Originally Posted by Chris311
Thanks for all the responses from both forums. I think I have made my decision and I am going to get a propane smoker. It seems to be a better option for me. Now I have to decide which one to get. Originally I was thinking of going with the master forge double door but now I am considering the masterbuilt XL and the walmart GOSM (3405BGW). I thinking the masterbuilt and GOSM may be an over kill for me since I will only be smoking for the family and possibly 10 people max.
You may be pleasantly surprised shortly after you get acquainted with a bigger rig just how much you will appreciate the extra width for smoking larger cuts, such as a packer brisket (or two) and multiple pork butts, chickens, etc, etc. It's difficult to really say you won't need that extra space now...maybe you won't. But as your skill level grows, you may find yourself cooking for larger groups, such as your co-workers, and when (if) this happens, you'll be ready. Also, if you decide to make home-cured and smoked jerky, the larger rig will accommodate for larger batches...when I make jerky, I make a day of it and make a batch large enough that it will hopefully last for several weeks to a few months (stuff goes fast, so I don't wanna mess with just a few pounds). I may have a hot smoke going in one rig for lunch (quartered or whole chickens, chops, steaks, CSR's) along with a larger cut that I started the night before for dinner...all that while I have a cold smoke and drying going for jerky, just as an example.
SO, to say 10 people max, you may be under-estimating what the future may bring. I cooked brisket and butts for a work meeting a few years back, and they're still wanting me to do it again, but the meeting venue and time of day has changed (out of town) and made bringing it all together much more difficult.
Is there any added benefit going with the masterbuilt or GOSM besides the extra space? I also noticed that the master forge has 2 vents at the bottom of the smoker and the masterbuilt and GOSM does not. Is there any advantage to having the vents on the master forge?
A wide body will allow for the use of the AMNS or AMNPS for hot smoking with a few simple mods to make it work, if you later decide to go with one of these smoke generators. A smaller vertical rig seems to be more difficult to achieve good performance from these for hot smoking, though for cold smoking, pretty much anything for a smoker will work well for them.
Thanks again for the responses. It looks like I may need to make a decision by this weekend since it looks like Sam’s Club is having a non members weekend and I could get the stainless steel masterbuilt at this time since I do not have a membership.
Hmm, yes, I can see where that does complicate your decision a bit. I guess consider the pros/cons of each type again, but also considering a wide-body for larger cuts...that would probably be the deal-breaker for me on going electric.
Oh, one other thing to consider is that a propane rig is just like charcoal, being it can be portable and taken anywhere you want to go...camping, family reunions or other gatherings where you may not have utilities, and you would then need a generator to power the electric smoker. Again, you may not think this is a possibility right now, but in the future, it could be something that you'd wish you had as an option.
Portability can be a major factor, and is the best route for gatherings with onsite cooking, just so you don't have to rely on utilities. I've cooked away from home many times over the past several years, so keep it mind.
Good luck on your decision, and may you have many great smokes!