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Best Smokers for home use

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I am new to this forum and I am sure you will groan to see I am asking what is the best smoker for home use?   Sorry.....

post #2 of 18
What do you plan to smoke?




~Martin
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Ribs, brisket, chicken

post #4 of 18
I like the Weber Smokey Mountain (real charcoal), but if you've got the cash a Lang stick burner would be great.



~Martin
post #5 of 18

First, welcome to SMF!

Now, like Martin just said "What do you want to smoke?"

There are so many variables, what you want to smoke, how much, how often, how much you want to tend to your smoker, how much room do you have? I think you should ask yourself these questions then read the forum about the different types of smokers then come back and ask some more detailed questions. There is no one best smoker for everyone, we all do things a little different and get great results. There are a lot of great people ready to answer your questions but you will find they want specifics so they can detail the answers to fit you.

post #6 of 18

Do you have 6-12 hours to sit by the Smoker, babysitting the temperature and feeding wood every 30-60 minutes? Or do you have the need for set it and forget it, I got other things to do? Do you prefer Wood, Charcoal, Propane, Natural Gas or Electric? You need to feed 2 people or a family of 6 with growing Boys? There are lots of details needed...But the bright side is between us we have just about every style of smoker out there, so you came to the right place for help...JJ

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

I am willing to put time in,  I  love to cook and I  grill most meals. I really love smoked foods and want to be really good at it. I will not have a ton people home to eat it. I just do not seem to be able to get it right with my smoker...bitter...too hot...too cold..frustrated...will not keep temp...too much guessing...

post #8 of 18
Who has other things to do when making real BBQ? biggrin.gif
Flavor is everything, if that takes a little babysitting that's fine with me.
If all you care about is convenience and the best flavor isn't important, well, then get an electric smoker.


~Martin wink.gif
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Flavor is very important.

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkarel View Post

I am willing to put time in,  I  love to cook and I  grill most meals. I really love smoked foods and want to be really good at it. I will not have a ton people home to eat it. I just do not seem to be able to get it right with my smoker...bitter...too hot...too cold..frustrated...will not keep temp...too much guessing...

What kind of smoker do you have now?

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

A smoker my daughters got from Academy Sports....Hondo?   

post #12 of 18

My Tejas 2040CC with extra therms 001 - Copy.JPG

 

Tejas2040CC , all you will need,,, a Klose knockoff , and goodicon14.gif .

 

Have fun and...

post #13 of 18

Stan, I was going to buy one of those Tejas smoker, but I think I will just end up getting a Lang 36" It will be cheaper and I dont really need a cooker as big as yours, but I would absolutely love to have one one day. 

post #14 of 18

Big green egg...  talk about temperature control!

post #15 of 18

Several things figure into the "best smoker" as others have said. Personally I think the best flavor comes from a straight wood smoker but there are other things to consider such as availability of smoking wood and storing it and the fact that wood smokers usually require the most tending to. For me the next best flavor comes from charcoal and usually charcoal is pretty easy to find and store and requires a little less tending then a stick burner. Propane is next for me and propane is pretty easy to get and it requires even less time tending it than the charcoal does. Next for me is electric which is simple just plug it in so no going to get any wood, charcoal or propane it also requires the least amount of tending to but will produce some great smoked goodies if run correctly.

If you have the time and wood then the Lang is a great smoker and I own one but I also own a propane smoker for when I don't really have the time to tend the Lang

post #16 of 18

Call me a lazy-type smoker. 

 

There are several people at work that have big pits that run charcoal and or wood.  When I started getting into smoking meat was when I was given an MES for christmas many years ago.  What I found was I was getting great flavor with less work than the guys at work with more traditional set ups.  One thing about the MES was clean up was a bit of a mess, and the build-quality wasn't up to what I prefer.  So about a year and a half ago I plunked down a chunk of my bonus on a Cookshack electric.  I can't see myself using anything else now.  The real selling point to me is the consistency and reliability.  I can put a few briskets in it at 7pm one night, add a few chunks of hickory, apple or whatever I'm in the mood for, and know that it will do a perfect job on them by the next day without me babysitting, which is good as I've always got other things to do.  I've even learned from this forum to add a lump of charcoal to the wood tray to get a smoke ring.  Needless to say when we do our department BBQ lunchs, I'm always the one tasked with bringing brisket.

 

As a warning, the cookshack's aren't cheap, but all I need is two sheets of foil and all I have to clean are the grates after.  I have the Amerique which is more than I usually need, but for those few times a year that I'm doing a ton of tuna, pastrami or brisket, I'm using all the capacity I have.

 

But all the questions above are real important.  You need to know your needs and wants.  You can get good meat out of all of em.  Just what style do you want to use, and how much tending do you want.

post #17 of 18

The choices you need to make are:

  1. What type of fuel you want to use?
  2. What is your budget?

 

Once you decide those two things we can help with narrowing it down. As many have mentioned this site covers everything from professional made big wood burners all the way down to the ECB,s (El Chepo Brinkman) and everything in between. Most all smokers can be "tweaked" to make them work well - even the ECB's.

 

That being said I personally LOVE my 22.5" WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain). It is as close to set-it-and-forget-it as you can get with a charcoal smoker and it has lots of room!

post #18 of 18

For me its more about the cost.  I personally love my UDS!  I built it cheaper than you could buy one for, and it does a great job for me.  I've cooked ribs, brisket, chicken, venison and they were all with great sucess.  Good luck on your quest as you will see a wide variety of smokers out there.

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