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Shopping for a Smoker.

Shopping for a Smoker.
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  • Post #211 - May 29th, 2013, 2:06 pm
    Post #211 - May 29th, 2013, 2:06 pm Post #211 - May 29th, 2013, 2:06 pm
    A friend of mine and I collaborated on making bacon in his smoker. It was a big success and now I am major jells, as the kids say, of his smoker. I live in a third floor apartment with a wooden deck that's covered. I think I need to get an electric or propane smoker given the wooden deck and all. Any one have a recommendation on a good one? It's heresy to use an electric, I know. But better an electric than no smoker at all, right?

    My buddy has a similar issue and has a Masterbuilt electric version. He has some clean up issues that I'd like to avoid, if possible.
  • Post #212 - May 29th, 2013, 3:32 pm
    Post #212 - May 29th, 2013, 3:32 pm Post #212 - May 29th, 2013, 3:32 pm
    You can use a charcoal if you are careful and set up on something like a big piece of cement backer board. We got one that was something like 8'x4' for under $20 a few years ago at Home Depot. They will cut it for you if that's too big. You do have to be careful, I accidentally melted the siding on my house. We now have backer board on 3 sides around where I have the smoker.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
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  • Post #213 - May 29th, 2013, 3:43 pm
    Post #213 - May 29th, 2013, 3:43 pm Post #213 - May 29th, 2013, 3:43 pm
    leek wrote:You can use a charcoal if you are careful and set up on something like a big piece of cement backer board. We got one that was something like 8'x4' for under $20 a few years ago at Home Depot. They will cut it for you if that's too big. You do have to be careful, I accidentally melted the siding on my house. We now have backer board on 3 sides around where I have the smoker.

    Concrete board is typically 3'x5' as it's a lot heavier than drywall (but that makes it a pain to install for walls for tile backing, if your studs are spaced for 4'x8' pieces... but that's another show).

    I use a piece of the Hardibacker-type stuff which is lighter weight (and a large degree fiberglass) for protecting the grass when I smoke in the yard (as opposed to the driveway). When it's on sale it should be in the neighborhood of $10-$12. It's a lot neater when cut versus the concrete board -- it doesn't break into lots of little sharp cement bits.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #214 - May 29th, 2013, 6:55 pm
    Post #214 - May 29th, 2013, 6:55 pm Post #214 - May 29th, 2013, 6:55 pm
    This was a big concern for me too as I moved to a second floor condo with a wood deck. But I stuck with my WSM. I bought a couple of concrete grill pads, one that I place underneath underneath the smoker, and one next to it (to catch some stray charcoal pieces - it happens!). You can buy them at Home Depot - http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog ... Search+All or the like. You can also purchase them online from many sources. But I've been using them now for several years without issue.
  • Post #215 - May 30th, 2013, 8:29 am
    Post #215 - May 30th, 2013, 8:29 am Post #215 - May 30th, 2013, 8:29 am
    I am going to have to check my condo association rules on charcoal. Thanks for the tips on the charcoal options.
  • Post #216 - May 30th, 2013, 8:54 am
    Post #216 - May 30th, 2013, 8:54 am Post #216 - May 30th, 2013, 8:54 am
    Another suggestion, and the one I use on my wooden deck, is to go to a metal fabricator and buy a large sheet of aluminum to put down over the wood. That will protect the deck and won't crack or deteriorate over time.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #217 - May 31st, 2013, 7:17 pm
    Post #217 - May 31st, 2013, 7:17 pm Post #217 - May 31st, 2013, 7:17 pm
    This guy in Gary Indiana:

    http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwi/app/3823642027.html

    also makes a mini-UDS, which I own a really really enjoy, here's mine:

    http://imgur.com/a/M2TXV

    If I lived in an apartment, it's what I would buy.
  • Post #218 - June 12th, 2013, 5:33 pm
    Post #218 - June 12th, 2013, 5:33 pm Post #218 - June 12th, 2013, 5:33 pm
    Looking to pick up a WSM. Usually only cooking for my fam but once a year do pulled pork for the block party. Anyone have any thoughts on whether the 18 1/2" is big enough? Usually I am doing 3 butts.
  • Post #219 - June 12th, 2013, 5:45 pm
    Post #219 - June 12th, 2013, 5:45 pm Post #219 - June 12th, 2013, 5:45 pm
    mfal34 wrote:Looking to pick up a WSM. Usually only cooking for my fam but once a year do pulled pork for the block party. Anyone have any thoughts on whether the 18 1/2" is big enough? Usually I am doing 3 butts.


    Yes. The 18 1/2" is big enough to do 3 butts on one of it's racks, with space to spare for 2 - 3 racks of ribs on the other rack (or 3 more butts).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #220 - December 2nd, 2013, 8:26 am
    Post #220 - December 2nd, 2013, 8:26 am Post #220 - December 2nd, 2013, 8:26 am
    Anyone happen to know of any Cyber Monday deals for a Weber Smokey Mountain? Looking to buy one for my dad for Christmas and the best I can find is $299 with free shipping which is the same price I was seeing a couple weeks ago.
  • Post #221 - December 2nd, 2013, 8:30 am
    Post #221 - December 2nd, 2013, 8:30 am Post #221 - December 2nd, 2013, 8:30 am
    ziggy wrote:Anyone happen to know of any Cyber Monday deals for a Weber Smokey Mountain? Looking to buy one for my dad for Christmas and the best I can find is $299 with free shipping which is the same price I was seeing a couple weeks ago.

    If you have a Target Red Card - it will save you 5% off of the $299 sale price.
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #222 - December 2nd, 2013, 9:15 am
    Post #222 - December 2nd, 2013, 9:15 am Post #222 - December 2nd, 2013, 9:15 am
    ziggy wrote:Anyone happen to know of any Cyber Monday deals for a Weber Smokey Mountain? Looking to buy one for my dad for Christmas and the best I can find is $299 with free shipping which is the same price I was seeing a couple weeks ago.


    Amazon has been discounting various Masterbuilt models for the last couple of weeks as "Lightning Deals" but the WSM rarely shows up beyond the standard $299 discount.
  • Post #223 - April 28th, 2016, 9:58 am
    Post #223 - April 28th, 2016, 9:58 am Post #223 - April 28th, 2016, 9:58 am
    I am the recipient of a free 18.5" WSM. It is in great shape except for...The donor did not clean it at the end of last season. The smoker was infested by ants. The owner's wife saw the ants, sprayed it with ant killer, and said she would never eat anything made on it.

    I want to clean it down to the paint. The exterior is in great condition - no rust, chips or dents.Any suggestions on how to do it. The racks are rusty. Does it make send to buy new, or can high cook at high heat and then put in dishwasher?
  • Post #224 - April 28th, 2016, 10:08 am
    Post #224 - April 28th, 2016, 10:08 am Post #224 - April 28th, 2016, 10:08 am
    funkyfrank wrote:I am the recipient of a free 18.5" WSM. It is in great shape except for...The donor did not clean it at the end of last season. The smoker was infested by ants. The owner's wife saw the ants, sprayed it with ant killer, and said she would never eat anything made on it.

    I want to clean it down to the paint. The exterior is in great condition - no rust, chips or dents.Any suggestions on how to do it. The racks are rusty. Does it make send to buy new, or can high cook at high heat and then put in dishwasher?


    I'd suggest using a pressure washer, if you can get your hands on one. It will get rid of all the gunk and rust and make the WSM look just like new. You can use the pressure washer on the grates as well, but if it were me, I'd just buy a new set of grates for a fresh start. They don't cost very much.

    P.S. Cleaning greasy WSM grates in the dishwasher is a bad idea. Don't ask me how I know. :roll:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #225 - April 28th, 2016, 3:33 pm
    Post #225 - April 28th, 2016, 3:33 pm Post #225 - April 28th, 2016, 3:33 pm
    stevez wrote:I'd suggest using a pressure washer, if you can get your hands on one. It will get rid of all the gunk and rust and make the WSM look just like new. You can use the pressure washer on the grates as well, but if it were me, I'd just buy a new set of grates for a fresh start. They don't cost very much.

    P.S. Cleaning greasy WSM grates in the dishwasher is a bad idea. Don't ask me how I know. :roll:

    Home Depot has pressure washers for rent.
  • Post #226 - April 28th, 2016, 9:33 pm
    Post #226 - April 28th, 2016, 9:33 pm Post #226 - April 28th, 2016, 9:33 pm
    I reached the conclusion that greasy grates in dishwasher was one of my worst ideas ever.
  • Post #227 - April 29th, 2016, 6:25 am
    Post #227 - April 29th, 2016, 6:25 am Post #227 - April 29th, 2016, 6:25 am
    I've put mine in the dishwasher, but only after I've cleaned them as best I can myself.
  • Post #228 - April 29th, 2016, 11:11 am
    Post #228 - April 29th, 2016, 11:11 am Post #228 - April 29th, 2016, 11:11 am
    funkyfrank wrote:I reached the conclusion that greasy grates in dishwasher was one of my worst ideas ever.


    Curious what happens
  • Post #229 - May 2nd, 2016, 11:04 am
    Post #229 - May 2nd, 2016, 11:04 am Post #229 - May 2nd, 2016, 11:04 am
    Pressure washing works pretty well on grates and the grill itself. One of the best ways to clean the grates is to put them in the oven on the cleaning cycle. It wont do anything for the rust, but it will get rid of any grease/gunk. Steel wool pads work well to remove the rust, or as stevez says, just by a new set, they are pretty reasonably priced.
  • Post #230 - May 2nd, 2016, 1:04 pm
    Post #230 - May 2nd, 2016, 1:04 pm Post #230 - May 2nd, 2016, 1:04 pm
    The best gift you can give a smoker is good advice. Smoking is awful for you.
  • Post #231 - December 12th, 2017, 4:39 pm
    Post #231 - December 12th, 2017, 4:39 pm Post #231 - December 12th, 2017, 4:39 pm
    Hi there LTH:

    My dad has expressed some interest in starting up a smoking habit -- and no, not cigarettes! I'd like to get him a beginning unit -- nothing more than $150 -- but one that would be versatile, reliable and create tasty product. I can tell you that he grills a lot -- and he tends to use his propane grill most often. What kind? I have no idea but it's a nice gas grill with not a ton of bells and whistles.

    I wanted to put it to the LTH community to see if there are any suggestions of smokers that would do a good job and not cost me an arm and a leg. If he wants the Green Egg -- he'll have to get it himself.

    Thanks for your help!

    Shannon
  • Post #232 - December 12th, 2017, 7:22 pm
    Post #232 - December 12th, 2017, 7:22 pm Post #232 - December 12th, 2017, 7:22 pm
    Hi Shannon -
    Just a suggestion. Ask your dad for leads about what he would like.
    He MIGHT want an electric one.
    He MIGHT want a propane / gas powered one.
    He MIGHT want a charcoal / wood one.

    Just a suggestion - might save your money from turning into an unused appliance in the garage.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #233 - December 12th, 2017, 7:24 pm
    Post #233 - December 12th, 2017, 7:24 pm Post #233 - December 12th, 2017, 7:24 pm
    I think you'll need to set your sights a little higher. My daughter received the smallest, least expensive version of the Weber Smokey Mountain last Christmas, and even that was $200 or more.

    Buddy
  • Post #234 - December 13th, 2017, 6:39 am
    Post #234 - December 13th, 2017, 6:39 am Post #234 - December 13th, 2017, 6:39 am
    Here is my concern. You get what you pay for. $150 is not going to be a very good quality smoker. Lower quality probably means your father will be less likely to like it and use it.

    The Weber Smokey Mountain is the gold standard of the lower priced smokers, but costs significantly more than $150.
  • Post #235 - December 13th, 2017, 9:10 am
    Post #235 - December 13th, 2017, 9:10 am Post #235 - December 13th, 2017, 9:10 am
    I'd suggest checking Craigslist as they typically have used ones for sale on a regular basis. I was keeping an eye out for a friend in Ft. Myers, FL and he picked up the 18.5" model with a bag of lump and a Weber chimney starter for $75! Doubt you will find that great of a deal but if you familiarize yourself with the Weber models you may find something used in your price range.
  • Post #236 - December 13th, 2017, 10:40 am
    Post #236 - December 13th, 2017, 10:40 am Post #236 - December 13th, 2017, 10:40 am
    I definitely agree that you get what you pay for when it comes to smokers. Ironically, cheap, low-end smokers require some serious expertise to manage correctly because they typically leak a lot of heat in several ways, and fire management can be difficult. And even then, it's a difficult endeavor.

    I'd recommend a Weber Smoky Mountain as the best place to start and as was mentioned above, maybe you can find used one somewhere online. If you search the Shopping & Cooking forum for Weber and/or WSM in the Topic titles only mode, you'll find plenty of relevant results.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #237 - December 13th, 2017, 10:49 am
    Post #237 - December 13th, 2017, 10:49 am Post #237 - December 13th, 2017, 10:49 am
    +1 on the WSM and I'd supplement it with Low and Slow
  • Post #238 - December 13th, 2017, 11:59 am
    Post #238 - December 13th, 2017, 11:59 am Post #238 - December 13th, 2017, 11:59 am
    The website amazingribs.com has some great ratings on grills, smokers, etc. You can narrow down your choices by purpose, fuel type, price range, etc. It's a great resource to educate yourself.

    https://amazingribs.com/equipment-reviews?field_manufacturer_target_id=All&field_prod_function_tid%5B%5D=2&field_price_value%5B%5D=1
  • Post #239 - December 13th, 2017, 1:01 pm
    Post #239 - December 13th, 2017, 1:01 pm Post #239 - December 13th, 2017, 1:01 pm
    thetrob wrote:The website amazingribs.com has some great ratings on grills, smokers, etc. You can narrow down your choices by purpose, fuel type, price range, etc. It's a great resource to educate yourself.

    https://amazingribs.com/equipment-reviews?field_manufacturer_target_id=All&field_prod_function_tid%5B%5D=2&field_price_value%5B%5D=1

    Thanks for this tip and link. I am interested in buying a pellet smoker, and this site makes it easy to search by fuel type, price range, and/or brand.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #240 - December 13th, 2017, 1:27 pm
    Post #240 - December 13th, 2017, 1:27 pm Post #240 - December 13th, 2017, 1:27 pm
    Hey everyone! Thank you all so much for your advice and tips! I may have to rethink Christmas a bit because I certainly don't want to give my Dad something that will frustrate him and the budget is limited this year. His birthday is coming in March though so we shall see.

    I hope you all have a great, great, and delicious holiday!

    Shannon

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