Thanks very much for taking the time to write such a long message.
The Weber I have is the 22" one touch premium plus. I also have picked up a stacker for it which gives me extra space and can do a couple of beer can chickens etc etc, picture below. I have upgraded it with a craycort cast iron grill and also a heavy gauge steel griddle which I absolutely love.
I was thinking of an offset (or as you rightly say) not an offset as such, a pellet smoker. For several reasons, I like the idea of set it and forget it and also I may sometimes want to have say a brisket on a low and slow but I may want to use my Weber for direct grilling earlier on, I may want to be doing some grilled cheese sandwiches for breakfast, or I may want to do a pizza , or maybe some wings etc etc etc.....
I won't be getting a big one (not initially anyway - long term I may do some cooks at local events, I am aware that is a different ball game and I need to do hygiene courses etc - that is for the future) but the new Traeger looks fantastic and has a wifi addition which sounds great! I have already done a LOT and continue to do, research into the kit out there and how it works.
I have made a mini smokey mountain and have put a pic below. It needs a bit of tweaking and have ordered some stove rope to cut down on a couple of smoke leaks it has, but overall I am pleased with the little fella.
I have a few thermometers already and yeah, I am aware the built in thermometers aren't reliable.
Originally Posted by Wade
Hi Dave and welcome to the forum. Your Weber 22" is a good all-round smoker/BBQ - which one to you have? The bottom air vents vary with the different models and so there is a difference in the ease of temperature control. At competitions most of the BBQ teams will have at least one Weber 22".
Can I ask why you are looking at getting an offset? Unless you are looking to buy a larger one and cook for a crowd, the smaller ones are usually more style than substance. The wood fueled ones take a lot more tending to ensure an even cooking temperature over long smoking periods and you have to work with the temperature gradient that is inherent along the cooking chamber in most of them. As you go up in price and size though they become easier to use but are then designed more for feeding the 5000...
Pellet grills (including the Traeger) are not actually offset smokers. The box you see on the side is actually for storing the electronics and the pellet fuel before it is fed into the combustion chamber by an auger. Pellet grills are very controllable and use an onboard computer to manage the pellet burn and temperature. You therefore will need a local power supply when using it. Several of us here have pellet smokers as part of our BBQ hardware and we like them. More of us here have the GMG brand but Traeger are a good make too. Pellet smokers are very easy to control and are usually switch-on-and-forget. Because they burn the pellets so efficiently, some people say that they give less of a smoke flavour. I have a GMG Davy Crockett though and I find the smoke flavour it gives is fine.
If you are looking for something that will give you great flavoured meat in reasonable quantities with very little management then I would suggest that you also look at the bullet smokers. A 22" Weber Smoky Mountain (WSM) or a ProQ Frontier will be worth considering. These are what most of the competition teams use for smoking.
Dont forget to invest in a good dual probe digital thermometer too as you will need this to help you manage the temperature in the cooking chamber and in the meat. Do not rely on any built-in lid thermometers that come with the smoker/BBQ
Next time you cook please take some photos and post them if you can. We love photos here