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Thoughts on Browning smoker

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have been mulling over my options for a new smoker. I currently have the Brinkmann Gourmet charcoal smoker and also use my gas grill at times but I have wanted to add either an electric or propane smoker to the stable.

I stopped by the local Sportsman's Warehouse today and they have a Browning 18" vault smoker for $199.50 out the door. The unit comes with three standard racks plus a fish/jerky rack. I like the size of it and it's heavy so I think it will hold the heat just fine even as winter sets in.

From what I know this is the same as the Great Outdoors Smokey Mountain smoker (correct me if I'm wrong). I like the unit but would like opinions from those who have experience with this unit.

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 14
Hi Mac! The Smoke Vault and GOSM are similar in that they are gas vertical smokers. I've used my GOSM (3405GW...smallest model) for 5-1/2 years, and my 24" Vault since Father's Day this year. The 24" has a stainless door, which none of the GOSMs do, to my knowledge. You will notice the GOSM in similar sizes are lighter weight...you get what you pay for, basically.

Here's a product review thread for the Smoke Vault 24, if you're interested...very detailed, with test cook grate temp data, etc...this should help you to make an informed decision:

Good luck on your decision (so many smokers out there, how does one make a choice?)

post #3 of 14
If they have the 24" smoker and you can afford it, grab it. You will like having the extra capacity. No more cutting racks of ribs in half or having to angle big briskets to get them to fit. I would also check Craigslist. I got my 20" GOSM for $35 with a full tank of propane and my 24" GOSM for $80. You may find a deal that's too ogood to pass up.
post #4 of 14
I would get the biggest one I could get, either the GOSM or Smoke Vault. Check out Eric's review above. Very thorough.
post #5 of 14
Ok Mac here's the low down I have both the Gosm smaller unit and the Smoke Vault 24" unit and they both are great units. You will get what you pay for alright the gosm is smaller but I have been smoking in mine pretty heaviely for about 2 years and it has held up nicely. Then I just got the vault 24"(but have been dreaming of one for awhile) and it's the bomb you can do so much in them without worring if it all will get done in time. So far I smoked a brisket 12lbs and two butts about 8-9 lbs each at the same time and it chugged rite alone with out a hitch. So if you can spend the money get the vault 24". And if you don't have the money get the Gosm and you'll be happy with either I believe. Thanks I hope I helped
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
I did take a look today at Craig's List here and found a Cajun Injector electric model (same as the Masterbuilt I believe) for $150 but I am concerned over the electrical issues (wiring and faulty control units) they have been experiencing.

As for the Browning, I have looked at the 24" version but two things stand in my way there and they are do I need that much room and cost. Having a 24" box might be nice if I did a lot of large cuts or if we had lots of people over all the time but neither really happens with any regularity. Sure, once in a while we have a few friends over for football and I may pop in a couple of butts but we hardly ever purchase a brisket over eight pounds or smoke a 25 pound turkey. Normally it's just me and the wife and two of our kids. Additionally, if it did come down to needing more smoker space I can always deploy the grill and/or Brinkmann.

One other component to this equation that I still am unsure about is propane as the heat source. Who here has compared propane to charcoal and electric and was there any discernable difference and was that enough to make you favor any other source over propane? Again, I love the convenience of either propane or electric in that you don’t have to babysit those anywhere near like what charcoal demands!

Again, I’m just performing my due diligence here and want to come out ahead of the game instead of regretting my decision and ending up placing an ad on Craig’s List or eBay!

post #7 of 14
First, if money isn't the issue, go with the 24". Laying a full rack of spares in there is one thing you are looking to do I'm sure. You will be grateful for the extra space down the road, I can guarantee it.

I have a small electric, a gasser, and a charcoal SFB. Obviously the SFB takes a lot more tending to, I love the gassers ease. Temps stay steady and the babysitting you have to do it moping, adding wood, etc..When you first put the meat in, the temps will come down a bit and then catch up as your bbq'ing progresses. The gasser can get to higher temps for things like poultry.

For ease & convenience you'll like the gasser. You actually get more time out of a tank than you would imagine! Just have that spare just in case, always have a back up!
post #8 of 14
Personally I would get the biggest one of what ever you choose. Better to grow into it than grow out of it. As two of my buddies found out after their purches. For the cost of cooking haven't really put it on paper can't be much more than running the the oven and if it is it's worth every penny . Good luck and enjoy biggrin.gif
post #9 of 14
As far as comparing the different kinds goes, I started with an ECB, got an Oklahoma Joe's SFB, got an Oklahoma Joe's vertical roaster (with a propane burner), got a MES, then got 3 GOSM 20", 20" and 24". The electric is okay. The MES worked okay, but just didn't have enough room for me so I gave it to my brother-in-law. The Ok Joe's SFB has plenty of room and works great, but I gave it to my brother, to get him into smoking. Dealing with charcoal isn't that much of a hassle. It just requires more attention to maintain temperatures. Building a UDS seems to be the way to go if you want to burn charcoal. I love my gassers and have 2 GOSM and my OK Joe's vertical roaster on the back patio right now. The GOSM 24" is heavier material than the smaller ones and having 4 24" wide racks is great. The Smoke Vault should be even better. It seems to be a thicker material and should hold heat even better.
post #10 of 14
Mac, I have the 24" Smoke Vault. I basically smoke just for my wife and I and on occasion one of the kids and family will come over. My last smoke was two large pork butts and two fairly large chuck roasts. Sure is nice to reach in the freezer and have pulled pork burritos in a matter of minutes! The largest thing I've done in it was a 17 pound brisket and the smallest was a can of Spam. It's only $59.00 more than the 18" here at our Sportsman's.
post #11 of 14
Thanks to this thread I'm out $289 for the 24" Vertical Brinkman.

Assembled and in production within an hour. (15 minutes to refill propane tank) icon_cool.gif

Boosted flame to high for 15 minutes to cook off manufacturing oils then added stainless racks to cook a few minutes.

Thanks to previous info from this forum I bent the side vent tabs out for full closure. Yah never know when you may need full closure.biggrin.gif

Wrapped up some pasilla and anehiem peppers stuffed with cream cheese, homemade dill/jalepeno white cheese, ham and threw a slice of bacon around for kicks and grinsicon_redface.gif

Hot jimmy dean wrapped around jalepeno stuffed olives. Also accompanied with sausage wrapped bleu cheese balls (VERY GOOD).

All smoked with applewood chips at 225f for 2.5 hours.

Set aside some mustard sauce for dipping and walla! happy family.

No pics this time.. Too busy being excited about the new vertical smoker. Have to say it performed flawlessly in windy 30f weather.

Will qview a brisket next week.
post #12 of 14
LOL!!!!!! This place will do that to ya sometimes! But, look on the bright side...you'll be crankin' out plenty of great Q!

Enjoy! There's no cure for what you've got...just keep that smoker hot and full of meat as often as humanly possible...there's no need to explain what to do after that!

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
After a wee bit 'o due diligence I have found that I can get the GOSM (25"x18") unit from Wally World for $128 (no sales tax here in OR) shipped to the store in Medford. It is very close in build and size as the Browning minus the Browning labeled SS door. I like this unit for its size and heavier gauge steel construction which means it will hold its heat better than some of the thinner versions of the vertical propane smoker.

Case in point, I laid hands on a Sears vertical smoker ($160) that was fairly light weight, had a smaller interior and a smaller burner. Additionally, there are no vents on it except the top stack. The biggest drawback to that unit (excl. price) was the twin magnets attempting to hold the door shut. The unit was not square to start with (I know, that would be a pretty easy fix) and I can't imagine heat helping matters.

So, there it is, come Friday when the Eagle takes a dump I'll order mine so it will be here for Thanksgiving!

Thanks for all the help and advice!
post #14 of 14
Being in Alaska has advantages and disadvantages.. Shipping charges are a pain so we left to pay what local retailers want for merchandise..

No complaints though :-) Couldn't live anywhere else !!
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