Author Topic: Best Casual BBQ Smoker  (Read 3188 times)

Offline ellenspn

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Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« on: January 15, 2012, 12:19:49 PM »
For about a year I've been eying the Traeger Lil Texas Elite Pellet smokers, but they are a significant chunk of change  :o

What is the best forum for the casual weekend BBQer and what is a good starter smoker or smoker/grill combo out there?

And when I say BBQ, I don't mean grilling, I mean low and slow  ;)
Ellen Bloomfield
Spinning, weaving, geocaching, dog training and now cheesemaking in the Swamps of NE Illinois.

Offline ArnaudForestier

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Re: Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2012, 12:26:09 PM »
Well, I was always a fan of the Texas bbq grills - you probably know what I'm talking about, really simple affairs, essentially 55 gal drums cut in half, side smoker, chimney.  Thick, substantial grates.  Could do low and slow very well.  That said, I also had a cabinet smoker, in which I did all my hot smoking charcuterie (game sausages, etc.).  I have a dedicated cold smoker, too - all stainless, $$$, but a beautiful little thing.  For my money, I love (and miss) the Texas grill.
- Paul


Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2012, 10:36:30 PM »
I just happen to run a Smoking Meat, sausage, cheese, etc, etc. website and forum and for a first time smoker I would suggest a less expensive unit unless you have unlimited funds. For ease of use I would suggest a cabinet style smoker.

Brinkmann has a pretty inexpensive unit that is charcoal based for around $75.

There are also slightly more expensive propane units made by Masterbuilt many people love.

It kind of depends on what you want to do. Some people like to make big fires and have access to lots of free wood others do not. Some just want to make great food without a lot of hassle. Click the link below this message to go to my website ... I have a few reviews of different styles of smokers that might help.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 10:42:36 PM by DeejayDebi »

Offline ellenspn

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Re: Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 09:03:29 PM »
Thanks!  I found the forum :)

I don't have access to a lot of wood where I am.  What wood is available is rather expensive, so one of those fine Texas ones is out.  It would have to be charcoal, gas or pellet.  It also needs to be something I can do and not have to rely on my husband who can grill just fine, but leaves the complicated stuff to me.

Gives me a lot to think about.
Ellen Bloomfield
Spinning, weaving, geocaching, dog training and now cheesemaking in the Swamps of NE Illinois.

Offline vertlook

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Re: Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 11:34:11 PM »
The second one here is Bradley, the best smoker money can buy.
Highly customizable, you can modify it for cold smoking, you can add second element for more heating power, add PID for automatic temperature control, etc.
Highly recommended. I had other smokers before and this one by far the easiest to use.
I churn ~15lbs of various cotto salami's/canadian bacon/etc a month in it, plus smoked salmon, had it for 3 years now.

Costco has some smokers...
Tan

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11678397&search=smoker&Mo=1&cm_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&lang=en-US&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Sp=S&N=5000043&whse=BC&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=Text_Search&Dr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne=4000000&D=smoker&Ntt=smoker&No=0&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1

http://www.costco.ca/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=10315072&search=smoker&Mo=5&cm_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&lang=en-CA&Nr=P_CatalogName:BCCA&Sp=S&N=0&whse=BCCA&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=Text_Search&Dr=P_CatalogName:BCCA&Ne=4000000&D=smoker&Ntt=smoker&No=4&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1


Offline dttorun

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Re: Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2012, 05:19:52 AM »
Thanks!  I found the forum :)

I don't have access to a lot of wood where I am.  What wood is available is rather expensive, so one of those fine Texas ones is out.  It would have to be charcoal, gas or pellet.  It also needs to be something I can do and not have to rely on my husband who can grill just fine, but leaves the complicated stuff to me.

Gives me a lot to think about.

You need to be careful with pellet using smokers before you decide to buy one. Pellet consumption is huge considering 1 pellet goes 15-30 min and average smoking time is 6-8 hours...
Tan

Offline dthelmers

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Re: Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2012, 07:33:38 AM »
I have bought several of the rather cheap propane smokers. I got them out of season when there were good sales. Two of them we use as ovens in our camp at a 2 week camping event we do every year. I fitted them with turkey fryer supplies so we can use them as ovens or as smokers.
The third is in the back yard, and I smoke bacon pretty regularly. I switched the cast iron box for chips with a somewhat larger cast iron skillet to hold more chips. It doesn't use a lot of wood, or propane, for that matter. The local big box lumber yards have bags of hardwood chips, but there are cheaper ways to go. My next door neighbor had just laid a cherry wood floor, and in an inspired moment we turned a small off-cut into a large bag of fine shavings with the power planer, That size chip worked the best for me so far. Sunday I'll do the same with a scrap of hickory. I've used a lot of apple saved from clearing my friend's meadow, catching the chips from the chipper we rented when we cleared a couple of old wild apple trees.
Dave in CT

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2012, 09:28:43 PM »
Thanks!  I found the forum :)

I don't have access to a lot of wood where I am.  What wood is available is rather expensive, so one of those fine Texas ones is out.  It would have to be charcoal, gas or pellet.  It also needs to be something I can do and not have to rely on my husband who can grill just fine, but leaves the complicated stuff to me.

Gives me a lot to think about.


Once you start smoking you will siff out free wood everywhere. Neighborhood tree limbs, orchards doing spring and fall trimming - it everywhere!

Do you have a "Do It Best" Store or an Ace Hardware near you? You can order bags of wood chunks or chips from them and have it delivered to the store for free and just pick it up there. I order my pecan from them all the time - great wood pecan!   http://www.doitbest.com/StoreLocator.dib  I use a mix of Hickory, pecan, apple and cherry for almost everything. It's my signature smoke flavor.

Check your Home depots and Lowes etc they are selling off most of there smokers for nothing. A friend just picked up two small brinkmann cabinets for $29


Offline ilvalleygal

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Re: Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2012, 04:06:39 PM »
I'm a novice at low-n-slow and already owned a Weber charcoal kettle when I ran across the Smokenator. It's an accessory for my Weber and cost around $50-60. I have a neighbor that does competition BBQ so he looks down his nose at my little accessory, but it works for ribs, pork butts, and the other occasional backyard BBQ meals without requiring a whole separate "appliance" on the deck.

Offline ellenspn

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Re: Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 03:36:37 PM »
Made it to Home Depot and they have 2 deeply discounted ones. Both Brinkmann. One is a bullet type and the other is the cabinet type. Both are charcoal. Which one would I be better off with? The cabinet is easier to access, but I've seen more mods for the bullet type.
Ellen Bloomfield
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 08:22:45 PM »
The cabinet will hold more is easier to control heat and can be easily converted to propne if needed. I use the bullet as a grill quite a bit.

I vote the cabinet! Is it the single or 2 door model?

Offline ellenspn

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Re: Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 08:34:25 PM »
I've got a weber kettle grill already. So the cabinet it is :). It's a single door I believe.
Ellen Bloomfield
Spinning, weaving, geocaching, dog training and now cheesemaking in the Swamps of NE Illinois.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2012, 08:39:26 PM »
I highly recommend you either build or purchase something to raise the charcoal from the floor, it burns better. I approved your membership BTY.  ;)

Offline MolBasser

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Re: Best Casual BBQ Smoker
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 03:16:50 PM »
The Weber Smokey Mountain is the best smoker for the money.

It really is that good.

For more fire and forget smoking I own a Masterbuilt 7-1 propane smoker (Cabelas branded) and it works well too, but honestly for home smoking it is really really hard to beat the WSM.

MolBasser
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