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Offset Fireboxes


Meat Mopper
Joined Nov 7, 2006
Amateur time.....

I think the whole process is based on the KISS standard. In our case, heat rises and alone with it, smoke. Heat will naturally flow up or along a horizontal surface and accumulate at the highest point. Ask any fireman.

Offset cookers make use of this by having the heat/smoke enter the chamber at cooking grate level or preferably below. Many have baffles (the horizontal surface) to evenly distribute the heat from one side to the other of the cooking chamber.

Vertical smokers are even simpler with the fire on the bottom with the cooking chamber directly above.

I have an idea, but going out for breakfast.... more later .....


Legendary Pitmaster
Joined Nov 18, 2006
Herr Tulpe

I'm not sure if there's a reason you want to build with a side fire box but for efficency and economics on a small smoker I'd put the fire box on the bottom.

Just a thought.


Meat Mopper
Joined Nov 7, 2006
Well, after finally reading most of the replies to your post..... it depends on how much time and effort you are willing to spend on your smoker.

Make it as simple as possible. As I've stated before, you can get very large restaurant sized woks with matching lids. Add some sort of grill to hold your food. You will need to put a vent or two in the lid. Essentially this is where Mr. Weber got his idea for the Weber grills (I think anyway).

With an induction "burner", you will have very precise temparature control.

Very simple, fast, and cheap (most woks come from China). You can get flat bottomed woks too.

herr tulpe

Fire Starter
Joined May 21, 2007
Thanks all for your inputs!! I am one of those engineers who is a spe******t in nothing, but covers a little bit of everything.. I have fun questioning the convention, and figuring out solutions that are within the materials I have available around me!!

Kueh, your talk of a wok is great and has given me another thought!! For steaming dumplings they use huge round stainless steel trays, that they layer up depending upon how many dumplings they need.. These are then sat on top of a wok full of water that is boiling..

This could be a start for an interesting expandable setup (similar to the weber indeed!) but layer by layer, with a nice base burning wood and charcoal on an induction cooker.

I attach a picture of a single dumpling steamer layer, you can stack these up as high as you want.. (Within reason of course, as the temp drops the higher up it gets. In the shops the top layers are always the keep hot layers)

Attachment 3073


Meat Mopper
Joined Nov 7, 2006
Yep. You got it. You might need to use some extra dummy trays to regulate the right cooking temperature. Also cut the bottom from a few trays to compensate for taller food.

You need to do this outside as there will be alot of smoke, but it looks like you have a small deck.

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