I have not posted any reviews yet so I thought start out a “little” different with three reviews combined into one, so to speak.
Smoke Hollow Pro 36
The main reason for this review is the Smoke Hollow Pro 36, the little brother of the 44. I got it at Sam’s for $124. I don’t think it was on sale as I checked their web site and it is around $169. The 44 and the 36 were on display next to each other. I compared them internally. The burner on the 36 is the same as the two in the 44 so the 36 has the same features as the 44 (reviewed favorably on this forum) with the smaller capacity and one burner.
I knew that the wood pan is not tall so the chunks can only be so big to pull it out without opening the door. It doesn’t seem to be a “big” deal with other reviews. The workaround is that there are 17 positions available for mounting grates. You can move the water pan up and down so that that you can get to the wood pan and put chunks in the size of baseballs. You have to open the door but it recovers quickly.
The wood pan is three inches above the burner so you can still get smoke at low temps. The caveat is that the wood can catch on fire at higher temps; however the pan is rectangular and the area close to the front is not above the burner so you can move the chunks back and forth. Another trick is I use on my Brinkman electric “red R2D2” is to wrap the chunks in foil and poke a few holes in it. That prevents fires and makes cleanup a snap.
The glass window in the door is OK—so you can see the smoke swirling around—I don’t care and when it becomes dirty it will stay dirty.
It really likes the top vent open. It doesn’t like wind. The burner is in an open area that is unprotected. The GOSM has a metal can around the burner and never had a problem. As you can see in the picture, I made some panels and attached them all the way around—problem solved. We get wind gusts here in New Mexico up to 45+ mph.
I sealed the door when I was assembling it. The assembly was flawless—every hole lined up.
The water pan is rectangular and covers the grate well-NICE JOB THERE!
Easy assembly—no snags.
17 positions for grates including the water pan. If you put the pan in the lowest position the water boils more readily.
Thermometer off about 50 degrees (does ANY smoker have an accurate non digital thermometer?)—I use the Maverick anyway.
The small wood pan—doesn’t seem to bother most reviewers and can be worked around by raising the water pan.
Wind sensitivity (above 25 mph)—easily fixed—no problems now.
All in all it is a great starter smoker or for experienced. Seal the door and use an accurate thermometer and you’re good to go. I did the other stuff because I like modifying things.
Great Outdoors Smokey Mountain (GOSM)
The one on the right in the picture is a Great Outdoors Smokey Mountain (GOSM) that is 15 years old and still going strong ($139 at Gander Mountain). The only mod ever done to it was sealing the door, which seems to be standard on most smokers these days. I just now replaced the regulator with a Bayou Classic adjustable regulator.
The wood pan is about 6 inches above the burner. The burner can go to fairly lower temps below hot enough to make the wood smolder. The silver tube on the right is a Smoke Daddy Big Kahuna, which solved that problem. I use it for nuts, cheese and salt. With the adjustable regulator, I get a solid blue flame 1/3 inch long and go down to 140 degrees.
I gave it a “face lift” with new paint. I painted over the thermometer since it was useless anyway. I use the Maverick ET 732 on my smokers—‘nuff said there.
Yeah, creosote, I know. There is such a big stink going on about creosote on Smoke Daddy generators. On the walls of the body it is the same stuff that is on the walls of any smoker---yes/no? An easy way to remove that is to use the same propane torch I use to light it. The body can take the heat until the stuff burns to ash and be removed with a small wire brush.
Now the venturi at the top is a different beastie, I unscrew it from the body and heat it, then run a wire through it. The pipe that connects the BK to the GOSM gets the heat treatment also and I push a wad of paper through. The creosote sticks to the BK and does not make it to whatever is being smoked, in my experience.
With regular maintenance and careful operation I have good results. When I got the BK the AMNPS did not exist then.