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Original poster
Nov 15, 2013
Gonzales, LA
I am trying to get into the art of smoking meat but my problem is selecting which smoker to go with. I'd like to get something that is beginner friendly. If prefer to stay away from electric because I hear it loses the smoke taste - I also don't want to just "set it and forget it" - and I'd rather not have to use wood and have to constantly tend to the fire. So I'm looking at either gas or charcoal smokers that has a bit of a learning curve. Any suggestions?

gary s

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Jan 6, 2011
Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything   ......... 
[/h1][h1]  [/h1][h1]Gary[/h1]


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Feb 9, 2009
N.E. Oklahoma
Hello and welcome!  There are many gas smokers out there that would fit your description...Smoke Vault and Landmann GOSM are a couple that come immediately to mind.  Kinda depends on how much you want to spend.  Same with charcoal can buy an ECB (el' cheapo Brinkmann) for less than a $100, or if you don't mind spending more, a Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) is a great rig.

Good luck!

Welcome Gautreau. I live just south of you in Gonzales. I believe the best beginner smoker is the Weber Smokey Mountain. It is charcoal fired and once you get used to the vent systems and the operation you can hold 225-250 degrees for ten hours or more. Goodwood hardware and Academy has them. Again welcome. Any question you have about smoking you will find many members with the answer. There are a number from this area on the forum.


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Feb 3, 2013
DFW North Texas
Welcome to the forum! In no time at all you will find this place to be your go to place for making great foods your friends and family will love. The search tool at the top of the page will be your new best friend.


Epic Pitmaster
Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions Post it
and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is because their
are so many different ways to make great Q We all have our own taste.

Happy smoken.


gary s

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Jan 6, 2011
I have a Reverse Flow that we built love it also have a ECB that I still use every once in a while. If you are not sure, a suggestion check with some of your friends or neighbors who smoke and visit with them or ask if you could help in the next cook, Go to some BBQ offs  and watch and talk with the people there. This would help you get an idea of which way you may want to go. There are so many types and styles on the market it can be confusing. Whatever you get spend some time learning how if cooks. Watch the temp gauge, how much fuel it's burning, how much the vents and damper is open, after several cooks you will get comfortable with your smoker and Wont need to watch it every min. And turn out some really good Q.



Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Feb 3, 2009
Welcome to SMF. I have the MES 40 electric an have had for 4 years. Can and have cooked on gas and 250 gal stick burners. For  around the house and cooking for 2 you couldn't beat me away from my MES

 Holler if you want to come check it out . I am in B.R. too.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Nov 3, 2010
Denham Springs La

My smokers all have been some form of home built....... I love the build, my newest is a 2ft x 3ft x 5ft propane fired warming box ...... The same offer apples as Eman, if you ever want to see or discuss it more just PM me........ShoneyBoy

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