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Vertical vs horzontal

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
As You all may know I am currently using an modified ECB, I love this smoker, but and thinking about updating. I am considering maybe buying a horisontal smoker, or maybe another verticle, or maybe building one. Of course price is an issue. I am not nessarily wanting to spend several hundred dollars. I have 2 questions--1. Does anyone make a affordable Horizontal that is worth the money? 2. Is vertical or horisontal the way to go? I NEED HELP!!!!!! I want to try a brisket and want a smoker that is easier to get to the fire on than my modified ECB, but still does a good job. Any opinions???
post #2 of 29
yp be11,
in my opinion,
if not smoking for more than eight.
my char-broil vertical electric water smoker is GREAT.
you can get these at home depot for about 80 bucks.

you probably will need a 15 amp extension cord.
a good contracter grade 25' will goes 20 bucks.

i luv my "bullet style smoker''

but--- the gosms propane vertical at around 150 bucks ,seems to be very good also.

i am told you can adjust to and hold 320degrees in it.

you can roast stuff and not heat up the kitchen in summer.-----

to me -money is a consideration---
i hope this helps
post #3 of 29

Re: Vertical vs horzontal

I believe I would lean towards a Silver Smoker or something similar if you are looking to upgrade without going "hog wild".
If you are wanting to cook larger pieces of meat like a nice brisket, you have a bit more room with a horizontal model than an upright.
I'm also more of a traditionalist and believe that if you want the best possible smoke flavor, you want to burn wood.
Propane has a bit of a smell IMHO and, while it is certainly very convienient to set the temp and forget it, I always sort of enjoyed a sense of accomplishment when I was able to keep the old thermometer pegged right on 225 for hours on end.

anyways...my 2 cents....smoke em if ya got em!!

post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 

Re: Vertical vs horzontal

Hey rock, I was leaning towards a silver smoker(char-broil), but am not sure how good they really were?? I was wondering if they last, how good of job they do? My other concern is that i do not nessarly want a smoker that is so large that I "have" to smoke wood in. I need one that will easily fire with charcoal. What about the char-broil American deluxe smoker. I know it is small , but I was wondering how good of a smoker it is????? Does anyone have one????
post #5 of 29

Re: Vertical vs horzontal

Another question as important as what do you want to cook, is how do you want to cook.

If babysitting an offset and tending the fire every 30-60 mins is appealing to you, there are a number of good choices under $250. The CharBroil Bandera or Brinkmann Smoke King Deluxe are vertical offsets that offer high capacity for low $$$. Horizontal cookers in this price range offer less capacity, but will still cook a packer brisket and a fatty or two. If you have the time to spend cooking on an offset, they do produce the best Q.

If minimal input cooking is more your style, The Weber Smokey Mountain is hard to beat. Not tons of space but unattened burns of 8 hrs or more are no problem. Lots of these in use at contests and lots of winners too.

Electrics and propane cookers require some tending but simplify fuel hassles.
post #6 of 29

Re: Vertical vs horzontal

I personally can't vouch for the quality of any of the off-set models made today.
My old New Braunfels was made before they sold out to CharBroil, so I can't even vouch for them anymore simply because I haven't used one.

Most of the off set horizontals will work just fine with charcoal, in fact, I suggest charcoal for heat and just a bit of wood for flavor. I would not use regular charcoal ever though because of the extras stuff they use to press them into that shape.
I would suggest always using Lump Charcoal..I used Cowboy Charcoal simply because that was all that was available in my area.

When you are picking out a smoker, look at one setup to get a feel for the workmanship and look for one with the heaviest(thickest) steel you can find/afford.
The heavier the steel, the easier it will be to keep at a constant temp. Some of those thin walled smokers will jump or drop in temperature when the wind blows.
post #7 of 29

Re: Vertical vs horzontal

What stuff is it that concerns you?
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 

Re: Vertical vs horzontal

I went to my local Orschlens store last night and Saw a Brinkmann Smoke n Pit Horizontal smoker. This one was is not like the one at wal-mart, this one is made of heavier metal than others I have seen. I was wondering if it would be worth buying, what mods need to be done????
Any Advice?????
post #9 of 29

Re: Vertical vs horzontal

Here is the official list of ingredients from Kingsford.
Like Propane, this may not bother some, but for my money, I'll stick with Lump Charcoal or even better, good old wood.

List of "stuff"
Wood char (essentially the only part of it I would like to cook with)
Mineral char (soft coal)
Mineral carbon (old hard coal)
Limestone (cooking with rock?)
Starch (Binder)
Borax (used in small amounts to help briquettes release from the molds)
Sodium nitrate (Ignition aid)
Sawdust (Ignition aid)

Most of this stuff is there to make the product burn consistantly, and it certainly does, but if I'm taking the time to make some Q..I'll take the good stuff.

..again..just my 2 cents
post #10 of 29
Lump burns too hot, too fast and too irregularly to be useful in a smoker. Ok for grilling, not for Q.

Attend a BBQ contest sometime, you'll see way more briq than lump. These guys don't compete because they make bad Q. Apparently to them (and me) briq is the good stuff.

Now there's 4 cents in the pot, anyone else?
post #11 of 29
It looks like that pit already has the exhaust at grate level (or at least close) so that's one mod most horz need that you can skip.

The firegrate I'm sure would benefit from being raised, most pits need this.

Perhaps some sort of baffle/heat deflector at the exchange area between the firebox and cookchamber.
There are several recent threads on horz mods, in one of them someone (sorry can't remember who) tells how they made tuning plates for their horz to even the temps from end to end (great post).

An old blanket will protect a lighter gage pit like the SnP from heat loss in windy conditions.
In it's price range, I'd consider the SnP to be a good value.
post #12 of 29
In regards to the SnP...I say go for it, it is a great smoker and the mods that are needed are easy to do even without any real skills, here is a thread that highlights the baffling and exhuast mods I made. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=520

The lump vs. briquettes debate rages on, I guess I’ll through a couple of pennies into the pot :) Personally, I utilize lump in my horizontal smoker over briquettes because of the hotter burning temps of lump lets me put less in my firebox at one time. The reason this is important, at least to me, is because I am still using the original ECB charcoal grate, this somewhat limits the air the flow in the firebox and it just seems to me that I get longer burning times with less fuel when using lump. Scott is right on that lump is a less constant heat resource and requires more attention than the briquette, but for me stoking the fire is half the fun of smoking. He is also right that it makes excellent grilling fuel, I had a couple of New York strips last night that we cooked over lump and they were awesome.
post #13 of 29

Re: Vertical vs horzontal

Ben, in regards to the Brinkmann SnP at Orschlens vs. the one at Wally's World go with the one at Orschlens. As you have noted, there is a difference in the construction. A lot of things that's available at Wal-mart are made that way- the thread on food savers is just an example. This isn't meant to sound like a bashing of Wal-mart, in fact I food shop at the local Super Center quite often (they are my "go-to'" source for untrimmed packer briskets). It just "buyer beware" on appliances and the like.
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

Re: Vertical vs horzontal

Could someone please post some pictures on these mods on a smoker like the one that I am considering?? Or tell me where they are at?? Having trouble finding the post. I am also sort of a visual learner. If you get my drift.
post #15 of 29

Re: Vertical vs horzontal

We understand, Ben. Isn't Missouri also known as the "Show Me" State? :P :D
post #16 of 29
It is in fact the Show Me state. It's so much eaiser to "see" what someone is talking about opposed to trying to decipher what they are writing about. Afterall pictures are worth a thousand words aren't they?
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 

Re: Vertical vs horzontal

Well I did it, Lastnight I went and bought the Smoke 'n Pit pitmaster deluxe. I can not wait til this weekend to try It out. I will Keep everyone informed on how it goes.
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
The one problem that i see with my new purchase is that there is no real way to dump ashes out during cooking. I have been brain storming on how to solve this. Does any one have any ideas on how to solve this problem??
post #19 of 29

Re: Vertical vs horzontal

Those thing usually have plenty of space for 12 hours or more without having to remove the ashes.
When I was using mine, I turned the grate(s) sideways so they were higher in the box and left more space below for ashes.
This gives plenty of space for ash..and if you really burn for an extended period of time, you can open the side door and scoop some out.
(Mine was the New Braunfels, but the design looks similar)
..also cooking with lump will result in less ash and allow for longer burns.

post #20 of 29

Re: Vertical vs horzontal

Ben, what is the size of the fire box? If it's not too large you might try putting a swallow HD aluminum foil pan under the grate- just not sure if the aluminum would burn away or not-
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