Looking to Upgrade

Any type of purchased BBQ Pit.

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Sam Ha11
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Looking to Upgrade

Postby Sam Ha11 » Wed May 22, 2013 3:37 pm

Hey y'all,

I've been smoking whatever I can get my greasy hands on for just a little while now. Been using a Weber Smokey Mountain Cylinder smoker, but now I want to get something with more space to work with. Also, it can be a pain to get to both racks since they stack vertically and you can only get to the bottom rack by removing the top rack. I know I'm not ready to get a custom rig just yet. I don't think my level of skill requires anything that fancy yet, and my price range at the moment is still too low to get anything on that scale. In my area, I have Academy, Home Depot and HEB/HEB Plus. I'm shooting for a small to mid size, offset smoker in the $300 price range. Yeah, not too much, but I figure I could get something solid to work with for a few years until I have room in the budget and the backyard for something bigger.

At Home Depot, I see the Brinkman Vertical smoker that runs about $269. While I know the walls are not as thick as they could be, and the grill plates are porcelain covered, would this be a viable option for now? Has anyone used this one or heard of anyone using one? I like the easy access to the grill and the amount of space, but I worry about the craftsmanship. The one I saw on the floor of one local store seemed to have a door that didn't seem to close properly. Now, I didn't have much time to really look at it, but I liked the shape of it. Would a vertical shape like this lead to a lot of temp variation near the top, or would it be more even with the smoke coming in at the bottom and moving all the way up?

I see plenty of other offset models at HEB and Academy, and the Old country models that Academy sells look nice, but I haven't heard much on that brand. They also have a New Braunfels Hondo on sale right now that looks decent.

So, I figured I'd throw this out there and see if I can get any recommendations on the usual brands that are in stores. At least until I feel comfortable getting all stuck in with this and going to a custom made model from a local source.

Any info would be appreciated, and thanks!

Sam Ha11
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Re: Looking to Upgrade

Postby Gator » Wed May 22, 2013 3:52 pm

Sam - I will let folks with experience on those particular rigs comment.

-> One thing I suggest is keep your eye on Craig's list. I picked up a $1,000 Treager Pellet smoker that had be used 1 time - literally - for $500 earlier this year...just a thought.

Welcome again,

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Re: Looking to Upgrade

Postby BluDawg » Wed May 22, 2013 5:02 pm

This is just my opinion> In your budget your not going to find better than what you have. A cheap offset will require some mods to get it to cook well and not give you all the room you desire, in six months you'll be looking for something different. I would save my money and buy a Backwoods Extended Party, in the mean time build a UDS for more room and use it along side your WSM.
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Re: Looking to Upgrade

Postby k.a.m. » Wed May 22, 2013 7:07 pm

Welcome to the forum Sam Ha11. :D When looking for an inexpensive offset look for the noticeable things like doors that do well, firebox thickness and such. Most of the box store offsets are all from the same mold and require basically the same mods to work decently. Once you have done some of the mods and get some cooks on it you can produce decent BBQ. It boils down to learning the cooker and having it work for you instead of you fighting it. For what its worth I have seen folks fight brand name cookers that cost thousands because they do not care to learn and accept the cookers sweet spots. :wink:
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Sam Ha11
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Re: Looking to Upgrade

Postby Sam Ha11 » Fri May 24, 2013 9:41 am

Thanks for the tips. I'll keep an eye on Craigslist. I hadn't thought about that. It definitely sounds like I'd be better off saving up for something better than going with a box brand or waiting on a deal I can't refuse. I'll dig around the site and try to read up on MODs. Maybe I can get some more lie out of the WSM that I've got for now.
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Re: Looking to Upgrade

Postby marvda1 » Sat May 25, 2013 6:56 pm

the old country's at academy already have the mods, firebox baffle, and exhaust at grate level plus they are 3/16" steel. thicker than the other entry level smokers. i think you get a full bottom grate and an upper half grate and a fire plate for the bottom of the fire box.
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Re: Looking to Upgrade

Postby DATsBBQ » Mon May 27, 2013 11:28 am

marvda1 wrote:the old country's at academy already have the mods, firebox baffle, and exhaust at grate level plus they are 3/16" steel. thicker than the other entry level smokers. i think you get a full bottom grate and an upper half grate and a fire plate for the bottom of the fire box.


Wow, a manufacturer who reacts to what the customer wants. I ought to look into buying stock in this company.
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Re: Looking to Upgrade

Postby Mean Gruene » Wed May 29, 2013 3:49 pm

I've got an Old Country off set from Academy and couldn't be happier. Holds the heat well and I dont have to feed the fire beast like I did on my old Char Griller. The only mod I made was to make a charcoal basket but I would have to do that with more expensive smokers too. The smoker is thicker steel than then cheaper models and already had a fire plates, baffel and the smoke stack was located at grill level where its supposed to be. Just make sure to inspect the one you pick out to make sure you get a good seal when the doors are closed. I liked it so much a buddy bought one for himself and he's been happy with it too.

For the money you wont find another off set with the features the Old Country
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Re: Looking to Upgrade

Postby marvda1 » Thu May 30, 2013 1:25 pm

i bought the old country brazos 1/4 in. steel and a beast. it uses every bit of fuel. on my old smokers when finished there would be unburnt pieces of wood and charcoal but with the brazos only ash. i did buy an aftermarket convection plate from horizon that fits perfectly.
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Re: Looking to Upgrade

Postby Jason B » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:00 am

My Old Country is what finally gave me the motivation to start my RF build. The old country is a "decent" cooker, but I just can't seem to get my temps to hold for more than about 20 minutes. Seems I am always chasing the thermo. Maybe it is me, but I attributed it to the thin walled material.
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Sam Ha11
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Re: Looking to Upgrade

Postby Sam Ha11 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:00 pm

Sounds like some solid votes for the Old Country. I'll have to look into those more closely. Thanks, all! I used the ol' WSM on Memorial Day for 2 briskets and 2 chickens and was still happy with the results. Didn't hear the guests complain either, and I don't think it was just the beer talking :)
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Re: Looking to Upgrade

Postby sparetimetoys » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:21 am

Sam Ha11 wrote:Sounds like some solid votes for the Old Country. I'll have to look into those more closely. Thanks, all! I used the ol' WSM on Memorial Day for 2 briskets and 2 chickens and was still happy with the results. Didn't hear the guests complain either, and I don't think it was just the beer talking :)



May want to check this treager out on CL he looks like he is tossing in the pellets also.

http://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/for/3833131895.html
Thank You to all the fine folks here for all the tips and advice so I can now smoke a chunk of meat and folks actually eat it.
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Re: Looking to Upgrade

Postby ASFBBQPITS » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:56 pm

Check out our pits at allseasonsfeeders.com. Come with a ton of great option many manufactures do not consider. You can view them at HEB plus or any bucees mega store(Wharton, bastrop, new bruanfuls, lulling and Madison ville

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