A quick 'hello' from Ontario Canada

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Original poster
Sep 21, 2006
Oakville Ontario
Just wanted to say Hi from a wannabe smoker. I have been reading this forum for a couple of months and have so far just used a small cast iron box on top of my propane grill to get a little whiff of hickory or mesquite to flavour whatever meat I was preparing (and it was good). I must say that so far so good, but, I know it must get better than this. I am looking forward to purchasing a dedicated smoker but for now I am not sure which way to go.
Electric is easy and predictable, gas sounds like a little more work, pure wood or charcoal seems really high maintenance (and a long time to master). Any suggestions? I don't mind nursing the grill, and would sort of enjoy sitting outside with an ample supply of wood, charcoal and beverage of choice throughout the night while watching a brisket and thermometer begging me to 'give in'.
I am considering a gas bullet smoker which is on sale for $70 or an off set which is about $150 (which could also be used as a grill). Where do you think I should start?
thanks in advance,
Welcome Bob,

The question you ask is bound to prompt discussion. Each smoker has discovered their own personal favorite. I have a gas fired GOSM (which by the way is made in Canada), because I have no room to store a lot of wood. Electric rates where I live are relatively high, so is was gas for me. Others will have a different opinion. Luckily all opinions are valued here.

Be sure to look into Jeff's 5-day eCourse on smoking basics. Ask lots of questions. The friendly folks here will give answer.

Glad you are here!


Welcome to SMF Bob!!!

IMHO, I think the satisfaction and joy you most likely would get from learning to use a charcoal/wood fired smoker first would be well worth the effort it would take. I'm not a strict purist type by any means, but I think a guy really cheats himself by not at least knowing how to smoke on a "real" smoker first. To me, that is more important than rather you start with a $30 charcoal bullet type or $150-$200 offset or somewhere in between.

Just my .02 cents and probably over priced at that.
Welcome Bob! If you hang tight for a day or so, everyone will probably chime in with bits and pieces of smoker advice for you to mull over. I also went from chips on the grill to a "real" smoker a few months back. I purchased a Char-Broil Silver Smoker. It is a charcoal/wood offset smoker. I LOVE it! As you say, you can grill over the firebox side (which I have many times now) when you want to. I also use the firebox side to "finish off" things that I smoke that need the "jolt" of last minute high temp for crispiness. That's this guys opinion, I love my smoker, got it at Home Depot for $149 plus tax. Glad you're here!
Welcome Bob,

I agree with J Mack and UltraMag that you should learn to master cooking on a wood or charcoal rig before going to gas or electric. I use gas now, but if push comes to shove, I can dig a hole in the ground, lay a set of bed springs over it and make some damn good Q simply because I learned how to do it without gas or electricity. Just my .02.
Greeting Bob! Nice to have another member from 'up north'. A couple of years ago, I got back into smoking meats using a charcoal fired h20 Bullet Smoker made by Brinkmann ( ECB ). From there I got a GOSM Big Block (propane) and in a way returned to my smoking roots. Dad ran a butcher shop and we had a couple of natural gas smokers.

Visit the Smoking Supplies and Other Equip. section and check out the forums on the different smokers.

Looking forward to seeing your posts on the board.
Thanks for the warm welcome guys! Like I said before I have been lurkin' around for awhile trying to pick up any nuggets of info before asking any redundant questions. I guess everyone has their own personal preference when it comes to what type of smoker is 'best' or at least what is best for them. I notice many posters have more than one type so I guess that says it all...as long as you can get the thin blue smoke to waft over whatever you have on the grates it's all good. As a side note I like to grill year round whatever the weather, snow, rain, sun, wind (wind really makes life difficult in the winter but hey....that's part of getting to know your grill). I guess a smoker in the winter gets a little more complicated. Does anyone here have any tips on how they handle this? I have been thinking about building a wind-break.
Again, thanks for the welcome and I will post any further questions in the appropriate forum.
My GOSM, I made thermostatic controlled. It works great holding temp even in the winter. It wasn't cheap but when I can smoke 3 turkeys for 30 hours in 0 degree weather and have no worries, I love it.
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