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Looking for a new Charcoal smoker

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,
I bought a Brinkmann smoker a few weeks ago and found out this isn't what I wanted the hard way. It is a Brinkmann Mini Parilla (just a smaller version of the popular Smoke N Pit) and I keep running into the problems mentioned here http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/126711/brinkmann-smoke-n-pit-low-temps-too-much-charcoal. Personally I do not have the time to make all of the mods mentioned in the discussion.
I'm looking to spend something under $300 that won't burn too much charcoal for each cook and doesn't leak smoke like crazy. I'm located in SE Tennessee so humidity will also wreak havoc with rust. Any help is greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 5

Three words: Weber Smokey Mountain.  14.5" or 18.5".  No mods necessary out of the box to work nicely.  May or may not leak.  Most seal up nicely after a few uses.  My 22.5" leaked like crazy but a $26 Nomex gasket kit available on Amazon sealed it up tight.  I am shocked how little charcoal it now uses.  No worries about rust either due to the porcelain-enameled steel.  Will last a lifetime.    


Check your local Home Depot to see one in person.  They usually have the 18.5" in the summer.  Also available from FireCraft and Amazon if you don't want to pay taxes.  Free shipping from FireCraft and Amazon.


Wait, SE Tennessee.  Chattanooga?

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I was looking between the WSM and possibly a different UDS but don't know enough yet to make a better decision. I'm in Cleveland, just NE of chattanooga
post #4 of 5

Yep, know Cleveland.  Spent four fun and formative JH and HS years in Hixson many decades ago. 


When my wife said "buy any smoker you want" last Christmas I looked at many.  Decided I wanted to stick with charcoal because wood is pricy in my area.  I had it narrowed down to the Pit Barrel Cooker and the WSM.  I want to make a smoker at some point and the PBC looked like something I could make, a UDS.  Plus I am familiar with the quality of the Weber products, owning two other Webers grills that are 18 and 26 years old and still working, although the older one has taken some damage from a storm.  The Weber also had some techie gadgets available I liked. 


Picked up the WSM and smoked with it the last six months at least every weekend before I installed the gasket kit and a BBQ Guru my wife bought me for Father's Day.  Smoking at 225-235F took some work to keep the temps down, but I dry smoke the majority of the time.  Lower temps are easier with the water pan full.  250+ was no problem at all wet or dry, close to set and forget.  Now with the Guru and the gasket kit it works like an oven, truly a set and forget at any temp desired.     


Deciding which one you like is fun.  Enjoy the process. 

post #5 of 5

I just saw your question in the points comment asking "How much will it hold?"  Here's what it says on the Virtual Weber bullet website:


18-1/2" WSM



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