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Shopping for a smoker

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

  1. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’ve never thought of which is safer, I don’t think there’d be much difference unless you try to use some kind of wood that is known to give off poison (like the poisonwood tree).

    I use whatever hardwood and adjust smoke time to suit. The last few years I’ve been using seagrape as I have an endless supply in my yard. It’s a relatively strong smoke so, for instance, I’ll keep ribs on it for about two or three hours max; then just add hardwood charcoal to finish off without as much smoke.

    I picked through a bunch of mangrove blow-downs once on E’Leuthera (Bahamas), found enough dry stuff to make a great fire. The house we rented had a kettle, but you can’t buy charcoal in the stores there. The Bahamians are like “you want charcoal build a fire”:lol:
     
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  2. TelenTubes

    TelenTubes Tele-Holic

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    One day I'm going to build my own smoker. Electric.

    It's going to be wide enough to smoke a brisket, or possibly up to three briskets side by side.
    Oven elements similar to current electric smokers. I don't need digital fanciness or a timer or a glass door which dirties up and you can't see through anyway.
    Goal on that build will be easy to clean out.

    Making it smoke seems to be an easy part. Put a pan in to hold the wood that makes contact with the heating element directly.
    Oh, and it will be on legs so I don't have to freaking bend down to get things out.

    I like the Masterbuilt ones that take the wood chips, because I can supply my own chips. Lost some big pecan limbs recently and sawed/chipped up a bunch for the smoker.

    Has to be easier than wiring a tube amp.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
  3. Jonloder

    Jonloder TDPRI Member

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    I've been using Traeger and Pit Boss pellet grill/smokers. No complaints. Expensive but worth it. Mostly because they're so convenient that it doesn't take much effort. I use them more often than I would a less convenient smoker.
     
  4. allen082

    allen082 Friend of Leo's

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    Pellet smokers are great. The food is always good and they're easy, but I'd recommend going with a Pit Barrel.

    I've used everything and using charcoal or wood takes the food up an extra notch that pellets can't deliver. They're made right in your home state. It's ridiculously easy to use and the quality of the food is fantastic.

    https://pitbarrelcooker.com/
     
  5. Danb541

    Danb541 Tele-Afflicted

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    I bought a GMG Daniel Boone about 10 years ago. I ran it multiple times a week for 7 years until the heating element went out. I bought a new element and fixed it. I ended up giving it to a friend, he is still using it (10 years) and bought another GMG Daniel Boone. It had improvements over the first one, like a built in thermometer. I have been happy with this model. Only thing it does not do well is sear meat. It doesn't get quite hot enough to sear a burger or steak. I break out the charcoal webber for that though.
    I have made everything from turkeys to briskets to jerky to smoked salmon on it.
     
  6. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    Interesting. I've never known anyone to use Seagrape here. Its so bountiful. I use a lot of Tan Tan. A nasty weed tree that is similar to the Honey Mesquite.
     
  7. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Give it a go sometime. I'm sure you can find some dried limbs hung up in a thicket - that's how I started. Now I dry some of my cut-offs from keeping the jungle under control.

    I got a new neighbor last year. She smelled the BBQ and asked what kind of wood I was using. When I told her seagrape, she looked at me like she felt sorry for me. She later gave me some oak and hickory - I guess so the poor idiot (me) could do some proper BBQ. I still haven't used it:rolleyes:
     
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  8. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not 10' from where I'm sitting is a nice Seagrape. There are two more on the property I could harvest a few branches and set them aside to cure
     
  9. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Seagrape is a wonderful plant, IMHO. The leaves were used as paper plates 500 years ago. I eat lots of grapes when they come. My dog eats all the ones off the ground. I built a cool primitive treefort in one, using its own cutoffs, when my son was little. And using the wood for smoke just seemed logical. I'd wager the Caribes did just that back in the day too. So it could be the og barbacoa wood. It dang sure wasn't palm:eek:
     
  10. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    lol
     
  11. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

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    Ya want my lead player? He smokes!:p:D:rolleyes:
     
  12. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Kinda like olive oil being a healthy oil...
     
  13. CCK1

    CCK1 Tele-Meister

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    I can't offer much opinion on electric or propane, but I've smoked hundreds of pounds of meat on a Weber Smoky Mountain 18.5" that I have owned since about 2014. It sorta' reminds me of a Les Paul Junior, it's so simple, it would be hard to screw up while using it. An additional plus is the HUGE online community associated with the WSM, These guys know, and care WAY too much about their smokers :) (not really)...
    https://www.virtualweberbullet.com/
     
  14. rasr1

    rasr1 Tele-Meister

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    Like Danb541, I too have a Green Mountain Grill Daniel Boone that I am very happy with. That thing will do low and slow all day with very little effort once you get it going, which is as easy as can be. Ribs, pulled pork, chicken, brisket...it all comes out tasty. Hey, I'm starting to get hungry!
     
  15. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    I got one for sale, my friend my not like it; but hell .... I'm easy
     
  16. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted

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    Two words.

    Hasty. Bake.
     
  17. Nickfl

    Nickfl Friend of Leo's

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    My wife got me a masterbuilt electric smoker four or five years ago for my birthday and I like it a lot. Personally I would not see the appeal anything more expensive or complicated unless you're going to go all the way and do a wood-burning offset smoker and frankly that implies a level of barbecue nerdom that I don't find appealing...

    The only thing I don't like about the masterbuilt is that my wife spent the extra money for one with the viewing window which turns out to be utterly pointless as you can't really see inside for all the smoke anyway and after one or two uses it gets filmed over with soot and grease so I'd just get the one with the blank door if I had to replace this one.
     
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  18. Hey_you

    Hey_you Tele-Holic

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    Been happy with the Masterbuilt I own. Digital display.Set the time, temp.Add wood chips as needed. This comes in handy also.
    Maverick.jpg I use this site too https://amazingribs.com/
     
  19. psikes

    psikes TDPRI Member

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    Love my Kamado Joe smoker.
     
  20. jguitarman

    jguitarman Tele-Afflicted

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    I've had several grills over the years and bought a Yoder offset smoker about 4 years ago. I like it a lot but doing something like a pork shoulder roast or brisket requires a lot of attention to maintain an even temp. It also doubles as a grill.

    Last Father's Day my wife bought me a Traeger Ironwood 650 and I love it. I can do a brisket, shoulder roast, ribs; set it and have time to do other stuff without too much babysitting.
    Yesterday we had the kids over and I did chicken and a steak on the Yoder and ribs on the Traeger. My kind of day.

    My only advice to the op is to not buy a propane smoker; get a wood burner/charcoal/pellet smoker. Its fun to experiment with different woods or pellets. Yes I'm very old school but building fire and having a few beers is half the fun.

    Here's a great video about buying a smoker from a competition bbq'r, smoker I happen to like. Hope the op finds it helpful.

     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
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