mike, nice golden... got one myself. anyhow, I looked at the snp my self and ended with the CGSP and love it. Cast grills, ash drawer pulls out (really sold me), still lots of room... think about it... but I did like the snp too, regardless hope you like whatever you end up with.. good luck
Charbroil, Brinkman, or chargriller are all good units, but they all have to be modified. There are alot of posts/threads on this site about that if you do a quick search, they will appear and you'll be in business! Good luck with your purchase!
I too have a SNP but over time and experience have come to understand that there are modifications needed to it, that honestly, sometimes seem like a pain in the backside. Do not jump to conclusions.... it is a great unit and I recommend it to anyone, and it was and is still perfect for me. However comma once one progresses into middle and advanced smoking its shortcomings become more apparent.
Let me explain:
The wheels stink and are on the wrong side for weight distribution. Replace with rubber wheel, ball bearing units affixed with 1/2 inch chrome nuts bolts and washers. Placement is something we have to live with unless you want to re-drill support pipes.
The heat and smoke from the firebox flames out into the smoking section and is difficult to control. A baffle is needed. I am in the process of getting one made. This site is the place to go for folks who have been there done that. They are pro's and are the example I am following. You need a baffle to re-direct heat/smoke/occasional flame downwards under the metal, not onto your meat.
The grate with handle unit that hangs in the smoker area is best explained off-post.
The warming tray should be removed.
The chimney needs an extension- see other posts here for some really great ideas. Clothes dryer tubing..stainless steel ....my gawd, these people are smokin' animals!
The firebox door warps. Take the undulating metal plate and have 1/16th inch stainless fabricated to its pattern. Life is good after that.
The firebox grate warps. Shoot something that is edible and after your angst is over, get a firebox fabricated. I hear one can buy one for around 15 dollars, we'll see. (My weaponry is still loaded, my angst is still high).
The thermometer is a total no-go. replace with a real unit with a long probe. Better yet, I saw a pic in here of a SNP with 2 hard-core temp guages on either end of the smokin' box plus probes. I dunno about probes, I tend to remain a less-tech-is-better kind of guy. I mean, after all, cro-magnon man smoked a mean piece of meat didn't he? However comma the probes give you real-time instant-truth reading everywhere you put 'em, so if that is you, go for it.
Okay, you get the idea. You do have a good unit, great air-flow and a lot of fun to have. Do not get discouraged. Aircraft pilots do not get discouraged when they start out on the old Stearman bi-planes with adult supervision in the backseat.
Enjoy your smokes and as you tweak and poke you may decide on something else. Who knows. Many haven't, but their food is still great and their times are still good.
I know I have been long winded, but I hope this helps!
Mike... I like mine! I've got the SnP Pitmaster Deluxe. It is a couple of years old, and made of a bit heavier guage than the standard SnP. If you can still find one, get it. Mine was $170 at Ace Hardware in 2006... perhaps they still sell it. The Pitmaster Deluxe does not come with a warming rack (not needed), and it will need some mods as mentioned above. Nothing major, actually a few minor things that will make it a great smoker.
Check out my mods link in my signature for more info on my unit. Don't pass one up if you find one, I think you'll enjoy it.
Mike, All of them have their pro and cons. You have to figure out which pros are important to you and which cons are show stoppers for you. All of them are quality units that will perform well. Modding is needed on all and is probably more fun than hassle. Gives you something to show off and talk about. Good luck either way you go. Don't forget Qview
Thank you KYAC, I to have a Brinkmann Pitmaster Deluxe, I don't have a problem with temps until wintertime, I'm in Iowa, so it does get alittle difficult to maintain temps,but I do improvise, wind block,, then no problem
Lots of good info here already but just wanted to add, I have an SnP. I think out of the box it does have its shortcomings but can be made into a nice unit with the mods that you will find here on the site.
If you can find an older model used, it will be made of heavier material. May still need some mods depending on how picky the former owner was. But again, the new ones can be modded into nice units and the mods are kind of fun.
I've had mine for about 4 years and liked it a lot. I didnt do any mods except get a digital thermometer to get better temp readings.
I really had to babysit mine when I smoked. I was checking temps every 15 mins and I still had problems keeping a consistant temp. Most of my smokes turned out just fine and I never had any complaints.
I've recently gotten an afterburner-H and this weekend will be my first smoke with it. I figure that with the propane I wont have to babysit so much, which will allow me to smoke more often.
I liked the mod K5 had for his digital thermometers, I think I'll do that also.
My biggest thing is get one you think will fit what you want to do, then learn on it. There will be pitfalls but if your persistant you will be a pro on your smoker in no time.
I've got an SNP. I like mine. As Rivit explained and listed almost all the problems with it, its good. Especially if you like tinkering. But most offets need the same mods. Just look at the threads and you'll see mods for all of them. Just pick a thread for anyone and it should work on another. But for what its worth, SNP is as good as any other offset you could buy from the store out of the box.
I finally went out and got my SnP this last Sunday. I plan on using it for the first time this Friday. I havent been able to do any mods as of yet, but I was wondering about using the charcoal tray as a sort of a baffle. I can turn it upside down and raise the charcoal grate to where it sits at the top of the firebox opening. My only concern is that it runs almost all the length of the grill. Will that effect my heat? I did notice that there was alot of difference in heat from one end to the other when I cured it the other day. Thought maybe using the tray as a baffle might help distribute the heat some. any thoughts would be appreciated.
Plan on trying a brisket and some ribs. and I always have to do some of Dutch's wicked beans (I am designated the beans guy at all family get togethers now)
Thats what I did too. Except I didnt flip it over. Juices might spill over into the bottom of the pit instead of draining to the drain hole. I just raised the left side all the way up and the right side all the way down. It does help dissipate the heat a LOT better. But it does still leave the side closest to the firebox a little hotter. Things tend to get done faster on that side. But if Im smoking only 1 thing, like a brisket, I'll put it over to the right as far as possible. And lowering the smoke stack to grate level is a must. You'll get a lot better draw.
Also, be sure and buy a new thermometer (or 2) and install it before you cook in it. Cause the stock thermo is junk!! Mine is always 50 degrees off.
Right now I have everything ready for a early morning start. It is raining tonite, but I hope it stops before tomorrow morning. As far as doing any mods, well I will try to use the charcoal tray as a sort of baffle and I did buy me a grilling basket that fits into the firebox to put the charcoal in. The wife doesnt want me to remove the top rack, so not sure about being able to do anything to the smokestack.
I will be a little nervous since I have never used a smoker like this. I have always had a ECB. Will try to do a brisket and some ribs and thinking about trying to cook the beans in their as well. wish me luck..
appreciate everyones replys.
Good luck on your smoke. I got an extension for mine a couple days ago at the local muffler shop. I explained to the guy what I needed and he fixed me up in under 15 minutes and it cost me 15 dollars. Just take the chimney base with you to the shop. The dimensions you'll need are 7 1/2 inches of pipe extending from the base, and the end cut at a 40 degree angle. He'll need to leave an inch or two extra length inside tghe base to swedge it in tight.
Why would she care if you removed the top rack or not? Does she plan on using it? If you just push the chimney extension in instead of having it welded, you can just pop it out and put the rack back in if you want to use it as a grill. Never mind, I have been married long enough to know that stuff like that doesn't have to make sense.
I also removed the top rack on mine to make room for the chimney extension.
Got to thinking though it might be nice to have the extra capacity so I think tonight after work I may try to cut an opening for the stack extension to fit through. Should only have to remove 2 or 3 of the wires.