So torn over direction to go on a smoker......

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by bgaviator, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. bgaviator

    bgaviator Smoke Blower

    Hello,

    I currently own a Smoke Hallow combo gas/charcoal grill and offset smoker.  I've had it for about 4 years now, and the charcoal basket is starting to rust away, and of course I can't find replacement parts for it anywhere.  I assume with these cheap units they just expect you to buy a new one.  I've only tried smoking on it once or twice, and it was a total pain.  

    I'm really interested in getting into smoking.  I also enjoy grilling with charcoal.  Even though my Smoke Hallow has a propane side, I never use it.  

    I really want an ultimate solution.....something that will handle both my grilling and smoking needs.....BUT, I don't really want multiple units on my deck.  I want to conserve space.  

    So.....

    I'm thinking either A).....saving up for a Kamodo Joe Big Joe (my small family could get away with the smaller Joe, but I want that ceramic fire box divider the big one comes with.)

    Or...

    I've seen a lot of praise for this Slow and Sear add-on for Weber Kettles.....I could go the kettle route...maybe a Weber Performer series so I get the side table.....and then add a Slow and Sear. 

    I honestly don't know how much I will end up smoking.....I have a feeling I won't actually do it as often as I dream of doing it.  I have a very crazy work schedule.

    I will honestly just be grilling much more than smoking anything. 

    So I'm not sure which way to go.....save up and just go big and get the Kamodo and be done with it....

    Or spend less, get a quality kettle and have an accessory that allows me to smoke the few times I would actually get around to doing it.  

    Also....I had considered a Smokey Mountain, but like I said, I don't want multiple units on my deck, and since the Mountain is just primarily a smoker, I don't know if I would like that option.  Thanks.  
     
  2. I've got the 22.5 weber kettle and find it to be a great grill.  I do a lot of smoking on it as well, I don't have the slow'n'sear but they seem like a good idea.  My kettle is three years old, but when I clean it up it looks like new.  Good luck on the search for a new bbq.
     
  3. Consider the Akorn. 200 to 700. 
     
  4. gomez93

    gomez93 Meat Mopper

    I'll second the Weber kettle, go with the 22" or 26". Probably the most versatile cooker there is and lots of attachments available.
    They can be set up for direct grilling, indirect smoking, or both at the same time.
    My profile pic is sausage, eggs, and hash browns all cooked on a 22" kettle just as an idea of what they can do
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Ya can't beat a Weber!

    Al
     
  6. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  7. shoebe

    shoebe Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I have a WSM and a performer. Before I got the WSM I smoked a lot of meat on the performer. It is very versatile and last a long time (mine is over 10 years old). Going to use my vortex tonight and do some wings...Weber is hard to beat.
     
  8. mcloven1t

    mcloven1t Smoke Blower Group Lead

    yea I own a Masterforge from Lowes, it's a propane smoker that goes for like 175, does really well when I want to do larger amounts of meats. Than I even scored a 55 gallon, barrel grill for cheap on craigslist.

    BUT, I than purchased a 22.5 Weber a couple months ago and I can easily say that I use that the most out of any of my toys lol.

    Just bought the Vortex, still on route to my home. saw the cast iron grates you can use for the weber and I'm super tempted to buy that also, heard from others that the product will last for decades. Also from what I've seen at my grandparents, Webers will seriously last for 10+ years with little to no maintenance.   My grandparents have had theirs for 20+ years, and even though they don't use it as much as I do, it's still solid!
     
  9. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  10. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    For what it's worth, I have about 14 different different grills and smokers and time and time again, I come back to the Weber kettle.  Will I sell the rest of them and only use the Weber? Of course not because I like to mess around with different set ups, different fuels, etc.  But whenever I play that "desert island" game with my BBQ friends, I alway say that I would pick the Weber 26.  It is great for just about everything, even without any of the accessories (which I do have plenty of and they are great too).  If it is in your budget, get a Weber 26 and then go on craigslist and get a 22, and an 18, and a smokey joe, and performer setup.  hahah wait...don't turn into a junkie like me.
     
  11. bgaviator

    bgaviator Smoke Blower

    wow....I didn't expect so much love for the Weber....I mean, I know it's a great grill, but I thought for sure everyone would push me towards a Kamado type grill.  
     
  12. gomez93

    gomez93 Meat Mopper

    The Kamados are great grills. I have 2 of the Big Steel Kegs that I'd be happy to sell because while they are great grills and pretty good smokers if you can control the heat, if it gets too hot for smoking it's going to be a looong wait for it to cool down again. The Weber is easier to control at a fourth the cost. That's a lot of charcoal and meat :)
     
  13. garvinque

    garvinque Meat Mopper

    Just like everyone else said you can't go wrong with a weber!  I have a Jumbo Joe with a Cajun Bandit Stacker and the company also has it in the 22.5 kettle size converts the grill into a great smoker. Here's a pic of mine.


      I hope this helps!!  All stainless steel construction.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  14. bgaviator

    bgaviator Smoke Blower

    if I decide to go the weber performer/slow n sear route, will I have to mod the weber to be able to have a temp probe for the meat and grate temp?  Or can the probe cables go under the lid just fine?  I don't want to have to do any drilling, so if I'd have to mod it, forget it.  
     
  15. ginny larson

    ginny larson Newbie

    YOU CAN ALWAYS MAKE A HOME MADE SMOKER ahhaha sorry for caps . A smokerany size is great but if your cooking alot of food at one time you need big with room. so its totally up to you. I have seen many homemade ones out of metal trash cans or filing cabinets and a electric hot plate. some use charcoal and some use all different things. search grilling and smoking in youtube. until you decide what you want the sky is the limit.
     
  16. ginny larson

    ginny larson Newbie

    once you adapt to the flavors you will want to have it everyday. I love smelling the smoker cooking . low and slow is always best.
     
    tjdcorona likes this.
  17. mcloven1t

    mcloven1t Smoke Blower Group Lead

    The lid seems to still close tightly when I leave my cables hanging out, they're like diamond braided or whatever crazy material those Maverick Grill Mates use, so I'm not worried about breaking them. They bend every direction you want, so I'm not the least bit concerned about a 5 lb lid sitting on them constantly.

    I have the grate thermometer off to the side near where I offset cook my meats, that way it's not interferring but also gives an accurate temp since my lid thermometer is typically over the coals, so 450 on the coal side is actually like 375 on the food side lol
     
  18. ginny larson

    ginny larson Newbie

    thats still a little hot for me. better to have tender low and slow then to cook to fast and get tuff meat if the probe bothers you then don't use it . go but the gauge you have on grill and check meat every so often with the probe
     
  19. ginny larson

    ginny larson Newbie

    you can alway check out Brinkman smokers on there site some are only around 50 bucks or the master grill electric one has remote control with probe temp
     
  20. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you are interested in a Vortex for your kettle or kamado grill and have a Facebook account, here is a group of over a thousand Vortex owners that share the several different methods of cooking they do with direct and indirect heat from a Vortex. www.facebook.com/groups/1039201796130256
     

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