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New Smoker Advice Needed

alreegator

Newbie
11
2
Joined May 13, 2019
Relatively new to smoking, however when I decided to get into it - I got into it lol. My entry into this heavily world of smoked meat began with a very modest investment by buying a Masterbuilt EC and modding it according to the valuable info I obtained on this forum, and I am proud to say that I've had some incredible smokes with it. So much so that the family "expects" their fill of smoked meat at least 5-6 times a month.

My last smokes on my current setup were a couple of 4# chuckies and a spatchcocked 20# gobbler for Thanksgiving. Both turned out excellent, and the extended family loved them. I then realized three things, (1) I am ready to move up the smoking ladder, (2) it is extremely taxing cooking multiple bigger items on that thing, and (3) I really NEED to move up the smoking ladder. I told the wife as much, and she responded with; "I know and I was already planning to buy you a better smoker for Christmas". She then shows me what she had in mind - a WSM 18". Brought a tear to my eye. Then I realized that if I was buying it myself, it would not be my choice. I told her as much, she understood, and told me that I have 3 days to come up with an alternative at the same price or less.

Now, with all of the backstory out of the way here's the deal: I find great joy in a bit of "babysitting" my smokes. I also enjoy making modifications to a perceived inferior product to make it my own. I really want a cabinet smoker for the compact design. I kinda want an offset for the challenge.

If anyone has any recommendations within those parameters, I would be immensely appreciative of your input. I am actively doing my research, but any info from this site makes it that much easier to decide.
 

mike243

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,258
297
Joined Feb 25, 2018
Nothing wrong with the Weber but a 22" is what I would want, love pellet smokers for the ease and sleep I get these days lol
 

alreegator

Newbie
11
2
Joined May 13, 2019
Nothing wrong with the Weber but a 22" is what I would want, love pellet smokers for the ease and sleep I get these days lol
Nothing at all wrong with the Weber for sure, I'm just not looking for "set it and forget it" at this time. Really attracted to cabinet style cooking chambers tbqh.
 

timmyk

Newbie
23
16
Joined Oct 12, 2013
The WSM is a solid cooker. The offset gives you the most room for growth. You can start out cooking with charcoal and wood chunks, you can switch to using straight wood if you want. Cold smoke cheese. With a little bit of skill switch it over to a reverse flow. The options and price ranges are wide. Oklahoma Joe sells some decent smokers for the price. Hope this helps
 

alreegator

Newbie
11
2
Joined May 13, 2019
The WSM is a solid cooker. The offset gives you the most room for growth. You can start out cooking with charcoal and wood chunks, you can switch to using straight wood if you want. Cold smoke cheese. With a little bit of skill switch it over to a reverse flow. The options and price ranges are wide. Oklahoma Joe sells some decent smokers for the price. Hope this helps
Thanks for the advice. Which OKJ would you recommend? I've noticed quite a bit of conversation about them.
 

timmyk

Newbie
23
16
Joined Oct 12, 2013
I don't have one. But my buddy has a Highland and likes it. They also make a reverse flow. The Bandera might fill your needs like Jcam said.
 

RiversideSm0ker

Master of the Pit
1,126
304
Joined Jan 30, 2018
The only problem with the Bandera is the price tag. It would be well above the $300 mark unless you can find one used on something like Craigslist. G
 

jcam222

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,637
758
Joined Jun 13, 2017
The only problem with the Bandera is the price tag. It would be well above the $300 mark unless you can find one used on something like Craigslist. G
I see Ace and TSC both have had them around $349 with some coupon code recently.
 

alreegator

Newbie
11
2
Joined May 13, 2019
The only problem with the Bandera is the price tag. It would be well above the $300 mark unless you can find one used on something like Craigslist. G
Yeah, I saw that and working on the "logistics" with the wife now lol. I do like it though - a lot.
 

jcam222

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,637
758
Joined Jun 13, 2017
My wife tells me I should be a professional shopper lol. I love to look for deals.
 

RiversideSm0ker

Master of the Pit
1,126
304
Joined Jan 30, 2018
Yeah, I saw that and working on the "logistics" with the wife now lol. I do like it though - a lot.
I hear you. My wife is such a sweetie. She bought me a brand new Weber copper kettle for Christmas this year. I was incredibly fortunate to find an unbelievable deal on a close out Oklahoma Joe’s Highland two years ago in December. I only paid $75 for a new out of the box smoker. Looks like they are selling it on special right now for $268. It’s the same as my avatar picture. I have had amazing results with mine so far. Can’t say enough good things about mine. I have looked at a Bandera before in store and it looks like a solid unit to me. I hope you can find what you are looking for. If you are willing to consider a horizontal offset then you could certainly take a look on the Walmart website for the Highland.
G
 

alreegator

Newbie
11
2
Joined May 13, 2019
I hear you. My wife is such a sweetie. She bought me a brand new Weber copper kettle for Christmas this year. I was incredibly fortunate to find an unbelievable deal on a close out Oklahoma Joe’s Highland two years ago in December. I only paid $75 for a new out of the box smoker. Looks like they are selling it on special right now for $268. It’s the same as my avatar picture. I have had amazing results with mine so far. Can’t say enough good things about mine. I have looked at a Bandera before in store and it looks like a solid unit to me. I hope you can find what you are looking for. If you are willing to consider a horizontal offset then you could certainly take a look on the Walmart website for the Highland.
G
Thanks for the info. It will definitely be one of the two - Highland or Bandera for me.
 

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