Maggie’s  Horizontal Offset Smoker Replacement?

Spicerack

Misanthropic Ginger
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Dec 6, 2013
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Good evening folks,

I know there's a ton of outdoor cooking enthusiasts here and don't want to jack the NOM NOM NOM thread... Tonight I was getting my horizontal offset smoker ready for a small pork shoulder tomorrow after a long WI winter, I found a 5" diameter hole rusted through in the bottom of the main chamber a couple inches from the offset box. I had this thing for about 15 years and have gotten pretty dang good with it. I plugged it with a part of a PBR can and some ash to get through tomorrow's smoke, but now am in the market for a new one.. maybe building a cinder block pit if I can't find anything worth buying. I am one of the guys that loves tending the fire and making a day of the whole ordeal. Love the fact that I can't do anything else but stay home and tend the fire which makes it therapeutic in a way, so I am not interested in any of the auto feed pellet smokers that hook up to your phone so you can do it from work because it takes that excuse to get away for a day. What are the options that you fellers have and love? I do a batch of 4-5 shoulders a year, a batch of salmon, and maybe some random lump charcoal grilling 2-3 times a month all year around. I also have a nice Weber gas grill that we use 2-5 times a week year around that is hooked up to natural gas. What are some of the set ups that you guys have and love that might be suitable for our use? Interested in hearing of some options before I go balls deep in a Traeger or something crazy.

Semper Fidelis,
Aaron
 
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BigTex

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  • Jul 14, 2013
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    I have an Old Country Brazos from Academy and it is great. Short of building one or having one built this one is hard to beat. Heavy 1/4" casing, draws good, stack is at grate level. Dont get the cheap Pecos model, its not even comparable. I have burned several cords of mesquite and cooked hundreds of pounds of meat in this thing over the last 10 years or so.

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    diverdon

    Constitutionalist, by choice
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  • Dec 21, 2011
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    The Made in America store has a real heavy duty unit made by their parent company General Welding and fab.

    The owner is a friend of mine and gives 10% to vets. That said he is pretty proud of this unit at ( my recollection) 2k.

    If that's in your budget you could call and ask for pics or I'll be near there next weekend and could snap a few for you.
     
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    Spicerack

    Misanthropic Ginger
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    Dec 6, 2013
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    @diverdon - I don't see the unit you're talking about on their website, but $2k may be out of my price range for a back yard hack like me.

    @BigTex - The Brazos model looks perfect... no shipping available. Of course.

    I may do some more research on building a cinder block rig and fart around with it. This appeals to my cheapskate side and tinkerer side.
     
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    Maggot

    Better to die on your feet than live on your knees
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  • Jul 27, 2007
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    There is a whole thread on this recently though I believe the focus was on pellet types. Im with you I want the real thing.

    Build a fire, drink a beer. Tend the fire, drink a beer. Check the temp, drink a beer. By the time the brisket is ready so are you.
     

    Spicerack

    Misanthropic Ginger
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    Thinking about something similar to this --

     

    uffduh

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    A bit of a set it and forget it unit once the temp is dialed in, but I've been using a Kamado Joe Classic for the past ten years with great success. Just because I'm not having to feed it with sticks every hour doesn't mean it's not a great centerpiece for drinking beer around. 20 hour cook on one basket of quality hard oak lump charcoal is no problem.
     

    JLP83

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  • May 22, 2017
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    A bit of a set it and forget it unit once the temp is dialed in, but I've been using a Kamado Joe Classic for the past ten years with great success. Just because I'm not having to feed it with sticks every hour doesn't mean it's not a great centerpiece for drinking beer around. 20 hour cook on one basket of quality hard oak lump charcoal is no problem.
    I have one of those also and I can do everything with it but I prefer bbq from a stick burner.
     

    Nik H

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  • Jan 22, 2014
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    A bit of a set it and forget it unit once the temp is dialed in, but I've been using a Kamado Joe Classic for the past ten years with great success. Just because I'm not having to feed it with sticks every hour doesn't mean it's not a great centerpiece for drinking beer around. 20 hour cook on one basket of quality hard oak lump charcoal is no problem.
    +1 on Kamado Joe.

    I have a Big Joe III...I can cold smoke cheese, nuts and fish with pellets and can sear meat at 700 degrees using lump charcoal and wood and it can do everything in between.

    I also have a Pit Barrel vertical charcoal cooker that I am mighty fond of as well.

    I also have a Weber Genesis propane

    Each has its uses for certain.
     

    Bradu

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    I have a pellet smoker but prefer stick burners. I want to buy a yoder at some point but it's a lot of money as you said
     
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    redneckbmxer24

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    I’ve had every type of smoker including a commercial cook shack. My big green egg is the he best thing I’ve ever used for smoking. It gives flavor like no other. Also an amazing grill and pizza oven. Once you get a green egg you won’t go back. You’ll get a second one.

    Depending on what you smoke, get a large at minimum, or an XL.
     
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    Spicerack

    Misanthropic Ginger
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    Dec 6, 2013
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    I don't smoke often but when I do it is large volume like several racks of ribs at a time, or several 6-9lb shoulders, or 6 salmon filets at a time, or a couple 16lb turkeys. This is why I'm not sold on the egg shaped models.
     

    uffduh

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    I’ve had every type of smoker including a commercial cook shack. My big green egg is the he best thing I’ve ever used for smoking. It gives flavor like no other. Also an amazing grill and pizza oven. Once you get a green egg you won’t go back. You’ll get a second one.

    Depending on what you smoke, get a large at minimum, or an XL.
    Love doing pizza on mine. Have been wanting to add a rotisserie to it.
     

    bmash

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    May 21, 2018
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    I love my Lyfe Time double lid grill with firebox. great quality and I wanted the ability to move it to my hunting camp vs a fixed location like a cinder block version. It is plenty big to do 2 butts on one end away from the firebox, or 3 racks of ribs on one end. I like to do long term (brisket or Boston butts) smoking on the end away from the fire pit for supper and then cook chicken thighs or wings close to the fire pit for lunch. You can also use the firebox as a grill for direct cooking steaks. I’ve had it for a long time (20 years?) and I keep it out of the rain. it is still in great condition. mine has a life time warranty on the fire box so they advise buying it in one of your kids names! I bought mine from a local distributor in MS vs the company/manufacturer in Texas.
     

    2aBaCa

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    Jan 27, 2019
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    Weber smokey mountain and BBQ Guru controls with blower. Keeps the pit temp exactly where you set it. I can set it and forget it the evening before and let it run all night unattended. 16hrs on a small bag of hardwood charcoal and wood chunks. Monitors pit temp and food temp.
     

    woodsmoke

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    Dec 29, 2019
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    I put together a UDS, or ugly drum smoker about 10 years ago. Made from a 55 gallon drum. It’s pretty amazing, we can do 5 Boston butts, or 2 packer briskets, or a dozen chicken leg quarters at a time. I probably have less than $150 invested and would do it again in a heartbeat when this one rusts out. You can google UDS smoker, there are lots of instructions online for building them.
     

    Spicerack

    Misanthropic Ginger
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    Dec 6, 2013
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    Weber smokey mountain and BBQ Guru controls with blower. Keeps the pit temp exactly where you set it. I can set it and forget it the evening before and let it run all night unattended. 16hrs on a small bag of hardwood charcoal and wood chunks. Monitors pit temp and food temp.

    Guy at work that has done some competition is trying to sell me on the WSM. It just kinda looks smallish and a PITA if you need to add fuel. I use lump coals, no briquets. Ever. And how is for just grilling? I do that pretty often on my old offset.
     

    2aBaCa

    Humans are amusing
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    Jan 27, 2019
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    Guy at work that has done some competition is trying to sell me on the WSM. It just kinda looks smallish and a PITA if you need to add fuel. I use lump coals, no briquets. Ever. And how is for just grilling? I do that pretty often on my old offset.
    724sq in of grill space over 2 levels. I use lump charcoal plus large wood chunks. Theres a large door on the side to access the fuel area. I could put 6" logs in if i wanted. But honestly ive never had to add more, even in a 16hr cook. a 24" long 4x6 and a 5gal bucket for reference.

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    The magic is really the BBQ Guru and the fan.
    Its unbelievable how consistent it keeps temps.

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    The smoker is dedicated to smoking large meats. I also have a smoke hollow 4 in1 IR/gas/charcoal with a side box for smaller smokes and general grilling and cooking.
     
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    Spicerack

    Misanthropic Ginger
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    Dec 6, 2013
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    724sq in of grill space over 2 levels. I use lump charcoal plus large wood chunks. Theres a large door on the side to access the fuel area. I could put 6" logs in if i wanted. But honestly ive never had to add more, even in a 16hr cook. a 24" long 4x6 and a 5gal bucket for reference.

    View attachment 7598233
    View attachment 7598234

    The magic is really the BBQ Guru and the fan.
    Its unbelievable how consistent it keeps temps.

    View attachment 7598241


    The smoker is dedicated to smoking large meats. I also have a smoke hollow 4 in1 IR/gas/charcoal with a side box for smaller smokes and general grilling and cooking.
    Awesome info and images, answered my questions perfectly. Love this forum and the people in it for the like mindedness. All input here was helpful. Thanks fellas.
     

    bfk4lyfe

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    Guy at work that has done some competition is trying to sell me on the WSM. It just kinda looks smallish and a PITA if you need to add fuel. I use lump coals, no briquets. Ever. And how is for just grilling? I do that pretty often on my old offset.

    when I want to grill with my WSM i use the second/mid rack for the charcoal. I usually take the charcoal grate from the bottom, put it on the second/mid rack so it’s criss cross and the charcoal lasts longer, or use one of charcoal baskets that’s came with my kettle if I need two zone. Basically turns it into a kettle.
     
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