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-   -   I need your help (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f172/i-need-your-help-248677/)

churdbird 05-31-2011 03:22 PM

I need your help
As a new guy looking to getting into smoking - what kind / style of smoker would you all recommend? It's just two of us and on occasion maybe 4-6. Looking to purchase but if you can convince me, I could build as well. Looking to spend around 200ish?
Just looking for some assistance on what's good and works well and what to stay away from.

_JP_ 05-31-2011 03:46 PM

Propane, nat gas, charcoal, wood, or electric fired?

How much will it be used?

I don't smoke much (maybe 3-4 times a year); but when I do, I get by with my modified charcoal fired "water smoker" (which was $35). I drilled out the firepan to allow air in, and put an adjustable vent on the lid, which really helped control the burn rate.

Charcoal lasts 6+ hours if it's not windy out. If I need longer cooking time, I finish in the kitchen oven.

The best out there is the "Big Green Egg" - essentially an insulated version of what I have. They're pricey though.

churdbird 05-31-2011 04:29 PM

How often? Like anything - more so in the summer 2xs a month or more.
As to initial source, open for ideas. Probably not natural gas.
The egg looks cool but a little to much for what I need.

dfess1 05-31-2011 05:32 PM

I'd build an ugly drum smoker (UDS), or look into a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker. If you have tools and the know how, you can find some good build threads over on thesmokering.org that will walk you through making a UDS. Should be able to do that for under 200 bucks.

CHefJohnboyardee 05-31-2011 07:41 PM

There are different sizes of Green Eggs.

$200 gets you a nice rig. My UDS build (without the cost of the blown angle grinder) is right at $80 but that includes the barrel for $10.

JohnTheBrewist 05-31-2011 09:03 PM

It depends on what kind of smoking you intend to do. If your intending to essentially cold smoke cured meats like sausage and jerky, then you'd typically use a different smoker than you would for BBQ like brisket and ribs.

For low and slow cooking, 230*f, BBQ, then I think a UDS can't be beat for the price. If you want to cold smoke at less than 170*F then I think an electric smoker like the "Big Chief" might be in your ballpark. I don't know of many other options in the $200 range. You can also build a cold smoker fairly cheaply.

Desert_Sky 05-31-2011 09:25 PM

Weber One Touch Gold!!!!

the 22 1/2" can smoke as well as grill. Indirect smoking is easy with the Weber, and its about 125 bucks

dataz722 06-01-2011 12:18 AM

Build a UDS. They are the best for the money. The only thing even close to their cost that is comparable is a WSM but they are about twice as expensive as a UDS, and that is the cheap WSM.

churdbird 06-01-2011 05:20 PM


Originally Posted by dataz722
Build a UDS. They are the best for the money. The only thing even close to their cost that is comparable is a WSM but they are about twice as expensive as a UDS, and that is the cheap WSM.

A guy on CL near my has a UDS for sale for 130. I'm am more then able to make one but sourcing a barrel would be the hardest part. He says it was used previous as a edible food container. I don't know of anything that is edible that comes in a 55 gal drum.
And Dataz722, someone posted that you have a few accessories that makes building one easier? If so, what do ya have?

SIXFOOTER 06-01-2011 05:32 PM

For the $$, look into the Brinkman units Home Depot and Lowes carry. Its $40 or so, has a water pan and a charcoal pan and will do a 25 lb turkey in about 12 hrs with a 10lb of Kingsford. Mine is 8 yrs old and is on its 2nd pan, but otherwise in good shape. It gets used Many times a year and lives outside in the weather.
I have the skills and tools, but would be very hard pressed to be able to make one for that price that works as well.

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