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Looking for good, budget smoker

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Can anyone recommend a good smoker under $80?
Are electric smokers any good?
I usually use my cheap-ass grill to smoke stuff, but keeping the temp right is a real pain in the ass and takes way too much work and attention. I guess its time to get an actual smoker that I can cook stuff for 8-9m hours without constant work.
Any suggestions?
post #2 of 22
Hi 28003

It all depends on what kind of smoker you are looking for. If you want a verticle, you can pick up a brinkmann from Home Depot and do some mods. Some people make some pretty great BBQ with these. If you are looking for an offset, $80 might be too little unless you pick one up used on craigslist.

Either way, stop by and introduce yourself in Roll Call.
post #3 of 22
If you have access to a 55 gallon drum you could make a UDS . They are great economical smokers that are easy to control temps on. Check out this thread on how to construct one.
post #4 of 22

Gas or Electric?

I have seen some gassers on sale at places like walmart, lowes ect. for 100-125. I think Walmart had some close outs recently for $79.00. Really have not paid too much attention to electrics, but someone will be around shortly to address it.

My advice is save a few more bucks and get the bigest one you can afford. If you really like this hobby it wont take you too long to outgrow a small smoker.

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
thanks for the link, but that looks like a lot of work with many tools i don't have. plus, i'd rather do a charcoal smoker instead of a propane one.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
right now i'm looking for a verticle, i guess. something from home depot, lowes, walmart, etc. would be great, if you have any suggestions. all those places have 4 or 5 for under $80. should i go charcoal or consider an electric?
while i would love to spend 100-125, i just can't. i lost my job 7 months ago and can't find anyone to even call me back after sending them my resume. my wife works and we are on a very limited budget right now. i tutored the grand-daughter of a friend at church and made some money, which if the only reason i have any extra money at all.
i don't want to do gas til we move out of our current place. so i'm just looking to start with something small, cheap, and easy to learn.
post #7 of 22
Keep an eye on Craigslist in your area. Second hand is the way to go on a limited budget.
post #8 of 22
Rickw might have the best suggestion. If you have even an ouce of craftiness, you could build a UDS for less than $80 and it would be better than anything you could buy from HD or Lowes for the same price.

Like I said before, some people get some successful and tasty BBQ from these units. I prefer charcoal myself, I like to play with the fire and tinker during the cook. Some people like gas or electric as well. I think charcoal adds more flavor to the meat but that is something that can be debated for hours.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
from: Mississippi
currently residing: Arkansas
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
i'll watch CL, but most on there seem to be huge, tail-gating smokers that cost $1,000-10,000. people up here are insane when it comes to spending money. ppl seem to have money trees and i can't find where the orchard is. if you slap a razorback sticker on something, you can charge 10x as much for it, AND PPL WILL PAY IT!
post #11 of 22
No; he is talking about building a UDS.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
i'm more of a charcoal man myself and don't have the tools to build that thing.
post #13 of 22
No buddies or family with a drill and a few bits? It really is very easy to build one. The hardest part is finding the drum.

Here's a pic of mine.

post #14 of 22
If you have a Harbor Frieght in your area you should check there. My girlfriends dad and I got one there for $36 a piece. It is a smaller vertical charcoal unit with water pan, to wire racks, seperate acces doors for both charcoal and water and a dome lid. Works great for smaller family smokes. I have done several tri tips and was able to get two smaller racks of BB's on one grate.
post #15 of 22
I borrowed all the bits and tools from my brother-in-law. The UDS I built cost me about $65 and I paid a little more that most people for drum.

Here is a pic of mine:

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
i forgot about HF. great suggestion, i'll check there. thanks!
post #17 of 22
Build a UDS! Cheap and great units!
post #18 of 22

Look at returns

You may be able to ask the managers at lowes, walmart, etc if they have any open box or display models. I have found that sometimes things get sold out and they only have a display model left and will discount it if they are not going to be getting anymore in.
post #19 of 22
Watch Craigslist daily - do a search for "brinkman" or "smoker" and limit your price to $50. I usually see a minimum of 5 verticals a week for under $50 in my area. I have even seen a few horizontal offsets in that price range as well.

Best of luck! biggrin.gif
post #20 of 22
I agree keep a close eye on craigslist daily. I picked up a new braunfileds earlier this spring for $10.00. an extra brace on the legs a can of paint and a themometer and it looks like new. I see them all the time in our area for 50 to 100 dollars. also do you have something laying around the house that you don't use any more. craigslist is a great place to barter. post an add in barter and an add in wanted. you might be surprised what you find. dont just read the adds take action.
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