2nd smoker..........

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by gp125racer, May 15, 2012.

  1. Hey all,

    I've started my research into the next smoker I want to purchase as I recently gifted my smoker to a good friend. The smoker I was using was a Master Forge vertical smoker/grill that I purchased from lowes for $59 a few months back. I did a few upgrades and after a bit of trial and error I was able to kick out some pretty good ribs and wings reliably. Now I am looking for something that will allow me to facilitate a little larger cookout.

    I am leaning towards a charcoal based offset smoker and am looking to spend in the $200 - $300 range. I've identified the Char-Griller Smokin' Pro and the Brinkmann Trailmaster as likely candidates but haven't ruled out a WSM or something similar at this point. My only concern with the WSM would be the volume of meat that can be smoked in one session. Could someone kindly talk me thru the advantages/disadvantages of using a vertical unit vs. an offset unit??

    Obviously the food isn't cooked directly over the heat source on the offset unit but I can see one having issues getting uniform heat distribution in a design such as this. I'd love to hear everyones thoughts.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      On the offset, you just have to learn the temp differences and where the 'sweet spot' is. I have seen some mods on here that could help difuse the heat and smoke. What ever way you go will have a learning curve. Good smokin' !

  3. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Have you thought about a uds?
  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    First , Racer , Welcome to SMF. We hope you enjoy all your visits[​IMG].

    Now, For $300 , you can get a decent little smoker, but you won't have the construction of a heavier unit , for instance :

    I started my latest collection 20 yrs. ago , with this:


    The little one on the left , then added the other one 3 or 4 yrs. ago , and then had a Brain-fart and got this one at Wally World:


    and I'm glad she's gone , so... it really presents the "you get what ya pay for" syndrome. Check at maybe Bass Pro - or - Cabellas , they carry some good backyard models but are higher cost.

    I was lucky enough to have a Great little Wife ; she got the big one for my Father's Day and every since we've been having Great parties of up to 300 or 400 people (two days of cooking though). We like to party though and the outreageous cost of it and the shipping was worth it , yeah she gripes about it a little , but she loves the "Q".

    Now if you need to stick to your budget , my opinion would be to build a stable of UDS's , about $50 can get the stuff you'll need for 1 , so make three and Customize them??? Just a thought , but the Smoker I have now will last till I'm 90yrs. old - that's 27 more years...[​IMG]

    Look at this for a party starter:


    or this which followed the Butts :


    So back to , Budget , jump in and swim hard or get a new Smoker say each 3-4yrs.(maybe) IMHO .  [​IMG]  

    meanwhile have fun and...
  5. pvillecomp

    pvillecomp Fire Starter

    I got the Trailmaster about a month or so ago and have done 5 smokes on it. There are some Mods you will have to do like seal the firebox, lower the chimney, to grate level, make a coal bin and add a baffle between the firebox and the smoke chamber to avoid a really HOT spot near the firebox (see below). But these mods are common for almost all SFB's in the price range you're looking at and  are relatively cheap to do. Other than that I have enjoyed it. I'm playing with fire control and tuning plates with each smoke to get it dialed in. 

    First Smoke: Ouch - lost the first 5 ribs on each of the two right hand slabs. The rest were great!


    4th Smoke: That's more like it.


    Bottom line is that for $300 plus maybe another $100 in mods I'm very happy. The steal on the Trailmaster is much thicker then on the SnP. and the next step up starts around $800 so I feel like I'm ahead of the game so far. 

    Hope this helps.

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