Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Meat Smoking, Curing and Sausage Making > Help Choosing a Smoker for a Newbie
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:44 PM   #21
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WSM is a good choice, but I personally prefer an off-set smoker. If you choose to go that route there are many regional brands (depending on where you live), so the brands we have in Texas may not be available where you live. The key is you want a smoker that can hold the heat, otherwise any savings you may have from your purchase will be wasted on fuel if you end up going with a thin, flimsy metal like you will find at Home Depot or Lowes.

You want a smoker that is thick and solid as it will hold temperature much easier. I have an original New Braunsfel smoker (before charbroil bought them out) which is made from very thick metal. I can smoke a brisket for 18 + hours off of a 1/4 bag of lump charcoal and 3-4 small pecan logs.


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Old 08-05-2013, 11:44 PM   #22
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Even more great feedback, thanks again.

jammin, great video!



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Originally Posted by AZ_IPA View Post
UDS' are nice if you are into DIY.

I do enjoy DIY (keggles, keezer, home projects), but the UDS would be more fitting to my family if it was a bit smaller maybe ~25-30 gallons. I expect these smaller sizes may be available as well, but I'm pretty certain I'll take the path of least resistance with a ready-made smoker.

I don't think I'll pull the trigger for a few days, so opinions are still useful. Again, thanks to everyone.


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Old 08-06-2013, 12:02 AM   #23
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I love my WSM. It's so easy.
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:07 AM   #24
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I love my WSM. Under $300, easy to use, and I've gotten it so that it will go for 22 hours straight or more on a single load of coals. I added a DigiQ controller and now can even do overnight cooks in the middle of Wisconsin January.

Oh, and Mem Day, 4th of July and Labor Day, home Depot has a huge sale on charcoal. 40.4 lbs of Kkngsford blue for $10. I think Ive bought 180 lbs so far this summer.
Not that I'm going to buy it, but how does the controller work? Does it control temperature just through air flow?
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:32 AM   #25
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Another vote for the WSM. I just bought one in June when I decided my cheap offset smoker wasn't doing the job. I'm still getting used to controlling temps by manipulating the vents, but the end product has been outstanding.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:47 AM   #26
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Not that I'm going to buy it, but how does the controller work? Does it control temperature just through air flow?
Yeah pretty much. I'm about to jump into it with my WSM. There is a fan that is mounted to one of the air inlets on the bottom and the other 3 are closed off. Then there is a temp probe that you put on the cooking grate and it's all connected to a control panel/box if you will. Set your temperature and the fan will kick on allowing air in to raise the temp. Once you're at your temp it shuts the fan off until it drops. Kind of like a RIMS/HERMS system in brewing using a PID
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:52 AM   #27
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^yup

I use a BBQ Guru on my BGE. I hold temps within +1/-1 degree no matter the weather. Sleep like a baby overnight. 16+ hour smokes worry free. SWMBO bought it for me for my birthday
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:13 AM   #28
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Not that I'm going to buy it, but how does the controller work? Does it control temperature just through air flow?
Yep, close two vents, and attach a little 10 cfm fan to the remaining vent. The DigiQ is connected to the fan, and it has a probe that you clip to the grill grate. If the temp drops a bit, the controller tells the fan to blow in a little air and stokes the coals back up to the right temp. Keeps the temp rock solid for hours and hours.

And it has another probe in the meat, so you can just look at a display to keep an eye on the food temp without opening the lid and losing heat.
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:25 AM   #29
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And it has another probe in the meat, so you can just look at a display to keep an eye on the food temp without opening the lid and losing heat.
almost forgot about that... my guru runs the pit temp down to a minimum once the meat probe registers set temp. overcooked meat... not even once
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:29 AM   #30
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Oh, and for the OP, DigiQ is a thing made by BBQ Guru - we're both talking about the same awesome little gadget.


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