Brand spankin new to the forum and smoking

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by sully151, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. sully151

    sully151 Newbie

    Hey kids,

    I love good BBQ and like bad BBQ so it seems that it is time for me to get a smoker. My wife and I went to a local BBQ festival in California a few weeks ago and she actually enjoyed brisket. This is a big deal since she is a chicken and fish kinda girl.

    Seeing as how she has now started moving to the good side, I am trying to convince her that my old propane grill from costco is of no use and that we should get a smoker.

    At the festival, I tried some pulled pork that was made on a Traeger Li'l Tex that far surpassed anything else that I tasted that day. So we started shopping for Traegers, but being totally new, I am not sure if there is something else that I should be looking at as well.

    FYI, I have a 3 yr old, a 6 month old, an Australlian shepherd and a pretty hectic life, so ease of use is important. As much as I would like to sit by a fire and tend it, it is just not in the cards at this time, which is why the Traeger looks so appealing. Set it and forget it.

    To make a long post short, Can anyone talk me out of the Traeger or into something else? I am open to suggestions and reasons why.


  2. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome aboard sully151 ,

    SMF is home for dudes who like to smokem.

    You say your shopping for new smoker, that offers great performance and ease of operation, with not too much hassle.

    The two best for those requirements and both offer huge bang for buck;

    • The MES (Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse) 40" model, can be purchased at Sam's Club for $299.00.

    • The other recommendation would be the new 22" WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain), can be found for about $350.00 if you shop hard.

    The MES has a lot of features most want in a smoker.  including double walled construction with insulation sandwiched in between.  Digital control that works like a modern oven. Included are dual temperature with a meat probe.  The hardware inside is all stainless.  There is a exterior opening to load wood chips, so you don't have to crack the hatch.  The 40" is wide enough to lay a rack of ribs without cutting or folding, using rib rack/stands you can easily do 16 racks of ribs, if you get custom racks you can do 20 to 24.  There is a huge MES owner's community here at SMF that will help you when you have a question.  The MES is with the addition of the AMNS (A Maze-N-Smoker) is a true set and forget smoker.

    The WSM is a serious smokin machine, used by competitions bbq cooks, in fact the Kansas City BBQ Society 2009 team of the year won using WSMs.  Backyard cooks love their WSMs, the design will help maintain constant temps for long periods, and consume less fuel that a SFB type. The WSM is well made, and backed by America's premier BBQ mfg, so you never have to worry about parts.

    Both the MES & the WSM are the kind of smoker you can easily learn the art of smokin meat, and big enough to smoke enough meat for a big party. 

    just my 2cents
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  3. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    Traegers look like excellent machines (a couple local dealers). I would like to get one for the days I don't have time, and to get the rest of my family using a grill (really, a pellet oven) instead of the oven inside. Which in FL, could end up saving a lot of money, because no oven on, means the A/C runs less, thus saving money. 

    The only thing I have read via a pellet grilling forum, was many people couldn't notice the smoke flavor using "regular" pellets. You had to use 100% (insert wood type) to get the smoky flavor. Many of the cooking pellets are 70% oak and 30% (insert wood type). And 100% (insert wood type) pellets can get a little pricey, but then again, it is your fuel source and smoke flavor source.  

    If I had the choice between electric or pellet, I'd go pellet. :)
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would go with a WSM 18" ($299) or 22" ($399) to start. Both are very easy to use and produce great Que, and will cost way, way less than the Traeger. Traegers are good machines, but they want a lot of $$ for them, they are harder to clean, take special pellets for fuel, and you have to get one with the gradiated temp controller not just the low-med-high controller.

    Since you are new to this I would start with what works, but is also easy on the pocketbook.
  5. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Consider the small WSM and then go from there.  You could decide later on if you want more pricey smokers.....
  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    First off welcome Sully to SMF. You'll like it here for there alot of good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking meat. Nowthere is alot of really good things to learn from us here like recipes and some really tested methods that we have been using for years. Now if you are really new to the whole smoking thing I would suggest the 5-day E-course and here's a link:  

    It's free and very informative to new members. It will give you the basics on smoking and food prep. Now the next thing you need to do is go get something to smoke and if you have any questions just post it here or go into Chat and we will be more then willing to help you out. Now Go get something to smoke.

    So Welcome To Your New Addiction
  7. Hey sully151

    Welcome to the SMF. Look around on craigslist. You may not see what you want but you can also get a good idea on what they sell for resale if you plan to trade up later. But keeping them and starting a collection is always fun too!
  8. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview. [​IMG]
  9. gregc

    gregc Fire Starter

    Hello, I am also new to smoking. I've done a great job on chicken but have failed twice on ribs but with the advice I got from people here..Im gonna try the 3-2-1 method this weekend and hopefully, I will have my first batch of edible ribs..;-)

    Anyway, I bought a 18.5 Weber smokey mountain . I love it. I picked up on on for $177 with free shipping. I don't know if they still have that deal but it is worth checking out. It received the smoker within a week. All the reviews and research I did say the WSM is a great smoker and great for beginners. I have to agree..i just have to learn to use it properly..trial and error..trial and error.


    ps I have 15 month old twins and two dogs.
  10. new2que

    new2que Meat Mopper

    Welcome! I'm a noob myself and have only posted a few qviews but allow me to add my 2-cents.  We use an offset bigger pit that is great, but not great for ease of use for a quick Q for a small fam, so i'm making another purchase.

    I've never been on any electric bandwagon and still wanted something with coals/wood.  My answer was the UDS, I found a guy to build it (and decorate it in my fave college team's colors (USC)) for $175. 

    Just a thought, but hey, its all bbq! cant go wrong!
  11. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I love my MES for the following reasons:

    Easy and clean to set up and get going.

    Easy to control temps.

    Easy to QUICKLY adjust smoke.

    Easy to clean.

    Don't burnt little fingers, or noses from sniffing animals (incl. spouses and friends).

    Set up without danger on my wooden deck.

    Doesn't take up much room.

    Easy to modify......if you wish.

    Inexpensive and clean to operate.

    And the most important reason: Family and friends RAVE about the results.
  12. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I agree. This is all GREAT advise for beginners.
  13. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF.  You're going to love it hear.  I do have a caution for you   Smoking is an addiction.[​IMG]
  14. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Mama's smoke is right! it is an addiction. But at least you can eat the evidence.

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