The first smoker I ever remember seeing was an old one that looks like the Brinkman sportsman charcoal smoker. My dad gave it to my grandfather in the late 1970's. My grandfather passed away in 1990 and I recently found the smoker in my dads pole shed behind some shelves near the back. I didnt even know he had it. We had a wonderful season of fishing in 2012 and in July I got it out and ran some of my catch through it. It was a windy day and I had a really hard time holding the temp with it but in the end I had about 20 perfectly smoked catfish. I will post a pic of it.
Dad saw all the trouble I was having holding the temp with it and decided that we needed an upgrade. On black Friday dad and I made the hour and a half drive to Council Bluffs and hit the Bass Pro shop there. The smoker he wanted was an electric Bradley model BTIS1. It was on sale and dad thought it was the one. When we got there and finally got inside (the parking lot was PACKED) we headed upstairs to the smoker/grill area.
After checking out the smokers there dad decided that he did not like the Bradley smoker because we could not use the wood we had from his farm ground. Dad figured that he has 80 acres of trees and wood and we should not need to buy any. That being the case dad decided on a bigger propane smoker made by Masterbuilt. I fired it up and oiled and seasoned it last weekend and then my brother and I put some stuff on it to smoke. The top rack had 8 nice sized catfish, the second rack had a 10 pound bag of chicken hind quarters, the next rack down had a 10 pound pork loin, and the bottom rack had 2 whole frying chickens. I could have gotten another pan into the bottom rack but the pork loin that I had was in a bigger pan and would not fit. I will post a pic of the full smoker.
I must say that after reading a lot of the comments and stories here that most on the site prefer charcoal. I can say that I do not dislike doing charcoal but I honestly LOVE how this propane smoker worked, it held temp perfectly and was a breeze to use. Using the foil pans was not what I had planned on doing to start but it worked very nicely and cleanup was fast and easy.
I am hoping to do my first Butt roast for pulled pork and a Brisket or baby backs next.
Are there others here that prefer using propane or electric over charcoal and what are the pros and cons of each?
Is there something I can expect to not like about using the propane that I would not need to worry about with the others?
If you loan a friend $20.00 and never see them again....It was worth it.