Re: What are the general thoughts on these smokers?I'll make a stand for wood any day. As with anything, it's all a matter of taste and patience. As for babysitting, once you get your smoker dialed in, know how to choose quality wood, understand how different woods burn, and practice, practice, practice, babysitting isn't that bad. I did 6 turkeys over 3 days, Thanksgiving weekend and got 5 hours of sleep at one time when the alarm finally went off on the therm to tell me it was time to stoke the fire. All said and done, I got a full nights sleep on every smoke. And other than the Butterball, the turkeys were perfect. Some purists would argue that a digital therm is cheating. In my mind, it's about food safety, and if you can afford a set of therms with bells and whistles, then more power to ya.
The whole thing is a learning process and you have to make a real commitment, if you're going to use wood. But once you make it, you and the people eating your food won't be sorry. Besides, for some of us, wood is free and plentiful.