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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 09-16-2011, 02:55 PM   #1
spider22
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Default First Post, what should I buy

I am just looking to get into BBQ. I have a nice Weber gasser that is great and I will still use for the times it has to be done quick. The offset smokers appeal to me. I have read that they are harder to maintain the temp and take more babysitting but that idea doesn't bother me as long as I can get good results out of it. I have been looking at Home Depot at the Brinkmann smoke n pit ($179) that is at the local store and I plan on looking at it as soon as I can get there and the trailmaster($299) that is not at the local store but could be shipped there free. I have read on other forums and web pages that you can't get good results out of these and can't even think about using any great amount of wood.On this forum it seems that a lot of people have these COS and have good results and some even use wood the majority of the time and I have a decent supply of hardwood especially maple. Should I even consider either one of these models? Please keep in mind that a UDS does appeal to me and it is something that I might build in the future but these 2 offsets appeal to me because if I was doing a bunch of burgers or a couple of steaks it looks like I could put a little charcoal in the cook chamber and use it as a straight charcoal grill but If I wanted to slow cook a roast or some pork Butts I could.
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Unread 09-16-2011, 02:59 PM   #2
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Many people here do get wonderful results with a COS. Most have modified them and there are many threads on the subject. From what I hear it's also a very valuable learning tool for fire management...

What's your absolute budget though?
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Unread 09-16-2011, 03:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
Many people here do get wonderful results with a COS. Most have modified them and there are many threads on the subject. From what I hear it's also a very valuable learning tool for fire management...

What's your absolute budget though?
I have not really come up with one but some are just crazy money. I can't see myself spending much more than the $300 for the trailmaster because by what I have read I am going to need some money for a decent thermometer as well.
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Unread 09-16-2011, 03:07 PM   #4
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I have a brinkman COS and yes it is work but I can make some dang good ribs on it. As we discussed earlier I will send pics tonite
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Unread 09-16-2011, 03:13 PM   #5
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If you have a Weber gasser, then you have a good start at being a Weberfanatic. Look at the Performer. So versatile, you can smoke and grill. Backed by excellent customer service and a great warranty, you're good to go. Then look at CL for a used WSM.
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Unread 09-16-2011, 03:21 PM   #6
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I have a charbroil SS offset. It was my first real bbq. It's treated me VERY well for 6 years, but when it goes I'm going to look for a WSM, they store, and transport very easily, plus they're just great cookers.

A couple words of caution on the offsets.
Make sure you get a good quality product. Some of the ones I see at Wally world and elsewhere are VERY thin, and have TONS of gaps where smoke can escape.
Both of these will become HUGE problems when you're trying to bring it up to temp, in even mildly chilly weather. And of course, they won't hold up to the weather near as well either, the heat from the bbq will tear through them fairly quickly.

Straight up, I'd advise you to go after the WSM, or as mentioned above, the performer, for a starter, lesser expensive grill.
That's my .02
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Unread 09-16-2011, 03:30 PM   #7
deguerre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Rogers View Post
I have a charbroil SS offset. It was my first real bbq. It's treated me VERY well for 6 years, but when it goes I'm going to look for a WSM, they store, and transport very easily, plus they're just great cookers.

A couple words of caution on the offsets.
Make sure you get a good quality product. Some of the ones I see at Wally world and elsewhere are VERY thin, and have TONS of gaps where smoke can escape.
Both of these will become HUGE problems when you're trying to bring it up to temp, in even mildly chilly weather. And of course, they won't hold up to the weather near as well either, the heat from the bbq will tear through them fairly quickly.

Straight up, I'd advise you to go after the WSM, or as mentioned above, the performer, for a starter, lesser expensive grill.
That's my .02
Yep. I figure I'm going to spend at least 800 to 1,000 (plus shipping) for a good back-yard offset. I was kinda concerned about this issue giving the location of the OP but I also understand the allure of stick burning. With a 300 budget I'd advise looking for a WSM too...especially at this time of year when things have a tendency to go on sale.
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Unread 09-16-2011, 03:40 PM   #8
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I would also advise you to look at a WSM if the budget is $300. There are a lot of teams that even do well competing with these. It's better to spend $300 well on a WSM that burns mainly charcoal than to waste that money on a poor quality offset. Good offsets are expensive.
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Unread 09-16-2011, 03:44 PM   #9
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I have had a Bandera for about 12 years-which is actually what made me find this sight. I think it is a good training smoker. I have made some good food over the years in it. The Bandera and it's clones are frequently available used well within your $300 budget. With the modifications; at least the baffle and the firebox grate; you can turn out good food with maybe once per hour tending. I am looking to buy a nicer pit, I am saving my money. Maybe next year I'll have enough saved up.
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Unread 09-16-2011, 03:46 PM   #10
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The problem I have the weber performer is that it has less cooking area than the gasser I have and there are quite a few times I run out of room on that and have to cook in stages. The WSM looks like it would not have any more room as a grill as the performer does. I am sure that the WSM is a great cooker and it looks like it will not take a lot of babysitting like an offset would but that is not a major concern for me because I am going to either have the time to tend to an offset or not even have the time to use a WSM.These units at Home Depot seem to have a lot of cooking area and I have some gift cards to use so Wally World probably would not appeal to me as much.I am not stupid and I understand that If I spend less than $300 I understand I am not going to get 10 plus years out of it and am OK with that. The transportation issue is really not an issue because it is not going to get moved around a lot.
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Unread 09-16-2011, 03:48 PM   #11
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Sounds like you should go for the Weber 26'er OTG or a Rancher if it's room you really need. As you can see I'm a Weber fan....
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Unread 09-16-2011, 03:54 PM   #12
spider22
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Default short BBQ season

The BBQ season is so short around here that there is not a lot of interest in it so therefore not a lot of used equipment available in the area so that probably is not an option for me. For the same reason spending $800 on BBQ equipment is not an option for me either. That is one of the reason the offsets appeal to me because having a grill/smoker combo unit is a viable option for something that is going to be stored about half the year,
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Unread 09-16-2011, 04:09 PM   #13
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I would keep an eye on Craigslist for used offsets if that is the way you want to go. I understand the thought process. I joined here ealier this year and went through the same thing. Everyone recommended a WSM or a UDS. But I really wanted the experience of an offset. I bought a used OK Joe for $140. Saved enough with the same budget you had to build a mini WSM for $70 and buy a Weber Master Touch for $20.

I don't know if you want to use an offset for a charcoal grill. I know you can but you will constantly be cleaning up a mess. With weber kettles so cheap used there is no reason to. Just my opinion.

But don't give up on CL. I have seen a lot of smokers on CL for NH/VT/MA this summer. You just need to keep an eye out for them. You want one that is at least 1/8" steel and not the cheaper models...
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Unread 09-16-2011, 04:11 PM   #14
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Personally, I applaud your desire for a stick burner as I too want one. The WSM actually has two grates though so it's double the area of a single grill. A friend of mine has managed to cook 8 butts on his 18 1/2" WSM. Having said that, go look at the one at Home Depot especially if you have the gift cards, and do what your heart tells you to do. Of the two, I'd get the Trailmaster.
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Unread 09-16-2011, 07:18 PM   #15
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I have a chargriller pro w/sfb, and have 7 years out of it, by reading the forums and seeing what others have made mods on, I have learned how to tend the fire and set it so I can get some sleep at night. I just got a 22 OTG, and love it for the small stuff. Im hoping Santa will bring me a WSM for Christmas. My recommendation is if you are just starting out and with budget you have, get the WSM, after the first couple of cooks you will have the temp regulation down pretty good and be able to, Ron always said "set it and forget it".

Just my .02
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