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Old 03-10-2010, 06:43 PM   #1
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Cheap smoker?

Hey guys!



Im wondering if any of you guys have had experiance with any decent cheap smokers. I dont really have alot to spend. I have these cabins where my familly goes on the weekends in the summer near a small river. It finally hit me that this is the place i could finally put a smoker! (i live in an apartment)

What could be better than sitting on the river with a beer, smoking up some ribs?

So to get to the bottom line, can you guys recomend anything in the $150-$200 range? Id love to stay closer to $150 but if there is a huge quality difference in $50 i will go there...

Thanks in advance!

---Joe
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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Re: Cheap smoker?

Probably not much difference between $50 and $200, huge difference between $200 and $300. I think if you buy a smoker, you should buy a 18" WSM, cost a little more than you want, but you'll be doing yourself a favor in the long run. Another good option would be a UDS, I've never used one but tons of people swear by them, and usually spend less than $100 bucks.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:47 PM   #3
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Re: Cheap smoker?

My vote is the 18.5 WSM too. Might check Craig's List for a used one, maybe someone upgrading to a 22.5" WSM and want to sell their 18.5".
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:55 PM   #4
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Re: Cheap smoker?

I will keep an eye out for the wsm 18" at a good price, but the UDS looks promissing as well, since once i get good at smoking me up some ribs i will start cooking them for holiday weekends where we typicaly get 20-30 people at these cabins. The big drum looks like it can cook A LOT of food.

Ive been lookign at a bunch of how to builds on the UDS, and im wondering why noone tries to incorporate a water pan like the WSM? Isnt this one of the WSM's big perks, with the water pan helping to stabalize temps and keep moisture in the food?
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:56 PM   #5
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Re: Cheap smoker?

If you want good and cheap make yourself a UDS. WSM's are great smokers too but more $$$. A lot of people including myself don't put water in the water pan. I use a clay pot base. A uds doesn't require a heat sink and the fat dripping on the coals adds flavor too.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:37 PM   #6
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Re: Cheap smoker?

What do you mean by heat sink?
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:49 PM   #7
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Re: Cheap smoker?

Put a couple UDS cookers together with a couple grates each. Very little money, lots of fun to build & great smokers!
Plus you have braggin' rights on your creations when you're servin' up great Q to your family!

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Old 03-10-2010, 10:10 PM   #8
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Re: Cheap smoker?

Get a Brinkmann Gourmet electric model. 58 bucks when I bought mine. Do not require any of natures bounty other than an extension cord to the cabin and few dead branches or bark off the closest tree. Do not use pine no. Do not let the Park Ranger catch you copping the branches or pic a nic baskets.

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Old 03-12-2010, 08:12 AM   #9
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Re: Cheap smoker?

Go with the WSM, you will save yourself a bunch of headaches. I went with one of those cheaper ones used it once and got the WSM.
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:29 AM   #10
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Re: Cheap smoker?

Vote +1: WSM 18.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:19 PM   #11
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Re: Cheap smoker?

Buy a WSM and dont look back...Well worth the money.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:21 PM   #12
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Re: Cheap smoker?

Id love to see some arguement as to why the WSM is a better cooker than a UDS. From everything ive read so far it seems the uds can cook as good, has a higher food capacity, and costs about half the price of a 18" wsm.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:26 PM   #13
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Re: Cheap smoker?

I don't see UDS' sold locally. Also the last thing I need is more meat coming off my WSM 18. If I needed more, I'd probably get the 22". Also, just from the testimonials, many more people have the WSM and know how good it is. That, and shipping a UDS to me would more than cost the UDS.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:35 PM   #14
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Re: Cheap smoker?

^^^ I would of course be making my own though.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:45 PM   #15
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Re: Cheap smoker?

Yeah I don't have time to be making smokers. So that comes into play with how much one of these costs. A lot of people would just want to cook. I think most people here know that non-pit people find turkeys difficult to make in a regular oven, not to mention preparation, marination, meat preparation, injection, smoking, wrapping, etc.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:09 AM   #16
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Re: Cheap smoker?

^^^ Hehe, thats my next step. First i need the smoker, than i need to learn what do do with it. Im fully aware it may take a few years to ger decent at BBQ. Im just starting out, as ive never smoked anything besides a fatty to this point.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:52 AM   #17
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Re: Cheap smoker?

Few years? Nah. Took me a couple months with some hungry friends, and some devoted time here on the list. Youtube helps too.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:03 AM   #18
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Re: Cheap smoker?

Well the thing is the smoker (whatever it ends up being) is not going to be here at my residence, but at my cabins where i will probally only get to use it once every 2 weeks or so, so it will probally take me a bit longer.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:30 AM   #19
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Re: Cheap smoker?

Ah it's pretty straight forward.
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:08 AM   #20
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Re: Cheap smoker?

I gotta agree with BeeRich, by the time you add your time and running around gas into a UDS you have the price of a WSM 18 or even 22. We are all gear-heads, but unless you really want to build a smoker go with the WSM and spend your time cookin'.
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