New smoker recommendation?

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Kagord
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Kagord »

Why have a smoker when you can just use this with an Instapot?

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Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

Kagord wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:59 am Why have a smoker when you can just use this with an Instapot?

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gag
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Orbuculum Nongata
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Orbuculum Nongata »

Kagord wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:59 am Why have a smoker when you can just use this with an Instapot?

Image
That's like saying why have a filet when you could just have a hot dog.
Potential - distraction = performance.
mrc
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by mrc »

Orbuculum Nongata wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:20 am
Kagord wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:59 am Why have a smoker when you can just use this with an Instapot?

Image
That's like saying why have a filet when you could just have a hot dog.
… hot dog from a dumpster that you dropped on the floor. That smoke-in-a-bottle stuff is awful.
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psy1
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by psy1 »

A BGE or Kamado Joe are excellent. But they are also a bit of a lifestyle as much as a grill/smoker. I have a BGE XL. Be aware that these grills are very heavy and require support. Mine lives under a 17' x 17' roof built for it. You also need a fair amount of room to store lump charcoal. In addition to the temp controllers (generally useful for temps lower than 350F) you will no doubt buy many accessories which can easily double to cost of the original device. And you need space to store them.

If that trajectory does not fit the picture, consider a pellet grill. Pellet grills are dead simple - just plug it in, turn it on, and set the temp. Of course, you do need electricity and occasional cleaning with a shop vac to remove the accumulated ash. The metal grills like Traeger are not so good in cold climates. I live in WI and my old Traeger struggled to keep up in the winter. The new Chinese Traegers are thinner steel and would not do well. Also, if you live by saltwater be aware of corrosion on the steel. If you have the budget, Yoder pellet grills are made in USA tanks that are really good. My friend has one and it is excellent.

If you want to keep the budget down and try a pellet smoker, consider a Green Mountain Grill Davey Crockett portable pellet grill. These are popular with RV'ers and reportedly work well, especially if cooking for 2 people.
atikovi
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by atikovi »

lanceteer wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:28 am Marlboro Reds. Pure joy with every puff.
From reading the title, I too thought this was about someone who started smoking asking what are the best cigarettes to smoke.
Yooper
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Yooper »

atikovi wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:09 pm
lanceteer wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:28 am Marlboro Reds. Pure joy with every puff.
From reading the title, I too thought this was about someone who started smoking asking what are the best cigarettes to smoke.
Agreed. Been ignoring this post since yesterday when I looked at it and thought to myself, "Man if I was the first to post I'd have said stay away from Menthol...."
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Pomegranate
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Pomegranate »

psy1 wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:36 pm A BGE or Kamado Joe are excellent. But they are also a bit of a lifestyle as much as a grill/smoker. I have a BGE XL. Be aware that these grills are very heavy and require support. Mine lives under a 17' x 17' roof built for it. You also need a fair amount of room to store lump charcoal. In addition to the temp controllers (generally useful for temps lower than 350F) you will no doubt buy many accessories which can easily double to cost of the original device. And you need space to store them.

Hmm, what’s the amount of charcoal needed for an 8 hour session for pork butt for example?
kfindley79
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by kfindley79 »

http://fornetto.com/products/basso-vertical-smoker/

Check it out. You can thank me later. :D
goblue100
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by goblue100 »

Pomegranate wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:15 pm
psy1 wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:36 pm A BGE or Kamado Joe are excellent. But they are also a bit of a lifestyle as much as a grill/smoker. I have a BGE XL. Be aware that these grills are very heavy and require support. Mine lives under a 17' x 17' roof built for it. You also need a fair amount of room to store lump charcoal. In addition to the temp controllers (generally useful for temps lower than 350F) you will no doubt buy many accessories which can easily double to cost of the original device. And you need space to store them.

Hmm, what’s the amount of charcoal needed for an 8 hour session for pork butt for example?
I don't know on a Kamodo, but on my WSM I probably use 6 to 7 pounds. A ceramic smoker probably uses less.
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Geneyus
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Geneyus »

If anyone is considering a cheap, electric Masterbuilt smoker to get into smoking, DON'T do it. Mine won't light the chips, so I have to manually light a few chips on fire in the tray before putting them in the smoker in order to get the other chips smoking.

I've talked to Masterbuilt, and they aren't any help. Reviews online say the chip tray is too far from the burner. I wish I didn't go cheap.
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five2one
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by five2one »

psy1 wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:36 pm A BGE or Kamado Joe are excellent. But they are also a bit of a lifestyle as much as a grill/smoker. I have a BGE XL. Be aware that these grills are very heavy and require support. Mine lives under a 17' x 17' roof built for it. You also need a fair amount of room to store lump charcoal. In addition to the temp controllers (generally useful for temps lower than 350F) you will no doubt buy many accessories which can easily double to cost of the original device. And you need space to store them.

If that trajectory does not fit the picture, consider a pellet grill. Pellet grills are dead simple - just plug it in, turn it on, and set the temp. Of course, you do need electricity and occasional cleaning with a shop vac to remove the accumulated ash. The metal grills like Traeger are not so good in cold climates. I live in WI and my old Traeger struggled to keep up in the winter. The new Chinese Traegers are thinner steel and would not do well. Also, if you live by saltwater be aware of corrosion on the steel. If you have the budget, Yoder pellet grills are made in USA tanks that are really good. My friend has one and it is excellent.

If you want to keep the budget down and try a pellet smoker, consider a Green Mountain Grill Davey Crockett portable pellet grill. These are popular with RV'ers and reportedly work well, especially if cooking for 2 people.
The one caution on pellet grills I've heard is the smoke flavor is not as intense as wood or coal/wood grills.
Not sure why but I've heard it a lot and food from my kettle using coal & wood chunks confirms.
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five2one
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by five2one »

Geneyus wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:48 am If anyone is considering a cheap, electric Masterbuilt smoker to get into smoking, DON'T do it. Mine won't light the chips, so I have to manually light a few chips on fire in the tray before putting them in the smoker in order to get the other chips smoking.

I've talked to Masterbuilt, and they aren't any help. Reviews online say the chip tray is too far from the burner. I wish I didn't go cheap.
I am considering an electric or propane/electric to make my own bacon from pork belly but the break even for costs means a lot of effort and bacon.
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Horton
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Horton »

You might be surprised what you can cook on a Weber kettle:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=293155&p=4804261&h ... t#p4804261
lazydavid
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by lazydavid »

Pomegranate wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:15 pm Hmm, what’s the amount of charcoal needed for an 8 hour session for pork butt for example?
My 24-hour smoke took about 6 lbs, plus maybe a pound of wood for the actual smoke.
CheCha54
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by CheCha54 »

Pit Barrel Cooker

[link formatted by admin LadyGeek]
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AerialWombat
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by AerialWombat »

After nearly two years of occasionally reading reviews, speaking to sales reps at home shows, and having numerous people brag about their Traegers (and feed me the results), I finally bought one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/Camp-Chef-PG24MZ ... B07R62LF7N

Editorial reviews on other sites (not Amazon) have praised the Camp Chef line for providing good value for the money, good temp control, and super easy cleaning compared to other pellet smokers.

I also like the fact that you can do traditional (direct heat) grilling on it.

I could never justify the cost of a Traeger for my expected usage.

This will arrive in a few days, and I will comment after that.
michaeljc70
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by michaeljc70 »

I had a Visions kamado style grill (almost same as BGE), a gas grill and a Masterbuilt 560. I got rid of the other kamado and gas grills (mainly because lack of space for 3 grills). The Masterbuilt 560 is a gravity feed charcoal smoker/grill. It has a hopper on the side of the grill you load the charcoal in and it automatically feeds in. It goes from 150-700 degrees very fast and has an electronic controller and app. It uses charcoal and wood chunks if you want. A hopper of charcoal can lasts 4-12 hours depending on temp and conditions. The Masterbuilt is not perfect (plenty of complaints about quality online), but it give that charcoal/smoke flavor without handholding it. They have a bigger version called the 1050. Great all purpose grill/smoker as it can sear really well as well as do really low temps.

My main goals were to get a good smoke flavor when smoking or grilling and not have to babysit cooks.

The Pit Boss 1155 Pro Series (only sold at Lowe's), which is a pellet grill, also looks pretty good to me. But it is very new and I haven't tried it. Pellet grills give less smoke flavor in general.
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PescadorPete
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by PescadorPete »

Cookshack

I used Weber products (kettles and then added a Smokey Mountain) for about 40 years. It was not uncommon for me to buy 100+ lbs of charcoal from Lowes and Home Depot when it went on sale. I had my Webers figured out. But once I retired, I was tired of the prep and cleanup. I was also tired of doing long cooks (like pulled pork) that required some baby-sitting. The Cookshack is set-it-and-forget-it. And it turns out great smoked meat.
james865
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by james865 »

Purchased a Rectec pellet smoker this past year (RT-700) and I love it. Set it and forget it. Great smoky flavor, perfect smoke ring, etc. Added grill grates to cook burgers, steaks, etc. I pair it will Lumber Jack pellets.

Used to have a Masterbuilt electric and it’s been a huge improvement.

I did significant research before purchasing. Kamado Joe, Egg, Camp Chef, Traeger were the alternatives I was considering.
WS1
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by WS1 »

Orbuculum Nongata wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:20 am
Kagord wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:59 am Why have a smoker when you can just use this with an Instapot?

Image
That's like saying why have a filet when you could just have a hot dog.
Because a hot dog has flavor. Filet is for people with bad teeth that want to flash some cash.
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Shackleton
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Shackleton »

We have had a Green Mountain Grill Daniel Boone WiFi (the middle sized one) for a year now. We love it and use it for everything - pork shoulders, brisket, ribs, even burgers and steaks (the temp goes up to 500 so it can also be used as a grill, but with extra smoke flavor so it’s the best grill ever.)

The WiFi feature wasn’t something we were going to get but our local store only had that one in stock and we got it assembled and at a discount, so ended up with it. And we are glad we did. It’s very easy to adjust the temp of the smoker or check the meat temp (using the two meat probes) from anywhere. We also got the insulating blanket and use it year-round, even in the dead of winter in the Colorado mountains.
“Superhuman effort isn't worth a damn unless it achieves results.” ~Ernest Shackleton
gips
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by gips »

lot's of great suggestions. About 25 years ago, after hours of research, I decided the weber smokey mountain (WSM) offered the best value. I picked up an 18-incher for $200 (the price at the time). After I became proficient, I purchased a bbq guru for about $100, which does a great job at maintaining temp. 25 years later, my WSM is still going strong. I've used it a bbq competitions, competing and winning against rigs costing 20x.

at some point, out of desperation borne of needing a 60th bday present, my wife purchased an akorn kamado style smoker/grill. I don't think it's quite as good for smoking but it is a wonderful all-purpose, grill/smoker. With the kids out of the house, I can foresee the (sad) day when I retire the WSM.

In the intervening 25 years, I've seen electric and gas smokers (easy to use, but I prefer wood), pellet smokers and drum style smokers like the pit barrel. They can all make great bbq, you need to analyze what's best for you. As others have mentioned, craigslist is your friend for inexpensive, lightly used smokers, often at a steep discount.

enjoy!
tylerwinkler
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by tylerwinkler »

Lots of great info here, but I'll add my 2 cents.

I had a weber smokey mountain bullet for 5 years and routinely to do a 18-24 hour smoke I would burn through 25 pounds of charcoal plus required a lot more effort to keep the temp constant. I upgraded to a Large BGE 8 years ago. The same smoke requires 5-8 pounds of charcoal and virtually no effort to keep the temp constant.

From a purely economical perspective:
Hardwood lump charcoal runs $1.40 per pound
Cost of 24 hour smoke on Weber bullet: 25 pounds x 1.4= $35
Cost of 24 hour smoke on BGE: 8 pounds x 1.4= $11.20

That accounts for a nearly $24 difference in cost savings per 24 hour smoke. Do the expected math for yourself and how often you will use it per year and you'll notice the price differences between the 2 is less than you think. In addition, the maintenance on the egg is basically nothing. I will likely have to replace the seals on my lid in the next 2-3 years ($20), but otherwise the life expectancy for these is over 30 years and they even come with a lifetime warranty on parts. I doubt that the Weber smoker would have come anywhere close to that since mine was starting to breakdown after 5.

You can get into a rabbit hole for accessories for the egg and tack on more money, but honestly all you really need is a placesetter and wireless thermometer to get started. There are some luxuries such as wireless temp regulators, but they are certainly not required.

But what can't be accounted for is time and enjoyment. The egg is literally set it and forget it. I go to bed at night with a wireless temp alarm that never once even goes off for the egg getting out of temp range. The bullet I had to set an alarm every 2-3 hours to adjust the settings. It just makes my experience more enjoyable.

Not as familiar with the other choices listed, but in regards to ceramic versus metal it makes both financial and enjoyment sense to buy quality upfront.
pilot_error
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by pilot_error »

I’ve really loved my Masterbuilt 560 Gravity Series. It is basically the same temp control as a treager but burns any normal charcoal or wood chunk you throw in it. Cooks a pork butt for 8 hours with no interaction except through an app if you are interested in changing or checking temps.

FUI, a lot of negative reviews out there regarding the quality of the metal in the chimney are misguided in my opinion as the manufacturer has stated this is normal to the “breaking in” process.

https://www.masterbuilt.com/products/gr ... ill-smoker
johnkidding
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by johnkidding »

Weber Summit Charcoal. Holds temps overnight with 20 hours of charcoal capacity. Fuel efficient. Versatile.

https://www.weber.com/US/en/grills/char ... 26#start=1

Do your research but this is Weber's answer to the Big Green Egg ceramic style of smoker.

I've been using it for 4 years now as a smoker, grill, and pizza oven.
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pezblanco
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by pezblanco »

For 20 years or so, I had an offset wood burner (a Klose). And I made a lot of BBQ on it. The time and effort required for a brisket I only did maybe once a year or so ... I was trained by old school Texans but I ended up living in a part of the country where good brisket was not really appreciated (I mean by that that a bbq chicken, pork shoulder, or ribs made people just as happy) and so I mainly just did pork shoulders. They are really easy to do, very forgiving if you let the temps get a bit out of range and just about everyone loves them.

Do to a variety of unfortunate events, I moved again and had to get rid of the Klose. I'm very interested in this thread since I too am thinking about buying another one. I don't want to spend a ton of money but I still want something that will do a great job. So, I've been reading a lot.

1) Pellet smokers seem to have this really bad rap for not enough smoke. I like the idea of set it and forget it (to do a brisket, you might be tending a fire for 12-17 hours and that gets old quick). But, I just refuse to have something that I can't produce excellent Texas style BBQ with. I think some of the people lauding these don't really have any experience with southern BBQ and so may not have the standards of southerners.

2) Charcoal burners basically use the charcoal for heat and then a few wood chunks for smoke. The idea is that the chunks smolder and impart a smoke flavor. That always struck me as wrong? When you're burning wood you made darn sure that the wood is NEVER smoldering ... you do not want that kind of smoke flavor on the surface of the meat. I have zero experience with these things but again, I suspect that some of the people who like/use these for BBQ do not come from a BBQ culture and may have different standards.

Again, not to offend (it's hard to do since people get really passionate about smoking). I'm sure that there are people who have won BBQ contests with pellets and charcoal burners (I now take those claims with a grain of salt after I went to a BBQ contest in the upper Midwest and the winning BBQ would not have equaled even a mediocre restaurant in the Texas hill country)

3) I've been looking at wood burners again. The cabinet styles are soooo expensive but evidently put out a great product. So, I've been looking at the offsets again. Evidently Klose and some of the older makers have not really moved forward with technology. There is a lot of interest in reverse flow (Lang is one of the prominent makers of these) and a modified top flow (Lone Star Grillz is an example). I know that my old Klose had an issue with it being much hotter near the firebox end than at the other end ... it also had a top venting exhaust (which exacerbated the problem) and they still have the same design now. You can get a LSG medium sized for 1500 dollars or so ... similar for a Lang. I'm thinking right now that I'm going with the LSG.
amucaze
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by amucaze »

I bought the smaller rectec (now recteq), model rt-340 after cooking on a Masterbuilt electric smoker for 5 years.

No regrets. The rectec worked perfectly out of the box and produces fantastic food. No fiddling required, nice big hopper for long cooks, build quality is amazing and the thick stainless steel really does feel good and keep the heat in. I really liked my Masterbuilt, but it needed a few modifications to really produce great food, especially the mailbox mod. It also doesn't support higher heat ranges for fast cooking/crispy chicken skin - it was extremely cheap though! My main advice would be to avoid getting fooled into buying a huge smoker, this thing is small but cab handle a lot of food and fuel costs are proportional to size.
StrawMan
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by StrawMan »

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.
Just as a side note, I used to work for Cookshack - many years ago. Just wanted to chime in, as it’s a small company. They make pretty good stuff.

I personally have a Cookshack and a couple of Webber’s.
jeremyl
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by jeremyl »

I've had my pit boss pro series pellet smoker for a little over a month now. It has a pretty much set it & forget it for temperature control. I've done a pork butt for pulled pork, ribs, a couple of whole chickens & tried a brisket. It's all been good just typical trial & error mistakes on my part but I love it & the wife loves it too.

I bought mine from lowes for $500 plus tax. It was shipped put together. Not sure if that's normal.

I was back & forth on this & a Weber smoky mountain smoker but didn't want to have to try to figure out how to keep the fire right.

I am happy with my choice & look forward to all of the cooking and learning. Just my 2 cents.
lessismore22
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by lessismore22 »

We have the Traeger Pro 575 and love it. Use it 3-4 times/week year 'round. We live in the Midwest where it gets COLD and have no problems with it. Even made smoked chicken wings in a blizzard last winter.

:beer
keystone
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by keystone »

johnkidding wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:01 am Weber Summit Charcoal. Holds temps overnight with 20 hours of charcoal capacity. Fuel efficient. Versatile.

https://www.weber.com/US/en/grills/char ... 26#start=1

Do your research but this is Weber's answer to the Big Green Egg ceramic style of smoker.

I've been using it for 4 years now as a smoker, grill, and pizza oven.
Wow, I can't believe I never knew about the Weber Summit. I currently have a Weber Smokey Mountain but have been looking to upgrade and this might do it.

I've also been looking at the Pitmaker Short Sniper, but I'm not sure I would use it enough to justify the price.

http://pitmaker.com/product/vin/?vin=34409731
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Orbuculum Nongata
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Orbuculum Nongata »

WS1 wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:18 am
Orbuculum Nongata wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:20 am
Kagord wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:59 am Why have a smoker when you can just use this with an Instapot?

Image
That's like saying why have a filet when you could just have a hot dog.
Because a hot dog has flavor. Filet is for people with bad teeth that want to flash some cash.
I don't pretend to know the dental demographics of hot dog "connoisseurs". That being said... Joey Chestnut regularly chokes down 70 of them without taking a single bite. It really is the only "meat" people can eat with no teeth at all.

Whether anyone likes it or not, Liquid smoke+Instapot is the ultimate short-cut, the quintessential imposter and will always be the "hot dog" of real smoked meat.
Potential - distraction = performance.
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Orbuculum Nongata
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Orbuculum Nongata »

keystone wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:21 am
johnkidding wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:01 am
I've also been looking at the Pitmaker Short Sniper, but I'm not sure I would use it enough to justify the price.

http://pitmaker.com/product/vin/?vin=34409731
I felt the same way before buying my Pitmaker Safe over ten years ago. Once I received, and learned to use it I have never looked back. The quality is second to none.
Potential - distraction = performance.
unstartable
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by unstartable »

Since OP is asking in a financial forum and not on a BBQ forum, I would say a pellet grill would give the best bang for the buck, and be easy to use. OP would not have to learn about fire management. You can always add a smoker tube for more smoke flavor. In the moderate price range I would look at recteq, Grilla, and Camp Chef. I own a large Weber gas grill, a portable Weber gas grill, a Bradley electric, and a Grilla.
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pezblanco
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by pezblanco »

keystone wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:21 am
johnkidding wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:01 am Weber Summit Charcoal. Holds temps overnight with 20 hours of charcoal capacity. Fuel efficient. Versatile.

https://www.weber.com/US/en/grills/char ... 26#start=1

Do your research but this is Weber's answer to the Big Green Egg ceramic style of smoker.

I've been using it for 4 years now as a smoker, grill, and pizza oven.
Wow, I can't believe I never knew about the Weber Summit. I currently have a Weber Smokey Mountain but have been looking to upgrade and this might do it.

I've also been looking at the Pitmaker Short Sniper, but I'm not sure I would use it enough to justify the price.

http://pitmaker.com/product/vin/?vin=34409731
That looks like a very well made unit but the price! I don't know anything about them other than it looks like the old style offsets ... it seems to be top venting which is a big no no for me at least. For that kind of money, I would be thinking of one of the cabinet styles or at least a new style offset.
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TierArtz
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by TierArtz »

Get a Yoder Smoker; they are built like a tank (10 gauge steel) and made in the USA (Kansas). I opted for their YS640S (mid-sized to large pellet grill) on a competition cart with 10" wheels. It is Wi-Fi/Bluetooth controlled, capable of direct grilling over the fire-pot, and has a temperature range of 150 to 600 degrees (700+ on direct grill area). I love it! But, they are $$$ or $$$$, depending on options and your definition of expensive.
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pezblanco
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by pezblanco »

unstartable wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:17 am Since OP is asking in a financial forum and not on a BBQ forum, I would say a pellet grill would give the best bang for the buck, and be easy to use. OP would not have to learn about fire management. You can always add a smoker tube for more smoke flavor. In the moderate price range I would look at recteq, Grilla, and Camp Chef. I own a large Weber gas grill, a portable Weber gas grill, a Bradley electric, and a Grilla.
Any type of investor has a "utility function" that they are trying to optimize with respect to their investments. If ease of use is high on your function, then no question a pellet smoker is the way to go. If taste is paramount on your function then maybe woodburners. I saw on a BBQ forum the description of you can get 90% of the taste profile of a classic woodburner with a pellet ... but the gold standard will always be an offset. For most people, that 90% is more than good enough. I have to admit that I'm very tempted also. I love a good smoked brisket and the idea of getting a good one by just dumping pellets into an auger and going to sleep would be a dream come true. But also remember: people are not lining up for 4 hours in the Texas hill country to get BBQ at a restaurant made by some guy with a pellet or charcoal burner smoker ... that says something also.

I will also say that for ribs, chicken, and pork shoulders, an offset cook is really not that much of a pain ... for shoulders you just start at a reasonable time in the morning and you keep the fire going for 5 or 6 hours ... I mean you if can tend a fireplace and keep the fire going it's not that much more work than that. Variations in temperature are really not that big of a deal with a pork shoulder ... at least that is my experience. There is a learning curve associated with fire management. Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue (this is the place I was alluding to with the big long lines) has a series of videos available for free on how to cook with an offset.
Luke Duke
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Luke Duke »

Do it right and get an offset stick burner. Craigslist is your friend. I've bought 3 different Klose pits for $1000 or less on CL. (The price goes up the further away you live from Texas.)
goblue100
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by goblue100 »

Luke Duke wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:55 am Do it right and get an offset stick burner. Craigslist is your friend. I've bought 3 different Klose pits for $1000 or less on CL. (The price goes up the further away you live from Texas.)
Stick burners are certainly more "authentic" than the other methods talked about in this thread, but the learning curve is long and its the most work intensive method. Klose makes a heck of a pit, and at one time I really wanted one. Decided it was just too much work for this old man,.
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
Greywolf
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Greywolf »

I have been using this Old Smokey electric smoker for about ten years.
https://www.amazon.com/Old-Smokey-OSES- ... B00158QQLI
It does everything I need it to. I have smoked ribs, brisket, pork butt, fish etc.
Easy to use, holds it's temperature well and is fairly easy to clean.
I have several different types of wood chips that I use depending on the meat.
It's not an expensive item, but works for me.
dsmclone
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by dsmclone »

pilot_error wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:33 am I’ve really loved my Masterbuilt 560 Gravity Series. It is basically the same temp control as a treager but burns any normal charcoal or wood chunk you throw in it. Cooks a pork butt for 8 hours with no interaction except through an app if you are interested in changing or checking temps.

FUI, a lot of negative reviews out there regarding the quality of the metal in the chimney are misguided in my opinion as the manufacturer has stated this is normal to the “breaking in” process.

https://www.masterbuilt.com/products/gr ... ill-smoker
I also have one of these and love it.
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Pomegranate
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Pomegranate »

dsmclone wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:25 pm
pilot_error wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:33 am I’ve really loved my Masterbuilt 560 Gravity Series. It is basically the same temp control as a treager but burns any normal charcoal or wood chunk you throw in it. Cooks a pork butt for 8 hours with no interaction except through an app if you are interested in changing or checking temps.

FUI, a lot of negative reviews out there regarding the quality of the metal in the chimney are misguided in my opinion as the manufacturer has stated this is normal to the “breaking in” process.

https://www.masterbuilt.com/products/gr ... ill-smoker
I also have one of these and love it.
Still googling about this vs BGE. Tough call :annoyed
megabad
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by megabad »

Dang I think my dyna glo works good enough. I think I paid 150 for it. The bottom sort of rusted out so I bootleg welded a patch on and try to keep the rain out now and no issues. I like charcoal though. I do about 6-7 full racks in it with some hickory or something and they come out pretty even.
Murgatroyd
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Murgatroyd »

Another vote for RECTEQ. https://www.recteq.com/

I researched this purchase for probably 5 months. You should check YouTube for video comparisons. It’s the best way to get comfortable. A good smoker is not inexpensive.

RECTEQ has insane customer service. They send you the owners cell phone. Who else does that? They monitor the Facebook page and if someone comments on a hardware problem they get a call from customer service.

I learned how to create smoke on my weber propane grill and became quite proficient at it. My ribs and brisket were excellent. But I wanted that real smoke ring. I still use the weber for burgers, etc, but for ribs, brisket and pulled pork you can’t beat a smoker.

Enjoy the journey.
keystone
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by keystone »

Orbuculum Nongata wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:02 am
keystone wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:21 am
johnkidding wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:01 am
I've also been looking at the Pitmaker Short Sniper, but I'm not sure I would use it enough to justify the price.

http://pitmaker.com/product/vin/?vin=34409731
I felt the same way before buying my Pitmaker Safe over ten years ago. Once I received, and learned to use it I have never looked back. The quality is second to none.
Thanks, I checked out the Pitmaker Safe and it looks very impressive. Do you use charcoal with wood chunks or just wood? It looks like it can handle either.
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Sandtrap
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Sandtrap »

lanceteer wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:28 am Marlboro Reds. Pure joy with every puff.
Had a buddy from the Vietnam days who smoked nothing but Marlboro Reds. Aaargh. Preferred Cools.
Best not to start.

I've resisted this for 2 pages of posts. :shock: :shock:

Farm worker rolled me a hand rolled cigarette, "Bull Durham?" from a cloth bag of tobacco when I was little.
Taught me how to roll some as well until at least it was even and compacted, (no twisting the ends like later in the 60's)
Took a couple of puffs.
Gagged and threw up.
Best not to start these things.

. . . . . . :oops:

Per topic:
OP: started with a simple electric smoker from Home Depot. Tried various wood chips soaked in the water pan. Whole chickens came out wonderful. Smoke blew into my house when the wind shifted. A bear to clean. Gave it up after awhile. But, it was fun.

In Hawaii, there are "huli huli hawaiian bbq smoked chicken" stands along the highway as fund raisers. Mesquite (kiawe) wood. Constant turning and basting. ("huli huli" means turn over and over). Incredible flavor and softness!

j :D
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Orbuculum Nongata
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by Orbuculum Nongata »

keystone wrote: Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:35 am
Orbuculum Nongata wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:02 am
keystone wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:21 am
johnkidding wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:01 am
I've also been looking at the Pitmaker Short Sniper, but I'm not sure I would use it enough to justify the price.

http://pitmaker.com/product/vin/?vin=34409731
I felt the same way before buying my Pitmaker Safe over ten years ago. Once I received, and learned to use it I have never looked back. The quality is second to none.
Thanks, I checked out the Pitmaker Safe and it looks very impressive. Do you use charcoal with wood chunks or just wood? It looks like it can handle either.
I always start my fire with a small base of charcoal (8-10 briquettes) then use wood for the entire cooking process. I leave the the vents and chimney wide open and control the temperature with the amount of wood I am burning. While that's my favorite way, it's not the only way. You can load it with charcoal or a charcoal/wood chunk combination and control the temperature with the vents if you like and it'll burn for well over fifteen hours on it's own.
Potential - distraction = performance.
HIMcDunnough
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by HIMcDunnough »

pezblanco wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:03 am
2) Charcoal burners basically use the charcoal for heat and then a few wood chunks for smoke. The idea is that the chunks smolder and impart a smoke flavor. That always struck me as wrong? When you're burning wood you made darn sure that the wood is NEVER smoldering ... you do not want that kind of smoke flavor on the surface of the meat. I have zero experience with these things but again, I suspect that some of the people who like/use these for BBQ do not come from a BBQ culture and may have different standards.

Again, not to offend (it's hard to do since people get really passionate about smoking). I'm sure that there are people who have won BBQ contests with pellets and charcoal burners (I now take those claims with a grain of salt after I went to a BBQ contest in the upper Midwest and the winning BBQ would not have equaled even a mediocre restaurant in the Texas hill country)

Good point about competition BBQ not being the be-all and end-all. I suppose the personal finance take-home point is don't waste your time and money trying to replicate competition techniques, which are geared toward a specific flavor profile that's going to stand out in a single bite. You probably don't want an entire meal of food at that intensity. Think of the old Pepsi Challenge--one sip of the more sugary Pepsi might be better than a sip of Coke, but most people are having an entire can at a sitting and prefer the less-sweet option for that.

As to "smoldering wood," it's hard to know exactly how it works because even in the information age, BBQ is 90% tradition/superstition and only 10% science. I suspect the reason charcoal-fired smokers using wood chunks don't create the sooty flavor of a poorly-tended offset wood fire is some combination of (1) the foul-smelling/tasting compounds in the wood chunks offgas relatively quickly at the high heats involved in a charcoal fire, and thus start burning "clean" after a short while even if not fully engaged in flame; and (2) there's less wood overall so even if there are compounds that would cause a foul taste if an entire smoke's worth of wood in an offset smoker burned poorly, there's just not enough of them to foul the flavor of the meat.

Taking that back to the personal finance point, don't be afraid to choose a particular type of smoker that fits your price/value/ease of use criteria, and become proficient using it by turning to people using that type of smoker to cook real food, rather than those that are spending thousands of dollars each weekend for the chance to win a plastic trophy and a $100 check.
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Re: New smoker recommendation?

Post by fishandgolf »

I am looking to purchase a new grill. Initially was thinking gas but after reading some of the above posts.....I'm starting to change my thought pattern.

Here are a few thoughts, concerns, wishes, questions....

1). Mice......I hate mice...especially when they nest in my grill. Currently have an old Charbroil gas grill and there is no simple way to control or eliminate them. I would still consider LP gas but whatever model I would consider purchasing must be 100% mouse proof.... 8-) :!:

2). I also have an older charcoal 22" Weber. I like it but it's a PITA to empty the ashes. It also takes ~20 minutes to get the coals hot. I'd really like to not have another charcoal grill....unless of course there are models out there that make charcoal grilling simple and easy. BTY.....never had a problem with mice getting into the Weber!

3). Pellet..........never gave it much of a thought but after reading posts, I need to further educate myself on this method.

*Questions? How much maintenance is involved with pellet grilling? Can pellet grills be used for grilling and smoking? Are they controlled with AC
power?

4). We live in Wisconsin and do grill year round so whatever I go with has to be cold weather friendly.

5). Stuff we usually grill.....beef steaks, pork chops, chicken, ham, corn on the cob. Never did any smoking but would like to get into that method. The beef steaks we really grill are 3" thick tenderloins. I usually sous vide them first, then sear them in a cast iron pan. I use the Weber to heat the cast iron. Using the Weber for this is a PITA. Would appreciate recommendations on a simple and essay way to obtain high heat to get the cast iron pan hot enough.

6). Budget....$1000.00 - $1500.00

Would appreciate any input on this subject......
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