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Smoker Recommendations

TeamGreene

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Just checked Academy and they will ship to CA but shipping is over $300 I think it was like $50 when I bought mine.
 

Livewire Fabworks

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for those with WSM, adding a temp control set up like a DigiQ or Pit Viper was one of the best things I did for the long overnight cooks

I have the older version of this an absolutely love it. Overnight cooks, it is a must, but great for every cook.
 

Big B Hova

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Bought this pit boss pellet smoker/ gas grill combo. Thing is awesome. Huge hopper. Great quality. Consistent temperature. Super efficient on pellets too
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jeteater1

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I have had charcoal smokers , propane smokers . Best smaller one I have had is a Masterbuilt 30 thats electric . Has 4 racks , can put 2 racks of ribs on each rack. Or some nice size briskets .Not a pellet but real wood chips. They make a smoke generator that hooks on the side so you can do low to no heat smoking for like smoking cheese. They have them at Home depot.
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jones performance

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in the 5 years i competed in competition BBQ not once did a pellet smoker win, or really even get a call. the winning pits were either reverse flows/offsets or drum type pits.

we competed with a lang 84 reverse flow trailer smoker, and 2 to 3 weber smokey mountains depending on the event. we always did peoples choice and sold out so that required the lang to cook that stuff since the grill space allowed for alot of meat to be cooked at once. we cooked our turn in meats usually in the webers, comp ribs we did in both the lang and the weber.
i did some bbq for the owner of boardmanville at glamis one season, using a reverse flow pit he had out there made from a 500 gallon propane tank and also my weber smokey mountain. i would cook 6 pork shoulders at a time in the weber for pulled pork, and 15 racks of ribs on the reverse flow each weekend. i have cooked the ribs on my weber since using my same rubs and sauce recipe and they simply are not the same product at the end. the stick burner is much much better at cooking the ribs than the weber is.

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4Waters

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I have a Yoder YS640S pellet and I love it. It is easy and very Versatile.

If I was going to buy an offset it would be the Yoder Wichita.

All Yoders are built to last.
Yoders are bad ass, I want a Wichita bad but my GMG works great and for the price point at the time it was the best for me.
 

checkrdpast

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in the 5 years i competed in competition BBQ not once did a pellet smoker win, or really even get a call. the winning pits were either reverse flows/offsets or drum type pits.

we competed with a lang 84 reverse flow trailer smoker, and 2 to 3 weber smokey mountains depending on the event. we always did peoples choice and sold out so that required the lang to cook that stuff since the grill space allowed for alot of meat to be cooked at once. we cooked our turn in meats usually in the webers, comp ribs we did in both the lang and the weber.
i did some bbq for the owner of boardmanville at glamis one season, using a reverse flow pit he had out there made from a 500 gallon propane tank and also my weber smokey mountain. i would cook 6 pork shoulders at a time in the weber for pulled pork, and 15 racks of ribs on the reverse flow each weekend. i have cooked the ribs on my weber since using my same rubs and sauce recipe and they simply are not the same product at the end. the stick burner is much much better at cooking the ribs than the weber is.

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yada yada yada. pellets are all about convenience. You won't be doing weekday cooks having to make a total production on a stick burner
 

Kachina26

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Depends what you want to do. I have a Camp Chef pellet smoker, but I gotta say, I've had a lot of fun with my Weber Kettle. So many ways to go, pick one and go with it.
 

BigDaddyOC

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Depends what you want to do. I have a Camp Chef pellet smoker, but I gotta say, I've had a lot of fun with my Weber Kettle. So many ways to go, pick one and go with it.
I have a camp chef too, and I really like it for every day cooks. It repalced a propane for me. I've done ribs a few times on it and it works, its not as good as the WSM, but it works and it obviously easier.
 

KevinR

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Am I the only one going with Kamado Joe? Like many of those listed above this is a do-it-all set up. Smoking, grilling, roasting, rotisserie. Downside is they are pretty pricey. Ours is 18 inches.

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sintax

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Am I the only one going with Kamado Joe? Like many of those listed above this is a do-it-all set up. Smoking, grilling, roasting, rotisserie. Downside is they are pretty pricey. Ours is 18 inches.

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Nope, not the only one, but prob one of the few.

I love mine for what it is, but i struggle with the small cooking surface. Its fine for cooking for a few people, but I cant do a full packer brisket on it. The Kamados work very well as a multipurpose cooker, to the point i'd say it likely is the best at doing all things well. Smoker, very good performance, grill, very good performance, hell even oven, very good performance. I've baked bread in mine on more than one occassion.
 

jones performance

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yada yada yada. pellets are all about convenience. You won't be doing weekday cooks having to make a total production on a stick burner
no.. it sounds like YOU wont.

i dont deny the conveinence of a pellet smoker, they have their place for sure. best thing you can use them for is to cook frozen pizzas on.
 

mash on it

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Modified offset smoker with propane.
Still use wood chunks. Propane for initial light off. Pretty simple, and plenty of cooking area.

Dan'l
 

TeamGreene

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no.. it sounds like YOU wont.

i dont deny the conveinence of a pellet smoker, they have their place for sure. best thing you can use them for is to cook frozen pizzas on.
Exactly I had the treager guy at Costco once try and sell me on one and I told him I had a real smoker. To which he says well you don't use it during the week do you? Yes I do. Once you have it down I can get the pit up to temp pretty quickly.
 

AzMandella

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I have a Treager and like it plus 2 blackstones . Thinking about getting a Pit Barrel Drum smoker . Couple of questions . When hanging meats like ribs and such when they start to get to falling off the bone doneness what keeps the meat from falling into the charcoal . Also what charchoal does everyone like to use ?
 

wildone

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I have a Treager and like it plus 2 blackstones . Thinking about getting a Pit Barrel Drum smoker . Couple of questions . When hanging meats like ribs and such when they start to get to falling off the bone doneness what keeps the meat from falling into the charcoal . Also what charchoal does everyone like to use ?
We love our Pit Barrel... Never had anything fall off the hooks into the charcoal. It holds a lot of heat, and cooks fast. The owner has a great website which shows you exactly how to hook your meat.

You can buy grill inserts, or baskets if you need. Downside is the drum is heavy and akward to move. I connverted a Harbor Freight Tool Cart and its been working great for us.
 

KevinR

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Nope, not the only one, but prob one of the few.

I love mine for what it is, but i struggle with the small cooking surface. Its fine for cooking for a few people, but I cant do a full packer brisket on it. The Kamados work very well as a multipurpose cooker, to the point i'd say it likely is the best at doing all things well. Smoker, very good performance, grill, very good performance, hell even oven, very good performance. I've baked bread in mine on more than one occassion.
Very true. They do have some accessory grills to increase capacity, but this size does not take on a big group. The larger KJ helps, but that was too large for our particular needs.
 

sintax

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Very true. They do have some accessory grills to increase capacity, but this size does not take on a big group. The larger KJ helps, but that was too large for our particular needs.
yea, i have the double rack but have only ever used it for ribs.

I plan on eventually getting a proper stickburner at some point, but its not super high up on my priority list currently. I've been looking at these guys, they're local...

 

jones performance

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I have a Treager and like it plus 2 blackstones . Thinking about getting a Pit Barrel Drum smoker . Couple of questions . When hanging meats like ribs and such when they start to get to falling off the bone doneness what keeps the meat from falling into the charcoal . Also what charchoal does everyone like to use ?
falling off the bone is technically overcooked, for charcoal i found that normal kingsford had the most stable temps. in my WSM lump charcoal tended to have swings of high and low heat and needed to be replenished more on long cooks.
 

BigDaddyOC

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falling off the bone is technically overcooked, for charcoal i found that normal kingsford had the most stable temps. in my WSM lump charcoal tended to have swings of high and low heat and needed to be replenished more on long cooks.
I did a brisket 2 weekends ago and tried some mesquite lump ( I usually do Kingsford and various wood chunks) and I though it went through a lot of fuel considering overnight temps were pretty nice. Temp fluctuations were slightly more as well. Interesting, never heard that before
 

sintax

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falling off the bone is technically overcooked, for charcoal i found that normal kingsford had the most stable temps. in my WSM lump charcoal tended to have swings of high and low heat and needed to be replenished more on long cooks.
it makes sense from a product reliability perspective. when you're making briquettes you can make them all the same. Same material, same thickness, same density, and since they're so uniform, you get better burn and ignition when the next briquette in line is being "lit".

the downside being, they dont burn even half as long as lump, and you end up with WAY more ash and byproduct.
 

jones performance

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it makes sense from a product reliability perspective. when you're making briquettes you can make them all the same. Same material, same thickness, same density, and since they're so uniform, you get better burn and ignition when the next briquette in line is being "lit".

the downside being, they dont burn even half as long as lump, and you end up with WAY more ash and byproduct.
8 hours with kingsford has been my experience
 

jones performance

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yea, thats what i've found as well, reloading to finish off a butt sucks! Another nice feature of the kamado is the huge fuel reserve.
my last cook i did i used a log surrounded by charcoal in my weber sinc i was out of chunks and was too lazy to cut a log into peices. seemed to wrk pretty good.
 

Xring01

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I did a brisket 2 weekends ago and tried some mesquite lump ( I usually do Kingsford and various wood chunks) and I though it went through a lot of fuel considering overnight temps were pretty nice. Temp fluctuations were slightly more as well. Interesting, never heard that before
Thats typical with Chunk Charcoal. Just think about the various sizes, and how they burn, versus the BTU’s they put out. Which is a key reason why some people prefer briquettes.
 

HOOTER SLED-

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Funny....lately I haven't even been using my GMG......shit, I go old skool before my GMG days and just use my propane grill with a smoker box...tonight, doing bone in breasts for my wife's salads for the week. She actually likes it better this way. Foil them, low heat in the center, outside burners on med to high, keep temp in the 350 to 400 range....I use pellets in a smoker box. Get pretty good smoke flavor. Done in about an hour to an hour and 15.
 

77charger

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Alright I pulled the trigger and ordered a Pit Barrel . Should be here next week in time for Fathers Day . What charcoal do you guys recomend ?
18.5" Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Summer Package
On my water smoker i have tried a few different brands and kinsford has always been best.I tried some of their hot burning too and it seemed to do well i keep a bag along side and mayadd some to my regular batch at times
 

BigDaddyOC

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my last cook i did i used a log surrounded by charcoal in my weber sinc i was out of chunks and was too lazy to cut a log into peices. seemed to wrk pretty good.
no issues with temp control or flare ups? I kinda like that idea for more even smoke
 

Ballyhoo

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There are Pro’s Con’s to all of them.

Disclaimer:
I currently own Pitts/Spitt Offset, Weber Summit Charcoal, Weber Smokefire, over the years, I have had 3 Weber Smokey Mountains 2-22, 1 -18, Weber Ranch 36”, Green Mountains, Weber kettles, many others. BTW I was born/raised in Texas, so take that into account.

IN MY OPINION... Quick thoughts
Offsets - put out the best food, and can cook alot of food, they are the most work, and least efficient on fuel, they love fuel... need lots of it. Take a bit more time to learn how to operate.

Pellets - are great for people who basically want an out door oven, easy to use, pellets are more expensive than charcoal, decent food... however they have many parts that can break, and typically break at the worst time. (Ask me how I know).

Insulated - Big Green Egg Types - Limited space for larger cooks, excellent on fuel consumption, good food, pretty pricey, easy to use, and run a very long time on little fuel.

Weber Smoky Mountain/Drums - Probably the best bang for the buck. Great food, excellent on fuel consumption and has alot of Cooking psace.

Honorable Mention:
Weber 26” Kettle- I believe its the absolute best bang for the buck... Why...
Because you get a Kettle that can be used for everything, bbq chicken, carne asada, reverse searing tri tips or Prime Ribes, etc etc etc. and it makes a great smoker, if you use offset or snake methods with charcoal... All for under $300 brand new.... Boat loads of Youtube videos to teach you.

Cheaper propane ones - not worth your time in my opinion.
Perfect explanation!

For me, it's a Weber Kettle for the win in the versatility category. Just pick one.

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Ballyhoo

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One hell of a collection.
I had a 1967 weber ranch kettle, 36”. That thing could feed an army,
Thanks.
I have couple others that are not pictured. I would love an old Ranch Kettle 👍🏻
 

pronstar

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