Buying my first smker

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by strengthcoach7, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. I am in the market to buy my first smoker for some backyard fun.  I will be doing some entertaining but small groups what should i be looking for in buying my first.  For sake of the discussion assume price is not a factor.  All advice is welcome.
  2. [​IMG]   Good morning and welcome to the forum, from another beautiful and warm day here in East Texas. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

  3. ez pete

    ez pete Newbie

    If price isn't a driving factor, get the heaviest-gauge steel offset that you can find. I'm partial to the Lyfe Tyme brand, but they're all essentially the same design when you're looking at offset stick burners. Just make sure that the WHOLE thing is heavy gauge steel, not just the lid.
  4. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You didn't say what style or fuel you're most interested in, so I'll just recommend a Weber Smoky Mountain. Several sizes to choose from, easy to use and produce some killer food.
  5. I am interested in a offset smoker and I and I like what I read about a reverse flow offset smoker. I am not sure if this maybe getting too advanced to soon. Any thoughts?
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cheap offset smokers are generally a bad idea. The metal is very thin, they are not reverse flow, and most leak like a sieve. I spent $175 on a Char-griller, then another $40 to modify it.... and only achieved meager results. Required constant attention and I never trusted it enough to do a brisket. After 8 months I sold it for $80, and bought a 22.5" Weber Smokey Mountain - and promptly discovered I should have done that to begin with.

    My WSM holds as much or more than my Char-griller did, it is darn near set-it-and-forget-it of charcoal smokers, and best of all I can put pork butts and brisket on a midnight then set my alarm for 6:00 AM and get 6 hrs. of sleep before adding some more chunks of wood to the charcoal pile.

    Unless you got the $$ to spend on a 1/4" plate steel reverse flow I recommend staying away from the cheaper ones. Even if you don't get a WSM there are several gas and electric smokers that work very well for people as well.
  7. ez pete

    ez pete Newbie

    Reverse flow just gives you more stuff to clean, IMO. I also like being able to tweak the fire and airflow to be able to get hotter on one side than the other for cooking multiple things at the same time. I've also got a grate and a hot plate installed above the firebox for searing and warming (or eggs if I want to do smoked bacon, potatoes and eggs for breakfast while on a long cook).

    I'm of the opinion that for it to be BBQ, there must be fire involved.

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