How Does a Reverse Flow Smoker Work? –

How Does a Reverse Flow Smoker Work

BBQ aficionados are like gearheads who love cars. They have their own opinions as to what constitutes a great smoker, and they’re vociferous in defending their favorites.

If you hang around with them, sooner or later you’ll meet one who will staunchly advocate the use of a reverse flow smoker. But what makes it different, and why is it better?

Typically, the industry offers the offset smoker with a regular design as the standard. But a reverse flow smoker has a somewhat different design, and some feel it is better.

How Reverse Flow Smoker Works:

The difference in the design between the offset and the reverse flow smoker isn’t all that huge. It’s just that in the reverse flow smoker, there’s an extra metal plate in the design.

This metal plate protects the meat from the intensity of the heat. At the same time, it directs the smoke to go under and then back over the meat before it’s let out through the smoker chimney.

That’s the main difference. In the offset smoker, you have the firebox producing smoke and heat, and then it goes through the cooking rack and the meat before it goes out the chimney.

The additional metal plate effective sets the cooking section into 2 floors, so that the heat and smoke go through both floors before they exit through the chimney. The smoke flow is therefore more thorough.

The metal plate also blocks the harsh heat from directly getting to the meat, thereby overcooking the parts of the meat that are closer to the firebox.

It acts like a heat sink, so the cooking temperature inside is more even. The plate even does double duty as a pan for the grease and the water.


So what special benefits do you enjoy when you use the reverse flow smoker?

  1. You get that great smoky flavor throughout the meat because of the even smoke distribution.
  2. You won’t need to turn the meat when you cook it, because the heat is also evenly distributed. It’s not coming from a specific direction when parts closer to the firebox are more prone to overcooking.
  3. When you add more fuel to the fire, you’re less likely to have temperature spikes.
  4. After you open the cooking chamber door, you return to the proper cooking temperature more quickly.
  5. The design of the reverse flow smoker allows the fat that renders out of the meat to sear on the griddle pan so it filters through the cooking chamber.
  6. The metal plate can act as your grease and water tray, so you don’t really need a separate tray for the grease and water.

The reverse flow smoker enables even BBQ newbies to enjoy superior results that only the most experienced meat smoker enthusiasts can come up with. It basically makes smoking meat a lot easier, and that’s what makes it a better option.

June Brandt
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