DIY Offset Smoker Plans

Everybody wants to enjoy a barbecue party at home with family and friends while enjoying classy music. Building an offset smoker is a great pleasure for those who wish for satisfaction from cooking and creating their offset smoker. To enrich the enjoyment, everyone wants to build a DIY offset smoker. 

For a newbie, it can be difficult to create a homemade offset smoker out of useless material as they do not have any knowledge. I have given the full details in this article so that you can get help with it. If you do not know how to build an offset smoker, do not worry, as making a DIY offset smoker is effortless. Although you can check our guide to buy a prebuild offset smoker from the market.

What Is An Offset Smoker?

The offset smoker is ideal and classy among all. In this smoker, wood and charcoal burn at the firebox on one side of the horizontal chamber, while the food on the other side cooks due to smoke and heat.

How To Build An Offset Smoker

The cooking chamber of the offset smoker contains shelves to handle large amounts of ribs, pork shoulders, and multiple briskets. If you are buying an offset smoker then I advise you to purchase an offset smoker of thick steel, so the heat and temperature remain controlled. 

How Does An Offset Smoker Work?

Offset smokers produce fire when the wood pellets or charcoal are added to the offset fire outside the cooking chamber. The air intake vent permits the air to go inside the offset chamber so that the fire rises.

The air moves around the food chamber and fires. It would help if you had oxygen, fuel, and heat for fire to check the height of the flames and control the temperature. An intake damper is available. 

If you forget to open the dumper, it restricts the airflow and chokes the fire. You have to open the damper. In other cases, the fire can be out of your control because the fire has unlimited oxygen for the fire.

How To Build An Offset Smoker?

Building your offset smoker is not so hard if you follow the guidelines and do not go off track. You can follow the following guidelines to make a DIY smoker.

Sourcing All The Components

First, gather all the components you will need. The firebox, smoking chamber, and frame constitute the main structure. A firebox burns fuel, and a smoking chamber cooks food. The smoking chamber and firebox should be attached carefully. It should be attached so that the fuel and food do not contact each other. It is the frame’s job to support the device.

Make the frame and smoking chamber with sheets or barrels. If you want to use old barrels, ensure they are chemicals free, as they may be hazardous to you. The sheet is of high quality and will not be damaged by excess heat. The sheet should be enough to make a 50 inches cylinder easily. 

You can make it small, but use a wood log in the 50 inches smoker. A welder can attach these components for you. There are many welders in the market, so choose the one with experience as a welding smoker. You have to place the angle grinder in your supplies.

Build A Frame

Firstly, you have to make a frame that helps to elevate the smoker from the ground and supports the offset smoker. You can select the height of the structure as you want. The material used to make the frame depends upon your choice. Some people use steel as it is durable, while some use wood due to the fantastic designs. 

Many pit masters recommend that its height be large enough so that you do not have to bend down to place food or to check the temperature. I ask you to use steel as a frame because wood can easily catch fire. The thickness of the frame depends upon the weight of the smoker. A thickness of about one inch will be best. 


After that, use your angle grinder to trim the frame according to your smoker’s specifications. Please do not use any glue or fastener to attach it till it gets fit with the smoker. But it can be welded with the smoker if it is made of steel.

Make The Sections

Now, it is time to make the main structure of the smoker. Two barrels or steel sheets are exceptional for making the DIY offset smoker sections. If you use barrels, ensure they are clean and have never been used for storing chemicals. 

The smoking chamber should be larger than the firebox, and it will get hot rapidly. If you have two barrels of the same size, you should cut one barrel from the center and one side to reduce its height. Then you have to cut the doors in the firebox and smoking chamber. 

The door present in the smoking chamber is to enter food into the smoker while fuel is added through the door in the firebox. It is necessary to keep the firebox door smaller than the smoking chamber. The doors should be cut in the round form so that you will not injure your hand while placing food in the smoker.


Attach The Sections

After cutting them properly, you now have to attach them. When some parts of the firebox barrel are removed, weld both barrels to make them one. There should be no gap in the barrels, so total heat remains in the chamber. Line up the barrels, so the bottom of the smoking chamber barrel gets attached to the top of the firebox barrel. 

You must cut the points connected to the smoking chamber and firebox barrels. After that, connect the barrels again by welding. You do this to prevent the fuel and food from coming in contact with each other. The smoke from the firebox enters the smoking chamber and then leaves out from the smoker.


Making Of Air vents

Air vents are very important for ventilation and controlling temperature. You can make two small holes in the chamber that will work as air vents. One hole should be in the firebox for air intake, and the second hole at the top of the smoking chamber so that the smoke leaves.

Cooking Grates

After doing everything, now add the cooking grates to suspend your meat during cooking. The cast iron grates are best as they can control temperature and are durable. They are very cheap and readily available in the market.

The cooking grates should be broad enough to fit easily in the smoker. You have to weld them in the chamber with the help of hangers. Also, fix some hooks in the chamber to cook the food vertically.



Following are some precautions for building an offset smoker:

  • Find such a barrel that had never been used for storing chemicals and some other toxic materials. If you remain unsuccessful in finding such a barrel, then purchase a new barrel.
  • It is essential to add handles because, during the smoking process, the smoker will become too hot. So, attach handles to keep yourself safe from any accident.
  • Cut and mold all the corners of the steel smoker as they can damage you. 
  • It is important to remember that a large-capacity smoker takes a lot of time to get hot. So, select the size according to your needs.
  • At least two to three times, check whether no gaps remain in the barrel. To seal these points, you can apply heat-resistant silicone or welding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contrary to the flower pot or ugly drum smoker, it is a complicated process that requires a lot of time, skills, and important tools. You need to cut and weld the steel box sections to build the frame, steel plate to build the firebox, and steel tube to build a chimney.

The cost of building an offset smoker depends upon the size of the smoker. It depends upon the type of material you are using. A quality smoker will last longer than the cheaper smoker. The cost of building a standard smoker may be between $250 to $600.

The average lifetime of a good quality smoker is 4-20 years. The durable smoker will last till you are alive if it is cared for properly. Even a good quality smoker can get damaged if it is not protected from bad weather.

It is not easy to measure the exact amount of wood because everyone makes it according to their style and size. I have checked Aaron Franklin’s Masterclass about smoking. He has said that you need 8 logs or about 6.4-pound wood to build an offset smoker.

Final Words

Building an offset smoker is not very difficult, but one should be careful to reduce the risk. Barrels used for storing chemicals are dangerous because they can make food toxic. It would be best to remember airflow and portability while building a smoker.

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