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Redwingsfn31
07-07-2011, 09:17 PM
I am looking to buy a new smoker. I plan on spending about 1500.00. I havent decided what to buy yet, and was hoping you guys could give your opinions on whats available, and the pros and cons.

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
07-07-2011, 09:19 PM
How many people do you usually cook for? What do you think you will be smoking typically?

BBQ Bandit
07-07-2011, 09:23 PM
Short list of questions.

Stickburner/Charcoal/pellets?
Tend a fire or 'set it and forget it'?
Ceramic?
How many people do you cook for?
How much food do you plan to cook?
Are you handy with tools? (UDS mod)

bigabyte
07-07-2011, 09:34 PM
Yes, more details are needed.

Redwingsfn31
07-07-2011, 09:51 PM
Currently I have a Brinkman SKD, the most people I cook for at one time is about 25-30. I do prefer a stick burner or atleast one that I can alternate between that and charcoal. I dont really have much interest in a BGE or ceramic cookers. I am not handy enough to make my own UDS. I am really undecided if I want to get into comps, so I dont know if I need a trailer model, but I havent ruled it out.

landarc
07-07-2011, 09:57 PM
I can only tell you what I would do, I would get two 22.5" WSM's, a guru for each one and maybe pick up a chicken cooker if there was money left.

colonel00
07-07-2011, 09:59 PM
Aside from the obvious reason that everybody wants a new toy, what is pushing you to desire a new cooker? Usually there is a reason or two. Something you don't like about the SKD or something more you keep finding yourself longing for.

Redwingsfn31
07-07-2011, 10:09 PM
Aside from the obvious reason that everybody wants a new toy, what is pushing you to desire a new cooker? Usually there is a reason or two. Something you don't like about the SKD or something more you keep finding yourself longing for.


I am really looking for something that a) hold more for larger cooks b) holds temps a whole lot better than the SKD.

bigabyte
07-07-2011, 11:25 PM
Landarc's idea is probably your best bet if you want to get into comps with $1500 for cookers. A single stickburner or other vertical unit of sufficient size for comps is going to be about 3 grand or more to do all four categories properly to have a shot at winning. WSM's are used regularly in every comp you go to and have a great track record (as do UDS's). With 2 Guru's attached to 2 WSM's and a 22" kettle off of Craigslist for maybe $50 at most, you are comp ready.

Redwingsfn31
07-07-2011, 11:29 PM
Like I said, I haven't decided on comps yet. Here is what I am leaning toward at this point. A Lang 48 patio vs Lang 48 original.

bigabyte
07-07-2011, 11:31 PM
I am really looking for something that a) hold more for larger cooks b) holds temps a whole lot better than the SKD.
OK, with that in mind (and still going with landarc's idea), you will hold temps like you won't believe. The WSM holds temps well on it's own. With the guru attached, you set the temp you want it to run at just like setting an oven and it takes care of it for you. As for how much you can cook, each 22" WSM gives you 726 square inches of cooking surface, plus 397 square inches on the 22" kettle gives you a grand total of 1849 square inches of cooking surface, or 12.84 square feet. That's a LOT for $1500.:thumb:

bigabyte
07-07-2011, 11:32 PM
Like I said, I haven't decided on comps yet. Here is what I am leaning toward at this point. A Lang 48 patio vs Lang 48 original.
I would never talk anyone out of buying a Lang. Just list out what you want most, in order, like temp stability, cooking surface, comp ready, etc, and then list out all the cookers you might be interested in and see which one fits the bill the best.

scottm4300
07-23-2011, 12:20 PM
I'm also out to replace my SKD. Had it for 8 years and LOVE IT! Sadly, it's slowly dying a tragic and horrible death. The floor of the firebox is pretty well shot. I would LOVE to buy another one - but I'm sure not going to find one in New England! The one I have was shipped from NC. And Brinkmann isn't making the SKD anymore. Don't know as I'll find a vertical offset, stick burner with that much cooking surface.

Any suggestions?

thanks!

expatpig
07-23-2011, 12:47 PM
Why not spend a couple hundred and refurbish the SKD?

Norcoredneck
07-23-2011, 01:00 PM
With a budget keep in mind most quality smokers are made to order and usually cost $$$ to ship (probably 1/3 of your budget). Any builders in your area? Vertical unit's are mostly designed for charcoal, people do burn logs but most builders advise against it.
http://www.yodersmokers.com/

http://www.meadowcreekbarbecue.com/

JS-TX
07-23-2011, 04:09 PM
I would also opt for 2 22" WSMs. Instead of 2 Gurus you can get one stoker w/another blower/probe kit for the 2nd WSM. You can always get a kettle like grill later should you decide you need one. They are portable and no need for a trailer. I think $1500 is just not enough for a "higher" grade smoker setup, although you can get a baby Stumps for about $1350 + shipping. It should cook enough food for 30 people easily.

scottm4300
07-23-2011, 07:01 PM
I've always thought the WSM would be a great 'next' smoker. Lord knows everyone raves about it! But let me open this up a little bit with a couple of things.

First, at the end of March I had emergency back surgery for an abscess on my spinal cord. I've been VERY lucky - I can walk....there's no paralysis...in short things could have been a whole lot worse. But, I do have some nerve damage in my legs that is still healing. I can still do most everything, but it takes longer and I don't have the same stamina yet - although they tell me with time, I shoiuld get everything back.

So...with that - I've found that 9 hours of feeding wood to the SKD is EXHAUSTING! It is taking me a couple days to recover every time I fire it up.

I'm led to believe that the WSM will hold it's temperature for hours on end with little intervention. That's a big plus!! And I beleive I can still use wood. I've always believed that wood gives a better end result than charcoal.

But - I've been thinking about these 'set it and forget it' smokers. The electric ones that take wood chips or the little discs. Is there REALLY that much difference in the end product with these cookers, compared to the others? I don't cater...I don;t compete. But, once or twice a year I'm cooking for 40-60 people.

I've also always been hesitant about the horizontal offsets. My feeling has always been that the end near the firebox would be significantly hotter than the opposite end, which seems crazy if you're cooking for a bunch of people. I want it all done at once!!

Finally, it seems like with the mutiple shelves in the vertical offiset, there is more cooking surface. I did 300 chicken wings at once in the SKD and have loaded it up with 15 racks of ribs at a time, and 10 pork butts. Of course a horizontal offset gives me the option of doing a whole hog too - and I don't get that in the SKD.

I guess the big question is whether there is a significant difference with the 'set it and forget it' cookers. I've only ever used the SKD, so I have no basis for comparison.

Sorry for rambling!

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Scott

bam
07-23-2011, 07:18 PM
Meadow Creek :thumb:

bbqdano
07-23-2011, 08:41 PM
Have owned a variety of grilles over time, pellet style and stick burners. Most recently, and the best grille I've ever had, is an American Barbecue Systems "All Star". They're in your price range and they turn out some delicious q.

http://www.americanbarbecuesystems.com/

rookiedad
07-23-2011, 08:59 PM
how about a used spicewine or a backwoods party!