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Which smoker, advice please!

 
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dimyself



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03 08 5:05 am    Post subject: Which smoker, advice please! Reply with quote

Hi everybody, this is my 1st post here! I want a smoker...I know this topic comes up alot...

My budget is kind of open. I want a fairly good smoker (something that will last, good quality, and I will be happy with). Let me also say that my brother has 2 smokers (both horizontal and use wood) so I'm not completely new to smoking.

I have heard good things about a WSM, but wonder if it will produce as good of results as the wood burning smokers I've used before?? My main question is will the meat taste less smoky, juicy, or any difference between something like a WSM and a true wood firebox smoker?? I really like the SMOKED flavor and have never had smoked food made with coals (just wood).

That being said I I like the idea of being able to set it, forget it on a WSM vs. checking it all the time for temp. BUT I don't want to sacrifice taste and quality for that either. I would rather spend a little more money and get a sturdy all wood smoker if it performs/tastes better?!! Any thoughts???

Here's what I was thinking as choices:

Is there a difference between the "original" Oklahoma Joe's and the new ones? Like what the ad below states...

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/spo/805691091.html
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/for/765831505.html
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/for/806440387.html
WSM (or something comparable)
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dimyself



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03 08 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also would like to add that I will cook briskets and a few things at once sometimes also...but mostly will be cooking just 1-2 things.
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dimyself



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03 08 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALSO these 2 smokers.......which is better and which is preferred???

http://www.academy.com/index.php?page=content&target=products/outdoors/grills/smokers&start=6&selectedSKU=0263-02219-3321

http://www.academy.com/index.php?page=content&target=products/outdoors/grills/smokers&start=6&selectedSKU=0263-02219-5601
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Mike Lawry
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Joined: 18 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03 08 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you use charcoal + wood chunks , get the WSM.

If you use wood logs get the offset.



Mike Lawry.
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dimyself



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03 08 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will a charcoal + wood chunks taste just as good and just as smoky/juicy/tender as an all wood setup?
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dimyself



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03 08 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How bout this one?? Anyone heard of a Dragon smoker?

http://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/hsh/824409894.html
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Big Daddy Woo Woo
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Joined: 28 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03 08 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think everyone has learned that I am a BIG Backwoods Smoker fan. Check them out. I love them and will prolly never own any other type of smoker. I say this because you said that price is not a concern. Maybe a Chubby or a Party for you?
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h00kemh0rns
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Joined: 27 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03 08 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one for sale...check out the link below.
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dimyself



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03 08 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone have an opinion on which would be better? I do like the idea of set/forget, but am wondering if I will get better tasting / juicier food from a heavier duty all wood smoker?? If not, then I'll probably just go with the wsm or something similiar with ease of use...

I saw yours btw h00kem and might be interested except I don't want to drive that far to get it. Confused

thoughts?
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smokinit
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04 08 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will second the Backwoods oh thats right I am a dealer. Good deals to forum members. Laughing
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Lavern
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04 08 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forums! On a sizable investment like that, it really pays to do your research and ask around, so you're going the right direction.

You might find this article on barbeque smokers helpful. It talks about 7 things you should know before you buy a barbecue smoker.

Have fun.
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Revolutionary Pig Roasters, Smokers, Chicken Cookers, and Grills From Meadow Creek
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dimyself



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04 08 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! I can't wait to get the smoker!! I love smoked food...I just get tired of relying on my brothers smoker, so I decided to get my own. Smile

Here's the thing...I don't necarrily need or want an expensive smoker if I will be just as happy with something like a wsm...Which brings me back to my main questions:

- I like the idea of set it and forget it on the wsm, but am wondering if I will get better tasting / juicier food from a heavier duty all wood smoker??

- Also, would you guys recommend getting a heavier duty smoker if I have the budget and can anyone recommend a good heavy duty smoker that I can set/forget but also have smoke/wood flavor?

thanks Smile
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dimyself



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04 08 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the difference between charcoal and all wood? Is charcoal less maintenance? Will meat smoked on wood taste or be better than on charcoal with wood chips??
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J0K3R-X
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Joined: 02 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04 08 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would recommend that you get both and experiment and tinker around with both styles. A WSM style bullet smoker is more of a set it and forget it type smoker that burns mostly charcoal. They will go for long periods of time without needing to add any fuel/charcoal. you can throw a little wood of your choice in there every now and then. The wood that you use is your choice and a matter of what you can get your hands on like hickory, oak, apple, cherry... A WSM has space limitations meaning you can only get so much meat in there at one time. On the other hand it is better for beginners because of ease of use. A WSM bullet style smoker can put out some great smokey flavored juicy meat and have been known to place 1st in competitions so don't be fooled that you can only make great bbq if you spend tons of $$$ on a large offset smoker! You can get a cheap version of a WSM for around $60.00 or you can spend $200.00 on the real deal. The cheap version can put out the same quality of bbq but often lack the sturdy "last a life time" build quality of the original WSM.

Offset smokers are NOT set it and forget it type smokers and usually require constant tinkering which some people love. They can burn all wood, all charcoal or both. Some people start out with a hot bed of charcoal and throw an occasional log in there for the smoke, others start with only logs. Thatís really up to you and how you like it. I like all wood in my large barrel smoker but sometimes use lump charcoal because it starts faster and I have a limited wood supply. Something to take into consideration if you live where wood is hard to get! Another thing that I live by is I never use charcoal with starter fluid in the charcoal nor do I squirt it on the charcoal! I can taste that crap even if it is one part per million, it gets on the inside of the cooker and I hate it! Use a propane torch or weed burner to start your lump charcoal and never use starter fluid on wood! Just my opinion, others my disagree! The Dragon smoker that you posted a link to looks like a heavy well built smoker and would be a great starter. I would stay away from cheap offsets that are made from thin metal that will end up burning out or rusting out in a year! Heavy thick well built smokers will last years if not a life time. Heavy well built smokers will retain heat better and usually require less fuel/wood to maintain an even constant temp. I would recommend that you get meat thermometers because leaving meat in to long or to short of time can make or break your Q! Find a nice offset and go from there, used ones are great, you might have to tweak a few things but thatís no biggie! There a tons of smokers and millions of different ways and methods of smoking, thatís why there are forums like The Smoke Ring which is the BEST one by the way! You just have to get your groove on and get in and get smokin! Play around with different things and you will find the one that works for you! Remember that you donít have to spend thousands of dollars to put out some great smokey Q! There many that can recommend this smoker or that smoker but it really all comes down to you and what you like!


Get a bullet smoker and play around with it, doesn't have to be a WSM right off the bat! I would recommend BBQ Pro Deluxe. It seems to do a great job!

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07115883000P?keyword=bbq+pro&sid=S-on-Kx20k061224x0000001

Get a nice new or used offset smoker like Oklahoma Joe or the Dragon that you found on Craigslist and you will be all set! You will be able to compare both styles for under $600.00. Hope this helps!!
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ou812warford
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Joined: 08 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04 08 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the OK Joe in your post was mine. I took it off craigslist because I got a convection plate for it. Sorry That dragon smoker is bigger then mine and looks to be a good deal for an offset.
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Oklahoma Joe 16" traditonal
weber gold 26 3/4"
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dimyself



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05 08 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for the reply!!! I'm starting to lean towards a bullet more so just for the fact that it is less maintenance until I can learn more.

One question though....I see people on here say they can set their WSM before going to bed and it will still be going when they wake up. Will the BBQ Pro do that?? Because I'm reading the reviews on Sears site and people are saying they can only get about 6 hours or so without going back to it? Ultimately for a bullet type smoker that is less work, I would like it to work all night so I can cook while I sleep. Smile

Also, I forgot to bring this up...If I keep the smoker right by my house is the smoke going to cause any discoloration or smell to the sighting? It's would be on a covered patio right by my house. This is the only place I have concrete in my backyard and I am somewhat worried about the sparks/fire getting on the grass
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dimyself



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05 08 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was curious what you said in the ad about the OK Joe being of better construction than the new ones from Academy? What's the difference...

Yea, the dragon in the pic got sold already.
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dimyself



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05 08 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OOH, what about this one?? http://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/for/823599077.html

Would it be set/forget? Smile Would the rust that is showing in the pics be a problem?

Also a brand new Brinkman 2 here for $75: http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/for/821207870.html Are they any good?
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ou812warford
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Joined: 08 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05 08 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dimyself wrote:
I was curious what you said in the ad about the OK Joe being of better construction than the new ones from Academy? What's the difference...

Yea, the dragon in the pic got sold already.


It is like the horizon 16" smokers . It is before they sold the ok joe to charbroil. It is 1/4" steel instead of 1/8". The one I have is welded together instead of bolted. On the inside of the smoke chamber there is a little baffle to direct the heat/smoke into the chamber instead of going straight up to the top of the chamber. Mine does not have the ash tray on the firebox. Mine comes with a tool to scrape out the ash that is in the bottom of the smoker. Go look at the smokers at academy and you can see a difference in the construction.
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Oklahoma Joe 16" traditonal
weber gold 26 3/4"
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J0K3R-X
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Joined: 02 Aug 2008
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Location: New Port Richey, FL

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05 08 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow man there are tons of smokers in the dallas area!

Look at this freaky thing, looks like a fallen Sputnik satellite or something! Kinda kool has potential?

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/for/814405621.html
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