What's your favorite type of smoker and why?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by jaypistol, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. jaypistol

    jaypistol Newbie

    I am new to this forum and I haven't found a thread similar to this.  I currently own a cheap barrel smoker that I have used for the past couple of years but I am looking to upgrade a bit.  So let's hear what your favorite types and models of smokers you guys use so I can have an idea of what to get next.
  2. bbq bill

    bbq bill Smoke Blower

    I used a store bought Charbroil for alittle over 4 years before the holes rusted through and the door to the firebox finally fell off.  For $150 I got more than my money out of it!! ...  I am building my own now, and I believe that's the way to go!! 
  3. allen

    allen Smoking Fanatic

    I have the 800watt MES 40in SS, I have had it for 5-6 years and have had no problems with it,Just set the Temp, and Time and leave it alone except for adding wood chips for smoke.
  4. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    UDS ,
    Cheap to build, great temp control, 16 + hours out of one basket of charcoal.
  5. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have three smokers so far...

    My first is a Chargriller Pro w/ Side Fire Box, second is a WSM, and my third is an MES30 analog model.

    My least favorite is the CG w/ SFB - too much baby sitting.

    I'm split between my WSM and MES - the MES is great for quick set up and I can even get home from work at 5:00 and throw on some chicken breasts or something small and we can eat it that evening.

    I really like the WSM because I can smoke anything in it any time.  Great versatility, temperature control, and plenty of room.

  6. I surprised there aren't more responses here, people tend to be proud of their gear.  Since no one has mentioned gas smokers, I'll add them to the list.  I have a grill-pro and I find it easy to use, and I'm happy with the food it produces.  On low it runs at around 200f, and once I get it adjusted to 225f, it will stay there all day (or night).  They are relatively inexpensive to buy and operate, so I think they make a good first smoker.  And you can use them in the rain or a power failure.  It depends what you want to smoke.  The only mistake you could make is not getting a smoker, but you have one so you already know that.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  7. goinforbroke

    goinforbroke Smoke Blower

    this might sound weird.. but the one I have now.  A cheap offset (brinkmann smoke n pit) that I modified with a piano hinge across the back, which makes the top have a 'severe' (read heat trapping) overbite with the bottom.  It's much more efficient now and immune to wind.   In true DIY nose-thumbing glory, I throw a couple of old bath towels over it to insulate.   I like it because I know this thing.   The other part that I like is that it's NOT the same temp from one side to another, and I make great use of it.  example:  meat goes in the middle for cooking, and when I want to crust up for the last hour or two, I stoke the fire and put meat right over the firebox outlet.  When things are 'done', I can move it over to the end where it's only 'warm'.    The absolute inequity of temp in this thing allowed me to smoke a pork butt AND spanish mackeral during the last couple hours last weekend.  I felt invincible.    
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  8. I just built a pit that is 5x4 the grill is 42" above fire with a 42" tall box on top . It's like old school pit with large box with double doors . 

    I would like to put a rotating basket system .

    for now it it like a small smoke house.

    I have a smoker with 16" x 5' fire box that doubles as a grill it has a 2.5 'x 4'.  Box I have used it for years and now I need to replace it . 

    I am in the process of doing that now . It works great it is on a trailer and has a large stainless sink I have loved it .
  9. stabone

    stabone Fire Starter

    I can't believe some of the responses I'm reading. Most of the smokers listed are cheaper, low-end smokers in my opinion. Not saying that you can't make great Q with a cheap smoker, but given the opportunity, I'm guessing most of you would upgrade if you could. I would have to say that my favorite smoker would be anything made by The Good-One. They are extremely well built and I have had nothing but good experiences with the brand. I would also say that Pitmaker Vault would make its way to the top of my list too. I'm not a fan of offset smokers though but I'm sure there are some good reverse-flows out there. 
  10. dirt guy

    dirt guy Smoking Fanatic

    This is pretty subjective.  It all depends on what type of smoking you do (and what your fuel preference might be).  The big thing is do your homework, decide what you think will work best for your needs.  (Do some "what if" thinking if you think there are some areas you might like to try).  Go to a BBQ contest and visit with some of the contestants about their rigs.  Remember, you don't have to spend a bunch of money to put out good food.  Some of the best pulled pork I've ever eaten came off of a friends smoker.  He took a school surplus file cabinet, built a fire box in the bottom drawer, installed a smoke stack, and put cooking grates in the other three.  He adjusted air flow by opening or closing the bottom drawer.  The thing lasted for years before it finally burned out.
  11. As a disclaimer, I would like to have a high end smoker, but I cannot afford one.  If I was in competitions or I smoked for a large number of people, I might be able to justify one.  But for family, I think I get as much satisfaction using my el cheapos, then if the end product doesn't turn out good, I can always blame the cheap smoker ;-)

    That being said, I like smoking on my BSKD.  I will say however, that it took me a while to get it where I could consistently control the temps.  I have several mods: added bafffle between the fire box and smoke chamber, lined the fire box with fire brick (after I tried lining with 1/8" sheet metal - but I left the sheet metal lining in the fire box after I added the fire brick), added a piece of sheet metal to the fire box lid to reduce depth of lid, raised fire grate and added expanded metal (was losing too many pieces of small coals), lined the bottom of smoke chamber with fire brick, added a new door thermometer and lastly added a taller stack using 12" flashing (creates more draw, but I use more fuel during cooks).

    The main reason I like it so much is that I can use charcoal and wood as fuel.  Nothing like a man and his fire.  Yeah, I have to baby sit this thing, but that's what I enjoy about it.  If I am not doing that, mama will have me doing "other stuff".

  12. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Pistol. As many have said, it's a preference; set and forget , or sit with your machine and tend to it for fun. [​IMG]

    I am a Wood burner and prefer true smoked meat done with real wood. This gives me a challenge each time I smoke. I enjoy the relaxed atmosphere , camaraderie of long conversations during the cook. (you know, laugh , tell stories of past adventures or just quietly sitting by yourself mulling over Your drink of choice and doing "Howdys" to the neighbors.

    Here's my main smoker...

    My small smoker and ...

    My gasser for Steaks and such.

    I also have a UDS  and an elcheapo (Odd Lots) Charcoal Grill which I pre-burn wood in my burnbarrel to use for fuel.

    Have fun and as always...
  13. Nice!!!  Thanks for sharing your pits with us.
  14. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you want to stick with charcoal, but are wanting to step up the game a bit I suggest a 22.5" WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain). Still charcoal fired, super easy, super efficient, works well with absolutely no mod's right out of the box. It holds a ton of meat at one go if you so desire, but only costs $400 compared to some of the $1000+ charcoal/wood models. They just plain work and are really easy to use.
  15. I like the WSM....wich I had one.  I already have three smokers, BSKD, MasterBuilt 40" Elect, ElCheapo bullet, and a 22.5" Weber Kettle w/Smokenator all in my garage.  My wife wont let me add another till I get rid of something else to make room. :(
  16. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I love my mes but really liking my new ecb.
  17. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I like the one that makes my food taste good.... :grilling_smilie:
  18. raymo76

    raymo76 Smoking Fanatic

    An expensive offset smoker [​IMG]  Hahaha once i got a quality offset smoker, which happens to be a reverse flow, I couldn't imagine cooking on anything else right now. I play with the idea of going with a Backwoods insulated charcoal smoker, but I really love the flavor of burning pure sticks and no charcoal.
  19. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Mine isn't finished yet but i am so dumb founded how efficient and how well these things hold temp... i can't say enough good things about UDS's and i haven't even cooked anything on it yet!
  20. I gotta say my 22" WSM and my mini wsm.  They put out great BBQ.

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