Best charcoal smoker for the money

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
OTBS Member
Aug 29, 2006
I currently have a bullet smoker and would like to upgrade to a larger smoker sometime over the next few months. I know this is a matter of opinion, but I would like to hear everyone opinion on what the best smoker for the money is.

Hi Jamie,

Well start by telling us what kind of smoker do you want. Vertical, Horizontal, How much dough do you want to spend? How much do you need to cook? Then we can help :)
I was thinking along the horizontal line of smokers. I need to be able to feed 10 - 20 people, so something in a size range that could accomodate this number would be good. I would like to find an economy smoker that would hold maybe twice as much as my bullet smoker that did not require doing tons of mods in order to make it work properly.

Jamie Bodie
Hey Jamie,
Tommy c linked you to a great site. Klose pits are undoubtadly some of the best avaliable. Although the cheapest is over a grand :shock: Many have had good sucess with the char-broil offset and the brinkman offset. I would like to point out a new contender in the offset market. The Bar-b-chef offest the steel is much heavier than the formentioned and you wont need to make any mods to the smokestack or the firebox hole. The only mod I have made to mine is elevating the grate on bricks (free mod) to allow better airflow into the firebox. I will soon build a steel charcoal basket and will post many pic's check out my pics on this thread Bar-b thread

I have not had a ton of time to play with the rig. It does have some problems holding heat for a long time. I need to fiddle with the fire about once every hour or so. I have had results from superb to hideous with chicken (all my fault). The rig cost's about 200$ on sale The only drag is that it is only available through bbq galore. Site I dont know if one is near you. Shipping would be very expensive. I hope this helps. I will do more trials with this untested rig and report the results. Good luck
Thanks Justin, that is exactly what I am looking for. I would love to have a Klose smoker, but they are just out of my budget at the moment. It would cost me nearly $100 to get the B-b-chef shipped here but I am certainly keeping it as an option.

Thanks again,
I live in Hilton Head, SC. There is one in Atlanta and one in Charlotte, both are about 4 hours from Hilton Head.

Let me know when you are coming. I will take you out in my boat for a tour of the area from the water.

I am getting a B-b-chef this weekend. A friend of mine is going to Atlanta and is going to pick one up for me while she is there.

Now I just have to figure out how to season it. I used my first smoker before I knew that you were supposed to season them before you use them, so it never actually got "seasoned".

When I seasoned my Klose I rubbed the inside with bacon grease and smoked with apple wood at 4oo degrees. 8) Trust me! :P
How long did you maintain that temp? Is it important to get your temps that high? What does this process do to the smoker?

Maybe I should do a search instead of asking these questions here. I will do a search this AM and see what I can find and then post any remaining ?'s after that.

Hey Jamie,

The bb chef comes with good directions on seasoning. It's been a while so i'm not 100% sure. But no part of the smoker is cast iron so it dose'nt require all over greasing. However the grill grates are cast iron. If memory serves I sprayed the grates down with nonstick spray then wiped off the excess. Bake at 250 for a couple of hours it is all in the instructions. I have cooked severa chickens on mine now and never had a bad taste that I would blame on the seasoning of the smoker. I over cooked the piss out of some though. I think you will like this rig. I found that the disposable turkey roasting pans fit really good on the lower grates making perfect drip pans. I bought two and fill the other with water and move it close to the firebox opening. Im not sure it does anything but I figure that it must add some moisture to the smoke. She takes about 3 hours to put together (not hard). My next project is a charcoal box. I will post some pic's when I get it welded up. I'll also save you the dimensions because your gonna want one.

Good luck
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