Looking to buy new smoker.

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by helldozer, May 10, 2010.

  1. helldozer

    helldozer Newbie

    Howdy all,

    I'm brand new to grilling and smoking and i'm in the market for a smoker. I have just bought a Brinkmann Smoke n' Grill, and I'm very disappointed. We tried smoking brisket on it and had a very hard time keeping any heat. We had the firebox going really well, in fact, the metal grate that holds the charcoal begin to warp from the heat. But, the main area was only at 150 degrees. We gained some heat after I cleaned out the existing hot ash, but, the heat was still minimal. We used almost one large bag of charcoal for the brisket. I'm not sure if that is normal or not, it doesn't sound normal. But, i'm new to this. After one use, the front and sides of the firebox turned white. Which means metal fatigue, which means the smoker wouldn't make it through too many long smokes.

    I don't want to buy and smoker and have to modify it. I just want to buy a good smoker from the get go. We are looking for a good offset smoker in the $400 range. Maybe a tad higher.

    I know I'm a noob smoker, but I want a smoker that is going to last. We've tried buying cheaper standard grills before, only to end up needing to buy another one in a couple of years, due to rust and decay.

    Thank you for any suggestions, it is much appreciated. :)

  2. rev

    rev Fire Starter

    People here love the WSM ... I have the ECB you have too but after modding it am very pleased.
  3. roltyde

    roltyde Fire Starter

    I'm also fairly new to smoking. We mostly grilled, but I also enjoyed cooking with charcoal. I bought the CharGriller Duo and added their Side Firebox. The grill sells for about $299 and the SFB for $59. I bought mine at Kroger's. I made a few simple and easy mods I learned here and now I'm smoking at least once a week. If you want to just smoke, CG also has a line of charcoal grills/smokers.

    This is the second CG we've owned and I've been very impressed with the quality.

  4. I've got less than $200 total invested in my CG Smoking Pro with SFB, including the simple mods. It works great now!

    I don't think it will last me ten years by any stretch - I just need to make it last another year or two, until I can get the wife to simmer down and let me buy a Lang, or Gator, or Big Hat... [​IMG]
  5. jdt

    jdt Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    if your anywhere near tulsa oklahoma check out bellfab.com, his heavy gauge smokers start at $450, lifetime quality instead of sheetmetal box store smokers.
  6. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Unless you can go pick up the BellFab as JDT suggests finding a GOOD offset in your price range is going to be difficult if not impossible. Is there a reason behind wanting an off set smoker?

    If you will consider a different type of smoker I highly suggest the Weber Smokey Mountain 22" model. I'm willing to bet it's the best under $500 smoker to be had.

    I works right; right out of the box, no mods required.
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For the under $400 range best bang for your buck is a 22.5" WSM. They are super easy to use, hold temperature like a rock, are well built, and turn out awesome Que! Or you can get the 18" WSM for $300, either one works great!

    I recently sold my Char-Griller offset for the WSM and it is definately a step up. The Char-griller was a good smoker, but the WSM has got it beat IMHO.
  8. graybeard

    graybeard Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Try craigslist for a good used smoker with lots of metal.
    PS, for a long smoke you can plan on 20 pounds of charcoal.
  9. indyadmin1974

    indyadmin1974 Smoking Fanatic

  10. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just want to throw in my pennies so. Would you consider going to a propane unit???? If you would a I would recommand the Smoke Vault 24" it's a well made smoker and I have owned one for almost a year and I smoke almost every weekend and it is tough and well made too. So it is big enough to lay a full slab of pork spare ribs flat with no trimming needed. Just an Idea.....
  11. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    good god man... what are you waiting for...[​IMG]

    Mine has sat unused for the longest period since I got it for x-mas, going on 14 days now(no worries though, it will be used Saturday for sure).
  12. herkysprings

    herkysprings Smoking Fanatic

    I've spent about $350-400 on my Brinkmann SnP offset, plus mods. I spent that much mainly because I had to have certain pieces manufactured for me.

    My SnP now runs very very well in terms of performance. I made the choice to get this set up because I wanted more accessability to some foods, and a wider grill space than my WSM 18" gave me. Also I was planning on building my own offset at some point and I wanted to learn about them.

    If I had to start all over, with my first smoker, with $400 budget, I'd get the 22.5" WSM. It is wide enough for brisket and ribs (my 18 is only a few inches too short IMHO), and is very easy to use and hold temps.

    Then I might move to an offset project, or start saving for a very well made one.

    But as it is now I love all my smokers. :D
  13. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Do yourself a favor and POP for a quality one(if you don't build yor own), the initial cost is a killer,but you get a unit you will have to pass on in your Will.
    See my sig.,have fun and,
  14. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Very wise words indeed [​IMG]
  15. jdt

    jdt Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    thats a nice pit right there boys, appears to be a real Klose. I pray thats a log lighter and not a cheater burner hooked up to that stink gas LOL.
  16. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It's not a Klose and no, just a starter; as I get older, I find it a bit more troubling to bend over,so...LOL[​IMG]
    Have fun and,
  17. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Silly questions, but did you check your thermos? If you have warping in the firebox and only 150 in the chamber it seems as is there is something amiss.

    I have heard the WSMs are great and would like one for ease of transportation, but can't justify it. I have a Klose and it is solid and well built. I also have an Egg - love it. Ease of use and versatile. A little out of your price range at this point, but it might be something for you to think about.
  18. duck killer 1

    duck killer 1 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    do you have any interest in building one? you could build a REALLY nice UDS for that kind of $$. i just fired mine off this last weekend and i couldn't believe the ease of use! and how long it kept temp for. if so check out the builds section of the forums and click on the UDS tab. it is possible to build one without a welder.

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