what type of smoker should i get next?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by nightperson, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. nightperson

    nightperson Newbie

    Im looking into a new smoker. I currently have an MES 30 with an amnps with the mailbox mod. I've been smoking for a year and it does a great job. I am looking to get something with a little more capacity which is the main reason for the upgrade. I want to upgrade once and get something i can grow into the next couple years. What I do like is this setup is more or less and set and forget but Im not opposed to going with a system that requires a little more attention but I don't think Im ready for the commitment of a stick burner yet.

    Ive looked at mainly pellet smokers but my concern is the light smoke flavor. A good product means more to me than convenience, within reason. 

    What are some other smokers to look at that i may be missing. Maybe not a true set and forget but still a great smoker with a lot less cook maintenance than a full on stick burner. 

    Whats the opinion on a vertical water smoker? Im thinking something like a backwoods.

    The other option is an old hickory type pit, which is gas/wood burning smoker. 

    I am looking to get something that works as designed, not something i had to modify to make good BBQ
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
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  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You could get a tube smoker from Todd for use with the pellet smoker.

    With that said, a uds works great. Almost set it and forget it.
  3. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain) comes to mind... use the search bar (your best friend) at the top of any page and you'll NOT read a bad review on it...
  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You said you want to up your skills on a better Smoker , then get some thing that will let you Really get into Smoking without going to a Stickburner. My suggestion is a Weber Kettle , the 22 1/2 ,if you can and

    You'll be set for a bit of playing and you can grill on it also...then when you need to crisp-up some skin , just open the intakes. No double handling [​IMG].

    Look before purchasing and get what you can afford , but if you can afford it , get a Ranch model or go for an Egg.

    Don't overwhelm yourself though , it's easy to get Jaded and give up Smoking all together , and we don't want that.

    Once you decide , read directions (yes men do read instructions) and follow their recommendations . After all that , keep posting on this site and start a 'Log: of you smokes. You'll see your cooks become better

    as you go.

    Hope you get what you need .

    Have fun , have a great Thanksgiving , and as always . . .
  5. nightperson

    nightperson Newbie

    Thanks for the help- i will look into these but none of them are really larger than what i have now. Id like a 6-8 butt capacity.

    Budget really isn't an issue b/c i want to buy one and be done, not buy 3 more over the next 3 years
  6. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Night if you are happy with the MES30 take a look at the MES40, your mailbox mod will work with it as well as the AMNPS. The box said the 40 could do 100lbs. of meat. I have a gen 2 it does great smokes but the temps you have to watch with a separate probe.
  7. think Kamado  this was my progression.... propane smoker to electric smoker  to the egg with lump charcoal.... the vast uses of a Kamado will surprise you .  grill smoke BBQ..... a good 22 inch grill will hold 3 racks of ribs without an extender... no water pan needed..   love mine and is nearly as easy as the electric .. once up to your desired temp it will hold for hours .. ive smoke a 10 lbs butt for 14 hrs with no adjustments or adding charcoal .... awesome results
  8. If price is of no problem I am going to say XL BGE. You will have to buy or make the extra racks. I think you could do 6 butts but not sure you could do 8 it would be close. This is with an average size butt. As has already been said the MES 40 would give you more room. I am not sure that their is one right answer. That may be why a lot of us have more than one smoker.

    Happy smoken.

  9. bonzbbq

    bonzbbq Smoke Blower

    personally I prefer my stickburner the best, you might want to consider a gravity feed like stumps, I have one and they have different sizes, some holding a lot of meat, easy to operate and with a bbq guru you can load and sleep all night, one of the best products on the market imho,  though I have to say for six or so butts it is hard to beat an uds, cheap too, good luck on your hunt. Bonz
  10. How many people will you be cooking for ?, any special events, catering , Large crowd every once in a while, Do you want a set and forget ? do you have time to or want to mess with a stick

    burner ?,  Think about these questions and you can better decide on what you need or want. Me personally I wouldn't go buy a great big smoker if I was only smoking a large amount a couple times a year. Just size it to your needs

  11. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A Yoder comes to my mind....check out reviews here and their web site and check out YouTube for some Yoder user vids....made in USA, built like a tank I've been told. IF I had the dough that would be in my arsenal...and I do mean arsenal because most of us have multiple units and you will probably collect a few along the way. I settled for the Char Griller Pellet Smoker instead of the Yoder but I have other toys so saved some bucks......Willie
  12. I have not been smoking as long as others but I have a few different smokers (Propane, Charcoal, and Stick Burner, and I recently just bought a Traeger pellet grill). I would look online and watch videos as well and see what would work best for you. Maybe go to an expo show or a competition show on the weekend. Others have stated in previous threads to examine what it is that you are and will be smoking for. Large groups? Competition? Or just gatherings for the family? One thing that was explained to me that helped me later on in my smoking journey, was what type of flavor are you going for? Charcoal and Stick burners and Propane all have a different taste. My son Loves the Charcoal flavor, but my wife loves the electric for the set and forget style of it. That is another reason why you will over time acquire a few smokers..LOL My wife does arts and crafts...I buy smokers...[​IMG]
  13. nightperson

    nightperson Newbie

    all good questions. I usually smoke 2-3 butts at a time regularly. I usually do one for myself and then a few for my friends or family. I have been asked to do some catering(friend's parties) sort of stuff but ive never done more than 3 b/c of my capacity, but i have had the need.

    Ive thought about trying to sell stuff at the local farmer's market some day which is why id like to be able to do 6-8 at a time. Its nothing i do now but certainly something id like to give a shot down the road. 

    As far as taste ive only had stick burnt and then my smoker. Ive had stuff off of commercial smokers that are gas/wood or electric/wood. People love the stuff that comes off of my mes with an amps but if a charcoal gives a better overall cook then id certainly like to check that route. If they are used in competition its gotta be a better flavor profile than my electric? i know electric is against the rules tho. 

    Pellet grills seem like a good option too but i would really like to eat from one before i spend the money. I plan to go to a place in CA when i travel out there in a month. They sell a few diff brands it looks like. 

    I think ive narrowed it down to a charcoal with the bbq guru or a pellet grill. I guess i need to let my taste buds decide. 
  14. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    22.5" WSM loaded with (4) 10 lb. butts and (3) 15 lb. briskets..... had to cheat a little and put the briskets into my rib rack. Very easy to use, can hold a lot of meat with a little creativeness, but still a good size for everyday family cooking as well.

  15. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Over the years I've had friends and acquaintances with Kamado style smoker/grills, inexpensive SFB smokers, inexpensive charcoal smokers, expensive BGEs, and electrics.  I've never known anyone with a pellet smoker.  Although I've been cooking for almost 40 years the reason it took me so long to get into smoking is they all had complaints and often made excuses when serving smoked food.  Sometimes it was good, sometimes not.  Were they the type folks you see here at SMF?  Nope.  They were all occasional smokers who did not look forward to using their equipment every weekend. 

    I wanted a smoker that was easy to use and delivered consistently delicious results every time.  After trying to figure out a way to turn an unused Weber Kettle into a smoker my wife bought me a Smokenator to use with the Kettle.  It was fairly easy to use and with minimal practice delivered consistently delicious results.  Unfortunately it does require baby sitting so it was natural to move up to the WSM when last Christmas she said "buy any smoker you want."  The WSM is almost a set-and-forget type smoker as is right out of the box.  I tossed an 18.3 turkey on it the other day at 325F on a turkey cannon, stuck Maverick probes in the breast and thigh, and didn't give it a second thought for 3hrs and 15 minutes until the thigh read 165F. 

    The addition of a DigiQ makes it a truly set and forget type smoker, but I don't use it when smoke roasting at higher temps like the turkey.  It cruises along fine without the blower.   

    If you live near a Home Depot you have a ready supply of inexpensive fuel and wood chunks year round.

    We all have our preferences.  The WSM is mine. 
  16. Happy smoken.

  17. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I think the WSM would be a great choice.
  18. johnmully

    johnmully Newbie

    I found a small newer company in Hutchinson Kansas making some serious legit smokers. They are in Yoder Smoker's backyard so they have to be great. They are rolled steel 24"  diameter in 36" 48" and 60" lengths and offset for all you Lang smoker fans. Company's name is Country Boy Cookers and the owner is an awesome American just living the dream. He has them price well below similar models at $1575-36"/$1775-48"/$2375-60".  They don't have a website yet but should have soon they have a facebook page under Country Boy Cookers and you can scroll through the pics and give them a call if you have any needs for modifications you need. The owner told me he wants to just make a great smoker, the best smoker for every hard working American and to be able to afford it. I plan on buying one in the next couple weeks and you guys should check them out. If you like them please forward on their pages to your friends. If you want one you better hurry because as soon as the word gets out it won't be long before they're backordered! 


    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  19. Nice !![​IMG]


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