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Miney9774
01-21-2020, 10:54 AM
I’m looking to get back into smoking after a 10 year hiatus. I’m wondering with the same rack of ribs, brisket or pork butt prepared and cooked the same, which type of smoker would produce the best product from a pellet smoker, vertical or gravity smoker? I don’t really want to use a side smoker anymore or that’s what I’d be using.
I’m mostly just cooking for me and the wife which I know the vertical and gravity may be a bit larger than needed but that’s fine I just want to produce the best product.
As far as a pellet smoker I was looking at yoders, blazin or Mak. I don’t have any specific vertical smokers in mind yet but this one is for sale but I can find nothing on the builder really
https://m.facebook.com/marketplace/item/470241923663896/?ref=browse_tab&search_query=Smoker
And maybe a stumps or a Myron Maxim gravity smoker but I’m not too familiar with those either yet.

Ron_L
01-21-2020, 11:00 AM
Best is so subjective! All of the types that you mention will produce good results. It just depends on how much smoke flavor you want, etc.

BTW, There a couple of gravity fed smokers for sale right now in our General For Sale section.

Big George's BBQ
01-21-2020, 11:04 AM
Also depends how much you want to spend You can do a UDS If you cant make one you can get from Big Poppa Smokers and it has everything you need but the drum lid and coal basket I believe Green Eggs are nice I smoke on mine and can also use it for a grill

4ever3
01-21-2020, 11:06 AM
What’s the budget?

Miney9774
01-21-2020, 11:13 AM
I’ll spend up to 3k-ish. Was just looking at the assassin gravity fed smoker. Heard a lot of great things about those and under 3.

SmoothBoarBBQ
01-21-2020, 11:17 AM
This is just my opinion, but a vertical cabinet smoker is easily the best out of the 3 options you mentioned. I personally do not like pellet smokers because they are expensive to run, and I just can't taste any smoke flavor on the meat. I've had food off of a Traeger and a Rec Tec and while there's a great smoke ring the smoke flavor just isn't there.

I've never used a gravity feed but I've seen a lot of complaints recently about them because of how often you have to add wood chunks to get some good smoke flavor. Once you open up the door to add wood chunks you get a rush of air, and in turn an increase in temps, and that makes it's tough to keep your temps from running away if you're not careful.

I've always been an offset (both traditional and reverse flow) guy, but a few months ago I got myself an insulated cabinet smoker from Spicewine Ironworks and I'm super happy with the BBQ which comes off of that cooker. Being insulated keeps the temps from swinging too much, and it certainly helps conserve charcoal when it's cold outside. I use 8" wood splits that I have for my offset smoker and split them down pretty thin, and then layer them just underneath the top layer of charcoal in the firebox. I light off the end of a "U-shape" pattern and use a Cyber-Q fan system to control the temps all night long while I sleep like a baby. I can get about 16 hours of run time on a 12Lb bag of lump charcoal, and the temps don't deviate more than 1 or 2 degrees with that fan system. The biggest thing for me is that the smoke flavor is definitely there and it's comparable to my offsets in term of taste. I get great bark, great smoke, and extreme ease of use. Mind you I'm running a small BBQ food truck business so I'm cooking upwards of 70Lbs of meat each day.

If you're just cooking for a few people you might want to consider something like the Shotgun Smoker. It's a good price, good amount of cooking space, and I've heard really good things about it.
https://bbqguru.com/storenav?CategoryId=29&ProductId=337

Edit: It says that you're in Texas so you might also want to check out LonestarGrillz and their "PeeWee" insualted cabinet smoker. I've never used one personally but LonestarGrillz has a great reputation and there's tons of reviews which are just gushing about how well these cookers work.
https://lonestargrillz.com/collections/smokers/products/pee-wee-insulated-cabinet-smoker

Miney9774
01-21-2020, 11:23 AM
This is just my opinion, but a vertical cabinet smoker is easily the best out of the 3 options you mentioned. I personally do not like pellet smokers because they are expensive to run, and I just can't taste any smoke flavor on the meat. I've had food off of a Traeger and a Rec Tec and while there's a great smoke ring the smoke flavor just isn't there.

I've never used a gravity feed but I've seen a lot of complaints recently about them because of how often you have to add wood chunks to get some good smoke flavor. Once you open up the door to add wood chunks you get a rush of air, and in turn an increase in temps, and that makes it's tough to keep your temps from running away if you're not careful.

I've always been an offset (both traditional and reverse flow) guy, but a few months ago I got myself an insulated cabinet smoker from Spicewine Ironworks and I'm super happy with the BBQ which comes off of that cooker. Being insulated keeps the temps from swinging too much, and it certainly helps conserve charcoal when it's cold outside. I use 8" wood splits that I have for my offset smoker and split them down pretty thin, and then layer them just underneath the top layer of charcoal in the firebox. I light off the end of a "U-shape" pattern and use a Cyber-Q fan system to control the temps all night long while I sleep like a baby. I can get about 16 hours of run time on a 12Lb bag of lump charcoal, and the temps don't deviate more than 1 or 2 degrees with that fan system. The biggest thing for me is that the smoke flavor is definitely there and it's comparable to my offsets in term of taste. I get great bark, great smoke, and extreme ease of use. Mind you I'm running a small BBQ food truck business so I'm cooking upwards of 70Lbs of meat each day.

If you're just cooking for a few people you might want to consider something like the Shotgun Smoker. It's a good price, good amount of cooking space, and I've heard really good things about it.
https://bbqguru.com/storenav?CategoryId=29&ProductId=337

Edit: It says that you're in Texas so you might also want to check out LonestarGrillz and their "PeeWee" insualted cabinet smoker. I've never used one personally but LonestarGrillz has a great reputation and there's tons of reviews which are just gushing about how well these cookers work.
https://lonestargrillz.com/collections/smokers/products/pee-wee-insulated-cabinet-smoker
Thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed response. Iíll check out your links right now.

JWFokker
01-21-2020, 11:51 AM
Vertical cabinet, especially if it's insulated.

Demosthenes
01-21-2020, 01:46 PM
If it's just you and the wife (and a possible 'once in a blue moon' small gathering)….I'd go with Lonestar's Pee Wee or Mini....Humphrey's Weekender, or Long Weekender, or the gravity fed Assassin 17. With either your state taxes (by you being in Texas) or having to pay for shipping from Maine or Georgia....you 'should' slide right into your budget. Good luck!

Miney9774
01-21-2020, 02:26 PM
I’m gonna go with the peewee from Lonestar. Looks perfect for what we need. Thanks for the suggestions.

JAKs Q & brew
01-21-2020, 02:41 PM
That seems like the correct choice and what I would have suggested you look at being in Texas.

TC Smoke & Que
01-21-2020, 03:11 PM
You might want to take a gander at the Meadowcreek BX 25, It's good for smaller cooks, a vertical insulated cabinet smoker that would run right in your price range.
I dream and drool over the larger BX 50, but it is way out of my price range.
I think you would be able to enjoy the BX 25 for many years to come.

luv2smoke
01-21-2020, 03:46 PM
Being in Texas a Lonestar seems like a no brainer? I don't know if there is a sales tax in Texas to contend with and how that might affect your choice? You may want to have a look at Cascade Smokers as well if an insulated vertical is the route you decide to go with?

BBQ_MAFIA
01-21-2020, 03:58 PM
I haven't seen a LoneStar other then in video's.
From what I see they look like great cookers.

4ever3
01-21-2020, 07:40 PM
So you JUST wanna smoke food?

Build a drum cooker and keep the money in yer pocket.

You want an all around cooker? Hold off for real world reviews on the Weber Smokefire or jump out there now and buy a MAK 2 Star...

brisket envy
01-22-2020, 09:43 AM
I built an insulated, vertical reverse flow smoker, and used to arrange my charcoal in a u-shape in the basket, around a hardwood split.
As the charcoal burned around the “U”, it consumed the split, giving hours of smoke off that oak or hickory split.
Just something for you to try.

SmittyJonz
01-22-2020, 04:24 PM
https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=277422

2PigsBBQ
01-22-2020, 06:14 PM
The meadowcreek bx50 is a fantastic smoker. Easy to use even without adding a bbq guru. My only regret is not getting the stainless steel waterpan. Its worth the extra money if you can swing it. The extra space in the BX50 compared to the BX25 will come in handy. I think a lot of people settle on a smaller smoker and regret not getting a bigger one. For example, I have a buddy who got a rectec and is already planning on selling it to get a larger rectec. If you decide to go with the BX50 route you can always upgrade the waterpan later. Best of luck

pjtexas1
01-22-2020, 07:10 PM
Where in Texas are you?
I have 1 of each type that you listed. Taste is subjective but out of those 3 the insulated cabinet is my favorite. I get nearly stick burner smoke and it's stupid easy to operate. The gravity feed isn't difficult if you add wood chunks in the chute. The pellet is so quick and simple just not for everyone as some say the smoke is too light. Are you trying to emulate a stick burner taste?

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

boogiechillen
01-22-2020, 08:28 PM
I haven’t tried the other two types, but I went with the same maker as luv2smoke, cascade smokers. I love my smoker. No regrets and actually no desire to buy another type of smoker. Easy to use. Makes a great product. Tons of room, but if I do a smaller cook, don’t feel like I am wasting fuel. Quick to get going and quick to shut down. Stable temps and long burn times.

I really enjoyed going to pick it up. If you find a builder near you that puts out a quality insulated smoker you can pick up in person, I highly recommend that. If you are going to have shipped, I have zero hesitation recommending cascade smokers. Just one guy building them.

Hoss
01-22-2020, 08:56 PM
Big Green Eggs and other ceramics were all the rage a decade ago.Today's new "gotta have" seems to be pellet fueled devices.I would just get a 26 Weber Kettle and rock on. :thumb: Use lump charcoal.It is more trouble but there is WAYYY less ash than briquettes and the food tastes better to me cooked on lump.Good luck and welcome back.

Sid Post
01-23-2020, 10:22 AM
Iím looking to get back into smoking after a 10 year hiatus. Iím wondering with the same rack of ribs, brisket or pork butt prepared and cooked the same, which type of smoker would produce the best product from a pellet smoker, vertical or gravity smoker? I donít really want to use a side smoker anymore or thatís what Iíd be using.
Iím mostly just cooking for me and the wife which I know the vertical and gravity may be a bit larger than needed but thatís fine I just want to produce the best product.

Iíll spend up to 3k-ish. Was just looking at the assassin gravity fed smoker. Heard a lot of great things about those and under 3.

Iím gonna go with the peewee from Lonestar. Looks perfect for what we need. Thanks for the suggestions.

IVC (insulated cabinets) are a solid choice for the vast majority of people.

However, that's a lot of expense and hardware for smaller cooks. I'm a WSM (smokey mtn) guy and find they work very well but, there is some effort in tending you don't have with a gravity fed or pellet pooper smoker.

Today, I would seriously consider a PK Grill for smaller cooks and smokes. Being aluminum is nice! With the venting options, you have a lot of cooking and smoking flexibility. Today I have WSMs and a Kettle but, really one PK Grill would reduce the clutter and do the vast majority of what I do with the Weber hardware.