What smoker would be good for me

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by iceman6409, May 18, 2016.

  1. iceman6409

    iceman6409 Fire Starter

    So as I get into this smoking meat thing it occurred to me to figure out what solution is best for my needs since I am a newbie.  Currently I have an 18" Weber kettle that I did one smoke on last week.  Turned out good.  Since I know nothing about this smoking world in general I though i would lay out what I would like to do and see what you all think would be the best solution for my needs.  First and foremost I live alone.  I definitely will not be smoking a lot of meat as I still like to grill low and slow steaks and stuff.  I may want to do some smoking to do a little freezing for later every now and then.  I won't be doing those massive smokes that I see pictures of everywhere.  And boy those look good by the way.  So a rack of ribs or two, some pork butt and what have you every now and then.  What style smoker do you all suggest?
  2. mkriet

    mkriet Smoking Fanatic

    I would say either Weber Smokey Mountain, or an electric smoker. Those are fairly low cost options, but are good units.
  3. If your budget allows. Just from personal experience. Get the biggest smoker you can reasonably afford. I started with a small kettle. Then a small offset and now a 1000 pound Klose smoker within 2 years. Better to have more space then less.
  4. mkriet

    mkriet Smoking Fanatic

    I agree with James. I started with a small Brinkman, now I have a wsm and am working on a smokehouse
  5. smokesontuesday

    smokesontuesday Smoking Fanatic

    Masterbuilt Electric 40" or Webber Smokey Mountain depending on which method you want to use

    They're both great starter smokers. I started with an MES 30" and immediately regretted choosing to buy the smaller smoker.
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    MES 40---Go for it !!

    Generation #1 or Gen #2.5.

    Don't get the Gen #2.

  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Either one will do the job.

    Personally I would go for the WSM.

  8. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    Ask yourself: do i want Electric or charcoal/wood

    if the answer is electric (cuz i like to set and forget) get the MES --great smoker

    if the answer is charcoal (cuz i like fire! and still low maintenance) get the WSM --great smoker

    figure out you probably want to start out with a MES30 or WSM 18.5 but once you get going you will need the bigger so start with the MES 40 or the WSM 22.5 and dont look back!

    Happy Smoking,

    phatbac (Aaron)
  9. The WSM comes in 3 sizes so one should suit your needs.  It's a good smoker.
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  10. krj

    krj Fire Starter

    Haven't used a WSM, but I've heard nothing but good things about them. I have used an MES, can't remember which, and they work pretty well, just don't always trust it's temperature readout. I currently have a PBC, which I love to death for just simple light it and let roll jobs.
  11. Well like many others on here i have a Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) i also have a 22.5 Weber kettle and a gas grill i really like all my toys. i guess it more depends on your budget and style of smoking you want the WSMs are a charcoal and wood fueled smoker and its a Vertical smoker you can go with a small horizontal offset smoker if you would rather that style they also burn charcoal and wood and can be used for wood only burning. i don't own an electric or propane smoker but i am definitely not opposed to either they can both turn out excellent Q. 

    but i will emphasize in most cases (unless you make one yourself) you get what you pay for when it comes to smokers. my 14.5 WSM cost 200 and my only regret is i wish i got the 18.5 instead because i don't like cutting my ribs to make them fit but overall i love it. i have been planning on building a drum smoker (a home made WSM with alot less cost) for almost a year now but life keeps getting in the way of my projects. 
  12. My 22.5" WSM easily held 3 large racks of ribs on the upper food grate last weekend.  I could have done another 3 with the second grate.  Gary Wiviott's book Low & Slow covers smoking on Weber kettles, WSM's, and offset smokers but he favors the WSM.  I highly recommend beginning with his book if you get a WSM.  You can follow his book exactly and after a few smokes you'll know what you can vary to suit your tastes.  Using his book I haven't had a bad smoke with my WSM.

    As to size, the 18.5" WSM may have been enough for us and the 14.5" is such a cute little booger I'd be tempted to get it.

    After using my WSM, which I really love, for a few years I'm adding an offset smoker to my arsenal.  I think I'll like it just as much if not more than the WSM but it's going to take a little more of my time for each smoking session.

    You can't go wrong with a WSM.

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