New Guy Looking for advice: Propane, or Wood?

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Original poster
Jul 12, 2014
Mt Dora, Florida
Thanks for taking the time to read and possible offer thoughts and experiences...

I'm ready to dive in and get my first smoker.  I've been able to do a little slow cooking on a grill but it's certainly not the same (both wood and propane).  Adding a wood-chip box to a propane grill has always given me that wood & charcoal flavor that I like and I've found that it's easier to control temperature on a propane grill.

I'm leaning toward one of the simple box smokers from Lowes/Depot- Square, 30" tall, four racks which is plenty for us.  It's propane and comes with a chip box for smoke. Here's the link to it:|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1%26page%3D1&facetInfo=$100 - $200#BVRRWidgetID

That being said...  I also like the offset smoker/grill combo (wood burning).  I wonder though if it'll heat evenly (maybe get hotter at the end near the firebox)?  Here's a link to this one:|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetInfo=

(I've noticed the reviews on this one aren't quite as raving as the ones for the propane unit; and this does look a little flimsy)

So let's hear the thoughts and opinions...  I'm all ears!


I have a Camp Chef Smoke Vault propane and a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker. I bought the propane one first and have enjoyed cooking some very good food (in my opinion) in it. That being said, I probably would recommend a wsm. The temperature control is easy to do and there is something about cooking with charcoal that I like.
Welcome to SMF. Cyclone gave good advice. Both the Smoke Vault and WSB are much better than the options you listed. That being said, of your listed choices the Propane unit is a better choice for convenience. An Offset can be modified to heat evenly but the mods are extensive and wood/charcoil takes a lot of playing with. Not fun during an overnight 15 hour Butt smoke session. In the future, please don't post the same question in multiple forums. Choose the one forum that best fits or use General Discussion. You will find multiple posts are confusing and they may knock another members post off the Main Page before their question gets answered. No big deal, just good forum etiquette. Thanks and good luck with whatever you choose...JJ.
I've been that route with home improvement store smokers, vertical and off set, no propane. If I knew then that they were made of really thin material that required lots of fuel and much modification, I would have passed. Then I got smart. I bought a large BGE and I just recently added a Horizon 16 classic. If your budget allows, I would get something that will last a life-time from the get go.
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