Smoker Options & Best Practices

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by djtech2k, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. djtech2k

    djtech2k Fire Starter

    So it sounds like my best options are either a coal/wood burner with an ATC or a Pellet burner with ATC builtin.

    So if I bought an ATC, which ones would be a good choice? It doesnt have to be the absolute cheapest, but something reliable and quality.

    @FWIsmoker:  What is KB?

    @themule69:  What is BEG?  Did you mean Big Green Egg?  If so, that was actually the first smoker I wanted, but decided against it because of a few factors.  First, I was scared that it would break, so even moving it a little bit would make me nervous.  I also did not like that the fire area could not be dealt with easily without removing the food.  I also noticed that there are a ton of accessories and all of them are very pricey.

    For pellet smokers, are there any suggestions on those?  Are there drawbacks to pellet smokers?
  2. Yes i ment BGE= big green egg. I have only had to add fuel during one smoke. i have done briskets and butts with left over fuel.. It will run out of fuel. But i Have never hot smoked for longer than 22 hours. I don't see you removing food till it's done.

    They are only going to break if you knock them over. (Hard to do)

    You don't have to use BGE stuff in a BGE a lot of other accessories will work fine. at fow a lot less $$

    send SeenRed a pm. he has a pellet smoker.

  3. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Hope that helps. 
  4. djtech2k

    djtech2k Fire Starter

    Ok, so I am still looking around for pellet smoker options.

    Now for wood/coal burner, the WSM is definitely on my list.  Is there a good performing offset smoker that performs s good or better to the WSM?

    I watch every BBQ show I can find on TV and there are some crazy pits out there!  Most are too big for me, but since I have the MES, I want to get something that gets me a different smoking experience.  I want to be able to comfortably smoke something for over 2 hours or overnight without having to worry about temp or fuel.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My cousin has a Treager pellet smoker and he really likes it. I think it's to limiting for what I like to do. It requires power to run it. The space is more like a BBQ. You can't hang sausage. You can't get the temps low enough for jerky and fish smokes. Not to mention you have to use pellets to produce your heat $$$ My next smoker will be a stick burner. If I didn't have my Mini-WSM I'd really consider a 22" WSM.
  6. djtech2k

    djtech2k Fire Starter

    thanks. I have a mes, so low temps are fine.

    A wsm with temp control is something I am considerng, but I am concerned about dealing with the external device, etc. Its still pretty hi ion my list wih a pellet smoker.
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     I switched from a cheap horizontal offset two or three years ago and wen to a 22.5" WSM. It just plain works, it has never let me down, is super easy to use, and turns out great Que. I don't have an ATC and have no problem using it, even in the winter. For an under $400 smoker it rocks!
  8. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There is a bunch of threads about this topic.

    I have answered this a few times and will again now.

    I have a medium BGE...I could never make it hold low smoking temps,ever. It is a marvelous machine.

    But for me. smoking with it was an impossible thing. Too much work... 

    The BGE works better than anything for all things except smoking in my eyes. Perfect steaks and pizzas etc....all things done in an oven and grilling.

    I have a MES 30 that has worked great with the amns dust burner. I cant get the pellets to work quite right for me.

    I have made tons of great smoked goodness with it.

    I also have a WSM...It is my go to is perfect. out of the box.

    If you want one smoker... get a WSM  I have the 18.5.

    Go to my profile and look at the threads I started...

    Of course this is my opinion...YMMV.

  9. Craig

    I find it strange your BGE wont do low temp cooking. I have  a small and a large. I can dial in 225 and walk away. I use Ozark Oak lump. What are you using for fuel? Are you trying to get below 200 deg?

    Happy smoken.

  10. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I used RO lump or the BG lump.which is made by RO.

    I couldnt get it to stay near 225 for any length of time..

    I bought the adapter for the guru when I bought it and the WSM..never tried it...

    It was quite aggravating..

    So I bought the Mes...then the WSM...made things real easy..

  11. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Craig you know you have an air leak some where,  it can be a small one but you have to have one....i don't have a BGE but did you high heat silicone around all the air vents?

    I get that clear high heat RTV from Doitbsest...can't go wrong and can't hurt anything. 
  12. That is strange. If it was someone else. I would say temp gauge. But i've read to many of your post. I don't know. I have never known anybody that has had that problem.
  13. djtech2k

    djtech2k Fire Starter

    Ok, so I am trying to build a list of smokers so I can narrow the scope a bit.  Let me know how these sound.

    Wood/Coal: WSM 18/22, ??

    Pellet:  Rec Tec, SmokeDaddy Pellet Pro, GMG Daniel Boone

    Am I missing any that I should consider?  Is there a good performing offset wood/coal burner I should consider?
  14. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Great list... How about a Lang?
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
  15. That's what i was thinking. if you want offset. this will fill the bill. but you will have to feed it every now and then.

  16. [​IMG][​IMG]  it's your money. [​IMG]

  17. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Traeger is another really well known pellet pooper, just make sure you get one with the upgraded thermostat - no the three position one (low, med, high).
  18. djtech2k

    djtech2k Fire Starter

    Good point on the Lang, but I have considered them, but not sure its a good fit for me. I say that because it is higher on the price range and it does not have anything like the temp controller on it. As it sits, its just a well-built stick burner, right? By the time I buy the controller or whatever else I need, the price will be even higher. The other options have more features for less price. I do like the offset design, but its pricey for what it appears to be. So I went to a local high-end outdoor living store. They are a BGE, Memphis, Louisiana, and former Traeger dealer. They presented a Louisiana pellet grill and several Memphis pellet grills. According to them and the brochures, these pellet grills do both grilling and smoking. I also noticed the Yoder does the same.  They had digital temp controls and some smoker functions. I am wondering how well these pits will work as a smoker, or if its a waste of time. Do any of you guys know about these? I wonder if they will be good grills and poor smokers, or whatever. I wonder how the grill will know if it should produce heavy smoke for smoking vs just getting hot with no smoke to grill something like a steak. I have been planning to buy a new propane grill for grilling and a new smoker. They say that you can combine, but I am skeptical. What do you guys think?
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pellet grills usually don't smoke ....  The firebox, where the pellets drop in, is fan forced air for combustion....  Soooo, no smoke...  A smoke generator is a good addition.... The AMNPS or AMNTS would work...    Dave
  20. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    DJ the PelletPro does have a unique  cold smoke setting that produces decent smoke at lower temps..say lower than 150 degrees i believe.   Dave is correct that with a pellet grill a smoke generator is a good idea if you prefer more smoke flavor. 

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