View Full Version : Smoker Dilemma - Opinions Welcome

10-07-2015, 06:33 PM
OK, I'm sure this has been posted a million times but, I just need some words of wisdom from the brethren here. I've been setting aside money for about a year now for a new smoker. Ideally, I've wanted a pellet smoker (Blaz'n or Yoder). I only have about $300 saved right now and it's taken me that long to get there so, it's pretty slow going. Walmart has the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn for sale on clearance for $200 bucks ($250 off normal price). I know this isn't the best offset but, I've always wanted an offset too. I have a UDS, and a King Keg already.

What I'm wanting advice on is, should I buy that Longhorn and have some money left over for mods? Baffle, tuning plates, gaskets and what now? Or should I keep waiting it out and socking money away for a pellet smoker or nicer offset (this could take another couple years at the rate I'm going).

Anyway, I know this is probably one of those stupid questions you guys hate seeing pop up everywhere but, I don't make a ton of money and the money I do make get's gobbled up by my boys medical expenses (long story). What do you guys think? In the end, I'm still cooking Q on my UDS and Keg so, It's not the end of the world!! :-P

10-07-2015, 06:38 PM
You'll probably get lots of opinions here, but I have a Jim Bowie pellet smoker from Green Mountain Grills (their biggest) that I love and it was only $800. Half the price of a Yoder or Blaze'n and I think does just as good a job.

10-07-2015, 06:54 PM
If you have the UDS and Keg to cook on, why not keep saving until you can get what you really want?

10-07-2015, 06:56 PM
I say get the offset now and get to cooking. The all wood flavor is worth it.

10-07-2015, 06:59 PM
1+ on what Ron_L said...

A UDS is a great smoker, and if you are are a patient person by nature, I'd wait for something down the road that will last for the long haul.

10-07-2015, 07:02 PM
Keep saving and soon you will have something you can be happy with, don't settle for second best...

10-07-2015, 07:10 PM
Not to really tell you what you should do but financially speaking of it's taken you this long to save up to a couple of hundred bucks you probably should stick to what you've got & not worry about another smoker at all. Having said that something else to consider is saving for a bit longer & get one of the Old Country Pecos/Wranglers offsets from Academy for $400-500 as they're a much thicker steel than the OK Joe's from Walmart.

10-07-2015, 08:36 PM
Another option would be to watch craigslist and the For Sale section here. Just what you want may pop up at any time, in your budget.

10-07-2015, 08:51 PM
I would buy the LongHorn and Never get a Pellet smoker. Longhorn only needs a convection plate and you can make one cheap enough and grate in FB., all the other crap mods are not needed. :mrgreen:

10-07-2015, 08:54 PM
If it was me, I would save up for what I really want.

Growing poor, that was not always an option, most things have to be saved for, and they were so much better once I had them.

10-07-2015, 10:20 PM

Smoke on Badger Mountain
10-07-2015, 10:32 PM
Save your money! Never settle for second best or less if you already have something to cook on

Rusty Kettle
10-07-2015, 10:34 PM
keep saving. Seriously, if you already have a few pits sit tight and wait. Sometimes it is worth the wait. Besides those pits at Walmart need modded to work right and well you won't be happy in the end.

10-07-2015, 10:38 PM
As much as I love my offset and I would never own a Pellet Pooper. Don't take this the wrong way but some folks don't have the patience to tend a fire. An Offset aint set & forget you have to be on top of it. They don't work well with charcoal they need a steady diet of split wood to run effeciently. I could be of base but you strike me as a feller that looks fer the easy way, so maybe ya best keep savin your milk money and get a Pooper.

10-08-2015, 09:57 AM
Buy the Longhorn at $250. 00 off. Life is short, you could get hit by a bus next week and have never had the opportunity to cook on an offset. Use the extra dough to make your upgrades.
We all can't start out with the best so try the Longhorn and see if you really like stick burning. If you like it save for a better one and sell the longhorn when ready. If you don't like stick burning sell it and you'll only be out a few bucks.

10-08-2015, 11:35 AM
UDS and save! I cooked on my drum and kettle for 6 years before I finally bit the bullet and went big with what I really wanted.

10-08-2015, 11:58 AM
I bought the Longhorn and must say the most disapointing purchase I've made in a very long time. Very poorly built, all bolt together construction. The main lid leaks smoke and is not shaped evenly for proper flush closing. I've added gaskets and I have to place a ten pound weight on the handle so the lid will close tight against the gasket. The door of the fire box is very sloppy with too large of gaps, which makes temp control more of a challenge. Smoke also leaks from where the smoke stack bolts into the cooking chamber. My plan is to hire a welder, have the smoke stack and fire box welded to the main chamber, as well a making a flange for the firebox door, thus eliminating the leaking smoke. I should have done more research, so I own the poor decision. Like other members suggested, I would recommend continue saving and avoid the Longhorn (just my opinion and experience). In the mean time continue making great BBQ on the UDS and Keg.

Fat Cap
10-08-2015, 12:39 PM
Before you spend a single dime, you really need to decide what you want. A pellet pooper (that's not a dig, I have one) and an offset are two completely different animals. That's like saving up for a car and then settling for a goat. If you want a pellet cooker, buy a pellet cooker.

10-08-2015, 01:31 PM
Before you spend a single dime, you really need to decide what you want. A pellet pooper (that's not a dig, I have one) and an offset are two completely different animals. That's like saving up for a car and then settling for a goat. If you want a pellet cooker, buy a pellet cooker.

Yea, eventually I want both. Thanks for all the advice guys, I think I'll hold off, I'm not too far away from having enough for a decent used offset with much better quality so, I may hold out for that and hopefully my fortunes change in the future and I'll be able to get me a pellet cooker later on. Thanks for all the advice. Appreciate it.