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Advice on new smoker


Meat Mopper
Joined Sep 27, 2012
For the past four years I have been using a 30" MES.  I am thinking I would like to upgrade and have set my budget in the $500-$600 range. I would like advice/opinions from some more experiences smokers on what they would choose.

I do like the convienence of the MES. I can throw it in the back of my SUV when we go camping as easily as I can load a cooler. I also like the ease of use. Set it and periodically check temps.

For some reason I am being drawn to the pellet smokers (although it is not set in stone). They appear to be as easy to use as the MES only they allow much higher temps. They wold also give me a real flame.

I would like the ability to do multiple briskets, ribs and pork butts if needed. Not sure if this price point will allow that in a pellet smoker.

What are the pros and cons of a propane smoker?

Please feel free to give any ideas/experiences advice you may have.


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Feb 9, 2009
If you're looking for ease of use, pellet burners are hard to beat.  As you mentioned, they provide the easy temperature control of an electric, plus you're cooking in a wood-fired pit.  While most pellet pits are a bit more pricey than your budget, you could check out a couple of Traegers that are in your range.  Lowe's also sells a Char Griller pellet rig that's under your budget.  I'm not real sure what the capacity of these rigs are, but you can turn out great tasting food on any of these.



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 2, 2013
Not sure what all "a real flame" entails, i.e. would you be wanting to grill on it also ?

I have a Smoke Hollow 44 gasser from Sam's and I love the thing.  I can easily fit 10 butts in it and have room to spare.  Ribs go in whole as opposed to having to cut them in half.    Comes with 5 shelves.   It's  inexpensive as well at $289.99.


Meat Mopper
Joined Sep 27, 2012
I just noticed Cabela's carries Louisiana pellet grills.  I also have about $650 in cabelas points, so I could use the point plus $500-$600.

Is the Louisiana grill a good product?

I believe they had the 570 for $1100.

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