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Bill Lundberg
10-15-2010, 03:19 PM
A little over a year ago I bought a Brinkman Gourmet Electric smoker to tinker with Smoking BBQ. My intention was to go cheap and see if it kept my interest before upgrading to a better smoker.

Well, it kept my interest and I'm ready to upgrade. I'm not able to spend more than $500 at this point but was wondering what is the best value for my $$ at this point. I think I'd like to go charcoal from here on out.

What do the BBQ Guru's recommend for a solid smoker with a price tag under $500?

I've heard nothing but good things about the Weber Smokey Mountain. A friend has a pellet smoker that he thoroughly enjoys, but I don't know if I could find one of those in the price range.

Detoxing
10-15-2010, 03:31 PM
IMO, an expensive smoker isn't neccessary. If you make great food with a cheap one, stick to your cheap one.

But, i'm a noob and I smoke w/ a Charcoal grill...so...

Bill Lundberg
10-15-2010, 03:35 PM
IMO, an expensive smoker isn't neccessary. If you make great food with a cheap one, stick to your cheap one.

But, i'm a noob and I smoke w/ a Charcoal grill...so...

While I agree, the ability to hold a steady and consistent temperature is important. Mine isn't really doing so, it's tough to get it to 225-250 and damn near impossible to keep it there. It's got way too wide a gap where the lid fits the barrel.

Fried Meat Ball!
10-15-2010, 03:43 PM
I don't know what the brand is, but I got a smoker with a firebox for about $250. The thing is rock solid and holds a good temp. I got it at Sam's, and it's like quarter-inch steel. I also use a couple 12-sq-in patio stones in the bottom for heat retention.

You don't need to spend a ton to find something good.

Stewie
10-15-2010, 03:58 PM
Get the Weber Bullet (Smokey Mountain Cooker). It's similar to what you're using but can hold a constant temp for hours. They have two sizes now. The original 18-1/2" and the new 22-1/2". The smaller version needs a rib rack to cook ribs but can handle a heck of alot of food. The larger version can handle ribs just laying them on the grate. Of course, the larger version needs more fuel. The small version is around $300, the large version around $400.

Bill Lundberg
10-27-2010, 02:16 PM
Ended up going with the Traeger Lil' Tex. It won't be here for a few days, but man I can't wait to fire it up! Anyone have experience with these?

tooge
10-27-2010, 02:18 PM
Ended up going with the Traeger Lil' Tex. It won't be here for a few days, but man I can't wait to fire it up! Anyone have experience with these?

A buddy of mine has one and it turns out pretty darn good meat for a cheater Q:)

Phobia
10-27-2010, 02:20 PM
I don't know what the brand is, but I got a smoker with a firebox for about $250. The thing is rock solid and holds a good temp. I got it at Sam's, and it's like quarter-inch steel. I also use a couple 12-sq-in patio stones in the bottom for heat retention.

You don't need to spend a ton to find something good.

Yours isn't 1/4" - it's 1/8th, maybe.

Bill Lundberg
10-27-2010, 02:23 PM
A buddy of mine has one and it turns out pretty darn good meat for a cheater Q:)

:) I'm ok with the cheater. I may mess with the Brinkman for a non cheater to use when I have time.

booyaf2
10-27-2010, 02:24 PM
I had one for several years. I had pretty good luck with it as far as a smoker, but don't confuse it with a grill. You can't sear steaks with it, and it will inject smoke flavor into your burgers that I never liked. I ended up selling it and buying a ceramic charcoal grill and have never looked back.

Bill Lundberg
10-27-2010, 02:24 PM
I had one for several years. I had pretty good luck with it as far as a smoker, but don't confuse it with a grill. You can't sear steaks with it, and it will inject smoke flavor into your burgers that I never liked. I ended up selling it and buying a ceramic charcoal grill and have never looked back.


Yeah, I'll stick to the Weber Kettle for the steaks

Bane
10-27-2010, 02:28 PM
I bought one like this at Lowes for less than $150 about 3 years ago and have absolutely no issues with it.IMO this is an awesome smoker/grill.

Dayze
10-27-2010, 02:35 PM
man...I wish I had a smoker.

I need to find out if the apartment complex I'm in allows electric smokers. They don't allow charcoal or even propane. they said as long as it has an electrical heating element it's ok....hopefully that applied to smokers too.

If so, I''ll probably try to score one next spring.

BigRedChief
10-27-2010, 02:37 PM
A little over a year ago I bought a Brinkman Gourmet Electric smoker to tinker with Smoking BBQ. My intention was to go cheap and see if it kept my interest before upgrading to a better smoker.

Well, it kept my interest and I'm ready to upgrade. I'm not able to spend more than $500 at this point but was wondering what is the best value for my $$ at this point. I think I'd like to go charcoal from here on out.

What do the BBQ Guru's recommend for a solid smoker with a price tag under $500?

I've heard nothing but good things about the Weber Smokey Mountain. A friend has a pellet smoker that he thoroughly enjoys, but I don't know if I could find one of those in the price range.I had the Masterbuilt smoker for 2 years. Used it 3-4 times a month and finally wore it out.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Masterbuilt-30-Electric-Smokehouse/7811422?wmlspartner=GPA&sourceid=44444444445359498800

I upgraded to the Bradley 4 rack smoker:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=9730210&findingMethod=rr

I know its a cheater but I like the no fuss and no mess approach for at home smoking/grilling. Tailgating I always went old school charcoal.

Monty
10-27-2010, 02:39 PM
man...I wish I had a smoker.

I need to find out if the apartment complex I'm in allows electric smokers. They don't allow charcoal or even propane. they said as long as it has an electrical heating element it's ok....hopefully that applied to smokers too.

If so, I''ll probably try to score one next spring.

You can get a Brinkmann's electric smoker for about $65-70. It doesn't take up space and works pretty good. You just set it and forget it. This is the one that I had before I moved to the offset model.

http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/public/6UKmDH_NOpyWRQHWfreuNDEOOOqeSylUcssyFf4Q3BQEnHt5rxV5pUlo_EpfiwuoMubuQjX72opcB4rgbeeuS-q7WjehAeK9HOAleDaC7-Tr7YLbbx7ZeLFuwcjzoiDaK_UIR6CSiU_szVM9dSvzyTL9ExxYhBQNy5-kOjZaGfG2XUPeLtGxmnK_xO9BMXoo

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=brinkmann+electric+smoker&hl=en&prmd=ivs&resnum=1&wrapid=tlif12882118288401&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=16276929898756865913&ei=f43ITPXbOMSblgfu0aH5Ag&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CEkQ8wIwAA#

txhawk
10-27-2010, 02:42 PM
Get the Weber Bullet (Smokey Mountain Cooker). It's similar to what you're using but can hold a constant temp for hours. They have two sizes now. The original 18-1/2" and the new 22-1/2". The smaller version needs a rib rack to cook ribs but can handle a heck of alot of food. The larger version can handle ribs just laying them on the grate. Of course, the larger version needs more fuel. The small version is around $300, the large version around $400.
This

Dayze
10-27-2010, 03:03 PM
You can get a Brinkmann's electric smoker for about $65-70. It doesn't take up space and works pretty good. You just set it and forget it. This is the one that I had before I moved to the offset model.

http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/public/6UKmDH_NOpyWRQHWfreuNDEOOOqeSylUcssyFf4Q3BQEnHt5rxV5pUlo_EpfiwuoMubuQjX72opcB4rgbeeuS-q7WjehAeK9HOAleDaC7-Tr7YLbbx7ZeLFuwcjzoiDaK_UIR6CSiU_szVM9dSvzyTL9ExxYhBQNy5-kOjZaGfG2XUPeLtGxmnK_xO9BMXoo

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=brinkmann+electric+smoker&hl=en&prmd=ivs&resnum=1&wrapid=tlif12882118288401&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=16276929898756865913&ei=f43ITPXbOMSblgfu0aH5Ag&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CEkQ8wIwAA#

cool; thanks.:)
thanks as well BRC

donkhater
10-27-2010, 04:10 PM
Get the Weber Bullet (Smokey Mountain Cooker). It's similar to what you're using but can hold a constant temp for hours. They have two sizes now. The original 18-1/2" and the new 22-1/2". The smaller version needs a rib rack to cook ribs but can handle a heck of alot of food. The larger version can handle ribs just laying them on the grate. Of course, the larger version needs more fuel. The small version is around $300, the large version around $400.

This x2

You will not be disappointed in this purchase. I just did 10 lbs of pork shoulder for 16 hrs without adding fuel or water. Maintained a constant 235 the whole time despite the temp dipping to 38 degrees overnight.

Bill Lundberg
10-27-2010, 04:14 PM
You can get a Brinkmann's electric smoker for about $65-70. It doesn't take up space and works pretty good. You just set it and forget it. This is the one that I had before I moved to the offset model.

http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/public/6UKmDH_NOpyWRQHWfreuNDEOOOqeSylUcssyFf4Q3BQEnHt5rxV5pUlo_EpfiwuoMubuQjX72opcB4rgbeeuS-q7WjehAeK9HOAleDaC7-Tr7YLbbx7ZeLFuwcjzoiDaK_UIR6CSiU_szVM9dSvzyTL9ExxYhBQNy5-kOjZaGfG2XUPeLtGxmnK_xO9BMXoo

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=brinkmann+electric+smoker&hl=en&prmd=ivs&resnum=1&wrapid=tlif12882118288401&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=16276929898756865913&ei=f43ITPXbOMSblgfu0aH5Ag&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CEkQ8wIwAA#

That's what I have now. I like it ok, but it doesn't hold a temp very well. Plus I wanted something bigger. I highly recommend it for a first timer though.

Detoxing
10-27-2010, 04:16 PM
I had the Masterbuilt smoker for 2 years. Used it 3-4 times a month and finally wore it out.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Masterbuilt-30-Electric-Smokehouse/7811422?wmlspartner=GPA&sourceid=44444444445359498800

I upgraded to the Bradley 4 rack smoker:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=9730210&findingMethod=rr

I know its a cheater but I like the no fuss and no mess approach for at home smoking/grilling. Tailgating I always went old school charcoal.

You can get a Brinkmann's electric smoker for about $65-70. It doesn't take up space and works pretty good. You just set it and forget it. This is the one that I had before I moved to the offset model.

http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/public/6UKmDH_NOpyWRQHWfreuNDEOOOqeSylUcssyFf4Q3BQEnHt5rxV5pUlo_EpfiwuoMubuQjX72opcB4rgbeeuS-q7WjehAeK9HOAleDaC7-Tr7YLbbx7ZeLFuwcjzoiDaK_UIR6CSiU_szVM9dSvzyTL9ExxYhBQNy5-kOjZaGfG2XUPeLtGxmnK_xO9BMXoo

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=brinkmann+electric+smoker&hl=en&prmd=ivs&resnum=1&wrapid=tlif12882118288401&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=16276929898756865913&ei=f43ITPXbOMSblgfu0aH5Ag&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CEkQ8wIwAA#

These electric smokers just dont seem "manly" enough. There is something about controlling the fire that gives an ultimate sense of accomplishment.

Monty
10-27-2010, 04:16 PM
That's what I have now. I like it ok, but it doesn't hold a temp very well. Plus I wanted something bigger. I highly recommend it for a first timer though.

If it was 45 degrees or less, I had a hard time with it holding heat, but yes, it's perfect for a newbie starting out.

Extra Point
10-27-2010, 04:59 PM
A lot of babies get thrown out with the bath water, or a new tub gets bought.

runnercyclist
10-27-2010, 05:06 PM
My Weber Smokey Mountain makes the best food on the planet. +1

KCHawg
10-27-2010, 05:23 PM
Big Green Egg.....

bevischief
10-27-2010, 05:24 PM
http://www.grillsandsmokersonlinestore.com/

This is the one I have
http://www.grillsandsmokersonlinestore.com/product/MRP065
Great people to work with.

REDHOTGTO
10-27-2010, 05:37 PM
Ended up going with the Traeger Lil' Tex. It won't be here for a few days, but man I can't wait to fire it up! Anyone have experience with these?

you'll love it, trager is an awesome smoker, cant go wrong

allen_kcCard
10-27-2010, 05:59 PM
Same one as mine. The only concerns I have with mine after 2? years is that the firebox is rusting, I presume from all the heat in there. The grates on the firebox rusted so badly that I can't get them to move anymore and am using foil to control the airflow there. I'm worried that another few years and it will start to rust through and I'll have to replace that part of it.

Not sure if there is more I should do to try to care for the firebox, or what else I could do. I'd thought about trying to put a metal square box in there that has channels to lay out the charcoal in and a string wire mesh at the bottom for airflow, but I'm not sure I could get one that would fit in there right without having my own welding equipment to play around with it to get it all right.


I bought one like this at Lowes for less than $150 about 3 years ago and have absolutely no issues with it.IMO this is an awesome smoker/grill.

BigRedChief
10-27-2010, 06:06 PM
These electric smokers just dont seem "manly" enough. There is something about controlling the fire that gives an ultimate sense of accomplishment.yes, there is some kind of macho BS out there that you have to control fire or you can't enjoy good smoked meat.

As my wifes friends say................BRC's meat has satisfied many women.

Fish
10-27-2010, 06:11 PM
Ended up going with the Traeger Lil' Tex. It won't be here for a few days, but man I can't wait to fire it up! Anyone have experience with these?

My old man has that one in the Elite version. He was clueless before getting it, and he's smoking all sorts of good stuff now and the family thinks he's a BBQ guru. Very easy to use. It doesn't do quite as well at putting that great smokey flavor in meat like only conventional charcoal and wood can. But it's pretty darn close for as easy as it is to use. He gets his pellets at a local farm and ranch place too for about half the cost of a retail store. Look around for the best deal on pellets, the price varies a lot. He cooks a lot of stuff out of the recipe book they give you with that, says it's a great book. Not sure if you got the same, but check it out if so.

Good luck.

Fried Meat Ball!
10-27-2010, 07:31 PM
Yours isn't 1/4" - it's 1/8th, maybe.

I'll measure next time I'm out there. I doubt it's 1/4, but I think it's more than 1/8th. Thing is fuckin' heavy, whatever it is. And it holds temp, so it don't really matter.

LoneWolf
10-27-2010, 08:07 PM
I bought a smoker two years ago from a small company in Yoder, KS. Go to yodersmokers.com (I'm a noob so I can't post a link). Best smoker I have ever owned.