Debating on which smoker to get

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by texasjason, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. texasjason

    texasjason Fire Starter

    Hi All,

    I'm debating on which smoker to get. I've got a MES currently and have enjoyed that for the last few years. I do miss the true smoke taste that I think you can only get with a stick burner however.  I'm thinking either a Pit Barrel Cooker, WSM or offset cooker such as an Old Country version such as they sell at Academy.  Budget will be around $500 so these 3 seemed in line.  I am wondering, can you get a true bark in a pit barrel cooker when doing a brisket? I like the thought of not having to tend it as much as an offset but not sure if you can get a true crust or not?  I've heard good things about the offsets too, but the drawback I've read throughout the boards is having to tend it with a new log every 30 minutes, and for long cooks that is a lot of work, but I get that is part of the fun for some.  I suppose the better quality offsets you wouldn't have to tend as much.  I've been scouring craigslist as well, but not finding much.

    Any thoughts or advice is greatly appreciated!
  2. jakester

    jakester Smoke Blower

    I went from a MES to WSM and I love it! I never used a stick burner but seems like it can be a lot of work. 
  3. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I suggest the WSM,until you have the time to tend a stick burner. Once you learn the vents on a WSM they are very user friendly.
  4. And I'm going the other way with the OC.  Solid, well-built and warranted for life:  if certain mods are done, you're not going to burn as much fuel as you think.  Door gaskets and locks will help immensely:  not to mention the OC is heavy enough gauge to hold heat.  Cheap offsets give the category a bad rap, when it's the buyer's fault for purchasing tinny, paper-thin tin cans.  See if you can find an old OC Wrangler (not the Wrangler II) lurking around somewhere the Metroplex:  you won't be sorry.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  5. I love my Smoke Hollow 3615GW
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think it depends on whether you want to set & forget, or to tend the smoker.

    With the WSM you can bring it up to temp & a 22.5 will hold a steady temp for 20+ hours without adding wood or charcoal.

    With a stick burner your going to have to add a split every 45 minutes or so, even if you have a thick steel one.

    I have both a Lang & a WSM. The best part of having a true stick burner is the flavor of the meat. 

    And I like to hang around the smoker, smell the smoke & drink a few beers while the meat cooks!

  7. texasjason

    texasjason Fire Starter

    Thank you for the replies. On the WSM, can you get that deep dark crust on a brisket?
  8. texasjason

    texasjason Fire Starter

    Thank you, keeping my eyes peeled in the area for sure.
  9. Don't get me wrong, the Pecos is good:  it's just the Wrangler is a step up from there and was still under your $500 budget.  My understanding is that Academy is no longer carrying the Wrangler, but now a Wrangler II that isn't the caliber of the original.  Some stores (from what I've heard) still have a few Wranglers off the floor as closeouts, so you may have to ask.

    Besides, a Texas boy needs a stick burner anyhow:  it's just part of the package.   [​IMG]
  10. texasjason

    texasjason Fire Starter

    Thanks I'm going to call around to some stores in the area and see if they have any original Wranglers left. I saw the Wrangler 2 in the store and seemed pretty flimsy. The Pecos was much more substantial f
  11. russmn

    russmn Meat Mopper

    I'm shocked I'm the first one to say this but build a UDS! You could easily make two for the price of one wsm! Yes you can get a nice crust ... the pit barrel smoker has a following but I wouldn't ever own one! They have some major design flaws in my opinion ... and they are smaller then a UDS
  12. texasjason

    texasjason Fire Starter

    Ok thanks I'll have to check that out. Any brands that you would recommend then? Not the most handy but maybe they are not that hard to build, lol.

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