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*Based on 4" raw burger with 1/2" space on all sides

Horizon 20 Inch RD Special Marshal

By Meathead Goldwyn

Manufacturer: Horizon Smoker Company

The Horizon Smoker Company is owned by veteran pit maker, Roger Davidson. Davidson started the late great Oklahoma Joe Smoker company with his brother Joe. The brand was sold to Char-Broil, then killed by Char-Broil who prefers to make lightweight, cheap cookers. For a period of time, Davidson made his solid 1/4" pits under the Brinkmann name. Now back in Perry, OK, where the Davidsons began making heavy duty smokers in 1988, Roger continues his craft under the Horizon name.

Residential smokers are typically 16 and 20" diameters and come in four styles: Patriot, Classic, Marshall and Ranger. Marshall is also offered in a 24" size. These models feature large, steel wagon wheels for easy moving despite their weight. Horizon also makes a wide selection of accessories and larger model smokers for competitive and commercial use.

Horizon 20 Inch RD Special Marshal

Top Ten Charcoal Grill 2014Horizon manufactures excellent, tight, well-built, heavyweight, heavy duty, horizontal offset firebox cookers that carry a lifetime guarantee against burnout! They are constructed from all new, high grade steel and cooking chambers are built from 1/4" thick structural pipe to tight tolerances. Remember, heavy steel holds heat longer, distributes heat more evenly, cooks better, and uses less fuel. But Horizon smokers go beyond heavy metal. They are a culmination of design and manufacturing ideas gleaned from decades of cooking, cutting and welding. Even so, any offset design intrinsically causes the cooking chamber to get hotter near the firebox and cooler on the other side. So Horizon makes a clever "sliding convection plate" (below right). It is a heavy steel plate which deflects heat and smoke downward and disperses it more evenly through the chamber.

 

photo of horizon smoker sliding convection plateHorizon owner, Roger Davidson, feels the larger his smokers get, the better the heat spreads from side to side and front to back. For this reason he steers people away from their 16" pits. His RD Special features a 20" diameter and a few nice extras:

- Counterweight for the heavy hood for easier lifting

- Oversize 20 inch Wagon Wheels

- And their Sliding Convection Plate

These convection plates are Horizon's most popular accessory. They are offered as an option for most factory direct orders and can be retrofitted onto all Horizon 16 and 20 inch smokers and some 20 inch Oklahoma Joe Longhorns. They can also customize these plates for many other offsets. Call 866-468-4066 for more information on additional sizes and prices. You might even get to talk to Davidson.

Horizons have framed cooking grates made of 9 gauge expanded metal welded to square tubing. The expanded metal is flattened with rollers to create a smooth surface. Horizon claims each individual rack will support over 100 pounds. All models come with chrome spiral handles that are cool to the touch. Built in heat indicators, a lower storage rack for charcoal and wood, hinged firebox door for removing ash, and an ash rake are also included.

No assembly is required on current models whether purchased direct or through a dealer.

Price: 

$1,825 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.

Where To Buy (Buying from these suppliers supports this website): 

FireCraft

Primary Function: 

Grill

Smoker

Combination Grill & Smoker

Fuel: 

Charcoal

Logs

Primary Capacity: 

880 square inches ( about 43 burgers )

Secondary Capacity: 

440 square inches

Manufacturer claims that all or practically all of this device is made in the USA

Yes

Review Method: 

Cooked On It

We have hands-on experience testing this product. We have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners and other reliable sources.

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The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period.

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Designed in 1952, the rectangular shape is easy to set up in 2 or 3 heat zones, it can easily be used as a smoker, the cast aluminum body is indestructible, airflow is easy to manage, and there is plenty of room under the hood.

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Made of rugged 1/8" thick aluminum, 20" long, with four serious rivets, mine show zero signs of weakness after years of abuse. I use it on meats, hot charcoal, burning logs, and with the mechanical advantage that the scissor design creates, I can easily pick up a whole packer brisket. Click here to read more. - Meathead

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Mo's Smoking Pouch is essential for gas grills. It is an envelope of mesh 304 stainless steel that holds wood chips or pellets. The airspaces in the mesh are small enough that they limit the amount of oxygen that gets in so the wood smolders. Put it on top of the cooking grate, on the burners, on the coals. It holds enough wood for about 15 minutes for short cooks, so you need to refill it or buy a second pouch for long cooks like pork shoulder and brisket. Mine has survived more than 50 cooks. I like it better than the smoker tubes. Click for more info. - Meathead

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About this website. AmazingRibs.com is all about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with great BBQ recipes, tips on technique, mythbusting, and unbiased equipment reviews. Learn how to set up your grills and smokers properly, the thermodynamics of what happens when heat hits meat, and how to cook great food outdoors. There are also buying guides to barbeque smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, as well as hundreds of excellent tested recipes including all the classics: Baby back ribs, pulled pork, Texas brisket, burgers, chicken, smoked turkey, lamb, steaks, chili, barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best all edited by Meathead Goldwyn.

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