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Looking for a smoker

FlipFlop425

Newbie
11
2
Joined Mar 25, 2020
I am interested in purchasing a smoker. A quick little info. I have a family of 5 and if I have siblings/spices over I easily reach 15 people.

I have been researching for a couple weeks now and still feel a little lost. At first I was all set on the Pit Boss Copperhead 5 due to its "set it and forget it" ability with electric pellet. Then after reading more I got turned away from electric due to not being able to get a solid smoke ring.

Then I was leaning towards Cuisinart COS-244 but am afraid it will be too small for larger groups.

Which put me towards the Masterbuilt MB20051316 MPS 340g XL. I read kn the forums about the older model 340g XL about adding gaskets to the door, changing smoke pan to a 10 inch cast iron skillet, sealing it with RTV and adding wheels. I dont see much info about the new models that the doors open the other way has wheels and looks different.

I haven't been able to go to the store to really check any out except for the PB pro 4 at lowes which looks like quality but it is electric. I would love some input from all of you with experience on these units or ones that you would reccomend. TIA I appreciate it.
 

Blues1

Smoke Blower
105
54
Joined Feb 10, 2020
Lots of good smokers out there. Many opinions. I have a Rec Tec and love it. "Set it and forget it" and get great smoke rings. All stainless steel, great customer service and a 6 yr warranty. At least check them out...
 

FlipFlop425

Newbie
11
2
Joined Mar 25, 2020
Lots of good smokers out there. Many opinions. I have a Rec Tec and love it. "Set it and forget it" and get great smoke rings. All stainless steel, great customer service and a 6 yr warranty. At least check them out...
I have seen them. I am looking more for a vertical smoker due to the size factor.
 

nomad_archer

Fire Starter
72
68
Joined Oct 21, 2019
A WSM and a bbqguru temp controller is pretty much set it and forget it. I have one and really like it. I also have an inexpensive pellet popper and it does some things really well but you still need to keep an eye on it. This week during a cook the auger jammed up and I had to pull my chicken and finish it in the oven which was pretty inconvenient. Another option to consider is the Masterbuilt Gravity Feed 560 or 1050 (when it comes out). I prefer charcoal and wood over pellets but the pellet grill does ok with an AMZNPS tube. Good luck with your decision. No matter what you choose it will have its nuances that once you learn them, you will be kicking out good Q in no time.
 

FlipFlop425

Newbie
11
2
Joined Mar 25, 2020
A WSM and a bbqguru temp controller is pretty much set it and forget it. I have one and really like it. I also have an inexpensive pellet popper and it does some things really well but you still need to keep an eye on it. This week during a cook the auger jammed up and I had to pull my chicken and finish it in the oven which was pretty inconvenient. Another option to consider is the Masterbuilt Gravity Feed 560 or 1050 (when it comes out). I prefer charcoal and wood over pellets but the pellet grill does ok with an AMZNPS tube. Good luck with your decision. No matter what you choose it will have its nuances that once you learn them, you will be kicking out good Q in no time.
They are nice but charcoal will be too much for me to deal with that's why I was trying to find the middle ground with a good quality propane one.
 

bregent

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
1,498
509
Joined Mar 1, 2014
At first I was all set on the Pit Boss Copperhead 5 due to its "set it and forget it" ability with electric pellet. Then after reading more I got turned away from electric due to not being able to get a solid smoke ring.
You are confusing electric smokers with pellet smokers. Electric smokers use an electric heating element as a heat source, pellet smokers using burning pellets. Pellet smokers give great smoke rings, electrics not so much. The Pit Boss Copperhead is a pellet smoker.
 

FlipFlop425

Newbie
11
2
Joined Mar 25, 2020
You are confusing electric smokers with pellet smokers. Electric smokers use an electric heating element as a heat source, pellet smokers using burning pellets. Pellet smokers give great smoke rings, electrics not so much. The Pit Boss Copperhead is a pellet smoker.
The Copperhead uses pellets which I understand which is why it needs to be plugged in for the feeder. But what is the heating element that burns the pellets? I feel like the more I look and read the more confused I become.

As far as Rec-tec they are a little out of my budget right now.
 

SecondHandSmoker

Master of the Pit
★ Lifetime Premier ★
1,397
541
Joined Jun 30, 2018
The Copperhead uses pellets which I understand which is why it needs to be plugged in for the feeder. But what is the heating element that burns the pellets? I feel like the more I look and read the more confused I become.

As far as Rec-tec they are a little out of my budget right now.
The series 5 uses an electric hot rod to ignite the pellets in the burn pot as do most all pellet type cookers. So, you still have the fundamentals of wood combustion going on there.

As for smoke rings, yeah they're nice, but not necessary for good Que.
 

bregent

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined Mar 1, 2014
But what is the heating element that burns the pellets?
As SecondHandSmoker indicates, pellet cookers use an electric hot rod to initially ignite the pellets. Once the pellets have ignited, the hot rod turns off and is no longer needed as the pellets will burn on their own with the help of a fan.
 

FlipFlop425

Newbie
11
2
Joined Mar 25, 2020
The series 5 uses an electric hot rod to ignite the pellets in the burn pot as do most all pellet type cookers. So, you still have the fundamentals of wood combustion going on there.

As for smoke rings, yeah they're nice, but not necessary for good Que.
Ok thanks for the clarification. Do you have any recommendations on vertical type pellet smokers for a fam of 5 but easily have 15 in no time with siblings? I have seen alot about Copperheads having electrical issues. Or is propane the way to go?
 

FlipFlop425

Newbie
11
2
Joined Mar 25, 2020
As SecondHandSmoker indicates, pellet cookers use an electric hot rod to initially ignite the pellets. Once the pellets have ignited, the hot rod turns off and is no longer needed as the pellets will burn on their own with the help of a fan.
Thanks. Do you have any vertical pellet recommendations or should I go propane?
 

smokngun

Smoke Blower
98
29
Joined Jan 25, 2013
Thanks. Do you have any vertical pellet recommendations or should I go propane?
I have had both types of vertical smokers. I currently have a pit boss 7 series and like it, and I also gave away a Smoke Hollow propane vertical smoker. If you want "set it and forget it" go with the pit boss, if you want to add chucks or chips every few hours go with propane. As far as smoke ring goes unless your cooking for a competition nobody cares. It's all about finished product and I had great results on both.
 

schlotz

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
909
283
Joined Jan 13, 2015
There are plenty of pellets smokers to choose from and like many things, they come in a variety of sizes, features and prices so it comes down to individual preferences and what priority details (specs) will drive the decision making. Personally, I subscribe to the buy-once-cry-once scenario otherwise you end up spending more money going the upgrade path. Do your homework before you buy.
 

FlipFlop425

Newbie
11
2
Joined Mar 25, 2020
There are plenty of pellets smokers to choose from and like many things, they come in a variety of sizes, features and prices so it comes down to individual preferences and what priority details (specs) will drive the decision making. Personally, I subscribe to the buy-once-cry-once scenario otherwise you end up spending more money going the upgrade path. Do your homework before you buy.
I'm the same way I am willing to spend the money on a good product I just dont have 1200 for a rec tec. I have been doing tons of research like when I buy anything else. I like the idea of a vertical more plus they are a little cheaper. I do like the Copperheads but keep seeing on groups about then going on fire which makes me a little nervous. Cant really make up my mind on another solid pellet smoker. The propane ones I have seen are decent but have some mixed reviews. I just donr want to make a poor choice. The more I read the more confused on which type or product is better
 

schlotz

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
909
283
Joined Jan 13, 2015
If finances are the driving point then more compromise usually comes into the buying equation. Understand wanting a good solution but also remember 'good' is a relative or subjective term. IMO propane isn't needed as long as there is an outlet available. Many here are using one version or another of the MES with pellets in a separate tray as the smoke source so the constant hourly chip feeding is eliminated. JMTC
 

bregent

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
1,498
509
Joined Mar 1, 2014
Thanks. Do you have any vertical pellet recommendations or should I go propane?
First of all, what is the reason you are leaning towards a vertical smoker? You mentioned size; is that capacity or footprint?

With pellets, the only verticals I know of are made by Pit Boss, Camp Chef and Masterbuilt. I had a vertical propane for many years that I converted to natural gas that worked well. But the problem with most gas smokers is temperature control. Many people end up retrofitting them with needle valves to get finer regulation, but you still end up with drift unless you have one that is thermostatically controlled.
 
Last edited:

FlipFlop425

Newbie
11
2
Joined Mar 25, 2020
First of all, what is the reason you are leaning towards a vertical smoker? You mentioned size; is that capacity or footprint?

With pellets, the only verticals I know of are made by Pit Boss, Camp Chef and Masterbuilt. I had a vertical propane for many years that I converted to natural gas that worked well. But the problem with most gas smokers is temperature control. Many people end up retrofitting them with needle valves to get finer regulation, but you still end up with drift unless you have one that is thermostatically controlled.
Vertical due to both the size and capacity. Horizontal large pellet ones are very expensive and just starting out I donr want to spend that much money.

As far as pellet brands yes that's all I've seen. I do like the copperheads but I do see alot of issues with the controller going g bad and then going on fire.
 

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