The weekend has arrived, and you have decided to invite friends over to taste your mastery of a savory, tender, fall-off-the-bone, smoked barbeque in your backyard. You have your new offset smoker, but you are new to the art of smoking meat on your offset smoker.
Anyone can become a master at smoking meat. There are simple guidelines to smoking meat in an offset smoker. If you follow these simple guidelines, you will become a master in very little time.
1. First, you will need to season your smoker
If it is new offset smoker, you will need to season it. This is done by wiping down the smoker with soapy water. Rinse to wash away any dust, grease, or shavings. Once the smoker is dry, spray or wipe down the entire inside of the smoker with vegetable oil. You will then open all of the vents on the smoker and light a fire in the firebox. Burn a fire for 30 minutes with the vents open.
2. Build a wood or charcoal fire in the firebox
The heat and smoke flow through a vent into the main cooking chamber where they circulate around the food and exit through the chimney at the other end.
3. Place two temperature probes or thermometers into the cooking chamber
Digital probes are recommended for more accuracy. One placed near the firebox port and the other near the chimney.
4. Open Ventilation Ports
When first starting the fire, ensure all your ventilation ports are wide opened and the lids closed. This will increase oxygen flow and pre-heat your cooker. Once you obtain the desired temperature, close the ports partially to reduce the oxygen flow and maintain your desired temperature. (Recommended temperature is between 225 °F (107 °C) and 275 °F (135 °C) and spread out the charcoal/wood out in the firebox (avoid using only wood because it is harder to control temperature over time).
5. Add your Meat
Now that you have your smoker heated, place your seasoned/marinated meat onto the racks in the cooking chamber. Remember, the closer to the firebox the higher the temperature. You will need to rotate your meat every hour, to ensure evenly cooked meat.
6. Maintain or Increase Temperature
If you need to increase the temperature or maintain current temperature over time, add more charcoal/wood to the firebox. Use a grill how or barbeque spatula to move half of the hot ashes to one side of the firebox and add the new charcoal/wood to the other. Remember to check the temperature and firebox every 30 minutes or so to
ensure that the fire is still going.
7. Raise Temperature
If you have added new charcoal or wood to the firebox and the temperature is dropping, you can open the lid of the firebox to add a small log and then close it again. Then open the air ports wide open to increase the oxygen flow to increase the heat.
8. Lower Temperature
If you find the temperature is too hot, you can reduce the heat by closing the air ventilation ports, that will reduce the temperature., but if you need to reduce the temperature more quickly, you can open the cooking chamber for about a minute. Then close it again.
Following these guidelines will make your neighbors and friends envious with your mastery of succulent smoked meat and wanting to know your secret and coming back for more. You can also check this article on offset smoker for jerky.