Who likes to smoke their meat?

walter

Fourth Party
#1
C'mon, lets talk about it!!!

OK, for the last 2 summers or so my friend Anthony and I have been cooking for the family parties using a huge, borrowed, home made smoker. This thing is awesome, I want to say its made from an old 200 gallon air compressor (does that sound right?), honestly it looks more like a hot water heater lying on its side, mounted to a frame. Its gotta weigh like a zillion pounds, it takes about 6 of us to get it where we need it to be.

Anyway, we have had such great success with it that my wife and I are looking to get something for our own personal use. During the warmer months we usually host at least 1 party a week with an open door policy, ranging from 4 to 20 people. While the smoker we have been using is the traditional smoke pit type style, Im pretty set on buying the Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5 bullet type smoker. It gets insane reviews, its efficient and is user friendly.

Wondering if any of you have smokers, have any advice or any other input.
 
#3
If you are thinking about the WSM, take a look at the PBC - http://pitbarrelcooker.com/ I haven't tried it myself, but lots of ppl like it over at http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/ I might pick one up.

I myself went w/ a pellet smoker. The temp is digitally controlled (set it and forget it type--- didn't want to hassle with tending to the fire and reloading especially if smoking overnight ie. brisket, pork butt), however, the unit uses electricity (draw back). I documented my adventure when I first got it, but got lazy and haven't updated the blog in the awhile, but you can read about it here - http://www.eestudios.us/blog/?s=traeger I've pretty much smoked everything on it: turkey, salmon, wings, ribs, pork butt, prime rib.. when set on HIGH, i was able to grill burgers. I got one of the smaller sizes Traeger offers.. since its usually just the wife and I. But, when friends and family stop by.. i usually have no issues cooking for 6-8. They have bigger models if you plan to cook for 10-20 regularly. I do have a 26" Kettle Grill though for those "big" get togethers. So I usually put ribs on the smoker and grill burgers on the kettle.

Also, check out www.pelletheads.com for more info about pellet smokers.

Oh.. some other links to check out

http://stumpssmokers.com/ (Gravity Fed Smokers)
http://www.gatorpit.net/pits.htm
 
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#7
C'mon, lets talk about it!!!

OK, for the last 2 summers or so my friend Anthony and I have been cooking for the family parties using a huge, borrowed, home made smoker. This thing is awesome, I want to say its made from an old 200 gallon air compressor (does that sound right?), honestly it looks more like a hot water heater lying on its side, mounted to a frame. Its gotta weigh like a zillion pounds, it takes about 6 of us to get it where we need it to be.

Anyway, we have had such great success with it that my wife and I are looking to get something for our own personal use. During the warmer months we usually host at least 1 party a week with an open door policy, ranging from 4 to 20 people. While the smoker we have been using is the traditional smoke pit type style, Im pretty set on buying the Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5 bullet type smoker. It gets insane reviews, its efficient and is user friendly.

Wondering if any of you have smokers, have any advice or any other input.

The reason your friends home made smoker works so well is because it weighs a zillion pounds. It probably holds heat really well so it's easy to control temperature.

The Weber is good for shorter smokes (4-5 hrs). For longer smokes, it's difficult to control temps due to its relatively small size. Make sure you season it before you use it also.
 

jmanic

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
Staff member
JORBA.ORG
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#9
I'll vote for the Weber, but I'd say spend the extra coin to get the 22.5".
When the stars align and you have 20 people coming over and baby backs are on sale, you'll be glad for the extra volume.
And Webers are efficient enough that the larger one isn't a total waste for doing smaller batches.

I'll disagree with monkeysoup on the temp control of the WSM- using a friend's for some longer smokes, I've found temp control to not be an issue.
No, they won't hold heat as well as smokers made of heavier gauge metal,
but as long as it's not too cold/windy, I think they work just fine.
Webers aren't pro-grade, but I think they hit the sweet spot of return for your investment.

If you haven't been yet, check out the Virtual Weber Bullet site
Lot of great info there.

Currently I have a couple of inexpensive smokers (Brinkmann Smoke N' Pit w/offset fire box, and a Charbroil bullet-style) I've been able to coax good results from. The Brinkmann is nice for the volume, and with some modifications I've got it working pretty well for large short batches (5-6 hours), but it's not efficient to use beyond that. Overnight smokes happen in the bullet. As long as ambient temps aren't too bad, the bullet works well, but doesn't have as much vent control as the WSM.
I'll be CL'ing the Brinkmann this season and looking to get a WSM 22.5".

Think about hitting up orchards now while they are doing their spring pruning for cheap wood.
 

Wobbegong

Well-Known Member
#10
I cant stop smoking my meat either..... :D


I use the very inexpensive charcoal Brinkman bullet (Smoke n' Grill).

After a few modifications and experimenting with charcoal amounts, its a very good smoker on the cheap.

I strongly recommend a 2 probe thermometer with remote readout. One goes in the smoker, the other in the meaty goodness. I use this one and it works great.


Has high low alarms. I can be in the house and see the smoker/meat temps. Great for a long haul brisket or pork butt smoke.
 
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walter

Fourth Party
#11
Yeah, I was just going to reply to his comment. Ive seen plenty of videos and reviews where the WSM will burn 8-10 hours+ on a single fueling. That website you posted has been my goto now for a few months, there is a ton of info there.

I thought of getting the Brinckmann, but after seeing how many people suggest making modifications to it to bring it up to "acceptable" performance, the Weber seems to be more "set up and go".

Thanks for the tip on wood, Ill check it out!

My wife thinks we should get the 22.5, I think if and when we go shopping if I can swing the extra $100 we'll go big.
 

walter

Fourth Party
#12
I cant stop smoking my meat either..... :D


I use the very inexpensive charcoal Brinkman bullet (Smoke n' Grill).

After a few modifications and experimenting with charcoal amounts, its a very good smoker on the cheap.
thats the $50 one, correct?

How many mods did you have to make to it? I see people drilling all kinds of holes in it
 

Wobbegong

Well-Known Member
#14
thats the $50 one, correct?

How many mods did you have to make to it? I see people drilling all kinds of holes in it
Yeah, its around that price. Very inexpensive.

All I did was add a weber bottom grate to the charcoal pan. It sits on 3 bolts I added. So I drilled 3 holes in the coal pan and the grate rests on them. This greatly improved the temps,, and ability to sustain a temp. This pic I found give you the idea....

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2520/5853087929_8eb1b98312_o.jpg

Finding the right amount of coal to add is the true balance. Its not very adjustable in any other regard. Once you have that dialed in, you can keep a good temp.

If money isnt an issue, the Weber is really nice. But its a lot more $$$
 
#15
thats the $50 one, correct?

How many mods did you have to make to it? I see people drilling all kinds of holes in it
I thought of getting the Brinckmann, but after seeing how many people suggest making modifications to it to bring it up to "acceptable" performance, the Weber seems to be more "set up and go".

Thanks for the tip on wood, Ill check it out!
I have a small Brinkman and drilled holes in the wood tray to get more heat out of it. I also use lump charcoal as it burns a little hotter as well. I takes a fair amount of your day, but the results are mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :)
 
#16
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/CtJ7nkslBv8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

At about 10:00 mark... you'll see the hardware store smoker
 
#17
http://www.smoking-meat.com/ has alot of information and recipes.

I have a Char-Griller Duo with side firebox that took some mods to get sealed up but since then running a Pitmaster IQ110 for temp control I have done shoulders for 12-14 hours while holding 225.

MTBing and Q, my two obsessions in one place :)
 

Patrick

aka Fidodie
Staff member
#18
using the weber 18.5 - use the minion method which provides about 8+ hours of heat (210 range, i don't like to boil the water) - check the vitual bullet website

TBH - meat is not round (well brisket kindof is). the unit isn't big enough to hang stuff, nor is the round top conducive to mods to do it. using the standing dividers still means cutting racks to fit the shape - also have made the rib racks into crown-racks, and smoked them that way - fit about 8 - still not enough.

at any party, people will hover around the smoker! stuff comes out great. haven't tried any wet paint-on while cooking slather - all dry rub.

My next one is going to be something that looks like a barrel on its side, which will provide a consistent size across the burner - or even an upright box like the brinkman.

i tried pork belly too - some of the bacon was great! some came out chemical tasting.. not sure if it was the nitrites...

buddy has an Egg - he uses about half the charcoal that the weber does - but for the cost, i can cover the charcoal for 25 years or so.....
 
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