This is arguably the easiest part of the process if a bit tedious. If you use a smoker like a Weber Smokey Mountain (which you can learn more about in our review), your water pan will be directly below the meat, and directly above the charcoal. The one current gripe that most smokers have with any unit is that the included temperature gauge or control doesn’t always seem accurate. Once it’s hot and burning, you can rearrange it to make sure that the whole pile is on fire. You just need to find out what type of wood chips fits your tastes the best. Before you put the meat in, take the time to look at your chimney. The best offset smokers in the market are even equipped with reverse flow technology – a topic that we’ll delve into in the next section. Both are the way to go. It’s a steep learning curve, but we hope that this article helped level it out a bit. Before you put the meat in, take the time to look at your chimney. It’s harder to maintain constant heat in this type of smoker. This is something you can do with the temperature gauge that you can usually find on the chamber lid. Here’s a fun fact: the name “offset” is actually a description of what the smoker looks like. In the former, what you need to do is slide the metal plate according to how much hot air and smoke you need. Offset smokers work by cooking your meat the moment you’ve stoked the fire. So, while manufacturers are attempting to solve that problem, you might want to visit the store and pick up your thermometer or temperature probe. In many other cookers, like a Weber kettle, where the water pan is along side the coals or at a distance, even if the air temp is 225°F, the water will not likely go above 180°F because it cools as it evaporates, a process called evaporative cooling. If you keep opening the lid, you’re substantially slowing down the entire cooking process. I ended up decent enough to grill the perfect burger and choose the best equipment after years of improvement. Using charcoal as a fuel source is the best way to achieve that highly-coveted smoke flavor. In the long-run, using wood chips and charcoal is not only wonderfully tasteful but also cost-effective. Then, open the cooking chamber an rotate the meat. Best Small Electric Smokers Reviews in 2020, Best Offset Smokers Under $1,000 – Review & Buying Guides. Instead, be proud. Control the smoke. This means that you’ll likely end up with bitter-tasting meat. What you can do to compensate is to adjust the amount of charcoal and wood you’re going to use. Other considerations should also be made when it comes to whether or not it includes a water pan or a temperature gauge or even a thermometer. Light the topmost layer and let it spread to the bottom. You control the amount of smoke by tinkering with the chimney and by adjusting the air intake vents. Too much smoke would prompt you to partially or fully close the dampers, which will not only reduce the heat but also the smoke. If you’re looking to get an offset smoker, you might be confused when your search also yields reverse flow smokers. The next step is to research the fuel source. Use a Water Pan. This will help balance out any potential hot spots in your cooker and keep the heat distribution even, especially if you’re cooking indirectly in a kettle style grill or an off-set smoker. If the fire is holding, you’re ready to transfer it into the firebox. Pile this batch of charcoal on one side so that you can start the burning of the other side without having to stoke it. This can come in many form factors: chips, chunks, or even logs. As such, you may encounter problems when you try to smoke when it’s raining, windy, or cold. Before you jump into learning how to operate a horizontal offset smoker, you need to understand how it works. If you’re wondering which one is the best to use, the answer is simple: it’s both charcoal and wood. Don’t open the cooking chamber lid too much. As you might expect, using the Weber Bullet as a steamer never caught on. The next tip is essential. Remind yourself that it’s going to need a little extra to achieve the temperatures it can easily reach on a normal, sunny day. Different smokers have different grate sizes, and also different builds will impact heavily on airflow. You’ll find the difference in heat distribution. Opening up the damper fully means that more air is being taken into your firebox, which would make your charcoal and wood burn brighter, faster, and hotter. Place a pan of water right next to a heat source and you’ll find the water temperature is consistently the same across the entire pan. Will you benefit more from a standard offset smoker, or do you need reverse flow functionalities? Aside from the firebox, an offset smoker is also equipped with air intake vents and exhaust vents that make it possible to control heat and smoke. It’s a tool that will always come in handy, especially if you’re smoking meat. It’s definitely not like electric smokers where you can just set the temperature and walk away. Most manufacturers include a water pan with an offset smoker. To begin, you need to prepare the fire. It’s in the space it takes up, the focus it requires, and the look it sports. This will eliminate direct heat and flames from potentially burning the food, as well as eliminate potential flare ups caused by dripping fat falling onto your charcoal. As we previously mentioned, reverse flow is a type of technology or feature that some offset smokers have. I can’t think of a more fitting combo that leads to mastering the art of BBQ one day. Is it big enough for how much meat you think you’ll regularly smoke? Because water pans can help to generate radiant heat, placing them directly above … You need to learn how to use it, how to move with it, how to dance with it. Harder, but not impossible. Another tip we’d like to give you is something more of a requirement. If you’re looking at this article intending to reach the bottom, then we commend you, and we’d like to help you. There’s a lot of options out there regardless of whether or not money is an issue. According to Meathead Goldwyn, water pans can go over the heat source or under the meat, depending on the style of cooker you are using, and the desired effect.They can aid in maintaining temperature or adding moisture to the environment. The first step to getting that smoky, meaty goodness on your table is to find the best offset smoker that suits your needs. Considering how one of the advantages of an offset smoker is how it can use wood or charcoal, this is a step you’d want to spend some time in. A good rule to follow is to clean your offset smoker after every batch of meat. Water pan placement will largely be determined by the type of smoker you have. You can also do a test run with the meat you want to smoke. Here are some tips and trick you can follow to maximize the smoking process with an offset smoker: If you want to make the most out of an offset smoker, use wood chips. If you haven’t gotten to the right temperature yet, keep the dampers open but keep your thermometer close for regular checking. Place the container atop the firebox by using any grill grates you might have lying around to keep it from touching the charcoal and wood directly.