WSM vs. Offset question

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by chunkyeager, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. chunkyeager

    chunkyeager Newbie

    I have worked my way from electric to the WSM. A feel like I am getting good results with the WSM, but not great results. So the question is would I get better results if I went to a stick burning offset style over WSM. Better results meaning a better/deeper smoke flavor. All other results are great as far as texture and moisture.

    Would love to hear from someone who has had both style of smokers!
  2. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I had a WSM for a number of years and got my offset a year ago. I love it and would never want anything else. The flavor profile is excellent and the finished product is a smokers delight. Learning the fire management and the smokers personality is a ton of fun and playing with fire is very relaxing. The WSM is a good smoker, but my stick burner is a great smoker.

    Good luck in your research, Joe
  3. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    I think by going with an offset you get a better flavor. But you are also putting more work into the smoke with an offset.
    A WSM is pretty much set and forget...Offset is adding a split every 30 mins.
    A lot of people get good results with a WSM. Myself I prefer my offset.
    You just have to decide what works best for you.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Fuel and wood gives the flavor. Whether the fire is below or next to the meat makes no difference at all. An offset is less efficient and will take more tending unless you go to a high end unit of heavy construction that is well sealed. Getting better deeper smoke flavor is about wood choice and temp control, keeping temps down for low and slow cooking and choosing a more robust flavored wood like pecan and hickory over fruit woods. Having water in the pan for the first half of the cook will keep the meat surface moist for deeper smoke ring penetration and the wet surface grabs on to more smoke flavor particles...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  5. chunkyeager

    chunkyeager Newbie

    Thanks Joe! Now the hard part. Getting the boss/wife to approve the purchase.
  6. chunkyeager

    chunkyeager Newbie

    Thanks for the reply hardcookin! I think the extra work is the joy or fun of smoking.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  7. chunkyeager

    chunkyeager Newbie

    Thanks for the feedback JJ!
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    As a younger man I had a New Braunfels Horizontal Offset and it was the Bees Knees! Made great Q for years and the fire tending kept me and my cooler of Beer away from the Mrs and the 3 Toddlers for countless hours of blissful relaxation. Now I am too old to stay up all night feeding a fire, especially in cooler weather. If you have the time to play the Offset is fun and worth having...JJ

  9. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A WSM is the wise mans Green Egg. But if you want to go to a full blown stick burning offset I would follow JJ's advice and get something of a higher quality and the learning curve will be much shorter. I cut my teeth on a old Brinkmann SmokiN Pit. But no matter what offset you get the satisfaction from learning how to control a stick burner is well worth it!

    Did all the mods to it and could turn out some darn good Q but it took a lot of tending to make it happen but it was fun! Stick burning is a passion not everyone has but it's well worth the effort. I ran with the Brinkman for about 8 years and then graduated into a 1/4" cold rolled steel patio pit.

    The difference was nothing short of amazing! I didn't make me a better cook but it made it a heck of a lot easier! The amount of time I spent tending the fire and controlling temps was cut by two thirds!

    Of course as always these habit hobbies are addictive. I now own this rig.

    And this one is currently being built.

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  10. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    As mentioned by 3Montes 1/4" steel is the way to go if you can. That thickness steel makes fire management a lot easier.
    Start keeping an eye on Craigslist in your area you could find a decent smoker reasonable.

    3Montes some nice smokers you got there. Thumbs Up
  11. chunkyeager

    chunkyeager Newbie

    Thanks hardcookin! I was looking at the OK Joe at the moment. When I get settled, I would love to get a long or something of that nature.
  12. rober49

    rober49 Smoke Blower

    I just smoked some pork chops & a meatloaf on my weber kettle with the Cajun bandit extension ring so my set up is similar to your WSM. I used charcoal & large chunks of hickory & mesquite chips in a smoker box. all the flavoring wood was soaked overnight & I used the water the chips soaked in my water pan which really adds flavor. the food was spot on & had a deep smoke flavor. I just picked up an offset for more capacity but you can definitely get a full smoke flavor with your WSM if you play with your fuel choices.

    the nice thing about the weber set up is how easy the fire is to tend. I put my digital thermometer temperature probe in the grill & watch it until it levels off at my target temperature, add the meat, pour myself a neat single malt scotch, & kick back until the meat is done.

    alder & oak tend to have a harsh slightly bitter taste. hickory is my go to wood but  mesquite & pecan are flavorful too. apple is more subtle & requires a lot of chips to get full flavored meat. just experiment until you find what you're after.

     for my trial run on the offset I just bought a brisket & a pork butt.
  13. CHUNKyeager,

    What's the status of your research into an offset smoker?

    I'm in sort of the same boat.  I have a WSM and I'm thinking of a Yoder Cheyenne.  Interested to hear what you decided.

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