Looking for advice: combo grill + smoke

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by g0bez, May 6, 2011.

  1. g0bez

    g0bez Newbie

    I'm new here, but have been stalking for a few days now. I've tried to figure things out based on other posts, but have finally decided to jump in and ask some questions directly.

    I have done a fair bit of grilling, and still want something with a large grill surface (~700 - 1000 sq in is my target), but would like to try out some smoking. I like the offset grill/smoker but am not too sure about which one to go with. The ones I've seen in the ~$200 range seem really thin and cheap-o, but I also can't afford the 1/4" thick Horizon 16. Is there anything 'in between'?? There seems to be a gap in the offset smoker/grill market between the $200 walmart version and the $750 version...

    I've also been looking on Criagslist and haven't found anything... so I'm looking for recommendations:

    -- at least 700 sq in of grill stop space

    -- smoker option

    -- $350 to $450 price range

    -- I'd rather pay more for a higher quality item so that it will give me a good, solid, grilling/smoking experience versus saving some cash and getting something that will leave me wanting more.

    Not sure if there is anything else to consider here.... I'll start with that and see what that generates.

  2. smokinal

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

  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    +1 [​IMG]

    I have that exact same set up and it is great. I have a 22.5" WSM and a 22.5" Weber Kettle, doesn't take up much room and you can interchange the top racks easily which is nice if you want to finish off the smoked meat with a little high heat char.
  4. g0bez

    g0bez Newbie

    I had been considering that combo, as that is what I've seen alot of people recommend before... the reason why I don't think that will work for me is because the grill space isn't enough (I grill *alot* at once -- meat + veggies for 8 - 12 people; 2x 22" webers are overflowing), and I don't want to put $400 into a stand-alone smoker when i've never done it before and am not sure I will 'get into it'.

    If I were able to find a decent used WSM for sub-$200, that would leave me enough to pick up a larger el cheapo char-grill/brinkmann side grill from Home Depot / WalMart ($200) and call it good... so far I haven't been able to find the wsm for that price.

    Maybe I'm better off getting the $200 grill from WalMart/HomeDepot and just looking for a standalone smoker on CraigsList over the next year....

    Anyone in the Chicago area looking to let go of a WSM at a great price?? [​IMG]
  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If grate space is a major concern for you, the offset combos are not a bad way to go.  Give some serious thought as to how you want to use this unit.  The offsets have some downsides.  They are not fuel efficient as compared to an upright.  Also, they will require much more fire tending on long smokes.  The uprights are more hands-off and more fuel efficient.  Getting large amounts of food on and off of them, as cleaning, can be more challenging.  You need to figure out how your smoker will commonly be used.  Knowing this will lead you to a better decision. Also, consider watt burners and gassers if you want a hands off approach.  Everybody has their favorite smoker, but I don't think the perfect one has been made yet for every need and application.

    Good luck and good smoking!
  6. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Gobez,get something like this:



    Plenty room and you can grill on the firebox top!

    Hope you get a good one,and remember to get one bigger than you plan on,you'll soon need one.

    Have fun and,
  7. smokinal

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

    Now that's a great looking smoker!
  8. g0bez

    g0bez Newbie

    I grew up outside of Toledo, and my mother still lives in that area -- if you're looking to part with that rig I know a guy who would want it (and I could be there this weekend to pick it up!!)

    That looks fantastic -- what kind of grill is that, where can I get one, and approx how much does it cost? I have to believe that something that well-made will be out of my price range, but that is pretty much exactly the type of thing I had in mind.

    My stomach is growling now after seeing your Q!!!

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