View Full Version : Smoker for a Newbie - Need Suggestions

07-29-2013, 09:15 AM
I'm interested in getting a "beginner" level smoker and am wondering what your thoughts are of THIS (http://www.amazon.com/Masterbuilt-20070910-30-Inch-Electric-Smokehouse/dp/B00104WRCY/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top) smoker. I am looking at it only because my buddy has one and I've had some awesome meals from it. For those of you who have smokers, what do you think? What should I be looking for? Any suggestions for a smoker for a newbie? Thanks!

07-29-2013, 10:37 AM
When people ask this question, I usually tell them what I HAVE. I think it is the best idea for a fence-sitter
because it can do EVERYTHING. It has a liftable charcoal grate, so you can cook slow or hot and fast for steaks.
It is primarily just a grill. But it is LONG enough to do what it is I DO when I want to smoke meat.
I pile all the coals on one side and all the meat on the other 2/3 of the space for really good indirect heat smoking
all in the same grill space.

I use the Super-Pro.... (http://www.lowes.com/pd_44754-49769-2121_0__?productId=3033621&cm_mmc=SCE_PLA-_-OutdoorLivingRecreation-_-Grills-_-3033621&CAWELAID=1153369954&kpid=3033621&%22cagpspn=pla%22)

I can fit 4/5 racks of ribs or 2 or 3 butts on there configured the way I do it. YES, it costs about the
same as the one you linked to, BUT it is a grill, whereas your link is just a smoker. I made one little
mod to the stack to where it comes down to the grill grate, and other than that I just smoke with it.
I really don't GRILL much, but if I did, I could do that super easy.

My local Kroeger has them for $99 right now, and I am thinking about getting another to take to
my sister's house when I visit in August.

07-29-2013, 10:55 AM
I have the same one Brad linked to, but with the side fire box. You can do some real good Q on it once you learn it, which is real easy!

07-29-2013, 10:59 AM
I have the same one Brad linked to, but with the side fire box. You can do some real good Q on it once you learn it, which is real easy!

and if Eric can do it....well...nuff said!


07-29-2013, 11:07 AM
and if Eric can do it....well...nuff said!


Feelin' the love Keith! :rolleyes:

07-29-2013, 11:39 AM
That grill sucks SO BAD, it could only manage THIS over the weekend....the indoor shot makes it look
burnt cause of the weird light, but outside you could see easily it was NOT burnt even a bit.

http://i1294.photobucket.com/albums/b611/CameraTestsPage/bostonbuttEndofJuly_zps6d021e03.jpg (http://s1294.photobucket.com/user/CameraTestsPage/media/bostonbuttEndofJuly_zps6d021e03.jpg.html)

well, and THIS..........crisping the skin over it's variable height charcoal tray. Don't let that lick of flame
fool ya....I was in complete control, lol......................no, really.

http://i1294.photobucket.com/albums/b611/CameraTestsPage/BBQSatJUL27abc_zps3b111d48.jpg (http://s1294.photobucket.com/user/CameraTestsPage/media/BBQSatJUL27abc_zps3b111d48.jpg.html)

07-29-2013, 04:09 PM
I usually recommend getting a 22" Weber kettle as you can also smoke with it. They're very easy to smoke on and there are many tutorials on how to do this.

07-30-2013, 09:52 AM
Most places I looked recommended a Weber Smokey Mountain. I went with a cheap horizontal offset smoker. I had to do a bunch of modifications to it and it takes some learning to control the temperature but I think it is worth it in the end cause you can turn out some great stuff on it! I also use it as a grill for direct cooking.

07-31-2013, 05:34 AM
I highly recommend the Weber Smoky Mountain; I've had one for years and absolutely love it. It comes in 18 1/2 or 22 inch size. I have the 18 1/2 and it's been plenty for me. Check it, and great recipes/how to's on the Virtual Weber Bullet dot com site. I have never heard of anyone regretting getting one of these. Good luck and happy smoking. Steve

07-31-2013, 01:56 PM
Brad, yours has no side firebox? I didn't know you could smoke with those. SAme with the Weber kettle grills. Interesting info.

Since the end of summer is approaching (at least here in MN) I should look for smokers going on end of season sales. I'd like to get one like that, although perhaps with the side firebox.

08-01-2013, 10:23 AM
Mine is made in a universal fashion so that it can be sold WITH or without, and I think they are packaged
in two separate boxes to boot. It has knockouts on it that you can pop out if you get the firebox deal.
Like I said, and so as with the Weber, if you shove the coals to one side and the meat to the other,
you can smoke the poopoo out of some meat with it. Indirect heat in this unit of mine makes for the perfect temp.
with the coals to one side, the thermometer reads in the area of 225-250 til the coals fade. Then I just start a new
load in a chimney starter and pour em in and keep on rolling if I have to. If I had wanted to pay the additional $50-80,
I could have gotten one with a firebox, but it seemed redundant to me, especially since I rarely smoke a whole grill
worth of stuff. I can smoke 3 dozen wings, then crank up the coals to grate level and squeeze the last heat out
of the coals to do a steak hot and fast. FOR ME, its perfect. For others, there are 4-5 other models that are popular

08-01-2013, 10:32 AM
Warren, my brother in law has the smoker in your original post. I've used it a couple of times and it works well and is extremely easy to use. If putting as little work as possible into it is your goal, that thing is the way to go. Personally, I prefer the Weber Kettle.

08-01-2013, 12:36 PM
Electric smoker is kind of cheating IMO. My buddy has one and it works, but it just does not taste the same. I have had both the Smokin' Pro and WSM, both have their advantages.

I like the Smokin' Pro as it does grilling quite well and the large chamber is great for using log based cooking (great for roasts). It's not as efficient as the WSM and requires some skill

WSM is the standard for home BBQ IMO. Efficient, holds temp really well and simple to use. Does not do grilling well at all.

Commander Quan
08-01-2013, 04:49 PM
I use the 18 inch WSM, and couldn't be happier with it.

08-01-2013, 06:04 PM
I don't have anything to add, I'm just happy to see you around, Warren!!! :tu
Long time no see. Don't be a stranger, okay? :)

I guess I can add one thing...
Three neighbors down to the left of me all have smokers. They use them daily. Dave is a complete addict and he makes the most beautiful stuff you'd ever want to see. He says it's his favorite hobby, even more so than golf. He told me it's time consuming, but it's worth it.
His food is clearly delicious because he gets bigger every time I see him. :)

08-01-2013, 06:18 PM


Not sure how close these are for you.

11-05-2013, 04:56 AM
Just reviving this because I am going to smoke my turkey this year. When I was a kid, I had this thing (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Brinkmann-Smoke-N-Grill-Charcoal-Smoker-and-Grill-810-5302-S/100606041#.UnjWH_ke1u4) because it was cheap, and it double-dutied as a grill too. I thought it was rather painless and fantastic.

Is the Char-Griller the clear best of the category? It does seem like the form factor allows for more flexibility. What is the difference between the Super Pro, the Pro Deluxes, Super Pro, and Smokin Pro? It looks pretty much the same to me. I am going to try putting in a 17lb turkey in the main cooking area, is the main tube big enough to hold a turkey of that size in there? Maybe if I put it on the lower rack where the charcoal would normally go?

So confusing! They're all the same! :(

11-06-2013, 12:08 AM
I ended up getting the $49 Brinkmann Smoke and Grill from Home Depot, and modded it with some advice on youtube. Used it today after seasoning it. I will report tomorrow morning with the smoked meats!

11-06-2013, 05:30 AM
Is the Char-Griller the clear best of the category? It does seem like the form factor allows for more flexibility. What is the difference between the Super Pro, the Pro Deluxes, Super Pro, and Smokin Pro?

I had the Smokin' Pro before the WSM. Smokin' Pro is great for cooking roasts IMO. It can be used with logs which the WSM cannot and there's a lot of flexibility with putting wood in the main the chamber or side box. It does not hold as consistent temperature and the grates require more care. Also, the Smokin' Pro can better handle a whole lamb leg or suckling pig that just won't fit in WSM. I have to hack off the end of the leg to get in there in WSM.

I miss cooking with whole logs.

11-06-2013, 06:48 AM
At some point I will grab this, since MajorMajor loves it (lol):

But until then, my little ECB will churn out good 'cue like it had when I was a kid.