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Best Smoker for my needs? Need your thoughts and input!


Joined Aug 7, 2016
So I am looking to purchase a smoker that will cook and smoke the meat completely.  I don't want to transfer the meat to the oven or crockpot.  I would like something that doesn't need a lot of tending (although I will be home the entire time it does smoke), not super huge but big enough for a good chunk of meat, and something that keeps the smoke and heat locked in.  I would also like something that would make the meat tender, not so dry (like some of those water smokers do?)

I hear a lot of smokers leak smoke and heat, aren't insulated well, and basically don't work well.  I don't know whether to go vertical or horizontal or if that matters?  I  would prefer something vertical, since it would be easier to store for me.  

Budget is under $300...even if used

Is there something that would fit my needs around that price range?


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Welcome to SMF!

Glad to have you with us!

I would recommend a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker 18.5, retail $300.


joe black

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 25, 2015
X2 on the WSM. It's a great way to get started and some folks have used them for years. Look them up on the Weber site. One thing for you. The smoke will come out of any smoker. If it stays in the smoker, your meat will turn out bitter and could have a coating of creosote on it. The trick is good fire and smoke management.


Meat Mopper
Joined Jul 29, 2016
I would have to agree with the WSM. Very efficient with fuel and as close to 'set it and forget it' as it gets besides electric or propane.


Joined Aug 7, 2016
Are these WSM smokers good in the winter?  Like temps around 30 degrees as well?  I was thinking of using a welding blanket.  Thoughts? Will it still cook the meat completely in a timely manner (8 hours and under ish?) ?  I guess what I mean to say, will it cook normal times if I use a blanket as it would warm days?


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 4, 2012
I use my WSM's year round and never insulate mine. I have smoked in temps as low as 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit.

The real killer is wind. If you can protect your smoker from wind you will be fine.


Meat Mopper
Joined Jul 5, 2015
I love my MES 30 - electric smoker with a mailbox attachment! Need the AMPNS and good pellets to get best meat.

You can set times and temp - and it cooks itself! I used to have a stick smoker, but prefer this for the convenience and consistency. If I had more time, and needed to re-think, id get something different with a good stick burner. MAybe when I retire ?!

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