I'm new and looking for a new smoker...HELP

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jan 11, 2011
Cincinnati, OH
SmokinAl replied to my earlier post and told me to post here and introduce myself.  I'm from Cincinnati, OH and have been smoking for about a year now learning by trial and error...mostly error.  I have made some pretty good ribs but not how I would like to make them.  I bought a smoker as an impulse by at Lowe's and found out later my mistake.  The smoker is made of a very thin gauge steel and doesn't hold any kind of safe cooking temps no matter how much lump charcoal I use.  I've been surfing and reading for a while now and stumbled across the website today and instantly became a member.  What a wealth of knowledge there is here, it overwhelming.  I've been looking at the Big Steel Keg also know as Bubba Keg.  I'm not opposed to electric but I kinda like to hang out with the smoker and drink....electrics I hear are kinda set it and forget it except for moping and such.  Does anybody have an opinion on this bad idea...good idea????  Would like to spend around 300 bucks and just don't won't to make another mistake.  Thanks for any comments.  Dazed and Confused in Cincy
First off welcome to SMF. Not sure what you bought at lowes, but there are plenty of people here that can help with any mods you may need to get up to temp. If yoru asking for my opion on a new one, I don't have one, but if I did I would get a weber smokey mountain!!
I am in the same boat you are in. Fairly new and looking to upgrade. I have done a significant amount of research and for what you are looking for as far as price I would suggest the Weber Smokey Mountain. I don't have one, but I have heard nothing but good things about it all over the internet. I would get one, but during my research I was extremely impressed with the Kamado Joe and will be pulling the trigger on that one soon.
i've looked at that as well and seen alot of info on how the bubba keg and big steel keg are very compariable and half the price...i think its worth looking into before pulling that trigger...kamado joe is super nice though
I'd have to agree with these guys. If you have a $300 budget, you can't go wrong with a WSM.  I run a stick burner myself, but I've been around a bunch of those things and have never heard one negative comment.  Heck, you see them at the cookoffs competing nose to nose with the trailer rig guys. 
I originally stared with a Char-griller off set smoker, had OK success with it after modding it. Then ended up selling it for less than half what I paid for it and getting the 22.5" Weber Smokey Mountain. I have never seen or used a Bubba Keg (or known anybody who has), so I can't offer any suggestions on that, but I can tell you that the Weber is worth every penny. It is a solid product, with superb company support, and is the closest thing I have found to "smoking for dummies".

I paid $365 for mine new and it has been rock solid and bulletproof from day one. Only mod I made to mine was to add some eyelets for feeding the temperature probes through the main body. Hindsight being 20/20 I can honestly say I wish I had just started with the WSM instead of trying to save a buck on the cheaper model that I ended up selling less than a year after I bought it.
If you have rtime and a lil mechanical ability you could build 3 uds for $300.

From what i've read , They are as efficiant as the wsm when built right.

 PS ,every time is see wsm i think winchester short magnum.
UDS is a great smoker that is Ugly Drum Smoker if you are not familiar with the lingo yet.   I can get long smokes off very little fuel and have no problems at all with putting out great food.   If I could build one anyone can and like stated around 100 a piece for construction.

First off Welcome to SMF. I would recommend a smoke vault 24". It's a gas unit and it should heat up just about anywhere.  You'll like it here for there are alot of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking. Now there are alot of proven recipes for some amazing things here too. So if you need sign up for the E-Course it's free and it will give you the basics of smoking and some good methods to use also. So the next big thing for you to do is go out and get you something to smoke and if you happen to have any questions just post it here and we will be happy to answer them for you.

Welcome To Your New Addiction  
thanks again everyone for your comments...it's given me a new avenue to pursue for sure...i'll post the new smoker when i get it...WSM 22.5 is the front runner for sure and sounds pretty reliable...I'm not ruling out building an UDS either, but might save that for a summer project though....I love this forum site.  Thanks again and I'm on day 2 of the e-course, it's pretty good.
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