Thoughts on a smoker for meat?

teddy12b

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Here lately I've been getting interested in getting a smoker for cooking meat. A neighbor made some over July 4th when the quarantine was starting to loosen up and it was delicious. A cousin of mine was also talking about how he does it recently. With a looming quarantine remote work at home it seems like it'd be pretty easy to get it started in the morning and glance at it through the window periodically throughout the day and have something ready for dinner. I've still got some venison from last year that we need to eat up before this years buck gets into the freezer.

The one I'm looking at in particular is the Weber Smokey Mountain. I'm not sure which size yet though.

Thoughts?
 

fullmetaljesus

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I have a grill with an offset smoker I got at lowes. I love it.
Smoked lots of ribs with great success.

However it's not a fancy pellet smoker so you do have to feed the fire about once an hour to keep temps steady.
 

teddy12b

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I have a grill with an offset smoker I got at lowes. I love it.
Smoked lots of ribs with great success.

However it's not a fancy pellet smoker so you do have to feed the fire about once an hour to keep temps steady.

Part of the appeal to the weber smokey mountain was the "set it, and forget it" I keep hearing about with it. You still have to check it, but when you do it's just to make sure with nothing really needed to do. If I have to tend the smoker once an hour, I'm out.
 

Expat

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I was talking to some guy the other day. He seems to really sing the praises of the Green Egg. He got me interested.
 

pjcalla

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I have a Primo "egg style" ceramic smoker. Not as spendy as the BGE, but definitely gets the job done. I've cooked everything from wings, whole birds, ribs, brisket, pizza, you name it.



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Hoosierdood

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Look at a good Kamado grill like Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, or Grilla Grills Kong. I have the Kong and absolutely love it. I can use it as a low and slow smoker if I want, or I can use it as a full blown 600 degree steak searing beast. A Kamado grill is by far one of the most versatile cookers you can get.

Second choice would be a good pellet grill. They are great smokers but can still get temps up for grilling. Look at Traeger, RecTec, and Grilla Grills.
 

Rookie

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As a prior Traeger owner, I would pass. For years, they've relied on their name and haven't made any significant changes but they sure jacked up their price. Yoder makes an awesome unit, but they are expensive. However, I can easily get 700-750 degrees on it and still maintain 225-250 for smoking. The other day, I set it at 150 and it held well which is something my Traeger could never do.

For a cheaper option, Lowe's has the Oklahoma Joe. My daughter has one and has been happy. It gets more temperature swings, but it still does a good job. It also has a searing zone which works well.
 

chezuki

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I made bbq for a living for 10+ years. I’ve cooked on gas smokers, stick burners, charcoal pits, kamodos, ugly drums, and $30,000 commercial rigs. My favorite for home use, for both ease and results is a pellet grill. With the addition of a smoke tube and quality pellets, you can make people swear it cam from a stick burner someone tended to all night.
 

4651feeder

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Have a Pit Boss series 3 Vertical pellet smoker. I'm sure the Weber is a good smoker for some, but if you intend to just glance out the window at it thru the day it may not be for you. Something with a built-in fresh fuel source and rigid thermostatic temp control may be better suited.
 

HoughMade

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This type of topic may have more potential for the ban hammer than zero-turn mowers.

All I'll say is that if you want to dedicate time to, essentially, ONLY smoking...an offset may be good. If you want to get great smoke and be able not to tend the thing all day, get a pellet smoker. There are many great brands. I have an Oklahoma Joe's Rider DLX, which is a largish, versatile smoker (that can direct grill), but it does not have all the tech wizardry (near perfect heat control, but no wifi or bluetooth). I like it.

I'm sure I would have been happy with any one of about a half dozen brands.

I don't know enough about ceramic "egg" type grill/smokers to have an intelligent opinion.

[ETA]

I also have my 20-year-old 22.5" weber kettle and will never be without it. I did a little "resture" to it over the summer (replaced the shutters at the bottom and fixed the legs) and now it works like new.
 
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chezuki

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As a prior Traeger owner, I would pass

I will second this. I have a “Z-Grills” pellet grill, which is considered a “cheap Traeger knockoff”, but it seems a far better quality grill than the Traegers I’ve seen on display in stores.
 

NKBJ

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Been using a big ol' Kingsford with the iron grates for about five years. Plenty of room for fire on one end and meat on the other. Lately been thinking about how we did it when I was little, a hole in the ground covered with a piece of corrugated roof.
 

Jaybird1980

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Part of the appeal to the weber smokey mountain was the "set it, and forget it" I keep hearing about with it. You still have to check it, but when you do it's just to make sure with nothing really needed to do. If I have to tend the smoker once an hour, I'm out.

The Smokey mountain isn't a set it and forget it. It will take work to maintain temps and smoke, and refueling on longer smokes. It's also on the smaller side until you get the big one.
A pellet style is best for set it and forget it, followed by electric and propane with temp controllers. Get one that seals good. The ceramic kamado style are nice and possibly work better in the wind and cold temps, a few members have them and may verify.
 

Mark-DuCo

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I have 2 big vertical propane smokers for catering and a Green Mountain pellet grill for competitions and home use. I love my Green Mountain for grilling and smoking.
 

Jaybird1980

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I will second this. I have a “Z-Grills” pellet grill, which is considered a “cheap Traeger knockoff”, but it seems a far better quality grill than the Traegers I’ve seen on display in stores.

I know 3 people that have ZGrills (700 series I believe), and 1 guy has a Pit Boss and they love em.
I'm still using my UDS I built years ago
 
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