Just joined the forum. Lots of great info.
I am looking for a new smoker and was wondering what is the best I can get for under $500.00 and where to get it.
First off welcome to SMF there Fire dude. Now for your smoker I would recommend the Smoke Vault 24" it a gas smoker and it is big enough to hold and large amount of meat and then small enough to fit almost anywhere also. Now you can get it from Bass pro shop, Gander Mtn, and you can even get them from Amazon too. But you will like it here for there are alot of really good folks here that would just love to help you out with almost anything to do with smoking. Then if you are really new you should sign up for the E-course it's free and very informative and will give you the basics on smoking and even a bunch of really good recipes to try too. Now the next thing you need to do is go out there and get someting to smoke and if you have any questions just let us know and we will answer then for you.
Welcome To Your New Addiction
Im with lug!! I like your thinking lol
If you have the skills and tools UDS is hands down the cheapest.
Me.... I have the WSM 22.5", it is litteraly smoking for dummies easy, and a superbly built and backed product for $400. I honestly don't have a bad thing to say about it other than the fact that it wasn't free.... lol.
It doesn't take that much skill to build a UDS, there is tons of info on how to build one w/o a welder. And it is utterly satifying to cook on the smoker you built with your own hands. Also they turn out some really great Que! That is my vote. Iffn' you just wanna buy one, The 22.5 Weber Smokey Mountain is the way to go.
Not sure to be honest, but I initially spent about $200 on a Char-griller... less than a year later I sold it for $80 and got a 22.5 WSM. I wish I had just got the WSM to start with, sooooo much more bang for the buck.
It's very much worthwhile to hunt down a Bubba Keg. They're on clearance for $299 @ Home Depot. BK will hold heat and smoke better than a WSM, and is far more fuel efficient. That's not to knock the WSM, as it's an excellent smoker. But given the two prices, the BK is a no brainer. If the BK was on sale at it's normal price (around $600) it'd be a little tougher decision.
I own a MES, UDS, two oil field pipe smokers, and a propane grill. I think the best pulled pork is out of the MES but the best of just about anything else has been off the UDS hands down. If I can make one anyone can almost dummy proof to operate after you get the hang of it. and a fuel miser indeed.