Looking for good, budget smoker

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by 28003, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Can anyone recommend a good smoker under $80?
    Are electric smokers any good?
    I usually use my cheap-ass grill to smoke stuff, but keeping the temp right is a real pain in the ass and takes way too much work and attention. I guess its time to get an actual smoker that I can cook stuff for 8-9m hours without constant work.
    Any suggestions?
  2. Hi 28003

    It all depends on what kind of smoker you are looking for. If you want a verticle, you can pick up a brinkmann from Home Depot and do some mods. Some people make some pretty great BBQ with these. If you are looking for an offset, $80 might be too little unless you pick one up used on craigslist.

    Either way, stop by and introduce yourself in Roll Call.
  3. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you have access to a 55 gallon drum you could make a UDS . They are great economical smokers that are easy to control temps on. Check out this thread on how to construct one.
  4. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    I have seen some gassers on sale at places like walmart, lowes ect. for 100-125. I think Walmart had some close outs recently for $79.00. Really have not paid too much attention to electrics, but someone will be around shortly to address it.

    My advice is save a few more bucks and get the bigest one you can afford. If you really like this hobby it wont take you too long to outgrow a small smoker.

  5. thanks for the link, but that looks like a lot of work with many tools i don't have. plus, i'd rather do a charcoal smoker instead of a propane one.
  6. right now i'm looking for a verticle, i guess. something from home depot, lowes, walmart, etc. would be great, if you have any suggestions. all those places have 4 or 5 for under $80. should i go charcoal or consider an electric?
    while i would love to spend 100-125, i just can't. i lost my job 7 months ago and can't find anyone to even call me back after sending them my resume. my wife works and we are on a very limited budget right now. i tutored the grand-daughter of a friend at church and made some money, which if the only reason i have any extra money at all.
    i don't want to do gas til we move out of our current place. so i'm just looking to start with something small, cheap, and easy to learn.
  7. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Keep an eye on Craigslist in your area. Second hand is the way to go on a limited budget.
  8. Rickw might have the best suggestion. If you have even an ouce of craftiness, you could build a UDS for less than $80 and it would be better than anything you could buy from HD or Lowes for the same price.

    Like I said before, some people get some successful and tasty BBQ from these units. I prefer charcoal myself, I like to play with the fire and tinker during the cook. Some people like gas or electric as well. I think charcoal adds more flavor to the meat but that is something that can be debated for hours.
  9. from: Mississippi
    currently residing: Arkansas
  10. i'll watch CL, but most on there seem to be huge, tail-gating smokers that cost $1,000-10,000. people up here are insane when it comes to spending money. ppl seem to have money trees and i can't find where the orchard is. if you slap a razorback sticker on something, you can charge 10x as much for it, AND PPL WILL PAY IT!
  11. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No; he is talking about building a UDS.
  12. gotcha.
    i'm more of a charcoal man myself and don't have the tools to build that thing.
  13. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No buddies or family with a drill and a few bits? It really is very easy to build one. The hardest part is finding the drum.

    Here's a pic of mine.
  14. evo 9 guy

    evo 9 guy Smoke Blower

    If you have a Harbor Frieght in your area you should check there. My girlfriends dad and I got one there for $36 a piece. It is a smaller vertical charcoal unit with water pan, to wire racks, seperate acces doors for both charcoal and water and a dome lid. Works great for smaller family smokes. I have done several tri tips and was able to get two smaller racks of BB's on one grate.
  15. I borrowed all the bits and tools from my brother-in-law. The UDS I built cost me about $65 and I paid a little more that most people for drum.

    Here is a pic of mine:

  16. i forgot about HF. great suggestion, i'll check there. thanks!
  17. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Build a UDS! Cheap and great units!
  18. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    You may be able to ask the managers at lowes, walmart, etc if they have any open box or display models. I have found that sometimes things get sold out and they only have a display model left and will discount it if they are not going to be getting anymore in.
  19. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Watch Craigslist daily - do a search for "brinkman" or "smoker" and limit your price to $50. I usually see a minimum of 5 verticals a week for under $50 in my area. I have even seen a few horizontal offsets in that price range as well.

    Best of luck! [​IMG]
  20. dforbes

    dforbes Meat Mopper

    I agree keep a close eye on craigslist daily. I picked up a new braunfileds earlier this spring for $10.00. an extra brace on the legs a can of paint and a themometer and it looks like new. I see them all the time in our area for 50 to 100 dollars. also do you have something laying around the house that you don't use any more. craigslist is a great place to barter. post an add in barter and an add in wanted. you might be surprised what you find. dont just read the adds take action.

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