What is a Reverse Flow Smoker?

Well, your perfect BBQ party starts here! As thousands of smokers are competitors of each other with different positive and negative facts. Therefore, you must invest your money in a suitable smoker. If you are looking for smokers that have a perfect distribution of heat and temperature, then reverse flow smokers are suitable for you. Here, a detailed guide of reverse flow smokers is explained below:

What is a Reverse Flow Smoker?

Reserve flow smoker is a barbeque smoker with great temperature control. However, it allows more and more air to travel further inside the cooking chamber. When the air moves, a more uniform and maintained temperature is achieved in the cooking chamber of the smoker.

Due to these characteristics, reverse flow smokers are considered more demanding and better than regular smokers. Mainly, it is designed like other traditional smokers. However, it only differs in its functions.

On the contrary, this smoker has an additional metal plate that perfectly creates the chamber’s hot environment. Here, this baffle plate is beneficial in various ways:

● As maximum air flows in the smoker chamber, so baffle plate is used to control the harsh air. In addition, this baffle plateaus prevents the meat from burning or over-cooking.
● These baffle plates create a great cooking temperature inside the main chamber and act as a heat sink by controlling the direct air.
● Mainly, it is double in size as compared to a greased pan. Thereby, a baffle plate is used to sear the fats and create more delicious and amazing flavor in the cooked meat.

How does a Reverse Flow Smoker Work?

Primarily, there is not a huge difference between a reverse flow smoker and an offset smoker. Both are designed in the same way. However, adding an extra metal plate in the reverse flow smoker makes it different from offset smokers.

However, this metal plate of the smoker is also called the baffle plate. The reverse flow smoker has a great temperature, so this metal plate is used to protect the cooked meat from the high intensity of hot air.

In addition, this metal plate is perfect for maintaining the flow of smoke to the chamber before the smoke goes wasted from the chimney. Thereby, this metal plate is the main difference between reverse flow smokers from other smokers.

However, in a reverse flow smoker, the smoker’s heat leaves the firebox on the side and travels under a drip pan to all corners of the cooking chamber. However, when this air enters the cooking chamber of the smoker, it moves in the opposite direction. After moving through the chamber, the air leaves the stack on the firebox of the smoker.

On the contrary, the fuel used in the reverse smokers is wood pellets or charcoal. However, most people prefer to use wood pellets because they add natural and smoke flavor to the meat.

Pros and Cons of a Reverse Flow Smoker:

As we know, everything is not 100% perfect. Similar is the case with reverse flow smokers. Although they are perfect and reliable for maintaining high temperatures, there are also some downsides of reverse flow smokers. Thereby, all the positive and negative points of these smokers are detailed below:

The Pros

  • It has a consistent cooking environment, which means that it offers consistent cooking results.
  • The perfect distribution of smoke enhances the flavor of the meat.
  • Baffle plates are great for reducing the hot spot.
  • The hot spot placed next to the firebox cooks soft and delicious meat.
  • After adding more fuel to the box, fewer temperature spikes are prone.
  • For opening the door of the cooking chamber during cooking, no extra tool is needed.
  • Faster return to the temperature of the chamber whenever the door is opened.
  • All the fats render out of the meat in the form of moisture.
  • Improved flavors of the meat sears on the griddle pan.
  • The fats that are achieved in the form of moisture filter through the cooking chamber easily.
  • Due to even heat and smoke distribution, a reverse flow smoker is perfect for achieving smoky flavors.
  • Due to the even distribution of heat, you don’t need to turn the food during cooking.
  • The heat is not coming from a specific direction because it distributes throughout the chamber.
  • The metal tray of the smoker can be used as a water tray and grease.
  • Optional fuel can be used like wooden pellets, charcoal, and gas.

The Cons

  • If you want different temperature zones, then a uniform flow of heat is not useful.
  • As the smoker’s airflow is restricted, it will surely reduce the cleanliness of the cooking.
  • Maintaining temperature requires a longer time to heat the chamber.
  • The addition baffle plate also needs to be brought up to the moderate temperature too.
  • Slightly less efficient in the case of fuel as compared to offset smokers or regular smokers.
  • The baffle plates are welded mostly.
  • The welded plates are not easy to remove for perfect cleaning.
  • Offset smokers over smoked that meat easily.
  • It requires more fuel during cooking as compared to other smokers.
  • Offers maximum time in adjusting the temperature of the smoker.

How to use Reverse Flow Smoker?

Mainly, reverse flow smoker is different from using as compared to traditional smokers of the market. Thereby, it is important to have a proper guide for using the reverse flow smoker. For this, a complete guide is detailed below, which is divided into several steps for your better understanding:

Step 1:

The first important step for using the offset smoker is to marinate your meat. Thereby, you must marinate the whole food before cooking it in the smoker. In addition, it is important to trim any fat or connective tissue for tenderness. Besides this, remove the tough membranes from the back of the ribs. Furthermore, we truly recommend you use a paste to pull apart the pieces of the meat with fork tenders or brisket. If you have more time, then refrigerate your meat overnight because this process adds a more delicious taste and softness to the cooked meat.

Step 2:

After marinating your meat, moves to the next step. For this, prepare the cooking chamber of the reverse flow smoker with the help of aluminum foil. However, you can also use the grill brush to clean the cooking surface. Thereby, this step will surely enhance your cooking experience and gives you a clean way of grilling. However, clean maintaining is useful for any smoker.

Step 3:

Thirdly, add your fuel through the fuel source of the smoker. In addition, you can use charcoal or briquettes according to your cooking meat. Besides this, you have the option of using a medium chimney starter to light up the firebox of the smoker. Thereby, you can add more and more wooden pellets to add a better and natural smoky flavor to the meat.

Step 4:

To monitor the cooking chamber’s temperature, you must use a digital thermometer for a better and accurate understanding. Try to place the thermometer near the work area so that you can monitor it easily. However, this process can take time from 15 to 45 minutes.

Step 5:

For changing the airflow, open or close the sliding vents. As we know, reverse flow smoker produces maximum smoke, so try to open or close the door for controlling the smoke level. When the temperature reaches 225 degrees, then place your food on the grills.

Step 6:

For a better cooking experience, you must simmer the meat. If you are cooking brisket or pork, it will maximum take 10 hours for perfect cooking. For adding a juicy flavor, try to wrap the food. However, you must check your meat after every two hours. Thereby, you can easily monitor the temperature flow and add fuel whenever needed.

Difference between Reverse Flow Smoker and Offset Flow Smoker:

Here, these two smokers are mixed and strong opinions to choose which one is better. However, both are used for smoking or grilling machines, but they differ in maintaining the temperature. Thereby, you must go for the one that meets all your cooking demands. Differentiating between reverse flow smoker and offset smoker is complicated, as both are similar in many ways. That’s why we are presenting you the major differences between these smokers:

DifferencesReverse Flow SmokerOffset Flow Smoker
Heat distributionThe heat which enters the cooking chamber is first diverted with the baffle plate. Thereby, it creates optimum heat distribution.The heat moves across the food and creates hot spots in the cooking chamber. However, the heat distribution is not uniform.
Heat ExitsHeat leaves the cooking surface with the help of the firebox end.Heat leaves the surface with the help of exhaust vents.
Movement of heatHeat moves in Reverse or opposite direction.Heat moves in one direction only.
Smoke qualityReverse flow smokers produce clean and clear smoke, which is safe for cooking.Offset flow smoker produces dirty and brownish smoke, which affect the flavor of the food.
Air FlowMainly, these smokers have plenty of airflows which cooks the food very well.However, offset smokers have a minimal of air.

Best Reverse Flow Smokers Review:

Best Reverse Flow Offset Smoker

1.Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker

  • Weight: 180.8 lb
  • Dimensions: 33.5 x 57 x 53 inches
  • Cooking Surface: 900 sq. inches
  • Our Score: 9.7/10

Do you want to buy an outstanding smoker with moderate capacity? If yes, then among all the options of offset smokers, we suggest you buy Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse, Flow Smoker, only.

In the competitive market, this flow smoker stands way out of the crowd! In addition, this smoker has a very solid construction with a decent design, which attracts buyers. Woah! This smoker has also won the title of the best reverse flow smoker in the market. Isn’t it surprising?

Primarily, the whole body of the smoker is made up of heavy gauge steel. Thereby, it is a very durable and long-lasting smoker. Besides this, the smoker has 4 metal plates that are fitted below the cooking grates.

However, these baffle players act as a sink which reduces the hot spots by creating a consistent temperature. In this manner, the uniform and more temperature of this smoker makes it very easy for you to get better results every time.

If you want the best smoker with a moderate cooking surface, then this smoker is very suitable for you. Here, this smoker’s total cooking surface area is 900 Square inches, which is perfect for handling your medium-sized barbeque parties.

However, 619 Square inches of the area is used for cooking, grilling, and smoking. Further, the remaining 281 Square inches are used as a firebox chamber.

After testing this incredible smoker, we find out that this has not only the features of reverse flow smoker. However, you can easily set it as an offset smoker because the metal plates of this smoker are removable.

In addition, you can also grill your food in the smoker. It means that this smoker can be used for multi-purposes. As it comes with the rolling grates, so grilling becomes easy. On the contrary, the overall weight of this smoker is about 180.8 pounds, and the dimensions are 33.5 × 57 × 53 inches.

The Pros

  • It can be set as a regular offset smoker.
  • It comes with the option to set the cooking area for grilling.
  • Premium quality dampers are used.
  • Baffle plates and ashtray are removable.

The Cons

  • The main chamber of the smoker leaks smokes around the door.
  • Paint peels off easily.
Final Verdict

For the price point and brilliant performance, this smoker is unbeatable. In addition, this smoker is very heavy and sturdy, with great versatility. Thereby, it’s a great choice for beginners also. So, you must miss a chance to buy this wonderful smoker.

Best Reverse Flow Smoker for the Money

2.Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker

  • Weight: 226 lb
  • Dimensions: 35.5 x 64.25 x 55.5 inches
  • Cooking Surface: 1060 sq. inches
  • Our Score: 9.5/10
Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker

How can we miss Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse, Flow Smoker, while we are reviewing the best reverse flow smokers? Chiefly, Oklahoma Joe is an unbeatable company that has been manufacturing outstanding and long-lasting smokers since 1897.

Here, this smoker grill is also one of their top-level smokers. Mainly, this unit is used as a grill which has enough space for grilling your massive food.

Mainly, this smoker has a side box, which produces maximum heat and smoke for maintaining a great temperature. Besides this, it comes with a total surface area of about 1060 inches.

In this manner, it is mainly manufactured to cook meals for big parties. Out of 1060 square inches are, 751 square inches area is used for cooking a variety of food. However, the remaining 309 Square inches area is used as a firebox container.

The most interesting feature about this flow smoker is that it comes with a digital thermometer. In this sense, it becomes easier to monitor the inside temperature of the cooking chamber.

On the contrary, this smoker also has an additional rack used for placing meat before grilling. Further, the wheels and the handles of the smoker are also very durable. Mainly, these components are made exceptionally.

In this manner, you can move the smoker anywhere, as the wheels are long-lasting and strong. However, the assembling process is also very easy. All the useful components come with the box.

Thereby, for any guidance, read the instruction guide thoroughly that comes with the box. However, the total weight of the smoker is 226 pounds, and the dimensions are 35.5 × 64.25 × 55.5 inches.

The Pros

  • Affordable price.
  • Overall performance is exceptional.
  • Wheels are durable for outdoor use.
  • It is made with heavy gauge steel.

The Cons

  • Not portable, as it is heavy.
Final Verdict

In summary, it is a perfect grill for your parties and gatherings. Moreover, the quality of the material is exceptional, and the performance is outstanding. So, this reverse flow smoker is truly recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the benefits of a reverse flow smoker?

1.Reverse flow smokers have even heat and smoke distribution.
2.These smokers are perfect for adding exceptional flavors to the BBQ.
3.These smokers come with the option to use any fuel.

Is a reverse flow better than a traditional offset smoker?

Mainly, it all deep da on your needs as every smoker has different upside and downside. Most probably, reverse flow smokers are considered better because of great heat distribution. But for big airflow, you must go for traditional offset smokers.

What does reverse flow mean?

According to our research, reverse flow means a process in which the air travels thoroughly in any system. In this sense, reverse flow makes a uniform flow of heat in any process.

Who makes reverse flow smokers?

Most probably, Oklahoma Joe’s brand manufactures reverse flow smokers for the first time. In addition, the first reverse smoker was manufactured for under thousand dollars.


Above all, the main facts and the best reverse flow smokers are reviewed according to our testing. Thereby, it is time for you to make the right decision and buy a suitable smoker for you. Primarily, reverse flow smokers are becoming more demanding day by day. Here, the main reasons are exceptional performance with great heat distribution.

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