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How to Modify a Cheap Offset Smoker for Tasty Meat

If you want to learn how to modify a cheap offset smoker, you have come to the right place. There are lots of offset smoker modifications, but we are going to show you the most practical ones.

For example, you have a Traeger and might be looking for Traeger Elite mods. Don’t worry, we have got you covered when it comes to modifying various types of offset smokers.

If you’re into grilling, an offset smoker is usually a must-have tool for outdoor cooking. A lot of big retailers sell cheap smokers. Brinkmann, Traeger, and Char-Broil all fit into this category. The smokers manufactured by these companies are functional but still lack in performance.

However, with a few offset smoker modifications you can easily improve the performance and cooking process so you’ll be able to deliver even tastier meat when cutting it on a raw meat cutting board.

Offset Smoker Modifications

Here’s how you can modify and upgrade your cheap offset smoker:

1. Seal Every Leak

Most models are just a kit you have to manually assemble. This process involves lots of bolts and aluminum parts. You can easily get a few things wrong.

However, even if you do everything perfectly, some offset smoker models have the tendency to leave small spaces for heat loss. If you notice something like this, apply high-temperature silicon to empty holes.

The end goal is to have a smoker assembled in a way that it loses zero heat. This way your meat will cook and taste better.        

2. Upgrade the Support Leg

It’s a good time to mention that cheap smokers often have sturdy legs. You definitely don’t want a smoker with bad stability as it makes everything uneven. However, this is an easy fix.

You can weld some metal bars on two sides, make them even-standing and that’s it. If you lack skills in welding, you can just bolt them into the body with no issues.

If you have a model that has simple plastic wheels, it’s always better to remove them and place your smoker on two concrete blocks.

3. Improve the Air Flow

If you’re in possession of an offset smoker box, this shouldn’t pose a challenge to you. These models have perfect airflow and are in no need of further modifications or improvements.

However, if your smoker is built-in bullet style, it might require you to do some work in order to balance ventilation to achieve a better cooking temperature.

This too is an easy fix. You might have already noticed that such models have built-in vents and holes at the top and bottom. Sadly, often these vents alone aren’t enough to do the job right.

The solution is pretty simple. Just drill a few more holes both at the top and the bottom of your smoker. This will let the ashes out more easily and make the cleaning process less painful.

4. Upgrade the Thermometer

The cooking chamber lid always has a built-in temperature gauge on top of it. If you’re proficient in using your smoker, this thermometer will usually do the job for you. However, they aren’t always 100% accurate.

You can easily go out and buy an aftermarket thermometer to get a better hold of the cooking temperature, so you’re able to cook your meats perfectly.

We suggest you choose a thermometer that has long probes that go deep into the top of your smoker. These types of thermometers are much, much more accurate.

Please note that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a good thermometer. Just $20 is enough to purchase a decent one that will give you a nice LED display on the outside.

5. Tighten the Bolts

After getting your smoker out of the box and assembling it, everything should feel tight so there are no loose parts anywhere.

But, over time the bolts get loose and need to be tightened. This process takes a long time, so don’t take the time to check everything every couple of days.

This is probably the easiest fix of all. The answer comes naturally. Check the whole system, find the bolts that are loose, and tighten them up.

You can do this while cleaning the smoker, so it doesn’t take much more of your precious time. This way you won’t have to disassemble the whole smoker two times.

6. Repaint Your Smoker

With time, your smoker will definitely get older and might start to create bubbles on the surface. This process creates rust and shreds the paint off.

Not to worry, this is a normal procedure. The heat and age will always make the paint look bad, or even worse, make it fall off completely.

If your smoker starts to get rusty, it’s a good idea to repaint it immediately. In order to make the rusting process as quick as possible, repaint your smoker as soon as you start seeing even little signs of rust. Otherwise, this process will develop further and rust will cover the whole surface.

Get a rust-resistant, enamel spray and apply it on every surface possible. But first, you should disassemble the whole smoker, paint the parts and let them dry off under the sun if possible.      

Final Thoughts

Affordable offset smokers are still not considered cheap. You need at least $300 to get a decent one in the cheap category.

If you, in fact, decide to acquire a cheap one, be prepared that over time you will need to install some offsets smoker mods in order to achieve a perfect cooking balance and modify your cheap offset smoker.

Offset smoker mods don’t require a lot of money. Just a few dollars, house tools and a little bit of your time will be enough to modify your smoker completely and easily.

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