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Help a newbie pick out a new smoker!!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I made the mistake of purchasing a cheap smoker and I will be returning it tomorrow. I would like some advice on what to get to replace it. I am looking to spend about $250 at the most hopefully. I already have a a-maze-n pellet smoker on the way to help with consistent smoke. Should I got with another bargain electric and use the pellet smoker for smoke. Or i was considering a gas smoker but wasnt sure how hard it is to keep the temperature consistent. Keep in mind I am a newbie and I am looking for something that is fairly easy to operate until I get the hang of smoking. Please give your input and advice. Thanks

post #2 of 14

I would suggest a Weber Smokey Mountain..


Edited by CycloneFan - 12/2/15 at 4:23am
post #3 of 14

What was the "cheap" smoker that you are returning? I hate to say it but you are a few days late on this one as there were some really good deals over the weekend. I would suggest watching the holiday sales and trying to find a deal on a 40" masterbuilt electric. 

post #4 of 14

Jeff (The site admin/starter) has a really good book on smoking. Within the first 30 or so pages it goes over all smoker types with pros/cons of each. I'd highly recommend picking this up because it makes as a good learning tool and reference for anything you could think of smoking.

 

EDIT:

 

Hyperlink isn't working form me... here's the link to the book:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Smoking-Meat-Essential-Guide-Barbecue/dp/1770500383

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I bought a Cajun injector electric. Crapped out on me a couple hours into a smoke. At this point I'm kind of leaning toward a masterbuilt gas 2 door smoker. The one that has a seperate door for the water pan and chip tray.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jharpe06 View Post

I bought a Cajun injector electric. Crapped out on me a couple hours into a smoke. At this point I'm kind of leaning toward a masterbuilt gas 2 door smoker. The one that has a seperate door for the water pan and chip tray.

I haven't used that particular model but with propane models you have to keep the operating cost in mind. The fuel cost is a lot higher than an electric. 

post #7 of 14

I have the smoke hollow 44 and the unit your looking at is the same basically...they are not hard to keep temps...you have two burners to adjust. I don't have problems...and I have smoke two butts with one tank and not empty at about 16 hrs each..now if its 29 degrees outside you will use about twice...but I cover mine with a blanket and its all good. I use one 10 inch cast iron pan and the stock smoke pan and use lump charcoal a lot ....it adds heat and keeps the chunks going along with pellets and chips...I do cover both pans with foil and poke a bunch of holes as I used to get some flame ups when I started ....now I have none...I can even use just the lump charcoal for cool smokes and no propane..lots of options with my unit. and mine has 3 large cutouts on bottom of unit below burners. and you can put smoke there also and just wrap foil around legs and it goes up the holes for smoke.... I have done lots of good smokes since I got it and in a lot of different ways...jeff

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jharpe06 View Post
 

I made the mistake of purchasing a cheap smoker and I will be returning it tomorrow. I would like some advice on what to get to replace it. I am looking to spend about $250 at the most hopefully. I already have a a-maze-n pellet smoker on the way to help with consistent smoke. Should I got with another bargain electric and use the pellet smoker for smoke. Or i was considering a gas smoker but wasn't sure how hard it is to keep the temperature consistent. Keep in mind I am a newbie and I am looking for something that is fairly easy to operate until I get the hang of smoking. Please give your input and advice. Thanks


I have multiple types of smokers , where do you live? how are the seasons? do you want to smoke year around? these are some things to consider. my propane unit is a struggle to keep below (rarely) the 240-250 range (needs constant monitoring) and this is with the needle valve mod. I had to use Todd's gear for my smoke because at that low heat the chip tray was useless even with dust. Now with a hot smoke it was fine. I would highly recommend the electric MES 40 for all around use, I love mine!!!! This is just a start for all things to take into consideration. As said above , Jeff's book would be a great addition to any library. as much as my copy has been read I still refer to it quite often

 

Keep On Smokin,

 

Tom

post #9 of 14
Welcome from SC. It's good to have you on this great site. IMHO, a WSM is a great starter unit. They are not expensive or expensive to operate. With charcoal for fuel and wood chunks for flavor, you will have an excellent finished product with a great smoky flavor. The WSM is very user friendly and easy to control.

Good luck and good smoking, Joe
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

I went ahead and went with the 2 door propane smoker. I hope Im not disappointed.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jharpe06 View Post

I went ahead and went with the 2 door propane smoker. I hope Im not disappointed.

I've got the same smoker. Don't trust the thermometer in the door. Their notorious for being inaccurate. Mine was 65*+ hotter then it was showing.
I did the needle valve mod, and ditched the stock chip pan for a 8" cast iron skillet. I made a rack to keep it about 1" off the burner.
Check out the propane section for lots of threads on mods for these units.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
I bought a adjustable regulator from bass pro and it seems to be doing the job now
post #13 of 14
Do a search in the propane section about those regulators. I recall something about there for a high pressure system like a turkey fryer, and there dangerous to use in the low pressure smokers we have. It's the reason I went with the needle valve.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

I called around to about 4 propane guys in my area regarding the regulator. They all told me that I should be fine using the high pressure regulator

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