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Best smoker for a backyard beginner?
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barry
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Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Thu May 30 13 11:47 pm    Post subject: Best smoker for a backyard beginner? Reply with quote

Have been watching PitMasters TV show and am really looking forward to doing some home BBQ.
What brand smoker would you recommend for a newbie?
Is there such thing as "fool proof" smokers? Smile
Thanks
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 13183
Location: SLC, UT

PostPosted: Fri May 31 13 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no such thing as a fool proof cooker... as soon as you think you have a fool proof cooker, nature adapts and sends a bigger, more confused fool to thwart your efforts!

How much do you want to spend, how much room do you have, are there any restrictions because of where you live?

What does your wife or S/O think about the whole thing?
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Mas



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri May 31 13 1:52 am    Post subject: Re: Best smoker for a backyard beginner? Reply with quote

To be a smoker of meats is to be a fool. Your question is flawed. We stay up all night, put up with horrible weather and blow our life savings on this hobby\sport\obsession. Come to grips with this and your purchase becomes easier.

I started on a Walmart cheapo off-set ($150) and regretted it after my first cook. The question is not "if" you will spend a lot of money on this venture, it is "when" you will. I have a Weber Smokey Mountain ($399) and I think it is fantastic. By itself it can do 8+ hr cooks, but if you add a temp control unit, you can go 14+ hrs.
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
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Location: SLC, UT

PostPosted: Fri May 31 13 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or you can build your own UDS for around a $100, or buy an off set worth having for about $750 and up!
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necron 99
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Joined: 04 Aug 2007
Posts: 2594
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Fri May 31 13 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You just missed the sale at DoItBest - $339 for the 22.5" WSM - they're now 'temporarily out of stock'
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GF
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Joined: 30 Apr 2011
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Location: Greenwich, CT.

PostPosted: Fri May 31 13 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

barry, I think SoEzzy hit the nail on the head.
Whatever cooker fits your needs and wants, you'll still have to spend some time learning how it cooks and how to run it.

Good luck with your choice, I'm sure you'll enjoy whatever you decide on. Very Happy
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lokin4deer
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Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 84
Location: Arnold, MO USA

PostPosted: Fri May 31 13 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started off with a brinkman I bought off of craiglist I bought for next to nothing and quickly learned I didnt like it. So I opted to build a UDS and here I am 2 years later smoking right along. I still have a lot to learn but I feel I have a good start.
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speedbump



Joined: 27 Nov 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri May 31 13 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best smoker is the one you can afford, enjoy cooking on, and don't get in trouble for buying.
I started with a Weber Smoky Mountian. Awesome, easier to work with, did I say awesome? I then went to a very inexpensive offset from Home Depot. I should've ran when I starte assembly and nothing fit tight, BUT I just had to give myself a reason to kick my own butt for a couple years.
Thin metal, gaps everywhere, fire box thats too small, thin meal, huge gaps.

Currently I'm having a hybrid offset built for me. Following many guides I've seen here, lots of builds to rob ideas from, etc.

If you're cash strapped or just darting, I think the WSM is te best turnkey option.
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lantern
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Joined: 26 Jul 2007
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Location: Marion,NC

PostPosted: Fri May 31 13 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The easiest thing for beginners and and easy way to get you hooked enough to really start into real bbq is an insulated electric smoker like a cookshack. SUPER easy and lets you work on your meat prep and get used to the timing or lack there of when cooking large hunks of meat at low temps.


Then later you can move on up and start cooking with fire(either charcoal or stick burners) which will add better smoke rings and change your flavors just a bit.
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N8DCJ
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Joined: 20 Aug 2011
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Location: Mansfield , Ohio

PostPosted: Fri May 31 13 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would seriously look at the WSM , I have the 18.5 and love it , it is fairly "fool proof" .... If you get one you won't regret it.

Dan
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Blue_Eyes_Smoke



Joined: 29 May 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01 13 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started out with a cheap offset and I didn't like the results. For a while I "smoked" on a custom grill (set up for indirect with some rigged aluminum foil baffles). I then moved on to a Kamado style cooker (like the Big Green Egg) and now am in the process of finally buying my first higher-end smoker. In hindsight I think I should have gone with a Weber Smokey Mountain from the beginning. It's a great smoker for not a lot of money; hell a lot of competition teams use them.
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Mike Lawry
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Joined: 18 May 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01 13 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dont know your budget but the Weber smokers work for me.

Im just backyard bbq.

Mike Lawry.
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ts8181
Newbie


Joined: 18 Oct 2011
Posts: 33
Location: Vista,Ca.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 01 13 11:28 pm    Post subject: UDS Reply with quote

Build a UDS, cheap, easy, and cooks awesome! I have two, one with a iq110 blower.
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JoeMofknDot
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Joined: 23 Sep 2012
Posts: 61
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02 13 3:45 am    Post subject: Re: Best smoker for a backyard beginner? Reply with quote

It really depends on you and what kind of fuel you are going to use. I personally use a bunch of smokers depending on the volume of food and type of fuel I have on hand. I use my modified Oklahoma Joe for cooking 1 brisket or 3 racks of ribs with a wood fire. I use a modded Char-Griller offset when doing 2 briskets or 6 racks of ribs or 4 pork butts fired with charcoal and chunks. Then if I'm really cooking I fire up the big boy when I have to cook multiple briskets, ribs, pork butts, and chicken at the same time. I use different stokers to make temperature control easier. But if you build the fire correctly you don't really need the stoker.


barry wrote:
Have been watching PitMasters TV show and am really looking forward to doing some home BBQ.
What brand smoker would you recommend for a newbie?
Is there such thing as "fool proof" smokers? Smile
Thanks

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2 Chargriller Pros offset modded
1 Ok Joe offset modded
Current build trailered 100 inch angled pipe offset
IQ110 stoker for the smaller offsets

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=61061&sid=e3d36e41a0c695551002a16aef11ff00
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Travis_Creek
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Joined: 10 Jul 2005
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Location: Aubrey, TX

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02 13 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: UDS Reply with quote

ts8181 wrote:
Build a UDS, cheap, easy, and cooks awesome! I have two, one with a iq110 blower.


I have to agree. Cheap and easy and works great...
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Tim_Abrahamson
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Joined: 17 Apr 2010
Posts: 1544
Location: Parkville, MO

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02 13 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

speedbump wrote:
I then went to a very inexpensive offset from Home Depot. I should've ran when I started assembly and nothing fit tight, BUT I just had to give myself a reason to kick my own butt for a couple years.
Thin metal, gaps everywhere, fire box that's too small, thin meal, huge gaps.



You can use a cheap offset but invest in a can of engine gasket foam (about $25 at the auto parts store)... put that stuff everywhere you are joining two seams. It still will cook like crap but at least it will be sealed tight enough to work with.

The questions to ask are...
1) What can I afford?
2) How often will I use it?
3) How much time do you want to spend tending it?
4) How much do you need to cook at one time?

We can point you in a pretty good direction with answers to these 4 questions.
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Copronymous
Newbie


Joined: 01 Jan 2013
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Mon Jun 03 13 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My opinion:
Cheap & easy-UDS. Love mine and it cooks awesome briskets. The iQ 110 is a great addition.

Got a little cash:
Stick burner-Go with Diamond Plate. Never had one but have cooked on one several times and it turns out some great product.

Charcoal-Backwoods. Been really happy with it.
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barry
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Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Mon Jun 03 13 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I'm gonna show my ignorance and ask what is a UDS?

Nevermind, I found it.
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 26012
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 03 13 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

barry wrote:
Okay, I'm gonna show my ignorance and ask what is a UDS?

A UDS is a cooker made from a 55 gall drum. You can make them as simple or as fancy as you want.
Here ya go. Very Happy
http://thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=49419
Here are a few pics of mine.









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jansboy
Newbie


Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02 13 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ugly drum is the best for the least money. Great cooker. I have built 5 for myself and family and friends.
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