New smoker recommendation?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
Pomegranate
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:42 pm

New smoker recommendation?

Post by Pomegranate »

I currently have a Weber grill which is great if I need some quick cook but while visiting my friend I sampled bbq pork shoulder from his $150 electric smoker and it was delicious.
He said that he is looking for a more advanced model in <$500 range but at the same time he is dreaming about Big Green Egg.
I googled about both BGG and Komodo Joe - it looks amazing but looks like maintaining temperature there is a significant effort.
I'd definitely like some smoker that I can 'set and forget' but avoid 'dancing' around it trying to keep the desired temp.
Any suggestions?

Edit - I'm open for a bigger than $500 budget
Last edited by Pomegranate on Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
bovineplane
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:24 am

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by bovineplane »

Bradley original smoker if you want set it and forget it. It is plastic so needs a cover but you can come well under $500 goal. Uses electric heat which is not the same a real fire but easy to use, large user base and forums, set it and forget it. Long smoke you will have to add the "pucks" but that is simple as sliding them into a hopper. Can also cold smoke (cheese and the like).

I have a BGE. Love it. If you are worried about temp there is an add on although the name slips me. Allows you to set a temp. Small fan controls air movement to keep temp steady. Communicates wireless to your phone app for monitoring. Unless you buy a smaller grill or find a good deal used the $500 limit would be difficult.
Soon2BXProgrammer
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:30 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

I have three smokers.

I have a 22inch weber smokey mountain ( briquets / water smoker) with an extra middle section for super large capacity. I love the flavor, and the cook, it is a bit hard to control, and i can feed lots and lots of people. However, it is hard to get motivated to use.

I also have a basic pellet traeger.. this is what i typically end up smoking on for my family of 4, or even when we have another 4 topper join us (pre pandemic).

I also have a luhr jensen electric smoker, to smoke fish, jerky and other delicate stuff (cheese) etc in.

both the luhr jensen and the traeger are very very simple to operate.
Mr.Chlorine
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:17 am

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Mr.Chlorine »

I use an Akorn (metal off-brand version off Kamado Joe/BGE) and love it! Use it 2-3 times a weekend and 1-2 times during the week. It is more of a challenge than a pellet smoker but also more versatile in my opinion. Can 'grill' as well as 'smoke' foods. Temps range from 200 - 700, where pellet grills struggle to reach high temps.

If you are 100% sold on the 'set it and forget it' type, there are plenty of electric pellet options. Pit boss has some cheaper options that I hear are ok, but Traeger or GMG are the superior ones I have seen. Brother in law is a Traeger guy and he loves it. Black Friday is coming up and Traeger normally has some good sales then.
Topic Author
Pomegranate
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Pomegranate »

bovineplane wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:10 am

I have a BGE. Love it. If you are worried about temp there is an add on although the name slips me. Allows you to set a temp. Small fan controls air movement to keep temp steady. Communicates wireless to your phone app for monitoring.
What? I definitely missed temp controller part - could you give me the name?
$500 is my friend's budget but I'm opened for a bigger $$ :sharebeer
Topic Author
Pomegranate
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Pomegranate »

Mr.Chlorine wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:44 am I use an Akorn (metal off-brand version off Kamado Joe/BGE) and love it! Use it 2-3 times a weekend and 1-2 times during the week. It is more of a challenge than a pellet smoker but also more versatile in my opinion. Can 'grill' as well as 'smoke' foods. Temps range from 200 - 700, where pellet grills struggle to reach high temps.
Hmm, what's the real difference between ceramic and metal in smokers case?
Starfish
Posts: 2015
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Starfish »

I recommend not to start smoking, it's not a good habit :)
On Amazon you can find temperature regulators with a small ventilator, thermometer probe, etc for ~100$.
retiredjg
Posts: 42225
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by retiredjg »

The temp controller is called EGG genius.
Starfish
Posts: 2015
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Starfish »

Pomegranate wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:52 am
Mr.Chlorine wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:44 am I use an Akorn (metal off-brand version off Kamado Joe/BGE) and love it! Use it 2-3 times a weekend and 1-2 times during the week. It is more of a challenge than a pellet smoker but also more versatile in my opinion. Can 'grill' as well as 'smoke' foods. Temps range from 200 - 700, where pellet grills struggle to reach high temps.
Hmm, what's the real difference between ceramic and metal in smokers case?
A smoker has to be well insulated. If the metal smoker has good insulation, it should be just as good without the risk of breaking it.
Topic Author
Pomegranate
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Pomegranate »

retiredjg wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:57 am The temp controller is called EGG genius.
:beer :sharebeer
urodoc1
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:07 am

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by urodoc1 »

One of the perks of the ceramic/kamado smokers is that the temperature is very stable once you get going, so not sure where you got that intel. Having inherited one at the beginning of COVID, I use my BGE all the time. Downside is cost (probably over $1K for the large, which is the standard size, and a few of the must have accessories).

That being said, there are a bunch of different options (pellet, offset, electric, gas, etc) and each have their pros and cons. I would recommend heading over to amazingribs.com. Meathead is a good resource for grilling in general, but also has some sections on how to buy a smoker and reviews
Colorado Guy
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:57 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Colorado Guy »

Pomegranate wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:49 am $500 is my friend's budget but I'm opened for a bigger $$ :sharebeer
Here's my opening to respond! :D

https://www.yodersmokers.com/

I upgraded to a Yoder from a Traeger pellet grill (my son now has my old Traeger and loves it). Everything from homeowner to competition type grills. These smokers are quite heavy, giving it a superior heat control. The newish Yoder controller has wifi capabilities to connect to your phone. However, these might be $$$ instead of $$. They are also somewhat hard to find - you can have one shipped from their factory.
Topic Author
Pomegranate
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Pomegranate »

urodoc1 wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:05 am One of the perks of the ceramic/kamado smokers is that the temperature is very stable once you get going, so not sure where you got that intel. Having inherited one at the beginning of COVID, I use my BGE all the time. Downside is cost (probably over $1K for the large, which is the standard size, and a few of the must have accessories).

BTW they are crazy heavy... Not sure I can handle bigger then minimax but cooking surface looks ok for my family
Topic Author
Pomegranate
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Pomegranate »

Colorado Guy wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:11 am
Pomegranate wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:49 am $500 is my friend's budget but I'm opened for a bigger $$ :sharebeer
Here's my opening to respond! :D

https://www.yodersmokers.com/

I upgraded to a Yoder from a Traeger pellet grill (my son now has my old Traeger and loves it). Everything from homeowner to competition type grills. These smokers are quite heavy, giving it a superior heat control. The newish Yoder controller has wifi capabilities to connect to your phone. However, these might be $$$ instead of $$. They are also somewhat hard to find - you can have one shipped from their factory.
What model do you have? Looks like they have wood options as well
Bronko
Posts: 155
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:17 pm
Location: No matter where you go, there you are.....

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Bronko »

Memphis Grills. I've owned the pro for 6 years. Yes it costs more. Double walled stainless that can do 180 to 700 degrees. I grill, smoke, sear, bake, and more. I got rid of the gas grill and just use this model. It also looks great. Pellet burner and it has two different feed areas so if you want to mix types of woods you easily can. This thing is a beast that has never failed me. I've smoked in a blizzard and it's been as good as summer time.

Again, before the comments, it costs more but I pay for quality.
Never let a little bit of money get in the way of a real good time.
lazydavid
Posts: 3397
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by lazydavid »

Since getting my Kamado Joe, I've sold both of my upright smokers (and all my other grills except for my griddle). Not sure where the idea came from that it's difficult to maintain temperature in a Kamado. This is backwards. I've done a 16 hour smoke where I only had to adjust the vents twice. Contrast that to my old upright smokers that required constant tweaking to get just right--and heaven help you if there is inconsistent wind.

That said, 4 years ago I added a Flame Boss temperature controller, and now it's truly foolproof. Temperature stays in a 3-degree window for hours on end. Wonderful to be able to do an overnight cook, knowing that the temp will remain rock-solid while I sleep. I also once monitored the end of a smoke while I was at a Lacrosse tournament with my son. When the fire finally went out after 24 hours (without ever adding charcoal!), I called my wife and asked her to transfer it to the oven for the last ~2 hrs.

I really want to upgrade to the new 500 model, but since my 200 stubbornly keeps doing everything I need it to do, so I can't justify it. A month or so ago I thought the time had come, when it dropped off the wifi, and I couldn't manually reconnect it through the menu. Alas, a simple power cycle corrected that and it just continued chugging along.
User avatar
bottlecap
Posts: 6558
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by bottlecap »

Pellet smoker is very set it and forget it.

Take a look at:

Smokedaddy
Grilla Grills
Memphis

There are a number of others, but this gives you a good range of prices for the quality and the controllers should all be top-notch.

JT
2Scoops
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:01 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by 2Scoops »

I’ve been researching smokers for the last 7 months but haven’t pulled the trigger due to job uncertainty. When I buy it will be the Cookshack Elite SM025 electric smoker. I’ve read reviews, watched videos, and even sampled the product from a friend. I have friends in the Midwest that have no issues smoking when it’s sub-zero outside.

Many of my friends have green eggs (or similar) and pellet style smokers. I don’t think you can go wrong but I like the simplicity of electric smokers.
hfj
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:22 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by hfj »

My 20 year-old Weber gas grill is still in pretty good shape, and I don't smoke enough to justify the dedicated equipment, especially as my wife and I are going to be empty-nesters shortly and we don't entertain much. However, I do the occasional pork butt, tri-tip, pork belly, and cheese on the Weber with a tube smoker and pellets. Sometimes I'll start smoking it with the heat off for awhile before turning on just one burner on the lowest setting, sometimes I wrap in foil and finish in the oven, works well enough for me. I think there's a variety of tube/pellet smokers available now, but I've been using an A-MAZE-N tube and the same bag of Traeger pellets for years; I like it because it's really easy to use, low effort, generates a decent amount of smoke, and the food turns out really well.
Stupendous
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 12:22 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Stupendous »

Colorado Guy wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:11 am
Pomegranate wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:49 am $500 is my friend's budget but I'm opened for a bigger $$ :sharebeer
Here's my opening to respond! :D

https://www.yodersmokers.com/

I upgraded to a Yoder from a Traeger pellet grill (my son now has my old Traeger and loves it). Everything from homeowner to competition type grills. These smokers are quite heavy, giving it a superior heat control. The newish Yoder controller has wifi capabilities to connect to your phone. However, these might be $$$ instead of $$. They are also somewhat hard to find - you can have one shipped from their factory.
I have a Yoder as well and have been happy with it. I've had my YS480 for around 4 years now. As mentioned, it was $$$. I had to have it shipped freight to my house.
User avatar
DarkNyte
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 10:15 am

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by DarkNyte »

If you have a 22in Weber grill, I would just get a slow and sear and convert it into a smoker for when you want to BBQ instead of grill. If you really enjoy the BBQ experience after this add on, then you can look at other much more expensive options. Lets you try it out for $60 to $100 investment.

https://snsgrills.com/collections/slow-n-sear
Mr.Chlorine
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:17 am

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Mr.Chlorine »

Starfish wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:58 am
Pomegranate wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:52 am
Mr.Chlorine wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:44 am I use an Akorn (metal off-brand version off Kamado Joe/BGE) and love it! Use it 2-3 times a weekend and 1-2 times during the week. It is more of a challenge than a pellet smoker but also more versatile in my opinion. Can 'grill' as well as 'smoke' foods. Temps range from 200 - 700, where pellet grills struggle to reach high temps.
Hmm, what's the real difference between ceramic and metal in smokers case?
A smoker has to be well insulated. If the metal smoker has good insulation, it should be just as good without the risk of breaking it.
Pretty much. Akorns are more durable in the short term (lighter and no risk of cracking), but they will eventually rust out. I read another forum called Kamado Guru that talks a lot about them, and people have reported anywhere from 3-8+ years before their Akorn goes out. I am on year 2 with no issues, hoping to last 5+ years. The other main difference is price. I bought mine for $200 on sale while a similar sized BGE will run $800. Someday I will upgrade to a Kamado Joe, but my Akorn has been a great starter smoker for me.
User avatar
Orbuculum Nongata
Posts: 484
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Orbuculum Nongata »

Pomegranate wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:05 am
Any suggestions?

Edit - I'm open for a bigger than $500 budget
I have one these. Was expensive up front but have used it frequently over the past 10 years and it still looks like brand new. Definitely a "buy it once" item that is as well or better insulated than the big green egg and has a much larger capacity.

http://www.pitmaker.com/gallery/?vin=62 ... r-4b_1.jpg

http://www.pitmaker.com/product/vin/?vin=62369936
Potential - distraction = performance.
Housedoc
Posts: 719
Joined: Thu May 24, 2018 4:25 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Housedoc »

I have an 18inch Weber Smokey Mtn. I use what is called a Minion or Snake method on the charcoal briquettes. My WSM will run at 250 Degrees for 8 hrs without intervention. Set bottom 3 vents open to a width of a #2 pencil. Top vent wide open.
Seal the Deal
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:25 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Seal the Deal »

Keep an eye on craigslist. I picked up a Kamado Joe for $300 a few years ago (retail $900). Have been very happy with it. It takes me a few vent adjustments to get the temp right, but then it holds steady for 10+ hours.
User avatar
gwe67
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:52 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by gwe67 »

2Scoops wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:47 am I’ve been researching smokers for the last 7 months but haven’t pulled the trigger due to job uncertainty. When I buy it will be the Cookshack Elite SM025 electric smoker. I’ve read reviews, watched videos, and even sampled the product from a friend. I have friends in the Midwest that have no issues smoking when it’s sub-zero outside.

Many of my friends have green eggs (or similar) and pellet style smokers. I don’t think you can go wrong but I like the simplicity of electric smokers.
I have a cookshack electric smoker. It's high quality and American-made, with electronic temp control. It uses a tiny amount of wood and clean up is minimal. If you use aluminum foil/pans there is no clean up. Highly recommend.

https://cookshack.com
Support this site with a purchase thru Amazon: | http://www.amazon.com/s/?search-alias=aps&tag=bogleheads.org-20&field-keywords=Bogleheads
User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 10765
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by ResearchMed »

New smoker recommendation?

Stop smoking before you get addicted!

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.
mkc
Posts: 264
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:59 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by mkc »

We had a Big Green Egg for many years. Cooked a lot of 'que and other things on it.

We have had a Recteq RT-700 (formerly known as RecTec, but company name changed this past summer for trademark reasons) for over a year now and absolutely love it. Much easier to set up than the Egg, very easy to control temperature, much less ash to deal with, no worries on adding more fuel when needed, almost feel guilty how easy and quickly I can get it ready to cook. Have easily done 20+ hour cooks. We considered Yoder as well, but price point won out for the Recteq.
User avatar
dkdoy
Posts: 543
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:07 am
Location: Oregon

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by dkdoy »

I have a big green egg and a Weber summit charcoal grill/smoker. I like them both but if I had to pick only one I would choose the Weber. All of the benefits of ceramic, with some benefits that you don’t get with the egg.
BigMoneyGrip
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:13 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by BigMoneyGrip »

Pomegranate wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:49 am
bovineplane wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:10 am

I have a BGE. Love it. If you are worried about temp there is an add on although the name slips me. Allows you to set a temp. Small fan controls air movement to keep temp steady. Communicates wireless to your phone app for monitoring.
What? I definitely missed temp controller part - could you give me the name?
$500 is my friend's budget but I'm opened for a bigger $$ :sharebeer
Fireboard 2 is latest greatest temp controller. Get that and a Big Joe 3 and you will have quite the setup.
UnderPressure
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:28 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by UnderPressure »

Check out this company. All stainless steel set and forget smokers. I've been using one for around ten years. I would buy it again.

https://www.smokin-it.com/
Colorado Guy
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:57 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Colorado Guy »

Pomegranate wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:17 am
Colorado Guy wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:11 am
Pomegranate wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:49 am $500 is my friend's budget but I'm opened for a bigger $$ :sharebeer
Here's my opening to respond! :D

https://www.yodersmokers.com/

I upgraded to a Yoder from a Traeger pellet grill (my son now has my old Traeger and loves it). Everything from homeowner to competition type grills. These smokers are quite heavy, giving it a superior heat control. The newish Yoder controller has wifi capabilities to connect to your phone. However, these might be $$$ instead of $$. They are also somewhat hard to find - you can have one shipped from their factory.
What model do you have? Looks like they have wood options as well
I have a pellet 640 version. The pellet version is more set and forget, but purists think the wood provides better smoke. Always pros and cons.

I have maxed out both the main cooking surface as well as the additional warming shelf before, but that is rare and for a larger family event. If you are smoking a few dozen wings, the larger surface area is good to have. If I had it to do over again, probably would get the 480 version, like Stupendous did.
Last edited by Colorado Guy on Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
five2one
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:05 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by five2one »

Just smoked 30lb brisket this past weekend on my 22” weber premium deluxe; 18hr overnight cook plus rested for two hours. Next time I can try resting more as it was plenty hot.

My setup:
Fireboard controller
BBQ guru pitbull fan

These two made the biggest difference on high quality and easier cooks.

Also have vortex which makes awesome wings.
Slow n sear for predictable cooks, large coal capacity with high humidity plus water basin.
A half shelf allows two full racks of ribs

Added a gasket to lid and tuned the vent which stabilizes temps, more efficient burn, and safer for overnight cook. If the controller stops working, the tuned vents and fan will automatically choke the fire which is safer.

Properly setup, Im adding coal, water, and wood every 6-8 hrs.
I have a smokey joe for munchies while smoking along with a DIY firepit and propane lamp....very comfortable but my neighbors get pissed after hour 12 of smoking as the BBQ smoke penetrates their house.

I looked at all the brands and this gave me the best versatility, durability, and lowest cost. Average shoulder and brisket has a 1/2” smoke ring and leftovers taste even better plus enough drippings to make my own sauce. Careful if working with sensitive coworkers as the smoke smell of reheated leftovers fill the kitchen....hallways....and offices.

Id love to have a wood burner offset for more capacity but I can feed 7 with meat and do veggies if timed right.
HIMcDunnough
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:55 am

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by HIMcDunnough »

You can turn out amazing BBQ on anything from a gas grill to a custom built offset once you get enough reps. If "set it and forget it" is the goal, most people recommend pellet smokers, and though I have no experience with them, make sure you don't cheap out and do plenty of research. There's lots of tales on the internet of lower end (and some costlier models!) jamming up or flaming out.

I have a 22" Weber Smokey Mountain and can't recommend it enough. You can go smaller if you're not cooking for a crowd, but lots of smoked meat freezes pretty well so I just load it up and have plenty of leftovers. There's a little bit of a learning curve to getting it to particular temperatures, but the main advice I have is don't freak out about ~50 degree temperature flucuations. The best grease joint BBQ you've ever had was almost certainly cooked at wildly varying temperatures as the meat is moved around, the doors opened, logs added, etc. So many people freak out about getting the smoker locked in at 225 or 275 or whatever and it has almost no benefit to the meat compared to just setting your vents and letting the smoker settle in at the particular temperature it feels like running that day. For my well-seasoned WSM, that's usually around 240, but occasionally I wake up and see the temp dropped to 175 overnight for a bit, or jumped to 300 for an hour. It's never a big deal.
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 5290
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by lthenderson »

I have a generic box smoker that cost less than $150 that runs off of propane and wood chips to create the smoke. I don't understand all the comments above about wanting something well insulated. I could see wanting something well insulated if I was smoking something in the dead of winter in Antarctica but for everything else, my smoker has no problems maintaining a low temperature for more smoke flavor in the winter. If anything, the most difficult time to smoke is in the dead of summer when it is already 100 degrees outside. The last thing I want is a well insulated smoker to hold in even more heat making it harder to cook things low and slow which is the whole goal of smoking. I've been to lots of world class bbq contests and I've seen people win using a 55 gallon barrel cut in half and hinged. I've never seen an insulated smoker at one of those events.

After futzing with several versions, I think propane is the best fuel source for a smoker because it is really easy to set and forget. All I ever do once the temperature is dialed in (which depends on the outside temperature a bit) is change out the woodchips once in awhile to pack in that smoky flavor.
mrc
Posts: 1456
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:39 am

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by mrc »

2Scoops wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:47 am I’ve been researching smokers for the last 7 months but haven’t pulled the trigger due to job uncertainty. When I buy it will be the Cookshack Elite SM025 electric smoker. I’ve read reviews, watched videos, and even sampled the product from a friend. I have friends in the Midwest that have no issues smoking when it’s sub-zero outside.

Many of my friends have green eggs (or similar) and pellet style smokers. I don’t think you can go wrong but I like the simplicity of electric smokers.
I have an older model Cookshack Elite, at least 10 years old. It's fantastic. I added an Auber Programmable PID Controller and can prepare anything from 24 hour brisket to 4 hour wild-caught salmon to cheese. Everything that turns out dead on every time. The colder the ambient temperature, the easier it is to smoke lower temp items (e.g., salmon or cheese). If my Cookshack ran away, I would get another one in a heartbeat. Electric is nearly fool proof.
By the time you know enough to choose a good financial adviser, you don't need one. | bogleheads.org is my advisor: The ER is 0.0% and the advice always solid.
BruDude
Posts: 3457
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:28 am
Location: Las Vegas

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by BruDude »

Traeger is great, highly recommend
ccf
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:13 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by ccf »

I'm also a big fan of the Weber Smokey Mountain. It took me 2 uses I think to get the hang of setting up the charcoal and vents so that it is set it and forget it.

I also have a cheapo $100 electric smoker that I use for hot smoked fish and the occasional boneless turkey breast.
rixer
Posts: 709
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by rixer »

We have been using a Traeger for about 7 years. It's so simple to use and reliable that we use it at least 4 times a week. I would buy another one in a heartbeat if this one ever quit.
Old Goat
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:09 pm
Location: West Michigan

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Old Goat »

Check out the Pit Barrel Cooker with B&B Charcoal.
femgineer
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by femgineer »

I can recommend the Pit Barrel. Very easy to use; just add thermo works smoke remote thermometer and it's pretty hands off.
Soon2BXProgrammer
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:30 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

five2one wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:39 pm Next time I can try resting more as it was plenty hot.
for any decent sized peace of meat, i will at least double foil wrap the meat, then wrap it in an old bath towel, and put it in an appropriate sized cooler, and if needed stick another towel on top to fill the space and increase insulation.

(you can even rest ribs for a couple hours this way)

I've rested things for many hours and hours this way without falling back down through the danger zone.
Van
Posts: 769
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:24 am

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Van »

Fast Eddy 500 by Cookshack. Direct flame and smoker options. I've had mine about 5 years with no problems.

Temperature adjustment for high or low temperatures is a bit arcane, but you get used to it.
lazydavid
Posts: 3397
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by lazydavid »

lthenderson wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:20 pm After futzing with several versions, I think propane is the best fuel source for a smoker because it is really easy to set and forget. All I ever do once the temperature is dialed in (which depends on the outside temperature a bit) is change out the woodchips once in awhile to pack in that smoky flavor.
Going to have to disagree with this one. As I posted upthread, I've done smokes of up to 24 hours on charcoal and wood, where I touched my Kamado exactly zero times after putting the meat in. My initial load of charcoal had chunks of wood dispersed in various places, so I had continuous smoke for nearly the entire cook.
Eddiecaps1980
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:58 am

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Eddiecaps1980 »

Landman - 300 bucks propane and easy to setup and control temp.
Figuring_it_out
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:54 am

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Figuring_it_out »

Which weber grill do you have? if its a charcoal grill (smokey Joe) you can smoke pork shoulder on that no problem. look up the "snake method" for the laying out the charcoal so it burns in a line. low temp for longer time. Sprinkle in some wood chunks to keep the smoke. A little not-so secret is you only need a couple of hours of smoke. Then wrap it in foil or butcher paper and put it in the oven with a meat probe in it. ~250F slow and low for the last few hours until the meat probe reached 200F. I bump it up at the end to 300F to finish it. Took me about 8 hours total.

I did mine on a Weber Genesis propane grill and made my own wood chip packets using apple wood chips (dry) wrapped in foil packs and placed on the burner shields. Turned off two burners and put one on low to keep 250F in the grill. You might even have to shim the lid up a little to let more heat out.

I like smoking on my gas grill because the soot on the walls will absorb the smoke and release it on the next few gas grilling's. Burgers and chicken get a little smokey flavor with no effort. It only last one to 2 more grilling's though.

If you are more serious, Pit Barrell grills are good as well as the Weber Bullet. Lots of choices.
goblue100
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:31 am

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by goblue100 »

I have a Weber Smokey Mountain. I like it a lot, temp is pretty easy to control. They have a awesome web site started by a user with internet skills back when the internet was young. Even if you get some other brand of smoker, there are many good recipes and techniques that will come in handy no matter what smoker you get.
https://www.virtualweberbullet.com/

My cousin bought a RecTec pellet smoker. If you want something that is pretty easy to use and control, I think a pellet smoker is hard to beat. Appears to be out of stock on Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07LCWY2BF/?t ... akranch-20
https://www.recteq.com/

If I get another smoker/grill, it will be a Rectec.
Financial planners are savers. They want us to be 95 percent confident we can finance a 30-year retirement even though there is an 82 percent probability of being dead by then. - Scott Burns
We're wolves
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:25 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by We're wolves »

Before deciding on what brand of smoker you want, you really need to decide on what TYPE of smoker you want. And to make that decision, you need to be honest with yourself about how much time you are willing to devote to smoking. For myself, I knew I probably wouldn't use the smoker as much if it wasn't essentially hands off. That conclusion led me to a pellet smoker. I bought the Camp chef Woodwind Wifi (https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/camp-ch ... llet-grill) and have been extremely happy with it. Pork Butts, beef briskets, ribs, etc. are all extremely easy, essentially "set it and forget it". If this is the type of experience you are interested in, essentially dropping a piece of meat on the smoker and coming back in 10 hours to a finished meal, then a pellet smoker might be a great choice.

Some people complain that pellet smokers don't get the level of smoke you will get with wood or other smokers. I think there is some truth to that. If you find that is the case, you can buy supplemental smoke tubes to add additional smoke. This is what I have done and I'm happy with it. If you do go with a pellet smoker, make sure you get one that has a quality auger and other components.
mkc
Posts: 264
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:59 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by mkc »

goblue100 wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:38 am My cousin bought a RecTec pellet smoker. If you want something that is pretty easy to use and control, I think a pellet smoker is hard to beat. Appears to be out of stock on Amazon.
RecTec (now Recteq - name change due to trademark issues) is only sold company-direct. That is why they aren't "in stock" at Amazon.
lanceteer
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:06 pm

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by lanceteer »

Marlboro Reds. Pure joy with every puff.
Post Reply