Offset Smokers

Any type of purchased BBQ Pit.

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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby txsmkmstr » Sun Jan 09, 2022 8:42 am

Tossing out some experiences that might relate.....

My insulated firebox was well worth the money and it does primarily two things for me. 1) The paint stays so much nicer - no rusty firebox that needs cosmetic attention - it still looks new 5 years later. 2) The chances of 3rd degree burns from brushing up against one are very limited - huge difference in the radiant heat aspect.

I have tuning plates and they work well for me. Evens out the temps from left to right and makes more usable space. They can be removed so I'd get them to have them.

Good Luck with your decision... it can be a bit maddening.
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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby Creosote » Mon Jan 10, 2022 10:15 am

txsmkmstr, very helpful information, haven't even thought of the safety aspect of an insulated firebox.
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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby Creosote » Wed Apr 06, 2022 10:54 am

Mr. Bell finally got caught up and got to my baby. Drove up and picked it up this week and am in love with it. Had a tuner plate installed plus stainless handle covers to keep the handles cool to the touch. Mr. Bell at Bell Fabs is a great guy and the price is unbeatable. $1200 for the 3/8th inch 24 x 48 with a 20 x 20 firebox. The addition of the tuner plate and handles raised the price to $1310.00. Now I need lessons on how to build a correct fire for smoking. How large of coal beds is needed, do you leave the door open to get the wood to catch and burn to get the coals/embers, etc. etc. etc. Thanks for any help for a rookie on how to build and maintain a good fire for smoking.
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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby Rambo » Wed Apr 06, 2022 12:55 pm

Congratulations. I’m no expert but I’ve been successful as a Family Backyard cooker and have a firebox similar to yours. I start with one chimney of charcoal that is started in the chimney and dumped into the firebox when orange (use leather gloves). I then add 2 or 3 pieces of wood, like what you put in your fireplace but shorter. This is going to create quite a temp, sometimes 500degrees. Let’er calm down to about 250-275 and you can start your cook. Add wood as needed to keep you between 225-300.
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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby Creosote » Wed Apr 06, 2022 6:07 pm

Do you keep your firebox inlet open quite a bit and just dampen it at the chimney.
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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby Rambo » Wed Apr 06, 2022 8:28 pm

Creosote wrote:Do you keep your firebox inlet open quite a bit and just dampen it at the chimney.

Smokestack ALWAYS wide open, even during the cook. After the temps come down to the 250 range I’ll crack or open the firebox damper to suit myself. I seldom close the damper unless it gets over 325. Make sure your wood is seasoned; green wood produces heavy black smoke. You want to see a “ clear Blue “ smoke while you’re cooking. I’m persnickety; I go to the trouble of taking a Machete and Hatchet and removing the BARK from my cooking wood.
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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby strength_and_pow » Sat Apr 09, 2022 7:39 pm

In most cases you will keep the chimenea open and regulate temps from the air inlet side.
An excellent bit of advice I got and I pass on to New pit owners is to do a “ biscuit “ test. Get a pop tube of cheap biscuits and once you feel like you have your temp and fire stable, place the biscuits evenly spaced on the Cooking grates. This will give you a snack and also a good idea of the hot spots. You mentioned getting tuning plates. You may want to do a couple of tests, first without the tuning plates and again with the plates set. Having a hotter area can work to your advantage if you were doing a mixed meat cook. Poultry tends to like more heat to get the skin crisp and not rubbery.
You mentioned wanting to use the firebox as a grill, not sure if you got that but with the coin you saved, you could get a 22” Weber for direct grilling chores and still be under the top end of your budget.


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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby Creosote » Sun Apr 10, 2022 7:08 am

Rambo/Strength and Pow, appreciate the responses and will follow the suggestions. Strength and Pow I do have a 22 inch Weber so I am good to go. I am desperately wanting to fire this bad boy up but it's springtime, I live in East Texas (between Pittsburg and Gilmer), It's windy, Very Windy (Rambo can attest). The last several days and today we have been in wind advisories with gust up to 35 mph. The 10 day forecast is for winds to be in the 20 mph + range everyday and I am really unsure if I should even attempt a cook in these winds. Being a newbie I don't know if I could manage the fire/smoke the way it needs to be without ruining some good butts and then there is the consideration some of the days will be red flag days for fire prevention and the smoker has no protection from the wind. Inputs from anyone.
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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby Rambo » Sun Apr 10, 2022 7:28 am

Today should be better. Go get you some chicken quarters or legs and play. Open everything up, start fire, let it spike and come down, and then sit and watch. Stick Burners require a lot of work; if you’re going to do family cooks, like I will next Saturday, you have a lot to learn about timing. I spent many nights laying on the couch with my alarms set every 1.5 hours to keep the fire just right and going. Then, I discovered the “KAM Pan” method and my sleepless nights are over. 5 or 6 hours on the smoker and in the pan and oven at 170 for the night. Internal temp will be 170 when I get up and I can crank up the oven or fire the smoker up at daylight and finish up on the pit
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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby GRailsback » Sun Apr 10, 2022 7:29 am

Fire it up. Start with some pork butts, they are very forgiving and relatively inexpensive.

Also it may just be an illusion. But it looks like the pit is high on the smoke stack end and low on the fire box end. If that is the case you don’t want that grease running back down into the firebox.

Give it a go and enjoy your new cooker. Looks like it will do a fine job.
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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby Rambo » Sun Apr 10, 2022 7:32 am

Now that you mention it Greg it does appear that way. Time for some wedges
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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby bsooner75 » Sun Apr 10, 2022 7:43 am

Nice looking pit. You got some solid advice in this thread. Like GRail said - I always recommend a pork butt for the first cook but Rambo’s on to something with the chicken quarters too. Those five you a shorter cook to play with temps and are relatively cheap.

Enjoy!


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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby Creosote » Sun Apr 10, 2022 8:08 am

Rambo wrote:Today should be better. Go get you some chicken quarters or legs and play. Open everything up, start fire, let it spike and come down, and then sit and watch. Stick Burners require a lot of work; if you’re going to do family cooks, like I will next Saturday, you have a lot to learn about timing. I spent many nights laying on the couch with my alarms set every 1.5 hours to keep the fire just right and going. Then, I discovered the “KAM Pan” method and my sleepless nights are over. 5 or 6 hours on the smoker and in the pan and oven at 170 for the night. Internal temp will be 170 when I get up and I can crank up the oven or fire the smoker up at daylight and finish up on the pit

Rambo, our weather forecast is 30 mph today with gust to 40, give it a go or not???
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Re: Offset Smokers

Postby Rambo » Sun Apr 10, 2022 9:32 am

I would; just get some cheap chicken and play with the firebox dampers

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