A very nice barbeque smoker is the Lang Model 60. If you don’t mind the little bit of extra work involved in running a traditional, wood-burning, offset barbeque smoker, then the Lang smoker is the way to go. Some people will only cook on traditional style offset smokers, so smokers that run on propane or pellets like the Traeger pellet smokers are out of the question. Hardcore, barbeque to the bone, traditional BBQers will always cook on an offset smoker because they can use all-natural wood which produces the best smoke flavor. A lot of the best barbeque teams do use pellet smokers and some of them even use charcoal, so I guess it is an argument that will never be settled.
The Lang Model 60 barbeque smoker is unique in that it has a metal plate that runs just above the firebox opening all the way to the other end of the smoker. At the other end, there is a two-inch opening the entire width of the barbeque smoker. So the heat and smoke travel under the metal plate, to the other end, up and over the meat, and then out the smokestack which is on the same side of the smoker as the firebox. This accomplishes two things…
The smoke is distributed more evenly throughout the cooking chamber and the heat is also distributed more evenly thus eliminating those troublesome hot and cold spots found in a more traditional offset barbeque smoker which does not have the plate (the smoke and heat would just travel from the firebox directly into the cooking chamber and then out the smokestack which is on the opposite side of the barbeque smoker).
Here are some points to remember
- The steel plate heats up and thus provides a more even heat source under the meat.
- There is a lip at the other end of the steel plate so you can close off the drain valve and fill the plate with water and you’ve got yourself a big water pan. This really produces some nice and tender barbeque.
- The end of the plate near the firebox and the plate sides are welded completely shut to the side of the cooking chamber.
- There is a drain valve that runs from the steel plate through the bottom of the tank.
- Usually, no water or dripping ever gets into the bottom of the tank.
- Drippings from your meat will vaporize on the steel plate (if you have not filled it with water) thus producing a moist cooking environment in your barbeque smoker.
- You’ll want to control your fire and heat using the vents on the firebox. The smokestack damper should remain 100% open almost always.