The offset smokers have been associated to delicious barbecue. It can produce perfectly smoked meat that makes it stand out from its competitors. The shelves of an offset smoker can accommodate racks of ribs, pork shoulders, and multiple briskets.
Cylinder smokers, on the other hand, are also known as vertical water smoker. It is available in two designs such as the bullet shape or cylindrical shape and the cabinet type.
This type of smoker is a good alternative to offset smokers. But, you can achieve tender, smoky cooked food not to mention the ability to cook faster with little effort.
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How does offset smokers differ from vertical smokers?
How they work
The offset smokers have two main parts: the firebox and the cooking chamber. The firebox is where the charcoal or wood is placed and burned, while the cooking chamber holds the meat during the cooking process. The firebox is located few inches lower the cooking chamber.
The smoke and heat from the firebox flow inside the cooking chamber and hits the meat. The heat is retained because the offset smoker is made from thick steel, thus ensures stable temperatures and maximum heat control.
The airflow of the offset smoker is manageable through the intake dampers and the adjustable chimney. Both features enable to control the amount of oxygen reaching the fire. This smoker is also capable of burning various types of charcoal. Cooking in offset smoker is time-consuming and labor-intensive.
The cylinder smoker is composed of three sections. At the top is the cooking chamber, next is the water pan and the fire tray at the bottom. You can place the food on the top and add extra charcoal or wood chunks through the access door. In spite of long, yet slow cooking process, the meat remains juicy due to the moisture from the water pan.
The cylinder smoker can burn charcoal, wood chunks and wood chips that can create the robust smoke profile. One-six pound of the charcoal load in a vertical smoker will burn for more than six hours.
Ease of use and versatility
Starting up a cylinder smoker is a lot easier because it has premeasured coal basket. All you have to do is to fill the charcoal basket and let the coals burn for several minutes before starting to cook. The detachable, lightweight base simplifies cleaning up the ashes without scraping out.
Likewise, using a cylinder smoker ensures consistent temperatures due to the controlled airflow and sealed design. It does not require babysitting or guesswork.
On the other hand, starting and pre-heating the offset smoker would take an hour to maintain consistent temperatures. Using an offset smoker requires diligence and time when it comes to stoking the fire, refilling the water pans, turning the meat and adjusting the intake.
Both the vertical and offset smokers are versatile as they also work as a grill.
Cooking time and fuel source
The cylinder and offset smokers operate at different temperatures. This means that the results and cooking time also vary. However, the offset smoker can produce flavorful and juicy barbecue because of its low and slow method of cooking.
On the other hand, the sealed design of the cylinder smoker allows trapping more smoke, thus achieve smoky results. In spite of the fast cooking method of the vertical smoker, it can still produce juicy, tender results with less effort.
Portability and size
Offset smokers are much larger as compared to vertical smokers. But, the smaller design of vertical cooker does not affect its capability of accommodating almost six racks of ribs. The meat is hung vertically using hooks, thus maximizing the total cooking capacity. The vertical smoker is more portable because of its size.
Quality and affordability
The built of an offset smoker is made from thin metal that’s why the heat does not retain well. Likewise, leaks may occur in the firebox and the paint easily chips away soon. Thus, rust builds up in the cooker in just a few years. It is cheaper than the vertical smoker.
On the other hand, the cylinder smoker is made from a heavy-duty steel frame and is coated with porcelain enamel. It last longer than the offset smoker because of its high quality and durable built. The vertical smoker is expensive that the offset smoker.
The offset smoker is a good choice for someone who loves the smoke and enjoy spending long hours sitting by the smoker. Although both smokers have the ability to produce juicy, tender barbecue, the cylinder smoker is the best choice if you’re looking for affordable, easy to use, and high-quality smoker.