getting a new smoker......dont know what to go with

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by heartlandnewbie, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Ok, so here's the deal, I'm thinking about buying a new smoker soon. I have a extremely cheap brinkman its their $40 model, it does ok but maintaining temps is hard..especially for a newbie such as myself. I've been doing research on various types/brands but I don't know what to go with. I've looked at Traeger's Juinor model pellet grill but with some of the reviews on amazon, I'm leary about it, especially since I'm such a newbie. Then I've looked at Masterbuilt 2 door propane vertical smoker. From the reviews, it seems like a good deal @ $199 on amazon, however, I've never used a vertical smoker. Then of course, there is the horizontal offset smokers out there but the price tag is large if you want anything but an ECB. I've seen some decent ones of craigslist that aren't ECBs that are affordable such as oklahoma joes and the good ones. Please help!!! I wanna get a smoker that I can really start to build my skills on so hopefully next year, I can attend a cookoff or two. Id like to stay in the 200-300 range.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  2. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I love my Smoke Vault.  Its propane and not allowed in the comps tho. Others will chime in with their 2 cents in a bit.

    Do your research!

  3. My first smoker was/is a Hasty Bake and it's been spectacular.  I've had it for 16 years and still use it for everything, highly recommended.

    Yesterday I brought home a 16" Horizon Smoker and am VERY MUCH looking forward to using it for many, many years.  You probably should start with a less expensive smoker just to make sure you will enjoy the hobby, both of my smokers are above your budget but yet in the long run you wouldn't need to buy anything new for a LONG time, just my .02.

    Go slow and keep reading.
  4. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    do a lot of research buy just a bit bigger then you think you need and then buy once and cry once, meaning buy good stuff that will work well and last a long time.
  5. Their is no one size fits all smoker. Smokers don't grill well and grills don't smoke well. Figure out what you want to do with your equipment. How large of a crowd will you be cooking for? What do you want to use for fuel? do you want hands on or set it and forget it? How and where will you store it?

    After you have the answers to these questions. That should make a few differant models come to the top of the list.

    Happy smoken.

  6. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Also if you want to do the comps/cook offs that you said...KCBS will only let you use wood or electric or propane.

  7. I have a heavy duty propane/charcoal grill combo that I use regularly so I don't need a grill, just a smoker. As far as crowd size, I'm regularly cooking for friends and family so crowds of 20-30 ppl would be normal. I. Don't want something that needs constant supervision,that's the problem that I have now with my ecb. If I could check it once an hr or so, that would be ok. Fuel isn't a huge deal for me....what is important is staying in my budget and something that will last as long as I care for it properly.
  8. Ok so if I wanna do any comps, id should avoid the propane about going with the traeger? How do y'all feel about it?
  9. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Pellet munchers may be for you if you are looking for set and forget and for comps. As far as traeger.... for similar cost look at rectec or yoder. Better quality, temp control, etc. Warranty on the rec tec is 6 years I believe and they are not above including an extra accessory or two to close the deal. Best of luck.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  10. I just found Brinkman's 57" offset vertical smoker @ home depot....anybody have this one?
  11. The pellet munchers are very popular if you want to set it and forget it and they do work.  But for me I do like being hands on when smoking, it's an event for me [​IMG] that I truly enjoy.

    Competitions -- I spent my whole life in competitions (not smoking meats) and now I'm happily done with that.  My greatest joy now is smoking for the family and neighbors, I don't want the stress or need the affirmation that my meats are outstanding, just a simple thank you and smile is the best reward ever.
  12. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    At your price range you can build an ugly drum smoker, purchase a Maverick thermometer, still will be under your budget and have some of the best equipment around.

    Look up Big Poppa drum smoker, you can smoke grill and sear.
  13. I've looked into those and I think I'm going to stay away from them. Not because of quality, id just rather have a true smoker vs a multiuse.
  14. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    oh it's as true of a smoker as there is...more so imo because smoking directly over coals is as old school you'll get unless you're building bamboo racks over a fire pit like Indians.
  15. reasoning

    reasoning Smoke Blower

    No one has suggested a 18.5 wsm yet. At $299.99 its at the top of your price range
  16. It is hard to cook for 20-30 people on.

  17. Please refer back to post 5 and post 7 Look at your budget and add a uds to your list.  I have done brisket.  Butts. cold smoked using it like a smoke house for bacon, cheese, sausage.

    Remember 200.00-300.00. If you go pellet your over budget and then have to buy high dollar fuel.

    So I mark any pellet off of your list.XXXXXXXXXX

    I have not added anything to your list, that is in your budget.

    So what is a true smoker?????????????????????????????

  18. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    So what is a true smoker?????????????????????????????
    [/quote] Exactly, just because like on mine I can move the charcoal basket doesn't detract away from the ability to smoke.

    Imo UDS are the most authentic directly over a fire pit, but in a controlled manor.
  19. IMO I feel uds are good smokers for people who have tons more experience than me. From what I've been told from a few family members who have them say they are finnicky ....the brink man 57" vertical is well in my budget @ $269...I'd like to hear from smf members who have one before I commit to buying it.
  20. Im sorry if icame across mad or like im not paying attention to your suggestions...its been a bad day.I do really appreciate your input.I still dont know what im going to do.Im even considering an UDS or maybe a dbl barrel uds.

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