After months of researching all the different types of smoker and smoker/grills I finally came to a decision. Yesterday I put my deposit down on a new large Big Green Egg. I went with the Big Green Egg for several reasons:
1. Support a local small business. I am purchasing my egg from small BBQ store about 1/2 hour south of me. Their customer service is great and they really seem to know their stuff. If I run into problems I don't have to go very far to get help.
2. Great reputation. Of all the reading I've done the positive reviews vastly outweigh the negative comments.
3. Great warranty.
4. Lots of accessories. In fact when I was in the store yesterday I saw a cold smoking accessory that can be used with the Big Green Egg.
5. Versatile. I doubt I'll ever compete in BBQ competitions as I already have a very expensive habit, dog trialing, so I wanted something that I can grill or even bake on rather than just smoke meat.
6. Efficient, especially in the winter. I've read a lot of people and talked to several owners that say you can "set and forget" the temp. for several hours.
I considered other types of smokers, including other ceramics, but settled on the Big Green Egg. I didn't want to buy one online and then have to worry about working with the seller when and if issues arise. I much prefer face to face discussions.
My biggest hurdle was the initial cost. These things are expensive. I have been saving ever since I started getting interested in smoking meat. Now my big decision is to decide what to smoke first. I'm leaning toward a pork butt because I hear they are "idiot proof".