I've been smoking on a Brinkmann duo with firebox for the last year and a half. it's a lot of work managing the fire in that thing. Harder than a lot of others i would guess based on the thin material, poor fit, and design. I love the flavor and I enjoy the work but anything longer than about a 5 hours smoke and i just wanna say ENOUGH ALREADY!
I don't see a pellet specific forum section and since these plug in, I'm throwing it in the electric section.
Here is a little about what i do to help you help me.
I typically don't do more than 2 cuts at a time. Typically the same cuts. I haven't done a lot of different stuff, whole turkeys, chickens, shoulders, some ribs, tho i have better results smoking it ribs on the gas grill just because of temp variation.
I don't entertain a lot so capacity has never been an issue. I have about 400 inches of cooking area on my existing and would like to increase that a little for doing salmon, sausage, ribs and just because.
2012 brings some new challenges. For the first time i'm going to be making my own sausages and would like to be able to smoke those. I'd like the capacity to do larger feeds without being ridiculous. I can do larger feeds on the one I have but temp variation has caused issues getting an even cook. Right now I'm looking at Traeger and Yoders mostly
I think the size of the Yoder YS640 and the Traeger Texas are pretty comparable. Price difference isn't to bad. Can get the Texas for the price of the YS480.
The ys480 is a little bigger than the lil tex. Wouldn't want to go any smaller than these.
Are there others I should look at? I work with a guy that has a cookshack FEC100 and PG1000 and a YS640 and I had some really great product off of all 3. I'm not in the 2-4000 dollar equipment catagory.
I want something that is going to hold up to our awful northern california winters (HA!) that's going to put out a consistent product that I can let run all day or night unattended so that I can enjoy some of the more complex cuts without having to sit in the backyard and stare at it.
Any other units i should look at? I've read lots of reviews. Most of them professional. Read user reviews. Doesn't seem like I can really go wrong with either unit. I've had Stainless grills. Not really looking to go back there.
Thanks in advance for any advise and cautions.