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Posted: 5/28/2009 5:19:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/17/2009 7:17:15 AM EST by RN22lr]
Father's day is around the corner and dh love to grill. I got him a nice grill a few years back but he loves to slow cook ribs and the like. The grill just doesn't cut it. So I was thinking about getting him a smoker.

Can I get a few opinions about smokers in general? Maybe a few specifics about cost for a mid-range one and what features are a must to be effective?

Help please???
Link Posted: 5/28/2009 6:19:20 PM EST
That's almost like asking beans, or no beans. Everyone has their favorites, but they rarely agree.

Do you want electric, gas, or wood burning?
Link Posted: 5/28/2009 6:42:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/28/2009 6:45:38 PM EST by RN22lr]
Gas (propane) or wood burning, no electric.


The argument for beans or no beans is very clear. Chili has beans. Spicy meat and tomato soup does not.

Link Posted: 5/28/2009 6:58:06 PM EST
Just get one with a dedicated smoke box. The cheapo ones from walmart work, but there is no way that is best idea.
Link Posted: 5/28/2009 7:25:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By Sm0key369:
Just get one with a dedicated smoke box. The cheapo ones from walmart work, but there is no way that is best idea.


okay so what features does one want on a smoker? What makes one better than another? What is the advantage of one type of fuel over the other(propane vs wood)?

Wal-mart does a lot of things right(gasp!) but I don't think that the two smokers I saw at the local wally-world are what I want. Maybe I am wrong............. talk to me!!

Surely there are a few zealous arfcommers who love to smoke food around here. I seem to remember a thread or two about them......... Maybe I should do a search??

Link Posted: 5/28/2009 10:28:56 PM EST
I got THIS last summer and absolutely love it.

Accepts 12" or so pieces of wood in the smoker rather than the small "chips" that some of the smaller ones use. I cut and split Hickory & Cherry off my own property to do all my smoking with, so there's no need to buy wood for it.

Also can be used as a Charcoal/Wood burning grill.

Link Posted: 5/29/2009 6:47:41 AM EST

IMO, the Weber Smokey Mountain cooker ("bullet") is a great place to start.

Also, a great resource to accompany that particular smoker is The Virtual Weber Bullet site which has TONS of great information.

Finally, a recent discussion on the same topic can also be found here:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=878088

HTH.

Link Posted: 5/29/2009 10:51:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By terrance250:
I got THIS last summer and absolutely love it.

Accepts 12" or so pieces of wood in the smoker rather than the small "chips" that some of the smaller ones use. I cut and split Hickory & Cherry off my own property to do all my smoking with, so there's no need to buy wood for it.

Also can be used as a Charcoal/Wood burning grill.

http://media.ruralking.com/image.php?size=product_view&sku=055500021


this
Link Posted: 5/29/2009 11:32:23 AM EST
Originally Posted By terrance250:
I got THIS last summer and absolutely love it.

Accepts 12" or so pieces of wood in the smoker rather than the small "chips" that some of the smaller ones use. I cut and split Hickory & Cherry off my own property to do all my smoking with, so there's no need to buy wood for it.

Also can be used as a Charcoal/Wood burning grill.

http://media.ruralking.com/image.php?size=product_view&sku=055500021




This is the kind I have.. works great!Best of all I got mine for $25 off Craigs list..
Link Posted: 5/29/2009 1:25:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By Winn:

IMO, the Weber Smokey Mountain cooker ("bullet") is a great place to start.

Also, a great resource to accompany that particular smoker is The Virtual Weber Bullet site which has TONS of great information.

Finally, a recent discussion on the same topic can also be found here:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=878088

HTH.



This is the best starter level smoker out there. It's very easy to use and gives very stable temp

R.
Link Posted: 5/29/2009 2:47:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/29/2009 2:53:37 PM EST by TX_CO4]
Go to cademy get you a $400.00 smoker that is made of thick steel, and call it a day.
You get what you pay for, and thick steel is the key to a good smoker. IMHO some
of the best food comes off a nice wood burning smoker. The best part is after a
while that thick gooey crud builds up all over the smoker, and all I have to do is go
out in the backyard, and open the lid, and take a whifff. I am automatically in smokey
heaven. You will be happy if you go this route. You will also have a smoker when most
of the other cheap crap is rusted out, or fittings don't work, or you can't smoke in the wind
because it cools it down too much, or the cold for that matter. Just trust me.

$399.00 at academy. 4 years old.




Compared to my thumb you can see the thickness. Not too shabby for $400.00. It took 2 to get it in and out of the truck.
Link Posted: 5/29/2009 3:33:44 PM EST
I'm seriously considering a Big Green Egg......
http://www.biggreenegg.com/
Link Posted: 5/29/2009 4:45:52 PM EST
Originally Posted By Grumpy_Grampa:
Originally Posted By terrance250:
I got THIS last summer and absolutely love it.

Accepts 12" or so pieces of wood in the smoker rather than the small "chips" that some of the smaller ones use. I cut and split Hickory & Cherry off my own property to do all my smoking with, so there's no need to buy wood for it.

Also can be used as a Charcoal/Wood burning grill.

http://media.ruralking.com/image.php?size=product_view&sku=055500021




This is the kind I have.. works great!Best of all I got mine for $25 off Craigs list..


Nice Score!
Link Posted: 5/29/2009 5:36:29 PM EST
I should look around some more. I like the BGE but really $800+ is a bit much for me to swing without him noticing.

The one that the guy got for $25 off of Craig's list look very nice but huge.

The Weber Smoky Mountian smoker had some very nice feature if I could find one that had a temp guage on it like the Weber home page shows. The legs on it don't look very sturdy but maybe that is just the web pic.

You guys are great! I had no clue that there were so many options although it seems obvious now.

It makes sense that I want one that has a thick body to keep the temp consistant. A grill temp guage seems like a great idea as well.

Link Posted: 5/29/2009 6:41:21 PM EST
Originally Posted By terrance250:
I got THIS last summer and absolutely love it.

Accepts 12" or so pieces of wood in the smoker rather than the small "chips" that some of the smaller ones use. I cut and split Hickory & Cherry off my own property to do all my smoking with, so there's no need to buy wood for it.

Also can be used as a Charcoal/Wood burning grill.

http://media.ruralking.com/image.php?size=product_view&sku=055500021




This! Love mine. Got it at Lowes
Link Posted: 5/30/2009 4:30:57 PM EST
Having two smokers is handy. Get one indirect heat smoker with a seperate firebox (like the Lowes style shown above) and also a Weber or Brinkman water smoker for foods that tend to dry out.
The water smoker tends to cook a bit hotter and wetter,whereas the indirect smokers can be used as regular grills and for longer smoking sessions since it's easier to tend them.
Link Posted: 5/30/2009 5:04:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/30/2009 5:07:52 PM EST by Winn]
Originally Posted By Poodleshooter:

Having two smokers is handy. Get one indirect heat smoker with a seperate firebox (like the Lowes style shown above) and also a Weber or Brinkman water smoker for foods that tend to dry out.

The water smoker tends to cook a bit hotter and wetter,whereas the indirect smokers can be used as regular grills and for longer smoking sessions since it's easier to tend them.


Sorry, no disrespect intended but that is simply not true ...

If by "water smoker" you mean that it "adds moisture" to the food - - it does not - - nor does it "cook hotter" ... In fact, it's probably just the opposite.

The water pan serves as a heat sink, and nothing else, in order to help regulate temperatures in vertical smokers.

Also, whether or not one configuration is tended easier than the other is debatable.


Link Posted: 5/30/2009 5:07:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By REELDOC:
I'm seriously considering a Big Green Egg......
http://www.biggreenegg.com/


It's a smoker, grill, and pizza oven all in one with a lifetime warranty.

Best money I've ever spent. I had grills before, both gas and electric, but this is the quickest and easiest.

I wouldn't own anything else.
Link Posted: 5/30/2009 5:44:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/30/2009 5:45:40 PM EST by Winn]

But you forgot to mention ... a relatively small cooking space, heavy & fragile ...



Link Posted: 5/30/2009 5:56:30 PM EST
Originally Posted By CaptainNapkin:
Originally Posted By REELDOC:
I'm seriously considering a Big Green Egg......
http://www.biggreenegg.com/


It's a smoker, grill, and pizza oven all in one with a lifetime warranty.

Best money I've ever spent. I had grills before, both gas and electric, but this is the quickest and easiest.

I wouldn't own anything else.


I smoked some sausages and ABTs on my egg today. It was an average Saturday meal. That is to say, it was awesome.


Link Posted: 5/30/2009 6:20:45 PM EST
Originally Posted By Winn:

But you forgot to mention ... a relatively small cooking space, heavy & fragile ...





Are you referencing my smoker?
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 3:15:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/31/2009 3:24:34 AM EST by Winn]
Originally Posted By TX_CO4:
Originally Posted By Winn:

But you forgot to mention ... a relatively small cooking space, heavy & fragile ...





Are you referencing my smoker?


No ... that was sort of a tongue-in-cheek reference to the BGEs.

IMHO, for their size, heft (... and price) it would be nice if they had a larger usable cooking area.

However, beyond that, I do like the concept of the BGEs (I think that "type" of cooker/smoker originated in Japan centuries ago) and I'm sure that the results that can be had with them are quite good.


ETA: I like the looks of your smoker and am wondering what brand it is. I know you mentioned that you got it at academy, but is it "their" brand of smoker or is there any indication of who actually manufactures it ?

Link Posted: 5/31/2009 5:51:11 AM EST
It's made by Brinkman. They sell 2 or 3 brands. That one, Oklahoma Joe's, and chargriller.
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 7:09:39 AM EST
Another vote for the weber.

Had mine for 5 years and love it!
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 12:17:36 PM EST
Originally Posted By TX_CO4:
Go to cademy get you a $400.00 smoker that is made of thick steel, and call it a day.
You get what you pay for, and thick steel is the key to a good smoker. IMHO some
of the best food comes off a nice wood burning smoker. The best part is after a
while that thick gooey crud builds up all over the smoker, and all I have to do is go
out in the backyard, and open the lid, and take a whifff. I am automatically in smokey
heaven. You will be happy if you go this route. You will also have a smoker when most
of the other cheap crap is rusted out, or fittings don't work, or you can't smoke in the wind
because it cools it down too much, or the cold for that matter. Just trust me.

$399.00 at academy. 4 years old.
http://i41.tinypic.com/dg1949.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/veas5k.jpg

Compared to my thumb you can see the thickness. Not too shabby for $400.00. It took 2 to get it in and out of the truck.
http://i43.tinypic.com/mb2tt3.jpg


I've got the same one and I love it. It holds heat really well which make temp control easy. I also got mine at Academy, but I scored it for $299 on sale.
Link Posted: 6/1/2009 2:56:59 PM EST
The El Chepo GOSM smoker from wally world.

Thread Here
Link Posted: 6/1/2009 5:09:02 PM EST
Thus far I have learned:

You can spend as much money on a smoker as I paid for my first car

Barbeque is a religion similar to AR's





Link Posted: 6/1/2009 5:12:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By RN22lr:
Thus far I have learned:

You can spend as much money on a smoker as I paid for my first car

Barbeque is a religion similar to AR's







If ya havent already...take a look at thesmokering.com
Link Posted: 6/6/2009 8:23:44 AM EST
Originally Posted By Winn:
Originally Posted By TX_CO4:
Originally Posted By Winn:

But you forgot to mention ... a relatively small cooking space, heavy & fragile ...





Are you referencing my smoker?


No ... that was sort of a tongue-in-cheek reference to the BGEs.

IMHO, for their size, heft (... and price) it would be nice if they had a larger usable cooking area.

However, beyond that, I do like the concept of the BGEs (I think that "type" of cooker/smoker originated in Japan centuries ago) and I'm sure that the results that can be had with them are quite good.


ETA: I like the looks of your smoker and am wondering what brand it is. I know you mentioned that you got it at academy, but is it "their" brand of smoker or is there any indication of who actually manufactures it ?



Really?

8lbs of pork


30lbs of pork


Ribs


20 racks of ribs


Whole chicken


3 chickens


Pizza



I just don't see how you could go wrong with an Egg.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 7:21:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/17/2009 7:14:53 PM EST by RN22lr]
I sat down a couple of days ago with the spousal unit and started rambling on about how cool I thought a smoker would be if we could figure out where to put one.

Basically I found out I was on target with him wanting one and that he preferred propane.

It took me forever to decide and it may go back if it isn't fairly nice in person but this is what I got him:


Oh, and since I hemmed and hawed for so long he will be getting a picture of his gift for Father's day and maybe a gift certificate to his favorite butcher.

I will try to fix the pic later....
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