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Looking for a smoker

Discussion in 'Off the Topic Forum' started by DTB, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. DTB

    DTB ArboristSite Operative

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    Hi,

    I am in the market for a smoker. I am looking at the Weber Rocky Mountain. Any recommendations? Thanks.
     
  2. Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam ArboristSite Lurker

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    Smoker

    I've got a Horizon 20"HD offset smoker. Love it. Before that one I bought a super cheap charbroil offset. Junk is all I can say. Its paper thin so does not hold the heat and just plain old junk. I bought it to try out smoking and then bought a real smoker. A friend of mine has a electric Bradley smoker. It's good and all but just not the same. You buy the bisketts for it and set it and go. I like the offset using the real wood. I actually just bought two barrels to start making my charcoal with oak. Cheak out this link. Boat loads of info on EVERYTHING youll need to know. Buyer's guide and reviews of smokers, grills, accessories, gadgets, books, magazines, sauces, ingredients, and more
     
  3. flashhole

    flashhole Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Look on the B-B-Q forums. You will get more advice than you can stand. I bought the canister/barrel type. Wish I'd bought the type that looks like a little refrigerator with the doors that pull open. Mine doesn't hold heat worth a darn. I had to build a make-shift wind block just to use it.
     
  4. reaperman

    reaperman ArboristSite Guru

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    Smokers come in all shapes and sizes, and smoking meat is almost like a religion. Many options are available and prices follow. A lot of smokers I see these days in big box stores aren't made as well as they used to be. The metal is pretty thin and lightweight. But I'm sure they work well but may burn out in time. I would check around for a used one if your not in too big of hurry. With spring just around the corner, used ones will start popping up on craigslist. A older model will probably be make of heavier material with a lower cost.

    Another aspect is what material you will be using for heat/smoke. A true smoker will use lump charcoal or wood, never charcoal briquettes used for grilling. So a smoker that will hold its heat will save time and money in frequent reloading. Smoked meat is normally allows 1 1/2 hours of smoking per pound of meat at approx 225 degrees. A temp much over 230 degrees falls out of the "smoking" definition and into the "cooking" catagory. Larger meats like a full brisket can take upwards of 20 or hours or more to smoke. Also make sure the smoker itself has enough room inside to hold a full size turkey, length of baby back ribs, or a full brisket. If these items fit, anything will.

    My smoker is a "big green egg". They are $$$ new but used ones can be found. They are made out of ceramic and last forever, and super insulated. A 40 hour smoke is possible on one load of lump charcoal. Whichever unit you decide on, your in for a treat, smoked meat is awesome
     
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  5. DTB

    DTB ArboristSite Operative

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  6. Valkyrie Rider

    Valkyrie Rider ArboristSite Operative

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    I have a weber smokey mountain smoker. Had it close to 10 years now. I like it. I run a Stoker for electronic temp control, but used it the old fashion way also. For all you ever want to know about them check out virtual weber bullet website/forum

    I'd love a Big Green Egg, but can't bring myself to spend the $$ when the weber works fine for me.
     
  7. Turd Furgeson

    Turd Furgeson ArboristSite Member

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    I have two Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) smokers; a 22" and 18.5" that I use for real BBQ along with a Masterbuilt electric smoker for sausages, cheese, and fish. I say go with the WSM. As long as you have enough charcoal in it, once you dial it in you don't have to touch it for 6-9 hours. It makes some awesome BBQ. About this time of the year amazon has 20% off patio, lawn, and garden if you get their credit card I bought the 22" two years ago with that deal. Although I think last year weber items were excluded from the promotion. The 18.5" i paid $4 for at the thrift store.
     
  8. Frank Boyer

    Frank Boyer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The wsm's work great. Many people do competetion with them. I have a couple from 1996 that probably have 15k miles in the back of a pickup. Chris's Virtual Weber site is dedicated to the wsm.
     
  9. groundup

    groundup ArboristSite Guru

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    Hey DTB


    I have a catering business and we run all Meadowcreek cookers and smokers. They are out of New Holland PA.

    I saw you are in MD, Galvinells in Cecil county is a dealer.
     
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  10. Stihlofadeal64

    Stihlofadeal64 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have an old ugly fuel oil drum that has been fabbed into a smoker. Put quite a few chickens, butts, and briskets through it. Fed quite a few with it. I use hickory and pecan. It's about time to cook some BBQ.
     
  11. Iska3

    Iska3 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    What you really need to do is ask yourself what do you want to do with a smoker.. If it’s just a few chickens, ribs or a butt or two then all of the posters had some good ideas.

    If you want to get in to Cold Smoking like Cheese, Hard Boiled Eggs or making Sausages, Jerky, Stick etc. Then you need to keep in mind that temp control is very important. If you are looking for the ring in your smoked meat than you almost need to use a form of wood or charcoal. If you want to do something like 15 pounds of sausage or a large amount of fish at one time then you’ll need something bigger and a way to control the heat.

    I started out with an old fridge and later got a MES30 that is electric and works good in the colder weather because it’s insulated and has a set temp and timer. I also use the 55 gal barrel and really like that. The barrel will teach you the true art of smoking with wood and charcoal but in all of them, you are still limited to space.

    One of our members made a wooden smoker that must work well (because it’s larger) and I’ve seen a few that are as big as an outhouse. This summer I’ll be making a bigger smoker from a old stand up freezer so I can do more sausage at one time.

    Before you buy a smoker, first ask yourself…. What do you want to Smoke or do you want to do a BBQ and add smoke to the flavor.

    I would start would start out with something easy first like a drum and work your way up from there. Once you get hooked on smoking, you'll need to decide if you want to heat and control the temp in the smoker with LP, Wood, Charcoal or Elect.

    The smoker is the easy part, the art of smoking is another story. Then you'll start talking about stuffers and grinder and how long to age your wood before you an use it for smoking.


     
  12. DTB

    DTB ArboristSite Operative

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    I really want to smoke venison, chicken, pork and fish. Not really interested in cold smoking. I thought about trying the Weber first. My friend has one and seemed fairly easy with good results. i am leary about the electric ones due to gadgetry break down and worn out heating elements.
     
  13. projectsho89

    projectsho89 ArboristSite Operative

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    Here's a pair of smokers!

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Iska3

    Iska3 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The Weber Rocky Mountain Smoker would be a good starter for you but a word of warning, It’s like cutting wood, once you start you want a bigger chainsaw so smoking becomes addictive. If you are new to smoking, start off small like you plan and in time you can work your way to bigger and better things.

    I started out doing chicken, ribs, turkey, chops and soon move to other things. Last week I made a smoked ground turkey meatloaf filled with stuffing and wrapped in bacon strips. You'll be doing things like this in no time. The weber would be more than enough smoker / cooker.

    View attachment 286783




     
  15. flashhole

    flashhole Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That looks yummy! That and a 6-pack is a 7 course meal.
     
  16. LarryTheCableGuy

    LarryTheCableGuy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have a Big Green Egg and it is nothing short of awesome. I bought it used off of craigslist - they go really fast and missed quite a few opportunities. I got a fair deal, but that was after watching the listings closely and being the first one there with cash in hand.

    We use it to smoke as well as cook pizza - it works very well for both.
     
  17. bowtechmadman

    bowtechmadman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I use a charbroil grill w/ attached smoker box with some pretty good results doing ribs, prime rib, turkey, chicken. I smoke with wood but the design is terrible for even heating/smoke, and terrible for temp control too many air leaks etc.
    It does get addictive, I'm also in the market for a new smoker not sure what way I'm going but I know i want to use strictly wood and also be able to grill with it. Considering building a brick smoker/grill. View attachment 286876 View attachment 286877 View attachment 286878
     
  18. bowtechmadman

    bowtechmadman Addicted to ArboristSite

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  19. bowtechmadman

    bowtechmadman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Anyone built there own smoker, either brick, wood, steel etc? Love to see some home designs.
     
  20. D Dubeau

    D Dubeau ArboristSite Lurker

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    Here's mine.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    12ga sides (one sheet 5x10, stitch cut, and bent) with a 1/8" floor. "Plan" was for a separate firebox reverse flow setup, but never got around to finishing it. Once I started cooking on it I had more interest in eating what came out of it, than working on it :). I just use it as is as an indirect cooker (meat on on side, heat on the other). It works great, and a lot of good stuff has filled my belly from it over the past 2 years. I've got the itch to build a new one, as soon as the weather turns nice (still 1' of snow in my backyard). I'll be using it this weekend for a turkey (first time, I usually fry them) and some pork tenderloin.

    The new one will be a lot nicer, and more versatile. It will also be on a trailer, cause I hate moving this one around. Had to move it last year with 80lbs of meat cooking in it. Used the 3pt forks on the tractor to pick it up and spin it 180 in tight quarters, I love "steering" brakes.
     

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