How come you dont see many insulated offsets?

Horizontal smokers with a side firebox and tuning plates.
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john_az
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How come you dont see many insulated offsets?

Post by john_az » November 29th, 2018, 7:46 pm

Hello,

New to smoking and to this forum... so hello to all. I and am curious as to why you see lots of insulated vertical box style smokers,(usually charcoal in the bottom) but hardly ever see insulated traditional offset smokers? Why wouldn't an insulated cook chamber and firebox on an offset be beneficial? Thanks!



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Re: How come you dont see many insulated offsets?

Post by Big T » November 29th, 2018, 8:20 pm

Welcome aboard! Most vertical smokers are insulated so that they can burn a minimal amount of fuel(charcoal) for the maximum amount of time(12-30) hours. Some guys insulate the FB on their offsets to help with safety and efficiency but most feel that insulating the CC isn't needed unless you live in an extremely cold environment. Most offsets burn wood so you are going to have to add wood on a regular basis regardless of how well that it's insulated.


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Re: How come you dont see many insulated offsets?

Post by Dirtytires » November 29th, 2018, 8:30 pm

:yth:

An offset (traditional or RF) and a cabinet smoker are two completely different animals. Charcoal in a cabinet can be made to burn super slow so insulating it keeps that heat in and allows the charcoal to burn for hours (4-6+) without attention. An offset typically burns logsplits so the fire is naturally hotter and bigger. It is actually good that some of that heat is able to escape or you would never be able to maintain a low temp. As mentioned, a new split needs to be added every 45-60 min to keep the fire going.



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Re: How come you dont see many insulated offsets?

Post by john_az » November 29th, 2018, 8:39 pm

Solid point. However it seems that most 'custom' offsets, the mindset seems to be the thicker the steel the better for both the CC and FB. I was thinking Id like to build something lightweight, easy to move around, but still holds a good temp. I see lots of cook chambers 1/8" thick.... what if I made one that was 16gauge but insulated at say... 1" thick, so the overall thickness was 1.125" for the cook chamber, and used 2" insulation for the firebox.... Do you think the insulated CC would have any positive effect on helping normalize the temp swings offsets go through?



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Re: How come you dont see many insulated offsets?

Post by Pete Mazz » November 30th, 2018, 4:45 am

Thicker steel retains heat better. Especially important after opening doors. The FB needs thicker steel so it doesn't warp or burn thru. An insulated FB is mostly done for safety, especially with kids around. Most don't seem to think it's worth the extra effort, unless maybe just a firebrick liner.


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Re: How come you dont see many insulated offsets?

Post by Chromeski » November 30th, 2018, 10:41 am

A 16ga firebox is not going to hold up for long. I think you could get away with 16ga cooking chamber, but you gotta come up with a way to hang a heavy firebox on a thin cc



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Re: How come you dont see many insulated offsets?

Post by john_az » November 30th, 2018, 12:20 pm

Again, great points. Wow, its amazing how fast people respond on here! and no one called me an idiot...??!! So I hear you all on the thicker firebox, makes perfect sense, and it sounds like your saying, just because the CC is insulated doesn't mean it will have good heat retention...?? Theoretically speaking, if I didnt have to open up the smoker during a cook, (so you wont loose heat that way) would there then still be an advantage for thick steel CC over insulated CC ?



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Re: How come you dont see many insulated offsets?

Post by Big T » November 30th, 2018, 11:36 pm

A few things that come to mind 1) cost, I believe it would be cheaper to build with thicker material unless you have access to free material. The material for the framework, insulation and double skins will add up in a hurry. 2) Thicker metal is much easier to work with. Thin metal is very easy to warp or twist if you get it too hot and it's very easy to over heat the material while welding it. 3) This sort of goes along with my last point, It takes a lot longer to build with thinner material because you have to do small stitch welds and allow it to cool before you can add more welds. If you rush the welds it will look terrible when you get finished with it. I'm sure there are some other things that I missed but these are the main ones that come to mind. There was a build on here a few years ago that was very similar to what you're wanting to build and the guy said it worked very well. We lost a lot of pictures on the forum a while back when there was an issue with a photo sharing service so the thread I mentioned is very hard to follow without any pictures. As for not being called any names, we just don't do that around here. This is the only forum that I know of that everyone jumps in to help out when someone has a question or gets stuck during their build and I don't know of a more knowledgeable group of guys anywhere on the web.


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Re: How come you dont see many insulated offsets?

Post by Dirtytires » December 1st, 2018, 12:15 am

Only thing big t missed was the weight. I’m willing to bet once you add up the 2 skins, the support structure and the insulation that you will not see much, if any, weight reduction vs the much simplier 0.125 material. A smoker is not necessarily super mobile.

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