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What to buy?

 
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Powder Head



Joined: 07 Aug 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12 09 6:07 am    Post subject: What to buy? Reply with quote

This will be my 3rd smoker. I had a little indian way back when. Bought an electric smoker don't even know the name. I make it work, takes forever in the cold and I have to have it halfway in the garage when it rains but I can do jerky and salmon just fine but......

I want more. I want to be able to control the temps. I can't on mine, I want to be able to crank it up if I'm running out of time. Could use a little more room.

I have ruled out Brinkman, just because they have too many and the reviews have not been the best.

I have ruled out Bradley because I don't want to have to buy their fuel. Plus just read some reviews also not good.

I have 2 so far.

Perfect Flame simple, plenty of room seems set up alright and low cost.

Camp Chef Browning Smoke Vault Looks to be built solid, lots of room, a little more money.

I would like to spend between 100 and 300 dollars, could be prusuaded to go higher with a good pitch that blows me away. Would like to branch out from salmon and jerky to ribs brisket and other tasty stuff.

Thanks for your input.

I did post this in the newbie sections so pardon the repeat, didn't know how many people will read that section.
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Teleking
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Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 4139
Location: Maine

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12 09 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

for $100 to $300 you could build a small fleet of UDS cookers. And yes they live up to the hype.

I have run mine 14 hours @ 225*F without touching it. You can crank it up to 450*F to 500*F for grilling or down to 180*F to 200*F for salmon.

luv it, luv it, luv it and everthing it does. Wink
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purplewg
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Joined: 27 Jun 2008
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12 09 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cabelas and Gander Mountain have a small propane smoker. A friend of mine has one that he uses and swears he can set it and forget it. He's kind of lazy though. Laughing
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Powder Head



Joined: 07 Aug 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12 09 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teleking wrote:
for $100 to $300 you could build a small fleet of UDS cookers. And yes they live up to the hype.

I have run mine 14 hours @ 225*F without touching it. You can crank it up to 450*F to 500*F for grilling or down to 180*F to 200*F for salmon.

luv it, luv it, luv it and everthing it does. Wink


Not to sound too stupid but what is UDS? Sorry...........
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stillsmokin
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Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 171
Location: Oroville, Ca

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12 09 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Powder Head....a UDS stands for Ugly Drum Smoker. You can do a search and see tons of pics. The smoker that i would get ( i have one ) is the Masterbuilt. It is elect. and you can use whatever type of chips you want. It has a built in thermostat and keeps temp great. I use it for all my Jerkey and salmon nad just about everything else. They go for about $200 dollars. Well worth the money. It is a set it and forget it smoker. I also have a bradley and it was twice as much and i still prefer the Masterbuilt. That being said.... you CAN NOT replacate the taste of a real wood heat smoker like the UDS or a WSM or a offset.
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Toga
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Joined: 06 Aug 2008
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Location: Southern Michigan

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13 09 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A UDS would be the way to go. Easy to make, beyond affordable, produce great chow, and are set it and forget it. If you do not want a charcoal smoker I would say the masterbuilt is a very nice set up for an electric. If you want to spend less than the $200 you will spend for a masterbuilt I bought an electric brinkmann gourmet for my father last xmas and he loves it. He wanted it for fish to replace his 20 year old little chief that was failing however found it runs much hotter than he wants for fish (cooks steady at 235). He uses it for ribs and chicken at least once a week and produces some tasty food with it. It works very will with wood chunks. For $60 at the depot it is not a bad buy for a cheapo electric.
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MountainMan
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Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 75
Location: Mountains of Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13 09 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Give us a little more info please.

1. What do you want to smoke
2. How many of these items do you want to smoke
3. How much time are you willing to dedicate to the smoking process over the time of the smoke
4. How important is it to smoke in any weather.. wind, rain, or snow

I know these questions sound silly but they will really help you with the end decision.
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Teleking
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13 09 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Powder Head wrote:
Not to sound too stupid but what is UDS? Sorry...........


cooking don't get better than this:


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Powder Head



Joined: 07 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13 09 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MountainMan wrote:
Give us a little more info please.

1. What do you want to smoke
Ribs, chicken, jerky, salmon, brisket, cornish game hens, you name it.
2. How many of these items do you want to smoke
All
3. How much time are you willing to dedicate to the smoking process over the time of the smoke
Time is not the issue, babysitting is.
4. How important is it to smoke in any weather.. wind, rain, or snow
All Weather, we snowmobile every weekend, so things like jerky, salmon, other type easy munchies required year round

I know these questions sound silly but they will really help you with the end decision.


Ok I have gone 180 or 360 I don't know. With the electric one heat smoker, I am limited in what I can comfortably do. Tried ribs and hams, just too hard to plan when temps drop. Then I have to take it out of the smoker and put it on the BBQ. I want a simple easy effiecient process.

With that said I have expanded my search and am leaning toward a Green mountain. I like the digital temp control, has more internal space then a Treager, using the rack and the though of pizza, and other possibilities has me leaning in that direction.

I realize now that my budget went up to the 500 to 600 dollar range my options have expanded greatly. So I'm open to new input with my new expanded knowledge of smoking, of which I have mainly gotten off of this forum, for that thanks everyone..............
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mtrammel
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Joined: 24 May 2009
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Location: Covington, GA (Greater Atlanta)

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14 09 12:16 am    Post subject: Option Reply with quote

In that price range you could easily do most any of the Home Depot or Lowes floor bought offset smokers like the Smoke-N-Pro or a Char-Griller. I have run a Char-Griller offset since I started smoking and have had great results. I recently am finishing a UDS the guys mentioned above and having tested it out, its easy to control temps and depending on how much coal you put in it, it can last through a very large hunk of meat. I love the grill space on the offset, but the UDS is a simple simple smoker thats really hard to beat.

You might see if there is a Smoke Ring builder near you...I cant commit for anyone else, but I'd be game for a Bring Your Own Material custom made (though you'd want someone with more experience than I have)...alot of builders probably be glad to help also.
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Toga
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Joined: 06 Aug 2008
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Location: Southern Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14 09 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If trying to avoid babysitting and want something that will give you rock solid temps then stay far away from an offset. You can keep solid temps with an offset once you master it but it WILL require lots of babysitting. If you can afford $600 or so a Big Green Egg or other ceramic cooker would be a nice buy. They are hard to beat for efficency and steady temps and can be used for everything. Take a look at some of the goodies Don Marco cooked up with his.

I ruined my chances of my wife allowing me to buy one after building my UDS Crying or Very sad
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Teleking
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Joined: 26 Sep 2007
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Location: Maine

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14 09 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toga wrote:
I ruined my chances of my wife allowing me to buy one after building my UDS Crying or Very sad


IMO for the money I prefer a UDS. I can't even begin to justify the $$$ for a BGE to the wife. A UDS is a lot lighter and easy to move around and take to a friends house.
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MountainMan
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Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 75
Location: Mountains of Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14 09 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Powder Head,
You might want to consider the all weather coupled with the no babysitting issue further. BTW that is where I was as well.

Also I was attempting to get you to think in terms of how much you might want to cook at any given time (the size of the cooker).

The cookshack electrics (not to be confused with FEC pellet smokers) do make some great insulated cookers and lots of people successfully use and love them, check out their forums.

Pellet grills will work as smokers but the weather is an issue but people do insulate them with some success (you might ask on pelletheads).

Virtually any choice will require a compromise of some sort the trick is in deciding what is most important to you and where to make the compromises.
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Powder Head



Joined: 07 Aug 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14 09 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok thanks for all the input, I bit the bullet and bought a Green Mountain. It seemed to have everything I was looking for. We'll see, ribs are going on that baby about 1:00 today. I wll try to post pics.
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