Newb to smokers. narrowed it to 2, but still open to ideas, opinions welcome

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Original poster
Apr 21, 2014
West Central MN
Looking through the literal mountains of info and opinions available on the internet - I've come down to what (I think) are 2 good choices - although I'm still open to suggestions

Here's my decision guide:

The family likes ribs - we tend to eat them about once a month or more in the summer.  (and probably will moreso if I can get a smoker working decently at -20) so thinking a wider smoker

Family is 3 people - so it doesn't need to be a gigantic one.  but from time to time I make stuff for up to a dozen people when we entertain

The smoker will be left (relatively) unattended for periods of 4 hours or so, so I'm thinking propane.  I've already got a 100# cylinder for the grill, so I should be able to share it with the smoker.

Budget $300

based on reviews, and what I have read so far - It's looking like either the masterbuilt xl or the smoke vault 24.

anyone care to put it to a vote/suggestions?
Welcome SmokerNewb!

Ever considered making your own UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker)?  Inexpensive to build, simple tools required, and you can cook a ton of food on multiple layers or a single meal of a few chicken pieces.

My brother in law made one for about $80 and LOVES it.  My smoker cost tons more, and his can hold more food than mine.

You can build it in a weekend and be eating Sunday dinner from it, the same weekend.

HMMM, now I gotta find a food grade barrel. . . . 

Whatever you eventually decide on GOOD LUCK, and enjoy!
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Since you are going propane, look at the Smoke Hollow 44 from Sams Club.  It's $279.99 + shipping as I don't think they have them in stores this year. 

Lots of space.  Don't have to cut rib racks to make them fit.   Can use it as an additional oven if/when needed.

If you want to go "unattended", then pick up an AMNTS tube smoker from Todd over at Amazen Products as well as whatever flavor pellets you like.    I use Hickory, Apple, Oak and Pittmasters, all depending on my mood that day.

I just did a 14lb Top Round roast for Easter.  Threw it in the smoker, fired up a 12" tube of Pittmasters and left it alone for close to 4 hours.    Turned out perfectly and everyone loved it.   Beautiful color, nice smokey flavor.  Perfect.

The size is great because there's plenty of room for LOTS of meat if/when needed.   That said, proteins aren't the only thing you can smoke, so the space comes in handy even for smaller get togethers.

For example: 

Here's 16 Small sirloin tip roasts

Here's 6 or so racks of ribs, a pan of Dutch's Wicked beans, 12 ears of corn and some tri colored peppers is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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