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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 07-10-2013, 06:38 PM   #1
WvQ
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Default When should you upgrade your smoker?

At what point should you upgrade your smoker? For most of you was it just a size thing? I cook with a Chargriller as my signature says and currently haven't had issues with size (20 lbs of pork shoulder is enough). It doesn't hold heat very well, but otherwise is okay. Will I really see an improvement if I upgrade to a much more expensive offset cooker or am I just being silly?
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Unread 07-10-2013, 07:05 PM   #2
NJ2 BBQ
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i am in the same boat. using a chargriller with side box. i would think about a better smoker only if i start to go to competitions. for backyard i think it does the job pretty well. from grilling hot dogs to smoking turkey its a great all round cooker. it is a little hard to hold temp but i dont mind because i have to sit with the smoker and a beer while the wife has to watch the kids.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 07:09 PM   #3
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I still have not Totally mastered my WSM. Once that happens, I may add another.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 07:10 PM   #4
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IMO if you are happy with your results (you have your pit dialed in) and you are getting enough product on each cook, you run that sucker until it falls apart. That is, of course, unless you just NEED a new cooker, then you go get what you NEED.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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almost like the new car itch. you just gotta scratch it sometimes. my itch is a wsm.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 07:26 PM   #6
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It reminds me a lot of guitars. I started playing guitar without any real direction of what I wanted to play. I just wanted to play guitar. Same for me with smokers. I was enchanted by the of "real" bbq. So I bought a cheap offset. As I cooked more I realized more about what I needed. Advice I'd heard from other folks made more sense. I wanted to do overnight cooks, was interested in trying different styles of cookers etc. So it led me where I am now. Plus lot of experience on the way. So no you probably don't need one but will reach a time or capacity tipping point possibly at some point.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 08:01 PM   #7
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I've got an older New Braunfels that I have figured out and modded to work well. Yet I can't help but want a "better" unit.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 08:07 PM   #8
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Is there ever too many?
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Unread 07-10-2013, 08:15 PM   #9
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When I first started driving a car on a track, there were lots of rich guys on the track with GT3s and 360 Stradales who had the same skills I did. I felt a need to upgrade my track car. A wise instructor told me, "When you reach the point where your car is holding you back, it is time to upgrade."

Basically, he was saying I should master driving in what I had to drive, before moving up. I had a cheap, but well prepared track car. I needed to outgrow it before even thinking about moving up.

Assuming you have a workable cooker, I think the same thing applies. If you can produce good BBQ on a 20-year-old kettle, then you will produce even better BBQ on a high end smoker. If the food you produce on that old kettle sucks, then buying a high-end smoker ain't going to do any good.

When you reach a point where your cooker is holding you back, lose it and upgrade. Or, if you are rich, just buy the Ferrari of cookers now, and fark up in style.

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Unread 07-10-2013, 08:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ2 BBQ View Post
i am in the same boat. using a chargriller with side box. i would think about a better smoker only if i start to go to competitions. for backyard i think it does the job pretty well. from grilling hot dogs to smoking turkey its a great all round cooker. it is a little hard to hold temp but i dont mind because i have to sit with the smoker and a beer while the wife has to watch the kids.
I just wonder with all the selling features of higher priced smokers, reverse flow, more insulation, etc, does it really improve your product?
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Unread 07-10-2013, 08:25 PM   #11
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You don't always get what you want but sometimes you get what you need!
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Unread 07-10-2013, 08:28 PM   #12
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Makes it easier to consistantly produce the product you want
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Unread 07-10-2013, 08:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwfisk View Post
IMO if you are happy with your results (you have your pit dialed in) and you are getting enough product on each cook, you run that sucker until it falls apart. That is, of course, unless you just NEED a new cooker, then you go get what you NEED.
I agree, if it isn't broken, don't fix it.

From personal experience I have found that you do not want to let your "WANTS" control your desire for a new cooker. Think about your "NEEDS" and you will find the smoker that will always work best for you...
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Unread 07-10-2013, 08:30 PM   #14
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I had a new braunfels for 10 years the legs rusted off so I built me a trailer smoker and used the old smoke box as a warming oven on the new one so it still lives today
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Unread 07-10-2013, 08:36 PM   #15
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I'm with CD on this. I've had the same offset smoker for 20+ years. It took me years of practice and tweaking to get to the point where I was really comfortable with it.

You newbies are fortunate to have this forum to help you through the learning process. Read, read, read...and then practice, practice, practice...only then will you know if your equipment is inadequate.
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