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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 02-13-2013, 08:12 AM   #1
BayoustateBBQ
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Default Looking for a new smoker

Well, my family are BBQ fanatics. My OK longhorn is great for larger gatherings but to smoke something for a family of 3 can be done with something smaller. Tried for weeks now ON CL and phone calls to find a 55 gal drum to no avail so making a UDS doesn't look like it will happen. That being said does anyone have any suggestions on a smaller smoker. Pro's and cons would be appreciated as well.
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[SIZE=2][SIZE=2][URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=153581"]How to smoke a 14 lb tender brisket in 4 hours![/URL][/SIZE]
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Unread 02-13-2013, 08:49 AM   #2
HankB
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Mini-WSM will smoke 'Q for three with no difficulty. For things that are shaped more or less symmetric like a butt they're golden. I can do a decent size brisket by cutting it in half and putting parts on either of two grates. Oblong stuff like ribs can be a challenge. You could roll a couple up and should be able to fit 4 racks of backs on that way. An eight pound chicken is a perfect fit.

If you think that might be too small, go with an 18.5 WSM and have a lot more capacity plus the ease of assembly out of the box with no fiddling or tweaking. The only drawback to the WSM is that they are hard to come by on Craigslist. They are found very infrequently on Chicago CL.
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Unread 02-13-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
ButtBurner
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I use a $59 Master Forge charcoal vertical from Lowes.

Its almost identical to a 18" WSM and works great for small smokes.

All I did was add a damper to the bottom.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_332738-42600-CBS1101L_0__?productId=3294734&Ntt=smoker&pl=1&cur rentURL=%3FNtt%3Dsmoker&facetInfo=
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Unread 02-13-2013, 10:30 AM   #4
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An 18.5" WSM is a great cooker for a family. Lots of room and will cook long hours. Only con could be price depending on your budget.

Or you could go with a 22" weber kettle too. $99 from Home depot and your in business! Plus gives you the option to grill. You could also buy the smokenator 1000 for it (check out smokeygoodness on YouTube) and use that to help you manage low and slow cooks. Only con to the kettle is that it will last dang near forever and will likely outlive your kids. Once you got one, your stuck with it rain shine snow or twister! Haha!
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Unread 02-13-2013, 12:29 PM   #5
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If you already have something to grill on and are looking for a smoker only then I'd highly recommend the WSM 18.5.
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Unread 02-13-2013, 12:33 PM   #6
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Mini WSM or a OTG.
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Unread 02-13-2013, 12:38 PM   #7
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Mini WSM, or a Weber Kettle - either 22.5 or 26.75 are all great options. If you really wanna go for a UDS, see if there are any companies in your area that sell them. You may find one that sells them new and used - best is to get a refurb and tell them not to put the rust inhibitor on.
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Unread 02-13-2013, 02:05 PM   #8
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http://www.lexingtoncontainercompany...-To-Order.html ... I haven't used them but if i recall correctly - shipping was ok... probably still best bang for buck for a 250-325 deg smoker

WSM going to be of good value anywhere ..

I have an egg and a drum.. can't recommend the egg enough. Pizza, grilling, easy control on full range of heat .. but you pay.
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Unread 02-13-2013, 02:15 PM   #9
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I am definitely going to agree with the Mini WSM or the Weber Kettle. I use both of them for my Qing needs. I make Q enough for 5-6 people (even though it is normally 2-3 people eating, left overs are great!) with using either the Mini or 22.5 Kettle.

I use my mini mainly for smoking. It fits 2 8lb pork butts without issue, a couple spatchcocked chickens, a couple racks of ribs (cut in half or rolled up). I use the mini the most between my two cookers.

The kettle I have used for grilling typically. But i have also used it to smoke full packer briskets, and full slabs of ribs (so i dont have to cut them to fit) using a rib rack (can fit 4 on the kettle this way).
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Unread 02-13-2013, 02:48 PM   #10
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Given that you already have a great offset, either a mini WSM or 22.5 inch Weber kettle with some fire bricks would do you well. My mini WSM and my Performer are the two grills that I use the most by far. Without knowing your family's likes and dislikes, I personally think you would get a lot more from a 22.5 inch kettle because of all the other things you can do with it besides smoking in the way of high heat grilling, rotisserie, pizza and other baking. If you are strictly into smoking and not grilling, then the mini WSM would be tough to beat. The down side is that you have to make it. Of course you could also go with a kamado like the Akorn from Char-Griller. Any of those options would work and give you want you want without breaking the bank.
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Unread 02-13-2013, 03:01 PM   #11
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PBC or 18"WSM
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Unread 02-13-2013, 04:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtBurner View Post
I use a $59 Master Forge charcoal vertical from Lowes.

Its almost identical to a 18" WSM and works great for small smokes.

All I did was add a damper to the bottom.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_332738-42600...oker&facetInfo=
This was my first smoker and I have done some amazing things on it in the last few years. Much better than ECB in my opinion.

The folks on here recently steered me toward a Chargriller Akorn, which actually replaces my main gasser.

I am glad they did. I love that thing. extremely versatile, well built and very efficient.

But for under 100 that Master forge is great. I did drill some holes in the bottom of it for better airflow though.
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Unread 02-13-2013, 06:56 PM   #13
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PBC (as I duck, cover, and sprint for the exit)
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Unread 02-14-2013, 07:44 AM   #14
BayoustateBBQ
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Wow everyone thanks for the help. Thanks ButtBurner for the suggestion on the master forge. That looks great for my budget. Wouldn't you know it neither of my 2 Lowes stores have it and it can't be truck delivered to the store which is bizarre but it could be truck delivered to Lowes stores in TX if they didn't have them, and Lowes website won't ship it. looks like the closest place is the Lowes 50 miles away in TX. One way or another I'll get my hands on one.
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[SIZE=2][SIZE=2][URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=153581"]How to smoke a 14 lb tender brisket in 4 hours![/URL][/SIZE]
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Unread 02-14-2013, 07:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayoustateBBQ View Post
Wow everyone thanks for the help. Thanks ButtBurner for the suggestion on the master forge. That looks great for my budget. Wouldn't you know it neither of my 2 Lowes stores have it and it can't be truck delivered to the store which is bizarre but it could be truck delivered to Lowes stores in TX if they didn't have them, and Lowes website won't ship it. looks like the closest place is the Lowes 50 miles away in TX. One way or another I'll get my hands on one.
I think the reason for that is they are replacing it with a smaller cheaper one that costs $10 more!! It does not have that middle section, so its shorter, and the grill grates are thinner.

Really bummed me out when I saw one. I thought it was an electric version or something.

I did find another one of the originals and bought it for use at my cabin.
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