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HELP! First smoker purchase in the $150 - $250 range

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi all. Newbie to smoking (not eating it, just doing it). My very first post here on the forum. So what better question than that of my very first smoker purchase. I did a search but some came up older and want the latest recommendations!

 

I'm in central valley of CA,  Fresno. Believe it or not, it does get pretty cold here when fog hits in the valley. I've decided on propane, vertical. I was going to quickly run out and the the MASTER FORGE at Lowes, but a quick search made it seems like it has smoke leakage problem and thin walls. I do like the idea of a separate opening for the water/chip area to keep heat in.

 

I'm looking for suggestions in the $150  $250 price range. Ideally I wanted to find one in stock locally so I can smoke Turkey this Thanksgiving, but for the absolute right one, I'll mail order it. Some that I found, or have interested in me due to local delivery option are as follows:

 

~ LOWES

Master Forge

http://www.lowes.com/pd_190449-95393-MFY784CDP_4294857758_4294937087_?productId=3294454&Ns=p_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Smokers_4294857758_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=

 

~ WALMART:

Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Outdoors-Smoky-Mountain-20-x-34-Gas-Smoker/12429510

 

Char-Broil 578-sq in Vertical Gas Smoker

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Char-Broil-578-sq-in-Vertical-Gas-Smoker/16422844

 

COSTCO:

Landmann 38" Two drawer

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11678397&search=smoker&Mo=2&cm_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&lang=en-US&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Sp=S&N=5000043&whse=BC&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=Text_Search&Dr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne=4000000&D=smoker&Ntt=smoker&No=0&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1

 

These are the easiest access for me. Of these, would any of these make a good first smoker? If there's another that would be better, let me know. Thanks in advance!

 

post #2 of 14

I've had a GOSM  since June and love it.They are so poplar they have their own group here.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

So what do you think of that Landmann (gosm) model from Costco? Seems like the Big Block is more popular, but there's only two of us at home with only occasional big party family cooking. Does size of the BB lend itself more for commercial or catering applications? Here's the info:

 

Ready to start Smoking?  Or maybe it is time for the ease and convenience of Gas smoking instead of Charcoal smoking?   This Great Outdoor™ SMOKY MOUNTAIN SERIES™ Gas Smoker is what you are looking for.  

From ribs to turkeys, this popular vertical 38” tall smoking chamber offers a large 980 square inch smoking area on 5 chrome-plated cooking racks.  Utilizing LP Gas and a rotary ignition, the 16,000btu cast brass burner provides the temperature range and control for most common smoking applications.  The top chimney and side chrome-plated damper vents allow for fine tuning of the heat for optimum temperature control.

Made of heavy duty steel construction and stabilized by wide stance legs, this smoker will provide years of smoking excellence.  The two “easy access” drawers you to check your water and wood without opening main smoking chamber door.

Features:

  • Heavy steel construction
  • Magnetic door closure
  • 16,000 BTUs 
  • 980 sq in smoking area
  • 5 chrome-plated cooking racks
  • Rotary ignition system
  • Strategically located temperature gauge on door
  • Wide stance legs for stability
  • Easy access drawers to access both the water pan and wood chip box without opening the main smoking chamber door
  • Durable large plastic door and drawer handles
  • Heavy duty side handles
  • Large Porcelain-coated steel water pan
  • Large steel wood chip box with vented lid
  • Top adjustable chimney and side damper vents
  • Cast Brass burner cap for long life and carries a 10 year warranty
  • CSA certified

 

Based on 980 square inch smoking area, how wide is this model? Too narrow? Thanks.

post #4 of 14

Welcome aboard!!! well i have the master forge smoker and with a few mods the smoker works really well for that price!! Ive done mostly everything you can think of on it and it performs like a champ.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bratrules View Post

Welcome aboard!!! well i have the master forge smoker and with a few mods the smoker works really well for that price!! Ive done mostly everything you can think of on it and it performs like a champ.


What mods were needed?

post #6 of 14

I am cooking for 2 also and always have more room than i need.The gosm wide body is bigger than a master forge and bigger is better no cutting ribs in half here.As far as the Costco one i would save my money till it's not so new and price is lower.Get a wide body and spend the rest on min processed meat.10 26 11 013.jpgpictures 4 047.jpg

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by michael ark View Post

I am cooking for 2 also and always have more room than i need.The gosm wide body is bigger than a master forge and bigger is better no cutting ribs in half here.As far as the Costco one i would save my money till it's not so new and price is lower.Get a wide body and spend the rest on min processed meat.10 26 11 013.jpgpictures 4 047.jpg

Nice dinner for TWO! :) So you have the GOSM / Landmann Big Block? Seems like everyone loves it, but it's probably more than I budgeted, isn't it? Best source for purchasing?
 

 

post #8 of 14

No ,i have the mid size wide body .from wal-mart.Best source is the one you posted .I have never used more than 3 racks and it holds 4 .It turns out some great Q.Here is the finished ABT'S10 26 11 021.jpg

post #9 of 14

Go with the one from Walmart and don't look back. I have two of them one at home and one at camp and they work great. I'll be ordering another one before Christmas as a gift for a family member

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Are the Walmart gosm's a bit less well made for price point reasons?

post #11 of 14

One of mine is about 4 years old and the other is about a year old and I haven't had problems with either and both came from Walmart. The one I'll be ordering will be from there too

post #12 of 14

Sounds like a GOSM is the one to go with.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by michael ark View Post

No ,i have the mid size wide body .from wal-mart.Best source is the one you posted .I have never used more than 3 racks and it holds 4 .It turns out some great Q.Here is the finished ABT'S10 26 11 021.jpg

 Micheal, is this the one you have?

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Outdoors-Smoky-Mountain-20-x-34-Gas-Smoker/12429510?findingMethod=rr
 

 

post #14 of 14
Yes that's it.
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