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Trying to choose smoker for husband. Is it worth waiting for Memorial Day or Father's Day sales?

not a smoker

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I have been lurking (I mean learning) here for a couple weeks as I research what to buy my husband for his bday. He has wanted a smoker for several years (always says he'll get one "someday"), and I'm 90% sure he wants one that uses pellets. I know nothing about smokers, but I've noticed what brands you all seem to like, so that's very helpful. Several times I've considered just giving my husband the cash and telling him to choose, since I know he'd have know what he wants and would probably have fun picking one out. However, I am almost sure he'd say we shouldn't spend the money right now. Budget-wise, it's not great timing. But he will only turn 50 once, and I'd really like to give him something that will bring him joy. And he would love to be surprised with a smoker (I think!). Unfortunately for him, the price needs to be as low as possible (bc I've found out there are a lot of really fun smokers out there!).

I've been scouring Craigslist for good used ones but it's almost all a bunch of rusted out Traegers. There was a newish Camp Chef but he was asking almost as much as a new one, which I could get delivered for free. And I missed out on a good GMG Daniel Boone, which sold really quickly.

His bday is one week from today. So I need to make a decision soon. At this point, I'm thinking about a Camp Chef (the $399 one, can't remember model #) from Lowe's or Home Depot (exploring deals with both of those retailers - maybe open a Lowe's card acct to save 20%). My BIL also recommended Z Grills, so I've considered them but it sounds like Camp Chef has better customer service (which may or may not be a big deal) for not much more $. And I just noticed a Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow 30" model on Amazon for 264 (no real reviews, but apparently a lot of the 20" models caught fire - yikes).

Or I could give him the $ and tell him to buy himself one during upcoming sales. Now, we arrive at my actual question: will there be great deals on pellet grills in the next month?

Thanks for any input.
 

Hamdrew

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I've never owned a pellet smoker myself, but have seen deals advertised in our area's Ace Hardware and Lowe's circulars/weekly ads.

I would consider a propane or electric smoker, if you haven't. I say this only because he may be under the impression that they are inferior to pellets, which are inferior to "stick burners", but that is not necessarily true whatsoever.

Good luck!
 

Steve H

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All types of smokers have their pros and cons. And IMHO none are inferior from one type to another. It all depends on what you want to do. And more importantly. How far you are going to go with smoking. If you believe he wants a pellet smoker. Then that would be a good start. Camp Chef has a decent rep. Though I've never used one. Just drag him to the store. And tell him to choose. Then you pay for it. That way there's no excuses about it!
 

normanaj

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A lot depends on budget.For the guys here who own them the Recteq is it when it comes to pellet smokers/grills.

Like you said he only turns 50 once.Point blank ask him what he wants and then go get it!
 

Buttah Butts

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You will spend more money in the long run by going to a traeger or Daniel Boone because soon you will realize that they are not that great. Get the Rec Teq, if pellet smoking isn’t his thing you will be able to sell it quickly.
 

BigW.

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Do you have a gas grill or possibly a kettle grill? I made the best ribs this weekend on a kettle. That may be a cheaper alternative and delivers tasty food. Otherwise I'm sure the Camp Chef will certainly make him happy.
 

Hamdrew

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Do you have a gas grill or possibly a kettle grill? I made the best ribs this weekend on a kettle. That may be a cheaper alternative and delivers tasty food. Otherwise I'm sure the Camp Chef will certainly make him happy.
I was just about to suggest the same thing, or a Weber Smokey Mountain. If nothing else, check Craigslist and get an old one as a backup?? There is something very satisfying about "working with" the fire- Checking/rolling coals, having to be a little careful (read: not too inebriated).. And all you need is a kettle, some charcoal, and a little wood.
kimg0599-jpg.jpg
 

not a smoker

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Do you have a gas grill or possibly a kettle grill? I made the best ribs this weekend on a kettle. That may be a cheaper alternative and delivers tasty food. Otherwise I'm sure the Camp Chef will certainly make him happy.
We do have a gas grill. He often puts some wood chips in there to try to get a little smoky flavor. I don't know what a kettle grill is, but I'll look it up.
 

not a smoker

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You will spend more money in the long run by going to a traeger or Daniel Boone because soon you will realize that they are not that great. Get the Rec Teq, if pellet smoking isn’t his thing you will be able to sell it quickly.
Yes I definitely don't want to end up wasting money on something crappy. I'm looking for something cheaper than a Rec Tec to start with, then he can figure out what features, size, etc he wants to upgrade to in a few years.
 

not a smoker

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Joined May 3, 2021
I've never owned a pellet smoker myself, but have seen deals advertised in our area's Ace Hardware and Lowe's circulars/weekly ads.

I would consider a propane or electric smoker, if you haven't. I say this only because he may be under the impression that they are inferior to pellets, which are inferior to "stick burners", but that is not necessarily true whatsoever.

Good luck!
That's good to know. I know nothing about any other smokers, only that I've heard him say in the past he wanted a pellet one, and that my BILs both recently bought pellet smokers (a Z Grill and a Rec Tec).
 

kilo charlie

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I know many others have already offered their opinions, but I'd like to throw out the Pit Boss name.. I personally have a Pit Boss Copperhead 5 that's exclusive to Wal Mart ( they have several models like that) it'll smoke everything you could ever want from big family get togethers to small meals for you two.

It's got a 60# hopper on the back to keep from having to fill up the pellets as often and the one small issue I had in the beginning was quickly resolved by their customer service.

It's $500 - not sure what your budget is.. but you can also buy 40 pound bags of the Pit Boss brand pellets at WalMart for $15 - most other brands are $20 for 20 pounds.
 

SWFLsmkr1

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First smoker?

If it is dont overwhelm him with fancy controls on a pellet grill or a vertical gas or electric.

A Weber 22" kettle is a great smoker and bbq. Hard to mess things up with charcoal and a few chunks of wood.
 

Hamdrew

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That's good to know. I know nothing about any other smokers, only that I've heard him say in the past he wanted a pellet one, and that my BILs both recently bought pellet smokers (a Z Grill and a Rec Tec).
You of course have a much better idea of what he'd want than I do. While having something different could be cool, it would also be cool for him to get the same (pellet) as his brothers. Definitely could help with the learning curve! Which might easily make him more inclined to use it, often. However again, you know him better: If he's the type to want to "one-up" his brothers, or have/learn/teach them something different, etc.

I am a charcoal/wood smoker, but have read praise here for Rec Tec's. It sounds like you are having no trouble navigating the site; Just in case, here's the respective forums:
 

not a smoker

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Joined May 3, 2021
First smoker?

If it is dont overwhelm him with fancy controls on a pellet grill or a vertical gas or electric.

A Weber 22" kettle is a great smoker and bbq. Hard to mess things up with charcoal and a few chunks of wood.
Yes, first smoker. He is kind of geeky, though, and I know he'd have fun with the fancy stuff. But also know it's not necessary to have fun and get a good result.
 

Hamdrew

Smoking Fanatic
327
453
Joined Jan 17, 2021
First smoker?

If it is dont overwhelm him with fancy controls on a pellet grill or a vertical gas or electric.

A Weber 22" kettle is a great smoker and bbq. Hard to mess things up with charcoal and a few chunks of wood.
I think WSM's (that's a Weber Smokey Mountain N not a smoker , almost always abbreviated) or other water smokers might be even easier when actually using the water pan.

N not a smoker Water smokers use a water pan, ensuring the temp stays around the boiling point of water, which is perfect for "low'n'slow" smoking.
 

smokeymose

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If he wants a pellet grill then get him a pellet grill. Nothing else will do. I understand the budget thing. I really liked a grill recently and the Mrs. saw me looking at them on-line but when asked I also said we don't need to spend the money. She ordered it from Amazon anyway.
Let him know in a roundabout way that he's getting one and if he doesn't pick one he'll have to live with what you get him.
Happy bday to him and bless you!
 

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