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Charcoal vs Propane

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine is researching smokers. Ever since I have been telling him how good this stuff is that I have been smoking he is hooked too....and he hasn't even eaten any yet! Anyway, he is looking into the propane smokers. I have a oklahome joe longhorn ( I do not know if that is actually classified as a charcoal or a stick burner), but I was trying to convince him to look into the charcoal smokers as well. Do yall have any tips or advice that I can give to him?
post #2 of 11
Have ya checked out the tips by Jeff on the left of the page? Alot of the basic stuff is there. Before we re-hash, take a look.
post #3 of 11
Tell him that if he ever wants to compete, that he can't use propane.

I am not a gas type of guy cool.gif , but hey do whatever you want, I have had plenty of good food made in a propane just aint for me.
post #4 of 11
Yanno, I find that rule ludicrous. What does it matter? Would they not allow the Beast because I use propane to fire the wood? I COULD smoke without using the propane heater inside. Plan on it for "cold smokes" by using a longer folded smoke delivery tube from fire box to smoker box.
post #5 of 11
I asked the same question a little bit ago and got some great replys back. Here is a copy of the link.
post #6 of 11
Most allow gas to be used to get the fire started, but not to cook with. Once you got the fire started you would probably have to disconnect the tank to prove you aren't cooking with it.
post #7 of 11
I have 2 GOSM propane smokers and I'm very happy with them.I'm aware that I will never be able compete in any BBQ contests with them, but I do turn out some really good "Q" from them. A lot of us don't have the room for a big ole wood burning smoker. And maybe some of us really don't care about competing, just want to eat some good smoked meat. I don't think there's anything wrong with using a propane smoker. When I lived in TX. that was the best BBQ I ever tasted, and it was always done on a wood burning smoker. With out sounding like my head is getting big, mine isn't far from that now. I don't want to compete with any one I just to lick my fingers and say "DAMN THIS IS GOOD"
post #8 of 11
Being an old fart, and somewhat lazy, I prefer a gas burner and wood chip box. It makes things simpler for me. If you like to tinker and babysit, get a stick burner.
post #9 of 11
My best work is done w an ECB w a fist-sized chunk of wood to flavor. The disadvantages of this are the cost of charcoal, the need to have charcoal on hand, and the open flame that represents a danger if the wind gets up or some problem crops up.

My propane Smoke Vault is pretty much idiot proof. It does good work with minimal effort. If the need arises, I can turn the thing off and take the meat to either the fridge or the oven as I choose. I have smoked safely during thunderstorms and during high winds. Propane is cheaper than charcoal.

An offset type burning wood and or coals does great work. If you have access to suitable wood, it can be the cheapest to operate. It requires the most work. It also suffers the disadvantage of the open flame that is not too easily turned off.

I enjoy all three kinds. I am currently w/o a big ugly barrel wood burner...a situation I intend to rectify as time permits. I submit that you can't really make a wrong choice. I hope you enjoy smoking so much that you, too, will eventually have several types and enjoy each one.
post #10 of 11
Let me here ya say ... amen!
post #11 of 11
Ditto for me ... my wood goes a lot further heating it with LP ... less fuss and muss!
Allows me more time to be creative with the recipes and such!
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