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G G
11-23-2014, 09:19 AM
I know we have a lot of great chefs here that use smokers to cook. I am considering buying an entry level smoker with money being in short supply. I was wondering if yall have any input on what I should start out with. I would only be using it to cook for three people so it doesn't need to be big at all. I have looked at the cheap round ones, and my brother used to have one that worked pretty good for him. I have seen the small upright ones' too. Just not wanting to spend a lot of money to get started and could upgrade later. Thanks.

hammondc
11-23-2014, 09:35 AM
Depending on budget, the Weber Smokey Mountain is a great beginner smoker.

Stevez
11-23-2014, 09:49 AM
Couldn't agree more with the recommendation for the Weber Smoky Mountain Bullet. $299 delivered off Amazon with free shipping. Go to the Virtual Weber Bullet website for a great source of recipes and how to do different cooks. Great resource. I've turned several people on to this smoker and everyone has loved it.

T.G
11-23-2014, 10:01 AM
I don't think you can go wrong with either the aforementioned 18-1/2" WSM or a Pit Barrel Cooker (PBC) (http://pitbarrelcooker.com/).

shilala
11-23-2014, 10:02 AM
Make sure you check Craigslist, homie. :tu

Porch Dweller
11-23-2014, 10:22 AM
Depending on budget, the Weber Smokey Mountain is a great beginner smoker.

:tu

If you decide to go with a WSM, don't get the 14.5" one; the cooking area is just too small. I'm usually only cooking for me and the wife and we have an 18.5".

T.G
11-23-2014, 10:33 AM
:tu

If you decide to go with a WSM, don't get the 14.5" one; the cooking area is just too small. I'm usually only cooking for me and the wife and we have an 18.5".

I either forgot or didn't know that they made a 14.5". Definitely avoid something that small. It's the Smokey Joe grates, which are good for like three hotdogs and A burger. Maybe two if they are small. Temp control in really small smokers like that can be very erratic too.

G G
11-23-2014, 11:57 AM
Make sure you check Craigslist, homie. :tu

I have been looking the last couple days.

G G
11-23-2014, 12:03 PM
And I know the advice is good, but am probably going to be a little more limited on funds at least for a little while. That Pit Barrel Cooker sure is interesting. Might just shoot for that.

pektel
11-23-2014, 12:12 PM
I bought a horizontal barrel grille at target a few years ago for like $79. Didn't come with the sidecar, but I've made it turn out great food for its whole life.

Chainsaw13
11-23-2014, 01:01 PM
PM Mike, 357, about his UDS (ugly drum smoker). Or just google for it. If you're handy, you can make your own for a pretty cheap sum.

T.G
11-23-2014, 01:33 PM
PM Mike, 357, about his UDS (ugly drum smoker). Or just google for it. If you're handy, you can make your own for a pretty cheap sum.

Having made one UDS and rebuilt a second one, I can say that I think the PBC is a better option than building your own unless you need the larger capacity. Depending on how you set up the UDS, the cost difference might not be that great, and with the PBC you can just take it out of the box and start cooking, rather than f-ing around with cleaning the inside of a used drum which can be a PITA and a lot of work (and I got lucky, my drums only needed an acid wash and a soak with caustic - very potent industrial grade stuff in both cased, but it beat burning and sanding for days).

Don't get me wrong, I think UDSs are great, but I also think the PBC is a simpler, easier and better solution. I needed cookers that could hold 6-8 whole chickens, 4-6 butts, 8 tri-tips, 12+ racks of ribs, etc all of which is way more than the PBC can handle, so I had to go the UDS route.

Gary ("cort") has both a UDS and a PBC - he could probably weigh in on some of the differences also.

G G
11-23-2014, 04:17 PM
I appreciate the great advice friends. I talked to Steve today and the situation has been remedied. He has a solution that mutually benefits both of us. Thanks Steve.

MarkinCA
11-23-2014, 04:26 PM
Great! Way to go Steve:tu

Steve
11-23-2014, 06:32 PM
I appreciate the great advice friends. I talked to Steve today and the situation has been remedied. He has a solution that mutually benefits both of us. Thanks Steve.

:ss

Gotta look after my brother!

mosesbotbol
11-23-2014, 07:00 PM
Buy WSM for Bed Bath & Beyond online, pick up at store with 20% off coupon. Cheapest way to buy one. If you could swing it, I'd go for the larger one even though BBB does not carry it. The larger diameter works better ribs.

jonumberone
11-24-2014, 07:44 AM
Glad Steve was able to hook you up, Greg.
Had I seen this I would've echoed the guys recommending the Pit Barrel or building yourself and UDS.

badbriar
11-24-2014, 08:40 AM
Depending on budget, the Weber Smokey Mountain is a great beginner smoker.

What he said!!! I've had one of these for over 20 years - same one and is still going strong! Excellent results and can do two butts, briskets or turkeys at a time. DON'T make the mistake of getting another vertical smoker, like a Brinkman - not the same and you WILL be sorely disappointed! Walmart has the Smokey Mountain for around $300.00. Best $$$ you will ever spend!
Happy Smokin' :tu
RR

G G
11-24-2014, 08:40 AM
TG and Dom, I like that Pit Barrel Cooker and will probably order one when the money situation gets better. :tu

badbriar
11-24-2014, 08:55 AM
For some first class recipes and instructions on how to smoke anything, do a google search and type in BBQ FAQ. It is under www.eaglequest.com/~bbq.
Absolutely best place for smoking ever. Ribs, Brisket and Butt instructions are dead on and will give you perfect BBQ every time! Be sure to try the rib glaze!!! I used to cook on a competition BBQ team here in FL for a couple of years and we started with this site for information. First competition, we came in 5th place out of 28. Not too shabby for rookies, but the info from this site was the secret ingredient!

:tu

pnoon
11-24-2014, 11:06 AM
For some first class recipes and instructions on how to smoke anything, do a google search and type in BBQ FAQ. It is under www.eaglequest.com/~bbq.
Absolutely best place for smoking ever. Ribs, Brisket and Butt instructions are dead on and will give you perfect BBQ every time! Be sure to try the rib glaze!!! I used to cook on a competition BBQ team here in FL for a couple of years and we started with this site for information. First competition, we came in 5th place out of 28. Not too shabby for rookies, but the info from this site was the secret ingredient!

:tu

I'll have to check out that link.

I am partial to www.amazingribs.com
It also has a $hit ton of info on the science behind the cooking.

G G
11-24-2014, 11:35 AM
Awesome info, thanks.

BigAsh
11-24-2014, 02:55 PM
:ss

Gotta look after my brother!

I still don't like Steve....but he's inching up the ladder...:D....nice to see one nice guy helping out another nice guy!

G G
11-24-2014, 03:20 PM
Hey big Keith, how you been?

kydsid
11-24-2014, 07:55 PM
I appreciate the great advice friends. I talked to Steve today and the situation has been remedied. He has a solution that mutually benefits both of us. Thanks Steve.

:ss

Gotta look after my brother!

Free smoker in exchange for 20% of all cooked materials delivered to Steve's front door? :r

G G
11-24-2014, 07:55 PM
Free smoker in exchange for 20% of all cooked materials delivered to Steve's front door? :r

Nah he hit me for 50%.:tu

Steve
11-24-2014, 08:18 PM
Free smoker in exchange for 20% of all cooked materials delivered to Steve's front door? :r

Nah he hit me for 50%.:tu

:lr:lr

MikeyC
11-24-2014, 09:44 PM
TG and Dom, I like that Pit Barrel Cooker and will probably order one when the money situation gets better. :tu

I bought a PBC earlier this year when I decided I was fed up with my ECB. So far I've cooked baby backs, beef back ribs, short ribs, and brisket in it and it's been awesome. The food always turns out great and it's an incredibly easy smoker to use. Load it once with charcoal and it goes 8-10 hours without touching it. Plus, no water pan to refill. Just light it up, hang the meat, put the cover on, and that's it. Couldn't be easier. :tu

Porch Dweller
11-24-2014, 09:53 PM
I like my WSM, but I've heard so much about the PBC that I'm thinking about picking one up. Does anyone here have experience with both? I'd be interested in a comparison.

Steve
11-25-2014, 08:26 AM
I bought a PBC earlier this year when I decided I was fed up with my ECB. So far I've cooked baby backs, beef back ribs, short ribs, and brisket in it and it's been awesome. The food always turns out great and it's an incredibly easy smoker to use. Load it once with charcoal and it goes 8-10 hours without touching it. Plus, no water pan to refill. Just light it up, hang the meat, put the cover on, and that's it. Couldn't be easier. :tu

Even when I use a smoker with a water pan, I don't use a liquid in it. All the water is used for is to create a thermal barrier so the food is cooked indirectly instead of directly over the fire. Using a liquid, it is near impossible (in my experience) to get a decent bark. Instead, I use playground sand. This creates the required thermal barrier and allows my product to form a delicious crust.

My $0.002. YMMV.

Enjoy!

BigAsh
11-25-2014, 09:00 AM
Hey big Keith, how you been?

All good double G!....been a month of Sundays since last time I saw you....hopefully soon my friend, good Lord willing and the creek don't rise....:D

Even when I use a smoker with a water pan, I don't use a liquid in it. All the water is used for is to create a thermal barrier so the food is cooked indirectly instead of directly over the fire. Using a liquid, it is near impossible (in my experience) to get a decent bark. Instead, I use playground sand. This creates the required thermal barrier and allows my product to form a delicious crust.

My $0.002. YMMV.

Enjoy!

and you got sand to play with when yer done!

Steve
11-25-2014, 09:08 AM
All good double G!....been a month of Sundays since last time I saw you....hopefully soon my friend, good Lord willing and the creek don't rise....:D



and you got sand to play with when yer done!

Sand with pig fat to be exact :banger:banger

G G
11-28-2014, 07:55 AM
After reading the replies here and watching all the videos on the PBC site, reading reviews on bbq forums and whatnot. I talked to Steve and he's cool with it, cause he knows I appreciate his friendship and his offer. I have decided to purchase a PBC. I am not a cook and my skills aren't up to par as most of you that do smoking and cooking on a grill. The simplicity of using the PBC sold me. I found a deal on Amazon that allows me to apply for an Amazon CC and get $40 off, and six months same as cash. I just pulled the trigger this morning as I was hoping there would be a little more savings with Black Friday but there wasn't. So for $265 I get the PBC and a Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter. Not a bad deal at all and I can't wait to get it so I can become a smokemaster like you all.:tu

Again, thanks for the advice and help. I can always count on you to help brothers.

Steve
11-28-2014, 09:25 AM
I'm looking forward to checking it out when you get it, not to mention sampling some of the vittles!

Porch Dweller
11-28-2014, 09:54 AM
Awesome, Greg! Just be sure to post some pic's in the "What's in your smoker" thread. I look forward to hearing about your experiences with the PBC as I'm mulling over picking one up once we get to our new house next year.

G G
11-28-2014, 10:44 AM
I'm looking forward to checking it out when you get it, not to mention sampling some of the vittles!
I would like to have yall out soon and we can do it. :tu

Wife said I can't actually open it til Christmas though, but it might not get here til then cause there is a backlog.

Awesome, Greg! Just be sure to post some pic's in the "What's in your smoker" thread. I look forward to hearing about your experiences with the PBC as I'm mulling over picking one up once we get to our new house next year.

Will def post some pics.:banger

G G
11-28-2014, 10:56 AM
Well looks like I have got to be tortured for a few weeks. The PBC was supposedly on a 2 to 5 week timeline for shipping. I ordered it at 8:30 this morning and I just got notification from Amazon that it has shipped.

Steve
11-29-2014, 11:58 AM
Well looks like I have got to be tortured for a few weeks. The PBC was supposedly on a 2 to 5 week timeline for shipping. I ordered it at 8:30 this morning and I just got notification from Amazon that it has shipped.

:gary :D

G G
11-29-2014, 12:13 PM
I gotta also say that I have done a bunch of reading about the PBC. What I have found is exactly what everyone here said. With just a bag of Kingsford Original Briquets you can make awesome smokey treats. I was reading on a couple bbq forums and it appeared when it first came out the old hands were poo pooing it and talking about it pretty badly and some of the same ones have one now. LOL