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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, 08:49 PM   #16
Grabnabber
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Sometimes better tools will help you progress faster. Why suffer?

Poke poke poke....
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Unread 07-10-2013, 08:50 PM   #17
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An upgraded cooker may smooth out the process but I believe there are plenty of brothers and sisters here turning out top notch products on inexpensive units. Look at how many guys are running UDS's in comps and doing very well.
Sometimes I think we tend to BS ourselves into buying something we don't actually need but simply want based upon "What If? If it is something you really want, research the options and go for it. Sometimes I really just enjoy using one of my old drums without a guru. Sometimes I like running on autopilot. I wish you well in whatever choice you make.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 09:29 PM   #18
1911Ron
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If you have mastered cooking things on your current setup and you are turning out good food, sure upgrade away!
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Unread 07-10-2013, 09:43 PM   #19
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I learned how to cook some great 'q on my chargriller. I did a few mods and was able to hold the heat. The only reason I upgraded was to cook more quantity for parties and to eventually try cooking all four meats for comps.

If you don't have a need to cook large quantities, just do a google search for chargriller mods and you'll be good to go.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 10:29 PM   #20
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The biggest single step up in my smoking was the purchase of my egg. The ceramic cookers, IMO, take it to a new level. They provide a moist environment (highly efficient, little air passing through the cooker), extremely stable temps for long periods (think, I can sleep at night) and repeatable results. Costly but worth it!
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Unread 07-10-2013, 11:04 PM   #21
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I had a pos smoker that I learned on. I upgraded to a yoder.

My ribs taste the same, but I got a lot more space and its a lot easier holding temps.

So if you don't need more room, I would keep what you have.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 11:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
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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I didn't read any further after this. CD nailed it!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 07-11-2013, 05:09 AM   #23
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So far I'm happy with my Mini WSM. I never feed more than a family at a time. This lil guy can hold 3-4 racks of ribs or say 2 pork butts or 1 full brisket (cut in half). I like that it is fuel efficient (I use and reuse lump charcoal).

I am thinking my next smoker will be a $100 DIY 22.5" UDS. I found someone locally that would powder coat the drum for like $30.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 05:32 AM   #24
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An upgrade will not make better Q or make you a better cook. It could make your life easier, but world class Q can and is made in every type of smoker you can think if.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 05:42 AM   #25
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My wife thinks it is like every few years.

Really tho, if I am happy with what I'm using it is a size thing. Heck, it took me like 10 years of thinking about what I want before I bought my BWS.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 06:06 AM   #26
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I had a cheap offset smoker for a while and it didn't take me long to realize I didn't like it. It took too much fuel, time and attention and seemed incredibly inefficient to me, even with the mods I made to it.

So I modified a Brinkmann Gourmet bullet smoker to experiment with and have since dumped the COS.

Sometimes its just fun to play...
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Unread 07-11-2013, 06:54 AM   #27
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The way I look at it bbq is supposed to make you happy and be enjoyable so do what suits you. Ive only been in this hobby for a little while and am on my third cooker. My first propane smoker was part of my new gas grill, very small and lets face it propane is not Q. I then upgraded to an actual charcoal smoker that I cooked on every weekend for a year. I somewhat needed more space, but in all reality I didn't NEED more space I could have used rib racks or built a UDS etc etc however I was able to sell my cooker for exactly what I paid for it 1 year later and I got an amazing deal and a smoker that is huge and I didn't NEED but it makes me happy. Im using a stick burner now and its some of the best bbq ive ever turned out
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Unread 07-11-2013, 07:00 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WvQ View Post
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?
No. When it comes to BBQ, nothing is silly. You may not need to go mega offset size yet, but there are a lot of other options. Just spend some more time here and you will probly work it out for yourself.

Cheers!

Bill
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Unread 07-11-2013, 07:31 AM   #29
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As long as you are satisfied with your end product and your smoker has enough room for what you want it for. Then I would say stick with it.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 07:51 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martyleach View Post
The biggest single step up in my smoking was the purchase of my egg. The ceramic cookers, IMO, take it to a new level. They provide a moist environment (highly efficient, little air passing through the cooker), extremely stable temps for long periods (think, I can sleep at night) and repeatable results. Costly but worth it!
I absolutely could not agree more. I had the chargriller with side firebox that I cut my teeth on for my house (we use an Ole Hickory for comps, parties, catering, etc.)

You're learning things the hard way on the Char Griller...I promise.

With my BGE XL, you'll feel like something is missing. No need to add fuel, very, very consistent temps. I'm not going to say set it and forget it...but compared to my old char, it darn near is.

In addition, and I know this is a smoker thread...you can do 550 to 700 degree pizza cooks, steak sears, etc., on a ceramic.

I say get what you can afford... there is certainly nothing wrong with a WSM either.

But having a ceramic, I'll never go back to anything else for smoking at home.
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