Oh No Not Again! What is the best ?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by primate, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. primate

    primate Newbie

    The most over posted thread question and perhaps one of the hardest to answer. What is the best smoker? Now BEFORE you rage; I am asking for my particular setup and I am not looking for THE best smoker, more so the best smoker for ME. Suggestions and details why would be much appreciated.

    I am building an outdoor kitchen and would like to purchase my forever smoker. Price is not a concern but I don't want to get something just because of a name or because it is expensive. I would like to be able to incorporate it into the permanent structure as much as possible rather than having it sit off by itself.

    • I have been smoking for about 5 years now with with a WSM 18". I love it but I also do not know anything else since it is my first and only smoker.
    • I smoke Butts, whole turkey, whole chicken, ribs (beef and pork). I smoke in the 275 range. I live in Florida so dealing with super cold winter weather is not an issue. 
    • Charcoal and wood mix is my preferred fuel. 
    • 18" is too small to cook for some of the parties we have, so if i go with another WSM it would be the 22". I would like something that is big enough to cook a mix of meats for around a party of 15. Right now I am limited to a butt and one other meat since I can stack them. It would be nice to be able to add a third meat in. For example a butt some ribs and a whole chicken. However, I do not want it to be so large lat I have to waste a bunch of fuel to do a few racks of ribs for the family.
    • I am open to form factors. I have only used the bullet form factor but it is not something that is a must.
    • Access to the fuel is important. I do not like the Egg or the Kamado because you do not have access to add more wood or coal easily.
    • Temp control is important obviously. I am familiar and competent with using the vents on my WSM. I would like my new rig to be as easy, if not easier, to control the temp.
    • Clean up and maintenance need to be somewhat easy. 
    Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. It is greatly appreciate.
  2. aussiq

    aussiq Smoke Blower

    Hi primate. I cant really offer any advice as iam a novice like no experience what so eva with smoking. But its like most things when you get the bug you goto have more , its a adiction .sooner or lately you will end up with more bbq smokers then you can count on your left hand. Sounds like you love your wsb so one of your concerns was it not big enough for parties. Well why dont you get 2? You could custom build them into your entertainment area so they would look the part and your already good with cooking on them. But if your board of the wsm and are seeking the next challenge maybe a reverse offset smoker
  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hello Primate,

    This is only my opinion...but that's what you're asking for, so...

    From the description of what you want, it sounds to me like you might want to take a look at vertical cabinet charcoal smokers.  These smokers come in 2 basic variations: 

    1.  Gravity Fed --  such as Stump's, Assassin, and Southern Q.  These are insulated, cabinet-style smokers, with a fire box that is separate from the cooking chamber.  It is charcoal fueled, with wood chunks or small splits providing the smoke.  The fire box is fed from a charcoal chute that can provide many hours of fuel without reloading.

    2.  Water smoker --  such as Humphrey's, Lone Star Grillz, Pitmaker, and Backwoods.  These are also insulated vertical cabinets, but the fire box is located beneath the meat in the same chamber, with a heat plate and water pan between the fire box and the cooking chamber.  The fire box is usually accessed by a separate door to make adding fuel easier.  These are also charcoal fueled, with wood chunks or small splits providing the smoke.

    Both of these are variations of a similar design, and both are great cookers.  Both can hold rock-solid temps for many hours on a single load of coal.  You can use a BBQ Guru or similar temp control device with either type, to really lock in accurate temps for the duration of your cook.

    I just recently bought a Southern Q Gravity fed smoker myself, and I'm extremely happy with it.  Here are a couple threads you can read about it:



    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
    primate likes this.
  4. primate

    primate Newbie

    Thanks Red! These are not smokers that I have previously looked at and they do appear to be exactly what I am looking for. 
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Is this a Fancy Outdoor Kitchen where all equipment must be Built-in? Or are you looking to have individual components? Do you have everything else and the smoker is the last component? Are you looking for a Do-It-All combination? Are you locked in to a fuel type or Pellets are a possible solution. If I won the Lottery tomorrow, I would get a Kalamazoo Grill/Smoker. Choice of Gas, Wood, Charcoal or any combo of the three. But at $14 to $20,000 it ain't for everyone. Arizona BBQ Outfitters Tombstone Pit. It's a large Vertical Offset Smoker and giant Santa Maria Wood or Charcoal Grill. Pitmaker has a big variety of cool Smokers and Grill/Cookers that are worth a look. Take a look at the Smoke-N-Hot Outdoor Cooking Center. It's a smoker/grill/pizza oven/regular oven. I don't own one but seems like an pretty cool option for a couple of Steaks to several racks of Ribs or a Pizza Party. Fun post! You are asking a bunch of Kids to describe what's in their favorite Candy Store![​IMG]...JJ 
  6. When I dream, I dream about the Hephaestus Patio Pro, its a smoker/pizza oven/fire pit.  Might not be what your looking for but I just wanted to throw it into the mix.
  7. primate

    primate Newbie

    Thanks for the responses. It is a backyard kitchen for get together a and such. I will have a gas grill for stakes dogs and burgers a grittle for whatever I might use that for and a smoker for the fine dining ;) I do t want to spend money just to spend it but this is the final resting spot after 20 years o military moving so I don't want to skimp either. The more I think about it the more I am thinking I might just get a second 22" WSM and du p those thousands else where I to the kitchen. I loved the ones that red suggested but I am not sure $5k is a wise choice for my purposes.
  8. bbqwillie

    bbqwillie Smoking Fanatic

    If you're going to cook for 15 you'll need more than one 22.5" WSM. Now I must admit my friends eat like pigs [​IMG]
  9. lancep

    lancep Master of the Pit

    Hey Brother, looks like we're roughly in the same boat. Have you looked at The Good One Open Range or Heritage Oven. They both come as a standalone or built-in and seem to have very positive review, both from industry and users. Anyway, good luck in your hunt.

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