Recommendations requested please

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
May 12, 2019
I need new cookers. Stores I have local are Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, Academy, Cabela's, Walmart, and not quite as local but close, Tractor Supply.

My last offset smoker I gave away, when I transferred out to Guam. While there, I converted an Electric ECB to charcoal. I gave it away when I retired from that career, and left Guam. I've been retired for about 4 and a half years now. We also had a gas grill that rusted out after about 3 years. About a year after the old one rusted out, the wife bought me this masterbuilt 7 in 1 gas/charcoal smoker/grill combo. Picked it up cheap, from someone here local that was thinning his herd. Doesnt really seem to perform that well. Might be able stick the bottom from a Weber or something similar on it and use it that way, but haven't explored that option too much. Outside diameter is 17", and grates are 15.75". So now I'm in search of new ones. Cruising the websites of the local stores and reading reviews can only get you so far.

I need a gas grill for the wife to be able to use, since she likes to grill, but has a problem doing much with charcoal since her shoulder surgery. I'm thinking 2-4 burners, on a cart, and probably should be cost efficient. $300 or less, preferably, and the lower the better, if possible. I'm thinking something like this:

The smoker is a different. What I want out of it, vs what the wife wants... I kind of like the option of being able to go out and tend the fire every so often. The wife would prefer one that's as close to set it and forget it as possible. Since the kids are grown, and for the most part out of the house, without kids and grandchildren visiting for the holidays in the near future, we are looking at being able to fit at least a 12lb turkey in it, preferably being able to slide a 24 pounder in it if things change and they do visit. ( 3 kids, 2 son in laws, and 4 grandchildren). Options for a smoker include, but are not limited to WSM, Dyna Glow offset vertical:, Oklahoma Joe's highland reverse flow smoker (top of the price range): I'm open to other ideas. I know an UDS will be brought up. I'd be open to an UDS. And thanks to this forum I recently found out about the big poppa kits. However I wonder if I would want a 55 gallon one or 30.... this also came to mind:
Then theres the ok Joe bandera, and others.

Any and all opinions are welcome. Thanks.
I can't speak to the others, but I took a look at the OKJH the other day and it felt very thinly made. I wouldn't buy that one if it was the top end of my price range.. I always wanted an OKJ LRF until I was able to put hand on that unit.

I'll pass
Thank you for the reply, fivetricks fivetricks . I was impressed with the build on the horizon. It uses 2.5mm steel on the cook chamber and 2mm steel on the firebox. It certainly felt more solid than the Brinkman offset I used to have.

If I may ask, what kind of smoker do you use? I would be interested in any other advice you have, as well. Thanks.
For a gas grill in your price range I'd buy a used Weber Genisis off of Craigs list they will last a life time with a little TLC and Weber has parts for damn near all of their grills even the older grills.
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I haven't used gas in years so no help there, but as for the smoker you won't regret the WSM.

The WSM is pretty set and forget, but you still get the enjoyment of starting charcoal and you can mess with the vents as much or little as you want. An 18" WSM can easily handle a 12 lb turkey and you could put a second one on the second grate if you want. Webers last forever, so don't overlook finding a used one.
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What is your price range on a smoker? If I was going to be doing grilling and smoking, I would look into a komodo style grill.

They are a bit pricey but are a good choice for smoking/grilling.

I know you prefer a gas grill but IMHO the komodo style cooker is the best of both worlds.

Monolith grills makes models with BBQ guru units included for set it and forget it cooking.

If I had to make a choice of smoker under $500, I would go with the WSM.
It's not that I prefer a gas grill. The gas grill will be for when my wife wants to grill something for supper. Since I work 2nd shift, and she isnt comfortable using charcoal, due to her disabilities, the grill needs to be gas.
The smoker, on the other hand, will be my toy. I think, as much as I enjoyed an offset, perhaps an UDS or WSM would work better for me. That being the case, what are the thoughts between them? I see posts of 16,18, even 22 hour burns on a WSM. Is that something that can be done on an UDS? I've already checked locally, and didn't find a source for a barrel, so I would have to order one. What are you guy's thoughts on the Big Poppa kits, and the Barrel House Cookers? Thanks for the info so far. Please keep the replies coming.

Edit: price range, I can go up to $950 total between the two, but obviously, the lower I can keep it, the happier I'll be.

Edit #2: is it worth the extra funds to go with the 22" over an 18"? Generally I'll be smoking chickens, ribs, butts, etc. The holidays is where hams and turkeys would come into play. Whether it's a single large Turkey or 2 smaller ones doesn't matter that much, but the larger I can fit the better
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The 18" WSM seems to be the most efficient with fuel. The 22" seems to takes more fuel to stay in temp range. From what you posted, the only advantage a 22" would give you is the ability to cook multiple racks of ribs without cutting or rolling them. I haven't used an UDS, but I don't think I'd trade my WSM for anything except a newer one.

I don't have any experience with them, but a pellet grill might meet all of your needs (besides tinkering with things). Just something to consider if you haven't already.
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I only know one person who uses an UDS. It seems a bit temperamental to me but he only burns wood in it and uses no kind of controller. I know a lot of pit masters swear by their drum smokers and I am sure they can put out good product if configured properly.

Considering your situation it would seem to make more sense to get the WSM 18 than the 22.

If I was routinely cooking for 6 or more people or was planning on competing, I would get the WSM 22.

I also think the WSM will be more cost effective for an off the shelf kind of set up.

In the end, it is the pit master, not the pit. Not sure if I helped or just made things more confusing.
I have checked craigslist for barrels. That's how I know there are none locally. Been checking off and on for a few months now. Based on the answers here, it sounds like perhaps the 18" WSM is the way to go. Now to read up alot on how usage....

Thank you for all the replays and opinions. I appreciate it. I will keep you posted.
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