People love to smoke meat and other foods because of its benefits. Smoked food last longer and they taste better. Smoking also rids food of bacteria and other micro-organisms.
Most importantly, smoking burns fat and prevents them from becoming rancid. These are some of the benefits that have attracted people to food smoking.
There are several types of smokers but reverse flow offset smokers are great because the fire box is different from the smoking compartment and that reduces the amount of smoke the runs over the food.
Secondly, the temperature of a reverse flow offset smoker is very easy to control.
So, what exactly is a reverse flow offset smoker?
It is smoker that uses a baffle plate to control the flow of smoke and heat. Its firebox is different from the smoking compartment.
Top Rated Reverse Flow Offset Smokers – Pick The Best One:
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You’re probably wondering what a baffle plate is, right?
Calm down. The baffle plate and other major parts of a reverse flow offset smoker will be defined and explained below.
i. Baffle Plate:
This is a steel plate that controls the flow of heat and smoke. It absorbs heat to reduce the cooking temperature and also radiates it to increase it.
That way, your food will be evenly cooked. It is usually a quarter inch in thickness and it is located in the cooking chamber.
ii. Cook chamber:
This is where your meat, sausage, fish, and other foods are cooked. It is directly after the firebox. So heat flows directly from the firebox into the cook chamber.
This is self-explanatory. This is the compartment where the fire is made. Some come in a square shape while others come in a round shape.
It all depends on the build. The firebox has air inlets that help to control the fire and smoke. You already know that burning or combustion requires air.
This is the product that fuels the fire. It could be wood pellets, propane gas, or other types of fuel.
Products of combustion: The products of combustion are the same for every type of smoker and fuel. They are gases, heat, and smoke. Your food needs the heat and a little bit of smoke to cook.
Our Picks of 2 Best Reverse Flow Offset Smoker for Sale:
The first thing that attracted me to this Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker is its all-round steel body. I knew it would last for several years. I was right. I have been using it for some time now and I have not had the cause to spend a single dime on fixing it.
In addition, I think it can withstand harsh weather conditions. The last time I used it outside, I forgot to push it inside. The following day I had to travel out of town to carry out an official assignment.
I spent a week before I got back. My wife and kids didn’t push the smoker inside as well. They thought I left it outside on purpose. Luckily, it had no effect on the workhorse.
Another feature that I like about the smoker is that it requires no maintenance. I only clean its body with a wet piece of cloth.
Sometimes I dip the cloth into mild soapy water and other times, I dip it inside ordinary water. Nothing about its look will tell you that I have been using it for years.
I had no problem setting it up and figuring out how to use it. In fact, up till now, I have not opened its user manual because the smoker is very easy to use. Its pair of wheels makes it easy for me to push it around.
So I easily push it outside from my basement when I want to use it and also push it back when am done. Its clean-out door makes ash removal super easy for me.
i. It has a wide smoking area
I love inviting friends and family to my house once in a while and when I do, I entertain them with some delicious barbecued meat or chicken.
So, I often smoke a lot of meat at the same time. This is why I love its wide cooking area. I only have to do the smoking once because the area has enough space.
With its 900 square inches of cooking area which is large enough for any type of cooking, I enjoy smoking, grilling, and barbecuing so much.
In fact, my neighbor once borrowed it last Christmas when she hosted her work colleagues to a Christmas party. You will agree that only very few smokers can boast of such ample cooking space.
ii. It comes with 4 baffle plates
The cooking device regulates heat and smoke effectively. When I was using my old smoker, I always had to take a bath and change my clothes after every grilling session because I would smell like someone who was just rescued from a wild fire.
It is not the case with this one. Even my kids enjoy sitting around when am grilling. This is all because this smoker regulates smoke so well.
With 4 baffle plates, only very little smoke escapes. Even my friends can now sit around and chat with me while I do some grilling. The best part is that my niece who is an asthmatic patient can also sit around without fear of smoke triggering any asthma crisis.
iii. It is rugged and durable
The machine is made of steel all over. So, it is very rugged. It is resistant to dents, corrosion, and rust. Most importantly, it is also resistant to harsh weather conditions.
As mentioned earlier, it was left out in the cold for more than seven days but nothing happened to it.
After buying it, I have not fixed anything in it. I’m pretty sure that I’ll use it for many more years and also pass it to my daughter that has already shown keen interest in grilling.
The product is very easy to clean. You can easily remove ashes through its clean-up door. Cleaning its body is also very easy. Just wipe it with a wet piece of cloth.
iv. It cooks evenly
Unlike many other smokers, it cooks my foods evenly. Nothing can be as frustrating as finding out that your meat isn’t fully done when some parts are already burnt. Realizing this after turning off the smoker makes the situation even worse.
I know how it feels because I experienced it with my old smoker. But this one isn’t like that. It cooks all my food evenly.
Thanks to the baffle plates that regulate heat and smoke effectively. I don’t have to worry about the possibility of my food getting burnt or leaving the smoker half-done. This is the main reason I will buy this same smoker if my daughter comes to pick this one.
v. I love its steel wheels
With its couple of steel wheels, I can easily move it around. I’ll just raise the other end and pull or push it and it will follow easily and obediently.
After taking a careful look at the wheels, I realized they were made of steel too. So, you can roll them on turf, concrete, tiles, and on any other flooring. The weight of the smoker will not have effect on the wheels.
While many smokers come with wheels, only very few of them have durable wheels. After a few months, the wheels will pack up and you’ll have to drag or carry them each time you want to move them.
You won’t go through the stress with this one as its wheels are as durable as the smoker itself.
Before I bought my own smoker that I discussed about above, I was lucky to have used this Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker a couple of times. In fact I still use it when I visit my sister.
She has it at home and anytime we have a family get-together in her house, I do some grilling with it. I enjoy grilling with it.
The only reason I didn’t buy it is because I could not afford it. The smoker is more expensive than mine and it also comes with better features.
Its total cooking area is 1,060 sq. inches. This means that there is enough room for two or three people to grill their foods at the same time. Like the one above, it also has 4 baffle plates so it gives off less smoke and fantastic cooking results.
My sister and I love it so much. The baffles are removable. This is great for two reasons. Not all grilling requires the use of the 4 baffles. Secondly, removing them makes cleaning easier.
With its large fuel basket, I could store enough fuel for up to 24 hours of cooking. So, I don’t refuel it often. My sister has used it four different times after fueling it and she’ll likely use it a couple of times more before running out of fuel.
Like the one above, it also has a clean-out door for easy ash removal. This makes cleaning easier. Its multiple dampers control smoke and heat effectively.
i. It is made of all-rounds steel
Longhorn Reverse Flow Offset Smoker is made of all-round steel so it is very heavy. It weighs about 200 pounds but it is worth every pound. Being made of steel promotes durability. You don’t want to keep buying a smoker every couple of years.
Besides, you can station it somewhere so you don’t have to move it around often. My sister’s own is permanently outside, somewhere in her backyard but a shelter was created for it.
Its manufacturer knew its weight will make it difficult to move it around and that’s why it comes with a pair of wheels. This leads to the next feature.
ii. It has a pair of steel wheels
The pair of wheel that comes with it helps with mobility issues. My sister is over 60 and she can never lift a weight of 200 pounds even with the assistance of her husband or children.
But since the beast comes with some wheels, she can easily pull and push it around. So, the idea of giving it a pair of wheels is very commendable.
It is also important to inform you that its wheels are also made of steel so they are rugged and will survive on any type of flooring. My sister has been using hers for some years and the wheels have remained intact.
iii. Its cooking area is wide
Before she bought it, she was using a traditional grill that used to put me through 4 to 5 sessions of grilling. By the time I finished, I would be too tired to take part in other activities.
But that changed when she bought this workhorse. I now cook once. In fact, I am looking forward to the next get-together which will be on December 26, a day after Christmas. I now enjoy outdoor grilling even more.
iv. It comes with 4 baffle plates
Another feature of this smoker that my sister and I appreciate so much is the availability of up to 4 baffle plates. This helps to control heat and smoke and directs them into the cook chamber.
So, about 99% of the heat and smoke produced in the firebox goes into the cook chamber and only a negligible amount of smoke strays around.
We don’t have to bother about anyone smelling of smoke. The best part is that the baffle plates make for efficient use of the fuel and this leads to fast results. And this leads to the next important feature.
v. It cooks evenly
This is the best feature of this smoker. After all, this is the reason users bought it in the first place. It cooks evenly so that every part of your meat gets done at the same time.
The baffle plates regulate the heat and smoke so well. More pellets are released when more heat is needed. I also notice that this smoker cooks very fast. It cooks faster than the one outlined above.
In fact, if you have enough space in your home and cost is not a constraint. I’ll advise you to go for this one ahead of the one above. It was cash constraint that made me choose the one above.
Reverse Flow Offset Smoker Plans – How To Build a Reverse Flow Smoker:
The two reverse flow offset smokers discussed above are very efficient but their prices are high. So, if you can’t afford them, you can build yours.
There are several reverse flow offset smoker plans that you can choose from. You only have to ensure that whatever you build has all the important features every Offset smoker has.
After going through several reverse flow offset smoker plans, one was chosen and discussed here. So, you can adopt it.
You can use an old tank for the cook chamber. Here, an old 250-gallon tank was used. It is important to warn you beforehand that it is not an easy task.
You may eventually ask for additional hands. It can take weeks or even months and at some point, you may want to give up. But if you set your heart to it, you should finish it in less than a month.
Create the doors on the tank. You have to open the cook chamber to insert your raw meat, close it for fast cooking, and also open it to remove the cooked meat.
After cutting out the door, you need to create the door handles and weld them to the door. The handles need to be wide enough for your hands. You should be able to grip any of the handles easily.
Remember that you need some hinges too. You can cut out one big door or make two smaller doors. It is up to you. But you should bear in mind that each door must have at least one handle and a couple of hinges.
Now you can put some logs of wood inside the tank and burn them. After that, put metal straps around the doors from inside to seal them and prevent air leaks.
Look at the side and cut out the opening for the firebox. You need to understand that this project is not for a DIY beginner. It requires serious cutting and welding. You may have to take it to a professional welder.
Get the plate metal for the firebox. The thickness of the metal can be 3/8 inch while the entire dimension should be 30 by 30 by 24.
However, this is not cast on stone. You can make yours slightly bigger or smaller. You’ll need more metals for the cooking grates and the trailer that will be used to pull the smoker.
After creating the fire box, you should also create its handle. The handle should be very strong and solid.
And if you can make it from a material that is resistant to heat, it’ll be great. If you can’t, maybe you should use any metal. You’ll need a pad to open it when it is hot.
The fire box must have a slide that will shield air from going into it. This is how its temperature can be regulated. You will also leave the intake almost closed.
The firebox will have its door and hinges too. You will need to open it to supply wood pellets or coal into it. You also need to open it to sweep out ashes.
Now, you need to work on the tank (cook chamber). Fix the steel plates on which your food will rest while being cooked. Depending on how many layers you want, you can weld them in one after the other.
Don’t use too many layers. I think 2 layers are enough.
Create an opening between the firebox and the cook chamber. This is the idea. Hot air and smoke will always find their course. They’ll flow into any opening they see.
When the firebox is airtight, the smoke and heat it generates will have to flow through the opening into the cook chamber because that is their only option.
When they get into the cook chamber, they’ll look for another opening but if they don’t see any, they will move round and distribute themselves even in the cook chamber over your food.
It is important to cut out an exhaust pipe which will be at the top of the cook chamber and at the side that is opposite the firebox.
So, smoke and heat will come in through the firebox opening, heat your food and then move up and out through the exhaust pipe.
As the heat is moving from the firebox to the exhaust pipe, your food will be cooked because it is continuous.
Your smoker is ready. You can now paint it to make it visually appealing. In addition, you could work on the other end of the tank to make it easy to be towed by a trailer if that is needed.
Buying Guide – How to choose the Best Reverse Flow Offset Smoker?
Yes, outdoor grilling is great. Reverse flow offset smoker is the real deal. However, the appliance is not for everyone. There are certain things to consider before buying the machine. The points discussed below should top your consideration list.
1. What is the weather condition in your area?
If you always encounter any of low atmospheric temperature, heavy rain, and high winds, you may not be able to use an offset smoker in your location.
This is because all the weather conditions can hinder the performance of the smoker. The heat it generates may be reduced or not consistent.
It will take your food longer to get done and the cooking may not be even. One part will be burnt while another part will still taste raw.
2. Consider the space in your yard
The biggest drawback of reverse flow offset smokers is that they take a lot of space. So, you need a wide area to operate one.
If your yard isn’t so big, you may not be able to use one. Consider the dimension of your preferred smoker and compare it to your yard. If you won’t be left with a lot of space after bringing one home, you should shelve the idea.
3. Choose the one with thick metal
Thin metals don’t radiate heat like thick ones. If your smoker comes with thin metal, you’ll likely have to complement the drawback by changing the position of your meat while it cooks.
This is because one part of the cook chamber may be hot while another part is cold. This is time-consuming and it drains outdoor grilling of its pleasure.
So, you should look for an offset smoker whose cook chamber’s walls are at least ¼ inch thick.
4. Check for good ventilation
You don’t have to be a science student to understand that oxygen supports burning. The more the oxygen that gets into the firebox, the longer and smoother the fire will burn.
So you need the smoker with good ventilation. One more thing – the level of the firebox opening is an important consideration too.
Stay away from any smoker whose firebox opening is the same height with the smoking grill or higher.
It won’t offer good heat distribution because heat rises from below and goes up. The firebox opening has to be lower than the grill for proper distribution of heat.
5. A good thermometer
You need to monitor the temperature of your cook chamber while using it.
In fact, it is important for the temperature of your cook chamber to reach a certain level before you can put in your meat and the best way to monitor the heat is with the help of a thermometer.
6. Availability of wheels
Most offset smokers are very heavy. They weigh above 100 pounds and moving them around isn’t easy. So, you need to select anyone with at a least a pair of wheels.
You can easily push or pull it around. However, if you plan to station it somewhere, you may not worry about this.
No matter how much you like a particular smoker, there’s little you can do about it if its price is higher than your budget. If you come across an offset smoker that costs more than your budget, just move down to the next one in line.
- The best reverse flow offset smokers are very easy to use.
- They conserve fuel.
- They offer a wide range of temperature.
- They cook food evenly.
- Their baffle plates help to control temperature and smoke efficiently.
Whenever you decide to get a smoker, consider a reverse flow offset smoker. You’ll be glad you did.