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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 04-15-2013, 12:56 PM   #1
HogFan
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Default Tractor Supply Smoker Verdict?

When folks ask me a bout a good, cheap smoker I always think about a post last year where a decent looking charcoal smoker was available at Tractor Supply that was roughly similar to a WSM. I think a few folks purchased one to give it a try.

So what was the verdict? Can this smoker be modified where it works ok?
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Unread 04-15-2013, 05:43 PM   #2
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More details- how much does it cost, build quality, etc? And pics?

The only thing I see myself modding is if it already has a solid foundation, like a bandera or something. Usually its better IMO to just spend the extra 100$ on an 18 inch wsm (or just spend 75$ on a mini wsm and build it) or char griller kamado (remember, WSM online from amazon has no tax if amazon/seller does not have a facility in your state, so its usually not as much more expensive as you might think). If its cheap thin metal, you might as well just smoke on a weber kettle, and it might even turn out better that way.
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Unread 04-15-2013, 06:15 PM   #3
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I believe you mean this one. I did not buy it, only took a pic and still had it in my phone. This was in September 2012 and was marked down to $49.99
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Unread 04-16-2013, 10:11 PM   #4
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Yes, I think that was the one discussed. I thought a few people bought them and gave them a try. I guess it's a mute point if they no longer carry this item.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 10:50 PM   #5
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Here's a link to post of mine that I bought.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=139717

I'd say it's a very small step up from a ECB as it has some temp control (not very effective though out of the box). Downside is it's one level smoker (ECB is 2)& if using water in pan (directly below cooking grate) it washes flavor out but I've started using no water in it (foil line the pan)& temps hold fine & don't run away or get too high as long as the wate rpan is in. I modded my bottom bowl (see 4th pic) where the charcoal sits by cutting a piece of round expanded sheet metal then made one that circles the bowl sides so it can hold more charcoal & keep it contained in the bottom bowl thoug hash will fall through the vents to the ground so careful about where you set it up (concrete driveway in my case). If you look at my 3rd pic you can see how little it'd normally hold w/o that mod & can get an idea of what I did (I did this mod after those pics) by the 4th pic. I bought a better therm (one of the small ones that Academy sells) than the cheapo that came w/ it & it screws right into the holes in the side of the lid where the rods for hanging go through (I don't use those rods). I've yet to decide about the bottom vents, they need to be closer to what you'd see on the vents on the lid of a Weber One Touch grill. As it stands right now they have little tabs that are very flimsly (easily bent) & do little to stop the vent from over turning. Even when shut they have a space that allows air to get in but temps in mine didn't run away or move up/down much at all when I fiddled w/ them staying 250-300 range.

It's a basic backyarder like the Brinkman in some ways better in some ways worse. I'd say if using in a contest go ahead w/ a WSM, backyard cooks will be ok as that's what it was meant for. So to answer your question yes it can be modded mostly in the bottom bowl area as I think that's it's weak spot. Costs of supplies for a sheet of expanded metal, better therm & maybe some tape to seal off some vents or other idea to improve vent control.
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