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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-26-2013, 10:57 AM   #1
Just BS
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Default Tips for using my Cheapy Offset Smoker

I have a Charbroiler Offset Smoker that I used with mediocre success for about ten years. Last year I built a UDS and haven't looked back... until now. I'm starting a ten day cure on a ham today and I think I want to use my off set to smoke/cook it. Mostly because the UDS gets so damn hot when opening it up and there will be lots of basting towards the end of the cook.

I have a stack of oak branches that are about two inches in diameter that I'd like to use, but not completely sure where to start. I used to use charcoal in it, but that COS never seemed to get hot enough. Maybe it was the analog thermometer. Now I have a Maverick ET732.

Any and all suggestions are appreciated.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 11:10 AM   #2
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While I'm mainly a UDS guy, I do have an offset as well and it's a leaky bastard at that-prolly why I hardly ever use it!

While I don't have a lot of offset experience, a few things I can say is to seal up those doors and any seams as good as you can to help you hold an even temp. I also put some firebrick in mine to act as heat sinks to stabilize temps at it helped immensely. Might wanna run a water pan in there too to help keep moist and hold temp. I'm sure others will chime in with more insights. Good luck!
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Unread 03-26-2013, 11:18 AM   #3
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Thanks J-Rod. Did you line the bottom of the barrel w/bricks? All the way across?

I have some steal plates that I picked up to make tuning plates. I am thinking about getting some dryer exhaust tubing to lower the exhaust port. Will just regular dryer tubing work?
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Unread 03-26-2013, 11:22 AM   #4
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I was in the same boat I have had one for years. Leaks everywhere burns fuel like It's free. I put baffle in it and lined the bottom with ceramic briquettes and used a pan of water, it helped but what a pain to keep temps up. I even made a little fire basket that was a big improvement. I think a welding blanket would be a big help.

This is why I now love my UDS but I do see your point about temp spikes when opening the lid on a UDS, but they seem to settle down pretty quick.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 11:26 AM   #5
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This isn't what you asked, but in case you don't do this, if you close your UDS intake vents off a couple of minutes before you open the lid, it will decrease, if not eliminate, the flare ups.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 11:27 AM   #6
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Oops....
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Unread 03-26-2013, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savageford View Post
This is why I now love my UDS but I do see your point about temp spikes when opening the lid on a UDS, but they seem to settle down pretty quick.
I'm more worried about burning/scortching the bottom of the ham.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 11:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just BS View Post
I'm more worried about burning/scortching the bottom of the ham.
Why not put a foil pan under it on the bottom rack then?
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Unread 03-26-2013, 11:35 AM   #9
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For using your cheapo offsett... build a small hot clean burning fire... add a stick every 45 minutes to an hour.. the key to cooking on an offset is Flames.. you need flames to get that chamber up to temp and keep it there.. that means adding sticks every 45 minutes to an hour.. you can use coal to start or add coal during the cook but wood should be your primary source of heat! and when that wood catches fire it will heat your smoke chamber up.. and keep it heated..
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Unread 03-26-2013, 11:35 AM   #10
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Put a small piece of foil on the grate and a Bakers rack over the foil then put the ham on the bakers rack.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 12:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke View Post
Why not put a foil pan under it on the bottom rack then?
Honestly, I just want to use my off set. I'm sure I could make it work if I wanted to. Besides, I'll probably use it to make some ribs or something while I am at it.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 01:06 PM   #12
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@Just BS- my offset started out as just a grill made out of a 55 gallon drum so there's a charcoal grate below the cook grate, and that's where I put the firebrick. They act as a sort of a tuning plate and keep flames from lapping up from the firebox and scorching the meat. I suppose you could lay some along the bottom of the drum if you don't have a grate down there, or use some flat stock to elevate them just below your food grate. And yeah they're pretty much end to end with about a 4" space opposite the firebox and along the sides as well. Dryer vent will work for exhaust as long as it's the aluminum flex kind... or use a beercan with the ends cut off lol! Hope that helps.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 03:46 PM   #13
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A beer can, eh? I guess I'll have to manufacture a couple of those.
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