New to the forum, few questions on upgrading smokers.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by geoff yonkers, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. geoff yonkers

    geoff yonkers Newbie

    Hello!

    I am new to this forum, but have been lurking for quite some time. I am looking for a little input. Currently I am smoking on an electric smoker I bought from Cabelas to learn how to smoke. My wife had her reservations it would get used, so we went with a beginners model, A cajun Injector. I really like how it cooks, but there is a space issue at times. I am looking at upgrading to a bigger smoker and would like input. Right now I would like to stick to electric as I live in Michigan and the smoking is done in a  garage about 6 months out of the year. We are currently a family of 3, but often have other family members over when I smoke so I would estimate about 5-6 adults and 2-3 kids. I smoke just about anything (ive done ribs, brisket, chicken, pork lion and steak). On occasions we will have a party where I would like to cook multiple racks of ribs of multiple briskets, chickens, etc. I would like to stay around the $1000 price point. I am looking for suggestions on a smoker that will preform without having to be constantly watched ( Fulltime student, Fulltime worker, Fulltime dad and hubby leaves little room to watch the coals lol)
     
  2. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Maybe take a look at some of the models on The Sausage Maker website. You may be hard pressed to find a large capacity smoker at that price point.
     
  3. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a GMG pellet smoker & really enjoy it ! It kicks out great Q !
     
  4. geoff yonkers

    geoff yonkers Newbie

    Thanks for the input chewmeister, What would be a price point to look at? Honestly our group gatherings is where the most meat is cooked, and the last time I borrowed a buddies smoker to smoke 2 briskets. I think the most I would ever see myself cooking is 2 briskets or like 6 racks of ribs per say.

    I will check out the GMG pellet smokers while I'm at it. I was considering a big green egg, but there really aren't any dealers close to me..
     
  5. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    The BGE's can get expensive as the size gets bigger.
     
  6. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  7. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Geoff Welcome to SMF Check out the new Masterbuilt Blue tooth, they have a few guys on here gave good revues 
     
  8. geoff yonkers

    geoff yonkers Newbie

    Thanks for all the quick responses guys. Timberjet, I appreciate the link, but I really would prefer a set and forget smoker, Ive never had great luck with charcoal cookers. Ill check out the masterbuilt one as well. Is there anyone who uses a Yoder? Ive read good things and I know its a bit more than my price but not too much more. the other question I have is where would be the best place to buy pellets if I go that route of even the GMG ones..
     
  9. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've used the more expensive pellets but bout a year ago, started using Camp Chef pellets & I really like them. They burn just as efficient in my smoker but are $5 a bag cheaper at least in my area. I get them from Cal Ranch Stores or Sportsman's Warehouse !
     
  10. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    A WSM is as close to set it and forget it as you can get. Yoder's are nice smokers but stick burners are not set it and forget it. Pellet smokers are not really smokers. They burn the pellets with such great efficiency there is little or no smoke made so, most people have to add another smoke producing device to their pellet grill to make it into a smoker. Same with the Masterbuilt smokers. If you want set it and forget it you need to take all this into consideration. I built myself a UDS and it is set it and forget it. Really! 20 hours or more every time at 225 without ever opening the lid. If you have had problems with charcoal before it is because you were not using a well designed machine like a cheap Kmart Grill?
     
  11. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I usually agree with ya tj, but saying a pellet smoker is not a real smoker is not true ! They may not produce a heavy smoke but I've had great tasting Q outta my GMG without any additional smoke....so it's a personal choice to add for example an AMNPS !
     
  12. geoff yonkers

    geoff yonkers Newbie

    Thats interesting timber, I would have thought the charcoal would be something where it would need to be checked on frequently. Right now using an electric smoker I add the chips about every hour or so. Yeah my past charcoal has been with camping grills. I can never seem to get the coals lit and burning hot without using a ton of lighter fluid. The other issue I see is how well do they work in the winter? Living in Michigan I smoked a couple times in the winter and the electric held well..
     
  13. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I guess my only experience with pellet poopers is my buddy's Traeger. It does not smoke very good at all. In fact he has rebuilt it twice in the year he's had it. I have heard good things about those GMG's so I will just shut up about that. Haha...
     
  14. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    +1 on the WSM.

    I started with a cheap horizontal offset that required constant attention, I was afraid to do a brisket on it because I would have to spend 16+ hrs. constantly tending it. A co-worker turned me on the the 22.5" WSM and I have never once regretted it. I have had up to 90+ lbs. of meat on it at one time, I can load it with a 20 lb. bag of charcoal and it will run at 250° for over 22 hrs (in summer), I live in a rainy area (Oregon) and never have to worry about rust, it just works straight out of the box no mods!, and unlike a horizontal the footprint on the deck is the same as a 22.5" Weber Kettle.

    As Timberjet pointed out it's way cheaper than a lot of smokers that work as well and hold as much meat...... so you have more money to spend on MEAT! [​IMG]

    For winter smoking I wrap mine in a 6 ft. x 8 ft. welding blanket and I can run for about 18+ hrs. on 20 lbs. of charcoal. With my WSM I start briskets and pork butts at midnight, once the meat is on and it's running steady I go to bed till 6:00 AM, then check on it and toss in a few chunks of wood. After that I can go about my day and ignore it till it's time to pull the meat off!





     
  15. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Now there is your first problem. LIGHTER FLUID! I have not used lighter fluid in this century. That's what a charcoal chimney is for. I am not kidding when I say that my UDS is totally set it and forget it. It really is. WSM's work on the same principle and are very tight and well made. But if you have that money to burn you have a lot of options. I have heard great things about cookshack, you might check into that. Just trying to help.
     
  16. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's all good man !

    :beercheer:
     
  17. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    A WSM is almost a set and forget it smoker. You can add a device like a BBQ Guru and have it set and forget for under $700! If you are patient and check out craigslist routinely you can get set up for under $500...
     
  18. geoff yonkers

    geoff yonkers Newbie

    Wow! I really never thought of a charcoal smoker now you guys have me thinking.. What is the BBQ guru? Now I think I might have to start looking at a Webber.. 
     
  19. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just did a corned beef brisket yesterday, lit my 22.5" WSM with 20 lbs. of charcoal at 5:00 AM got it running at 230-240, ran the whole time with just adding wood, when I went to bed at 9:30 that night it was still chugging along at 240° and still had about 1/3 to 1/4 of the charcoal left to burn. It was a windy coldish day so I had it wrapped in it's welding blanket.
     
  20. geoff yonkers

    geoff yonkers Newbie

    I appreciate everybodys input, I will look into all the options and report back what I decide on.
     

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