Having a smoker at hand is a great way to cook food for your families and visitors. However, the moment you decide to buy a smoker, you will be confronted with a choice between vertical and horizontal offset smoker. Off course, the best option here is the horizontal offset smoker, but your choice still hinges on several factors like the applications for which you are going to frequently use your smoker, purpose, the number of people you want to cook for, built and sturdiness of the smoker, and other features.
Horizontal Smoker and Vertical Smoker
The horizontal offset smoker consists of a large chamber called the “cooking chamber and a smaller chamber called the “firebox.” Both the cooking chamber and the firebox are cylindrically shaped. The firebox is where the fire is made. The heat from the firebox travels to the cooking chamber where you cook meat or any food.
The vertical smoker, on the other hand, Vertical smoker, on the other hand, is shaped like a drum and the fire is built underneath it or at its bottom. It also has a very stable temperature and requires a little adjustment. Moreover, it is compact and takes less space as compared to the horizontal smoker.
How Does Horizontal Smoker Function?
If you are going to peruse the different offset smoker reviews, you will readily see that there are different brands and models of offset smokers. Yet, they all have something in common, for all of them have two chambers. The fire is slowly built in the smaller chamber called “firebox.” The heat of the fire and smoke moves into the cooking chamber wherein the food is smoked or slowly cooked.
The cooking chamber has a small chimney that juts out. This chimney is usually situated at the other end of the cooking chamber, farther from the firebox. The firebox also has a vent on its side. This vent allows its users to control the temperature by opening or closing this vent.
The offset smoker, of course, is not easy to use if you are a beginner in its use. It’s not a set-and-forget proposition. It is the type of smoker that requires greater mastery and knowledge. Don’t be intimidated, however, by this warning, for you will surely get the hang of its use soon. The trick is that you should learn how to regulate its temperature.
Starting a Fire!
The offset smoker makes use of charcoal along with logs or chip woods. You simply need to set a fire in the firebox while the vents are open. Heat the coal and let it burn. Then, add wood into the burning charcoal. The best way, of course, to light your charcoal is via the use of the chimney starter. Once the coals are already burning, you can then dump the burning charcoal from the chimney smoker onto the firebox.
Then, place two pieces of wood onto the firebox. There are different options of wood depending on the type of flavor you want to give the food. Heat the logs until it dries. Just sit the log near the fire but not directly on the burning coals. Once the logs dry out, place the logs onto the top of the coals. Wait until the fire heats up the cooking chamber up to the desired temperature. Repeat the process of heating the logs first until they dry out. In this way, they would not produce white smoke. Don’t close the vents and the firebox door until the cooking chamber has reached the desired temperature.
Regulate the Temperature!
If you simply want to engage in cold smoking, you should maintain the cooking chamber’s temperature at 68 to 86 °F. If you intend to engage in warm smoking, you could keep the temperature between 77–104 °F. While if you want to engage in hot smoking, the temperature should be from 126 to 176 °F. Smoke roasting, on the other hand, requires temperatures from 250 °F upward. It is the smoke and heat that come from the firebox that flavor and cook the meat. Lastly, if you haven’t bought or used a horizontal offset smoker, you should buy one and try using it for it is a great equipment for cooking and flavoring food.