First offset smoker

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by djb7595, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. djb7595

    djb7595 Newbie

    So I just bought my first offset, a Horizon 16". So far I've smoked a ham and a couple pork butts. I love everything about it but managing the fire and temperature is a full time job. I've ready lots of stuff on here about making mods. I just ordered some gasket to put around the cooking chamber lid to seal that up. Is there anything else I can do (or I'm not doing) to keep the temp a little more consistent?
  2. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    Basically if your burning wood your adding a split about every 30 minutes.
    As far a temperature swings you will have these. On smaller smokers usually 20-30 degree spike when adding a split.
    Offsets are more work...but the return is great flavor.
    As far as temps being more consistent just keep practicing your fire management skills.
  3. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    There are a number of outside threads and videos on fire management that are very good. My advice would be to not be overly concerned about an exact temp. An offset is designed to work within a 30 to 40* range. Mine likes to run at 260 to 275*. When it gets below 260*, I will add a pre-heated split. I always pre-heat my splits on top of the FB. This causes the new split to ignite more rapidly and keep the fire more even. Always try to keep a good bed of coals. The coals produce more heat and the fire just keeps a new supply of coals. If you will begin with a good basket of lump charcoal, that will help to get a good base of good coals, then start adding the wood. With my smoker, I usually keep all of the vents open and control the temp with the fire. Your cooker is a relatively small unit and will be a little harder to learn, but it will come to you. Just keep burning.

    I hope you got the convection plate with your Horizon. They are an excellent way of controlling the evenness of the temps in the CC.

    Good luck and good smokin', Joe
  4. sgtdrilllbit

    sgtdrilllbit Newbie

    Congrats on the new smoker. There's loads of problems with keeping cook chambers at a constant temperature. I've seen everything from adding blankets to the outside, to thin layer of concrete. 

    Biggest problem is the thin wall of the cook chamber and the firebox. Like Joe said, preheating your wood and keeping a good bed of coals will help. Also, get yourself a real good temp gauge that helps keep track of internal chamber temps. This way with time you should be able to estimate when you will need to add wood.
  5. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Really good CC gauges are River Country. They are good quality and can be calibrated. There are other brands that are way more expensive, but not any better, IMO.
  6. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome to the board! I'm running an offset, too, and yes they can be fussy.

    But I love it. (see my sig) I just regret not having opportunities to watch people run other smokers like MES or BGE.

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