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Newb From Santa Cruz CA

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

I have been smoking meats for 10 years or so and decided it was time to step up my smoker game.

I have always had a cheap offset smoker and they produce good product but I have decided I want a better unit that will hold more.

 

So I have been looking over the classifieds and the builder sections trying to decide if I should just build one or buy

post #2 of 8

That's a big decision,  If you have welding and metal bending skills you can certainly build your own RF or offset.  Lots of people have the experience to help walk you through it.   

 

Welcome to the forum

post #3 of 8

Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions
Post it and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is
because their are so many different ways to make great Q...

If you have the tools and ability build it.
Happy smoken.
David

post #4 of 8

Welcome to SMF crashetst22!  Love your neck of the woods and have a couple offspring that live down your way.  After 10 years of smoking on a COS you've got the skills.  Now, buy or build?  Hmmmmm.  You'll get plenty of ideas here so figuring out what you want should help quite a bit.

 

Do you want to constantly babysit the smoker or set-and-forget?

 

Wide set of smoker temp ranges or fairly narrow like 200-250?

 

Wood, charcoal, combination, electric, gas?  The cooking wood in my area is pretty pricey.  I imagine you have the same issue in Santa Cruz.  Charcoal is dirt cheap at certain times of the year, like RIGHT NOW (last sale of the year at Home Depot).

 

Big load or small load volume?  I consider 60-80 lbs or less a small load though I've never smoked that much at one time, but could if I needed to.

 

Grate area?  How big a chunk of meat or animal do you intend to smoke?

 

Budget?  

 

Skills?  Al addressed that above with welding.  There are bunches of smokers you can make for peanuts though with a minimal skillset (mini-WSM, UDS, and cinderblock pit come to mind).

 

Once you answer those type questions the choice becomes more clear.  Let us know what you decide.  And take pics of whatever you do.  We love pictures!

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the welcomes and replies.

 

I have a mig welder and a shop to weld it all up in but I also have a buddy who does large steel structures and such with a much bigger welder so he and I may tackle it together and build two.

 

As for the type of smoker to build.

I have always liked the offset but have not cooked on anything else so I have no idea.

I at one point tired to call a localish to me builder and see if he would rent me smokers for a few days at a time so I could try out the different styles.

 

I would say I don't mind babysitting my smoker but one I could set and forget would be cool.

 

I prefer to cook around 250-275 but the temps fluctuate lots on my COS even with baffles added. 

(its cheap and thin)

 

I have always used charcoal with fruit wood chunks  

 

I am a small volume kinda guy but the ability to do more at a time would be nice.

for instance. I can only fit 6 ribs on mine if I squeeze and shuffle them around

 

would be cool if I could get say 10 racks and have space for brisket, shoulder, or chicken.

If I could build or buy one that would fit whole hog that would be kinda nice too

 

 

I will get to some more reading and poking around on here.

Here are a few pork snacks I have done on my smoker

post #6 of 8

Hello and good morning, from East Texas and welcome to the forum. Lots of great information and real good people here.  We enjoy watching a good smoker build ?

 

Gary S

post #7 of 8

Welcome aboard from a fellow Santa Cruz member!  Looking forward to seeing more of your  Qview  and your smoker build! 

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks Toby,
I just saw the propane tank you are building...looks like it will be great.
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