Advice please

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Postby bigwheel » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:09 am

Well I wouldnt worry about sealing off the openings..them thangs need all the air they can get. Always cooked with the firebox door standing open a few inches on the one I had. Only way it could get enough air to the fire.


Allie wrote:We've been talking about doing some mods to make it hold the temps better. It's not horrible now but I'm sure we could improve it a lot. We've talked about the firebricks and Les has been looking into sealing it around the openings. He also has a neighbor looking into getting a propane tank so we can make one. That's in the future a bit.

So did you daughter go to PA with the son in law? I have a feeling one day I'll have some kids and in-laws like that. lol
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Postby Sloaf » Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:53 pm

I know the conversation has kind of moved on, but regarding Allie's original question about an easy-to-transport smoker...

I won't try to convince you to spring for WSM, but I don't think you should write off the idea of purchasing some sort of smoker too quickly (as opposed to your free service). You mentioned that it isn't in the budget right now, but:

A) True, $200 seems like a lot for a new WSM when compared to a FREE alternative. You said the Brinkman Gourmet from your award program goes for around $100. What if you ordered the Brinkman, turned around and sold it on eBay, and put the cash toward a WSM (or whatever you decide is the best option).

B) You mentioned that you aren't in a hurry and will be happy to wait and save up more points for the higher end Brinkman. You could take the same thinking, stash $20-25 a month in a jar, and you'll have $200 by next summer. (Though you might be in a little more of a hurry than that :wink: )

C) Compared to the cost of the food you'll be cooking, a smoker in this price range is next to nothing. Just to throw out a number, say you cook $20 of food each time you fire up the smoker (low estimate for me). That's only 10 uses before you've spent the same amount on the food as on the cooker (which I've already done in the past 2.5 months), and the smoker will last for years and years. I'm not at all trying to say the cooker "pays for itself" or anything like that, but for most people the cost of a new smoker (in this price range) is small when compared to your annual barbecued meat budget.

D) Along those lines, and probably most important in my own decision in choosing a smoker, is the difference in quality of food you may produce on a higher quality cooker. For example, my father-in-law gave me a cheapo turkey frying rig for a gift, and I proceeded to ruin (and I mean RUIN :cry: ) three straight turkeys (including this past Thanksgiving) because the thing could never hold the temp high enough. For the money I wasted on those carefully prepared Trashcan Turkeys I could have almost bought myself a decent rig. I've had similar results when fighting with budget-model grills at friends' and relatives' houses. Spending more money doesn't necessarily mean you get a better product, but it's worth considering whether you would turn out significantly better grub than you would with the free smoker.

Anyhow, I don't want this all to read like a sales pitch for the WSM. I am assuming that the WSM is a better product than the Brinkman based on overall reviews, but I'm just trying to throw some ideas why you might not want to close the door on purchasing something rather than going for the freebie. I understand you're looking for a camp smoker and may just want the cheapest thing that will get the job done, but you may have more options than you realize.

Best of luck with the decision!
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Postby OSD » Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:18 pm

After thinking about this and remembering something you said in another post about wanting to start catering. The WSW would be the better choice. You would have a great little smoker to help with those cooks. JMHO

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