Choosing an Offset Smoker

Find out which style is right for you

smokestack height

"The amount of draft generated by a smokestack is proportional to its height and interior volume. If the stack is too short, there will not be enough air drawn into the firebox to fuel a clean fire; if the stack is too tall, the hot combustion gases may cool down too much before they exhaust, creating a backpressure and hindering the draft."

Cooking Grate location

"The cooking grates on an offset smoker should be located directly in the convection pathway. This will ensure the meat is completely and uniformly bathed in the combustion gases and organic wood vapors that produce outstanding barbecue flavor."

Insulated Fireboxes

"The primary consequence of an insulated firebox is that the pit will become much more efficient - a smaller fire is needed to maintain the same cook chamber temperature compared to a non-insulated firebox. This also means that splits are added to the firebox at a much lower rate. On a backyard offset, neither of these changes are necessarily a good thing."

Horizontal vs. Vertical Offset Smoker

"If you are focused on creating the best possible flavor on an offset that honors the tradition of wood-fired barbecue - and you aren’t concerned about maximizing the capacity of every cook - the horizontal pipe smoker will be a perfect way to master the craft. If you’re looking to produce large quantities of great tasting barbecue in a small footprint, the vertical offset smoker is an excellent choice and provides a level of convenience that the horizontal pipe design cannot."