BlackFire Indiana - 16'' Offset Smoker
The most popular entry level smoker returns this August
The Ultimate Starting Point For Your Wood Fired Journey
A Low Cost Offset Smoker, Tuned And Designed By ProSmoke BBQ
We recommend the help of 2 other people, an engine or fork lift for home assembly
Wood fired cooking is our passion and we know the cost of a heavy duty offset smoker is often a stumbling block.
This leads to purchasing one of the many inferior smokers on the market, that need lots of modification to run even vaguely properly. This is due to their poor heat retention, which results in people getting disheartened, as fire management is such hard work.
But our 16'' Blackfire Indiana is the perfect offset smoker to get you going in the world of offset cooking.
This is an exclusive unit to us at Prosmoke BBQ from the Cactus Jack smoker factory, so expect all the same quality with their 20 years of experience of building offset smokers that work.
This is a heavy duty unit built in 3mm steel, with 5mm steel end caps on the barrels. The end caps help retain the heat, making fire management much the same to the Cactus Jacks. You will not get disheartened, and you will produce excellent food with ease running a pure log fire.
Cool touch wooden handles and chrome plated grates mean this offset is built to last.
It comes in one large box on a pallet for easy shipping, but we do suggest you have an extra pair of hands when assembling, it weighs 90kg in total.
As with all our offset smokers, we're always here to upgrade you, should you outgrow your unit, we have various trade in/up deals always available.
The Blackfire and Cactus Jack family is the same and we can progress you to a bigger heavier unit in time.
We do not, sell, then forget you.
We've had this smoker tuned to draft a bit quicker than other small units to help you maintain a strong fire.
This smoker will fit two large cuts of meat or lots of small pieces.
We can fit most of the 16'' accessories to this unit, just ask us before you buy.
This unit ships with:
2 x Cooking grates
1 x Drip bucket
2 x All weather wooden handles
1 x Thermometer
1 x Front shelf
Tuning plates for heat distribution
Foot print: 120cm Long x 40cm Wide x 100cm Height (top of cooker lid) 160cm to top of chimney
Grill Size: 70cm x 40cm
Steel thickness - 3.5-4mm (end caps and door flanges are thicker to help with heat retention)
I bought the Blackfire having looked at a number of other options, and although I haven't yet fired it up, the general build quality is reassuring. The metal looks thick enough to cope with the UK climate, I don't think you'd have any issues. It's a basic model functionally. The wheels don't have rubber tyres so I'd find something to stand it on to avoid any rust stains. The paint finish isn't thick and is easy marked. It requires a first fire up to cure it. I'd also oil both inside and out to keep rust at bay. The firebox is a reasonable size for 8 to 10 inch splits. I recommend a fire basket. The ceramic baffle prosmoke also sell is a worthwhile purchase although it doesn't fit the supplied bracket well or sit in the base of the smoker without some modification. The two grates for cooking are chrome plated.
There is a supplied grease bucket and thermometer. I'd be tempted to replace the thermometer with an adjustable one where you can calibrate for grate level temp, or invest in a thermo Pro or similar wireless unit. Big enough to cook a brisket, couple of ribs, 2-3 small chickens.
A good start that with proper care should last a good few years.
I originally started looking into getting an offset a year ago and had been looking at a different manufacturers model, but it was out of stock. It was a cheaper item, but not understanding at the time the importance of the thickness of the steel, and my lack of experience in the offset world, it looked the part and I thought that was the one for me.
However, in the months that followed whilst it was still out of stock I was able to do more research into offset smoking, and watched countless videos on You Tube when i found the Pro smoke website and the Black Fire Offset. I sent Oliver an email asking for a bit more information on the Black Fire and he made a short Instagram video walk round of the smoker to highlight the queries I had. I really appreciated the personal response, which also helped in making my decision to purchase the Black Fire.
For me, budget was a major factor when considering this offset, which I'm sure will be for you too if you are reading this review. Particularly when all I have cooked on before are cheap supermarket charcoal BBQ's that need replacing after a year or two, it was a massive investment, but when considering the alternatives from the competitors, I'm so glad I went for the Black Fire!.
So with that in mind lets get to the practical side of things - The smoker is heavy, I know Oliver has mentioned it in the listing, but even though it is the smallest in the line up, it is a heavy beast. I like to think I'm fairly good with putting things together, but go for the prebuilt option unless you have some lifting gear. The wheels are a big help in moving it into position and the legs are adjustable for levelling but something to note when taking delivery if you have level changes or a sloping garden. The paint on the unit is great, I did worry that the heat would cause the coating to peel after a few uses, but it is stool looking good and have not noticed any peeling.
The cooking area is a fair size, I have had 2 full racks of Ribs, a 2.5kg Point end brisket and 1kg Pork shoulder on at the same time in the smoker which still allowed good airflow, you just have to watch the items closer to the fire box as they will burn so a bit of moving around is needed but I don't tend to do that amount all the time.
So onto cooking!! first things first, you will not become Aaron Franklin overnight just by purchasing this smoker ;-). There is a big learning curve to cooking the offset method particularly if you are used to cooking on the same types of BBQ as i were, and it will take your day up maintaining the fire so be prepared to be around. But.... with practice you will learn how to get the best of the smoker - what size splits to use and how many at a time, what type of hardwood to use, how far to keep the door to the fire box open / or not.
The weather in the UK is far different to that of the videos i see from the US (it has been blowing a gale and heavy downpours on my last two cooks over the summer), but you just go with it, light the fire, get it warm, and even when you have some thick clouds of dirty smoke billowing out - the food will still taste amazing and knowing you have put the time and effort into it makes it so rewarding.
It is rather versatile too, I have smoked brisket, pulled pork, ribs etc low and slow, but also bring the heat up a little and its great for spatchcock chicken, chicken wings, and sausages too. I have the lava stone which is great for burgers or steaks - smoke them first for a good 30 mins whilst the stone heats up and then sear at the end to give a bit of colour. Its good for doing pit beans or chilli in the smoker in a cast iron pot, just leave it to bubble away and stir to get the smokey flavour in the sauce
I've had mine since March 21 and have made use of it through Spring and Summer and into September, and I plan on smoking a Turkey Breast at Christmas. It is a big investment and whilst I cant compare it to the thicker gauged Cactus Jacks, I have massively enjoyed using this over the summer and certainly have no issues recommending the Black Fire as great introduction to Offset Smoking!