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What's the point of an offset smoker?

Megacannon

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I'm wondering what the point of offset smokers is. On the surface, it doesn't do anything a WSM doesn't do. It consumes more fuel and has to be tended to more frequently. What more would I get out of an offset that a WSM doesn't give me?
 

noboundaries

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I've switched my WSM fuel loading process to a wood log (not chunks) or two on the charcoal grate with cold briquettes on top of it. Then adding a few hot briquettes to the center of the pile and letting the chamber come to temp over an hour or two, even three (on occasion). The wood preheats and carbonizes cleanly. Flavor improved dramatically. Add I can sleep!
 

Berettaclayshooter

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An offset came from Texas as there's a huge oil industry and many cookers were made from pipeline off-cuts (which were free to the pipe-fitters and welders). I personally favor an offset for the fact they're indirect and at least for me tend to not dry your meat out compared to a vertical type cooker with the fire directly under the meat with some sort of deflector plate.
I also like to stick burn as to use charcoal with wood chunks. A lot of people think a smoker should be bellowing out smoke (not if you want you meat to taste good), all there should be is thin blue smoke from a clean burning fire.
Making barbecue is not a short grilling session, it should be planned out and care taken to make the best you can. I know my day will involve tending the smoker, which I usually do yardwork or something else in between. When I do take the time to fire up the smoker it's an event and I usually always have people over for dinner to share what I've made.
 

cansmoke

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The fire in an offset is not under the meat so no flare ups. You get heat and smoke by the meat, no fire. You can grill in offset while waiting. Havent done that yet but you could.
 

Hawging It

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It takes skill to run a stick burner and it produces better tasting meat. Best of all It makes you happy it’s a skill that everyone does not have. A skill that most are not willing to spend the time and effort mastering. Just my personal take on the situation .
 

noboundaries

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I personally favor an offset for the fact they're indirect and at least for me tend to not dry your meat out compared to a vertical type cooker with the fire directly under the meat with some sort of deflector plate.
Everything was great in your post except the info quoted above. A well-controlled vertical smoker running at 225F, 250F, etc, will produce meat just as juicy as any other device running at the same temp.
 

flatbroke

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What do you have now? Are pellet smokers an option? That is a legit question.
 

tag0401

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It’s an art. It takes more attention and patience to cook with wood splits all while maintaining temps and keeping a clean smoke. Anyone can smoke using a pellet grill or electric smoker. I cooked on electric smokers for years I was after a challenge when I decided to go with a stick burner.
 

flatbroke

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It’s an art. It takes more attention and patience to cook with wood splits all while maintaining temps and keeping a clean smoke. Anyone can smoke using a pellet grill or electric smoker. I cooked on electric smokers for years I was after a challenge when I decided to go with a stick burner.
good point
 

noboundaries

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If the 300 year-old oak tree in my backyard ever needs to come down, I might buy a woodburning cabinet smoker with the firebox at the bottom. Until then, cooking wood is too expensive in my area. Below is an example of the local prices for cooking wood. Nut and fruit woods are a little cheaper at $360-390/cord.

Oak Firewood
$32.95 – $429.95
All prices below are not including sales tax, delivery or stacking. 1/24 cord- $32.95 1/12 cord- $59.95 1/6 cord- $109.95 1/4 cord-$154.95 1/3 cord- $189.95 1/2 cord- $264.95 2/3 cord- $319.95 1 cord - $429.95
 

tag0401

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If the 300 year-old oak tree in my backyard ever needs to come down, I might buy a woodburning cabinet smoker with the firebox at the bottom. Until then, cooking wood is too expensive in my area. Below is an example of the local prices for cooking wood. Nut and fruit woods are a little cheaper at $360-390/cord.

Oak Firewood
$32.95 – $429.95
All prices below are not including sales tax, delivery or stacking. 1/24 cord- $32.95 1/12 cord- $59.95 1/6 cord- $109.95 1/4 cord-$154.95 1/3 cord- $189.95 1/2 cord- $264.95 2/3 cord- $319.95 1 cord - $429.95
:emoji_astonished::emoji_astonished::emoji_astonished: That sucks!!!
 

drunkenmeatfist

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I think the point is that they are fueled by a wood fire. The way they are built allows for the fire to be far enough away to slow cook the meat. The flavor profile from a wood fire is different than what you get from a charcoal fire.
 

Fueling Around

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I had a cheap offset. Actually bought it for the grate in the cook chamber that made it a very large charcoal grill.
After I made a fuel basket for the firebox, I smoked a lot of meat. Nice thing was all of the fuel was basically free. The sticks came from trimming my oak, maple, ash, and apple trees.
Offset got kicked to the curb after I got a pellet pooper.
 

civilsmoker

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For me its all about control. The RF gives more control and responsiveness to the heat and radiant convection properties of its design.

For example, it can be run low to create the sweet spot then it can be very quickly adjusted to create a hot searing convection roast.....For example, on a short cook like a Rack of Pork, it can be slow smoked at 225 till the IT hits 125 ish, then temp was bumped up to 315 ish to sear the out side....Here is an example: Here is the convection roasted crust.....as if it was in the smoker for 8 hours........it was a 1.2 hour cook

ROP.PNG


Except it was a short cook and the inside is a sweet 145....nothing but goodness!
ROP2.PNG


Here is the next example, creating clean even 425 degree convection baking to cook pastry with no smoke flavor for coloring......
Welly.PNG

The truth....if you would have told me this could be done in a RF I would have said yea whatever.......but having your oven go out you start to learn how to use your “smoker” as a “cooker”......and yes this came out of a RF.....
welly2.PNG

all that said The RF is not the end all.....well at least not to me because I have many other smokers or should I say cookers......
 

3-2-1

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Well it goes without saying when you have a firebox next the smoking chamber in a horizontal setup that one side of the chamber will be hotter, gradient is out the window. Gradient is never really talked about which I kind of find interesting. Personally I have pretty much every smoking BBQ concept setup and while the stick burner horizontal smoker will give you great intense smoke flavor compared with a pellet smoker, I have to tend to my meat and be way more on point (less drinking) compared with a pellet smoker.
I live in the Bay Area California where all my wood sources over the years have disappeared. The wood at Safeway isn't cooking grade so don't even try unless it's all oak which years ago I could get here. Pellet smoker here is the way to go.
Lately my choice of smoking has been using a vertical pellet smoker with a nice big water tray! The uniformity is way improved and the water tray keeps moisture in the chamber. I prefer to use whisky barrel pellets (60 lb hopper) and no BBQ sauce, just home rub and a whisky mop. The meat is unreal....
 

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