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Old 11-25-2012, 04:27 PM   #1
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getting started

I owned a cheap charcoal smoker a few years ago and had some success using it. It finally burned up and I have not replaced it.

I am thinking of getting a new better grill/smoker and am looking for advice.

I liked the taste and aroma of the charcoal but it was difficult to maintain the proper heat.

What are the pros/cons of elect and gas. I have also looked at the new kamado grills but don't know if I want to spend that much money since I won't be using it that much.

Thanks for any help, Pete
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:30 PM   #2
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Weber Smokey Mountain ... Oh yea Welcome to the Forum Pete!
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:33 PM   #3
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Hey Pete..welcome. I like electric cooking for a host of reasons much too numberous to mention. Now when Obamie collapses the economy and the lights go out a person might wish they had been hoarding briquettes. No central power or generator needed. Course the place where a person stockpiles the charcoal to keep it high and dry could prob hold a bunch of cans of beanie weenies which do not need cooking. Its good to examine all the angles sometimes.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:20 PM   #4
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Check your local Craigslist for a used one. Often times as winter sets in people are practically giving them away. Otherwise we can all meet at bigwheel's place for a weenie roast when the zombies attack/economy collapses/Mayan calendar ends
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:29 PM   #5
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What Buzz said or if your some what handy look into building yourself an Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS). They are very easy to cook with too and can be made for less than $100 or less depending how good you are scrounging around for parts.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:37 AM   #6
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Forgive me if I ask some very naive questions.

I looked at a real kamado grill and it seemed impressive. It was at a show home and I am sure there were professionals doing the cooking. They were not using briquettes but lump charcoal. It had a damper top and bottom and they told me that it was very easy to control heat.

That is a mute point. I am not going to pay $700 dollars for a grill anyway.

I have seen a less expensive clone that is made of metal with oven insulation between the layers. It is called the "char-griller akorn kamado kooker" Has anyone had any experience with these grills? According to what I have read the cooking temps are easily controlled.

As I mentioned before I would like something that is easy to control the temp. It gets pretty cold here in the winter so I need something that is pretty well insulated if I use charcoal.

I guess gas or electric is more predictable but does it have the same flavor as charcoal? Where do you find lump charcoal?

I am practically new to the world of heavy grilling/cooking/smoking. I have done just enough to start getting interested. Hamburgers, steaks and a little smoking in the past. I will be asking a lot of questions.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:59 AM   #7
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Pete not sure where you live but our Forum member Griff lives in Alaska and has reported single digit temps already, he has a couple Weber Smokey Mountains. They are almost set it and forget it easy to control temperature. All that said despite BW's kidding he does have loads of experience and likes the electric cookers. One last suggestion if you do decide to go kamado style be sure to look at the Big Green Egg, more money, but the standard of the style and like the Weber you will only need to buy one. Watch this thread for a few more days as I'm sure others will weigh in.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:41 PM   #8
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Pete, I have to say I was in your same situation a couple of years back. I was just starting out with smoking, after years of grilling. The people here are great people to learn from, but when it come to different manufacturers of smokers, some can be alittle biased. I have to say though when you buy something like a Weber you are buying a superior product, and you will get years of service out of them. Hell for most Webers there is a 10 year warranty on them. BGE well for the mini your talking almost $400. Like I said I was at the same place you are at now. Not knowing what to get, and having a budget.

If all you can afford is a cheaper smoker for now, its all good. you can always get a better one down the road. All my smokers are el-cheapos. The food tastes the same, it is just a matter of what you have available at the time. There is nothing wrong with getting something cheaper. It is a matter of how you implement the equipment you have, and if you are enjoying yourself when you are cooking.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:07 PM   #9
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Ill vote for the WSM also.. But I also agree with MAX. They all will turn out a good product, it just depends how much time you want to invest. My old Brinkman made a fine pork butt, however it needed tending every twenty to thirty mins. My WSM will hold a steady temp for the most part for 10 to 12 hours, with maybe just adding a little charcoal or water
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post
Forgive me if I ask some very naive questions.

Icontrol the temp. It gets pretty cold here in the winter so I need something that is pretty well insulated if I use charcoal.

I guess gas or electric is more predictable but does it have the same flavor as charcoal? Where do you find lump charcoal?
I aint ever smelt or tasted any good flavor coming from charcoal. It would be feasible if it were impregnated with wood aka Kingsford mesquite (which produces a real nasty flavor) because they get the mesquite from the wrong geography. Its just dumb yankmes trying to make a buck. They do not realize the subtle nuances of such things. Best bet for charcoal is find one that stinks up your goodies the least. Wood is where the action is young man. Electric base is a bunch less treacherous than charcoal. If you have a nice budget consider a Smokin Tex. Pal o mine has the 1600 buck home model and he caters bbq meals for his pals who own high dollar offsets and pellet poopers and are too lazy to baby set em. It cooks whilst the cook sleeps..lol. They also have a smaller one for about half that price..but its only plastic huh? I would get the big one if it was me. Also may find some like new for good prices on craigs etc. as was previously mentioned pertaining to most bbq cooker gizmos. Yups have short attention spans...lol. Hey just noticed free shipping..best jump on it.

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