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Questions on what to buy!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I found this forum after doing a lot of research on smokers after my first failed attempt! On a whim, and no research, I bought a Smok'n pit from Home Depot. I seasoned it, added lava rock and bought gasket material for the cook chamber door. On the 4th I tried to smoke with it, a 7lb brisket, three slabs of baby backs and two ceased plank Salmon slabs, too much food for all of us!
Anyway, all day I did good to hold 160, with the firebox door open I finally hit 180, that was on a 100deg day! I concluded this wasn't going to work for me and returned it!
Since then I've done a LOT of research, just to become even more confused!
I really like the horizontal units, COS's I believe they are called, for the grill space and ability to be able to use logs, have access to tons of Oak and like my steaks cooked over that. But I have limited funds being partially disabled so $300 really is max for me.
I had pretty much commited myself to the Brinkmann trailmaster, but then looking at the long list of mods needed, and adittional costs, I've started to question that choice.
I have a really old bullet type vertical and had talked myself out of even looking at the new ones. Having to disassemble the entire unit to add charcoal is more than I care to deal with, but then I see the Weber WSM being suggested a lot and it seems the door fixes that issue and everyone raves about it.
Now, I've got skills, time and equipment to do the mods, if steel wasn't so expensive right now I'd be tempted to build my own! I've seen the UDS as well, I can do it, but I'm cash poor, I've managed to talk the wife into letting me "melt the plastic" for this purchase! Those of you that are broke know how hard it can be to do that, so I want to make this purchase right and get as much bang for the buck I can! I keep thinking of other things, like thermometer's etc that I can use the money I'd spend on the mods instead.
Normally it will be 3-6 that I'll cook for, the 4th I had 16 people here. I want to be able to do fish, poultry, pork, beef and any other concotion I come up with on ONE smoker. I've read with the WSM you should have one for beef, poultry and pork, then another for fish? (I know, I know, don't believe everything you read!) But there is no way my budget will allow it! I also know "Go big or go home!" But my wife is already unhappy going from $179 to $300!
Sorry for the long post but I wanted my needs explained. So please, no "Brinkmann is junk", I already know this, just working in my budget, and no 22" WSM, and yes, I'd love a Yoder, you want to come with me when I rod the bank? lol!
So, please help a lost soul find his way!
Thanks all
post #2 of 12


texas.gif  Good morning and welcome to the forum, from a sunny and hot day in East Texas and the best site on the web. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.




post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the welcome, Gary. Most of my research has led me here time and again so I figured I may as well just join and ask my questions directly.
post #4 of 12
The pit you had will work for you, but many mods need to be made. My youngest son just bought a used one and we modded it to where it holds well now in the 225-250 range.

This is the place to be for good info for sure. Now, we all have our favorites, and there will be lots of opinions, the main thing is to take it all in, figure out what you want to do, and then go from there.

Fire away with questions...

BTW, welcome!
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Crankybuzzard, I looked into modding the first unit but ended up pricing $100 in steel just to get started. I thought about it a while but the thought of dumping that much money into a shell that thin just didn't sit well with me. That's what I like about the trailmaster, I've got more steel in it to start with for more longevity, I hope?
I also really would like the option to burn sticks as I can easily get in five face cord of Oak a trip.
But, I'd really like something that works and my wife thinks I'm nuts buying something I have to modify to make it work. Then again, that's part of the fun isn't it? Lol.
I'm a hot mess and just confusing myself more now.
post #6 of 12
With most all offsets, unless you build, you'll need to mod some.

Got a link to the one your eyeing?
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

I've already got the sheet metal to make the 2x8 rectangular exh extension, I don't want to lose the amount of space the dryer vent takes, as well as a heat deflector for the fire box opening into the cook chamber. Even have a tube of high temp caulk, all ready to go, but I can still return all this stuff.
This is the WSM I'm also considering, http://m.homedepot.com/p/Weber-18-1-2-in-Smokey-Mountain-Cooker-Smoker-721001/100657680/
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, heading for Home Depot now, still not sure what I'm going to get, any last min suggestions or advice?
post #9 of 12
Get the WSM! They last and work great! Best bang for the buck next to building your own.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
We went with the trailmaster for a couple of reasons, the better rack space and the height.
Five years ago I broke my back, a 20% compression fracture on the top of T12 and herniated/degenerative disc at L4/L5. All the bending and kneeling would have killed me with the Weber, as my wife pointed out. We talked about a stand for it, but that would make getting meat in and out difficult. So in my instance, and with my "special needs" (Hire the handicapped, we're fun to watch!) I think this was the best way to go for me.
post #11 of 12
Congrats hope you enjoy it! Don't forget the pics!
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Started putting it together today, taking my time as I want to make sure it's sealed good! I'll try and start a build thread next week, been taking lots of pics. I've learned a few things about this already that I hope will help others were th this unit.
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