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Old 11-29-2015, 09:46 AM   #1
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Default Recommendations for an electric/propane smoker

I've been smoking meats on a barrel grill with natrural charcoal and wood chunks for years. I'm getting sick of having to babysit it on long smokes and with the temp fluctuation here in MN it gets very tedious. Looking for a solid smoker at or under the $300 mark. If that's possible. Can be either electric or propane. Mostly smoke brisket and butt and ribs.
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Old 11-29-2015, 09:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Recommendations for an electric/propane smoker

Pete, take a look at the Pit Barrel Cooker.
Not propane or electric but it solves the issues you've mentioned.
No baby sitting, fits your budget, and turns out great BBQ every time!

http://pitbarrelcooker.com/
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Old 11-29-2015, 10:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Recommendations for an electric/propane smoker

My understanding is that the pit barrel smoker holds steady heat. Before buying another, I'd contact them and get their opinion of suitability for the types of temps (and winds!) that you plan to use it with.

I have a ceramic smoker ($$... okay $$$) that holds perfect temps, but still needs a bit of babysitting for long smokes at low temps. I plan to at a BBQ guru this winter (Xmas present to myself!) so that I don't have to sit it ($$).

With your temp fluctuations, the amount of heat loss through the sides of the smoker could be high. I had this with my Traeger smokers and basically could not use them in colder temps because the heat was focused in such a small area.

How big to you want? The size for a full brisket packer or turkey can have quite the volume to keep warm.
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Old 11-29-2015, 10:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: Recommendations for an electric/propane smoker

It doesn't need to be huge. Generally just smoke meats for my wife and I. I was looking at some of the ones Cabelas has and they all look like I'll have to hang racks of ribs to avoid cutting them down to fit. They seem to be about 30 in tall and around 15 in wide and about 12 in deep. Smaller than I want but in my budget that seems to be about the size I'm going to see.

I definitely lose heat out of the sides of my barrel grill. It's a cheap charbroil one as well so it takes a lot of effort to keep it steady.
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Old 11-29-2015, 10:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Recommendations for an electric/propane smoker

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonumberone View Post
Pete, take a look at the Pit Barrel Cooker.
Not propane or electric but it solves the issues you've mentioned.
No baby sitting, fits your budget, and turns out great BBQ every time!

http://pitbarrelcooker.com/

^This.^

Don't let the size fool you, that little drum can crank out a lot of food at once.

Mark has a valid point about calling them about the temps and heat in MN, it might just handle it fine as it was originally designed up in the mountains in Colorado, maybe not Minnesota cold, but thin air and cold in the winter. My thought is you just open the air damper a bit more, but they can tell you for certain.
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Old 11-29-2015, 11:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: Recommendations for an electric/propane smoker

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Originally Posted by mahtofire14 View Post
It doesn't need to be huge. Generally just smoke meats for my wife and I. I was looking at some of the ones Cabelas has and they all look like I'll have to hang racks of ribs to avoid cutting them down to fit. They seem to be about 30 in tall and around 15 in wide and about 12 in deep. Smaller than I want but in my budget that seems to be about the size I'm going to see.

I definitely lose heat out of the sides of my barrel grill. It's a cheap charbroil one as well so it takes a lot of effort to keep it steady.
The PBC uses hangers for ribs, it can do up to 8 racks at a time. You would think that they might burn with the tips being that close to the coals, but they don't and they cook completely evenly. It's spooky how well it works with how little effort.

http://www.cigarasylum.com/vb/showpo...postcount=4840
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Old 11-29-2015, 11:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Recommendations for an electric/propane smoker

I really would like an electric smoker but that one is getting me thinking a little.
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Old 11-29-2015, 03:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Recommendations for an electric/propane smoker

if you can spend a bit more you should look at the big green egg. as close to auto pilot as you're going to get. And it unaffected by the elements.
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Old 11-29-2015, 07:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Recommendations for an electric/propane smoker

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if you can spend a bit more you should look at the big green egg. as close to auto pilot as you're going to get. And it unaffected by the elements.
My old man has one. Too much money. Kind of just want away from charcoal.
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: Recommendations for an electric/propane smoker

I bought one of these from Home Depot a couple of years ago and have not had any problems with it.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Masterbui...0210/202570588
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