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No good BBQ in Colorado?! Time to make my own.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi y'all,

I've just recently moved out to Colorado from South Carolina which meant leaving my favorite BBQ joints behind. I've been to a couple "bbq" places out here, but it just isn't the same. I decided this would be a great time to build a smoker and start making my own bbq, as I've wanted to do that for a while now, I just have no idea where to start.

After a little research, I think an electric smoker will be a great place to start, so I joined this forum to get advice on what sort of components to use.

post #2 of 11

Where are you located in Colorado?

post #3 of 11

There are a couple of decent ones around....depending on what part of town you are in....welcome to the forum...great place to learn...

post #4 of 11

If you are near colorado springs try out bird dog bbq.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick replies! I'm in fort collins, but I have tried bird dog and wasn't a big fan. I enjoy projects and building things, so I'll probably give the diy smoker a go, but I'm not sure if I'm going to lose a lot of money purchasing the elements, pid, etc. versus buying a smoker used or even new. Being that I'm new to the whole experience I like the idea of a "self monitoring" smoker with an electric element and thermostat so I don't always have to tend to it. I think it will also have me using it more.
post #6 of 11

May be able to pick up something pretty good used...know I saw a Lang 60 used on Craigslist, but it isn't set and forget.  Yoder is a good pellet smoker that meets your criteria except for being inexpensive.  You could make a mini UDS for pretty cheap and they are supposed to work well and don't need a lot of attention.  Lots of options out there for you, good luck deciding.  If you happen to be on the south end of DTC (Arapahoe and I25), give Yabo's a try.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the input. A mini uds is essentially what I was thinking of, but using an electric element with automatic temp control. I have what I would call equivalent to a 16gal drum, but it is steel maybe 2mm thick so it should hold the heat well. I'll do some more research, put together a plan, then hopefully you more knowledgeable folks can help fine tune my ideas.
post #8 of 11

texas.gif  Good afternoon and welcome to the forum, from a cooling down East Texas. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about                  everything






post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well before I jump into any sort of sub-forum I have some pretty basic questions. I've been trying to find the basic "anatomy" of an upright smoker (or maybe I want to turn it on it's side and go reverse flow?) I've seen lots of different techniques on the 'ole google search; heat source on bottom, wood, then water, then meat etc, then there is the wood water combo, wood straight on the heat source and the list goes on.


I was hoping I could get the basic smoker built as a charcoal/wood burning smoker, and when I feel like dropping the cash on the element and supporting ancillaries, just "dropping them" in.


Any suggestions?

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a couple more basic questions. I'm thinking of holding off on the electric portion of the smoker and just getting the thing working on charcoal/wood first. I'm trying to figure out if I want 2 doors on the side (smaller on the bottom 1/3 for tending the fire, and water tray if used, and then a larger door for placement of meat), or just the smaller door for tending, and then cutting the top off for a lid instead of the large door. It seems like a lid would seal itself up pretty well, but a door will need "sills" and seals to keep the air out.

Besides that, I'll probably weld a few threaded bungs on the bottom for vents/valves and do the same up top, maybe with a sliding cover, add some trays/racks, then get to smoking!
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well, things spiraled out of control and I ended up purchasing a MES. Smoked some butt last weekend, and I have one in there now.


Couldn't be happier.


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