Author Topic: Smoker Opinions  (Read 1057 times)

Offline HopDen

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Smoker Opinions
« on: April 12, 2020, 07:58:06 PM »
Looking for reviews on smokers that the community members use. I'm leaning towards electric so I can cold smoke but also interested in a propane.

Thank you in advance!!

Offline tommymorris

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Re: Smoker Opinions
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2020, 08:13:42 PM »
I have a Weber Smoky Mountain. It’s a charcoal smoker so it doesn’t match your specs. But, I will say Weber makes high quality gear. I regularly abuse my smoker and my Weber gas grill by leaving the cover off and letting them get soaked in rain. Both are several years old (at least) and both have held up remarkably well.

Offline Bob357

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Re: Smoker Opinions
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2020, 08:59:58 PM »
If you're only interested in smoking rather than fully cooking, the Little Chief or Big Chief offer the best bang for the buck. Either can be had from Amazon for around $100 if you watch for sales. These are made specifically for smoking fish, and work well for jerky, cheese and grains. They also double as a dehydrator when you want to keep the heat out of the house.
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Offline denny

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Re: Smoker Opinions
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2020, 09:34:52 PM »
If you're only interested in smoking rather than fully cooking, the Little Chief or Big Chief offer the best bang for the buck. Either can be had from Amazon for around $100 if you watch for sales. These are made specifically for smoking fish, and work well for jerky, cheese and grains. They also double as a dehydrator when you want to keep the heat out of the house.

I've used a Little Chief for 30 years, mainly for fish.  Does a great job.
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Offline BrewBama

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Smoker Opinions
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2020, 10:06:48 PM »
Like Tommy, I’m also a WSM fan.  It’s a very useful tool that can do it all IMO.

When I want to cool smoke something like jerky, Kielbasa, Bacon, or Summer Sausage, I simply build a line of charcoal briquettes around the fire ring. I light one end and it snakes it’s way around. It stays ~110-115*F. 

I use it high heat by filling the charcoal ring and lighting a full chimney and opening up the vents for brisket, turkey, chicken, etc.. I do low n slow pork butts by choking down the vents.


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« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 02:25:34 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Smoker Opinions
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2020, 10:56:57 PM »
If you're only interested in smoking rather than fully cooking, the Little Chief or Big Chief offer the best bang for the buck. Either can be had from Amazon for around $100 if you watch for sales. These are made specifically for smoking fish, and work well for jerky, cheese and grains. They also double as a dehydrator when you want to keep the heat out of the house.

I'm definitely interested in fully cooking items. I want to be able to smoke at low temps for long periods at a maintainable temp w/o constantly fussy over needless adjustments, a sort of set it and forget it.

Offline Visor

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Re: Smoker Opinions
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2020, 11:44:35 PM »
   Pellet grills are another option albeit not an inexpensive one, but there are a lot of folks who love them and swear by them. When mine's not being cranky I can smoke as low as ~150 and bake up to >350. I wouldn't recommend the brand I purchased but I would recommend pellet grills in general, and the pellets are considerable less expensive than charcoal. I will admit though that a good charcoal grill will instill more smoke flavor than a pellet grill. I do have several charcoal smokers, but they rarely get used, more trouble and more expensive fuel.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Smoker Opinions
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2020, 03:18:11 PM »
My suggestion is an Akorn Kamado. Should be about $300. You can smoke, grill, etc. using the same smoker. Of course it is not pellet or gas, it is charcoal.

https://www.chargriller.com/collections/kamado-grills

I've tried bullet smokers, offset firebox, gas indirect, etc. I gave away my gas grill after getting the Akorn and haven't looked back. It does some with a learning curve, but coupled with a TipTopTemp you can dial it in and leave it.

Now if all you want is to cold smoke, I think and electric would be the best bet.
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Offline HydraulicSammich

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Re: Smoker Opinions
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2020, 01:48:52 PM »
For smoking sausages, bacon, and other meats, I really like my Sausage Maker electric. But, it still doesn't get down to real cold smoke temps. There is a port on the side that I use to hook up my own cold smoker. You can  make them pretty cheap. You still have to attend to them every couple hours.
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Smoker Opinions
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2020, 07:41:49 PM »
For smoking sausages, bacon, and other meats, I really like my Sausage Maker electric. But, it still doesn't get down to real cold smoke temps. There is a port on the side that I use to hook up my own cold smoker. You can  make them pretty cheap. You still have to attend to them every couple hours.

I was looking at those. Still up in the air though. Can you tell me which model you have and any dis-likes you may have? Given the chance to purchase again, would you buy said model again?

Offline santoch

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Re: Smoker Opinions
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2020, 07:52:45 PM »
I have a Pitboss pellet smoker that I retrofitted with a SmokeDaddy digital PID controller.  I like how it lets me set-it-and-forget-it unlike a wood or coal burner system which you have to tend continually. Electrics are set and forget too, but I can get the temp up higher so I get crispy chicken skin and better bark than I ever could  with my Masterbuilt Electric smoker.
Pellet smokers are pretty notorious for not producing as much smoke as stick burners and electric because the fire is smaller than a wood burner and its used as the heat source too.  I added an AMAZ-N tube smoker for about 20 bucks, and this issue is not an issue any more.
Plus, having the tube lets me cold smoke, too. 

While I admire the "caveman" concept of stick burning, I'm happy with the ease of use of my pellet burner and the results I get with it.

Oh, and the SmokingMeatForums.com is a great resource.  They are just as friendly, informative, and into BBQ over there as we are here. Plus, they have a "Beer and Brewing" section, too.

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Offline BrewBama

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Smoker Opinions
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2020, 08:39:24 PM »
...unlike... coal burner system which you have to tend continually.

I couldn’t respectably disagree with this more. WSM(s) are known for ‘set it and forget it’ cooking — naturally aspirated.


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Offline Big_Eight

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Re: Smoker Opinions
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2020, 11:17:25 PM »
I had a masterbuilt electric smoker for a few years and it done an absolutely gorgeous and delicious job of smoking chicken, turkey, brisket , Boston butt etc... The smoke flavor and juicyness has been great. The best part is you set the temp and it holds it and you load in chips every hour or so.

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Offline HopDen

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Re: Smoker Opinions
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2020, 01:14:32 PM »
I have a Pitboss pellet smoker that I retrofitted with a SmokeDaddy digital PID controller.  I like how it lets me set-it-and-forget-it unlike a wood or coal burner system which you have to tend continually. Electrics are set and forget too, but I can get the temp up higher so I get crispy chicken skin and better bark than I ever could  with my Masterbuilt Electric smoker.
Pellet smokers are pretty notorious for not producing as much smoke as stick burners and electric because the fire is smaller than a wood burner and its used as the heat source too.  I added an AMAZ-N tube smoker for about 20 bucks, and this issue is not an issue any more.
Plus, having the tube lets me cold smoke, too. 

While I admire the "caveman" concept of stick burning, I'm happy with the ease of use of my pellet burner and the results I get with it.

Oh, and the SmokingMeatForums.com is a great resource.  They are just as friendly, informative, and into BBQ over there as we are here. Plus, they have a "Beer and Brewing" section, too.

Thanks!!

Offline MDixon

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Re: Smoker Opinions
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2020, 01:16:45 PM »
...unlike... coal burner system which you have to tend continually.

I couldn’t respectably disagree with this more. WSM(s) are known for ‘set it and forget it’ cooking — naturally aspirated.


Agree 100%. I setup my Akorn smoker and don't worry about it again until it's time to remove the meat.
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