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Best upright smoker?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone. I'm, as we speak, cooking up my first pork butt on my brinkman gourmet charcoal smoker. I bought it at a hardware store, and it was cheap. My biggest complaints are the tiny door and I can't seem to control the temperature at all. Because the door is so small, I really can't control where the coals are going either. And there's only tiny slits in the bottom of the fire pan to let air flow in. Do you have a recommendation for what the best upright smoker would be? I'm looking to keep it affordable and that's the main reason I went with this smoker to begin with. I'm assuming the upright smoker would be the best/most economical route. Maybe I just need some tips on how to use this smoker...
post #2 of 9

Best Upright Smoker ?

Don't give up on the ECB. I have used one for some time and with a few mods it will perform well and you will learn heaps about smoking. As bought, the ECB is rather inefficent but a few simple mods will help. I suggest you read the following and make at least a few of the mods:

post #3 of 9
I'm a gasser so I will be leaning towards the propane smokers. I personally like the smoke vault 24" it is wide enough to lay any size spares that I have seem. Then you can get a boat load of abt's and many other things on there to.
post #4 of 9
When I first read the title to this thread I was thinking of a Backwoods smoker . If I were in the market for a top of the line vertical this is where I'd be looking.

I've seen a couple of them in action and they are incredible.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Dang! Just checked out the site you linked. That's amazing! I definitely need to think about some of those mods. Is it pretty typical to put a bed of coals in the fire pan and then dump the hot coals on top of that? I just used my chimney and dumped my charcoals into the fire pan. Probably some of the reason why I had such a hard time keeping the temp right! I really wish I had the adjustable vanes for inflow and exhaust. I can see why that would help A LOT. Do you think there's any reason to do three inlet? Can you pick those adjustable pieces up somewhere or do they need to be hand made?

I know everyone loves pics...my first pork butt...

post #6 of 9
Good call Rick. Based on that, I'm kinda partial to my homemade backwoods clone. It's a real powerhouse!

Got14u is also building smokers...he's doing some really nice work too...PM him.
post #7 of 9
I'll take one biggrin.gif
post #8 of 9

Best Upright Smoker?

Outlaw, I made my dampers and vent out of some sheet aluminum I had lying around. You could make them or buy the replacement ones for a WSM. I would recommend using two dampers as it gives you a bit more heat control. I use the Minion method (plenty of references on this site and elsewhere). I light around 16 brickettes and load my basket with brickettes two deep covering half the basket. I lay the lit brickettes against the unlit ones (on top of which I lay the oak/apple et al chunks) and then slowly adjust the dampers until I achieve the heat I am after. I keep the top vent open.
Hope this helps Peter
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies! The backwoods smokers look really nice (price reflects that too)! And so does yours Engineer. Makes me jealous, but I don't think I can justify the cost.

I'm really motivated by Pete's site and not giving up on the cheap brink. I think some of those mods would be very manageable and at least worth a shot before spending 2 to 300. This is the first I've heard of the Minion method as well...I presume this will help a lot next time. And relieve a lot of my being annoyed with having to use the tiny little door.
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