Suggestions needed!!

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by joec0436, May 30, 2014.

  1. joec0436

    joec0436 Newbie

    I am new to smoking and recently joined the site.  I purchased a Brinkman SnP, and attempted the curing process.  The gap in the back of the cooking chamber was so wide, the thing held no heat or smoke. Could barely hold at 200.  Also, the firebox finish started chipping just from the first time using.  Needless to say, I broke it down and brought it right back to the Home Depot I purchased from.  So I am doing research now on what the best entry level smoker that will get me going but last me, would be.  I have seen a lot of decent reviews on the Trailmaster Limited.  I am aware that any smoker in this price range will require some mods to get it right.  I just want to get something that will have the littlest amount of mods needed to get me going.  The SnP was just way to cheap to and left me feeling like it was not a smart investment.  Any and all help would greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance!
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like you're in the $300-$400 range for a smoker.  Unless you're absolutely sold on offset, a Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) is pretty much ready to smoke out of the box and fits your price range.  The door is the weakest part of the setup but it still works fine.  The 22.5" ($399) can handle quite a lot of meat or just a couple racks of ribs.  The 18.5" ($299) is probably the most versatile and fuel efficient for the amount of meat it can smoke.  The 14.5" ($199) is great too or you can make your own mini-WSM for about half the cost.

    I've been using my 22.5" WSM, no-mods, at least once a week since the week before Christmas.  Not quite a set and forget smoker but I've let it go up to six hours without a single adjustment.  I have a gasket kit to install but haven't done it yet.  Mine likes to coast around 260F, but I can keep it at 225F easily. I just rarely smoke that low, a personal preference. It can fire up to 350F just as easy too.   
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
  3. joec0436

    joec0436 Newbie

    I like the idea of the offset, but I'm just not sure I like all the things I'm reading.  My problem is, time is scarce as it is these days.  Not so sure how long it would take me to get the mods done and up to a level I need to be at to be smoking properly.  I was actually reading up on the WSM when I saw your post.  I like the idea of being able to assemble and get started.  I was a little worried about how much meat it could hold, but it seems at the 2 larger sizes, it really can hold a lot.  Looks like a will be spending my lunch break today at Home Depot checking them out.  Like I said, I originally bought the SnP and returned it.  I was all set to go and get the Trailmaster.  
  4. I got a Trailmaster a couple months ago and haven't regretted it at all. I debated a long time between that and the WSM but I like the offsets and to me,tending the coals and using sticks is part of the fun. Yes, there are a lot of mods that can be done depending on how much you are willing to invest, but you don't have to do them all at once either. And cheap foil pans/cookie sheets work wellenough and can save you some $$$ until you get really serious.
    That said, if you want a very high quality cooker that doesn't require much messing with, then a WSM will make you happy.

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