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History of the Offset/Reverse_Offset Smoker


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 15, 2011
I'm an old fahrter (that's German for traveler, I think), but I don't remember a time when I didn't know or know of someone with a steel smoker. I was reading an article on the history of a tool when it occurred to me that I have never seen any mention of the history of our offset pits.

Does anyone here know anything about how long they have been made? ... when they first came into use? ...etc? Who was the first commercial manufacturer?

I know that barbecuing is as old as the first roast pig in ancient China (at least, legendarily). In ground roasting pits and built up mud or masonry pits have been around in America since before Heck was a pup. Somewhere in the devolution of history to the present day, there has got to be a first offset.


chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
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Joined May 12, 2011
 A quick search led to Steve Raichlen's " A Guide to Offset Barrel Smokers " He credits Texas and Oklahoma Oil men for their design using Barrels and Oil Pipes. With the fall in oil prices, Raichlen says, Wayne Whitworth started commercial sales with Pitt's and Spitt's in the early '80s, to keep his Crew busy and making money...JJ
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