I'm NEW. Would like some input.

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by topfuel, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. topfuel

    topfuel Fire Starter

    Hello. Name is Tom. I live in Ft. Wayne, IN.  I am trying to research what the best option is to get into smoking.

    I have friends who use everything from an Akorn to a side smoker kit on there Char-broil. I"ve watched and read about the Masterbuilt's and others in the electric category as well.  I'm thinking I want to buy an electric to start out with but they honestly seem a touch overpriced at 200+ dollars. 

    I would like a little input on where is the best place to start with not only what to  buy, but where to buy it for the best value.

    Any and all input will be greatly appreciated.


    T. D.
  2. one eyed jack

    one eyed jack Master of the Pit

    Hey Tom,

    Welcome aboard.  There are plenty of folks here who have and like electric smokers.  I don't have any experience with electric but have several charcoal smokers including a Char Griller Akorn.

    My opinion is that the Akorn is one of the best "bang for the buck" deals out there, due to it's ability to go from hot grill to low and slow indirect grilling / smoking.

    Hopefully some of the electric folks will add their thoughts.

    Happy shopping.
    topfuel likes this.
  3. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the madness of smoking! Notice I didn't say BBQ? That's because you'll end up smoking a lot of things other than BBQ once the bug bites!

    Smokers are a personal preference. I know folks that swear by stick burners, electrics, eggs, verticals, horizontals, etc.... I personally have 2 stick burners that are horizontal off sets, 1 BIG stick/coal vertical, and an electric. I use them all at some point or another, it depends on what I'm making at the time and how much I need to cook.

    As for price, you'll get what you pay for most of the time. For electrics, Masterbuilt seems to be the front runner around here, and I have several friends that love them. They also turn out some great Q! They are a very versatile cooker and don't need much in the way of mods, etc.

    All of my smokers are home built and cost more to make than a good off the shelf cooker would have cost me, but I've been smoking for many years and built them the way I wanted them.

    Do mine cook better than the off the shelf cookers? Nope, it's just a personal preference.

    I didn't answer your question did I? It's a tough question to answer honestly.

    Let us know what you decide upon!
    topfuel likes this.
  4. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Your choice will also depend on how many people you will be cooking for... If you want something small and really easy to control.. I suggest a very simple/cheap build.. and that would be the mini WSM... i did a quick search for ya for mini builds... http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/newsearch?search=Mini+WSM+builds

    If you need to cook for a larger family and want something easy to control... that would be the 22.5" WSM ...

    what ever you choose.. enjoy,, have fun... and welcome to your new addiction (the forums) ...
    topfuel likes this.
  5. bbqwillie

    bbqwillie Smoking Fanatic

    This is very good advice. The WSM are easy to get great results on with minimal effort and they make a size to fit your needs. Get a little experience with one and then branch out from there. I will guarantee that before it's over you'll own more than one type smoker.

    topfuel likes this.
  6. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome from SC, Tom. Glad you're on the site. There are lots of folks who are always ready to share their ideas and tips. All you have to do is ask and keep reading. As for a cooker, you have gotten some real good advice. There are plans on the site for building an ugly drum smoker (UDS). They are inexpensive to build and can turn out some excellent meat. The hard truth is, it ain't the cooker, it's the cook.

    Get Jeff's book and his sauce and rub recipes and go for it.
    Good luck and good smokin', Joe
    topfuel likes this.
  7. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

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  8. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Howdy, from Texas, Tom!

    You are where I was about 4 years ago. I knew very very little about smoking and came here to learn. I've learned a good deal but have much much more to learn.

    I'll share my experience and thought process. I wanted an offset smoker but soon learned that good ones were more expensive than my budget would allow. DW also advised me that I'm too old to sit up all night and feed a stick burner. I settled on the MasterBuilt 40 electric smoker. I added an AMNPS and went at it. I had some successes and some failures.

    Shortly after breaking in the MES, I ran across a Weber kettle grill for cheap, the 22.5" one touch gold model. It was in perfect condition. The seller just decided to go to gas. I bought a stainless cooking grate and set about using it to grill on but soon learned that you can smoke on it, too. I have smoked ribs, brisket, boston butt and chicken on it.

    Now, I still want a stick burner offset but won't get one unless I stumble over a really, really good deal that I just can't refuse.

    So, just to give you some ideas to consider and to reflect on another man's journey into the thin blue smoke.
    topfuel likes this.
  9. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks, JD07, I forgot about the recourse.
    topfuel likes this.
  10. topfuel

    topfuel Fire Starter

    I'm leaning toward a MES and buying the amazetube. I was looking over the mini WSM and ill,have to look into them further. I've read many threads here already and I am curious to know how the MES does in the winter and what model is a must buy? Is the 2.5 that much better than the gen1? I know not to buy the one with the slanted drip tray? Any input? Also where is the cheapest place to purchase one?
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  11. [​IMG]   Good evening and welcome to the forum, from a pretty nice day here in East Texas, and the best site on the web. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

    Bearcarver just did a great review on the MES 2.5

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
    topfuel likes this.
  12. topfuel

    topfuel Fire Starter

    How about smoking when the temps are below freezing ?? Yay or nay??
  13. one eyed jack

    one eyed jack Master of the Pit

    Ive heard of some folks wrapping their smoker in welding blankets to help with really cold temps and or wind.  My winter time smoking is done in a barn and so wind is not a problem.  I can see where extreme cold might slow a smoke down some but I can't say that I have noticed that.  Then again I have not smoked in temps below 40* or so.
    topfuel likes this.
  14. bayouman

    bayouman Newbie

    i got my offset from acadamy they had alot of different kinds there i got the old country Pecos an love it
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  15. topfuel

    topfuel Fire Starter

    I'm gonna buy a MES. Now I'm trying to find the best deal. Any lears would be greatly appreciated. And or a link
  16. Check out Amazon it has the best price I could find
  17. smokingearl

    smokingearl Meat Mopper

    sams club has the new mes 40 bt with stand for 329. its what i got and its amazing.
    topfuel likes this.
  18. topfuel

    topfuel Fire Starter

    Amazon rarely has the best price on anything. I meant like a slickdeals and similar site. Like a really good deal. Lol
  19. smokingearl

    smokingearl Meat Mopper

    If you're after a MES 40 BT 2.5 gen. I doubt you'll find anything near sams club $329 with the stand. I know it was the best deal I know it was the best deal I could find anywhere. It was like 100 bucks cheaper than anywhere else and came with the stand which sells for like 50 bucks by itself.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  20. bayouman

    bayouman Newbie

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