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Looking for a smoker, starting here!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone,


Let me start by saying that I know nothing about smoking meats. Love eating a good brisket and pulled pork.


I was walking around home depot and they put a real effort into their smoker section this year, I counted 22 different models on display and thought "I want one of those." Which one is the big question.


Hoping to learn a lot from you all and find the smoker that will work for me.



post #2 of 21
Weber Smokey Mountain! The size depends on how many you're cooking for...

If you want an electric smoker I'd recommend getting a masterbuilt electric smoker off of amazon for $149 and change.
post #3 of 21
Welcome Outspoken, I know you will enjoy this forum. Welsh gives some good advice for a new smoker. The 22.5" WSM is a great way to start. It's large enough to smoke for 6-8 and can work for 2 just the same. I had one for several years and it worked great for me. The only mod that I ever made was to use Maverick therms an I bought a charcoal ring for the 18"WSM to use for smaller smokes. It will keep your charcoal more together.

There are some great folks here who will gladly share their knowledge. All you have to do is ask. Good luck and good smoking. Please send pics. Joe
post #4 of 21

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...
Happy smoken.

post #5 of 21

Outspoken, you will find a TON of great advice in this forum.  The question of which smoker to buy, really has no perfect answer.  It all depends on your tastes and of course, your budget.  I think you'll find that most of us started out with a cheap smoker and have progressed from there. 


I started out with a Brinkman Gourmet Charcoal Smoker.  It's cheap and can be used right out of the box with no modifications.  However, the more you use it, the more you'll want to modify it so you can get more consistent cooks.  The mods are easy and cheap, plus you get the added charcoal flavor to your cooks.


I've also owned a 40" Masterbuilt Electric Smoker and loved using it as well.  It's more expensive than the Brinkman, but it's easy to use right out of the box.  Just plug it in, load your wood chips and cook.


Whatever smoker you buy, make sure you get a meat thermometer as well.  When it comes to smoking meat, you'll find that cooks times give you and IDEA of when the meat is done but internal temperatures will tell you EXACTLY when it's done.

post #6 of 21


texas.gif  Good morning and welcome to the forum, from another cloudy and rainy looking day here in East Texas. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.



post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

One thing is for sure, the Weber sounds like the ultimate starter and possibly finisher. Now for the 18" vs 22" debate. $100 would go a long way towards getting my grill in shape for the summer, one of my burners is rusted out and I'm missing all the flame shrouds (tents?) It's a Kenmore 4 burner gas, I also know nothing about grills so don't roast me on that if it's sub-par. ;)

post #8 of 21

If you do a lot of ribs and brisket the extra room on the 22.5" Weber Smokey Mountain is really nice to have. You can lay three racks of St. Louis cut spare ribs flat on each rack without cutting them or rolling them, and you can comfortably fit 2 briskets on each rack with no crowding, or 3-4 pork butts on each rack. I usually fire mine up about 1x a month, but I load it full of meat and then vacuum pack it into 1 lb. portions. I have done meat for a party of 75-80 people at one time and several parties of 20-30 people as well. The WSM really is a great smoker and it works incredibly well right out of the box - I also love that it has a small footprint on the deck.

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

Well I did it. I just got back from the depot with my new WSM 18". After a few flips of the coin I decided the extra inches can be something to upgrade to a few years down the road if needed. 


I also bought a few bags of KBB (I'm learning the lingo), the Weber starter cubes and some pecan chunks.

post #10 of 21
Originally Posted by outspoken View Post

Well I did it. I just got back from the depot with my new WSM 18". After a few flips of the coin I decided the extra inches can be something to upgrade to a few years down the road if needed. 

I also bought a few bags of KBB (I'm learning the lingo), the Weber starter cubes and some pecan chunks.

Just remember that the first few times you'll have a little more difficulty I'm controlling temps! So for the first few smokes do something forgiving like chickens...

After the first couple of smokes you and the smoker will be dialed in and temp control will be second nature.

Good job on getting the WSM! Now you'll be wanting a mini!!! ;)
post #11 of 21

Congrats on the new smoker, be looking forward to pics



post #12 of 21
Congrats you'll love your WSM!
post #13 of 21
Welcome. Weber is a great choice. They make a fantastic product that is built to last and their customer service is something that other companies should use as a model. You won't be sorry. I've owned many cheap grills both gas and charcoal, but I've only ever had to buy one Weber. It will be with you for the long haul.
post #14 of 21

Great Choice!  I've been using the 18.5 for over a year now, and it is quite the little smoker.  There is a WSM group and any questions/suggestions would be welcome.  Have fun!



post #15 of 21

Grats! You will be really happy with the WSM, it's a great smoker.

post #16 of 21
I love my WSMs. I have both but use the 18.5 more often. Have fun!
post #17 of 21
I am sure you will enjoy your WSM. It is easy to control and fun to use. As far as charcoal is concerned, there are many opinions from many folks. I wish you would try Royal Oak lump. You can use the briqs for chimney starting. The lump will burn hotter and cleaner than kbb. It doesn't have any of the fillers and binders that are found in the kbb. That's only MHO. Good luck,good smoking and please send some pics.
post #18 of 21

Great choice on the WSM. I just got the 18.5 WSM myself and it has made my life so much easier.

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

Just waiting for the snow to melt...


post #20 of 21

Welcome to the site and great decision on what smoker to get. You will never be more happy with any smoker out of the box than that WSM. Might I suggest you take Jeff's free 5 day E course to get you started. It is really great for new guys to learn the basics. I would also urge you to get a Maverick wireless 2 probe thermometer setup of something similar like the I grill 2. It will make all the difference between good and excellent results. Happy smoking and have fun with your new adventure in the world of smoking meat. timber

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