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In search of advice for buying an intermediate level smoker.

Jeffrey Green

Newbie
9
2
Joined Jun 12, 2018
A few weeks ago I had a boston butt going on my tiny stick burner, some beef ribs on my 22" Webber and some chicken leg quarters on an electric smoker I was given and I realized I need a bigger smoker, and preferably one that is not made of super thin sheet metal. I am researching stick burners and hoping to find something in the $500-700 dollar range. I have been looking at the OKJ Longhorn, Char Griller and other similar products but having a hard time discerning the difference in them and wonder if it is a better investment to spend closer to $1000 (which I am reluctant to do, plus the wife might have thoughts on that too). Can anybody help me figure the direction I should head in, please? I would really appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Jeff
Central VT
 

danowpg

Newbie
17
40
Joined Aug 4, 2017
I have an OKJ Highland and after some mods, it runs pretty well. I was lucky to find it on sale here at Lowes for $300 CAD. If I was in your shoes, I'd probably look at an Old Country Wrangler or or wanting to stretch your budget to $1000, you could look at Horizon Smokers 16" Classic.
 

RiversideSm0ker

Master of the Pit
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439
Joined Jan 30, 2018
Jeff,

You are in an interesting position that is really unenviable. The price range is a no man's land for quality when you are talking about a single unit. Good brands like Horizon or Yoder are going to be more money for a small cooker that will not accomplish your goal. You are looking for space and for a quality unit that using heavy gauge construction you will be looking at closer to $1200-$1500. Not in your budget of course. BUT if you are willing to spend upwards of $800 dollars then I propose you consider looking at a combo of the OKJ Hignland and OKJ Bandera. The two combined from Walmart are $268 (Hignland) and $376 (Bandera) They two would cost $650ish if you picked them up at a local store instead of paying for delivery. I have to imagine that there are other brands with similar products within a similar price range. I am only recommending the OKJ brand due to my own experience. ALSO...if you are willing to give this time, I am willing to bet that you could find a deal similar to the one I did in December. I bought my OKJ for $75 from a local Walmart that had it on clearance during the holiday season. I never checked the Bandera at the time but am certain that it could be had for a deal at the same time. If you are looking to move on that now though, the two combined would be less than your top end budget and you can have the flexibility to use them in tandem or simply as the need arises. Just some thoughts to consider.

George
 

Jeffrey Green

Newbie
9
2
Joined Jun 12, 2018
Hey Dano,

Thanks for the reply I haven't heard of the Old Country Wrangler before I will look into it.

Thanks,

Jeff
 

phatbac

Master of the Pit
1,886
723
Joined Jun 11, 2013
If you are willing to spend $1000 i have a Lang 36 patio for sale at that price in great condition. its a great stick burner with 1/4" steel construction. see the link in signature if you want to check it out and send me a PM if you are interested.

Thanks!
phatbac (Aaron)
 

gmc2003

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
9,037
3,167
Joined Sep 15, 2012
Hi Jeff, are you talking about a WSM or a Kettle? I can easily fit a couple of racks of ribs, a butt and some chicken quarters on my WSM 22.

Chris
 

RiversideSm0ker

Master of the Pit
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439
Joined Jan 30, 2018
Thanks George. I appreciate the feedback. So is the OKJ Longhorn not worth consideration? and if so why?
The Longhorn is pretty much the same as the Highland except that it is wider so you have more cooking surface. The reason I didn't mention that is that fact that it costs a bit more and it's not that much bigger than the Highland. I would guess that the quality and all is on par with the Highland but just at a higher price point. I don't have one so I can't recommend it directly but based on my Highland experience it should be just fine with more room to work with. A quick look at the Walmart site shows the Longhorn at about $600. Like before for a total for around $650 you could get both the Highland and Bandera and have a ton more room to cook with than just the one Longhorn. Everybody has different cooking needs. I have had no trouble cooking what I need on my Hignland. The most I have cooked at once was 3 rack of BB ribs, a tri tip, and about a dozen chicken wings. That's plenty for the few people that I entertain but if you need more capacity then it just seems to make sense to have something with more room.

If you just want something with serious quality with a bit of room then Phatbac does have that heavy gauge smoker from Lang for a bit above your price range but will most likely last for the rest of your life. It's about your needs. Do you need more room and are willing to sacrifice some on overall build material quality or is the size something you can compromise on for the better build quality of a smaller but better overall smoker? I hope that you find just what you are looking for.

George
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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If you can swing $1000, I would jump on that Lang that Aaron is selling!
Al
 

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