Buying first smoker

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by shak937, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. shak937

    shak937 Newbie

    Whats going on everyone?

    I live in Atlanta, GA. Im interested in getting started smoking meat. I want to purchase my first smoker. I have a budget of $300. Ive been looking at offset smokers. Ive looked at the mods available to make offset smokers perform better. Im looking for recommendations. I'm thinking about getting the Oklahoma Joe highland smoker so far. Will this be a good smoker for a beginner or too advanced to start out with?
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm surprised no one jumped on this thread to give you any input.  Let me give you some food for thought.

    Within your budget you have options.  As far as ease of use and great Q, here's the lineup with some general information.  You will get more responses once this posts. 

    1.  Electrics.  No modifications required.  A $35 AMNPS tray will significantly increase the smoke time, and you can turn out some great tasting Q.  Very close to set and forget.  Short learning curve.  Year round smoker.  There are probably more electrics used as first time smokers than any other device out there.  Depending on the electronics can have anywhere from a short to a long service life. 

    2.  Charcoal Bullet Smokers like the Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5".  No modifications required.  Easy to use with charcoal and wood chunks creates great tasting Q.  Also very close to set and forget.  Short learning curve.  Year round smoker that may only require a welder's blanket for insulation in extremely cold weather.  Service life measured in decades.  They are very popular around here.

    3.  Low end vertical offsets:  Modifications required to seal it properly and in firebox.  Due to the physics of heat rising it is easier to use than its horizontal cousin.  Year round smoker.  Requires monitoring with moderate learning curve.  Tends to have a short lifespan if stored outside.   

    4.  Low end horizontal offsets:  Modifications required to seal it properly and in firebox.  Requires continuous l monitoring.  Longer learning curve.  Can be frustrating due to horizontal heat flow.  Can be used year round but cold weather increases temp control issues.  Tends to have a short lifespan (as little as two years) if stored outside. 

    Keep us posted on what you get.           
  3. shak937

    shak937 Newbie

    Thanks for replying. I don't know why I'm so fascinated by the horizontal smokers but I have looked at the Weber smokey mountain. I have looked into the modifications needed to make horizontal smokers effective. I need to look further into the Weber smokey mountain. I was going to buy a Weber kettle grill and get a smokenator to try out. 

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