Best upright smoker?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by outlaw44, May 2, 2010.

  1. outlaw44

    outlaw44 Fire Starter

    Hey everyone. I'm, as we speak, cooking up my first pork butt on my brinkman gourmet charcoal smoker. I bought it at a hardware store, and it was cheap. My biggest complaints are the tiny door and I can't seem to control the temperature at all. Because the door is so small, I really can't control where the coals are going either. And there's only tiny slits in the bottom of the fire pan to let air flow in. Do you have a recommendation for what the best upright smoker would be? I'm looking to keep it affordable and that's the main reason I went with this smoker to begin with. I'm assuming the upright smoker would be the best/most economical route. Maybe I just need some tips on how to use this smoker...
     
  2. Don't give up on the ECB. I have used one for some time and with a few mods it will perform well and you will learn heaps about smoking. As bought, the ECB is rather inefficent but a few simple mods will help. I suggest you read the following and make at least a few of the mods:

    http://home.comcast.net/~day_trippr/smoker_mods.htm
     
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm a gasser so I will be leaning towards the propane smokers. I personally like the smoke vault 24" it is wide enough to lay any size spares that I have seem. Then you can get a boat load of abt's and many other things on there to.
     
  4. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When I first read the title to this thread I was thinking of a Backwoods smoker . If I were in the market for a top of the line vertical this is where I'd be looking.

    I've seen a couple of them in action and they are incredible.
     
  5. outlaw44

    outlaw44 Fire Starter

    Dang! Just checked out the site you linked. That's amazing! I definitely need to think about some of those mods. Is it pretty typical to put a bed of coals in the fire pan and then dump the hot coals on top of that? I just used my chimney and dumped my charcoals into the fire pan. Probably some of the reason why I had such a hard time keeping the temp right! I really wish I had the adjustable vanes for inflow and exhaust. I can see why that would help A LOT. Do you think there's any reason to do three inlet? Can you pick those adjustable pieces up somewhere or do they need to be hand made?

    I know everyone loves pics...my first pork butt...
     
  6. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good call Rick. Based on that, I'm kinda partial to my homemade backwoods clone. It's a real powerhouse!



    Got14u is also building smokers...he's doing some really nice work too...PM him.
     
  7. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'll take one [​IMG]
     
  8. Outlaw, I made my dampers and vent out of some sheet aluminum I had lying around. You could make them or buy the replacement ones for a WSM. I would recommend using two dampers as it gives you a bit more heat control. I use the Minion method (plenty of references on this site and elsewhere). I light around 16 brickettes and load my basket with brickettes two deep covering half the basket. I lay the lit brickettes against the unlit ones (on top of which I lay the oak/apple et al chunks) and then slowly adjust the dampers until I achieve the heat I am after. I keep the top vent open.
    Hope this helps Peter
     
  9. outlaw44

    outlaw44 Fire Starter

    Thanks for the replies! The backwoods smokers look really nice (price reflects that too)! And so does yours Engineer. Makes me jealous, but I don't think I can justify the cost.

    I'm really motivated by Pete's site and not giving up on the cheap brink. I think some of those mods would be very manageable and at least worth a shot before spending 2 to 300. This is the first I've heard of the Minion method as well...I presume this will help a lot next time. And relieve a lot of my being annoyed with having to use the tiny little door.
     

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