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Good Eats>Advice from the masters
G G 08:19 AM 11-23-2014
I know we have a lot of great chefs here that use smokers to cook. I am considering buying an entry level smoker with money being in short supply. I was wondering if yall have any input on what I should start out with. I would only be using it to cook for three people so it doesn't need to be big at all. I have looked at the cheap round ones, and my brother used to have one that worked pretty good for him. I have seen the small upright ones' too. Just not wanting to spend a lot of money to get started and could upgrade later. Thanks.
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hammondc 08:35 AM 11-23-2014
Depending on budget, the Weber Smokey Mountain is a great beginner smoker.
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Stevez 08:49 AM 11-23-2014
Couldn't agree more with the recommendation for the Weber Smoky Mountain Bullet. $299 delivered off Amazon with free shipping. Go to the Virtual Weber Bullet website for a great source of recipes and how to do different cooks. Great resource. I've turned several people on to this smoker and everyone has loved it.
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T.G 09:01 AM 11-23-2014
I don't think you can go wrong with either the aforementioned 18-1/2" WSM or a Pit Barrel Cooker (PBC) .
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shilala 09:02 AM 11-23-2014
Make sure you check Craigslist, homie. :-)
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Porch Dweller 09:22 AM 11-23-2014
Originally Posted by hammondc:
Depending on budget, the Weber Smokey Mountain is a great beginner smoker.
:-)

If you decide to go with a WSM, don't get the 14.5" one; the cooking area is just too small. I'm usually only cooking for me and the wife and we have an 18.5".
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T.G 09:33 AM 11-23-2014
Originally Posted by Porch Dweller:
:-)

If you decide to go with a WSM, don't get the 14.5" one; the cooking area is just too small. I'm usually only cooking for me and the wife and we have an 18.5".
I either forgot or didn't know that they made a 14.5". Definitely avoid something that small. It's the Smokey Joe grates, which are good for like three hotdogs and A burger. Maybe two if they are small. Temp control in really small smokers like that can be very erratic too.
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G G 10:57 AM 11-23-2014
Originally Posted by shilala:
Make sure you check Craigslist, homie. :-)
I have been looking the last couple days.
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G G 11:03 AM 11-23-2014
And I know the advice is good, but am probably going to be a little more limited on funds at least for a little while. That Pit Barrel Cooker sure is interesting. Might just shoot for that.
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pektel 11:12 AM 11-23-2014
I bought a horizontal barrel grille at target a few years ago for like $79. Didn't come with the sidecar, but I've made it turn out great food for its whole life.
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Chainsaw13 12:01 PM 11-23-2014
PM Mike, 357, about his UDS (ugly drum smoker). Or just google for it. If you're handy, you can make your own for a pretty cheap sum.
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T.G 12:33 PM 11-23-2014
Originally Posted by Chainsaw13:
PM Mike, 357, about his UDS (ugly drum smoker). Or just google for it. If you're handy, you can make your own for a pretty cheap sum.
Having made one UDS and rebuilt a second one, I can say that I think the PBC is a better option than building your own unless you need the larger capacity. Depending on how you set up the UDS, the cost difference might not be that great, and with the PBC you can just take it out of the box and start cooking, rather than f-ing around with cleaning the inside of a used drum which can be a PITA and a lot of work (and I got lucky, my drums only needed an acid wash and a soak with caustic - very potent industrial grade stuff in both cased, but it beat burning and sanding for days).

Don't get me wrong, I think UDSs are great, but I also think the PBC is a simpler, easier and better solution. I needed cookers that could hold 6-8 whole chickens, 4-6 butts, 8 tri-tips, 12+ racks of ribs, etc all of which is way more than the PBC can handle, so I had to go the UDS route.

Gary ("cort") has both a UDS and a PBC - he could probably weigh in on some of the differences also.
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G G 03:17 PM 11-23-2014
I appreciate the great advice friends. I talked to Steve today and the situation has been remedied. He has a solution that mutually benefits both of us. Thanks Steve.
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MarkinOR 03:26 PM 11-23-2014
Great! Way to go Steve:-)
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Steve 05:32 PM 11-23-2014
Originally Posted by G G:
I appreciate the great advice friends. I talked to Steve today and the situation has been remedied. He has a solution that mutually benefits both of us. Thanks Steve.
:-)

Gotta look after my brother!
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mosesbotbol 06:00 PM 11-23-2014
Buy WSM for Bed Bath & Beyond online, pick up at store with 20% off coupon. Cheapest way to buy one. If you could swing it, I'd go for the larger one even though BBB does not carry it. The larger diameter works better ribs.
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jonumberone 06:44 AM 11-24-2014
Glad Steve was able to hook you up, Greg.
Had I seen this I would've echoed the guys recommending the Pit Barrel or building yourself and UDS.
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badbriar 07:40 AM 11-24-2014
Originally Posted by hammondc:
Depending on budget, the Weber Smokey Mountain is a great beginner smoker.
What he said!!! I've had one of these for over 20 years - same one and is still going strong! Excellent results and can do two butts, briskets or turkeys at a time. DON'T make the mistake of getting another vertical smoker, like a Brinkman - not the same and you WILL be sorely disappointed! Walmart has the Smokey Mountain for around $300.00. Best $$$ you will ever spend!
Happy Smokin' :-)
RR
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G G 07:40 AM 11-24-2014
TG and Dom, I like that Pit Barrel Cooker and will probably order one when the money situation gets better. :-)
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badbriar 07:55 AM 11-24-2014
For some first class recipes and instructions on how to smoke anything, do a google search and type in BBQ FAQ. It is under www.eaglequest.com/~bbq.
Absolutely best place for smoking ever. Ribs, Brisket and Butt instructions are dead on and will give you perfect BBQ every time! Be sure to try the rib glaze!!! I used to cook on a competition BBQ team here in FL for a couple of years and we started with this site for information. First competition, we came in 5th place out of 28. Not too shabby for rookies, but the info from this site was the secret ingredient!

:-)
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