Thinking about getting my first smoker!

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by emon1, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. emon1

    emon1 Newbie

    Hi! I am wanting to try my hand at smoking this year...probably mostly butts and ribs. I am not looking to spend alot of money on it at this point, at least not until I can decide if it is something I really like and can justify the expense for the better smokers :) I guess my main question at this point is as far as a decent starter smoker does the brand really matter? From what I'm seeing so far going cheap means I will probably have to mod it. Right now Lowes only has a Master Forge one , and I only saw a display model, Are the cheap Brinkmann's any better?
  2. Hello.  Welcome.  I see you haven't been to Roll Call.  Please take some time and swing over to Roll Call and introduce yourself so that we may give you a proper "Hello".  All info you can provide us with such as smoker type, location and so on will help us answer any questions you may have.  Keep Smokin!

  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Most of us started like you are doing.  I bought a small Brinkman, the kind that looks like R2 D2, and learned a lot on it.  It works fine for many things and I still keep mine for when I need more smoker space for larger parties or when I go camping.    I think the little Brinkmans are actually easier to use then an inexpensive side car or offset smoker. 

    Good luck if you have any questions just ask
  4. coast2coast

    coast2coast Newbie

    For under $300 at Lowes (get 10% off with their "moving" coupon from the post office) I highly recommend the Char Griller Akorn kamado grill.  Very versatile for smoking and all types of cooking.  I can smoke, bake, grill, sear steaks, and cook pizza.  You can hold tempertures as low as 200-225, or as high as 700 or more, and use very little charcoal in the process.  I've had one for about 2 years after trying various other smokers, and I would not go back.
    marauder likes this.
  5. deansomers

    deansomers Smoke Blower

    Would that acorn hold temperature better than a weber kettle
  6. coast2coast

    coast2coast Newbie

    It's much more air tight, so once it settles in to a temperature it can stay there for hours without any fire or vent tending at all.  The trick is to learn where the vents give your desired temperature range and leave them alone after setting them and getting close to your desired temperature, don't keep chasing a particular exact number.  As long as you're close, it's all good, just let it go.
  7. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Some things to consider:

    How much food will you be smoking ?   IF it's a single butt, or a couple of slabs, or a single brisket, then just about all options are on the table.  But, if you think you'll be smoking larger quantities, that will narrow the field a bit.   For example, I regularly have parties with 40, 50 or more people as I come from a very large family.   A little Akorn won't even begin to handle the amount of food that needs to be cooked.

    Second thing is to consider is your budget.  "a lot of money" has different meanings depending on whom you talk to.   Does that mean less than $1K ?  $500?  $300? $150?

    Third is how much time do you initially want to invest learning to and running your smoker.   Some smokers are easier than others, ranging from almost "set it and forget it" to tending and babysitting it at the beginning.
  8. go to  there are a range of smokers and  reviews.. from electric to stick burners ... 

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