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First Smoker Recommendations

AsaSpadeSS

Newbie
5
6
Joined Jul 8, 2020
Hello all, new member here, new to smoking looking into my first cheap smoker. I have narrowed it down to stick burners, preferably offset. I know there is a huge learning curve but I am up for the challenge and I am prepared to do some mods to get it working even better. Budget is below $400 ideally. I am currently considering the Oklahoma Joe Highland which seems to be pretty decent. The Smoke Canyon Vertical Offset, or Dyna Glo Vertical Offset, which both seem like remade Brinkmann Smokers. And of course the Weber Smokey Mountain because everyone loves them but the only local ones are 18" and not the preferred 22" and they are more expensive. I like the setup of the offsets though and really plan on mostly burning wood. Anyone have any recommendations they are willing to share on these choices? I have included the links as well. I will mostly be cooking fish, or ribs and maybe some chicken, and will not be making a crazy amount of food at a time. Any help is appreciated.

Oklahoma Joe Highland
Dyna-Glo Heavy Duty Vertical Offset
Smoke Canyon Vertical Offset
 

sawhorseray

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
3,201
3,008
Joined Oct 17, 2014
I think the OK Joe would be a fine choice for you to start out with and learn on, and it fits your budget. If you find you like this style of smoking you can move up to a higher quality unit when the time is right for you, if you feel you need or want it. The learning curve will go by quickly if this is something you really want to happen, just be sure you understand that working a offset requires constant attention. You become a major part of the cook once you've got it dialed in, and there's a little feeling of pride and satisfaction that goes along with it. RAY
 

normanaj

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
946
411
Joined Feb 2, 2014
WSM hands down.The 18" is the ideal 1st smoker imo,its what I learned on many years ago.
 

carylee2002

Newbie
15
6
Joined Sep 15, 2012
I started with the PBC as my first smoker and it is pretty good, but as you graduate to learning fire managment the WSM is what I switched to within the first 2 months and haven't gone back. I kept the PBC as a extra cooker when doing pool parties but since I have two 18" WSM's (Used) and a couple of miniwsm's that I built, so my use of the PBC is very limited. But as a starter I would look into WSM as my first choice if I had to do it all over again. l
 

TomCrump

Fire Starter
46
21
Joined Aug 11, 2019
I'd order a 22" WSM, if there aren't any locally. That's what I did and it was worth the few extra days of waiting. .

While I have a few smokers, I seem to migrate towards the WSM. It's an easy smoker to operate, and it produces excellent food.

The 22" version provides ample room for full packer briskets, ribs, etc, that the smaller version can't match. By watching a couple You Tube vids, I found that temperature management is easy. You shouldn't have any trouble.
 

AsaSpadeSS

Newbie
5
6
Joined Jul 8, 2020
Thanks everyone for the feedback and insight. I didn't think I would but I am definitely leaning towards the WSM 22.5" and OK Joe in second. I'll have to order it but it will only take a week to come in and I'm in no rush. Its $439 for the WSM but if I get the OK Joe and put all the worthwhile mods on, the price will be pretty close anyways.
 

honk1970

Newbie
2
0
Joined Jul 16, 2020
enjoy the WSM! i've owned a 18.5" WSM for many years now. i recently picked up a OKJ RF Highland to try my hand at both offset and RF styles of smoking. let me tell you -- the WSM is a lot easier to use and run, but half the fun (for me, at least) is learning your smoker.
 

TomCrump

Fire Starter
46
21
Joined Aug 11, 2019
Enjoy your 22" WSM. It will serve you well.

I plan to fire mine up tomorrow. Meatloaf is on the menu.
 

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