Considering Changing to Charcoal - suggestions welcome

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by smokey tex, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. smokey tex

    smokey tex Fire Starter


    A little background first.  I have been using an electric smoker since 2004.  At this point, I think I've gone about as far with electric as I can go.  Honestly, the last few briskets I have done have been excellent and I have even been able to pick up some paying customers.  A couple of friends and I are talking about trying to sell our BBQ at some local Farmer's Markets and other such events.

    This being said, my family and I had dinner with some friends the other night.  The husband smoked a couple of pork shoulders with his offset charcoal smoker.  There was a noticeable difference.  As much as people have complimented me on my BBQ, I am just not sure I can get to the level of professional excellence with electric.

    So, here is what I will need.  I really need something that can handle at least 3-4 full briskets at a time.  Preferably something that holds temperature reasonably well.  Sure, I do understand that adjustments will be needed, but you know what I mean.  I live in Fort Worth, Texas, so I don't have to contend with crazy cold winters like other parts of the country.  Also, I would prefer something that doesn't rust out within a couple of years.  

    Do you have any smokers you would recommend?  Something that has worked well for you?  Suggestions are welcome and appreciated.  Thanks!

  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Do you have a price range in mind? The only suggestions I can make a this point are to stay away from the cheapo, lighter built units. Are you looking for a small mobile trailer rig, or stationary? The Lang 60" would suit your needs and is a very popular trailer rig...they can burn wood, lump or charcoal. I think the 48" would fall short of your 4-Brisket requirement. Lang is a purpose-built no-frills reverse-flow cooker...not pretty to look at, but get the job done.

  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I agree with Eric on the Lang.

    But I think my 36 would hold 4 briskets easily.

    Of course the 48 or 60 would definitely give you way more room.

  4. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    I think you need to decide what type of smoker you want.
    A set and forget smoker or a smoker you are going to babysit and feed it splits ever 30 mins.
    Also as mentioned you have to figure out how much you want to spend.
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Al, you're right. I forgot that the 36 and 48 both have 2 cooking grates. 4 big packers in the 20-22lb range would take some creativity in the 36, but would be a snap in the 48.

  6. smokey tex

    smokey tex Fire Starter

    Thanks everyone.  At this point, I was thinking more of a stationary cabinet type smoker.  Something like Backwoods, or gravity fed like Stumps. However, I am open to other options.  The Lang does look like a practical option and I like how they offer trailer versions of their smokers.  This would make transporting a whole lot easier.

     As far as budget, I'll just need to set aside some extra money and save up for whatever does the job.  It would be tough to go over $2K right now, but I can save up if more money is needed.

    I would even considering some kind of drum smoker just for now, then using profits from BBQ sales to save for one of the nicer ones mentioned.
  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The standard drum smoker (22" diameter) will handle med-lg 2 briskets with 2 cooking grates installed. I've never used that style in particular, but have extensive experience with bullet type vertical smokers...pretty easy to operate if properly constructed. There is a commercially built drum available now, and reasonably priced at well under $200, IIRC. Construction quality unknown...if only I could figure out where I saw it last week...[​IMG]

    If it comes to me I'll let you know...just checked a couple sites and came up empty.


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