Good starter smoker?

Post
seatown76
Cheeseburger
2011/04/25 22:56:04
Been on this forum  for a few years and have been grilling for a long while (not bbq).
Just throwing this out there. I want a small smoker....just big enough to do a pork butt or a few racks of ribs or a briskit. Nothing fancy and I know how to use lump charcoal and wood as I have used it in my grill before when doing some country style pork ribs and some tenderloins.
chickenplucker
Cheeseburger
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/25 23:27:12
Chargriller with the optional side firebox.  can do several butts or slabs easily
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/26 02:37:41
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/26 11:10:22
seatown76

I want a small smoker....just big enough to do a pork butt or a few racks of ribs or a briskit. Nothing fancy and I know how to use lump charcoal and wood as I have used it in my grill before when doing some country style pork ribs and some tenderloins.

I also cook fairly small quantities and I switched from an offset (Char-Broil Silver Smoker) to a Weber Smokey Mountain because the offset simply had more capacity than I needed, and I've been happy with that decision.  The WSM also turned out to be more fuel-efficient and its smaller size made storage a lot easier.
 
Brad
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/26 12:30:14
I sold smokers for many years.
 
The WSM is a great place to start.  You'll never have to upgrade when you find out that you love the taste of smoked meats.
NascarDad
Cheeseburger
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/26 12:37:14
I agree with the WSM recommendation.  it is a great place to start.  Once it is broken in it is almost set it and forget it. And break in doesn't take long.
I have made some of the most amazing Q in it.   Granted its more expensive now than when I got mine about 12 years ago.  But I also still have it, so it has stood up pretty well.
irisarbor
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/26 14:26:54
Starting my 3rd summer with my WSM, and I just LOVE it!
The only thing I don't like is lifting the ring, and cleaning the water pan after a cook. (and I do foil it)
It cooks like a dream, and runs for maybe 5 hours on one load of lump.
Big Frank
Cheeseburger
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/26 15:03:33
Another vote for the WSM. I love mine.
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/26 18:49:07
TooSaucedToPork
Junior Burger
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/26 21:48:18
I would go Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM)...I know people that win on them in competition, and I know people that have them in their backyard...great smoker
 
 
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/26 22:01:19
If I had more than me to cook for I'd get a new smoker. Years ago I had a Coleman smoker (they don't make them any longer) and it was terrific. It could handle a huge turkey, several butts -- I mean, it was huge. Fact is, it was almost the spitting image of that Weber smoker whose virtues you all are extolling.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/26 22:31:02
There is a board devoted to smoking and specifically the WSM.
 
It's filled with lots of good advise.
 
http://tvwbb.com/eve?s=98110183&a=cfrm&cdra=Y
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/26 22:35:18
Do I remember correctly you posting something a  while ago about having one of those egg things? Green egg things? Isn't that a smoker?
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/27 00:05:32
Correct.  It's a smoker, grill and oven.
 
I gave away a gas grill, a Weber kettle and my WSM when I got it.  My patio was a bit crowded.  Now it's only semi crowded.
 
It's a bit expensive but I got it at a special dealer's "buy to own" price.  The manufacturers like when you use what you sell.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/27 00:16:04
Wow! So, there are two things I wasn't aware of -- a grill and an oven, too.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/27 00:33:45
Rght.  I can grill a steak or burger, bake a pizza and smoke a butt.  I make chicken on it that rivals any from the local restaurants.
 
That offset smoker from Home Depot is a great place to start.  You can grill and smoke with it.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/27 00:35:40
mar52

Rght.  I can grill a steak or burger, bake a pizza and smoke a butt.  I make chicken on it that rivals any from the local restaurants.


Can I come over for dinner?
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/27 03:05:07
mar52
Correct.  It's a smoker, grill and oven.

Do you need to Bribe the L.A. Smog Police with BBQ Ribs in order to use it??
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/27 11:48:06
Just the fireplace.  Well not to use, just to sell.  Can't.
the grillman
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/27 12:20:38
I use a Brinkmann Smoke n Pit offset model.  Easy to use, and good results.  Plus, it holds much more than a WSM.
Davwud
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/27 13:29:54
Michael Hoffman

Wow! So, there are two things I wasn't aware of -- a grill and an oven, too.

I have similar and would suggest this. A little more room than a WSM and slightly easier to use. I had a similar to WSM and upgraded to this model. Very happy with the results.
 
DT
gostillerz
Cheeseburger
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/27 17:49:16
I'd suggest both an electric smoker and an offset smoker.
 
I have an offset smoker and while it works well, you have to tend to it for too long. When I was doing pork butts/briskets, I'd be up at 4am, and would be ready by 8pm. I was so sick of looking at the meat for that long, I'd have to wait a few days to eat it.
 
This way, you can let the electric smoker do more of the work (even overnight), and finish them on the grill.
 
A good website is amazingribs.com
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/27 18:24:54
gostillerz
A good website is amazingribs.com

THANX! for the web site. It's  good one!
NascarDad
Cheeseburger
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/27 21:37:05
irisarbor

Starting my 3rd summer with my WSM, and I just LOVE it!
The only thing I don't like is lifting the ring, and cleaning the water pan after a cook. (and I do foil it)
It cooks like a dream, and runs for maybe 5 hours on one load of lump.

I double foil the pan , with 2 sheets of double wide foil, and so far no mess on the pan since I started doing that. I used to use sand in it for awhile but ran through sand too quickly. Granted I still have to dump the gunk. 
 
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/04/27 21:44:22
Some of the guys on that virtual Weber site (TVWBB board) I posted above use a clay flower pot saucer inside of the water pan.  I never tried it.
NascarDad
Cheeseburger
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/05/09 08:57:44
Yesterday I had to work in the yard, got some big stuff to do and now is the time to get started.  So I didn't really have time to mess with my WSM to do the spares I picked up, but my wife definitely wanted Ribs for mother's day.
 
So, I used a weber charcoal basket I had  used in my little Smokey Joe (RIP), put some soaked hickory and apple chunks in it in my gas grill on the fire side while I kept the ribs on the side with the burner turned off, and did myself a lazy q.  I put the baket under the grate, I should have moved some of the fire bricks in my gas grill but live and learn.

Came out pretty good  and had a smoke ring; not really the same but I was able to get two things accomplished yesterday afternoon instead of just making world class ribs ;)  My gas grill made tasty ribs with a good pink smoke ring and my wife was happy with both the yard work and the ribs - I call that winning!  As a bonus my oldest boy (who is 8) ate a half rack by himself and had a touch sauce all over his face including on his forehead over his eyebrow - that's hard to do since I don't use a lot of sauce.
 
So that is something to consider too for those who want to try it themselves before buying a pit - doing some lazy q on your gas grill. 
 
 
 
 
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/05/09 16:24:00
I smoke meat on my gas grill all the time but I must admit I have a Unique Grill that I purchased Used back in 1973 for $50 Bucks!!! (I've re-built the guts several times.) It's a Kenmore made by Arkla with a Cast Aluminum housing and a grill in front and an oven in the back that can handle a rotisserie. Double doors on it. Can hold a 20# Turkey or Rib Roast. Put the Meat in the back and some smoke packets on the front grate and Walla! A Smoker!
I've cooked thousands of delicious meals on it and it's going with me in the box to BBQ Heaven!
post edited by Foodbme - 2011/05/09 16:26:04
gregys
Cheeseburger
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/05/23 22:07:40
I bought an electric last year, looks like a wsm but red. Can't control heat, too cool most of the time, weather matters. I was only doing 200 degrees. 1500 watts is a lot of heat, but escapes out the thin metal.

The one I look at that really looks liken the one I need is the Bradley, insulated and only uses 400 watts. Uses wood pellets, around $300. Door type looks easy to use.

Greg
KurtSara
Cheeseburger
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/05/23 23:23:40
gregys

I bought an electric last year, looks like a wsm but red. Can't control heat, too cool most of the time, weather matters. I was only doing 200 degrees. 1500 watts is a lot of heat, but escapes out the thin metal.

The one I look at that really looks liken the one I need is the Bradley, insulated and only uses 400 watts. Uses wood pellets, around $300. Door type looks easy to use.

Greg

 
Bradley's typically use pucks which are not cheap,I don't think they use pellets
 
 
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/05/23 23:24:15
I used to sell The Bradley Smoker.  I ran one at work and it worked like a charm.
 
However...  Rather than pellets, it uses proprietary compressed biscuits.  You are married to Bradley when you buy them.  The biscuits are not cheap.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/05/23 23:34:40
I know. Several years ago Bradley sent me a smoker and some of their flat things. I used it a few times and had to get some more of those flat things. The price was horrendous. I sent the thing back.
Twinwillow
Sirloin
Re:Good starter smoker? 2011/05/23 23:53:37
Foodbme

I'm goin' Electric!
http://www.electricsmokerpro.com/Brinkman-Gourmet-Electric-Smoker-Grill-p/810-7080-k.htm

I have what is essentially the same electric model. I love it. It's perfect because I don't use it that often. It works beautifully. I like to fill the "water pan" with Dr. Pepper, hickory flavor liquid smoke, and some Worcestershire sauce. I also soak my hickory chunks for 24 hours so they'll smolder instead of burn.