Long Story Short...need a charcoal smoker

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udt89

Newbie
Original poster
Sep 27, 2010
24
10
so the smoker that came with my propane brinkmann grill just isnt going to work.  the wood/water pan is just too small and i have to replace the water almost 3 times an hour other wise the wood burns up in 10 min.  plus it barely holds a handful of wood

i would like to get a charcoal smoker on the cheap.  looked at the $70 brinkmann vertical smoker but read bad reviews.

whats my best bet?  i really dont wanna spend 300 on a weber smoker.
 

mballi3011

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Mar 12, 2009
14,477
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Try tha Homeless or Lowes near you they should have something that you can pick up pretty cheap.
 

bbally

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Aug 24, 2007
1,099
46
Western Colorado
Best thing to do it get with one of the guys on the forum doing those Upright Drum Smokers.  Is by far the least expensive way to get a quality long duration smoker for use at the home.

I don't own one, but I have seen them work at competitions and in a few guys backyards.  Damn nice completed product for minimum investment.  Don't get me wrong, like barbie, you can put as much into the clothing to dress it up as you want to but for a functional excellent smoker that produces great results I would do a search in the UDS forum and talk to some of the builders.
 

jirodriguez

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jun 5, 2009
4,652
138
Portland, OR
Like BBally said... if you are handy with tools and want to not spend $$ make yourself a UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker), they work great and can usually be made for under $100 depending on the bells and whistles you attach.

If you don't want to build one then I am with RibKing... save up and get a WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain), there is a reason they are considerd one of the best smokers you can buy for under $500. I spent $180 on a Char-Griller offset when I started, and after about 8 months I sold it for $80 and bought a 22.5" WSM for $365. Hindesite being 20/20 I really should have just started with the WSM it is such  an easy to use and rock steady smoker that it really is worth every penny, and they have really great customer service.

If you do end up looking at one of the ECB (El Cheapo Brinkman) smokers save yourself some $$ and buy a used one off of craigslist for about $30, most people buy them try to use them without making the modifications, give up and sell them for dirt cheap. They can work if you modify them.
 

dk666

Fire Starter
Jan 15, 2010
40
10
I know there expensive for the WSM but in the Long run you it might be worth it I just broke down and ordered one from Aimtofind.com $230 shipped should be here tomorrow. I learned the hard way should have done it in the first place
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va_connoisseur

Smoking Fanatic
Dec 13, 2007
338
13
DC Metro - Northern Virginia
Get the WSM, it's so easy you feel like you're cheating. As close as you can get to fire and forget on a sub-$500 rig unless you go gas. I have had one for over a year now and I love it. Only thing that remotely slows it down is rain or high winds. You will save yourself time and frustration.
 
so the smoker that came with my propane brinkmann grill just isnt going to work.  the wood/water pan is just too small and i have to replace the water almost 3 times an hour other wise the wood burns up in 10 min.  plus it barely holds a handful of wood

i would like to get a charcoal smoker on the cheap.  looked at the $70 brinkmann vertical smoker but read bad reviews.

whats my best bet?  i really dont wanna spend 300 on a weber smoker.
 

jirodriguez

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jun 5, 2009
4,652
138
Portland, OR
so i found a guy locally.  this is his site.

http://www.kingcookers.com/backyardsmokers.html

do i spend $300 on a weber or do i go for one of his drum smokers for $350?  Or do i just say f it all and get that really cool looking double drum smoker?

Thoughts?


 If your want a drum smoker build one.... you can usually build one for under $100, if you want to buy one get the Weber Smokey Mountain. The WSM's run great, have a proven track record, and have great customer service if something goes wrong.
 

udt89

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Sep 27, 2010
24
10
so the best price i found for the 22.5 is $350.  I found the 18.5 for $239.  Is the extra 4 inches worth another $100?

I mean 4 inches more on the diameter of a circle is a decent amount of space, but can anyone that has the 22.5 say that they dont need the extra space?
 

rp ribking

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Oct 29, 2009
990
26
Northern, Indiana
so the best price i found for the 22.5 is $350.  I found the 18.5 for $239.  Is the extra 4 inches worth another $100?

I mean 4 inches more on the diameter of a circle is a decent amount of space, but can anyone that has the 22.5 say that they dont need the extra space?


Bigger is better in my book, escpecially for smokers. The cheapest price I bought at for a 22.5" was $223.00 at Amazon.com last November. If you want to smoke a lot of meat at once it is worth it. Good Luck, you have many choices to make that suits you needs for a smoker.
 

jirodriguez

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jun 5, 2009
4,652
138
Portland, OR
A lot depends on how you plan on smoking. If it is just you and one other person and you don't do any party's then the 18.5" should be plenty 99% of the time. But if you have a large family or plan on hosting a lot of BBQ's then definately get the 22.5". I have a family of 4 and usually have friends over for dinner about once per month, so I definately utilize my 22.5" WSM.

Two other things to consider with the larger size is that you have room to do main dish and sides without being overcrowded, the other thing is if you have a vacuum sealer then you can do big smokes on the weekend vacuum seal the coooked meat and have stuff for dinner all week long.
 

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