Reverse Flow Vs Offset Smoker Which One is Easy to Use?

Reverse flow smoker works on the model of redirecting heat back to firebox. For heat redirecting in reverse flow smoker, manufacturer uses baffle plates. It provides heat for perfect temperature to grill food.

In an offset smoker temperature control is a difficult task, because you have to check again and again and have to put wood pieces. The structure is designed to maintain air flow in the firebox and transfer heat from firebox to cooking chamber and exit from chimney.

With the selection of right smoker, while reading the reverse flow vs offset smokers, the more important thing is cooking skill. Both choosing right device and your cooking skills will make your meal more perfect and tastier.

What is an Offset Smoking?

If we talk about types of offset smokers, generally there are two types of offset smokers. One is Texas style and other is Traditional. In modern Texas style smoker, firebox is open. Which makes it different from the traditional model which has baffle plates and closed firebox.

Conventional method of offset smoking is very common to reverse flow, because in this smoker baffle plates are used to reverse the heat. In standard smoker, firebox and cooking chamber are two different parts. Heat transmits from firebox to the cooking chambers through vents and from cooking chamber exits from chimney.

A firebox is attached with the offset smoker in a side, cooking chamber looks like a drum or barrel. Heat produces in firebox and passes through the cooking chamber letting the food cooked which is present on the grills in the cooking chamber.

Heat and smoke travels through out the cooking chamber and for their exhaust a pipe is fixed on the one side of cooking chamber, it is called chimney. This is built for exit of heat and smoke, you can close it according to your need to adjust temperature inside the cooking chamber.

Most wonderful feature of conventional offset smoking is that it is cost friendly, it cuts the cost to the lowest. It also allows you to hang, put your meat on grill and skewer. It allows you different arrangements of meat inside the cooking chamber. It also allows you to put large quantity of meat for cooking inside the cooking chamber.

The only rigid functionality of offset smoker is that it only allows one direction of heat flow, sometimes because of one direction heat flow, it lefts uncooked spots on the meat.

Second type of smoker which we are discussing in this article comes with the baffle plates. Which redirects the heat of cooking chamber from one end to the other end. This method is called reverse flow cooking. In this type of smoker heat reverse through the chamber.

What is Reverse Flow Smoking?

Reverse flow smoker uses baffle plates, which are made of steel. These plates are fixed in the cooking chamber, parallel to the cooking surface. These plates redirect or divert heat from one end to other end. In these types of smokers, you just have to stock the fuel in firebox and after burning, forget about it, it will give you heat for long duration.

Apparently, all reverse smokers are offset smokers because place of firebox is out on the side of cooking chamber. But all offset smokers not reverse flow smokers, because they do not have functionality of baffle plates installed inside. Heat transmits one way.

Baffle plates installed on the bottom side of cooking surface. Baffle plates take grease from dripping down and makes it steam, which gives moisture and flavor to your food and meals.

In both types of smokers, if we talk about cooking experience, reverse flow vs offset smoker, reverse flow is easy to use. In offset smoker you have to put more effort for smoking in a more organized and focused way.

Which Is Better Method of Smoking?

Reverse flow smoker provides a consistent heat during cooking, offset smoker provides excellent air flow for clean burning. There are also some parameters which needs what type of food you are cooking, you need a consistent temperature or have to lower down temperature on some point of cooking. You will also learn how to use and design reverse flow smokers and how does it work.

Control of Temperature

In offset reverse Flow smokers, it is easy to control temperature, but in offset smoker you need to be more careful. It is easy in Reverse Flow smoker to control and adjust temperature, after lightning the firebox by opening and closing the intake and outtake valves. Most of the time these types of smokers are included in set it up and forget it types of devices.

Horizontal or offset smokers need more attention than Reverse flow smoker, you may need reduce or resize the fire. Throughout the process you may have to adjust flow of smoke and temperature according to your need, in this situation Offset smoker is best.

Starting Up

First of all, you have to make a bed of coals for lightning up the smoker. When charcoal produce fire, you have to put some pieces of wood, it will add flavor into your food. In Reverse flow smoker you have to burn coals once and put some pieces of wood on live fire and you do not have to much worry about it.

Smoker without baffle plates needs more effort to check again and again to maintain the consistency of temperature in the cooking chamber, but in reverse flow you do not need to much worry about it. You have to set fire once and it will maintain the cooking chamber temperature for long duration, while cooking the food.


In Reverse Flow smoker the plates are placed under the cooking are, when the meat gets heat, it creates grease and meat scraping on the surface of plates. You need more effort to clean it up.

If we compare the cleaning of reverse flow smokers and offset smokers, horizontal offset smokers are easy to clean after every smoking session. It is very easy to clean it because, do not have plates and it have barrel. It’s construction structure makes it easy to clean than reverse flow smoker.

Temperature Controls

Both smokers are different in type and their functions, one provides consistent heat and temperature in the cooking chamber, in horizontal type you can adjust quantity of heat and smoke manually.

The most outstanding feature of Reverse Flow smoker is to maintain the consistency of heat for long duration. From baffle plates heat flows towards cooking chamber and meat. It produces constant heat for ultimate experience of cooking your food in a better way.  

These two different types of smokers give different environment for cooking. Both types give you its own benefits and functionalities to add and enhance your cooking experience according to the need to situation, what type of food you are going to cook. Some people prefer reverse flow on horizontal offset smoker and some people prefer offset on reverse flow.

There are temperature zones in both types you can adjust temperature according to your need, for example you are cooking a food which do not needs consistent temperature then you can use offset smoker to make the flow of temperature according to your need. You can slow down the temperature by opening chimney or can make temperature high by closing the chimney when you need it.

Cooking Style

Important thing to note down is, both type of smokers has different cooking style. In reverse flow the temperature gets from down to up, it cooks food from bottom to top. In offset smoker temperature cooks food from up to down.

Temperature and smoke come from up to down which cook food. So, we can say that food cooked in both smokers differ in taste and style of cooking.


After reading this article on offset smoker vs reverse flow offset smoker you will be able to understand the difference between these two types of smokers. You also got the idea how both are different in structure and how they are different in function and their style of cooking. You can also check the details on pellet vs offset smoker.

You can understand that both types are made for different type of cooking experience. Some barbeque lovers like reverse flow and some like offset smoker for their cooking on the special occasions, while cooking food with their family or friends.

A barbeque lover can choose type of smoker according to the food he wants to cook and the specific flavor which he wants to enjoy. Hope that in this article we have provided you the required knowledge about Reverse Flow and offset smokers, which suits your needs.

If you are a barbeque lover and wants some more knowledge about barbeque gadgets, then please explore our website for more informational material.