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Which smoker should i get

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So I have decided to get a smoker, should i get the ecb http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...ctId=100606041
or should i spend a little more and get the square brinkmanhttp://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...ctId=100606045
post #2 of 9
I'd get the ecb. Do the mods. Great and easy way to smoke.
post #3 of 9
ECB is a great way to start out while not breaking the bank. If you live in a major metro area check Craigs List to. I have seen ECB's on there for as little as $10! You can make some great Que on the ECB's to, and they are good for learning fire/temp. controll.
post #4 of 9
I say get the best you can afford and be prepared to move up down the road as you get more experience -
post #5 of 9
Can only comment on the MES which I think is great. I'm sure more will be along shortly.
post #6 of 9
i strongly recommend a 30-dollar brinkmann smoke-n-grill, otherwise known as an ECB. looks like a short, black R2-D2 from star wars. found in wal-mart, k-mart and other "marts." cheap, but durable - i've got one over a dozen years old that cooks better now than it did when it was new.

this smoker is easy to use and turns out very, very good barbecue; it can help you "get down to fundamentals" of fire control, temperature control, airflow etc. and it is nearly impossible to actually ruin a piece of meat when using it. further, with about 15$ in modifications (http://www.randyq.addr.com/ecb/ecbmods.html), it can be made to work even better and allow you better control of airflow, smoke, temperature etc. the ECB is a charcoal smoker that allows you to learn barbecue the way it was meant to be learned, with wood (and charcoal) that force you to develop skills that will make this more than a passing interest - the challenges involved will step up with each advance and your quest for knowledge and skills will allow you to grow to a true pitmaster.

finally, after trying this and getting good with it, you can decide if this barbecue/smoking meat is really the thing for you. if it isn't, you're only out 30 bucks; but, if it is, you can continue to cook VERY good, VERY authentic barbecue with it and improve your recipes and methods, or you can "step up" to another type of smoker. i say "step up" in quotes because your ECB is perfectly capable of cooking barbecue as good as a more "advanced" smoker, but there are nuances etc. that an offset or other "advanced" smoker can take advantage of, plus they are usually bigger and will allow you to cook for a crowd (all those neighbors up and down the street who have been smelling your barbecue!). in other words, if you truly have an interest and a knack for barbecue, a more advanced smoker can make a good pitmaster better - but keep in mind that the best pit in the world won't make a novice into an expert or a bad pitmaster into a good one.

one more piece of advice - if you want to read up on some outstanding barbecue fundamentals, go to http://www.eaglequest.com/~bbq/ and download the barbecue FAQ. this is a safe, informative word document that will teach you quite a bit.
that's my advice - take it for waht it's worth!
post #7 of 9
Yeah, what he ^^^^^^^^^said.
post #8 of 9
TW has it right. I started on an ECB 10 or so years ago. Got to the point where I wanted better control and more room, so got an offset Brinkman vertical about 5 years ago. You can smoke 4 hams as easy as one with the bigger box.

Start cheap and if you want to move up, go for it. Like they said, look for deals on Craig's list.
post #9 of 9
I first learned how to smoke a chicken on an ECB back in college and had great success after that. Awesome little unit there and I am seriously thinking about buying another one to back-up my SnP.

For 30 bucks the time is right, and perfect for a small smoke!
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