Buying my first Smoker

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by shak937, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. shak937

    shak937 Newbie

    Whats going on everyone?

    I live in Atlanta, GA. Im interested in getting started smoking meat. I want to purchase my first smoker. I have a budget of $300. Ive been looking at offset smokers. Ive looked at the mods available to make offset smokers perform better. Im looking for recommendations. I'm thinking about getting the Oklahoma Joe highland smoker so far. Will this be a good smoker for a beginner or too advanced to start out with?
  2. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Look at the Old Country Pecos at Academy Sports. I think it will run about $400, but would be well worth the extra money, IMHO.

    Good luck with your purchase, Joe
  3. shak937

    shak937 Newbie

    Thanks Ill look into that. 
  4. I am very fond of the WSMs you could get a 18.5" for 300 im pretty sure bass pro carries this one or atleast the one near Sevierville TN does, these smokers are IMO very good for first timers. they are very easy to use and once the smoker has been used a couple of times you can pretty much set and forget it, the best part is these smokers work very well with no mods at all 
  5. rkonrad45

    rkonrad45 Newbie

    Another very good option in your price range is the Char-Griller Akorn Kamado grill/smoker. Basically a poor man's Big Green Egg. For only $299 or so, you get about 95% of the performance of the Big Green Egg at less than 1/4th the cost. I have owned a few different smokers in the past and this one produces a much better final product with much less effort and much less fuel.

    This grill/smoker seals up so well that charcoal usage is very low. Additionally, the sealed design has much less airflow than other smokers, the meat retains moisture. I have smoked pork roasts, beef roasts, turkey breasts, hams, and pork loins over the past month. No injections, no brining - just slapped a rub on the outside of the meat and put it on the smoker. BEST TASTING MEATS I have ever produced on a smoker. My wife claims it might be some of the best tasting meat she has ever tasted anywhere! Juicy, tasty meat every time!

    The added bonus is that I can easily grill and sear steak all the way up to 1,000 degrees F with no problems! It makes fantastic pizza at 700 degrees!

    (In the past I have used an el cheapo vertical box propane smoker and also a horizontal side firebox stick burner.)
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  6. shak937

    shak937 Newbie

    The Akron does look pretty good but the cooking space seems pretty small how many ribs can you put on there at once?
  7. rkonrad45

    rkonrad45 Newbie

    I actually haven't done ribs yet. This Sunday will be my first Ribs on the Akorn!!

    But the grill surface is about 19" in diameter so at there should be room for at least three racks at a time placed flat. You could also put one or two more on the upper secondary rack.

    Using some rib holders that hold the ribs vertical sideways will allow for even more on the smoker at one time.
  8. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    About 4 years ago I was asking the same question. I wound up buying the MasterBuilt electric smoker (MES 40). My wife insisted that I would not be able to manage an all-night cook at my age. If I were doing it today, I would buy the 18" Weber Smokey Mountain. It is offered just about everywhere for $299.99. Check Home Depot, Lowe's, wallyworld . . . I've seen it in each of them. I probably won't do a whole rack of ribs unless you cut it in half, but buying the 22" just to do ribs uncut seems a bit too much for me. You can buy a Weber Kettle to smoke a rack for a pittance on craigslist as owners give up on charcoal and go to gas.

    This will give you the ability to smoke almost anything (no cold-smoking that I know of is done with the WSM). It will give you the chance to see how much like smoking. It has a short learning curve. As was said by others, it is almost a set-and-forget smoker in that it holds temps predictably with a little practice.

    Having said that, I am currently watching craigslist and local want-ads for an offset stick burner because I want to learn that skill, too. I've looked at the Old Country Pecos at Academy Sports that Joe Black mentioned but I've not bought one yet.

    Just my 2 pfennig . . .
  9. shak937

    shak937 Newbie


    I think im going to buy the akorn in about a week or two then. Do you have a Smoking Stone for it also?
  10. shak937

    shak937 Newbie

    I have looked at the Weber Smokey Mountain. I wanted the 22" but the price was a little higher than I wanted to pay. I have been looking on craigslist like you said for a offset smoker. I dont know why but I really want one lol. Im probably going to pull the trigger on the akorn, but like you I still want to try the offset smoker.
  11. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can cold smoke with a WSM if you buy a A-MAZ-N smoker. I have one of the original sawdust ones and use it in my WSM to smoke cheeses.
  12. shak937

    shak937 Newbie

    So I decied to get the Akorn 22" with the cart. At my local homedepot its 275. So I picked it up along with a smoking stone.

Share This Page