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best smoker for beginner

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
well it seems the time is coming for my first smoker, it was suggested as a Christmas present and the more I think about it the more I like the idea, in fact if for some reason I do not get one for Christmas I will probably buy one anyway.

anyway I really didnt know where to put this, as there is no forum for general smokers, if I missed it sorry.

so here is the question. what would be a good smoker for a beginner with a budget of up to 200 dollars.

whats the best to use, id like to use wood, but im not sure it will be possible all the time. charcoal seems good too. what about propane??

thanks.
post #2 of 22
ECB charcoal in my opinion. You will learn firebuilding and maintainance as well as all the other stuff that goes along with turning out awesome Q. Oh...for under 50 bux ;{)
post #3 of 22
As beginners, my partner and I bought an electric smoker at Walmart. It is made by Rival and is called the K.C. Smoker. It costs around $60.00 plus tax. If you order it on line through Walmart and have it shipped to your nearest one and pick it up, you don't have to pay shipping.

We have made some pretty amazing stuff in ours already. My favorite is pastrami so far. It works great. Then after you get better at it and want to expand, you can move on up to something more appropriate to your needs.

BTW, you can use wood in this smoker. You can also use it as a huge roaster. What is good about it is you can practice different recipes without getting into the difficult, time-consuming preparation and cleanup.
post #4 of 22
I bought a GOSM this summer and love it. Its propane and simple to use. About $100 at Wal Mart. http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=3342513
post #5 of 22
Many people have the GOSM, if you go that route, make sure to get the wide body!!!
post #6 of 22
WSM would be my recommendation.

Read all about them at the link below.

http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/index.html
post #7 of 22
chargriller with the side firebox!

Mark
post #8 of 22
I like the WSM also...That gets my vote too!PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #9 of 22

what to obtain

i have gas and love it but had charcoal in past and no problems with it
only draw backs is propane can run out durning your smoking process but i can have contance temputare best to have a back up clyinder and charcoal always haff to buy and refill on some item you smoke and hard to obtain in winter time in my area.
either one is great start out small and work your way up to see if you like it
post #10 of 22
I would reccomend the WSM as well. Works great for me.
post #11 of 22
My first, and only so far, is a GOSM; like has been said before, just under $100 at Wal-Mart - may be able to find some marked down now too...

To me, it's just the thing to learn about the basics... and I'm already looking for my next smoker - something bigger!
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
do you put woodchips in the GOSM?? I like the looks of it and it seems like it would probably work well.

I was leaning toward the WSM, it seems like a good unit

although you cant beat the price of the ECB. but isnt there temp control issues with it, it dosnt have vents right??
post #13 of 22
Do you put woodchips in the GOSM?? I like the looks of it and it seems like it would probably work well.

I was leaning toward the WSM, it seems like a good unit

although you cant beat the price of the ECB. but isnt there temp control issues with it, it dosnt have vents right??

You really need to take a look at both the WSM and the ECB. You'll see that the WSM is a much better built unit. I'd get the WSM over the ECB If I was going to buy a vertical charcoal unit. I have a Charbroiler with a side burner that I really like. I also have an old Refridgator that I converted to a propane smoker. It is the most efficent smoker I've used. I'll bet I get 60 plus hours off of one 5# tank of gas. I used to have an afterburner in my charbroiler and I got about 20 to 25 hours on one tank of gas. Now that I have the refer smoker I went back to lump coal with my charbroiler. I kind of enjoy going back to my roots of smoking.

Oh yea, to answer your question. Yes, you add wood to the GOSM. My son has one of those and he has found that wood chunks seem to last longer and don't tend to catch fire as easy as the chips do. I also use chunks on my refer smoker.

Good luck with your new smoke'n adventure and have fun looking at the different smokers.

Bob
post #14 of 22
GOSM widebody gasser. It's the simplest route when learning, and won't hold you back when you get more advanced.

No matter which way you go, there's lots of expertise here to help.
post #15 of 22
With the criteria you set forth it has to be the WSM. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #16 of 22
I'd probably wait around for something used to come up and snag it, but if it's a present, a second-hand smoker might not seem right. I got a brinkmann all-in-one at first because I knew I could use the jet burner for something else if I ended up not smoking very much. When I found I was using the smoker more and more, I got a bigger/better one and had a better knowledge of what I wanted from a smoker from my experience. Now to learn the new smoker, haha...

I personally didn't like the vertical smoker because to baste or flip a piece of meat, I'd have to take off the top rack, find somewhere to put it, then do the basting and flipping while having a bunch of smoke in my eyes...then put everything back together...the water pan seemed to detract a bit from the flavor, but without it there were problems if the wood chunks caught fire (could have used a foil package of chips instead, but..)...anyways...having something cheap to learn on and figure out some of your preferences was nice for me.

Propane seems a lot easier than charcoal to me too, so it might be a good idea to learn some of the basics of smoking on propane first, rather than try to learn firebuilding at the same time. Might be a bit daunting to try both at once, with more screw-ups possible.
post #17 of 22
All bullet type smokers are a PITA because you have to remove one shelf to access the other. I found the convience of the propane in the All-In-One great for lighting the charcoal but I always smoked with charcoal not the propane. It also makes a nice little grill for a few burgers and dogs if you need it and travels well.

The WSM is similar but has a door to add charcoal. It mantains heat well once you get it going but doesn't have a the propane or electric options so you will need a chimney to start the coals.

As far as cooking goes I'd say the Brinkman All-In-One and the WSM are about equal in use but the optional propane and ease of starting a fire or even adding heat if need be are a plus for the All-In-One. The door is a plus for the WSM but the darn thing kept falling off on me. It's just as easy to lift off the cooker on the All-In-One and dump in more coals or dump out ash if you wish with little loss in heat. I did find the coals got smothered alot in the WSM and it did seem to have all the mods done on it.

The propane burner on the All-In-One can also be used as a turkey frier, corn steamer or whatever while you smoking with charcoal. Pretty neat little unit.

Here's a few links:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_ol...ann+All-In-One

http://www.amazon.com/Weber-2820-Smo.../dp/B00004U9VA
post #18 of 22
The smoking chamber for the all-in-one (at least mine) was cheap as hell and warped from something fairly early on. Still useble, but trying to get the lid on was a hassle.

I checked out the WSM and the aluminum door seemed very cheap...and $200-250 seems awfully expensive for what it is.
post #19 of 22

So Loki993 which one did you buy and do you like it?

post #20 of 22

And what would you  suggest for a newbie?

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