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Second smoker decision

horizonsmkr

Newbie
20
11
Joined Sep 7, 2016
Looking for some advise from the experts! I currently have a Horizon Offset Smoker which I really enjoy. I’ve had it for about 4 years and have been able to dial in everything from wings to ribs to pulled pork to brisket. I am looking for a second smoker that would be more “hands off” than the offset. The one drawback I have found with the offset is the need to babysit to temp, smoke, etc. I enjoy it, but there are times I would prefer something I could walk away from. Looking at pellet smokers (Yoder, Traeger, etc), green egg or other similar or barrel smoker. Would love to hear your opinions on what you would do in my shoes. Budget is under $2000 but closer to $1500 would make the wife happy.
Appreciate any input/ prose/ cons/ etc.
 

noboundaries

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
7,390
1,681
Joined Sep 7, 2013
I tend to stay away from the techie gadgets. Not because they won't make good Q, just more things that will fail, eventually, sooner or later. I strongly dislike investing in any device and having problems with it before I'm through with it.

At the high end of your budget is a cabinet smoker. Can be fueled with wood only, or charcoal and wood. Due to the design they are MUCH more efficient and hands off than an offset.

Well within your budget is a. 22.5" WSM and a BBQ GURU DigiQ DX2 controller for about $800-900. Short learning curve on the WSM, Q comparable to an offset, and readily available inexpensive fuel. Even without the controller I've gone 8-14 hours without touching it once the chamber temp is stabilized, which is a nice mixture of technique and patience. All my long smokes are overnighters, and I sleep without a worry.

Just my 2 cents.
 

horizonsmkr

Newbie
20
11
Joined Sep 7, 2016
Noboundaries,

I like the thought of WSM with BBQ guru! I didn’t think of that. I’d love anyone else’s opinions on that setup. How is it for size? Could it handle a 18-20 pound brisket? Are there multiple racks?

thanks again.
 

kruizer

Master of the Pit
1,593
525
Joined Sep 7, 2015
Look at the Oklahoma Joe Bronco. It is a very stable smoker that will run up to 12 hours with a full load of fuel and not require a lot of attention. I know this because I have one.
 

drunkenmeatfist

Smoking Fanatic
376
110
Joined May 28, 2017
I went with a Hunsaker drum and I couldn't be happier. No need for a temp controller as it holds very steady temps. With your budget you could upgrade to their stainless steel drum. I store mine in the garage and I expect it to last a very long time. Best drum on the market imo
 

gmc2003

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
9,188
3,419
Joined Sep 15, 2012
Noboundaries,

I like the thought of WSM with BBQ guru! I didn’t think of that. I’d love anyone else’s opinions on that setup. How is it for size? Could it handle a 18-20 pound brisket? Are there multiple racks?

thanks again.
With ease it can handle the brisket, and yes there are two racks.

Chris
 

noboundaries

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
7,390
1,681
Joined Sep 7, 2013
Noboundaries,

I like the thought of WSM with BBQ guru! I didn’t think of that. I’d love anyone else’s opinions on that setup. How is it for size? Could it handle a 18-20 pound brisket? Are there multiple racks?

thanks again.
I've never seen a 20 lb brisket in my neck of the woods, but I've done 17 lb'ers no problem. There are two racks in the WSM. You can get creative and put four racks in one. I've done three racks on several occasions when making jerky adding a grate out of my 22.5" Kettle.

Listen, I'm not selling your on the idea of the WSM. Just giving you something to consider. Only you can decide what really fits your needs. I only use my Guru as a backup since it cruises so beautifully at one temp for a long time. The WSM likes dense charcoal briquettes for low and slow cooks. Lump is great in it for hotter cooks. I actually use a denser briquette for both (Royal Oak Ridge/HD Embers/Walmart Expert Grill).

Late last week I smoked about two butts weighing a total of 20 lbs on one rack. It cruised along for hours at 233, then about five hours into the smoke the chamber temp plunged to 190F in like ten minutes. First time I've ever seen that in hundreds of smokes. The Guru brought it back to 225F where it stayed the rest of the night.

I believe I figured out the temp plunge, but unless you want to read about dewpoints, dropping temps, and exothermic energy releases in the atmosphere, I'll stop here.
 

BB-que

Smoke Blower
146
86
Joined Nov 8, 2016
Looking for some advise from the experts! I currently have a Horizon Offset Smoker which I really enjoy. I’ve had it for about 4 years and have been able to dial in everything from wings to ribs to pulled pork to brisket. I am looking for a second smoker that would be more “hands off” than the offset. The one drawback I have found with the offset is the need to babysit to temp, smoke, etc. I enjoy it, but there are times I would prefer something I could walk away from. Looking at pellet smokers (Yoder, Traeger, etc), green egg or other similar or barrel smoker. Would love to hear your opinions on what you would do in my shoes. Budget is under $2000 but closer to $1500 would make the wife happy.
Appreciate any input/ prose/ cons/ etc.
Rec Tec BullYou won’t be sorry.
 

jcam222

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,624
1,732
Joined Jun 13, 2017
If you want flip a switch hands off like a pellet grill I’d go Rec Tec 700 or Yoder 640. For just a little up front “hands on” I’d go with an insulated charcoal cabinet. Humphreys and Backwoods have a least two models each in your budget. 270 smokers has one in your budget. My experience with my 270 is that once I get the lump lit and temp settled in it will run 12+ hours hands off. May add a few wood chunks once in that entire time. I’ve heard the same of the other two companies.
 

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