Charcoal Grill Secrets: How to Use an Offset Smoker?


Why Would I Want to Smoke my Meat?

Mankind had learned to bake meat over a fire since preliminary ages. Through the process of advancement, smoking meat on a charcoal grill is not only a matter of taste, but also a n art form.

Today, we have perfected the art of preparing the most delicious beef short ribs or the flavorful pork shoulder using the most simply of grills. Now it’s your turn! In this guide, we’re going to walk you through how to use an offset smoker to prepare the best-smoked meals with a basic charcoal grill setup.

Charcoal Grill Secrets: How to Use an Offset Smoker?

pros and cons of using an Offset Smoker Charcoal Grill


directly stoke the fire or add wood chips, chunks, logs, or wood pellets without opening the cooking chamber.

Unlike smaller top-lid grills, offset smoker grills are typically equipped with a large inner space to smoke larger quantities of food.

No extra electrical or moving parts to worry about.

Easily change the smoky flavor by adding different wood chips (ie: apple, cherry, hickory, and oak)

Charcoal Grill Secrets: How to Use an Offset Smoker?


A bigger grill weighs hundreds of pounds, get ready to purchase a grill trailer to help you maneuver your new backyard beast.

Unlike other grills, building a steady fire requires ample patience. Some offset smoker grills require 1 – 2 hours to maintain a solid temperature to complete a successful cook. However, after you learn how to smoke your meats properly, it will be well worth the wait!

What are the Steps to Smoke?

Step 1: Prepare your chimney starter. I typically only fill half of my chimney before I light it. Then wait until your briquettes have white corners to signify that they are at the appropriate temperature. By preheating your coals, you will prevent bitter creosote (ash/soot) from forming on your meat.

Step 2: Make sure that both exhaust hatches are open. If you start your charcoal grill with each exhaust closed, you won’t only keep your grill from rising to the proper temperature, but you will end up choking out your flame.

Step 3: Carefully pour in the hot briquettes into your offset smoker box of your charcoal grill.

Step 4: reviews at said it best, “cook with charcoal, not wood.” Opposed to using other types of grills, you don’t need to soak your wood chips or chunks when you’re using an offset charcoal grill. Even though soaked wood absorbs a small percentage of its weight in water, adding wet wood will only serve to cool your coals. Thus, causing fluctuating temperatures to happen.

Step 5: Then the smoke from wood will slide into your smell and vision. Feel proud that you made it this far! At this stage, you’re going to keep an eye on the temperature. Depending on the food material you cook, you’ll want the grill to climb to about 225 – 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Most grills will have a temperature gauge on them, like the one below.

Step 6: Bring on the meat! Add your cuts directly on the proper grates of your grill.

Step 7: Be ready to rotate throughout your cooking process. Since your heat source is located on one side and not directly underneath your meat, it’s only logical that the meat located furthest from the offset smoker box will not cook as fast as the meat located closest to the offset smoker box. Now keep rotating your meat, from left-to-right every so often so that it can cook evenly.

Step 8: Adjust the temperature if necessary by using the ventilation doors. This is the key point where it transfers from more of a Science into an Art. Be patient and watch how well your meat cooks.

Step 9: Be careful not to over smoke your meat. Instead, start by only adding a few wood chips at the beginning of your cook. If you notice that you’re losing out on that beautiful vapor, try adding in 3 – 5 new wood chips every 30 minutes to get you that desired flavor that you’re looking for.

Step 10: Enjoy your tasty rewards! Use a meat thermometer to make sure that your meat has cooked all the way through. However, once you’re done cooking go and enjoy some home-cooked BBQ!

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