Please Help: Water vs. Offset?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by deke dirt, May 3, 2010.

  1. deke dirt

    deke dirt Newbie

    Greetings, Smokers,

    I used to have an ECB when I lived in Oklahoma (read: more lawn space) but, having moved to a more densely populated area, I was not able to smoke for years. (I was distraught over this since barbecue is easily my favorite food and, with my ECB, I hit a home run the first time up to bat, making a superb brisket: pretty sweet for someone who could screw up a baked potato.)

    But now I'm in a position to buy a new smoker and just thought I'd get another ECB. However, I've always secretly had my eye on more firepower and thought about getting a vertical offset this time. I don't actually think I'll need that much smoker but, well, I am an American, afterall: simple formula, more is better!

    My basic question, if you want to skip the above B.S., is, if, most of the time, I'm only going to be feeding four-to-six people max (very doubtful I'll ever be feeding more than 10), do I actually need a vert offset? Or will the ECB be enough firepower, if less fun and cool?

    And, hey, if you have a suggestion for an entirely different smoker I should take a look at, please feel free.

    Hope you can help!


  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Why not buy both?

    The ECB is cheap enough that it shouldn't throw your budget off if you can afford an offset smoker anyway? That way you can do several different things at a time and believe me there will be times that you wish you had the extra cook space but I've never used a vert offset, relying on my trusted horizontal offset. What happens if you decide to take the wifey camping? You gonna lug around the vert offset or just throw the ecb in the back of the truck?
  3. I agree with alblancher. I just bought a pretty large offset, but I'm keeping my ecb for those times when I 'm just cooking for two, or when it's raining and i want to smoke under the patio, or when I want to go smoke something at the girlfriends house. In fact, I'm thinking about getting yet another ecb to leave over at the girlfriends house so I don't have to keep hauling mine back and forth.
  4. deke dirt

    deke dirt Newbie

    SPOKEN LIKE TRUE AMERICANS! Appreciate the replies.

    Because I am familiar with the ECB and its water pan, how do you keep the meat tender, moist and juicy if you use a horizontal offset?
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you want to step it up a notch get a WSM. Very similar to your ECB, but just seems to work better, and has lots of room. Also since it is a vertical smoker like the ECB it has a small footprint. I switchef from a Char-griller Smokin' Pro to a WSM 22.5". I have about the same amount of room, but ease of use is way better.

    Just my 2 cents. [​IMG]
  6. deke dirt

    deke dirt Newbie

    Good idear, thanks!
  7. I have both. An ecb and a vertcal offset. Believe me you want both. If im not doing at least a butt and a view slab of ribs, I never use the offset ,cause it uses a lot more fuel than the ecb and I can get same results out of both. Plus the ecb can be used to grill also, not so much so for the offset cause if your grilling on it your wasting much needed heat.
  8. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Interesting views on each type/brand mentioned above...

    Just for a smaller rig with the separate accessibility to the fire/smoke box, and the food smoke chamber, the small (288 sq in cooking grate) Charbroil American Gourmet offset was on my wish list. It had some good and bad reviews, but I suspect that the bad reviews came from people who had no prior experience with offsets, or didn't know how to do the mods to get the full benefits of the offset. I like to be able to get at my food for a quick peek at shrinkage/pull-back to help determine the level of doneness (especially butts, ribs and briskets). The offset also allows for quick misting, mopping or saucing on-the-fly without moving the meat or grates, if you're into any of those methods.

    I wanted to buy it just for the fact that it was so small that it would use much less charcoal than my SNP...possibly using 1/2lb per hour or less, and I'm burning over 2lbs per hour in my SNP. For the smaller meals, this looked like a great option to have, and it looked like a lot of fun to play with a smoker scaled-down in size as this one is.

    Anyway, I opted to order the Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal smoker instead, when I noticed they were on sale a few days back. That gives me a small drum-type vertical charcoal smoker with greatly reduced fuel use for the smaller meals, the ease of the grill conversion for a back-up grill, along with the large capacity of the SNP when I need it. And, the brinky costed me 2/3 what I could get the Charbroil for, so I'm money ahead on my budget for accessory purchases.

    All that, plus my small GOSM with charcoal conversion and quick-change back to gas, to go along side of my newer Smoke Vault 24 gasser. I also order another charcoal kettle grill, so I will have of them to go along with a large gas grill. This was all in planning for a family reunion coming up in late July.

    I need to able to feed a platoon if the need arises, or just do a small feast for the family.

    Anyway, that's my reasons for why I was looking into the charbroil (it's just so darn cute, I had to take a closer look), and why I opted for the brinky instead.


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