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Looking into to getting a real-life smoker-HELP!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone, I am relatively new to the smoking hobby.  I have been using a charcoal grill exclusively for about 3 years now.  I am really new to the smoking forum community.  I want to get a real-life smoker now as I am starting to 'grow up'  I have been studying and been persuaded to a side fire box model.  I am wanting to spend around $700 or less (my wife is for the less).  What are some suggestions on the best bang for my buck? 

post #2 of 10

If you have any minor fabrication skills (or willing to learn) I would highly recommend building a UDS. It is cheap, not very complicated, simple to operate, and very efficient in terms of fuel usage.


If that isn't for you and you are in or near North Carolina, I would be willing to sell you my SNP for $100. It hasn't been used since I built the UDS. 

post #3 of 10

Advice would depends on some of your preferences.  Charcoal, wood, electric, gas?  Do you have time & interest in watching and tending closely or more of a low-maintenance rig?

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Solaryellow, Thanks for the offer, but I live in AR.  Forgive my ignorance, but what is a UDS?


I want to use wood, ad understand that there is alot ov time dedicated to tending to wood smoking.  But is something I love to do.



post #5 of 10

First off welcome to SMF there EK. Now the smoker that Joel is talking about is very popular around here and most smoking sites. But if you want something alot easier you could go out and buy a Smoke Vault 24" it a gasser and is really easy to use. It's almost a set it and forget it model. I have one of theses too. A UDS smoker is also known as Ugly Drum Smoker it just a nickname that has been given to it. Now they are really easy to build and you can build one for maybe 50-75 bucks and they are really good smokers too. Now if you are really new I would recommand that you sign up for the E-course it's free and it will give you the basics of smoking and it will also giv you a couple of really good methods to use while smoking meat of many kinds to. So now go out there and get a smoker and start smoking something.

post #6 of 10

If you look at the top of the page and click on smokers & more there are alot of options to look at as well as reviews. Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.

post #7 of 10
check out his 1/4" thick 24 x 36 with two shelves for only $500 last I knew, a quick trip to tulsa ok saved me about $1400-1800 over a lang, klose or horizon and that was with putting gas in a big block dually to go get it.
post #8 of 10

For the under $700 price be carfull which side fire box wood burner you get. If it is made out of thin plate steel you are going to have temp problems, especially in any kind of wind. I started with the Char-Griller Smokin' Pro, and it was OK - I learned quite a bit, but had to make lots of modifications to it and spend a lot of time tending the fire. I never trusted it enough to do brisket or any smoke longer than about 8 hrs.


Now I have a 22.5" Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM), that was $400 brand new. The WSM's are considered one of the best smokers you can buy for under $500, and Weber has really good customer service. It is a charcoal fired smoker, but you add chunks of wood to it for the flavor of smoke you want (mesquite, hickory, apple, ect.). Super easy to use and the 22.5" one holds a lot of food at one time, so cooking for a crowd is no problem.

post #9 of 10

just keep your eye open for something used too.  I found my land patio 48 for $600 and love it.  It pays to do your research.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

I appreciate all the advice!  I will definitely tryout Bell hour and a half is definitely worth the savings. itfis... i have been scouring Craigslist




I also appreciate the warm welcome to this community!  Everyone has been nice.



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