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Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by justin85, Nov 9, 2011.
I'm new to smoking and I need a good starter smoker
You have asked the question of questions.
It all depends on what kind of smoker you want ? Gas , electric , charcoal, wood?
How much space do you have for the smoker?
How much time do you want to spend tending the smoker.
If you live in an apartment that normally rules out anything w/ open flame.
Some homeowner associations limit size of pit you can have.
If you want set it and forget it the electric is the way to go.
Next w/ the least tending is gas , then next i guess would be a charcoal UDS.
Full out SFB coal or stick burners need more tending.
Stop by roll call and introduce yourself and let us know what part of the country your from .
Glad to have you with us!
What eman said x2.
I'm thinking wood
Enough for anything
Um when cooking smaller stuff a lot. When bigger stuff not as much but still a good bit.
Nope I live in the country away from most everything
Um what is SFB coal and stick burners? (Sorry I'm a newbie to this)
Ok. Is that a forum catagory?
SFB is a side fire box / offset smoker. the smaller ones are designed for charcoal (coal)
The larger ones use logs or splits (sticks) or coals
Yes roll call is in the forums
If you want to burn wood, but its your first go around and your a complete newbie, I would think maybe a Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) would be a good place to look into. They're uninsulated bullet style smokers, so if you plan on cooking in the cold you might have to tend to it a little more often. You can pack a pretty decent amount of food in there, they have 2 sizes available. They're a charcoal/briquette with wood chips/chunks smoker. There are also some traditional offset horizontal smokers that are good but if you get a "entry level/inexpensive" one they tend to need more modifying to be able to use the whole cooking area with a nice even cooking temp and to hold temps well without a lot of fuss. The WSM is a really good start up and all the way up to advance cooker. I have never had one but if I had known then when I first started what I know now, I might have started with that instead of my offset.
Stick burning (using splits of nothing but wood) can be a bit tedious, I am new to it. It's not overly complicated but it just might be easier and more enjoyable to start off of something easier than a stick burner. Also some name brand stick burners are costly.
Well that's my input, some smarter wiser smokers will be along soon enough and probably have something a lot better to say than me
I too am sort of new to this smoking thing. After reading a multitude of posts on this forum I decided on a SFB type smoker and then happened across a "smoking" (pun intended) deal on a Char Griller and it was on. After some practice, some modifications, and a lot of practice I'm starting to get the hang of it. I am forever finding ways to do things better. I have never turned out anything bad, but I'm still working for that perfect Q. After all the work it's taken I really want to build myself a UDS (look it up) because they sounds amazing. My biggest constraint was money, and I figure whatever you can find a good deal on will work, and there is someone on here that has turned out great Q on everything you could imagine. Just do your homework and practice. Good luck!
First off welcome Justin to SMF. You'll like this place for there are alot of folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking meat. You will find alot of good recipes and techniques here also. so with all that said:
Welcome to your new Addiction
Now recommending a smoker is alittle hard because I know what I like. I have a back porch and it all under roof so I went with a gas smokers. I see that you have the out doors and you might need to start with a gas unit maybe a smoke vault 24" thats a great smoker. I have one and a smaller unit just fobacons, and sausages. Now if you like a stick burner then I would go with the SFB like Eman (bob) said. So I hope I helped if not keep askng and we will keep giving you answers.
I agree with Ray, if your looking for that charcoal/wood flavor then a WSM is the smoker for you. It's very easy to control the temps & carries the Weber name. It will last you a lifetime.
I remember reading yesterday a post that had Home Depot I believe, having the 18.8" WSM for a pretty cheap price, you should look into it. Harry Soo of Slap Yo Daddy BBQ Team using nothing but the WSM's to compete it. His team is one of the top teams in the California BBQ competition circuit and I believe he does fairly well in KCBS competition as a whole.
Ok I think I have decided on the WSM but now do I want the 18 1/2 or the 22 1/2?
Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
The consensus around here is that bigger is better as long as you can afford it. I think the general prices for WSM are $250 and and $325 for their units, so there isn't a big price difference between the two. Obviously the bigger one will allow you to smoke more/bigger items. If money is particularly tight and you want to save that $75 you can get the 18.5" and throw the money towards some meat, seasonings, sauces, fire starter chimney, charcoal and chunks. You're probably also going to want to research the Minion Method for starting your fire and getting longer burn times with less fuss.
If you haven't signed up for the free 5 day ecourse from Jeff, do so, it is especially designed for a newcomer like yourself to help lessen the learning curve of smoking.
A true wood burner that won't break the bank.http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/77758/double-barrel-smoker
I say go with the 22 1/2 WSM. Honestly I wish they made a bigger one because I pack it every time I cook (no reason to waste space right ). I should put in a call to Weber asking when they will come out with the 44 WSM, base it off the ranch kettle. Actually the ranch kettle is like a grand so a smoker that size would be in the "out of my budget" range. Oh well it's fun to dream.
I think ill go for the 22.5". I looked at the minion method. I also signed up for the 5 day ecourse. Thanks a lot!
You won't be sorry. The 22.5 will last you a lifetime and will produce award winning Q.
Welcome to SMF glad you can join us. We are big on Pics and love to help everyone out. Remember the only question that is dumb is one not asked. You will not find a friendlier place to talk Que on the web.
UDS is what I use right now but you can make Que with whatever you want. I have cooked with sticks with electricity and with charcoal. I like them all.
Cool Justin, keep us informed all the way on your process of learning and smoking! We love pictures around here so don't forget to post them when you acquire new equipment and cook up your meals.
Thanks and will do