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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 06-27-2014, 08:14 AM   #1
eddiek2000
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Default Smoker Opinions and Options

I am trying to get into smoking. I had a brinkmann smoker many years ago. I never really had a good understanding of using it and which woods to use. needless to say we didn't use it much and it is long gone.

Fast forward to today and I want to try again. I want to use an electric smoker, but I really hate to drop $500+ on a Smokin-it #3 if this is not going to be something I am going to use semi-often. I like the looks, function, size of the #3. I was all set for the #2, but saw a video and it seemed VERY small.

I was looking at a Bradley, but you don't get a smoke ring. Then I saw the Masterbuilt smoker, but the reviews were really bad. Now I am just trying to figure out what to buy.

Then there is the PID option. I would like to build my own in the future out of a raspberryPi, but that is a thread for another day.

Any advice would be great.
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Unread 06-27-2014, 08:18 AM   #2
DaveAlvarado
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Are you married to electric? A WSM and a PartyQ will give you 95% automatic temperature control, and will cost you about $500. Or if you want to go more electric/automatic, consider a pellet fired smoker like a Traeger or Yoder. I think you'll end up with a better final product but still get the ease-of-use you're looking for. Plus a lot more folks use WSMs and pellet cookers than electrics.
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Unread 06-27-2014, 08:20 AM   #3
ButtBurner
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I agree with Dave

I was always a electric or gas smoker until I tried wood/charcoal.

Once you learn the basics its real easy and the flavor cant be beat.
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Unread 06-27-2014, 08:26 AM   #4
sliding_billy
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Maybe split the difference and go with a pellet pooper.
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Unread 06-27-2014, 08:30 AM   #5
ICDEDTURKES
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I agree with above something easy to manage with charcoal like a WSM or Akorn or if you do not want wood or charcoal than gas..
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Unread 06-27-2014, 08:57 AM   #6
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Come to the dark side bro, get a stick burner and learn to make the best Q on the planet! It ain't EASY but once you get started you'll be hooked.
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Unread 06-27-2014, 08:58 AM   #7
thesemicullen
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Another vote for a WSM. I've been using mine for almost a decade with no temp controllers. It's about as set and forget as you can get using charcoal/wood.
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Unread 06-27-2014, 09:00 AM   #8
sliding_billy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbill View Post
Come to the dark side bro, get a stick burner and learn to make the best Q on the planet! It ain't EASY but once you get started you'll be hooked.
Nice. Even I wouldn't try talking someone looking at an electric into using a stick burner (even though it is my weapon of choice).
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Unread 06-27-2014, 09:05 AM   #9
Lake Dogs
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I agree with oldbill, BUT honestly the elcheapo offset smokers are probably the toughest to learn fire (and subsequently smoke) control on, to the point that I think they're a waste of money, time, and effort. I'm thinking either the pellet pooper or a Weber Smokey Mountain would serve you best; my preference being the WSM.

This from a guy with 2 reverse flow smokers, the best is my Lang 84 that if I ever sell it, it will be to get another one.
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Unread 06-27-2014, 09:09 AM   #10
eddiek2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveAlvarado View Post
Are you married to electric? A WSM and a PartyQ will give you 95% automatic temperature control, and will cost you about $500. Or if you want to go more electric/automatic, consider a pellet fired smoker like a Traeger or Yoder. I think you'll end up with a better final product but still get the ease-of-use you're looking for. Plus a lot more folks use WSMs and pellet cookers than electrics.
As far as the WSM, I guess it could be an option. I was really trying to be pretty much set and forget, hence the ease of electric.

Had to look the PartyQ up. Guess I could get the raspberrypi to handle it. I think I saw where you have to add some pipe and ball valves to the bottom to use the PQ?
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Unread 06-27-2014, 09:09 AM   #11
Shagdog
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Since no one has said it yet (and I'm shocked they haven't)

Build a UDS
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Unread 06-27-2014, 09:13 AM   #12
sknabnoj
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I have to agree with the above... I started with a masterbuilt electric smoker. It produced what I thought was some great Q. Needless to say, once I tasted ribs off a UDS I never went back. Sold my masterbuilt and built a UDS and the rest is history. I think that people get caught up with the automation but, you can get that same result with not a lot of effort on a WSM, UDS or something like that. Also, the pellet smoker isn't a half bad idea, I just don't know if you'll get one that you'll be happy with as far as capacity with a $500 price range.
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Unread 06-27-2014, 09:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagdog View Post
Since no one has said it yet (and I'm shocked they haven't)

Build a UDS
YOU BEAT ME TO IT!!!
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Unread 06-27-2014, 09:14 AM   #14
eddiek2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagdog View Post
Since no one has said it yet (and I'm shocked they haven't)

Build a UDS

Not at the moment. I don't need another project. It doesn't seem hard, but I don't have the time.
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Unread 06-27-2014, 09:15 AM   #15
eddiek2000
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Damn this place is busy. I really didn't expect so much traffic so quickly.
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