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View Full Version : Newbie... Looking for a new smoker


Rommoz
09-30-2015, 01:00 PM
Morning everyone,
I hope I put this in the right spot.
My name is Joe, and I'm from PA at the southern edge of the pocono mountains (a few hrs north of philly). I'm realitivly new to this, and by no means do I consider myself an expert. My experience is a little more than ribs and beer can chicken.
My current rig is nothing more than a barrel grill that I set up for indirect cooking. Leaks like a sieve. And has almost zero temp control. So as my rig is useless in the winter and rusting out this will be its last season. Which means I'm in the market for a new setup. I can only justify about $300 to the wife for it (although spending a little to mod it over time is ok). I was looking at the dyna glo vertical offset (wide body). Any other suggestions?

BBQdisciple
09-30-2015, 01:09 PM
for insulation, temp control, versatility and price, I am a HUGE fan of the Akorn by Char-griller. I have mine tuned in where i am comfortable using it without a thermometer on over night cooks.

A good old weber kettle offers all of that at a more affordable price, but will not have the insulation, therefore require more fuel in colder/windier weather

I am currently considering a 55 gallon drum build which can be done for cheap.

Anyway, there's my 2 cents.

landarc
09-30-2015, 01:10 PM
I am not familiar with the Dyna-glow, for that money I would definitely look at a Weber Smoky Mountain, or even building a UDS. There is also the Pit Barrel Cooker that seems to work well

SmittyJonz
09-30-2015, 01:24 PM
UDS. Dynoglow no good.

SmittyJonz
09-30-2015, 01:25 PM
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=80125&highlight=uds+build


http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23436

Bludawg
09-30-2015, 01:25 PM
I'd Shy away from that Dynaglow they are Really Thin and won't hang on heat well (It gets cold in them there mountains) With your budget I'd be looking at a 26" Weber kettle. Lots of real estate & easy to control and cook like a dream right out of the box, short learning curve and with care will last you 20+ yrs.

midwestsmokeboy
09-30-2015, 01:26 PM
I'd build a UDS or go with the Pit Barrel Cooker.

jjjonz
09-30-2015, 01:28 PM
I love my PBC, but for all around cooking I would probably go with the Char-broil Akorn kamado Kooker. Check on You Tube. They have them on sale locally at Walmart for $250.Good luck on your search.

umrebel26
09-30-2015, 01:30 PM
i second the char griller akorn. Very easy to maintain a steady and stable temp. They are also insulated so you don't have to worry as much about the rain and cold affecting them. I have 3 of them i use for comps and cooking around the house

Dmakkk
09-30-2015, 01:34 PM
WSM... You can not go wrong...

BBQdisciple
09-30-2015, 01:34 PM
The money you save in charcoal will pay for your Akorn. I can dump not even half a bag of KBB, do a 15 hour cook in overnight freezing temp and still have 75% of the coals with no ash for the next cook.

Only downside, it is not the biggest cooking surface.

Rommoz
09-30-2015, 01:35 PM
Thanks for the replies... I currently am having trouble finding food grade barrels (I am still looking) which makes the pit barrel or wsm more attractive than a uds I also have no welding skills. But I also have all winter to come up with something

Lowki
09-30-2015, 01:43 PM
You do not need any welding skills to build a UDS, basically just a good drill a step bit and some other basic tools. high heat epoxies and clever use of nuts and bolts will get you there. A cheap insulating blanket may be called for in the colder months, but here in New England i make do without that.
All that aside, if this is your only rig, i would go with the Weber grill. Versatile and like Bludawg says, works right out of the box. Plus if you are patient you can score 1 (or more) off CL for cheap.

Bludawg
09-30-2015, 01:44 PM
Thanks for the replies... I currently am having trouble finding food grade barrels (I am still looking) which makes the pit barrel or wsm more attractive than a uds I also have no welding skills. But I also have all winter to come up with something:crazy:Food grade drums have phenolic epoxy liners that you need to remove and they are a bitch. By the time you have removed it you have bare steel save the time, headaches and nasty job and just get any unlined drum. You can build a UDS without welding I've built several.

Drkman47
09-30-2015, 01:51 PM
I would agree with the Weber, if you want to smoke there are many different methods. I have used the snake method at my buddy's house and have a smokinator myself.

SmittyJonz
09-30-2015, 02:01 PM
You don't need food grade barrels.

Rommoz
09-30-2015, 03:06 PM
thanks for all the info... The big problem I was having was not being able to actually SEE AND FEEL what I was considering buying (you never know which reviews to trust... I usually read the bad first). I do have a gas grill also so the smoker will only be a smoker

landarc
09-30-2015, 03:13 PM
Insulated cookers like the Akorn are great if you are in cold areas and only cook medium sized cuts of meat. My UDS serves me well, and I have done two 15 pound packer briskets and up to four butts on it with no problems. When I had to do 9 racks of St. Louis ribs, the 26" kettle was the thing, no other cooker I have could have done it, not mu UDS or my WSM. A lot of this comes down to the size of the cook

jefferson10940
09-30-2015, 03:20 PM
Personally I bought PBC and have been very very happy. I had next to no experience and everything comes out fantastic. I also have a gasser and Weber performer. I barely use the gas, really just for hot dogs/burgers and sometimes chicken in a rush. The reason I chose the PBC over the Akorn was the amount of food that you can cook in a PBC is much much more at a time. 8 full racks of ribs at once compared to maybe a rack cut up to fit. They both serve a purpose, but I am super satisfied with PBC. I use it at least once a week.

Rommoz
09-30-2015, 03:40 PM
Insulated cookers like the Akorn are great if you are in cold areas and only cook medium sized cuts of meat. My UDS serves me well, and I have done two 15 pound packer briskets and up to four butts on it with no problems. When I had to do 9 racks of St. Louis ribs, the 26" kettle was the thing, no other cooker I have could have done it, not mu UDS or my WSM. A lot of this comes down to the size of the cook

Once or twice a year I cook for a bunch of people, but usually 2 or three racks of ribs will do it.. Gotta ask how did you fit 9 racks on a 26" kettle? I figure you had the smokinator in there so 1/2 of your grill space was gone...

PatAttack
09-30-2015, 03:47 PM
Once or twice a year I cook for a bunch of people, but usually 2 or three racks of ribs will do it.. Gotta ask how did you fit 9 racks on a 26" kettle? I figure you had the smokinator in there so 1/2 of your grill space was gone...

Either a rib rack or roll them up.

wsswesty
10-01-2015, 03:51 PM
I recently ordered a drum smoker kit from BPS and everything turned out great. I have less than 200 bucks. Took me a couple days to clean the 55 gallon drum and 1/2 day to drill and install the kit. This thing cooks better than my 18" WSM.

SmittyJonz
10-01-2015, 04:00 PM
http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/u645/bobjones79/E787D291-8B35-4E04-9D3C-1566E5511B32_zpsswffrmzt.png (http://s1326.photobucket.com/user/bobjones79/media/E787D291-8B35-4E04-9D3C-1566E5511B32_zpsswffrmzt.png.html)

wdpope1
10-07-2015, 05:27 PM
UDS
look on here for details on building one
you can`t go wrong i have built 3 so far and have smoked with snow flying and on the ground in Ohio very effecent very forgiving and as for drums I have use oil drums ,anti freeze and racing fuel drums (racing fuel drum got sandblasted weed burner didnt get liner out)
wash em out at car wash with degreeser first then wash and rinse out
drill your holes and burn it good, then put together and start making your on Pron

darkoozy
10-07-2015, 06:06 PM
When I started the addiction, I decided on WSM. Doesnt get any simpler (set it and forget it), and is quite an amazing smoker with decent capacity.

The bullet/barrel designs in general are the best for entry level smokers and produce some awesome bbq. I recommend you keep looking in this space...

yakdung
10-07-2015, 06:06 PM
WSM. Unbox light and smoke.

darkoozy
10-07-2015, 06:07 PM
WSM. Unbox light and smoke.

I should have just said this :)

Happy Hapgood
10-07-2015, 06:49 PM
thanks for all the info... The big problem I was having was not being able to actually SEE AND FEEL what I was considering buying (you never know which reviews to trust... I usually read the bad first). I do have a gas grill also so the smoker will only be a smoker

Hearing that, a WSM sounds like the way to go. An 18.5 inch with 2 grill levels runs $299. It does not require any mods but many can be made.

There is a whole site dedicated to the WSM www.tvwbb.com if you want to see what all it can do. You will not have to worry about it ever rusting out with a little reasonable care. In your area a wind break maybe required but low temp does not affect them much.

Good Luck!

Riz58
10-08-2015, 06:17 PM
for insulation, temp control, versatility and price, I am a HUGE fan of the Akorn by Char-griller. I have mine tuned in where i am comfortable using it without a thermometer on over night cooks.


.

+1 on the Akorn to learn and to also be able to cook in cool/cold temperatures.

KevinJ
10-08-2015, 10:02 PM
$300 budget and all you do is want to smoke on it, WSM 18.5, user friendly and they are built to last.

Dweverett
10-08-2015, 10:23 PM
While I might try a UDS someday as a project, if I was starting with that budget and looking for a dedicated smoker it would be either the WSM or PBC. There are some great posts that compare the two