View Full Version : in need of a new smoker

08-07-2012, 08:18 PM
looking to buy a new smoker but not sure what kind i have three kids so do not have 5,000 $ to spend
this is what i own so far
char-griller outlaw smoker, stok tower charcoal grill and bradley smoker
sure there will be some hatefull comments do go ahead

08-07-2012, 08:23 PM
what is your budget? also what type of smoker are you looking for? You dont need a 5K smoker to compete...

08-07-2012, 08:24 PM
We don't do "hateful comments" on this forum. It isn't tolerated and it isn't what the Brethren is about.

Probably a little more information about what you do have to spend and what you are looking to get into could be helpful if you are looking for suggestions.

08-07-2012, 08:26 PM
You posted in the Competition forum so I assume you want to compete with it, yes? That being said, there are an overwhelming majority of professionals and noobs that do quite well using your basic WSM. Why not start there? Or you can mess around with some fun and build a UDS, which is basically a bigger WSM. I am adding the Stoker attachment to mine even though the UDS can run like clockwork right where it settles. I am a tech geek and employ technology whenever possible.

08-07-2012, 08:28 PM
what is wsm

08-07-2012, 08:29 PM
i am not good a building stuff

08-07-2012, 08:31 PM
Weber Smokey Mountain. Harry Soo competes and wins all over the country with one single WSM. You don't have to be good at building stuff, have a fab shop do it for you. I had a welder do internal tabs, the charcoal basket, the door, nipples and caps, everything. Total investment for mine is only about $250

Here's my latest build. Granted I added an access door and had the whole thing powdercoated.


08-07-2012, 08:34 PM
i was thinking about 2,000

08-07-2012, 08:35 PM
how do i go about makeing one

08-07-2012, 08:43 PM
For that price, I am thinking Backwoods or even a Pitmaker Safe. If you want to build one you just hit Craigslist and get a 55 gallon drum, an old Weber you can salvage the lid from, then have a fab shop put in tabs to hold your grates (Weber grates fit right in it), cut in a door if you want, build you a charcoal basket, put on legs and handles, get three two inch double threaded cold rolled steel pipe sections with caps, another with a right angle and a stem and ball valve and you are in business. There are loads of places online and in here that offer directions. I just had it done the way I like it.

I also had the shop use the lid that they cut the lip off of and made a heat deflector that rests on top of the charcoal basket. They used the rim of the lid, flipped it and welded it to the Weber lid and it fits like a charm. I also had two port holes drilled for meat and grill probes. She runs like a champ.

08-07-2012, 08:45 PM

This one will last you forever http://pitmaker.com/product/vin/?vin=62369936

08-07-2012, 08:47 PM

08-07-2012, 08:54 PM
was thinking something like the photo i posted

08-07-2012, 09:21 PM
Is this for competition? A 36" smoker may be too small. It can be done, but you timing would have to be perfect.

Did you look at Peoria Custom Cookers as I suggested in your other thread? They make some nice cookers and are close to you so you could pick it up and save on shipping.

08-07-2012, 09:27 PM
56"H x 61.5"L x 29"W

08-07-2012, 09:30 PM
yea i looked at the Peoria Custom

08-07-2012, 09:31 PM
the 24x48 was 1,700 the big one is 6,500

08-07-2012, 09:40 PM
Are you going to be using this for competition?

08-07-2012, 09:41 PM
thanks for all your help i will still look around who know what i will end up buying

08-07-2012, 09:44 PM
I can do an entire contest on a Rebel 23 Gravity fed charcoal. Cost you about $2500. They are doing well this year.

08-07-2012, 09:44 PM
yes on top of the other three i have is that to small waste of moeny??

08-07-2012, 09:46 PM
Again... Are you going to be using it at competitions?

08-07-2012, 09:49 PM
yea that was my thought

08-07-2012, 09:53 PM
Then think about whether you want to be up at night feeding the fire in an offset or if you want something like a Backwoods or Stumps that will let you get some sleep. You also have to think about the timing of the meats. With a smaller cooker you'll either need to bring a second cooker or figure out the timing so that you have room for all of the categories.

08-07-2012, 09:56 PM
what is the backwoods smoker?

08-07-2012, 09:58 PM
BTW, of the three cookers that you list that you have, the Bradley is electric and cannot be used for KCBS competitions. The Stok may be useful for grilling chicken and setting the glaze on ribs, but that's about it, and the Chargriller you'll be feeding it avery 30 minutes or more often in bad weather.

08-07-2012, 09:59 PM
what is the backwoods smoker?

Google is your friend...


08-07-2012, 10:03 PM
oh bummer thanks for all your help

08-07-2012, 10:04 PM
maybe comp is not made for me then

08-07-2012, 10:06 PM
what is the backwoods smoker?


There is a dealer not all that far from you thats a great guy.


Also theres some used on the backwoods forums since you dont have 5K to spend I will not try to pedal the Rainmaker to you. :cry:

I have several friends that use backwoods and do well.I actually bought the worlds oldest Backwoods Party a couple weeks ago .:blah:

08-07-2012, 10:16 PM
ok thanks

08-07-2012, 10:19 PM
what is wsm
Weber Smokey Mountain.

It's what I compete with.

I'm no Harry Soo in the comp cooking arena (though I am better looking), so I cook on 4 of them at comps. I could probably do a comp on 3, 2 would be pushing it for me.

Even if you bought 4 brand new WSMs you'd be under $1300 invested. If you can find them used you'll be in even better shape.

They cook all night on one load of fuel.

They need no serious modifications out of the box.

Best cooker for the money IMO.

08-07-2012, 10:25 PM
maybe comp is not made for me then

Have you been to a competition? It may be a good idea to visit on and see what goes on. Take a look at the schedule on the KCBS web site and pick one close to you and then check to see if there is a Roll Call thread here (we start them within 30 days of the comp date) and stop and visit any Brethren teams.

08-07-2012, 10:26 PM
Type "Small comp cooked buying tool guide" by me cmohr74. I posted the excel spreadsheet that helped me decide on my cooker. I started with a UDS and still use it, very little money and lots of space and versatility. Start cheap to know if the competition world is for you before your too deeply invested. Know your style of cooking like Ron said before you buy something you will regret.

08-07-2012, 10:43 PM
yea i been to two sams clubs for the bbq comp

08-07-2012, 10:45 PM
thanking of going to bentenville ak or the one at jd in tn

08-07-2012, 11:06 PM
I would recommend going to a local competition. the Sam's comps are pretty intense, especially the finals in Arkansas, as is the Jack.

Visit a local comp on a Friday evening and spend some time talking to some of the teams, learning about what it takes to cook a competition. see what type of smokers they use, etc. That will give you an idea if it is something that you want to get involved in.

Smokin' Bad Habit
08-08-2012, 07:53 AM

08-08-2012, 09:01 AM
Look up Spicewine. We have a small that we have used in comps for years. The small is only 2000.

08-08-2012, 09:32 AM
I second the wsm approach. If you decide in a couple of years that you want to get something more expensive, they have very good resale value.

Also, practice cooks on a wsm are much easier than firing up a big pit just to practice chicken, for example.

08-08-2012, 10:28 AM
assassinsmokers.com - For $2300 you will get a great vertical charcoal fed smoker WITH a BBQ Guru!

08-08-2012, 08:08 PM
so buy a few Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Black Smoker and do one type of meat on each?

White Dog BBQ
08-08-2012, 08:38 PM
so buy a few Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Black Smoker and do one type of meat on each?

When we exclusively used WSMs, we started with two and timed our meats to get it all cooked. It's doable but a little tricky. When we went to three it was much easier. We now use a Backwoods Extended Party for brisket, pork and ribs, and cook chicken on an 18" WSM.

If you do go the WSM route, I suggest at least one 22.5" model. The 18" is fine for chicken, pork and brisket (and in some way preferable), but I find the extra real estate on the 22.5" really helpful for ribs.

As noted above, your best bet is to go to a local competition and ask teams about their setup. As long as you do it on a Friday night, people tend to be very talkative and helpful.

08-08-2012, 10:33 PM
so buy a few Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Black Smoker and do one type of meat on each?

Buy 2 drum smokers


and one weber 22.5 kettle

You can make your chicken on the kettle and ribs/brisket and shoulders on the drums.. Have fun, don't pay a large sum and enjoy the ride...

08-09-2012, 12:46 AM
Whatever equipment you decide to go with, I'd strongly suggest buying pre-owned. Many comp guys are constantly changing out their smokers in the search for something that they like better, and you can typically save 25-60% off the cost of new.

Keep an eye on Craigs List, the various "for sale" sections of BBQ forums and just ask when you're at a contest. If you see a smoker you like, ask the owner if he would be interested in selling or know anyone else who might me. You'd be surprised how many leads you get this way.

08-09-2012, 08:53 AM
Lots of good advice here.

We use 2 wsms in comps. A 22 and an 18. We do brisket and chicken on the 22, and pork and ribs on the 18. Used to use 3 18's, but this takes less space. The 22 was bought used (and nicely tricked out!), and the 18 is over 20 years old!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using Tapatalk 2

08-09-2012, 10:23 PM
Not sure if you have any interest, but I was contemplating this today. I do have a brand new UDS smoker I would be willing to part with. I put a lot of time and care into making this one, "The Hulk". It was a clean drum, sandblasted, 2 coats of high heat primer, 2 coats of green and black paint, matching steel exhaust, 3 Weber hinged racks, brass ball valve intake control, and a custom charcoal basket that holds 15 lbs of charcoal. I haven't even broken it in yet...probably because it was around the same time my new Backwoods Extended Party showed up. $210 firm and it's yours. It's roughly 1/2 the price of a new 22.5" WSM.


08-17-2012, 08:53 AM
210? thats a steal!..and I can vouch for Dans craftsmanship. He has built several mods for me so Id expect nothing
less than perfect on that UDS