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New Smoker in Raliegh

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey all!!

I'm new here, obviously, and have been grillin' for many years. I'm a 30'something father of 2 living in Raleigh, NC with my wonderful wife. I already have a ton of hobbies (flying, photography, and running autocrosses) but I need another. Enter smoking meats!!!!

Which brings me to my questions...

Since this will be my first smoker, I am not looking to spend tons of money. As a matter of fact, I would like to keep it below $100. But I don't want something so cheap that I have to make a ton of mods to get it to work properly like the ECB (see, noobs can speak the lingo!!) I would love a WSM, but it is just too much for me right now.
I was looking at the Brinkman Vertical Charcoal Smoker at WalMart yesterday ($60) and it seemed better than the ECB. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with it and can tell me if it will work well for a novice.

A friend has the Brinkman Gourmet Electic and swears by it. I've had some brisket off of it and it was delicious. I know that it is the cook, not the cooker, that makes great food but I was impressed when he said that it came off of an electric smoker. Can someone tell me how these things work? Do you put in a box of wood chips or lumps for the smoke? How is temperature control? What else do I need to know?

Last question...If you had a complete smoking novice come up to you and asked what smoker should I buy that is less than $100, what would you tell them?

Thanks guys!!!!

post #2 of 10
Welcome to SMF, Todd. This will probably be your easiest hobby to pick up, amongst those others that you've got on your resume biggrin.gif . Start off by learnin' the ropes with Jeff's 5-day eCourse which is the best free advice that will have you off and runnin'.

Personally, I own an ecb and have done zero mods to it and am quite happy with the smoker. I'd wouldn't hesitate to purchase another one, considering the price and overall quality, of the ecb. Don't know about their vertical big block, but am sure others will be along shortly to provide you with opinions.

Good luck with your decision, and have a great time with it!
post #3 of 10
Welcome to the SMF, a good place to share good times.
post #4 of 10
Welcome to the SMF Todd. There's no better resource for smokers from the novice to the professional.

Like Sumo, I also use the charcoal ecb.....although mine is heavily modded, and works great for my needs and experience level.

I believe there are several folks around the site that use the Brinkmann vertical that you are eyeing....they should be along shortly to offer up any advice.

Most cookers......especially the cheaper ones......will benefit greatly from a few simple mods......even the wsm benefits from building a better charcoal basket from expanded metal. The mods are just to make your smoking experience easier by helping your smoker maintain a more consistent temp.

again, WELCOME!

post #5 of 10
Welcome to SMF. My advice is get what you are comfortable with different type smokers are prefered by people for different reasons. Some think you gotta use charcoal, some like the ease of electric, some like gas so its all up to you. Whatever you decide don't worry it will only be your first once your hooked on the great food you'll be looking at other smokers biggrin.gif
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the welcome guys. I'm kind of leaning towards a GOSM Charcoal now. Of course that could change at any moment. Amazon has that for ~$74 with free shipping. Seems like a good deal to my novice mind.
post #7 of 10
Hi Todd, welcome to the forum. It is a great place to learn and share info and recipes. Don't be a stranger. And may all your smokes be thin and blue.
post #8 of 10
I'm from just outside Raleigh (clayton) and work in Raleigh. I can attest that you can easily get a few different smokers on Raleigh's craigslist. I've gotten all mine there. Just look daily. I spent $20 on a SnP, $50 on a ceramic, ecb's are regualrly $25 or less for electric. Keep your eyes open and you'll find one.

Good luck.
post #9 of 10
Welcome Raleigh, NC!
Good luck with your new hobbie....it is so intense!
Happy to have you here!! I can't wait for your first Q-VUE!!
post #10 of 10
Welcome to SMF! Glad you found us!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


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