Looking to get my first decent smoker

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by jm21, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. jm21

    jm21 Newbie

     
  2. roper76

    roper76 Fire Starter

    I am new to smoking and I bought an oklahoma joes wild west tradition it is an offset and is available from Academy sports and outdoors it is available online at www.academy.com for $329.00 i think was the price. i really like it and it did a great job and some pics of it and the first brisket are in the roll call section under pics from ok hope this helps
     
  3. roper76

    roper76 Fire Starter

    oh also i used a cast iron skillet over the fire and it seemed to work well
     
  4. gramason

    gramason Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I have the Char-Griller Super Pro with side fire box. I did a couple of easy mods that I found on this site. It holds temp very well, and I'm not tending to it much, as far as adding charcoal. It was fairly priced, around $160.
    Welcome to the site, I found it a couple months ago. Alot of good advice, and recipes.
     
  5. wilson

    wilson Meat Mopper

    Welcome,
    To answer some of your questions:
    1. When looking at side burners, Look for a heavy gauge of steel. The heavier the metal the better it will hold temps. Also look at the gaps in the steel around the fire box doors, the better the fit the better it will hold temps. And you are correct, Side burners do tend to be hotter closer to the fire box. The main problem with inexpensive side burners is the opening from the fire box into the cooking chamber tend to be to large. You will also need to make a baffle to direct the heat down and into to cooking chamber. Inexpensive side burners usually don't have a good fire grates in the fire box or come with charcoal baskets. Wood grates or charcoal baskets are easy to make.
    2. "Heat Plates" I think you mean "tunning plates," they are plates of metal that sit below the cooking grate and are spaced ( tunned ) to allow the heat to travel evenly across the cooking surface eliminating hot spots.

    Having said all this there are a lot of good inexpensive side burners out there. I have a side fire box Chargriller Pro which I love. here are the mods I have made. It will give you an idea of how to make a good smoker even better:
    I have lined the cooking area with fire brick to help even out the temps and to help hold the temps. When the bricks heat up,( It does take a little awhile) they help hold my temps and even out temp spike when I add wood. The Chargriller all so comes with a Charcoal Grate that is to be used in the main cooking chamber so it can be used as a grill, I took the Grate and turned it upside down and it acts as a baffle to direct the heat down and away from the fire box and into the cooking chamber.
    I hope this helps you in your search.
    Shop around and look for your best deal, also I am sure the nice people here will give you advice when you decide on a particular model.
    Good Que'n
    Ron
     
  6. jm21

    jm21 Newbie

    Wow, so many replies already. Thanks for the tips Wilson!

    I checked out that link you sent Roper, and now that New Braunfels El Dorado Grande has me drooling, haha. It looks a lot more my style (aesthetically) than the other smokers I've seen and seems to have some nice features...but really a bit more than I was looking to spend...hmmm....
     
  7. roper76

    roper76 Fire Starter

    wilson that is some great advice
     
  8. Welcome to the clubhouse and don't forget to show some pics!
     
  9. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well said, Mr. Wilson. <DENNIS!> heh. Your rep points just went up :{)
     
  10. gypsyseagod

    gypsyseagod Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    welcome. the silver smoker,chargriller,& brinkman smoke-n-pit are all pretty similar. i have 2 smoke-n-pits & i have them modded differently but they work about the same. i won't get long winded w/ the mods but i can run fron 300f on the hot side to 200f on the far side,with 225-250 in the middle,which works well for me as i can do poultry,ribs, & a slow fatty or abt @ the same time & pull them all together for serving.the snp is a bit cheaper than the chargriller but has a bit more cooking space.here's a link to pics of some poor man mods on mine.hope it helps.
    http://s178.photobucket.com/albums/w...od/pit%20mods/
     
  11. wilson

    wilson Meat Mopper

    Thanks Rich [​IMG]
     
  12. homebrewru

    homebrewru Fire Starter

    I've used a NB Bandera for a while now. Gives you the offset firebox for all wood with the advantage of a vertical smoke chamber. Lots of cooking space and you can hang sausage. The only critical mods are a baffle that can be made from a piece of sheet aluminum and some fire brick or lava rock in the bottom of the smoke chamber. The Bandera is no longer made and the ones that are still on the market are of poor quality; However, Brinkman makes the Smoke King Deluxe which is very similar. Hope this helps.
    Mark
     
  13. jm21

    jm21 Newbie

    Well, I went to look at the silver smoker earlier today. The guy barely used the thing, and the only blemish it had was dust from being stored for a long time. Seems like he wasn't that great at building a fire and thought it was a hassle, so just bought a Traeger to make it easier (I think I saw a nice-looking propane grill sitting out there as well). He had installed the thermometer (I believe that doesn't come with the grill) and threw in the charcoal, wood, some buckets he used to soak the wood, and a cleaning brush...seems like a pretty good deal for $80.

    No way it was fitting in my car so I'll pick it up next weekend when a friend with a truck has some spare time.

    I'm hoping to buy a small load of oak firewood and experiment with using a woodfire. If nothing else I'll have a fun time at it.
     
  14. gypsyseagod

    gypsyseagod Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    great score for $80.
     
  15. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    COngrats JM sounds like you got a great deal! Ejoy the new smoker!
     
  16. jmedic25

    jmedic25 Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Great deal!!! I love my BBchef. But it's was much more than 80$ You will get a great feel for the basics on your new grill. Remember it is NOT the cooker but the chef that makes good bbq. Food tastes the same off of my 1600$ lang as opposed to my 200$bb chef. Honestly if I am only cooking for my family I use the bbchef. It uses much less wood than the Lang. Welcome to the family and get us some q-view
     
  17. wilson

    wilson Meat Mopper

    Hey JM,
    Way to go, I always love to here when somebody gets a deal.
    I wish all the best with your new smoker, When you get it next week, post us a picture of your new baby.
    Ron
     

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