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Debating on which smoker to get

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

I'm debating on which smoker to get. I've got a MES currently and have enjoyed that for the last few years. I do miss the true smoke taste that I think you can only get with a stick burner however.  I'm thinking either a Pit Barrel Cooker, WSM or offset cooker such as an Old Country version such as they sell at Academy.  Budget will be around $500 so these 3 seemed in line.  I am wondering, can you get a true bark in a pit barrel cooker when doing a brisket? I like the thought of not having to tend it as much as an offset but not sure if you can get a true crust or not?  I've heard good things about the offsets too, but the drawback I've read throughout the boards is having to tend it with a new log every 30 minutes, and for long cooks that is a lot of work, but I get that is part of the fun for some.  I suppose the better quality offsets you wouldn't have to tend as much.  I've been scouring craigslist as well, but not finding much.

 

Any thoughts or advice is greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 12

I went from a MES to WSM and I love it! I never used a stick burner but seems like it can be a lot of work. 

post #3 of 12
I suggest the WSM,until you have the time to tend a stick burner. Once you learn the vents on a WSM they are very user friendly.
post #4 of 12

And I'm going the other way with the OC.  Solid, well-built and warranted for life:  if certain mods are done, you're not going to burn as much fuel as you think.  Door gaskets and locks will help immensely:  not to mention the OC is heavy enough gauge to hold heat.  Cheap offsets give the category a bad rap, when it's the buyer's fault for purchasing tinny, paper-thin tin cans.  See if you can find an old OC Wrangler (not the Wrangler II) lurking around somewhere the Metroplex:  you won't be sorry.


Edited by gr0uch0 - 3/21/17 at 7:21am
post #5 of 12
I love my Smoke Hollow 3615GW
post #6 of 12

I think it depends on whether you want to set & forget, or to tend the smoker.

 

With the WSM you can bring it up to temp & a 22.5 will hold a steady temp for 20+ hours without adding wood or charcoal.

 

With a stick burner your going to have to add a split every 45 minutes or so, even if you have a thick steel one.

 

I have both a Lang & a WSM. The best part of having a true stick burner is the flavor of the meat. 

 

And I like to hang around the smoker, smell the smoke & drink a few beers while the meat cooks!

 

Al

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the replies. On the WSM, can you get that deep dark crust on a brisket?
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr0uch0 View Post

And I'm going the other way with the OC.  Solid, well-built and warranted for life:  if certain mods are done, you're not going to burn as much fuel as you think.  Door gaskets and locks will help immensely:  not to mention the OC is heavy enough gauge to hold heat.  Cheap offsets give the category a bad rap, when it's the buyer's fault for purchasing tinny, paper-thin tin cans.  See if you can find an old OC Wrangler *not the Wrangler II) lurking around somewhere the Metroplex:  you won't be sorry.


Thank you, keeping my eyes peeled in the area for sure.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasJason View Post


Thank you, keeping my eyes peeled in the area for sure.


Don't get me wrong, the Pecos is good:  it's just the Wrangler is a step up from there and was still under your $500 budget.  My understanding is that Academy is no longer carrying the Wrangler, but now a Wrangler II that isn't the caliber of the original.  Some stores (from what I've heard) still have a few Wranglers off the floor as closeouts, so you may have to ask.

 

Besides, a Texas boy needs a stick burner anyhow:  it's just part of the package.   Beer.gif

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks I'm going to call around to some stores in the area and see if they have any original Wranglers left. I saw the Wrangler 2 in the store and seemed pretty flimsy. The Pecos was much more substantial f
post #11 of 12
I'm shocked I'm the first one to say this but build a UDS! You could easily make two for the price of one wsm! Yes you can get a nice crust ... the pit barrel smoker has a following but I wouldn't ever own one! They have some major design flaws in my opinion ... and they are smaller then a UDS
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by russmn View Post

I'm shocked I'm the first one to say this but build a UDS! You could easily make two for the price of one wsm! Yes you can get a nice crust ... the pit barrel smoker has a following but I wouldn't ever own one! They have some major design flaws in my opinion ... and they are smaller then a UDS
Ok thanks I'll have to check that out. Any brands that you would recommend then? Not the most handy but maybe they are not that hard to build, lol.
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