Still unsure if I should get a smoker

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by trevor77, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Hi All,
    My current propane grill is pretty much done and I need a replacement. I've always wanted a smoker but we do a fair bit of grilling (steaks, burgers, veggies, etc) so I would like a unit to do both. I was at a Lowe's yesterday and saw an Oklahoma Joe's Highland offset smoker/grill. Is this the type of smoker I should be looking at if I would be grilling about 3 times a week and smoking once a week. I don't have a lot of money to spend and this one was at a decent price and it seems to have good reviews if modded correctly.

    Does this seem like a good choice or is there anything else I should consider?
  2. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Never bought a Ok Joes, but I have heard good things about them.  The Chargrillers have a few grill / smoker combos as well with adjustable charcoal grates in the main chamber.  A UDS is another route you could go for even cheaper price tag if you can get a hold of a 55 gallon drum.  I smoke and grill on mine.
    trevor77 likes this.
  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use a 22.5" Weber Smokey Mountain as my smoker and a Weber 22.5" Kettle as my grill. They both have a small footprint, work extremely well, and use the same fuel source.
    trevor77 likes this.
  4. I saw and liked the Weber's but they are a bit out of my price range once you add the grill.  Here in Canada the 22.5" is around $450.  I can get the OK Joe for $300 right now.
  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Trevor I hate to be the one to say this but your primary cooking is on a Grill. I would invest in that first and look into a smoker down the road.

    You can still incorporate smoke flavor into foods by other means.

    OR... Maybe you can mod your old grill into a smoker?
    trevor77 likes this.
  6. Thanks

    I only asked about this one since they had it advertised as a dual purpose grill and smoker.  So your saying I would still need a separate grill for the everyday type cooking?
  7. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    SQWIB is correct, kind of why I suggested the Chargriller line of grills and smokers.  On the cheaper end, but after a few simple mods can be really solid cookers for a smaller investment.  You can get the Chargriller Duo for around $300, with gas and charcoal grills and add a side firebox for smoking.  I have had mine about 5 years and I have not taken care of it like I should have and still works fine.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
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  8. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Trevor, yes the offsets can be run in several ways. Check the link in my sig to see how I play with mine.
  9. Just a thought but I grilled and smoked for many many years on both gas and charcoal grill before I bought a dedicated smoker.  Because I grilled way more often than smoking the product, I just added a smoker box to the grill and used it for those smoking occasions.  Now I didn't do 20 hour butts and briskets, but did do some awfully good poultry, beef and pork.  I'm much older now and have added many tools to my cooking arsenal but you will be surprised what you can do with one tool and some creativity.
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  10. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No I'm not saying you NEED a separate grill but rather you should prioritize your next purchase to your main way of cooking.

    Do you like grilling with gas and/or charcoal, this will definitely have an impact on your decision.

    If you like charcoal then JIRodriguez has a great suggestion.

    If you like gas then I would want a grill just for that.

    If you can mod something or get the grill you like and use that for short term smoking like frog1369 did, then get a dedicated smoker down the road.

    It would also help to know what type of Pit/Smoker you were planning on getting, gasser, charcoal, stick burner.

    However with that all said consider Bruno's point as well,  the Char Griller trio covers all the bases, Gas, Charcoal, grill smoker, but I have no experience with that beast.

    There's some good advice on this thread, post a pic of your old grill and lets see what folks can come up with.

    Also look into used smokers.
    trevor77 likes this.
  11. Thanks SQWIB

    I do want to move totally away from gas for grilling.  When I started looking at just the charcoal BBQ's I started seeing these others like the Duo and the OK Joe's which peaked my interest in smoking.  It's something I've wanted to get into for about 3 years now and have never pulled the trigger on the purchase.

    I really do like the idea from JIRodriguez  and I have since found a 2 year old used 18.5 Weber for an asking price of $250 (Canadian $$).  I haven't checked to see if that's reasonable or not.

    In the meantime I'll keep reading a learning and hopefully in the next couple weeks I'll have something

    Thanks everyone for the advice so far
  12. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One reason to keep your smoker and grill separate is in a smoker you run at lower temps and some smokers really need that seasoning that coats the inside to protect it if you live in a moist environment to prevent rust inside. But when you then take that same smoking chamber and grill in it the higher grilling temps can burn off that seasoning, then you have re-season the inside of the smoker to protect it.

    I started with a $200 Char-griller Pro, spent about $50 modifying it, got OK results but was never 100% happy with it. Ended up selling it on craig's list for $80 and bought my 22.5" Weber Smokey Mountain - have never regretted it once - and actually kind of wished I had just spent the money on the Weber to begin with rather than take the loss I did on the cheap off-set smoker. There are some really good offset smokers, but you are generally going to have to spend $800+ for one of those.
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  13. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Make one of these.

    Works like a grill and smoker

    The Worlds First Schwenker Smoker.
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  14. So I just bought both my grill and smoker.  I got the Napoleon Apollo AS300K used for $240.  It seemed like a pretty good deal since they are about $399 brand new.  The guy said he only used it 4 times in under a year and just didn't have the space to keep it in his garage anymore.  Then for the grill I got a great deal on the Weber 22.5 One Touch Gold.  It's normally priced at $189 but I found an online ad for a liquidation store selling a previously unused floor model for $132.  Nothing wrong with it other than it's already assembled

    I just want to thank everyone who's given advice to me.  I have a feeling without asking some questions on here I may have ended up purchasing something I would have regretted.  I'm pretty confident that I have myself some pretty decent equipment that shouldn't let me down.

    I can't wait to get using this stuff.  The smoker will probably have to wait a couple weeks since temps here are still hovering around freezing
  15. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Great deal on that Weber. You can smoke on it too and when you get tired of fiddling with that cheap Weber smoky mountain clone your Weber will smoke on for years and years. Sorry, but I have a friend who had that napoleon smoker and he hated it with a passion. I used it a few times and agreed with him. I'm sure you can seal up some of the gaps and stuff and make it better though. Still, it is better than no smoker at all. Wow I just saw how much you paid for it. You could have gotten a WSM for just a little more. At any rate try it and see if it works out for you. will be watching. You might consider adding these to your Kettle for like 12 bucks, very good investment.

    Those baskets make all the difference in the world with the one touch models. I just love them.

    You can get a heap of stuff in that kettle to smoke too.

  16. The guy I got the Napoleon from already did some work.  He said the doors were the only place it leaked and he fixed it after his first smoke.  I was looking for a used WSM but they are hard to come by.  The one I did see was already sold by the time I messaged the guy.  As for the price of the Napolean, I'm in Canada and our dollar sucks right now so I don't think the price is terrible.  Not a steal either.  

    I think the 18.5 WSM comes out to around $400 after tax and the Napoleon is about the same.  And used WSM's seem to range from $275 and up.  I did see the one for $250 but that was gone within a few hours.  I wanted to spend a bit more but I was already slightly past my wife imposed budget.  From reviews I've read, most people say they are happy with the Napoleon but it's no Weber.  And I can live with that for now
  17. BTW, that's some nice looking food.  And I'll keep a lookout for those baskets
  18. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    The thing about weber is how long they last and that you can still buy parts 30 years later. I am restoring my dad's old weber genesis propane grill he bought in 84 and it is almost as good as new with a few new parts. I see where you are coming from though and dang if I don't understand why the canadian dollar is like that with the oil boom and all. Makes no sense. Especially with the mega taxes you guys have to pay. Well anyway congrats and can't wait to see it in action.
    trevor77 likes this.

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