Don't understand why I should mod anything

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by love2dive, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. I'm seeing a lot of folks posting on this forum about how they had to perform mods on their smokers to get them to work correctly or decently, and I don't understand why that is necessary in the first place.  I have an 18.5" WSM and I don't have to do any mod for it to work right the first time out of the package.  Before I buy anything, I read up as much as I can and check the review from as many sources as I can.  If I see a lot of people saying how they had to mod this or mod that to get their smoker to work right, I steer clear from it.  My question is why do people continue to buy a product and support a manufacturer if they know that the product will not work right the first time? Is it cost .or does everyone but me enjoy modding and tinkering with their smoker before they can finally put it to use.  I am looking for a new smoker to either replace my WSM because the size is getting too small for me and possibly keep both.  I purposely steer clear of any product that I red that show poor quality and/or craftsmanship.  I much rather spend more on a product that works as I expected the first time and every time, even if I have to save up and spend considerably more on it than to buy a poorly made product and have to put in all the extra work before I could put it to use.  The mods that I'm constantly see people having to do, they sound like issues that the manufacturers should have done in the first place and not leave for the consumers to do themselves.
  2. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    cost vs time.  buy a 2k smoker that's perfect. works great if you have 2k. buy a 170.00 smoker spend 50 bucks and put some time into it and now you have a well tuned machine.

    most time you don't have to do any mod. you can make great food with a 50 dollar smoker. it's just tweaking to make it a little easier use.
  3. trip4f

    trip4f Newbie

    I bought the gasket kit for my WSM 22 1/2, never installed it. This unit has run perfectly out of the box. Leaks a little but holds 250 for 10 hours or more with no adjustments, 2 vents closed 1 open about half way, top vent wide open. No fancy thermometers just the one in the lid and a cheap instant read from Wally World. This is the cookingest son of a gun I've ever seen!
  4. wood river bbq

    wood river bbq Smoke Blower

    love2dive: I hear you and wish others did also and I can't speak for others but I can tell you why I purchased a cheapo smoker (Smoking Pro) when I first decided to get into smoking -- "I didn't know what I didn't know" and the "unit looked professional". Right after taking it out of the box I knew I was in trouble and realized I should have researched "smokers" before I bought the unit. I should have returned it to Walmart but thought I could modify it and did so using every mod I could find. I learned a lot about smokers in the process and ended up cooking good product but it was a lot of work -- it was difficult to control the airflow and temperature, the thin metal didn't retain or distribute heat/smoke and the air leaks carried out moisture and dried out the meat. 

    After about 6 months, I sold it to a neighbor for $200, which was 1/2 of what I had into it. He bought it because "he didn't know what he didn't know" and I was happy to get rid of it  - he's happy with it and still own's it. 

    This time around I did my research as to what I could purchase for my $1500 budget (unit cost plus shipping) and settled on a Lang 36 mainly because of the "reverse flow aspect'. Here's how it went -- the unit was delivered to my driveway, I moved it to the back yard, fired it up and seasoned it and the next day invited the neighbors over for a "Q" and I've never looked back -- no mods, no nothing.

    I also have a Weber 22.5, which my wife uses for chicken. If I were you I'd keep your WSM - It will come in handy along with whatever else you purchase.   
  5. ron eb

    ron eb Meat Mopper

    Like me many people get smokers as a gift that may not have been their first choice.

    I did some mods on mine and it performs now like a smoker more than 3 times its cost.

    I think I invested about 40 bucks in the mods.
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The WSM's don't need to be modded at all to work well, they work right out of the box just fine. However I did come up with the eyelet mod so I could get my probe therms in easier. You can see the mod bellow my signature line - it cost all of $5 for the
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Some folks, myself right at the top of the list, just can't leave well enough alone...... Some guys just look for stuff to do..... only reason..... trying not to start on the "honey dooooo" list.... HAHAHAHAHA
  8. dandl93

    dandl93 Smoking Fanatic

    With out that personal touch there is no Love.If you dont get involved you will not learn.If a person cant learn maybe best if they ordered take out ribs from Chilis.

    There is a reason some people put more money in to a used car or truck rebuilding it then a new one costs.If you think about it why are Plastic Surgeons so wealthy? Many people need to personalize and make theirs.

  9. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    I don't think mods are a "have to" sort of thing or makes one unit better than another.  And it's one of the things that I love about this site.  I have not heard anyone say that their food is better because it came off a $5,000 smoker rather than a weber kettle grill set up indirect.

    We are all after the result of good, safe, smoked food.

    I think there are two things...........

    #1) A need for mods.  My 44" Smoke Hollow propane cooker leaks like crazy and is made out of a single layer of steel, but it isn't a problem because I live in Northeast Florida where it is usually warm and humid.  If I had this same smoker in a colder climate I would probably want an insulating blanket over the walls of the smoker.  I would probably want to seal up as many leaks as I could to keep heat in.  I would also want to modify how quickly air comes into the smoker.

    Another one that falls in the "need" category would be what it is being used for.  Are you trying to cold smoke cheese when the outside temps are pushing 100 degrees without any heat being added from generating smoke?  Or, are you trying to cook some chicken wings with a crispy skin at 300 degrees while the outside temp is 30 degrees?

    What if I lived on the beach where it was really windy?

    #2) A want for mods.  I wanted to use an A-MAZE-N tube smoker instead of the factory chip trays, so I made some changes.

    I don't think people here mod their smokers to seem "bigger or better" than anyone else.  There is no pissing contest of who has the best personalized smoking equipment.  It's just about the food and the enjoyment of being able to prepare that food from start to finish.  If you have to mod your smoker, then so be it.  If you want to mod your smoker, then so be it.

    Above all else, this is a hobby for most of us.  So tinkering and experimenting would be natural.

  10. Ok I just thought I'd add my 2 cents. First off, sometimes money is the bottom line. Some people may be willing to spend $300 for a unit and another $300 for the mods (as I did with my chargriller) but spending $1200 for a Lang is just out of the cards. Second not everybody has to have the best. It's the same reason why people all over the country go to flea markets and yardsales instead of getting something they really want from a retail store. Third, sometimes the best is not practical for them. I have no problem storing my 200 lb chargriller on my deck. Keeping a 650lb Lang on my deck would not work out well for my deck. Fourth, when you have something you have to "tinker" with to make great teaches you a lot more about the science behind smoking and units. And finally, Yes they can produce just as good Q. I am by no means in the same league as a lot of guys and gals in this forum. But if you check out my posts and picks, you'll see what kind of Q a cheap offset smoker (modded up) can produce. Oh, the modding to make your own is fun too. Anyway, that's just my two cents.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  11. ron eb

    ron eb Meat Mopper

    Thank you 5oclock. Well said
  12. jbili

    jbili Fire Starter

    I have the WSM 22" works well pretty much all of the time.

    The only time we have a problem is when it's VERY windy or VERY cold.
  13. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    That is because you got a Weber man. Can't go wrong there.

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