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New from Illinois!!!

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Help!!! Yes that is what I will need. Looked arround the net and this site seems to have what it takes for the beginner. Yes, you read right I know nothing so you don't have one of those know it all set the world on fire guys here. I can't answer your questions but I am sure to ask alot. So lead me in the right direction on where to begin and let's get started.

Couple of newbe questions?
1-what kind, type or model smoker is good for a beginner? Not too small or big but just right for the beginner on a budget. No! I don't want to build a trash can smoker but I don't think starting out that my first needs to be the top of the line.
2-In just getting started what heat source is best for the beginner? Charcol - gas - wood? All that I have seen at the gatherings are gas.
3-Any questions I should be asking?

Oh! You ask what brought me here? Well I go to fishermen gatherings and I see all these friends smoken almost everything. I watch and ask questions and enjoy the great eating. Key word EATING. Well I would like to do this for me and the family so here I am.
post #2 of 25
Welcome Bruce, no worrie's, hang out here a while and u will be an old pro in no time wink.gif
Wish you had shown up a couple day's earlier, i was just in Illinois last weekend for a bbq comp. You could have got some free lesson's first hand!
post #3 of 25
Bruce, welcome to the forum. You've found a good home to answer your questions.

To answer your questions. I'm certainly no authority, but I'll offer my thoughts.

1 & 2. It depends on several things. Are you one of us that tends to like to tend the fire? I know I am. I like to sit out on the back porch all day, and can monitor my temps. For that, charcoal or wood be the way to go. If you prefer to have something more hassel free, perhaps electric or propane might be best. Another consideration is what kind of capacity do you need? There are units that will cook larger amounts of food than others. Are you feeding for a group or just the family?

How tight of a budget are you on? I'm not asking to be personnal. You can get into an ECB for around $45+tax. It's a charcoal unit. I suppose the next step would be the ECB electric for about $59+tax.

Again, welcome in. We're glad you're here!
post #4 of 25
Welcome, Bruce! I'm pretty new to smoking myself and I have learned SO MUCH in the short time I have been here. The folks here are friendly and ready to answer any questions you might have. (Read: "There are no dumb questions here.") Glad to have you with us!
post #5 of 25
Welcome aboard. Browse the different threads for the different types of equipment. Take the 5 day e-course. There is a download for a smoking log that will help ou get real acquainted with whatever equipment you choose. And ask tons of questions because there is an answer somewhere in this group.
post #6 of 25
Hey linbru, just learning myself. Everything I have learned has been from this site. I started out with an ECB and turned out some pretty tasty meat. Good enough that my family bought me a weber smokey mountain for my birthday. They now expect me to cook for all of our gatherings, which is fine by me!! I would start out with the ECB charcoal. It's cheap and you will learn alot about temp control by tending to the charcoal. There is also the personal satisfaction of turning out a good piece of meat that you worked on all day. Plus it gives you an excuse to stand outside with a beer all day. Check out the 5 day course, it did me alot of good.
post #7 of 25
Welcome to the SMF. Take your time and research as much as possible before purchasing a smoker, but don't be too concerned as most of us end up upgrading somewhere down the road. I know that you will really enjoy smokin', once you get your basics on the ground.
post #8 of 25
Welcome to SMF! Glad you found us. Check out Jeff's 5-day ecourse on smoking basics. Keep asking questions, the friendly folk here will make answer.

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #9 of 25
I'll second the ECB charcoal. It's a good unit, cheap, and you will learn alot about firetending/heat- all good info that will stead you well in future purchases and smokes. Briskets and butts are a bit of a challenge due to cooking times, but as I said you'll learn firsthand every facet of the ancient art of smoking.
"Gotta crawl before ya walk" over the coals, that is!
post #10 of 25
Welcome! I'm glad you found us and will learn ALOT here!

You will soon have the smoking addiction as we all do here.
You'll be raiding your fridge looking for something smoke!
post #11 of 25
Welcome to the forum!!! you came to the right place.

as other have mentioned you have to think of how much space you have as well as how much time you want to sit, and also how many times you want to smoke different kinds of meats. If you only are going to be cooking one or two kinds of meats generally a vertical smoker will do, they are cheaper. however if you plan on cooking different kinds frequently then you will want a vertical smoker, Chicken juices on your beef or pork is not the best thing to have... just food for thought.

Oh and make sure you check out the 5-day e-course It helped me out alot when I first started...
post #12 of 25
Welcome to the SMF Familyicon_exclaim.gif

So far looks like everyone is giving you good info. I also HIGHLY recommend Jeff's 5-day ecourse for someone just getting ready to start outPDT_Armataz_01_34.gif.

Choosing a 1st smoker -- This is the place to research what you want based on your preference. I personally work for a propane supplier & use charcoal & wood to smoke, I like to set outside & monitor temps & play with fire. Look around ask questions as every smoker has +'s & -'s. You will find that no matter what you get, in no time it will not be quite big enough for what you what to doicon_lol.gif
post #13 of 25
First off welcome to the forum> As you can see there are tons of friendly people here willing and able to answer almost any smoking related question you may have.

The point being made here is that it doesn't really matter which type of smoker you have, you will turn out some awesome Q with it.

I would recommend you determine what falls within your budget, how much time you want to devote to the process of smoking and go from there.

Also in your budget you should include some items that are very helpful like thermometers. Built in thermometers on many of the smokers are notoriously unreliable. It's also important to monitor the temperature of the meat since most food is cooked to temperature not for a specified time.

Read through the archives and reviews ask a lot of question and before long you will be seasoning your new smoker and getting ready to wow your friends and families with the best Q they have ever had.
post #14 of 25
linbru - Welcome to the site. I am a newbie as well. I just went thru what you did in terms of trying to decide what to buy for first timer. I ended up with an ECB (el cheapo brinkmann) that I got a Lowe's for $59+tax. I went with the one with an electric filament in it. The charcoal one is $44+tax.

good luck. I agree this site has the best info on the net. I have a lot to learn and not enough time.
post #15 of 25
In my mixed up schedule I missed your intro. Welcome to SMF! Hope to see lots of you around here. Not sure what your budget is to spend on a smoker or what type you want (gas, electric, charcoal / wood). There are a lot of GOSM (mouse over the words for definition) users here along with plenty of ECB users.

As suggested decide your budget, fuel type, and style (vertical or horizontal) and how much you want to baby sit the temperature control.

With that info we'll be able to give you a point in the right direction.

Keep Smokin
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Started the 5-day. Signed up for the newsletter.

Everyone is so helpfull. I think I am going to love it here!

Much to soak in and read, read, read. LOL

I have that feeling when I am arround friends. Thanks!!!
post #17 of 25
welcome to SMF Bruce, You found the wright place for information on smokin....that is for sure. Lots of helpful and friendly people here.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #18 of 25
Welcome to the SMF Bruce! icon_smile.gif
post #19 of 25
Welcome Aboard! As you have seen lots of friendly folks and great advice.
post #20 of 25
Welcome Aboard!
I'm still mad your Illini beat our PSU Nittany Lions!!!....Just kidding!!
This is a great site..I am a beginner also and learned a lot from all the helpful smokers here! I started out with an electric smoker..nice because of the set and forget aspect...seeing that my life is going 100mph..running 2 kids everywhere..work etc...I am asking for a propane smoker for x-mas..think it might be a bit better..my own opinion...any way you go you won't be disappointed...smoked food is awsome! Take care and have fun!

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