Smoke Ring on Ceramic Smokers?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by grange, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. grange

    grange Fire Starter

    I am looking to upgrade my smoker since I have found myself really enjoying this activity so I stopped in a Grill and BBQ Specialty store to see what's available locally.  I talked to the owner for a while and we got on the discussion of making BBQ in the winter.  My limited experience with my cheap smoker tells me that the colder it is the harder it is to maintain a constant temperature and the amount of fuel needed goes up.  The owner said good smokers can still maintain a temperature in the winter, but fuel usage will go up.  He said that the BGE, which he sells, or other ceramic smokers work the best for smoking in the winter.  He said a potential drawback is that ceramic smokers don't produce as nice of smoke ring as some of the other smokers he sells.  My question is if this is the experience of those on here as well?
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    BGE is a pretty expensive rig. I know a lot of guys who use their WSM in cold weather without any problems other than using more fuel. You could buy a lot of charcoal with the money you would save buying the WSM. And it produces a very prominent smoke ring.
  3. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have never heard of any issues with a BGE not producing a good smoke ring. That's news to me.  When I used my buddies for a summer I had great smoke rings just like I get with my UDS right now. I'm with Al though. Save yourself the hundreds of dollars and build yourself a UDS. I smoke with my UDS all winter long and it has been -20 out and it still works great. Just my $.02
  5. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have the Primo XL and love it. I get a good smoke ring on my butts and ribs. I have noticed when I toss in a couple of pieces of cherry wood along with some hickory the smoke ring is "brighter". I am thrilled with the XL and highly recommend it. I chose it over the BGE because it is made in the USA.
  6. smokinit

    smokinit Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    Check out verticle insulated smokers like Backwoods  Smokers they will cook in any temp you throw at them.
  7. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Smoke ring comes from a chemical reaction in the gases of charcoal or wood fire.  The shape or insulation of the smoker has nothing to do with. Insulation/ceramic will run longer with less fuel however.

    I have a 18" WSM and have smoked in 10 to 15 degree temps just fine.  Wind is more of a problem for most smokers than outdoor temp and you can always make a wind screen or insulating blanket for the WSM. Oh, and I did not have a blanket in the 10 to 15 degree smokes.

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