Decent Beginner Smoker

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jul 6, 2006
Hi Guys,

Nice forum you have here.

I'm looking to purchase a smoker, and am entirely new to the cooking method... mind you, I'm not stranger to a hot grill and a case of beer on the weekends.

Here are the ones I have in mind... you'll notice a couple from Canadian Stores, but I'm a hop, skip, and a jump from the border so picking something reasonable up in the US isn't a problem (hence the Bass Pro Shops):

This one's also available in the US for about $40 at Home Depot, which would probably make more sense when it comes to saving money.

I'm leaning towards the last one, but functionally I have no idea which is better.

I don't mind doing some of the modifications I've seen mentioned, but I'd probably be limited to drilling holes, since I have no idea where I'd go or what it would cost to accomplish some of other things, like custom grates, etc.

I would also like to stick to a charcoal smoker, but am not totally opposed to the idea of electric or gas. I'd like to try and spend less than $150 CDN total as well.

Thanks for you help guys!
Your first Bass Pro Shop smoker is the proverbial ECB :!: Your second Bass Pro Shop smoker is the all in one. In between is a smoker called the brinkmann deluxe or gourmet, that I think is much better than either one of the one's you chose. The other's in your post I am not familiar with.
For the price your looking to spend, I like the chargriller w/ firebox, but you'll have to do the mods. However, if you could stomach it, the Weber Smokey Mountain is a great smoker. If I was to only cook on a small scale and could start over again, this is where I would go. But just look around, and take your time.
I agree with Noah, I started on the ECB and got great results. Next was the WSM, I LOVE IT. Next will be a horizontal smoker, but that is really a back burner thing. No matter which you get, once you learn to get "sweet blue" You will be happy with what you put on the family dinner table. Now that I think about it, I started to smoke with a weber kettle grill. It is the cook, not the cooker.
Hi Guys,

That's great, thanks for the quick and informative feedback!

Unfortunately the Weber is a bit beyond what I've been told I can spend... my wife loves the BBQ and meals cooked on the open fire but none of use have really tried any smoked meat outside of the smoked salmon/trout/whitefish/herring.

I guess what I'll do is have a look at each one and see if I can find any functional differences in the way they're designed. I know it's kind of hard to get a good idea of what to expect looking at the outside of the units.

I'll definitely be around, and hopefully be back looking for recipes (assuming I don't kill us with my bad cooking!).

Thanks again guys, great stuff!
If that is your intent, then go with the $40.00 Home Depot ECB. You will learn the techniques needed to make great Que, feed your family and friends, and best of all.

You can cook briskets and ship them off to SoCal for icemn62 to sample and grade you on :lol: .
Hi Gary,

Thanks for the help. I think starting off with the ECB sounds like the best bet. I did manage to find a page that lists several modifications that can be done to improve performance, and they don't really sound all that difficult to do.

We'll just have to wait and see how things go... thanks again for the help everyone! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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