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How to Build a Reverse Flow Offset Smoker

A reverse flow offset smoker is one that utilizes a “baffle plate” and it is welded in the cook chamber that controls the flow of smoke as well as heat.

Before we try to build a reverse flow offset smoker, it is important to get details about few terminologies associated:

Baffle plate

This is a solid steel plate that is almost one-quarter inch in thickness. The best part about a Baffle plate is that it controls the flow of smoke and heat in the cooking chamber. It also absorbs heat and radiates heat inside the cooking chamber.

Cooking chamber

This is the exact area inside a smoker where the meat gets cooked. The cooking chamber is located after the firebox and it offers a better flow of heat to the product for combustion.


As the name suggests, a firebox is an area where the fire is actually built. The firebox can be square or round in shape. The style can vary depending upon the build of the box. It has inlets that are sized as per the dimension of the cooking chamber.

Product of combustion

Gases, smokes, heat, and other particles are produced by the combustion process.


The exhaust stack that leaves the cooking chamber is called the smokestack. It must be sized appropriately based on the size and dimension of the firebox and also cooks the chamber dimension.

Design considerations for offset smoker

One of the most important points is to know how big a smoker you want. In addition to this transportability of the smoker is another major factor that you need to consider. You also need to know the exact requirement of the offset smoker before you purchase it.

Knowledge about all these factors will enable you to make more enjoyable and less troublesome smokers. One of the best types of reverse offset smokers that you can build is the trailer smoker.

Building of the cooking chamber for offset smoker

The cooking chamber is a space where the meat or the food is cooked completely. The cooking chamber can have a single grill and it also has multiple shelves. It may have a single door or multiple doors.

  • The cooking chamber can be made up of materials like mild steel and stainless steel. The shape of the cook chamber can be square or round.
  • Certain types of cook chambers can also include tanks, flat steel, or rolled steel.
  • You can also use your old water tank, air tanks, or flat sheets made up of steel rolls to make good quality cooking chambers.
  • All you need is to visit your nearest scrap yard to get these items. Walking through a scrap yard can be like a treasure hunt.

Complete combustion is very important when it comes to an offset smoker. One of the signs of complete combustion is that the smoke leaving the smokestack should be thin and blue in colour. White and thick smoke is an indicator of incomplete combustion. You will get a sooty, bitter, and smoky taste if the combustion is not complete.

A reverse flow smoker uses a baffle plate that runs across the bottom of the cook chamber. The smoker should have a gap at the end of the plate away from the firebox. The baffle plate catches drippings away from the meat and it can be partially filled with water or fruit juice. It can also add flavour to the meat and then provide humidity in the cooking chamber.

When you are building the bottom part of the reverse flow smoker, it is important to make sure that the product should move from the firebox to the cooking chamber and then, it should come out of the cooking chamber.

When you want the plate to absorb the heat properly, it is important to control the way the air inside the smoker is available. The gap should be sized in such a way that the correct amount of air should move through the cooking chamber.

Designing the baffle plate appropriately will also help us to achieve proper combustion. Improper combustion will cause heavy white smoke that can cause a better taste on the food that we are smoking.

Addition of chimney

The heat and the smoke needs a place to go. You can get a chimney made from a 4” ventilation pipe. A flange can be fabricated and the chimney gets attached.

Final touch

Thermometers can be installed and a fire basket can be built by using an expanded mesh. The fire basket is located at a place where the hot coal can sit. In addition to this aluminium can be used to make brackets to mount a wooden handle on the door of the cooking chamber.

Try to wash the smoker inside and out so that you can get rid of leftover flux derived from welding. Make sure to paint the smoker by using some high heat points.

Fire up the smoker

Before you start the smoker to smoke the meat or vegetable product, make sure to increase the temperature and let the oil burn off. Then, you can start smoking. Try to start cooking some short ribs so that they can come out awesome. 

If you want to get a perfect cooking experience, try to use charcoal as your fuel and use wood for smoking purposes. Let the wood burn down first and then add more wood for smoke.

We hope this step-by-step approach will enable you to build the reverse flow offset smoker. So, get ready to have the tools needed to build an offset smoker. You will need tools and equipment that include a welder, mini-grinder, Pliers, chipping hammer, and wire brush.

Get ready to build a reverse flow offset smoker so that you can prepare delicious dishes. A well-built offset smoker can enable you to get perfect dishes. People don’t understand this but a good quality reverse flow offset smoker can enable you to prepare delicious food.

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