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Old 04-29-2018, 06:06 PM   #52
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 04-14-18
Location: Clayton, CA
Name/Nickname : Backyard Smokemaster

Originally Posted by OklaDustDevil View Post
If you want to go the hands-on, full smoke flavour route but worry about controlling an offset, you should check out the Karubecue. The Amazingribs site has an excellent review and if you google the name, Karubecue has a great site that describes the science and engineering behind the design. A gentleman in a Texas invented it and still makes them in his garage. Essentially he analyzed the science of a great fire and great smoke and engineered a fool-proof way to deliver that every time. It costs just under $1500 delivered but does require that you tend the fire and add wood every 30-45 min.

If you want the hands-off, I'm tied up with the kids, set it and forget it convenience of a pellet smoker, I would suggest you check out the Mak 1-star. I bought one last Thanksgiving because I grew tired of the all-night cooks on my stick-burners. I love it and am getting excellent smoke flavour. It is slightly over your price range at $1700 delivered but the reason I like it so much is the programmable controller. I can program it to cook really low, 180-200, for 3-4 hours to maximize smoke (pellets smoke less the higher temp you burn them), then kick up to my regular cooking temp of 235-250 until the attached meat probe hits the internal meat temp I set, then drop back to 200 to hold until I wake up and get out there in the morning. Those changes, and any others I want, all happen automatically. That's about as set it and forget it as you find.

If I hadn't bought the Mak, I would have bought the Yoder, as I believe it's also an excellent choice. But I concluded the Mak controller was better and read about paint issues with the Yoder.

I also examined many of the insulated and gravity fed smokers as well. I'm not familiar with them but there are many excellent choices in your price range as many above have pointed out.

Good luck -- there's nothin better than shoppin for a new smoker!!!
I also have a MAK 1 Star pellet smoker. It is extremely easy to use & it has a great controller. After around 2 years of service, I had to remove the auger & the controller to diagnose a problem that I was having maintaining the temperature set point. MAKís customer service was very responsive via email & they upgraded the firmware on my controller after I shipped it to them. In the end, everything worked out & my MAK is humming again but I have to admit that I spent far more time than I ever wanted opening the guts of the machine up & removing/re-installing parts.

For this reason, I removed the Karubecue from my consideration for a new stick burner because of its dependence on electrical parts. I donít want another cooker that may require extensive self-repair. I studied stick burners by Yoder, Lang & Lone Star Grillz eventually settling on LSG. Iím anxiously waiting for it to be built.
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