Buying my first trailer smoker. Need advice!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tsl3, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. tsl3

    tsl3 Newbie

    I have been using a New Braunfels smoker for years now and I am planning on getting a large smoker trailer this weekend. I'm torn between two smokers and would like some advice. My only concern is room on the trailer and the ability to store it in my garage.

    Smoker 1 has no vertical smoke stack and it also has no room on the trailer to add a cage for wood and other materials.

    However, I like that it's a little smaller and possibly easier to manage. Not as much storage space though.

    Smoker 2 has a vertical stack that I'll probably have to modify if it's going to fit in my garage. Aside from that it has space on the trailer to add a cage for wood, and maybe even a grill. My only concern is the vertical stack. I'll probably have to cut off a good portion of the chimney so it'll fit in my garage.

    What do y'all think? I'd really appreciate some advice from guys who have experience with these things. I will have to make my decision by tonight if I'm going to drive across the state (TX) to get one of these things tomorrow. They're both priced at $1300.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. stanton

    stanton Fire Starter

    Smoker number 1 fits in your garage. If you have a welder you can weld on a place to store stuff. The question is what is the intended use? Will you be traveling or is it a smoker for around the house. You can add to the smokestack of number one (easy) or hack off the upper part of number 2 and engineer a new top (maybe not so easy).

    Does it need to be in your garage? If not, then get number 2 if you like it better. Used regularly, and painted occasionally, rust shouldn't be a problem.

    Good luck whatever your decision.

  3. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    myself.. I would slow down a little bit and do some research....

    #1 looks like the firebox might be a little small for the chamber.. The exhaust stack looks like it might be too short to create a good draw... If you could get the guy to send you some measurements that you could run through the calculator to see If everything matches up...

    #2. If you cut the exhaust stack shorter you could very well hurt the performance of the smoker... The firebox looks to mounted to high for proper performance... I'm a little confused on the 2 exhaust stacks... mainly the end one looks to be below center of the smoker (not good)...

    Those are just a few things that look pretty obvious just from the pics.... maybe some of the builders will be around and put in their 2 cents...
  4. stanton

    stanton Fire Starter

    The exhaust coming out below center is not necessarily bad. It is to drive the heat and smoke below grate level before overflowing into the smokestack so the meat is exposed to the heat and smoke before it vents out. I have built 3 smokers; two of them for competition, and all three vent from below grate level. The two comp models have won 9 GC's, 3 RGC's, and two 3rd places, out of about 30 contests. So the design is not necessarily a bad one.

    But, I have not cooked on anything like the second design you are looking at, so I don't have an opinion on which will cook better.

  5. usherk44

    usherk44 Fire Starter

    Looks like # 1 is a RF s,oker where #2 is a standard so that is something to consider. An extension could easily be made to fit on after you pull out of your garage. I do agree with jackdan 07 about the size of the fire box , need some dimensions.
  6. stanton

    stanton Fire Starter

    Now that I have had some time to look at the two, here are some other considerations. Pit 1 appears to be a reverse flow with a short stack. Easy fix on short stack is removable extension that was mentioned in another post. Some of the Jambos are built that way. Firebox might be a little small for a reverse flow. Talk to owner and ask what temp he/she cooked at and wood consumption. If he/she cooked at the temp you like to cook at, then it is probably fine as is.

    Pit2 has a trailer with space to carry your stuff. The door is up front which is going to be a little bit of a nuisance. You will have to step over the frame or reach a ways to feed the fire every time. That might be a nuisance after a while. I would have built it with firebox at rear for easy access. You will have to do some re-engineering to get it into your garage. Firebox looks a little large for the cooker and will eat more wood due to more surface area dissipating heat before it can move into cook chamber. Easy fix is to build in some walls inside the box and stuff with ceramic insulation. If wood is cheap or free, just leave it as it.
  7. tsl3

    tsl3 Newbie

    Well I decided to go with the second smoker.

    I had my concerns like y'all but I was actually amazed with the performance! I smoked a couple briskets and racks of babybacks in it this weekend. I actually used up LESS wood maintaining a 7 hour smoke on this smoker than on my small New Braunfels. I was puffing the good clear blue smoke within an hour and it maintained temp splendidly. And not to mention, the brisket and ribs turned out better than any I have ever smoked before.

    I put the ribs in the vertical stack after they were done cooking for about 3 hours, which was a good decision.

    I just wanted to let y'all know that I decided to pull the trigger. Thanks for the advice y'all!
  8. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Grats on your selection.. glad everything works well... enjoy your new smoker

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