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Old 04-01-2013, 05:36 PM   #1
BenRuss
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Hey group, I know this has likely been asked a zillion times, but here goes...
I smoked my first ever eye of round on the weekend on my gas grill. I figured if I was going to wreck anything, a $9.00 piece of meat would be the way to go.
Good news, it turned out AWESOME, better news, I am hooked. Bad news is my wife just bought me a new Gas Grill a few years ago and so asking her or myself to spend money on a BGE or horizontal smoker, might not go over big. My problem with the gas grill was that it was rediculously hard to regulate the heat and the chips could only be accessed and changed from the top which lost all my heat.
Can you tell me what the pro's and con's of an inexpensive vertical smoker would be. (not ultra $40.oo cheap, maybe a Bradley $80.00 one) would be and what mods you would make to it to get started SMOKIN!?!?!?

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Old 04-02-2013, 05:26 AM   #2
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I have a Weber smoker that works well for me - http://www.amazon.com/Weber-721001-Smokey-Mountain-Charcoal/dp/B001I8ZTJ0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364880273&sr=8-1&keywords=weber+smokey+mountain.

I had a cheap one before the Weber and wore it out in about 5 years. The Weber is easy to use and does a great job on most everything I've put into it. It smokes a little hotter than I'd like for some things, but it does a great job on 95% + of what I want it to do. I smoked my first couple of pounds of grain last week, and it produced what tastes to be a really nice smoked malt. I can't wait to brew with it.

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Old 04-02-2013, 11:33 AM   #3
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I have a Primo,American version of BGE, and love it. If I was lookingfor a less expensive way to smoke I would look at an UDS or try and score an BGE on Craigslist. Big reason is the ability to smoke n cold temps.

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Old 04-06-2013, 10:56 PM   #4
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One thing you could look at doing is adding a smoke generator such as the smoke pistol to your grill.

You'll still have the problems with heat regulation, but since the smoke generator is external, you don't have to open the lid to re-supply.


http://www.smokepistol.com/


If you are handy at all, you can make your own. The upside to going this route is the possibilities are endless. I have seen Ugly Drum Smokers (UDS) to wood fired pizza oven/smoker combos, all the way to full blown smoke houses. Anything that has a chamber that will retain heat has potential to be turned into a smoker. The only caveat is you have to be careful of the actual materials used, especially in a hot smoker, as chemicals can leach into your food.


Personally, I have a 40 in Masterbuilt digital smoker. The nice thing about this smoker is the fact that it is digital, making for easy temperature control. I did try out a Masterbuilt electric smoker which had no real temperature control, and I didn't like it. It was difficult to maintain a temperature with it. It also was single-layer, meaning it wouldn't work well in the cold winter months. The temperature control aspect could be easily resolved with a temp controller though.


I also have a chimney-style cold smoker attachment for it, meaning I can use the cold smoker attachment to provide smoke and just leave the heat on the main smoker off, or very low. Cold smoking is incredibly hard to do otherwise, as many consumer smokers use the same heat source to heat the cook chamber as well as provide the smoke. I make ABTs, turkey, sausage, and jerky with my smoker for the most part. I wouldn't mind trying something like brisket, ribs, or even bacon though.

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Old 04-08-2013, 01:31 AM   #5
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Personally, I like my propane Masterforge I converted to NG. In fact, Lowes has 'em on sale right now for $148.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_156452-95393-MFW784BDP_4294703217__?productId=3603268&Ns=p_prod uct_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_p roduct_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetInfo=

With gas, you just set it and forget it. It's a vertical cabinet style with 2 doors, so I never have to open the cooking chamber to add chips/chunks. Plenty of room in cook chamber, compared to a kettle smoker too.

There are charcoal only kettle smokers that are cheaper, but they're a pain to regulate temps (especially on long smokes) without some modification. I'd go gas if you can. Just my thoughts.

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Old 04-08-2013, 02:42 AM   #6
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This is a cool thread. I would like to start smoking this spring and have been eying up pellet smokers. Interested to see what else comes up.

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Old 04-08-2013, 02:56 AM   #7
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I have a Bradley original smoker. It's pretty idiot proof and I've made some great food in it.

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Old 04-08-2013, 03:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender View Post
I have a Bradley original smoker. It's pretty idiot proof and I've made some great food in it.
I looked at one of those and was quite honestly ready to get one when I found the masterbuilt smoker. Nearly the same thing as far as construction goes (same size, insulated, etc) but it uses regular wood chips instead of the Bradley biscuits.

Downside is that you have to add the chips yourself, there isn't an automated smoke generator.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougK View Post
I looked at one of those and was quite honestly ready to get one when I found the masterbuilt smoker. Nearly the same thing as far as construction goes (same size, insulated, etc) but it uses regular wood chips instead of the Bradley biscuits.

Downside is that you have to add the chips yourself, there isn't an automated smoke generator.
Heh, I bought the Bradley for that reason.

I had one of the Brinkman R2D2 units for years until it rusted out and changing the wood chips drove me bats. I like the pucks, but there is a cost to it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:03 PM   #10
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Scope out Craigslist. If your patient you can score big. I bought a weber smoker for $50 that was around ten years old and used maybe twice. The food grates were rusted and I bought a new one for around $15.

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