How to Use an Offset Smoker Grill

How to Use an Offset Smoker Grill. Grilling experts agree that an offset smoker grill is the best way to make smoked pork ribs. An offset smoker places the charcoal in an area offset from the cooking surface of the grill. Because the source of heat isn't directly under the food, the pork ribs don't get overdone or dry. Offset smokers can cost hundreds of dollars, or you can make your own for just a few bucks.

Stack the charcoal in the separate area of the offset grill for charcoal. If you don't have an offset grill, set up your grill to place the charcoal on one side of the grill only, with the pork ribs on the other side of the grill. Wood chips that have been soaked for at least an hour will add smoky flavor to the pork ribs. Don't place the wood chips directly on the charcoal or they'll dry out. If there is no specific place for wood chips in your grill, make a small envelope with heavy-duty aluminum foil for the soaked wood chips.

Place heavy-duty aluminum foil on the bottom surface of the offset grill. The aluminum foil will catch excess drippings and makes clean up much easier. Most offset grills come with a dripping jar that screws in under the grill, however when smoking pork ribs it may be too small a container to catch all the drippings. A heat resistant glass pan can also be placed directly under the grilling surface to catch the excess fat from smoking the pork ribs.

Cover the pork ribs with the lid of the offset grill. Most offset grills have a lid with a butterfly damper at the very top and some have a smokestack damper as well. The butterfly damper is important to keep the temperature at an even level. If you have a factory made offset smoker grill, it's important that you have a thermometer at the top of the lid to monitor temperatures.