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Looking to dabble in smoking meat

JAEBR29

Fire Starter
34
5
Joined Feb 22, 2019
I love eating smoked meat and it's time I stop solely relying on others to allow that to happen in my life. I want to get a smoker. I've TENTATIVELY narrowed my choices down to an 18.5 WSM and a Masterbuilt electric (although I'm seeing tons of different options of those and have no idea which one I need other than a digital version over the analog ones).

I really want set it and forget it. And from what i've read on here both are doable, but the Masterbuilt would be easier. Of course, assuming i can get the hang of smoking, the WSM should taste better. So basically, my thinking is waiting till the spring or a good FSBO deal and buying whichever one is cheaper. Since i cant make up my mind, might as well let my wallet it do it for me. Unless you guys can do that for me! Cost is a concern and by all means if you think of something else i should pursue, I'm open. I'd prefer to stay under $300. I'm not expecting to turn into a smoking circuit champion or anything. Just a guy who wants to occasionally make some smoked ham, chicken, pulled pork,ribs and hopefully someday some heavenly brisket.

Looking forward, is there a best time to buy coming up and or certain price that I should pull the trigger on any of these?

Sorry, I rambled. so many questions and i overthink things=bad combo. Also new here, so hopefully i posted this in the right forum.
 

old sarge

Master of the Pit
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Welcome AJEBR29. I have no experience using wither of the smokers you are looking at. If it wasn't for your budget constraints I would recommend a unit from Smokin-it. But you should be fine with what you are looking at.
 

motocrash

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Joined Aug 25, 2017
Welcome to the forum.

Of course, assuming i can get the hang of smoking, the WSM should taste better.
It does taste better,cooking with fire always tastes better.You don't go roastin' wieners,marshmallows and such over an "open MES",now do ya...:emoji_fire::emoji_thumbsup:
 

JAEBR29

Fire Starter
34
5
Joined Feb 22, 2019
Welcome to the forum.


It does taste better,cooking with fire always tastes better.You don't go roastin' wieners,marshmallows and such over an "open MES",now do ya...:emoji_fire::emoji_thumbsup:
Haha... I'll give you that, but I've had some really good meat made by some guys on an mes. So if I can replicate what they did, I'll be a happy man.
 

fivetricks

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jan 7, 2017
A mes is a great starter smoker. Very set it and forget it. I, along with others modified mine with about 50.00 worth of parts. This includes the amazn tray <-- a MUST have for the mes, a mailbox, a bit of dryer hose and a couple of hose clamps.

Search the forum for "mailbox mod" for more info on that. Turns the mes from a very very frustrating unit into exactly what you're looking for. While your buddies are fretting over having to change chips every 20 mins, you will enjoy 11 hours of uninterrupted smoking time.
 

JAEBR29

Fire Starter
34
5
Joined Feb 22, 2019
Found a used 18.5" wsm for $150. Says in good condition. Obviously I wouldn't buy it if it's not actually, but is this a good deal or may I be better off going new and wait for some sales? I want to be penny wise but not at the expense of being pound foolish.
 

JAEBR29

Fire Starter
34
5
Joined Feb 22, 2019
A mes is a great starter smoker. Very set it and forget it. I, along with others modified mine with about 50.00 worth of parts. This includes the amazn tray <-- a MUST have for the mes, a mailbox, a bit of dryer hose and a couple of hose clamps.

Search the forum for "mailbox mod" for more info on that. Turns the mes from a very very frustrating unit into exactly what you're looking for. While your buddies are fretting over having to change chips every 20 mins, you will enjoy 11 hours of uninterrupted smoking time.
Thanks for the suggestions. Yes if I end up with an mes, I will absolutely be getting the amazn tray based on the stuff I've read in this forum.
If an mes, what should I be looking for or ruling out?
 

chopsaw

Smoking Guru
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Joined Dec 14, 2013
Found a used 18.5" wsm for $150. Says in good condition. Obviously I wouldn't buy it if it's not actually, but is this a good deal or may I be better off going new and wait for some sales? I want to be penny wise but not at the expense of being pound foolish.
Yes if it's in good shape I would buy it . I have both WSM and an MES . Love them both . Some guys don't like the MES , don't let that affect what you buy .
 

chopsaw

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I use the 4 probe ink bird too . I like it . I use an old tablet with it .
 

JAEBR29

Fire Starter
34
5
Joined Feb 22, 2019
Thanks guys! I gave the inkbird a shot.
I don't have it yet, but here's pictures of it.
received_2561345970560734.jpeg
received_628986750878231.jpeg
Screenshot_20190223-160602.png
 

Braz

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Jun 25, 2017
Looks like a good deal for $120. And some leftover cash for accessories.
I have an MES and I often feel like I'm cheating and only the "real" BBQers use real fire.
 

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