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brandonh1987 01-22-2013 11:14 AM

New smoker recommendations
Hey all, new here to this site, so perhaps I'm missing a sticky somewhere but.

I have been smoking up my own Q for a while on a MES 40 and thinking about upgrading. I live in KC so I need something that can hold the heat well as it get pretty cold and windy here in the midst of the winter. I still have not decided if I eventually want to try my hand at some competitions, so keeping that in mind are there any good smokers you pros here recommend? I originally wanted a traeger pellet prior to buying an electric. But I think I want to up my game and start doin it real man style. I was looking into some big green eggs. Thoughts? Thanks!

Militant83 01-22-2013 11:19 AM

Not knowing your budget..Your Backwoods,Pitmaker, Backyard Bomber or similar pits might be something to look into. If you have a small budget the Eggs or a WSM might be the way to go. More info would help in the decision.

chad 01-22-2013 12:35 PM

Since you are in KC, check with Bob at He's local to you and carries a pretty wide variety of cookers. I bought my Kingfisher from him and I live in FL. :mrgreen:

Puckstopper 01-22-2013 12:37 PM

If its in the budget i would go with a Backwoods smoker just purchased a Fatboy and it holds temp like a champ.

eggzlot 01-22-2013 12:54 PM

lots of options.
As an Egg owner, I love mine, but here are pros and cons based on your write up and how you plan on using the egg....

- can hold the temps like a champ in hot weather, cold weather, etc
- can also use it as a grill, pizza oven, etc

- transportation to comps is not easy - teams do it, but an Egg is ceramic and you run the risk of cracking it, takes a while to cool down before you can load it to go home, etc
- even with the biggest egg - XL, could not see doing a 4 meat/KCBS style contest on just one Egg, so you'd have to get at least 2. space/weight/capacity is just not super ideal if you ask me if you need 2+ eggs.

If you wanted to do comps, you have to think how are you going to transport your smoker to the event? open or enclosed trailer? back of a pick up truck or SUV, etc?

For just home cooking, my XL is a champ. with some tools from the ceramic grill store I can do 6-9 racks of ribs laying flat, I can do multiple butts and briskets in a breeze. I can make some nice large pizzas, I can do a huge quantity of wings or burgers for parties. It's really fantastic.

Luckily, the person I compete with has a Lang we take to contests, but ironically, he owns multiple Eggs and I own eggs, yet we dont use them at competitions due to transportation issues.

Harbormaster 01-22-2013 12:59 PM

I cooked ribs on Sunday. It was pretty cold and windy.
Fired up an 18.5" WSM and placed one wind screen around it. With one lower vent open 100% it held 275 with out my help, and required no refueling.
The ribs were freaking awesome too!
WSMs are excellent cold weather pits IMO.
Just sayin'.

kds9547 01-22-2013 01:04 PM

Never argue with the Harbormaster. WSM.

shirknwrk 01-22-2013 01:24 PM

What Eggzlot said. I'm an Egg owner who lives in KC... Use my Large all year round. Very low charcoal consumption, very easy to maintain, no babysitting it during a cook, is an excellent grill and smoker... makes excellent Q... But it stays on the deck. If you do go with a ceramic cooker, check out the Kamado Joe as well as the Big Green Egg. The quality is equal or better and you'll get the side tables and stand for the same price as a bare Egg.
If you prefer the Egg, check out the Hot Spot in Liberty... Larry is very knowledgeable and is a KCBS member. Also get a Potlifter It makes moving the 130 lb. flower pot easy.

At the Royal, I saw several teams using Eggs... Dizzy Pig uses 3 (or more) but they're sponsored by BGE. A couple of teams used 2 XL Eggs. They're not THAT fragile but you would have to plan how to lift and secure them during transport. They won't give you an excuse to stay up and drink beer all night... one load of lump and they're good for 20 hrs. They hold temperature extremely well but for a competition, I'd invest in a temp controller like a the Guru... then you can sleep like a baby... or drink without worry.

BBQ Bandit 01-22-2013 01:47 PM

If you can find a well-cared (used) Bubba Keg Grill - same size for a fraction of the cost for a large Big Green Egg.

OTOH - there is nothing wrong with Harbormaster's advice working WSM's thru the Winter.

WineMaster 01-22-2013 03:01 PM

Get a MJH from Backyard Bomber. A short roadtrip saves on shipping to. 10 - 15 hr burns Insulated all the way around and cooks just like the Backwoods. Verticle Reverse Flow.

ksu1971 01-22-2013 03:14 PM

I live a in the southeast corner of Kansas and my 22" WSM works like a champ. However, I almost pulled the trigger on a Good One smoker made up there in your neck of the woods.

WineMaster 01-22-2013 03:25 PM

Ya, 22.5 WSM's are great cookers. But I love the insulated cookers. Also I really like cooking from the top down.

Team DD 01-22-2013 03:30 PM

You could build you a UDS till you decide on something else.

Trumpstylz 01-22-2013 03:33 PM

Yoder is in your area. Big steel kegs are great, but probably hard to find, so I would recommend an akorn over that (or a couple of akorns- they're not quite as good as bge's, but they're a hell of a lot cheaper, and they're much more mobile and don't break if they break when you move it/wind/kids/dogs/etc).

Untraceable 01-22-2013 06:00 PM


Originally Posted by WineMaster (Post 2338077)
Ya, 22.5 WSM's are great cookers. But I love the insulated cookers. Also I really like cooking from the top down.

I still cant get over how big of a difference insulated verticals are compared to wsms in chit weather. Love my wsm but its not in the same league

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