Horizontal offset smokers UK

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by toonarmy, May 10, 2016.

  1. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    Hi All,

    Last year i ventured into the world of smoking meat. With alot of advice and searching through this forum i built this UDS smoker from scratch. Please see the finished drum in the link:

    The drum has been great I have cooked some great joints of meat on it and since made some adaptations/modifications.

    Now summer is here again the drum will be coming back out.

    But I would also like to try using a horizontal smoker this year. Can anyone in the UK recommend a good horizontal smoker we can get over here. Unfortunately alot of the ones mentioned on here are American import only.

    So far i have come across this one http://m.direct.asda.com/Char-Broil...l/001629741,default,pd.html?cgid=D26M09G09C02

    Any advice will be much appreciated

    Kind Regards
  2. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi ToonarmY.

    For the price the Highlander looks like a good offset. It does appear to have an issue with the door seals however there are teething issues with most off-the-shelf smokers and this is easily rectified using Stove Tape or Lavalock gasket. Here is a video showing the areas to look out for and how to overcome them. It does start out seeming a little negative however it ends up being positive

    Cooking on an offset is quite different to cooking in a bullet or kettle and temperature control is not so clear cut. You will always find that there is a temperature gradient along the cooking chamber (unless it is a reverse flow) and so the food needs to be moved around/rotated to ensure even cooking. It is also more difficult to maintain a constant cooking temperature without quite a lot of TLC. Here is a video showing a little about controlling temperature in an offset. Look at it critically though as he also does several things that cause the temperature to rocket way too high.

    I also have an offset that I use but you are likely to find that it is something you use in addition and it will probably not replace the UDS. The UDS is likely to be a lot less work to cook on.
  3. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

  4. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes. This is what I use. You buy the cement separately to stick it on. It works very well
  5. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    I think this vitcas one is self adhesive.

    On those videos i noticed they were using a high heat resistant silicone to seal up some joints. Im not sure i like the idea of putting silicone near high heat and food. Does anyone have any experience of this or know of a high heat food safe silicone in the UK
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  6. Hello.  I agree with Wade totally.  Although I no longer have one; I used an offset for more than 20 yrs..  Unless you get a cusom made top of the line all the bells and whistles; temp. control is going to be THE issue.  An offset can have you "doing a dance" to get the temp right.  I have had to bring a fan outside in the middle of a smoke because a "dead calm" suddenly appeared.  ZERO breeze.  Couldn't keep it  up; the temp I mean.  [​IMG]   There are mods. that are almost a MUST to be done on an off the shelf offset.  I have a prewritten list (it's a short list) if you are interested.  I will PM you a link to another option worth looking at.  It was a head slapper for me when I saw it.  "Why didn't I think of that??"

    As for the sealant; most of the silicone types are safe to use on the exterior of your smoker.  Just do a quick E-bay search and you can even find some for use in ovens.  Keep Smokin!

  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes I think the one you linked to is. The ones I have used from them in the past have not been. The self-adhesive option would be much cleaner.

    Providing the silicon in designed for high temperature use then it is fine. Where it is used it is not in direct contact with food and there are several brands that are actually marketed for sealing glass on domestic ovens. Here are links to 3 brands that will probably do what you saw there. Some are rated up to 300 C which is what you should go for.



  8. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    Thank you for those links, i was just being a little over cautious i think.

    This is a really simple and good idea. I am all for almost set and forget. So he has basically just replaced the briquettes with a gas fuel system instead. I could be very tempted to try this out. How many hours would you get from a gas tank like that?
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  9. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

  10. YEP!  That would work.  Just watch the btu output.  Get one larger than you think you would need.  I was looking at one on E-bay that I think (don't hold me too this) was 25000 btu.  Add a needle valve (cheap to buy) after your regulator and you can fine tune that burner to hold the exact temp. you are after.  Rather than the bowl of wood you could also use many types of smoke generators.

    How long the gas tank would last would also depend on how well sealed your offset is.  That is a small tank but should last several smokes.  Don't forget you can get a 25 gallon tank for that set up. A 25 gallon tank lasted me 6 months when using my cooker and oven in our house.  Use propane though.  The blue tanks are butane.  Butane can freeze below 5c.  Propane (orange tanks) are good to -30c.  You will need to also ensure you buy a (orange/red) propane regulator and not a butane (blue) one.  Not much difference in price (if any) but can make a difference when smoking the Christmas turkey.  Keep Smokin!

  11. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    Similar to these:


    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  12. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just catching up on this thread, can't offer any advice on the off set, but good to see you back toonarmY
  13. Yep.  Those are what I was looking at.  the £22 price is where I was.  7kw converts to 23885 btu according to Google.  Should be WAY more than needed but I always GO BIG.  I'd rather turn it WAY down rather than wish I could turn it up more.  Seal that offset well.  Add a good smoke generator and I think you could have a set and forget offset.  I used to be TOTALLY against propane smokers.  "REAL MEN USE WOOD!!  But with these smoke generators you can get the best of both worlds.  REALLY good offsets/stick burners can hold GREAT temps..  garys. and oldschoolbbq each have a good one and they hold temps really well; BUT! these are not £300 off the shelf offsets.  When I was welding I built several offsets.  That was back before reverse flow became popular and before folks knew how good reverse flow was (or at least before I knew anything about them).  Back in the early 80's, depending on size; you were looking at $1500-1800 for the same size offset as you are looking at now.  But these were made from 1/4"(about 7.5mm) pipe.  They hold heat very well.  Good luck

  14. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    I have began ordering parts and have recied some further advise from TX Smoker that did the conversion in the above link.

    I will keep you updated how i get on
  15. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    Ok, So today the parts began arriving. First stages of the smoker complete. Now to source a good burner to fit in the fire box. Progress below:

    This thing weighs a tonne!

    Used self adhesive thermal tape to seal the two halves of the fire box together.

    Used the thermal tape around the connection between the fire box and cooking chamber

    Thermal tape added all around the main cooking chamber door and fire box door. I have straight handle vertical toggle clamps in the post which will be added to ensure a tight seal on the doors.

    After piecing the two halves of the fire box together I noticed some small amount of light shining through the two parts so decided to double seal the area. I used BLACK High Temperature Heat Resistant Silicone Sealant Envirograf 1200 around the outside of the thermal tape. Any excess silicone that seeped out once all the parts were attached together were cleaned off to give a clean finish

    Above more silicon sealant added around the fire box and the finished smoker so far. Awaiting door clamps to arrive, exhaust elbow, thinking about adding a baffle board and need to source a good burner
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  16. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    She's looking good 👍
  17. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looking great so far - waiting impatiently for the next installment [​IMG]

  18. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    Ok so today was Sunny Sunday and as Sundays are pretty boring I decided to get on with the smoker as much as I could whilst waiting on parts in the post. So I had a go at making a tuning  plate from a cheap piece of steel panel. See the outcome below, this can be easily removed if I feel it is not needed. 

  19. Hello.  Sorry I have missed some of this.  Was on a much needed "glamping" trip.  That dude is looking GREAT!  I like the way you are going about the whole process.  Do it right the first time.  Maybe even "over build"; just don't have to take it apart and change things later.  Then you have to clean stuff and scrape things and nah nah nah!  Easier to do the first time round.

    Looking forward to seeing the finished product.  Keep Smokin!


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