Size for new smoker

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Original poster
Mar 2, 2011
Hey folks.  My old cheap smoker has bit the dust and I am looking to replace it.

Two options to consider  a not so expensive one from academy

Or i can splurge on one from Klose or pitts by JJ.

The academy version is not quite 1/8th inch steel and of unimpressive quality.

My questions:

Is it worth the extra for  thicker walls?

and how large do I really need?

 A large cookout for my family may be two-three briskers, two pork shoulders and a few racks of ribs.

Any thoughts would help.


Go big or go home.  Thicker steel = stable temps for your smoke.  Three Briskets means you need some grillestate -- at least 16x32" in a SFB or an upright with at least 3 grates.  Let us know when you get your new rig.

My (former) char-broil was 16x34 and it was always a tight fit. If I can't get a 2nd shelf in a 16" I will have to pony up for a 20" model.

Is a SFB worth the extra money?

All this time shopping and not smoking. 

Pity, the weather is perfect

Thanks again.
J, I was always told that when you get a pit,get one larger than you think you need
You'll thank me later!

However,in reading and talking to some of the posters here and there,I have found that Old Country in South Texas has about as good a smoker as Klose and JJ at a lower price
you can afford more add ons that way

I got a Tejas20x40CC and love it,only because it was a little more than the Wife agreed on

I,m not saying to go cheaper , just that there are some as good

Which ever you get,remember you will be making friends and wil shortly need some more room to cook

Have fun and as always, 
my thoughts are BIGGER IS BETTER !!! I started out with a "small" smoker and then upgraded to a "bigger one" and then had to up grade again to "BIGGER one" ,  yet and i may need to step that up again . nothing wrong with the first three just not enough room

Plus you get what you pay for the better built and thicker walls will help the smoker keep the heat in and also will not rust thru as quick.
Have you checked out Lang smokers. There are several Lang owners on here & they swear by them.
I agree bigger is better. The thicker steel IMO is worth it. Even though the up front cost is more, they'll last a life time. I faced the same decision just about a year ago. Some one this site recommended going with a 20". I was looking at the 16" models because of cost. Decided to bite the bullet and go bigger.

I'm partial to the Yoder brand smokers as they were close and I had it delivered free of charge. Any of the recommended smokers would be good. Shipping cost could be the deciding factor.

If you are interested, Yoder smokers can be found at this website
I would see if you could find someone close to you that builds smokers as a hobby.  These builders seem to be cheaper and you will get one that will last for ever if you keep care of it. 

Good luck!
It is much too late to be my first but I would love it to be my last.

I was considering this 20x36 from pits by jj here in Houston.

Anyone have anything good or bad to say about them?

In reading the description on their website, I would say that it should be what you are looking for. Nice size cooking chamber, 3/8 in steel pipe construction, etc. Since it's close, no shipping cost to add. I would be happy with this smoker if I was in your place. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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