What Type of Smoker?

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Original poster
Mar 18, 2024
I am joining your forum to figure out what type of smoker I should surprise my husband with. The gigantic, old fashioned type of smoker that we have now is not easy - difficult to master the temp, can’t control it in hot weather, he wants to perfect his smoking technique & I just want yummy bbq!
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Welcome, put a price range so we know which way to guide you, lot of choices, good luck as there are a bunch lol
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Lots of questions...
1) What kind of smoker does he currently have?
2) What kind of fuel for the new smoker? Pellet, charcoal, propane, or wood?
3) How many people would he be cooking for regularly?
4) When would you need it by?
5) What's the budget?
These to start pointing you in a direction. I'm sure others will add to this list...
Greetings, and welcome to the group from New Mexico.
As others before me said a little more information will help us guide you.
Particularly what you have now. Maybe there are mods that could be made or tips to help you make the current one work satisfactorily for you and save the $$$ of a new one.
Welcome aboard. The correct answer is: Weber 26" Kettle. It's a multipurpose cooker with a small learning curve(if any). It's also big enough for most proteins yet small enough for the individual cook.

FWIW, I have an electric Masterbuilt 40 (MES 40), and a Rec Tec Stampede Pellet. Both great smokers but have different uses for me
The electric gets used 3 times as much as the pellet, mainly because I do a lot of sausage, jerky, fish, etc. It is capable of and excels at lower temps ( 120-180 °) which is needed for those type of smokes.
Pellet gets used more for butts, chicken, roasts, etc. Pellet grill low temps are maybe 180° or above.
As others stated, depending on the main use would determine what would suit your needs best.

And welcome to the forum !
What Brand/model smoker do you currently have? What do you guys like to smoke?
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I think the easiest and maybe best of both worlds would be to go with a Masterbuilt electric (mes40). I started with a weber kettle, then toyed around with a masterbuilt firepit that was kind of a octagon shape....not really a smoker but who knows what that was marketed for lol. I had a masterbuilt dual fuel (charcoal/propane) for awhile, and now I have a MES40 (1st generation) and a recteq deck boss pellet smoker.

The charcoal stuff (weber kettle) is fun, but can be a bit to master. Same for the dual fuel one. They are all fun learning how to use. The masterbuilt electrics are pretty nice, you are adding real wood but it still requires some touch to master the temps you want for different stuff, but still pretty easy. Maybe not as easy as a pellet, but not as difficult as a charcoal or a real stick burner offset type of thing.

But if he wants to tend to a fire, then maybe a stick burner offset type of thing is the way to go. By far though, from a cost and ease to figure out perspective you can't go wrong with a masterbuilt electric.
I believe that if you are looking for results close to the "old fashioned" wood burning and ease of use you are looking at the Masterbuilt Gravity feeds. True set and forget. Fill the chute with charcoal and a few wood chunks, light, set temp on controller and it does the rest. I believe this 100%. If I ever get to the point of not wanting to run my Lang stick burner again it's the route I'll go. This is good ng to be in the $600-$1000 range. If you can afford much more then you look at any gravity feed such as a Southern Q with an added Guru unit. Looking at thousands there but it would last a lifetime.
Welcome, from Colorado. Lots of questions for sure. But one of my cookers is a Masterbuilt Gravity series 1050 and I really like it. Good for cooking for just my family and enough room to cook for bigger gatherings as well. Good luck with your search.
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