Propane vs Charcoal smokers - BBQ Central

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Old 10-04-2012, 06:29 PM   #1
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Propane vs Charcoal smokers

Dont own either yet, but I will get a smoker by next year.
Would the conveinence of a propane smoker make it the better one?
Would it be easier to keep a steady temp using propane?
Food cooked on a charcoal smoker probably tastes better, eh?
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:32 PM   #2
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Don't know anything about gas smokers, but would recommend a Weber Smokey Mountain as very simple to use and maintains temperatures very well.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:11 PM   #3
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Thats the one I have in mind bbquzz. But since fall is in the air here in Iowa, I plan on waiting till next year to I buy one.
I know nothing about propane smokers really. Just thought Id get some facts thrown my way by posting this thread.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:11 AM   #4
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WSM should maintain a good constant temp even in the winter, might be alittle lower, but it will keep a good steady temp. The only thing I use propane for now, is to clean my grates from my smoker and charcoal grills.

Also if you are looking to start smoking but you are on a budget, I would recommend getting a Weber Charcoal Kettle Grill. If you go indirect on the charcoal and add some wood chips, or wood pieces, you can get the same effect as having a WSM. you have to watch the temperature though, being a BBQ, they tend to run alittle hotter.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:46 AM   #5
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Get the WSM. Look for fall sales @ hardware stores like Ace or Academy.

I was always told that if a gas flame is smoking that you need to adjust it by adding more air/oxygen to make it burn clean. A smokey gas flame CAN'T add any good flavor to the food.

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Old 10-05-2012, 02:54 PM   #6
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I prefer a charcoal smoker, since the burning charcoal adds and extra smoke flavor to it. The gas smoker gets it's smoke not from a smoking gas fire but from a pan of soaked wood chips that when heated smoke, at least that's how the ones I've seen work. it's similar to the charcoal way, but with charcoal I just put the soaked chips straight in the fire.

This link has information on gas smokers: Gas Smokers: Buying Guide, Reviews, Ratings, and Recommendations
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:56 PM   #7
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Electricity is the only way to fly...unless a person goes nuts and decide to hit the comp trail. Cant use electricity on the sanctioned cook offs because they know it would win..let the cookie get some sleep etc. Got a pal who got a mid sized one of these. He caters for the folks who own the pellet poopers and offsetted creosote factories. Much more rational than propane too. Cheaper and no stink..safer etc.

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Old 10-05-2012, 03:40 PM   #8
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You could also build yourself a UDS, they make excellent smokers too and cost a third of a WSM. I have both the WSM and a UDS and can honestly say I don't know which one I like better.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:31 PM   #9
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Yeah good point Vermin, I just got all the parts for mine for under $20 including the 55 gallon drum.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Electricity is the only way to fly...unless a person goes nuts and decide to hit the comp trail. Cant use electricity on the sanctioned cook offs because they know it would win..let the cookie get some sleep etc. Got a pal who got a mid sized one of these. He caters for the folks who own the pellet poopers and offsetted creosote factories. Much more rational than propane too. Cheaper and no stink..safer etc.

www.smokintex.com
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwheel View Post
Electricity is the only way to fly...unless a person goes nuts and decide to hit the comp trail. Cant use electricity on the sanctioned cook offs because they know it would win..let the cookie get some sleep etc. Got a pal who got a mid sized one of these. He caters for the folks who own the pellet poopers and offsetted creosote factories. Much more rational than propane too. Cheaper and no stink..safer etc.

www.smokintex.com
Bigwheel, I got a friend who has an electric smoker, he bought at a Menards. Not top quality. His has a hard time keeping the temps in the winter here in Iowa.
If I considered an electric smoker, it would have to he well insulated. Sure would be nice to not have to buy charcoal all the time.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:47 PM   #12
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Why not just use your indoor oven then? Or the microwave oven?
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:13 AM   #13
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I have two cheap electrics..of which the Brinkmann Gourmet is my hands down favorite. The other is Royal Oak brand..50 bucks from WW. It has a flat top so is good for using as a table to set the fermenter when making beer and wine etc. Also good for storing jars of finished product inside of it...wink wink. Not fit for cooking. I feels your pain on the cold weather. The Brinkmann is insulated very easily with an upside down 55 gallon barrel dunked down over the top. Perfect insulator for it. It best be real cold and windy to need it. I have examined the Masterbuilts commonly availabe at Sams and various hardware stores..and they seem to be too similar to a compooterized version of the Royal Oak peece o sheet to bother messing with. Snag a Brinkmann. Heres a link but that price is way too high. WW had them for about 70 bucks last I checked. When not in use the little cooker lives inside the barrel to protect it and where mama do not see it and nag from seeing bbq cookers laying around in the yard.

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Quote:
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Bigwheel, I got a friend who has an electric smoker, he bought at a Menards. Not top quality. His has a hard time keeping the temps in the winter here in Iowa.
If I considered an electric smoker, it would have to he well insulated. Sure would be nice to not have to buy charcoal all the time.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:06 PM   #14
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There is a BBQ joint near me, that uses a Cookshack. I have eaten there 2 times over the last year, and the food is pretty good. It is definitely better than the other BBQ restaurant in town. (Famous Dave's)
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:34 PM   #15
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Eggxactly..the Cook Shacks are great and Smokin Tex is a clone of them I think. Have seen some online comparison tests from a few years back and the Cook Shack won on all scores except price maybe. Now for them with money and want to turn out some edible bbq in large quantities Oyler has some nice combo wood and electric models..and I dont think it takes much wood. Problemo is some of them maintain so much moisture it turns the Q to mush. The little Brinkmann dont have that nasty habit. It comes off smoked not smoke poached. Must maintain some moisture but not like a stew pot.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:23 PM   #16
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The restaurant owner said that the biggest drawback is the lack of a smoke ring, but that he used nitrates to get one. As for texture I had a pulled pork sandwich the first time, and on the next stop I had a brisket sandwich. Both of them while not as good as my own were good enough that I would go back again if I didn't have any Q in the freezer.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:09 PM   #17
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Dont blame you to eat that..lol. Glad your pal knows the old Tender Quick trick for instant smoke rings. Not sure why it cant get a ring. Is he marinating or anything? Marinades has caused many a duffer to lose the ring. Should be plenty of smoke available. I am putting on my thinking cap here. Give us some more factioids. The phoney rings are mo betta than none..but anybody who has cooked bbq can spot it 20 feet away. Way too deep and way too pink. Take care Sir. Keep New England smelling good.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:47 PM   #18
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OK, so I couldnt wait and purchased a Weber 18.5 Smokey Mountain smoker. Should get it next week.
Was wondering, does Weber make a custom cover for this smoker? I havent been able to find one from them.
I do see other companies that make covers. Id rather buy from Weber first if I could, but may have to find one from another site.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:30 PM   #19
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Congrats!! Yes they make a cover for them. I have seen them at Home Depot.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:48 PM   #20
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Weber 97201 Vinyl Cover for 18.5" Charcoal Smokey Mountain Cooker
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