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What's the point of an offset smoker?

mike243

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A offset and a pellet smoker move a lot more air thru them than a WSM , takes a lot more practice and patience to run a offset imo the food off all of them has small differences in taste not bad or better just different, it would be hard for me to pick just 1 smoker to live my life with .can you imagine only eating gas fired burgers the rest of your life? not me need some charcoal/wood flavors to break up the routine . some times hot butter in a screaming hot cast iron is calling me without a grill involved.
 

Chasdev

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Franklin has the best explanation I've seen, you should check it out on youtube or buy his book.
His book tells 90% of everything needed to master offset cooking, it's a great read.
In short, an offset allows wood splits enough O2 for "clean" combustion which burns off the nasty chemicals produced when wood is burned and yet leaves or creates smoke chemicals that taste fantastic.
NO other cooking method can match the smoke flavor imparted by a properly adjusted offset.
I've got three Webers, a pellet spitter, a kamado, a Masterbuilt 560 gravity cooker and while the Masterbuilt comes close to offset cooker flavor if I overload the bin with oak chunks it can't quite get there.
I started cooking with an offset stick burner running dead fall post oak and nothing I've tried has matched that set up.
I could list all the reasons I sold it but that's another thread.
 

HalfSmoked

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Want some practice try your hand at open fire cooking it is basically the same hands on fire control as a stick burner.

Warren
 

HalfSmoked

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Thanks for the like Bytor it is appreciated.

Warren
 

HalfSmoked

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Thanks for the like Fueling Around it is appreciated.

Warren
 

HalfSmoked

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Thanks for the like Aj33 it is appreciated.

Warren
 

sawhorseray

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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.
Until we moved to AZ last year from Elk Grove I'd drive my truck 45 minutes up to Gridley, fill up the back of a long-bed pickup for $100 with applewood.. Look around a little or just drive up to Marysville with your chainsaw and knock on a door or two. RAY
 

HalfSmoked

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Thanks for the like JC in GB it is appreciated.

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SmokinAl

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FLAVOR!!
The flavor from a wood fired smoker is better than a charcoal/wood fire. Yes it takes some babysitting, and a decent off set will cost you 3 or 4 times the amount of a WSM. I have both, a WSM with a Guru controller for absolute hands off smoking & I have a Lang that needs to be tended to every hour or so. But the flavor from the Lang is much better than the WSM. If you have never tried both you would be completely satisfied with the WSM, but if you tried the Lang you would want to use it every weekend!
Al
 

bbqbrett

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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.
I actually have grilled on the racks on the firebox while doing some smoking. Was pretty handy did a steak and crisped up some chicken skin more than once. Not a lot of room with my set up but was able to get done what I wanted to.
 

Berettaclayshooter

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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.
Please Note that I said at least for me. I had a vertical propane smoker, this is what I base MY experiences from a vertical on. No matter what I did it wouldn't regulate heat and dry stuff out. I ended up using it only to make deer jerky before selling it. Also I'm not into the slow and low approach, I cook at 275f for most things except ribs which I'll go down to 250F for.
 

noboundaries

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Please Note that I said at least for me. I had a vertical propane smoker, this is what I base MY experiences from a vertical on. No matter what I did it wouldn't regulate heat and dry stuff out. I ended up using it only to make deer jerky before selling it. Also I'm not into the slow and low approach, I cook at 275f for most things except ribs which I'll go down to 250F for.
Thank you. Excellent clarification.
 

SlowmotionQue

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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!
Good points. I use the following method which is similar to what you describe. However I prefer a good hardwood lump charcoal over briquettes. I don't care for the taste of food cooked over some briquettes.

I set my wood this way. 3 or 4 split logs and sometimes even a few chunks too. I put my lump charcoal over the top of the wood

PGzwNj5l.jpg

I use the Minion method using a coffee can. I light about 1/3 chimney of lump and pour it into the center using a coffee can sized 6 inch piece of ductwork, and then immediately removing the "can" with a pair of channel lock pliers and letting the hot coals fall into the center of the pile and burn outward.

My WSM lit this way will get me the flavor I want and the temp control is better this way as well.

It does not dry out my food. I use the water pan about 1/3 full of play sand covered with foil.
 

Megacannon

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Thanks for all the answers, everyone! Lots of good info, but the general consensus seems to be an improvement of flavor. I'm always trying to get more smoke flavor of my of my Smoke Vault or Weber, so an offset may be something I treat myself to in the future once I've paid off my debt. A Lang or Meadow creek is super-tempting.
 

Berettaclayshooter

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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
One word on those prices.. OUCH! Hardwood firewood here in central pa is roughly $250 a cord delivered, some people have all oak. I think if I called around I could find someone with mixed species and specify what I wanted. I'm cheap though and source my wood for free. A few calls to local tree services will net you a good score of a targeted species at least in my area. I prefer oak as it's pretty neutral and provides good heat. Hickory can over power if not mixed with other woods. I also love cherry for ribs and Prime rib!
 

HalfSmoked

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Thanks for the like Peachey it is appreciated.

Warren
 

HalfSmoked

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Thanks for the like 3-2-1 it is appreciated.

Warren
 

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