New From East Texas - Questions on Smokers

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by mickhlr, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Wow!  From all the new members, looks like this is a great forum.  Glad I found you guys!

    I am retired Air Force, working at a 2nd career.  I live in East Texas, love to play golf and grill/smoke about anything.

    I have gone through a lot of cheap smokers and grills through the years, some a lot of trouble and hard to cook on, others not so much.  Some have cooked better than others, some have been more convenient.  I currently have a Weber Genesis propane grill, and a large Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain Series propane smoker.  I've smoked a lot of meat on the Smoky Mountain smoker, and many times have smoked 8 racks of ribs at a time.  Have also smoked a lot of chicken and brisket on it.  The water pan seems to keep everything moist, and it's been easy to regulate the temperature.  It has actually been a good, very convenient smoker.  The Weber Genesis has been a great grill...and I love the cast iron grates.  It is very convenient, with a large cooking area, and I've grilled everything on it.  However, both are getting a little long in the tooth, and I'm debating about how to replace them...and that's how I found this site. 

    I'm contemplating purchasing a large smoker/grill combo, with a side firebox, to replace them both with one piece of equipment.  I know, a lot more trouble, but I miss the charcoal smell and taste when grilling, and I miss being able to use sticks of wood, instead of the little chunks/chips that I have to use in the small smoker box on the Smoky Mountain smoker.  I've also found that I really miss "waiting" on a grill or smoker to get just right for cooking, while sipping on an adult beverage.  Time doesn't seem to be as much of an issue as it used to be. 

    So, I started searching for the type smoker/grill I'm looking for...or think I want.  I found an Old Country BBQ Pits Wrangler smoker at Academy for $500.  It has 920 sq in cooking area, and weighs 275 lbs.  And, I found a Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe smoker at Lowe's for $430 and at Ace Hardware for $490.  It has 1045 sq in cooking area, and weighs 287 lbs.  They look almost identical on the web.  And, they seem very similar in all areas.  So, I just wondered if anyone has cooked on both?  If so, what do you think?  Or, if you own one, or the other, what do you like best and least about yours?

    Thanks...and I'm looking forward to broadening my horizon on meat smoking.
  2. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    :welcome1: to SMF!!! We're happy you found us! You've come to the right place, we have over 50,000 members who just love to share their experience and over 900,000 posts describing it!

    The search bar at the top can be your best friend when you are trying to find answers to your questions but you can still ask too if you want!

    You might want to check out Jeff's Free 5 day E-Course, it will teach you all the basics plus a whole lot more!

    Thank You for your Service! :pDT_Armataz_01_37:
  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Welcome to the forums, Mick! Glad you've joined us. You've found a great place to learn and share ideas on our favorite pastimes...grilling, smoking, and curing great food! There are lots of friendly and knowledgeable folks here who really enjoy helping one another. Just ask any time you need help and you'll get plenty!

    I haven't cooked on either of the pits you mentioned, but they sound pretty similar. I've actually looked at that Old Country pit at Academy, it looks real heavy. Good luck whit whatever you decide to get!

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  4. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    [​IMG]to SMF!  We are so glad you joined us! Thank you so very much for your Service! [​IMG]
    If you didn't read the "Terms of Service" notes.....please do.  There are a few things that everyone should know about those pesky little rules before plunging into the forums.

    If you need any help roaming around the forums....just holler!  Happy to help out!

  5. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Sorry, Kat, I thought I did.  Wow...tell me what I missed?  Didn't mean to break any rules already.  Did I say something out of line? 
  6. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No....NO!!!!!  Sorry Sweetie!  This is just my "welcome" everyone!  No troubles....and you haven't been sent to the Company Commander yet!  [​IMG]

  7. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hello, and welcome to the forum-well,actually , Welcome to the family, you're gonna love so much you'll disregard the others ...[​IMG]

    You mentioned the Old Country Smokers, I've talked to the owner when I was looking several years ago and he could not produce what I wanted so I went to Tejas. However, in your area (Palestine and Longview ) there are some builders that have some nice Pits. I feel it would be better than a long trip toget one - or - the shipping cost to have it delivered.

    I can't remember the names of the ones there, but some of the Texas boys might know .

    You can find a good heavy Pit  , it will cook better for you. As for the Grill , I'd stay with the Weber Genesis Model. A great preformer.

    Do you have an Academy Surplus near by? I think they(now that I think of it ) the Old Country brand... just try to get a heavy pit - 3/8" to 1/4" wall.

    have fun and hope you find your 'perfect pit' and Grill replacement.

    As always . . .
  8. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Ah...thanks!  LOL! 
  9. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Thanks so much for the info.  I'm originally from the Texarkana area.  Been here at Holly Lake Ranch a little over a year now...about 30 miles north of Tyler.  It's a Silver Leaf Resort Community, I live right on the golf course, and play almost every day.  :) 

    And, I was wondering about smoker builders around here.  But, most of the ones I've found only have those great big ones on wheels, all decked out, that I wish I could afford.  Maybe next time.  Although I would love one, I need to try and stay in the $500 range.  But, if somebody could lead me to a builder for a good smoker in that price range, I'd be running to them. 

    Yes, we do have an Academy nearby, and that's where I found the Old Country Wrangler smoker.  It seems pretty nice and heavy.  And, it also seems almost like the Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe's smoker from Lowe's.  I'm a novice and can't tell the difference...except the one at Lowe's is $70 less. 

    Thanks again, I appreciate the info. 

  10. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the advice.  I ended up getting the Old Country it is the only sub-$500 (or really sub-$1K) smoker that I could find with 3/16" steel.  Most in my price range were all 1/8" steel, and some of those felt like 1/16".  This thing weighs in at about 340 lbs...and just opening the lid, you know it's heavy.  Thanks again.
  11. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  12. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF Mick and thank you for your service for our country. I am a Vietnam Vet myself..Again Welcome !
  13. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Hey Mick welcome....What ever you get i'd stay clear from Lowes-Home Depot types of smokers as they tend to be C.O.S (cheap offset smokers) as they are more trouble then they are worth. 

    If i got an offset i'd look at an Horizon or a Lang stick burner. 
  14. Hello Mick and welcome to SMF! Congrats on the new smoker and don't forget the q view (pics) for the rest of us!
  15. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Welcome Mick from another Texan.  I think you made a solid choice with the purchase you made.  A buddy of mine recently bougt one and so far has had nothing but good things to say about it.  I think the only mod he has made so far was using some black RTV to seal up his doors. 

    Happy smoking as you learn your new smoker!
  16. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Thanks everyone...this seems like the friendliest, most helpful, forum of any kind that I've ever joined.  I really appreciate the input from everyone.

    oldschoolbbq, I had already looked at your stickburning101 article...very informative.  Thanks for the advice.  I'm like a sponge at this point. 

    Roller, I hear you...and thanks for your service to our country as well.  I like your signature block...and know what you mean by wasting that money.  

    FWIsmoker, thanks for the input.  I did look at the smokers from Lowe's and Home Depot.  And, I think you're right.  However, the Horizons and Langs are a little over my budget at this point...maybe next time.  What I found, in the Old Country Wrangler is a "tweener" and fits that void between the Lowe's-Home Depot models and hand mades.  It's 3/16" steel, but at $500, the cost is much closer to the 1/8" steel models, and at least half what the 1/4" steel units cost.  I think it will do me well as my first stick burner, and as I learn I'll probably plan ahead a little and look at the Horizons and Langs for my next model. 

    SmokinHusker, thanks...I will post pics when I get it going.  Just got an email notice from Academy that it has shipped.  I no longer have a truck, and even if I did, for the weight of this bad-boy I'd probably still have it delivered for the $89 they charged. 

    Bruno994, thanks for that info on your buddy with the Old Country...good to know.  I think it's probably the best I could buy in my price range.  It's funny, as I was looking in Academy at the difference in the Old Country Pecos and the Old Country Wrangler, I really liked the larger cooking area on the Pecos and the 16" wheels, as compared to the 10" wheels on the Wrangler.  But, when I opened that door and could feel the difference in the 3/16" steel on the Wrangler, as compared to the 1/8" steel on the Pecos, I was sold on the Wrangler.  Then, they had the Old Country Brazos, which was the size of the Pecos, except in 1/4" steel...I really liked it, but it was $1K.   

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