Choosing a new smoker

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by drunkenmeatfist, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. drunkenmeatfist

    drunkenmeatfist Meat Mopper

    I have a birthday coming up and I want to get another cooker that will be primarily used for smoking. I have a limited budget and I already have a gas smoker. After doing some research I have kind of narrowed it down to a Char Griller Kamado and the Camp Chef SE Pellet Smoker. Neither one is high end, but they both fall within my budget. I am tempted by the charcoal aspect of the Kamado, but the ease of the pellet smoker seems nice too. Any advice is appreciated. 
  2. bigdlu75

    bigdlu75 Newbie

    I have the Char Griller King Griller Kamado. I was also looking at going pellet when I got it, but I was too much of a tinkerer and also wanted to have the flexibility of searing which pushed me to get the Kamado. Since getting it I have also purchased the PartyQ temperature control system. I’m now so happy I got the Kamado. On days I can’t be around to babysit I just plug in the PartyQ and dial in the temp I want. On days I want to tinker, or if I want to use it as a grill, I just pull the unit off and I’m back behind the controls. Best of both worlds.
    SmokinRuss likes this.
  3. drunkenmeatfist

    drunkenmeatfist Meat Mopper

    Thanks for the reply. I have already looked at getting the Party Q as well. It sounds like it works as advertised for you. Did it install without any problems? I have seen past issues with having to slightly bend things to get it to fit right. I like the idea of doing an overnight smoke without having to worry. 
  4. mojavejoe

    mojavejoe Newbie

  5. drunkenmeatfist

    drunkenmeatfist Meat Mopper

    I have been looking into this too Would you say it has some "set it and forget it" capabilities as well?
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  6. mojavejoe

    mojavejoe Newbie

    I've had mine going all day....haven't needed to reload charcoal or adjust whatsoever. I do overnight smokes on the WSM all the time without any worries. I do have a Maverick wireless thermometer with a temp alarm just in case. The WSM is the best smoker I've owned. As you're doing your research I'd do a search for reviews/feedback on SMF and retail web sites.

    I thought it was worth a mention since it's right in your budget range.
  7. drunkenmeatfist

    drunkenmeatfist Meat Mopper

    Thanks! What size do you have? I am still a week or two out from pulling the trigger so I will be checking out the WSM more. In the brief research I have done I have heard about faulty lids. Has that been fixed by the manufacturer?
  8. normonster

    normonster Smoke Blower


    I have the WSM 22".

    The thing about "set and forget" is that it is subject to some type of tolerance. If your idea of set and forget is maintain 225-265 or so for hours, then yes, you can maintain a gap of like 30 or 40 degrees without much fuss once you learn the minion method or some other charcoal management method, but if you want a +/- of more like 5-10 degrees then no, it is not "set and forget".

    That stuff in mind, I really like my Weber. I got the door upgrade and it was worth it. I do overnight cooks with mine and I'm happy with the swing up and back down of 30 degrees or so. Of course this thing is the best. It has high temp alarms for both pit and meat IT, so it will wake you up.

    Good times!
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  9. mojavejoe

    mojavejoe Newbie

    Not sure I've ever paid much attention to the lid...other than mine fits on the body just fine. Does it "leak" a little smoke? I guess, but it hasn't seemed to affect the meat or heat retention.

    Just to clarify, I agree with norm, my WSM generally stays with 15 degrees of target and on longer overnight cooks it may be 30 degrees. Bottom line is I've never woken up with a cold smoker, not even close. There are some gadgets available to maintain a more precise temperature, but I've never felt like I've needed it with my 22.
  10. drunkenmeatfist

    drunkenmeatfist Meat Mopper

    The WSM definitely has the solid reputation. With all things considered I think I am close to ruling out the pellet smoker already. Thanks guys
  11. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I vote for the WSM 22.5

    Best smoker on the market for that price!

    nomadd917 likes this.
  12. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Master of the Pit

    My vote is for the WSM. It's available in three different sizes for various needs. I must have gotten lucky with mine because the door doesn't really leak. I do see some leakage at the lid, but it's not enough to concern me. The best part - no ceramic to crack and no electronics's or moving parts to break. Also great customer service. BTW mines a 22. Good luck with whichever unit you choose.

  13. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I had a WSM 22.5 a number of years ago and I really liked it. Very close to set and forget. If you're on a budget, this is for you.

    Good luck and good smoking, Joe. :grilling_smilie:
  14. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    WSM, 22.5".  If you use the correct charcoal, like Royal Oak Ridge (also known as Embers at HD), it will hold solid temps for hours and hours. Embers is $4.97 for 15.4 lbs at HD. 

    I just did an 8.5 hour smoke weekend before last and my Guru was hooked up but unplugged the entire smoke.  WSM held 240-245F perfectly. 

    When I used Kingsford, the Guru was always fighting temps.  Kingsford is made for the grill, not the smoker, and I was a Kingsford user for decades.  No longer. 
    yankee2bbq likes this.
  15. nomadd917

    nomadd917 Fire Starter

    Go with a WSM. I love mine. I want another one.

    They are like wives, except you want more than one and they don’t talk back.
  16. nomadd917

    nomadd917 Fire Starter

    To explain further on the WSM. Temp control is very easy from what I have experienced so far. If you get a digiQ or something similar they are literally set and forget in regards to temperature.

    A brand new WSM with digiQ will run about $500-$600
  17. ammaturesmoker

    ammaturesmoker Smoking Fanatic

    If you can go 299 the Pit Barrel to me is best value.
  18. yankee2bbq

    yankee2bbq Smoking Fanatic

    What is digiQ? I am wanting a 22 WSM too. Plan on getting on here I a couple months.
  19. nomadd917

    nomadd917 Fire Starter

  20. yankee2bbq

    yankee2bbq Smoking Fanatic

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