Calling All Smokers!

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MarkD
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Calling All Smokers!

Post by MarkD » Thu May 05, 2016 4:04 pm

The food type, not the tobacco type.

Last summer I tried smoking a couple racks of ribs on my gas grill, and they came out AWESOME. I had some trouble keeping the temperature where it belonged (largely, I think, because it's not air tight, so the wood burned instead of smoldering), and I think I spent as much time cleaning soot and gunk off the inside of my grill as I spent cooking.

Next month is my birthday, and Mrs D has been bugging me about what I want, and I'm seriously thinking of getting a smoker.

Requirements: Propane or charcoal (no electrical outlet handy in the back yard), and preferably charcoal.

Doesn't need to be too big, it'll mostly be for two people. If we have a bunch of people over, smoked stuff will be only part of the menu.

I have a paver-patio where I'd use it. I'd probably keep it in the garage when not in use and haul it out when it's time to fire it up. If the smoker doesn't have wheels I have a hand-truck, or I might mount it on some sort of dolly.

Budget: around $300 would work well.

I've been seriously thinking of the Weber Smokey Mountain, the 18" version. Looks like it works great from all the reviews I've seen, and I might even take a stab at smoking the turkey on Thanksgiving. Or for another $100 I can get the 22" version, and have enough room to feed a crowd. Besides, it's a Weber.

So what say you?

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PawPaw
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Re: Calling All Smokers!

Post by PawPaw » Thu May 05, 2016 4:31 pm

MarkD wrote: Last summer I tried smoking a couple racks of ribs on my gas grill, and they came out AWESOME. I had some trouble keeping the temperature where it belonged (largely, I think, because it's not air tight, so the wood burned instead of smoldering), and I think I spent as much time cleaning soot and gunk off the inside of my grill as I spent cooking.[\quote]

Let me lighten your load. I have this one, and I love it.
Next month is my birthday, and Mrs D has been bugging me about what I want, and I'm seriously thinking of getting a smoker.

Requirements: Propane or charcoal (no electrical outlet handy in the back yard), and preferably charcoal.
This one is propane, and sits on my paver patio, under cover.
Doesn't need to be too big, it'll mostly be for two people. If we have a bunch of people over, smoked stuff will be only part of the menu.
What I like about mine is that it's big enough to put a full steam tray inside, When we've got a bunch of people coming over, (like at Thanksgiving or Christmas) I can crank the heat to 350 and cook a turkey, a ham, and a full tray of dressing outside on the smoker without taking my lady's oven space. I have baked as many as 40 pork chops, all at the same time.
Budget: around $300 would work well.
I think I paid just under $300 for mine. Shop around.

[quoteI've been seriously thinking of the Weber Smokey Mountain, the 18" version. Looks like it works great from all the reviews I've seen, and I might even take a stab at smoking the turkey on Thanksgiving. Or for another $100 I can get the 22" version, and have enough room to feed a crowd. Besides, it's a Weber.
I've heard good things about the Weber, and if it suits you, that's fine, but I know I've found a lot of uses for mine rather than just smoking.

Oh, and if you're cleaning "soot and gunk" off of anything that uses smoke, you're just reducing flavor. I can see pressure washing it once a year or so, if you're so inclined, but I don't clean smokers. They're supposed to smell like that.
Dennis Dezendorf
PawPaw's House

MarkD
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Re: Calling All Smokers!

Post by MarkD » Thu May 05, 2016 4:43 pm

PawPaw wrote:
Oh, and if you're cleaning "soot and gunk" off of anything that uses smoke, you're just reducing flavor. I can see pressure washing it once a year or so, if you're so inclined, but I don't clean smokers. They're supposed to smell like that.
Well, I DID try to smoke on my gas grill, so the soot and gunk needed to come off so it could be used for normal grilling. A big part of it also was that, because (I think) too much air got in, I had an absolute bonfire in there instead of the smoldering wood chips you ought to have.

A dedicated smoker would let the crud build up, as you said, they're supposed to smell like that.

BDK
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Re: Calling All Smokers!

Post by BDK » Thu May 05, 2016 5:11 pm

Build one out of cinder block?

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PawPaw
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Re: Calling All Smokers!

Post by PawPaw » Thu May 05, 2016 6:28 pm

I saw a guy, built one based on a four-drawer filing cabinet.

Obtain said filing cabinet. The bottom drawer is the fire pit.

For the upper drawers, cut the bottom out and replace with expanded metal, so that the smoke/heat can rise unobstructed.

On the top of the filling cabinet, cut a hole and install a small flue/damper.

It was rather redneck-ish, but it seemed to work just fine.

Image
Dennis Dezendorf
PawPaw's House

MarkD
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Re: Calling All Smokers!

Post by MarkD » Thu May 05, 2016 6:54 pm

BDK wrote:Build one out of cinder block?
(Checks to make sure he used the word "wife" in his original post)

MarkD
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Re: Calling All Smokers!

Post by MarkD » Thu May 05, 2016 6:57 pm

PawPaw wrote:I saw a guy, built one based on a four-drawer filing cabinet.

Obtain said filing cabinet. The bottom drawer is the fire pit.

For the upper drawers, cut the bottom out and replace with expanded metal, so that the smoke/heat can rise unobstructed.

On the top of the filling cabinet, cut a hole and install a small flue/damper.

It was rather redneck-ish, but it seemed to work just fine.

Image

I can't help but wonder how it smelled as the paint burned......

Although that smoke vault DOES look nice......

I don't have a covered patio, so I'll still need to move it into the garage when not in use, or keep it covered. I'd still put it (and the gas grill) in the garage for the winter.

BDK
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Re: Calling All Smokers!

Post by BDK » Thu May 05, 2016 7:02 pm

I like that filing cabinet idea. Line the bottom drawer with firebricks, and it would probably work quite well.

(I may have a different perspective - my SO and I aren't married, yet, and she's still pretty impressed just by the fact I cook, and am a morning person.)

rightisright
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Re: Calling All Smokers!

Post by rightisright » Thu May 05, 2016 11:09 pm

I finally settled on a nice insulated electric one. Set it and forget it. I can set it away from the house and go about my weekend chores.

Charcoal is great if you want to dick around w. it all day. Some guys like that. Drink beer, check temp, watch game for an hour, drink beer check temp, etc. But it's not something I want to do if I'm smoking a 12 hour pork shoulder.

Since electric isn't an option, I'd go for the gas. Make sure it has good insulation. That's the key especially if it is windy or there is a large fluctuation in outside temperature.

FWIW, I have a few buddies who have the Weber charcoal and they love them. Just not for me.

Oh, and brined smoked turkey is heaven.

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First Shirt
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Re: Calling All Smokers!

Post by First Shirt » Thu May 05, 2016 11:17 pm

rightisright wrote:I finally settled on a nice insulated electric one. Set it and forget it. I can set it away from the house and go about my weekend chores.
I went with electric as well, since messing around with charcoal while trying to stay ahead of a half-dozen grandkids is more than I wanted to deal with.
Oh, and brined smoked turkey is heaven.
This, times a jillion!!! First time I did smoked turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, it lasted about 14 seconds after "Amen." The next year I did two, with no leftovers. Last year I did three, and had enough left over for a couple of sandwiches afterwards.
But there ain't many troubles that a man caint fix, with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."
Lindy Cooper Wisdom

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