignored. If you are setting your smoker in an open place and the weather outside is windy or rainy.

Then these two situations can directly affect your smoker’s temperature and also can spoil the relishing activity.  It can also lower the temperature and can take more time than a normal day of smoking. the best advice to avoid this type of situation is to set the smoker in a shaded area of the house so if there will be rain it’ll not ruin your smoking fun.

12. Cleaning after each cooking

When you are done with your smoking now it’s time to clean the mess that has spread all over. Carefully take out the pellet from the cooking chamber and wash it properly. Draw out all the charcoal from the firebox and keep them aside safely. Now wash the smoker thoroughly from inside and out and let it dry under the sun. here’s the smoker ready for the next smoking.

Wrap it up

If you wanna got offset smokers and going to unwrap it, then all you need to know for starting is here right before you. Just keep in mind the main helping points like adding fuel, starting the fire, adjusting the temperature, managing the fire, and monitoring the probes the whole time to maintain the temperature.

Do not let the ducts open for no reason. Open them only when the temperature is unbalanced or for rotating the food. These smokers are easiest than pellet smokers. These offset smokers are highly recommended as it was totally a part of the experience of How to use an offset smoker.


  1. Is offset smoker difficult to use?

These smokers are thought to be difficult but once you keep trying on it you’ll become an expert on smoking on these offset smokers. You just need to know the right level of temperature and then the right time to add more fuel to the firebox. 

2. Can we flip the meat during cooking in the offset smoker?

You can rotate the meat easily instead of flipping it. As the fuel chamber is on the side instead of the bottom. So it is hard to flip the meat inside the smoker. If your smoker has two ways of heat distribution then there is no need for flipping or rotating.

3. Can we keep the lid open during cooking?

You have to open the lid when you need to adjust the temperature or when have to rotate the meat. We suggest keeping the lid closed while cooking as it can imbalance the temperature and can affect the food.

4. Can we wrap the meat in aluminum foil?

Wrapping the meat in aluminum foil can add tenderness to the taste. It also helps keeps the temperature balanced and there is surely no chance of burning the food.

5. Does there is no need for air for smoking on offset smokers?

If there is no air crossing the firebox no wood or charcoal will be burnt properly. When fuel does not get oxygen it will produce white smoke that will totally ruin the taste of the bbq. So the intake of air is a most important factor of delicious bbq.

5. Can we smoke the meat longer for a tender and juicy bbq?

Smoking can add more taste to your food. It can definitely make the bbq juicy and tender. On the other hand, smoking time is depending on the meat size. If the cut of meat is smaller the smoking time will be short but when the cut is larger the time of smoking will incease.

6. What are the three major types of smokers?

Three major types of smokers are

  • Electric smoker
  • Gas smoker
  • Charcoal smoker

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