Best Bang for your Buck

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Original poster
Jan 1, 2017
I'm completely new to smoking. Initially I was planning to make jerky, but was persuaded to smoke instead. I have quite a bit of venison hindquarters I would like to smoke. I checked Amazon, but still not sure what smoker to get. All it takes is one negative review, and I have my doubts on that purchase. I am not partial to any brand. Being a beginner, I'd like to start with a simple smoker. Thought maybe the Webber. But not sure on capacity. Looking for plenty of room to lay out meat. I think the smoker I looked at was $299 and not available in stores. I sure would appreciate your know how's on this matter. One that doesn't require constant attention. Thanks up front.
The Weber is dependable, durable and easy to control temps and will allow for long cooks without having to add charcoal.  I've had mine for about 12 years or so and it can be cleaned up and still look brand new.  Remember.. the bigger.. the more charcoal it will take.  Sometimes I wish I had the larger but I get by.  
I've got the weber 18.5 and I've done jerky on it. I use toothpicks abs hang the meat from the racks vertically. It dries faster when laid flat, but you can't fit as much in at once.

The only time I wish I had the bigger one is if I do multiple racks of ribs, but you can get a rib rack if that is a concern.

I love the smoker though. It is very easy to use. I've dialed it in, put a pork butt on and went to bed without having to get up to check on it until morning.
I have a couple bradleys, One was a gift one a friend had as a gift and didn't use so he gave it to me. I bought the jerky racks and I invert a set on top of the first set. I lay jerky flat on the racks so I have 8 racks full in both smokers at a time to do venison jerky. It involves a lot of rotating racks and jerky and takes about 2 hrs to do a batch depending on outside temp its faster at times. I like the bradley but I have not tried other brands. I do other things in the smoker as well but I started for mainly jerky. Smoking is great and a lot of learning, trial and error, And depending on your taste. I don't know if I would get another one, but only because I am looking at building a larger version or a smokehouse. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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