Notices
Like Tree15Likes

Best smoker for newbie?

Old 01-10-2019, 02:40 PM
  #1  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Port St. Lucie FL
Posts: 904
Default Best smoker for newbie?

Finally decided to get a smoker and I want a good one to lessen the almost certainty of my screwing up the process. Suggestions?

Chuck
FastAttack is online now  
Old 01-10-2019, 02:55 PM
  #2  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: buzzards bay,ma.
Posts: 3,672
Default

Originally Posted by FastAttack View Post
Finally decided to get a smoker and I want a good one to lessen the almost certainty of my screwing up the process. Suggestions?

Chuck
If only used as a smoker, pellet or electric, truly set it and forget it. Plan to invest in good thermometers, internal temp is the difference between good and not so good
andyp262 is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 02:57 PM
  #3  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Port St. Lucie FL
Posts: 904
Default

Yup, it will serve as a smoker only. Not afraid to invest in good tools.

Chuck
FastAttack is online now  
Old 01-10-2019, 03:11 PM
  #4  
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Mid Atlantic
Posts: 69
Default

To me, smoking is all about the experience. Are you more of a "set and forget" type? Or do you like to add wood chunks at your own rate and micro-manage the heat?
SOSC is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 03:12 PM
  #5  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Port St. Lucie FL
Posts: 904
Default

I'm good either way, whatever gets the best results.

Chuck
FastAttack is online now  
Old 01-10-2019, 03:16 PM
  #6  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Charleston, SC, USA!
Posts: 2,170
Default

"Forever" smoker, grill, etc....Egg or similar for charcoal or Trager for pellets...pick your poison. I have a lg Egg and love it.
Reelescape1 is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 03:16 PM
  #7  
MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Panama City Beach, FL
Posts: 35
Default

Primo Oval XL.
Seafighter is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 03:34 PM
  #8  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: C Dock Rum Club, FL
Posts: 6,170
Default

Weber Smokey mountain. End of discussion.
23Dorado is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 03:53 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,263
Default

Pitmakers vault absolutely love mine

a bit pricey but you can dial it in like an oven yet smoke meat like the guys that do it for a living

http://pitmaker.com/gallery/?vin=623...maker-4b_1.jpg

Last edited by willie g; 01-10-2019 at 04:32 PM.
willie g is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 04:04 PM
  #10  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lexington SC
Posts: 285
Default

X2 for the Weber Smokey Mountain. Very easy to dial in temps and will go a long time on a load of charcoal if done right.
Lineside is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 04:18 PM
  #11  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 2,793
Default


The sky is the limit on pricing. Easiest beginner smoker is electric. After that gas smoke box with wood box for smoke (what I use). Then you get into the Egg style smokers.

mine is just a metal box with gas burner at the bottom a wood box above the flame. Works great and Iíve done everything from fish/chicken/sausage up to an 18# brisket. I do sometimes fight with keeping the temps stable as the wood chunks smolder away. I can leave it for a few hours but never ďset and forgetĒ. I have top and bottom doors so that I can add wood without opening the door to the meat.

My BIL has the Primo oval smoker and loves it. He has the electric actuator/fan controller synced to his phone so he can control the temp from the beach! It runs only on wood and you have to pull everything out if you need to add more wood.

I think the Primo is a much better set up but Iím happy to have spent FAR less and having a beer while checking/chasing the temps is all part of the experience!


Finsinchessy likes this.
Tainui is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 04:48 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Gettysburg, PA
Posts: 387
Default

There's quite a learning curve with smoking. Most of it is learning how to use your smoker and keep it running with the correct amount of heat and smoke. Beware of the cheap smokers you find at Wal-Mart and Lowe's. Either the cabinet style pictured above (the charcoal ones, not gas/electric) or the side Firefox smoker grills. They are usually the hardest to get to burn and the ones that need constant attention. You can Google "smoker mods" and see for yourself what extents people have had to modify those cheapos to get to work right. Once you get them figured out, they work great, but they can really test your patience. I have had them all, except the eggs, but I have helped a bud with his and the eggs aren't difficult to get to run right after you figure them out. The Webber bullets are probably easiest without many mods and are highly recommended. The traeger or green mountain style pellet smokers are a little pricey, but VERY simple and truly set and forget. But you don't quite get the same bark and smoke you get from wood or charcoal. That said, I like my Green Mountain pellet grill the most. I can smoke at 150 or grill at 500 or anywhere in between.

Go to smokingmeatforums.com for great info.

Charlie
SquidsDusky is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 04:56 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SWFLA
Posts: 1,635
Default

Iíve gone through this and started with electric. Skip it imo. It just smolders the chips. You donít get a complete burn. Little to no smoke ring and flavor is not great. Good for fish maybe thatís about it.
I would start with propane. I have a Camp Chef smoke vault. Couple hundred bucks. Super easy. Use wood chunks not chips. It holds an entire turkey and ribs and butts galore.
If you want to keep going, you can go pellet or the ultimate.....offset Lang style all wood smoker.

Edit: I also use my 22 Weber kettle with the slow n sear tray. Lots of management. Closest taste to real wood smokers.
Eye8atoad is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 05:05 PM
  #14  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 5,938
Default

I use a propane cabinet style smoker with a wood pan and a water pan above that. Similar to the one pictured two posts before mine. The water pan helps to stabilize the temps and reduce the heat added by the burning wood. I use mesquite chunks almost exclusively. Gives the best flavor I think, though other woods work well, too. Takes 10-12 hours to smoke a couple 10 lb shoulders. Smoke for 6-8 hours, then wrap in foil for the final 4 or 5 hours. When the bone pulls out easily, it's done. I use a commercial dry rub--a sweet/smokey style.

Not very difficult to smoke meats. Just need to find a rub you like, and don't overcook or it will dry out the roasts. Each smoker has it's own time table...I try to keep the temp between 225 and 250 degrees. The propane style is not thermostatically controlled (at least mine isn't) but it's mostly set and forget. Monitor for the first couple hours so the temp stabilizes, then add wood chunks every 3 hours or so.

The smoker rusts out in about 6-7 years, so plan to replace periodically. I buy inexpensive units for this reason. I think the last one was from Lowes. The taste of the meat from a $150 smoker is the same as that from a $2000 smoker. I guess a $2000 smoker would last longer.

And remember this---If you're lookin' it ain't cookin!
Finsinchessy likes this.
Buoy Scout is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 05:14 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Cape Fear, NC
Posts: 11,475
Default

The WSM as mentioned several times. Get a controller for it if you want to set and forget.
back at it is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 05:14 PM
  #16  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Oregon
Posts: 986
Default

For something relatively inexpensive, a Weber Smoky Mountain.

If you want to spend a little more, a pellet smoker like a traeger, rec tec, green mountain, etc.

If you want to really spend some money, a Cookshack.

twollman is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 05:31 PM
  #17  
svu
THT Sponsor
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: satellite beach fl
Posts: 1,101
Default

Masterbilt electric. Under 100 on amazonn.easy temp control.
Boataholic and Rlpsystems like this.
svu is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 05:32 PM
  #18  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
The Matador's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Bend, OR or blurry eyed in Cabo
Posts: 62
Default

Green Mountain here...

Love them...

Davey Crockett for camping ~




Daniel Boone for the house ~

The Matador is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 06:57 PM
  #19  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Marblehead, Ohio
Posts: 9,727
Default

OP,
as a newbie, I would recommend the Masterbuilt Electric. Its a great starter smoker, easy to use. Not exactly set and forget as I have to add wood chips/chunks to mine at regular intervals for first part of smoke but still it does a good job. Weber smoky mountains are great, I just found it a little more work.. I do have a Green mountain pellet smoker and it works great as well .

I also have a tube and a "maze" from amazn products and I use them quite a bit. I can turn my gas grill into a smoker. I can use one in the masterbuilt for true set and forget. I can also use one in a cabinet smoker without any other heat to "cold smoke" bacon, cheese etc. https://www.amazenproducts.com/
Boataholic is offline  
Old 01-10-2019, 07:27 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 636
Default

I have an old custom Pitts & Spitts from Houston TX. Old school,wood smoker. Also have a nice Masterbuilt Electric.

That said, I was given a Pit Barrel Cooker fir my birthday. WTH? I don’t need this.

The PBC is superior to any smoker I’ve used. Not expensive.

Look at the videos on line. I’ve cooked turkey, bone in prime rib, ribs and chicken. I’m constantly amazed how well it works.
Bayou Dularge is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread