Believe it or not, I remember when I didn’t know what an offset smoker was. Maybe you’re new to barbecue smokers too and don’t know what all the terms mean. In this post, I’m going to explain what an offset smoker is, how reverse flow draft works, and why you might want to invest more up-front.
An offset smoker is simply a meat smoker with a firebox beside the cooking chamber. There are of course several other common types of barbecue smokers, such as vertical smokers or even regular grills modified for smoking. But offset smokers are my favorite when it comes to cranking out authentic, southern-style barbecue.
You can pick up a cheap thin-wall offset smoker at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot. I don’t know exactly what it would run, but I think a couple hundred bucks or so would put you in business. Or you can invest in more quality (and perhaps size), such as the Meadow Creek SQ36 Offset Smoker for around a thousand dollars. The cheaper ones might last a few years before they rust out. A higher quality smoker such as a Meadow Creek, is a long-term investment that you can hand down to future generations.