I'm looking to purchase a smoker in the near future and would like to know what are the top 3 things I should look for in a smoker?
Well it depends on how much you want to spend , what type of smoker [ wood , electric , propane , Pellet } I have a Oklahoma Joe's offset made by Char Broil . I bought it because it is a heavy gauge steel , easy to modify and affordable . I use mainly wood but on longer smokes also use charcoal . I also have an Masterbuilt electric which I bought on black friday due to the $120 price tag . I prefer my offset but like the electric for fish and veggies . My son has an Green Mountain pellet grill which is a set and forget type smoker but can also be used as a grill . I don't think it gives enough smoke but it is very easy to use .
Well I would say a wood smoker, not sure what a cold smoker is, but I may want to do that too once I find out.
As for tending or set and forget, I could go either way.
I prefer electric over gas, and not sure what a stick burner is, but same as cold smoker, I may want to do that as well once I know what it is.
As for price range I would say between $1 - $1,000 If it is worth it.
I don't plan on doing any commercial size smoking, just occasionally and mostly beef/fowl.
Many of the guys on here start out with electric smokers, because they are very easy to learn on & are easy to use.
Some stick with them and some move on to other types of smokers.
With your budget you could buy a couple of smokers right away.
My suggestion would be a MES 40, and a WSM 22.5. That would still leave you with enough to buy a Smoke Vault 24.
Then you would have elec, charcoal, & gas & still be close to your budget.
Hmmm...cold smoking sounds like something I'd like to do with fish and bacon...although some fish are better raw IMHO.
I bet a slab of Sun Fish would be great to smoke...so are there smokers that go that low in temp?
Or is it done with a gauge?
How is Beef Jerky made...really high heat?
Thank you for the info on cold smoking.
Hmmm...I guess SmokingAl has a point with multiple smokers.
Thanks, I will definitely keep that in mind as I shop/search.
echoing some of the previous comments, there are a lot of things to consider; type of smoker, price, level of involvement (ie are you looking for "set it and forget it" convenience or full on interaction). Here a just a few.
Easy street - electric smoker. Even a Brinkman electric is a great way to start out if you are looking for a low entry point and basic smoking needs - ie ribs, brisket, turkey, etc. This was my first intro to smoking. Then there are the many electric smokers out there that are very capable of smoking a wide variety of foods, even cold smoking with the use of a tray/tube
Pellet smokers/grills - a extremely versatile smoker/grill. Capable of smoking at a low temp of 150-160 deg and grilling as high as 400-500 deg. The good ones are capable of maintaining temp within a 5 degree swing. Combine this with a cold smoke generator such as a Smoke Daddy Big Kahuna, it can do almost anything.
Stick burner - the ultimate hardcore smoker's choice. Personally, these require more patience and attention that I am willing to put into this sport, but my hat is off to those who do. Definitely an art to maintain that delicate balance of heat and smoke.
In the end, it's all a matter of priorities.
Yes we have seasons...hot summer and not so hot summer...I was looking forward to experience some winter weather here in TX, but it only got to 30 degrees for about 3 days, then back up to the 40's - 50's.
Ok, so what does a mailbox have to do with a smoker?
I'm looking at an electric Masterbuilt 30" as a starter...Sportsman Guide has it on sale and the member discount brings it down to around $190, then again there's also shipping that will bring that price back up...I'll check out Lowes first.
I know what you mean about a slippery slope...I was that way with my cars always looking for the next mod...the mod god just loves to tempt me!