Offset Smoker Fire Management

The use of an offset smoker might be more effortful compared to the use of other types of smokers. Yet, the cooking results, of course, is more satisfying. The bulk of work lies in the offset smoker fire management. Thus, at the onset, it would be good to know some tips on how to manage its fire, especially, if it is your first time using an offset smoker.

Offset Smoker Fire Management

Simple Tips on Offset Smoker Fire Management

The fire management of offset smoker is a bit different from the fire management of other smokers and grillers. So, if you are new to the use of offset smoker, you will get a bit confused as to how to manage its fire. But the steps are basically the same. Here are the simple tips on how to manage properly the fire of offset smoker:

Light a Solid Starting Fire!

At the onset, you need a steady coal fire. So, you need to start the fire and keep a steady coal fire to keep the pit hot. Keep the firebox and the smokestack open to allow the fire to grow. Once the fire is already solid, you can put some logs or wood chips beside the burning charcoal to dry them out. Don’t close the damper and check the temperature of the cooking chamber.

Don’t Be Stingy with Your Charcoal!

The important thing about offset smoker is to keep the heat within the cooking chamber at a constant temperature for smoking. So, you need to be not stingy with charcoal. You should check the temperature of the cooking chamber every 15 to 20 minutes. If the temperature of the cooking chamber goes down, add more charcoal and spread the charcoal evenly across the firebox. You can also add another piece of wood if the temperature goes down. Let the firebox enclosure open until the chunk of wood has already caught fire. You should keep it open to allow oxygen to inflame the log and the charcoal. You should do this every time the temperature goes down.

Interchange the Position of the Meat!

The obvious thing about the use of the best offset smoker for 2019 is that the temperatures across the cooking chamber are not the same. The part that is nearest to the firebox usually has a higher temperature than the side of the cooking chamber farther away from the firebox. As such, the meat that you position near the firebox will cook first while the meat farther away from the firebox will be cooked slower. So, you should reposition the meat by interchanging their positions to balance the cooking process. You should also keep a tab of where you position the meat that you cook so that you would not get confused as to which are near the firebox or not at the onset.

Look at the Smoke!

The smoke that comes out of the offset smoker will surely be indicative of something. Thus, you should pay attention to its smoke. If the smoke that comes out of the vent is thick white smoke, it means that the wood may not be burning properly. To correct this problem, you can either allow a whiff of oxygen onto the firebox or you can poke into the fire to adjust the position of the wood. On the one hand, you can adjust the dampers to allow oxygen to go through the firebox. Remember, without oxygen, the fire will stop burning. On the other hand, you can adjust the position of the log by poking into it and repositioning it.


The offset smoker fire management requires meticulous monitoring on your part. You may, at the start, fail to manage properly the fire of the offset smoker. But as you get the hang of it, you will soon master it. You will soon find it easy to monitor the fire all throughout the cooking process. As long as you follow the abovementioned tips, you will soon find yourself enjoying the process of smoking food and you will get the perfect results of cooked food. Remember that experience is often the best teacher when it comes to the use of an offset smoker. But the abovementioned tips will surely help you have proper fire management of your offset smoker.

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