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Shopping for a smoker

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Mark the Moose, Apr 26, 2020.

  1. fendertx

    fendertx Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free + Supporter

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    Another vote for a Masterbuilt electric smoker. Ours is about six years old and holding up fine. I am looking to a new one that is a little larger.
     
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  2. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    Only if it’s wood fired
     
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  3. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    What price range are trying to stay in? What type of design intrigues you? What fuel sources are you open to?

    I've used all types in my life (except egg types), the best result were from cheaper ones, I've even fashioned a disposable aluminum roasting pan over the smoke pipe of a small BBQ grill (worked like a charm).

    Like other have said, electric is the way to go, much easier to control/keep temp in range.

    Anymore I just go to Rudy's, it cost less and takes a lot less time and money overall...

    For real research, read everything (or anything) that Steve Raichlen has written and/or watch his BBQ U shows: https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1...AhUFbKwKHSojBqoQBSgAegQICxAn&biw=1366&bih=641
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
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  4. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    My dad loved his little chief. Simple
     
  5. Fearnot

    Fearnot Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've had a Char-Griller with the sidebox for over 10 years now. Works great and burns real wood, not something from a can. Smoking meat old school isn't difficult, but it is a process... and asks for some patience.
     
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  6. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Friend of Leo's

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    I'm going electric on my next go-round, definitely.
     
  7. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    i got some advice from a pro at a pig pickin party who was cooking a whole hog at the time. Temperature control is the key to good results. You'll never get good results if you are. Chasing the temperature all day. The rest is just recipes.
     
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  8. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    You might want to reconsider the propane method. i have a Horizon Classic 16". It's about the size of a regular BBQ, but it weighs about 350 pounds. Most people who use off set smokers swear by them over any other method. They're "old school".

    You can use either wood, or a combination of lump charcoal and wood. I use the combination as I don't want to keep a chord of wood in my back yard. They have a facebook group where you can ask a bunch of questions.

    There's other brands that are off set, though they're generally all the same in terms of how they work. If you think you'll be using it a fair amount, don't get a cheap one as you'll burn through the fire box in a few years. Horizon, Kamado Joe, Oklahoma Joe, Yoder all use 1/4" steel, which is why they're so heavy, but they'll last years. I've had mine for about 10 years, and it get's used at least once a week.

    Using it again today!
     
  9. TelenTubes

    TelenTubes Tele-Holic

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    I have two of the electric smokers. One digital, the other with the dial. Both work great for chickens and turkeys and pork butts. Not wide enough for a brisket, IMHO, without cutting the brisket in half. Not sure why they make them so narrow and tall. Oh well.

    Made pulled pork for tacos last night. Delicious.
     
  10. stealyerface

    stealyerface Tele-Afflicted

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    I have two recommendations:

    I have a ton of experience smoking, and with all sorts of grills/smokers/eggs etc...

    I am happy to share tips with regards to wood, temperatures, number of briquettes=temperature/weather etc...

    Make your first smoker something that does everything. Get a Weber Gold 22" Kettle with the one-touch system.

    It will smoke, barbecue, sear, grill, whatever you want it to do with very little babysitting, and let's face it, you buy a propane smoker and you are int the mood for a seared steak, it will sit there unused.

    The first time you taste propane in your fresh salmon fillets, will be the last time you use a propane smoker.

    Use charcoal and wood, learn the manage temperatures and the flavors of each wood and the time needed to cook, and you are on your way to a master griller before too long.

    You'll need the Weber 22" Kettle, their charcoal pans, and the hinged cooking grate that comes with the Gold series.

    It will be so much more fun learning than trying to tinker with smokers, offsets and their crazy temperature swings, and I am glad to share with you how to cook a boston butt for 11 hours on that kettle, and never lift the lid once during cooking...

    My vote for you, and your sanity when learning, plus, a jack of all trades for whatever you want to make (chicken, pizza, smoked cheeses, burgers... the versatility and not being a one-trick pony is where you get your money's worth.)..

    Weber 22" Kettle.

    ~syf
     
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  11. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    What syf said....

    I’m on about my 10th Weber here (salt air takes its toll quickly around these parts). You can do just about anything with them.

    Keep it simple, it’s not rocket science.
     
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  12. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It's uncanny I tells ya, uncanny.
     
  13. kafka

    kafka Tele-Afflicted

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    I got a Dyna-Glo Signature last year. So far, it seems pretty useful and maintainable.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06W5R4XTQ/?tag=tdpri-20

    You'll have to watch the prices, though. They fluctuate throughout the year. I imagine they're probably high now.
     
  14. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I used to smoke on a Webber propane grill and get good results--a water pan and chunks of hard wood wrapped in foil under the grate kept the temperature low and made plenty of smoke.

    Now I have a small Trager. I like the pellet smoker design and it makes great BBQ, but the small Traegers are a little quirky. Thankfully, their customer service is great. It malfunctioned a few weeks ago, resulting in a flare up that damaged the heat probe and bubbled the paint on the outside. Traeger sent me a new barrel, lid, and probe free of charge and gave me some tips on keeping that from happening again It has been working like a champ since then. Because I can set it for temperatures from anywhere between 180 and 450, I've only used my grill twice since I got it.

    Edit: They can be a little pricey, but a few times a year Costco and other dealers have them on sale. I think I got mine with a cover and bag of pellets for $300.
     
  15. Togman

    Togman Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Smoking is so last year...

    Get yourself a Vaper.
     
  16. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I have this neighbor............... Sorry not what you meant. Get an Oklahoma Joe.
     
  17. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    Health wise, is there a preferred fuel (i.e., wood chips) that is considered relatively "safer" to use when smoking meat? Not trolling here, I'm genuinely curious.
     
  18. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I would go for an electric pellet smoker for what you're doing. A Traeger, Pit Boss, (like the other guys have suggested) or Rec-Tec are really good. IME Rec-Tec is basically a better-built Traeger, but they're all good smokers and pretty easy to get good results right out of the gate. I think you'd bankrupt yourself with a propane smoker, unless you have an unlimited amount of propane on hand.

    For what it's worth, I smoke a lot of meat but I have only a charcoal/wood setup. It's a lot more work than using a pellet smoker, but I kind of enjoy the process. I have used, and helped other guys get going with, pellet smokers, and would probably own one myself if not for the initial cost of buying one.

    Also, if you are new to smoking and grilling, amazingribs.com is a valuable resource. I am not affiliated with that site in any way; I simply have found it to be an excellent source of information on how to not screw up grilling or smoking food. (Note: admins, if this is not okay, please let me know and I will edit the post.)
     
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  19. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    +1. No matter what smoker/grill setup you go with, a reliable digital thermo that can read internal temps and grill temps is a must for good cooking. Also, get a good digital instant-read for quick temp checks.

    Cooking with a bi-metal thermo, or without a good digital setup, is like trying to set up a guitar using a yardstick or a construction tape measure.
     
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  20. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Currently running two old school Weber kettles and an off-brand mini-kettle as my setup. I can slow smoke brisket or hot-sear steaks, and just about anything in between with them. Best part, I got them all for free.
     
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