Anyone Have/Use the Meco 5031 Charcoal Combo Water Smoker?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by jaxty, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. I'm looking to buy my first smoker, and I have experience in smoking on a charcoal grill.  I want to start with a vertical charcoal smoker.

    I was at my local Lowes today on lunch, to look at picking up a WSM, and saw they had once called the "Southern Country" 2 in 1 Charcoal Water Smoker and Grill.  I took a picture of it, and looked it up here, and see it is the exact same model as the "Meco 5031 Charcoal Combo Water Smoker".

    At $109.00, it's less expensive than the WSM 18.5" ($399.00).

    Should I splurge for the WSM, or potentially deal with hassles with this unit?  Anyone with experience?

    Any smoker is better than no smoker!


  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes splurge on the WSM and don't look back. I started out charcoal many moons ago with a Meco charcoal water smoker. Pain in the $!#% to keep temps even in good weather. So much so that I quite charcoal smoking for ten years.

    I have the 18.5 WSM and 4 mini-WSM's. Easy to use, fuel efficient, and Rick solid for holding temps.
  3. Thanks - pretty much what I thought, and I expect I'll hear that a lot!!

  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Started out on one 25 years ago...$50. It was such a PITA I almost gave up smoking, then my MIL bought me a nice New Braunfels Horizontal Offset. Spend the extra $$$ as the WSM is about as close as you can get for easy to use with charcoal...JJ
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You can build a mini-WSM for under $100, if you can find a tamale pot. I can feed our family of 4 easily with it. Fill racks of ribs you have to cut in half, as well as packer brisket. I've crammed to 9 pound butts in there once.

    Keep your eyes peeled on CL. WSM's pop up occasionally. That's how I found mine, $100 advertiesd, with a cover and a bag of charcoal, a smoking book, and some wood chips. Lady used it three times, cleaned the inside after every use ????????

    So it was like new when I got it. When I got there she said I could have it for $80. Okay!
  6. Thanks all for the advice!  I splurged on a WSM 18.5".  It's seasoning in the backyard right now.  Gonna rub down some meat tonight, first smoke tomorrow!

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