Help a newbie pick out a new smoker!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jharpe06, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. jharpe06

    jharpe06 Fire Starter

    I made the mistake of purchasing a cheap smoker and I will be returning it tomorrow. I would like some advice on what to get to replace it. I am looking to spend about $250 at the most hopefully. I already have a a-maze-n pellet smoker on the way to help with consistent smoke. Should I got with another bargain electric and use the pellet smoker for smoke. Or i was considering a gas smoker but wasnt sure how hard it is to keep the temperature consistent. Keep in mind I am a newbie and I am looking for something that is fairly easy to operate until I get the hang of smoking. Please give your input and advice. Thanks
  2. cyclonefan

    cyclonefan Fire Starter

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    What was the "cheap" smoker that you are returning? I hate to say it but you are a few days late on this one as there were some really good deals over the weekend. I would suggest watching the holiday sales and trying to find a deal on a 40" masterbuilt electric. 
  4. murrgh

    murrgh Fire Starter

    Jeff (The site admin/starter) has a really good book on smoking. Within the first 30 or so pages it goes over all smoker types with pros/cons of each. I'd highly recommend picking this up because it makes as a good learning tool and reference for anything you could think of smoking.


    Hyperlink isn't working form me... here's the link to the book:

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  5. jharpe06

    jharpe06 Fire Starter

    I bought a Cajun injector electric. Crapped out on me a couple hours into a smoke. At this point I'm kind of leaning toward a masterbuilt gas 2 door smoker. The one that has a seperate door for the water pan and chip tray.
  6. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I haven't used that particular model but with propane models you have to keep the operating cost in mind. The fuel cost is a lot higher than an electric. 
  7. rc4u

    rc4u Smoke Blower

    I have the smoke hollow 44 and the unit your looking at is the same basically...they are not hard to keep have two burners to adjust. I don't have problems...and I have smoke two butts with one tank and not empty at about 16 hrs if its 29 degrees outside you will use about twice...but I cover mine with a blanket and its all good. I use one 10 inch cast iron pan and the stock smoke pan and use lump charcoal a lot adds heat and keeps the chunks going along with pellets and chips...I do cover both pans with foil and poke a bunch of holes as I used to get some flame ups when I started I have none...I can even use just the lump charcoal for cool smokes and no propane..lots of options with my unit. and mine has 3 large cutouts on bottom of unit below burners. and you can put smoke there also and just wrap foil around legs and it goes up the holes for smoke.... I have done lots of good smokes since I got it and in a lot of different ways...jeff
  8. I have multiple types of smokers , where do you live? how are the seasons? do you want to smoke year around? these are some things to consider. my propane unit is a struggle to keep below (rarely) the 240-250 range (needs constant monitoring) and this is with the needle valve mod. I had to use Todd's gear for my smoke because at that low heat the chip tray was useless even with dust. Now with a hot smoke it was fine. I would highly recommend the electric MES 40 for all around use, I love mine!!!! This is just a start for all things to take into consideration. As said above , Jeff's book would be a great addition to any library. as much as my copy has been read I still refer to it quite often

    Keep On Smokin,

  9. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome from SC. It's good to have you on this great site. IMHO, a WSM is a great starter unit. They are not expensive or expensive to operate. With charcoal for fuel and wood chunks for flavor, you will have an excellent finished product with a great smoky flavor. The WSM is very user friendly and easy to control.

    Good luck and good smoking, Joe
  10. jharpe06

    jharpe06 Fire Starter

    I went ahead and went with the 2 door propane smoker. I hope Im not disappointed.
  11. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    I've got the same smoker. Don't trust the thermometer in the door. Their notorious for being inaccurate. Mine was 65*+ hotter then it was showing.
    I did the needle valve mod, and ditched the stock chip pan for a 8" cast iron skillet. I made a rack to keep it about 1" off the burner.
    Check out the propane section for lots of threads on mods for these units.
  12. jharpe06

    jharpe06 Fire Starter

    I bought a adjustable regulator from bass pro and it seems to be doing the job now
  13. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Do a search in the propane section about those regulators. I recall something about there for a high pressure system like a turkey fryer, and there dangerous to use in the low pressure smokers we have. It's the reason I went with the needle valve.
  14. jharpe06

    jharpe06 Fire Starter

    I called around to about 4 propane guys in my area regarding the regulator. They all told me that I should be fine using the high pressure regulator

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