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Novice in search of help.

exitscott

Newbie
5
2
Joined Dec 1, 2020
I'm reaching out for suggestions as I'm just getting ready to start smoking some meats. I've done some internet searching and most of the review sites seem unreliable and repetitive. Budget wise, I'd like to keep equipment cost under $400 so I was leaning toward the WSM charcoal smokers. It's just 2 of us but we occasionally need to feed up to a dozen. My preference at this point is to get competent smoking brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage and pork butt. I'd like something I can make mobile with locking casters if that's possible. Also, if anyone has any suggestions for a novice that you think is must have info to do this right, please, please share your advice. I'd love to skip past as many mistakes as possible. Thanks all and Merry Christmas!
 

Millberry

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
538
377
Joined Nov 12, 2020
Find a friend that is a Veteran and go to Home Depot and get (or order) the WSM 22 with the 10% Veteran's discount..BUT remember--you have to feed this veteran a good meal each year on Veteran's Day. Later on, buy and install your own wheels in the holes at bottom of the legs that are made for them. (The WSM comes in 3 pieces which each is easy to carry until you get the casters)
 
Last edited:

kruizer

Master of the Pit
2,252
895
Joined Sep 7, 2015
Millberry has you covered. Welcome to SMF from Minnesota.
 

Millberry

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
538
377
Joined Nov 12, 2020
Also---you say " I'd love to skip past as many mistakes as possible. " LISTEN--I am the King at making mistakes. Please listen to the folks on here. Ask ChasDev to send you the recommendations he sent me as a newbie(I still am). He just set it to me---the Dummy. Charlie
P.S. --I can send it to you if he is busy
 

exitscott

Newbie
5
2
Joined Dec 1, 2020
Also---you say " I'd love to skip past as many mistakes as possible. " LISTEN--I am the King at making mistakes. Please listen to the folks on here. Ask ChasDev to send you the recommendations he sent me as a newbie(I still am). He just set it to me---the Dummy. Charlie
P.S. --I can send it to you if he is busy
Thanks. Just sent chasdev a message.
 

jcam222

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,523
3,794
Joined Jun 13, 2017
Welcome from Ohio. There are a lot of WSM users here. You will get great advice.
 

thirdeye

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,599
1,669
Joined Dec 1, 2019
I'm reaching out for suggestions as I'm just getting ready to start smoking some meats. I've done some internet searching and most of the review sites seem unreliable and repetitive. Budget wise, I'd like to keep equipment cost under $400 so I was leaning toward the WSM charcoal smokers. It's just 2 of us but we occasionally need to feed up to a dozen. My preference at this point is to get competent smoking brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage and pork butt. I'd like something I can make mobile with locking casters if that's possible. Also, if anyone has any suggestions for a novice that you think is must have info to do this right, please, please share your advice. I'd love to skip past as many mistakes as possible. Thanks all and Merry Christmas!
WSMs are wonderful smokers. The design is proven, they are portable enough that plenty of competition cooks use them, there is a large support group for advice on fire management as well as cooking techniques and modifications..., and the Weber name has been around for a good long while. Another similar smoker are the upright drums, or UDS (ugly drum smoker) because many people make their own from scratch or a kit. I have a home made mini WSM and if I wasn't so sold on drums I'd surely have a WSM or two.

If you can cook a roast, or ribs in the oven, and grill a steak or chops or some sausage you will be able to slide right into barbecued and smoke-cooked meats. Once you figure out fire management, start working on tenderness, moistness and texture of the meats first. Too many young cooks try to jump head first into seasonings, sauces and smokey flavor profiles before they learn how to cook the meat properly. And by doing so, frankly some cooks never get the cooking part down pat. Of course as your are learning to cook, you can't get away from some smoke, but I would actually do a few cooks with charcoal flavor only, (no flavor wood).... And as far as seasonings, you could order a bunch of different rubs, injections, sauces, etc. but I would keep the seasonings simple at first. Then when you do start building layers of flavor, you are doing it to properly cooked meat and you will appreciate the full circle of barbecue.
 

exitscott

Newbie
5
2
Joined Dec 1, 2020
WSMs are wonderful smokers. The design is proven, they are portable enough that plenty of competition cooks use them, there is a large support group for advice on fire management as well as cooking techniques and modifications..., and the Weber name has been around for a good long while. Another similar smoker are the upright drums, or UDS (ugly drum smoker) because many people make their own from scratch or a kit. I have a home made mini WSM and if I wasn't so sold on drums I'd surely have a WSM or two.

If you can cook a roast, or ribs in the oven, and grill a steak or chops or some sausage you will be able to slide right into barbecued and smoke-cooked meats. Once you figure out fire management, start working on tenderness, moistness and texture of the meats first. Too many young cooks try to jump head first into seasonings, sauces and smokey flavor profiles before they learn how to cook the meat properly. And by doing so, frankly some cooks never get the cooking part down pat. Of course as your are learning to cook, you can't get away from some smoke, but I would actually do a few cooks with charcoal flavor only, (no flavor wood).... And as far as seasonings, you could order a bunch of different rubs, injections, sauces, etc. but I would keep the seasonings simple at first. Then when you do start building layers of flavor, you are doing it to properly cooked meat and you will appreciate the full circle of barbecue.
Thanks for all of the info. I'll take your advice to heart and focus on the quality of the meat itself before worrying too much about flavor profiles. Do you recommend anything for temperature control or should I just focus on the property venting? thanks again.
 

thirdeye

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,599
1,669
Joined Dec 1, 2019
Thanks for all of the info. I'll take your advice to heart and focus on the quality of the meat itself before worrying too much about flavor profiles. Do you recommend anything for temperature control or should I just focus on the property venting? thanks again.
There are some fancy gadgets out there, but I think learning how the cooker performs as it was designed to is a good starting point.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
46,764
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Joined Jun 22, 2009
Welcome to SMF!
The WSM 22 is probably the most popular smoker in the world right now. And there is a reason for that, they give good BQ flavor, are easy to control the temps & will burn for 20 hours or so on one load of charcoal & wood. Now I’m in Florida & if you are in Minn. in the winter, then it may only burn 10 hours on that same load. But for the price & the Weber name they are worth every penny! I have had the 14, 18, & 22. I sold the smaller ones, But will never sell the 22. I have a Lang 36 as well & use it most of the time, but for an overnight smoke it’s always the WSM. I do have a BBQ Guru setup for the WSM, so it is pretty much set & forget with that charcoal/wood flavor.
Al
 

exitscott

Newbie
5
2
Joined Dec 1, 2020
Thanks Al. I'm in Jacksonville, FL so I assume I'll be working in similar conditions. I appreciate the feedback on the Guru but don't have the budget for that just yet.
 

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