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smoking newbie from MN- and the dreaded "which smoker" questions...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey all - found the forum whilist searching for information on the dreaded "which smoker to buy"

 

Hopefully I can find some info on the site!

 

I wouldn't exactly call myself a newb to the outdoor cooking scene...I've spent many happy hours cooking that days catch way out back in the boundary waters.  At home most of my cooking has tended to be open flame as well...    sometimes on larger flames than others (not intentionally!)

 

Through recent events, I'm moving into more entertaining and family oriented stuff.  If any of you are married, and have either one child or no children, and have extended families with a horde of excitable little monkeys... and you happen to be the one with the largest/nicest backyard - you'll understand instantly how you get volunteered to host the gatherings along with the absolute necessity of keeping the party outside as much as possible!  lol.

 

nah - it's not as bad as it sounds, but things to get lively from time to time.

 

At any rate - one can only take so much of the typical brats/burgers/steaks.  Life needs variety!  Over the past couple years I've been doing more and more slow cooking of large cuts of meat on the grill  - and running into the typical difficulties maintaining low/even temps with them  especially on windy days. 

 

I've had great success with prime rib, pork roast, and whole birds - but combining them with a good set of ribs or bbq gets tricky.  Time to shake things up a bit

 

With the season turning to spring/summer here, the family is literally dying to get back outside.  Enter the thought of a smoker  A big pile of pulled bbq pork is foremost on my mind for starters this year.

 

So - here I am in search of the quintessential fist and most dreaded question every forum faces

 

Which xxxxx do I get?

 

 

So far I've researched the pro's and cons of what I can think of and  have the primers.

 

Budget: $350 max

Fuel: Propane

sized to fit at least a medium turkey, although 99% of it's duty will be feeding 3 people.

 

I can handle basic mods as I understand most budget smokers need a little coaxing to get the best out of them - but I simply don't have the time to fab up complex things.  So it's gotta be 90%+ perfect out of the box, simple fixes to bring it up to par

 

Hope that narrows down the list a bit

 

 

Right now I''m looking at something like the Smoke Vault 18 or 24"  and the Masterbuilt GS30d

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokerNewb View Post
 

If any of you are married, and have either one child or no children, and have extended families with a horde of excitable little monkeys... and you happen to be the one with the largest/nicest backyard - you'll understand instantly how you get volunteered to host the gatherings along with the absolute necessity of keeping the party outside as much as possible!  lol.

 

OMG I know what you mean! This is also one of my number one reasons for getting into smoking...I was so tired of fryin up burgers every weekend during the summer for the family get togethers! lol

 

Can't really help you on the choice of smoker sorry...my research was limited to charcoal. But this is definitely a great site to refer to.

 

Cheers.

post #3 of 6

Hello and welcome to the forum, I am a RF guy so not much help from me, but I'm sure someone can help steer you in the right direction.

 

Gary S

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokerNewb View Post
 

 

 

Which xxxxx do I get?

 

 

So far I've researched the pro's and cons of what I can think of and  have the primers.

 

Budget: $350 max

Fuel: Propane

sized to fit at least a medium turkey, although 99% of it's duty will be feeding 3 people.

 

I can handle basic mods as I understand most budget smokers need a little coaxing to get the best out of them - but I simply don't have the time to fab up complex things.  So it's gotta be 90%+ perfect out of the box, simple fixes to bring it up to par

 

Hope that narrows down the list a bit

 

 

Right now I''m looking at something like the Smoke Vault 18 or 24"  and the Masterbuilt GS30d

Oh, I know your dilemma!  I had 4 kids and 2 grandkids, then I remarried and now I have 10 kids and 21 grandkids with another on the way.  So, we have some rather large family outings, so big hams, turkeys, pork butts, etc. make life easier.

 

I did a lot of research for my smoker also, I looked at everything and ended up with a Smoke Vault 24.  I've been cooking in it for four months and so far the only thing I modified is putting  a hole in the side to run my thermometer leads.  It can easily handle a medium turkey, I've had a half dozen pork butts in it.  One cook was a grate of split turkey and chicken breasts, a grate with two racks of baby backs and a brisket and another grate with two racks of spare ribs.  It is propane and best of all it's $279 on Amazon and ships for free.  I've cooked in temps that were near zero and had no issues with keeping heat, but it sure is nice it's warming up, the propane bill is going to go down.  There are lots of smokers out there in that $300 range but for the price I don't think you can go wrong with the Smoke Vault.  Also, I have had questions and contacted their customer service, it was excellent.

 

http://amazingribs.com/BBQ_buyers_guide/smokers/gas_smokers.html

http://amazingribs.com/bbq_equipment_reviews_ratings/smoker/camp-chef-smoke-vault-24

 

post #5 of 6

Hey

 

Welcome to the Smoking  forum.   You’ll find great , friendly people here, all more than willing to answer any question you may have.  Just ask and you’ll get about 10 different answers—all right.  LOL.   Don’t forget to post qviews.

 

Gary

post #6 of 6
Welcome, glad ya joined us ! Good luck on your smoker search !
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