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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 01-03-2013, 10:07 PM   #1
cashew
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The first smoker I ever remember seeing was an old one that looks like the Brinkman sportsman charcoal smoker. My dad gave it to my grandfather in the late 1970's. My grandfather passed away in 1990 and I recently found the smoker in my dads pole shed behind some shelves near the back. I didnt even know he had it. We had a wonderful season of fishing in 2012 and in July I got it out and ran some of my catch through it. It was a windy day and I had a really hard time holding the temp with it but in the end I had about 20 perfectly smoked catfish. I will post a pic of it.

Dad saw all the trouble I was having holding the temp with it and decided that we needed an upgrade. On black Friday dad and I made the hour and a half drive to Council Bluffs and hit the Bass Pro shop there. The smoker he wanted was an electric Bradley model BTIS1. It was on sale and dad thought it was the one. When we got there and finally got inside (the parking lot was PACKED) we headed upstairs to the smoker/grill area.
After checking out the smokers there dad decided that he did not like the Bradley smoker because we could not use the wood we had from his farm ground. Dad figured that he has 80 acres of trees and wood and we should not need to buy any. That being the case dad decided on a bigger propane smoker made by Masterbuilt. I fired it up and oiled and seasoned it last weekend and then my brother and I put some stuff on it to smoke. The top rack had 8 nice sized catfish, the second rack had a 10 pound bag of chicken hind quarters, the next rack down had a 10 pound pork loin, and the bottom rack had 2 whole frying chickens. I could have gotten another pan into the bottom rack but the pork loin that I had was in a bigger pan and would not fit. I will post a pic of the full smoker.

I must say that after reading a lot of the comments and stories here that most on the site prefer charcoal. I can say that I do not dislike doing charcoal but I honestly LOVE how this propane smoker worked, it held temp perfectly and was a breeze to use. Using the foil pans was not what I had planned on doing to start but it worked very nicely and cleanup was fast and easy.

I am hoping to do my first Butt roast for pulled pork and a Brisket or baby backs next.

Are there others here that prefer using propane or electric over charcoal and what are the pros and cons of each?

Is there something I can expect to not like about using the propane that I would not need to worry about with the others?
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Unread 01-03-2013, 10:16 PM   #2
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Here is the pic of the fish from last July and also the one from last weekend.
http://imageshack.us/a/img96/6872/smokedcatfish.jpg

http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/6...5135568343.jpg
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Unread 01-03-2013, 10:30 PM   #3
Johnny_Crunch
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To each his own. I prefer charcoal but if you like propane go for it.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 10:40 PM   #4
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I prefer post oak in the stick burner. I never used Gas or Electric so I don't have an opinion. If it works for you thats what matters your cookin on it I aint.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 10:50 PM   #5
IamMadMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cashew View Post

I am hoping to do my first Butt roast for pulled pork and a Brisket or baby backs next.

Are there others here that prefer using propane or electric over charcoal and what are the pros and cons of each?

Is there something I can expect to not like about using the propane that I would not need to worry about with the others?

Cashew,

I have a stick burner, and 2 charcoal smokers.

I have a couple propane smokers that I bought as secondary holding ovens when catering large events. It is one less fire to maintain and has a small foot print for a smoker that can hold 8 trays nicely.

Now into my 60's I find I use these more and more for smaller overnight cooking purposes. I no longer like to watch the stick burner all night or get up to monitor the charcoal burner in the wee hours of the morning. I have used these propane smokers for smoking when I do not want to babysit a fire on a long cold night with changing temperatures. They do do a good job and do produce good "Q" when used properly.

At my age it is no longer what I prefer, but rather what works for me, after 25 years of smoking meat I welcome anything that makes life easier and can still provide an outstanding food product. I still use all five smokers, but I chose the one that best fits the application and size of the cook.

The only thing I noticed with the propane smokers, is that the water pans are crucial for keeping a consistent temperature through out the cook.

The cabinet also works well with an A-Maze-N Pellet smoker for cold smoking without any heat source.

.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 02:08 AM   #6
RevZiLLa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamMadMan View Post
Cashew,

I have a stick burner, and 2 charcoal smokers.

I have a couple propane smokers that I bought as secondary holding ovens when catering large events. It is one less fire to maintain and has a small foot print for a smoker that can hold 8 trays nicely.

Now into my 60's I find I use these more and more for smaller overnight cooking purposes. I no longer like to watch the stick burner all night or get up to monitor the charcoal burner in the wee hours of the morning. I have used these propane smokers for smoking when I do not want to babysit a fire on a long cold night with changing temperatures. They do do a good job and do produce good "Q" when used properly.

At my age it is no longer what I prefer, but rather what works for me, after 25 years of smoking meat I welcome anything that makes life easier and can still provide an outstanding food product. I still use all five smokers, but I chose the one that best fits the application and size of the cook.

The only thing I noticed with the propane smokers, is that the water pans are crucial for keeping a consistent temperature through out the cook.

The cabinet also works well with an A-Maze-N Pellet smoker for cold smoking without any heat source.

.
A nice, honest, thoughtful answer. I agree
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Brinkman water smokers (elec and charcoal)
Weber kettle grill
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Unread 01-04-2013, 05:21 PM   #7
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Thank you IamMadMan. My brother was wanting to do some cheeses and I really did not know how to go about it. I saw someone mention a can that has a soldering iron through it and now A-Maze-N Pellet. I am going to have to check out both ideas and see what might work for us.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 05:39 PM   #8
jestridge
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If i ever stop using wood I prolly go to propane I just don't like the flavor of those square charcoal things
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