Over the years since the offset smoker was invented, they have been referred to as so many names, among which include offset barrel smokers, pipe smoker, stick burners and horizontal smokers, just to name a few. History has it that oil field workers in Oklahoma and Texas fabricated the first offset smoker. Lack of transportation to the restaurant and long days at work motivated hungry men to transform unused oil pipes and 55-gallon drum into portable fire pits. The design of the barrel smokers was based on brick barbecue pits that utilized a single chamber to cook the food and another chamber to build the fire.
Prerequisites to Using an Offset Smoker
If you have not had any experience with a smoker, it is advised that you carefully follow the instructions from the manufacturers to prepare the smoker for optimal use. This burning of all the grease, [protective coating used in the fabrication process prior to cooking on the newly acquired smoker is known a seasoning. Instructions for this process is also included in the manufacturer’s guide.
How to Cook With an Offset Smoker
- It is important that you commence with opening the air intake and chimney vents.
- The Chimney starter should be used to start the natural lump charcoal.
- A rack should be placed under the firebox while the charcoal embers are spread over the same rack
- The lid to the cooking chamber and the firebox should be closed
- There should be preheating in the chamber to achieve a temperature of about 225 and 275 degrees within the cooking chamber
- If per chance the temperature goes beyond that which is advised, there is need to panic, you can close the vent a little to allow the temperature to reduce
- On achieving the desired temperature, the meat should be placed on the grate inside the cooking chamber
- It is quite important that soaked wood chips are introduced every hour, about 1-2 cups is acceptable
- Continue the addition of chip, the fuel replacement and vent closing as needed just to a consistent temperature is observed within the cooking chamber.