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New guy from Texas

rev579

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Joined Feb 20, 2020
So, after a few hit-and-miss moments smoking meat, I thought it was time to be better informed. Years ago(1990's) I bought a Brinkmann Smoke'N Grill upright smoker, but rarely used it, electing to stay with gas. I have come up with basic ways to achieve smoke flavor using gas, but 30 years later, I decided to give it a different shot. When our lat gas grill failed, I bought a big-box "Combo" that ended up being helpful, but not the end-all smoker I was hoping for. It works for short-term gigs, but leaks and I can't get an effective vent-drag. I'll try to close some of the leaks and address the issue with regulating the heat.
My Combo Smoker.jpg

I did have a chance to borrow a nice pit-on-wheels, and loved the way it works. I liked the rack and the large firebox. The main compartment offered a fair amount of space, allowing for 2 Pork Butts and either 2 Spare Ribs or 3 Baby-Back Ribs. the Rack did have a drop in temp, but I imagine that is to be expected.
Garrets Smoker.jpg

My Brother-in-Law's set-up is easily my favorite though. I would absolutely do that if I could take it with me.
Chris Smoker.jpg

So, as I began to put some cash aside for a better choice, I found out about these things called pellet smokers. Now, it's time to pump the brakes, learn about the smokers available today, make an assessment and decided on which direction to go.
Electric Rack Smoker
Pellet Smoker
Off-Set Smoker(all types are on the table)
Other unknown options
 

smokerjim

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welcome from pa, great forum here. what are you looking for in a smoker. there are lot's of options and i'm sure the people here will help you decide.
 

oldsmokerdude

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Welcome to the best bbq and cooking forum on the web. Sounds like you are doing your due diligence in choosing your next smoker. As you've seen there are many different kinds each with their good points and downsides, as well as a wide variety in quality and cost within each type. Each type of smoker can be used to produce great Que and you'll find avid fans of each of them here in the forum.

Don't be afraid to ask questions and learn to use the search function. We're all here to help. Good luck in your smoker quest.
 

JC in GB

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Welcome from Wisconsin. :emoji_cat:

I have one more option you could look at. Take a look at gravity fed charcoal smokers such as Stumps brand smokers. There are a few others out there. (BBQ Vault, Assassin, Myron Mixon)

I have a Stump's Baby and I love it!!!!!! Can't say enough good about her.

JC :emoji_cat:
 

SmokinVOLfan

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Welcome from East TN. Your fellow Texan neighbor Robert tx smoker tx smoker might be able to lend some advice as he has pretty much all of the different types of smokers you just mentioned. Good luck with your decision!
 

civilsmoker

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Welcome!

A smoker is a very personal cooking tool that only you can make that choice! That said personal research and questions can help aid the search! I will share this though, if you are a set it and forget it person a pellet or electric is in that corner. Since you have used an offset and a reverse flow, well you know how you like them. Your Bro-In-Law's is a nice offset and probably easy to use because its very stable with the "insulation" around it.

Good luck on your quest......For me the decision was pretty much to have.....at least 1 of each....except I don't have an electric anymore at the moment.......


Edit....crap, JC reminded me that a gravity feed like a stump is pretty close to a set and forget it too....but not so much as a pellet....
 

rev579

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Joined Feb 20, 2020
Thanks. From the BBQ I have tasted(AR, TN, & TX), I find myself "currently" in the dry-rub, not-a-lot-of-sauce, camp. I like to taste the rub while I eat. In Texas, my favorite commercial spots are Franklin's(Austin), Stanley's(Tyler), Salt Lick(Lockhart), which had great rub. These are also "low & slow" smokes, from what I've read.
I'd like to fit a whole brisket, which means the grate would need to be at least 22in to fit a small brisket. If I'm doing ribs, it'll be BB ribs, and likely 2-4. If I could master it, I'd love to do birds, but find those to be possibly the most challenging. Loins and tenderloins would be really cool too.
Heat management seems to be my biggest concern(other than the sweet-spot for cost).
Welcome!
Edit....crap, JC reminded me that a gravity feed like a stump is pretty close to a set and forget it too....but not so much as a pellet....
Thanks. I have no idea what a gravity feed is, unless that is what I had with the Brinkmann.
 

jcam222

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Welcome aboard, glad to have you. From your experiences so far I have you pegged as either a charcoal cabinet or offset guy. Both great options.
 

sawhorseray

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Welcome from Gilbert, AZ! Boy howdy, you've got some big decisions coming down the line. First, what kind of smoker to get, then what brand or make, and there will be loads of opinions there to help you spend your money. RAY
 

JC in GB

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Gravity fed has a charcoal chute that burns down over the length of the cook. The embers fall through the grate onto your smoking wood.

The Stump's baby can do three briskets, about 6 racks of ribs, or six pork butts.

I use a PID controller and a fan to handle the air intake and it regulates very tightly.

I also like using it to cold smoke. I know I am biased but I think you would not be disappointed looking at a Stump's smoker.

They are located in Centerville GA

The gentleman I spoke with Thad, is a great guy and will provide great service.

JC :emoji_cat:
 
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rev579

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Joined Feb 20, 2020
I did pull the trigger on what looks like a great deal. Pit-Boss Austin XL, $425 out the door. It took an hour and a half to assemble this morning. My assumption is that it needs to be seasoned, to burn off the junk and oil on the inside of the barrel. Any suggestions?
 

kruizer

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Should be instructions in the owners manual but I ran my pellet cooker at about 300 degrees for about an hour to season and things worked out fine.
 

rev579

Newbie
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19
Joined Feb 20, 2020
Thanks! I didn't know if there were any suggestions beyond the instruction manual. Next thing is to find out if there is a Austin XL(1000, 1100) modification thread to see what folks have done to optimize their pellet smoker to keep good temps and maximize smoke flavor.
 

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