What smoker would you buy?

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jdavism
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What smoker would you buy?

Postby jdavism » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:13 pm

I've recently for hooked on smoking good eats.. I've helped a family friend do it but recently bought a WSM and did my own. I like the WSM but it definitly seems to take a lot of attention.

If I had 1000.00 -1300.00 what options would you guys recommend? I need something about the size as a normal grill or less.. the simpliar the better. I want to make great BBQ but I'm open to non-charcoal options unless you guys there there is a huge difference between the options (I dont really need to grill or bake.. really looking for smoking only)
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Postby DJ » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:16 pm

If you think a WSM needs attention, stay away from any kinda stick burner....I think Larry Wolfe might be able to help ya out with a smoker, (Primo) check out his website. Thinkin Down Yonder BBQ might sell pits too, but not sure
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Postby OSD » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:34 pm

I think before spending a bunch of money and jumping into a bigger pit that maybe you should give the WSM a little more time. Getting to know your smoker comes from using it more than a few times. WSMs are a set it and forget type of smoker and really require very little attention once learning how it cooks and how to set it to make it cook right. DATs, Larry Wolfe, BFD, bowhnter, JamesB and others that use them for competitions and cooking all the time could maybe give you some tips for it's use. No matter what smoker you have or get you will have to learn how it likes to cook and that takes a little time and effort. I'm not saying not to buy what you want, but all smokers have a learning curve ( some have a big curve ) and it takes some time to get it down right. A WSM is one of the easiest and most consistent smokers on the market. :D
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Quick Response

Postby jdavism » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:57 pm

I guess I should explain my comment about the WSM.. didn't mean adjustments in a way that it was causing me problems to use.. just more about the level of attention required to finish BBQ.. I was just wondering if there were better units (maybe non-charcoal) that were easier in the areas of fuel consumption etc, amount of times required to re-fuel for 16 hour smokes etc.

Just trying to keep my options open.. I everyone always say WSM which is an awesome cooker.. I'm just wondering if you'd still choose it if you had 1K-1.3K to spend :)
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Postby OSD » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:31 pm

All good Q requires attention and time! :D If one re-fuel is too much work for a 16 hour cook? :shock:
About the only way I can think of that doesn't require attention would be to boil the meat, add liquid smoke, and cook it in the oven. :roll: :?
That may sound harsh but it sounds like you want a pit to do everything for you and not have to put forth any effort to achieve the end result. JMHO
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Postby nascarchuck » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:36 pm

I know these guys are probably getting tired of hearing it, but I love my drum smoker. Built it for less than $100. Probably closer to $50.

I am able to get 18 hours or longer on a load of Kingsford and never touch the fire. If anything I just slightly adjust the ball valve every 3-4 hours.

Check out the USD smoker thread in the smokehouse.

Good luck on whatever you choose!
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LOL

Postby jdavism » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:40 pm

I hear what your sayin, I think I'm being misunderstood.. lol.. I know it takes work to make good BBQ, and no problem with that at all.. I guess what I was getting at was obviously for the price the WSM is hands down the best but obviously there has to be benifits to spending more money on a nicer smoker.. I guess that's all I'm asking.. is what the recommendation would be, and what are the benifits from a higher price smoker.

For example.. your spicewine has to be better than your WSM.. what are the benifits of that over the WSM etc. Thats all I'm saying..

Sorry for the confusion..
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Postby OSD » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:51 pm

But you can't buy a Spicewine like mine for the $$$ you are talking. :D Yes I have a bigger capacity but the WSM will run longer on fuel and use less fuel. More money will buy more capacity and/or features but as for as end results a good cook will make good food no matter what he has to cook on. :D Maybe a small pellet smoker like a Traeger, ease of use and fueling, about the same capacity as a WSM, needs elec to run, a ceramic, great cooker, again small capacity. Offset smoker, large capacity, short burn times, more attention to fire control needed. Or as Chuck said a UDS. ( I have 4 UDSs that I use ) There are going to be trade offs no matter which smoker you choose. :D The best thing I could suggest is to make a list of what you want to cook, how much you want to cook, features you want, and then start comparing cookers til you find what suits you and your style of cooking the best. :D
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Re: Quick Response

Postby bigwheel » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:03 pm

I just love my Brinkmann Gourmet Electric. Level of attention required is real minimal. Get it set up and throw a wood chunk on it every few hours. Cooks up some mighty fine groceries.

http://www.academy.com/index.php?page=c ... 00430-8107

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jdavism wrote:I guess I should explain my comment about the WSM.. didn't mean adjustments in a way that it was causing me problems to use.. just more about the level of attention required to finish BBQ.. I was just wondering if there were better units (maybe non-charcoal) that were easier in the areas of fuel consumption etc, amount of times required to re-fuel for 16 hour smokes etc.

Just trying to keep my options open.. I everyone always say WSM which is an awesome cooker.. I'm just wondering if you'd still choose it if you had 1K-1.3K to spend :)
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Postby Papa Tom » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:03 pm

I have had and used a bunch of smokers but not a WSM or a Spice. I have two Traegers 075s and am really pleased with them. Now that doesn't mean I wouldn't get or use another smoker but unlike my previous cookers the Traegers are staying here.
Last 4th of July I got 24hrs on one load of pellets, yep that is unusal it was hot and still but it did it. If I were to get something new and spend more I'd be getting a Fast Eddie.
Like OSD says though each and every pit has it's personality and you need to take time and learn the thing.

I might add here I have done 5 briskets or 8 butts at a time on one traeger.
I also have a larger capacity pit but don't use it much.
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Postby DATsBBQ » Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:15 pm

Look at the ceramics. Drawback is they aren't too portable. But they go easy on the fuel. Roma went 12 plus hours at 245* Thursday nite into Friday without refueling.

I can vouch for Big Green Eggs and Primos. There are a couple more out there that I've haven't seen in the field. Cajun Classic, Grill Dome, Dragon fire, Komado Komodo athough the latter is refractory and not ceramic (what ever that means?). Just google Komado for more info.

You might also want to look at some of the modifications posted with great detail on the virtual Weber Bullet website.
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Postby Burnt Food Dude » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:43 pm

I use 3 WSMs in competition. They are the most hands off cookers around. Yes, you can get an electric or spend 3 grand on a fancy smoker but you just can't beat a WSM.

I don't win all the time but I hold my own with the fancy more expensive cookers. 12 to 14 hour cooks are normal if you take the time to learn how to use the WSM. Check out the Virtual Weber Bullet. They'll teach you how to use the WSM. Also try checking out Prof. Wiviott at http://www.wiviott.com/. Follow his method and you'll be hanging with the big boys real soon.

However, if I had the money I'd invest the 3 grand on a FEC from Larry. Only because the FEC has more cooking area.
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Re: Quick Response

Postby TX Sandman » Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:58 am

jdavism wrote:Just trying to keep my options open.. I everyone always say WSM which is an awesome cooker.. I'm just wondering if you'd still choose it if you had 1K-1.3K to spend :)


To be fair, I don't own a WSM. I use my kettle as a smoker, or use a drum smoker. (Just not much smoking, recently.)

For my family, my purposes, a WSM would be great. But I'm not feeding more than about 15 folks at a stretch, 5-10 is more common. If I needed more capacity than a single WSM, I'd probably add another WSM and use some leftover money on food. Or I'd look at Pro-Q smokers and be able to add capacity later.

The larger smokers I've seen have had the advantage of capacity and fairly even cooking, and also the ability to use wood splits as fuel. With a ceramic or an insulated unit, you'd save on fuel costs. But the food coming off any unit depends more on the cook than the unit.

My $.02, YMMV.

Edit: Just saw your sig line, BFD. Too true, my friend.
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Postby bowhnter » Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:33 am

I don't have much to add from what all the others have said, but how much capacity are you looking for?
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Postby JamesB » Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:42 am

I also don't have that much to add but... My WSM and my UDSs will run for 16+ hrs in a single fuel load at all times of the year here in the Texas weather. If I could have 1 and only 1 commercially made cooker, it would be the WSM. I would venture to say that more competitions have been won using a WSM than any other single cooker.

I cook on several different kinds of cookers (no pellets or ceramics in the mix yet) and they all have different personalities...

Good luck with your search and your continuing Q'n ventures.

James.
Last edited by JamesB on Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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