• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Do big offsets taste better than small offsets?

Bigpappa1

Newbie
25
6
Joined Jun 24, 2019
Hey there everyone. I’ve recently heard a couple folks who own huge offsets (500 gallon) and smaller offsets (say, 24x42) say that the 500 gallon produces the best flavor. Do any of you guys that own or have smoked on both have an opinion on this? Are big offsets just that much better for some reason? Can a small backyard offset do just as well as a big crowd cooker?
 

Alphonse

Smoke Blower
137
85
Joined Dec 1, 2019
Likely a function of a flaming fire at all times and no smolder. Gives good smoke and heat consistently.

You see the big offsets at BBQ joints that never close the door and they keep a roaring fire. (Franklin and others for a good example)
 

smokerjim

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
5,287
2,383
Joined Jan 14, 2014
i've never used or seen those big smokers but used to use a cheap charbroil offset with great results, yes ya probably need to tend to the smaller ones a lot more but i really don't know why the bigger ones would be that much better for flavor, i will be watching for the answers from the people who did use both though.
 

Displaced Texan

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
202
129
Joined Nov 11, 2020
i've never used or seen those big smokers but used to use a cheap charbroil offset with great results, yes ya probably need to tend to the smaller ones a lot more but i really don't know why the bigger ones would be that much better for flavor, i will be watching for the answers from the people who did use both though.
Same here, an old cheap Char Broil for about 15 years. Once I learned to stop soaking the wood ahead of time like an idiot and burn a clean fire, I turned out good barbecue. I just think, from what I have seen from the likes of Jeremy Yoder (Mad Scientist BBQ) is that is just easier in a big 500 gallon tank offset to run a clean fire.
 

ravenclan

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
690
371
Joined Sep 8, 2009
I still have and use an old cheapo Char Broil off set wood smoker during the spring and summer months. My buddy has a bigger off set then mine. Home made but you can do two whole hogs plus "which he has done" and I can not tell the difference......IMHO I think it depends on how you smoke and what you do to the meat, no rub, rub, what's in the rub, wrapped, injected or not. That's what makes the meat taste good.
 

Hamdrew

Smoking Fanatic
561
817
Joined Jan 17, 2021
Big smokers = easier to burn clean as said, and more surface area to catch the trace undesirable byproducts like creosote. Much more air is passing over the meat than a small offset.
 

smokeymose

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
4,042
1,553
Joined Aug 13, 2015
It might be easier to keep the right fire in a bigger one, but I don't see how the taste would be different really.
For what it's worth I've used a $300 CharGriller for about 4 yrs now and I would
put my Q up against the big ones. I just have to use smaller splits....
 
Last edited:

Displaced Texan

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
202
129
Joined Nov 11, 2020
It might be easier to keep the right fire in a bigger one, but I don't see how the taste would be different really.
For what it's worth I've used a $300 CharGriller for about 4 yrs now and I would
put my Q up against the big ones. I just have to use smaller splits....
Yes, absolutely agree if I didn't get that across in my previous comment. If you burn a clean fire in any offset, I believe the taste would be the same. If any difference, it would be negligible.

This is from my Char Broil last November. Pretty darn tasty.

IMG_8080 2.JPG
 

thedude99

Newbie
18
19
Joined Oct 28, 2013
I’ve heard this, ease of burning a clean fire is probably the explanation.

If you know how to run your small offset properly, I highly doubt there is going to be a noticeable difference. If there is, it’s likely to be very small.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
48,022
8,464
Joined Jun 22, 2009
I have a Lang 36” patio, and I would put my BBQ up against a big unit. It’s all about fire management & getting light smoke. It’s quite easy to learn how to smoke on a Lang. I’m not saying that I am the best smoker in the world, all I’m saying size doesn’t matter unless you need the extra space for a bigger load of meat. The biggest minus of having a big smoker is the amount of fuel you need to use to keep the temp up. It’s really not worth the fuel & work to smoke a small meal on a big smoker. So since it’s just Judy & I & occasionally a few guests. I have no problem with the 36 Lang. If I need extra space I also have a Smoke Vault 24 & a 22.5 WSM/GURU setup.
But I can’t remember the last time I needed more than one smoker.
Al
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.