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Author Topic: What smoker should I get?  (Read 2526 times)

Offline Alchase

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2017, 09:46:53 AM »
I like my Bradley.  Set it and forget it.

Do you have a 4 or 6 rack. I have the 6 rack and have had nothing but problems. I am on my third unit since 2014.

I have the 6 rack.  Have had it for about 10 years now.  Love it.  At Thanksgiving I can fit a duck and a turkey in it. 

I also have the Bradley six rack digital for 8 years, love it!
takes all the guessing out of BBQ.

I also have a 4 rack non-digital as well I have had for 16 years still going strong.
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
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Offline C-Money

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2017, 10:05:56 AM »
I have this propane smoker. I really like it. Hard to keep temps low enough for perfect salmon smoking. With the vent wide open, and tray full of water, it stays around 220-240. Makes awesome ribs and tri tips. Going to do a turkey one of these days. Kokanee and salmon come out good, just gotta really work to keep the temps down.

https://www.charbroil.com/propane-gas-smoker
I felt like a one legged cat trying to bury a terd on a frozen pond!

Offline JDHasty

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2017, 10:54:43 AM »
I was given an Oklahoma Joe's charcoal/wood smoker as a gift this summer and I am very happy with it - it requires your attention but to me that's part of the fun of it. I did four pork butts, three split chickens and three salmon on it a couple of weeks ago for a party we hosted and everything turned out great.

Once you have it figured out they can be left on their own - my old New Brunfels Black Diamond that has been extensively modified will run at 225-250 for six hours before needing the charcoal basket filled back up.  The heavier units like the Oklahoma Joe work pretty well right out of the box, it's just a matter of learning how to use an offset smoker.   

Offline n_mathews13

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2017, 11:15:39 AM »
I was given an Oklahoma Joe's charcoal/wood smoker as a gift this summer and I am very happy with it - it requires your attention but to me that's part of the fun of it. I did four pork butts, three split chickens and three salmon on it a couple of weeks ago for a party we hosted and everything turned out great.

Like this one?

Offline Twispriver

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2017, 02:31:54 PM »
Just like that one

Offline GameHunter1959

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2017, 10:57:46 PM »
I like my Bradley.  Set it and forget it.

Do you have a 4 or 6 rack. I have the 6 rack and have had nothing but problems. I am on my third unit since 2014.
Going on 5 or 6 years with the 4 rack digital for me.

The 4 rack is a great unit, if you can get the digital box to stay alive. The issue with the 6 rack, is the heat element. Most guys will purchase a second heat element to help get the unit to full temp. This weekend I used my 6 rack in 95 degree weather, no wind, etc. I was trying to achieve an internal cabinet temp of 280 degrees for a 6 lb. Beef Brisket. I turned the oven temp to maximum temp (375 degrees), and could not get the unit to surpass an internal cabinet temp. of 223 degrees. Weather, heat, moisture, etc. play a HUGE factor when using the 6 rack in the Pacific Northwest. Cook times are all over the place. I spent 26 hours smoking a 22 lb. Turkey last year. It came out wonderful; however the original cook/smoke time was suppose to be about 1/3 of what it actually ended up taking.

You have to have a ton of patience when using the Bradley 6 rack. I strongly suggest purchasing a 4 rack. The additional space is valuable when smoking batches of jerky, but that's about it. 4 rack is way less of an headache.






Most the folks in the Bradley website forum are NOT HAPPY with their 6 racks. In truth; the unit is a poor design. They thought they could take the same components used off the 4 rack and stick them into a larger unit (6 rack) and make it work. No such thing as "set it and forget it". I'm selling my 6 rack on Craigslist and buying a Master Built or a Bradley 4 Rack. The 6 rack has great value when doing mass amounts of jerky, which requires multiple racks. But you have to constantly rotate the racks, or the jerky will come out uneven and cooked. It should NOT be cooked.

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2017, 12:34:26 AM »
I don't care for gas models, they work good but gas runs out of doing a lot. Could just be the morons at the propane dealer don't know how to fill a tank right but I've run out doing briskets. I love charcoal, lump charcoal gets better results than briquettes but they still get the job done. 

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Offline Alchase

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2017, 09:57:03 AM »
I like my Bradley.  Set it and forget it.

Do you have a 4 or 6 rack. I have the 6 rack and have had nothing but problems. I am on my third unit since 2014.
Going on 5 or 6 years with the 4 rack digital for me.

The 4 rack is a great unit, if you can get the digital box to stay alive. The issue with the 6 rack, is the heat element. Most guys will purchase a second heat element to help get the unit to full temp. This weekend I used my 6 rack in 95 degree weather, no wind, etc. I was trying to achieve an internal cabinet temp of 280 degrees for a 6 lb. Beef Brisket. I turned the oven temp to maximum temp (375 degrees), and could not get the unit to surpass an internal cabinet temp. of 223 degrees. Weather, heat, moisture, etc. play a HUGE factor when using the 6 rack in the Pacific Northwest. Cook times are all over the place. I spent 26 hours smoking a 22 lb. Turkey last year. It came out wonderful; however the original cook/smoke time was suppose to be about 1/3 of what it actually ended up taking.

You have to have a ton of patience when using the Bradley 6 rack. I strongly suggest purchasing a 4 rack. The additional space is valuable when smoking batches of jerky, but that's about it. 4 rack is way less of an headache.






Most the folks in the Bradley website forum are NOT HAPPY with their 6 racks. In truth; the unit is a poor design. They thought they could take the same components used off the 4 rack and stick them into a larger unit (6 rack) and make it work. No such thing as "set it and forget it". I'm selling my 6 rack on Craigslist and buying a Master Built or a Bradley 4 Rack. The 6 rack has great value when doing mass amounts of jerky, which requires multiple racks. But you have to constantly rotate the racks, or the jerky will come out uneven and cooked. It should NOT be cooked.

I have had no issues with either my four rack (non-digital) or my six rack digital getting up to temp, turkey, briskets, ribs, all do fine.
I use the four rack most often for meats and birds.
I use my 6 rack mostly for cold smoke, fish, cheese, etc... I have the smoke generator separated from the cabinet by about 4 feet of hose.

Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline kselkhunter

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2017, 10:10:29 AM »
I own two 6-rack Bradley units.   I just smoked my spring turkey for Labor Day weekend, and it was phenomenal.  19 pound bird in only 5 hours.  I will say if it's cold out, I have to place the temp higher than I normally would to get to the temp I want.  So if it's Thanksgiving time and 40F outside, I set the temp to 260F to get to my desired 220F actual temp inside the unit.  But for normal outdoor temps, I just set it to the temp I want and it works great.

The only issue I've had was I stupidly left my other smoker out in the rain one time (forgot to move it back into the garage), so need to replace the electronics.  That's a brainfart user error on my part though.   :bash:  So I'm down to one 6-rack smoker until my replacement electronics arrive.

Offline Blacktail Sniper

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2017, 10:55:25 AM »
I have two (so far), one is the Masterbuilt propane model with 6 racks.  Lots of room and pretty flexible on rack placement.

Seems to hold a pretty average heat range of 225 - 250 on the low end.  One downside I discovered right out the gate was the design of the chip tray.  With the large open slits in it, it was almost impossible to not get through a smoke without a fire and the heat jumping up.

Even worse with pellets, they just wanted to fall through.  I got around that by using a cheap Goodwill purchased skillet and some statnless steel bolts through the bottom as legs to hold it above the fire.

The other is a smaller electric, Landman brand, 3 rack I recently picked up.  Seems to be able to keep down in the 100 degree range fairly easily.  Did a batch of pork ribs using the the 3-2-1 method and happy how they turned out.

The only issue I have found so far was the door latch, it  is pretty cheesy and required some attention to get consistent latching, but this was by no means a top of the line model either.

Next on my list is an offset charcoal/stick burner. 

They are all basically a thin metal box or tube, the thinner ones usually being the lower end or off brand models.  Some seal and hold heat & smoke better than others, so some require a little additional work on your part to add additional sealer and/or insulation to boost efficiency.

Like any topic with different methods, you will find many opinions and if you look on any of the dedicated bbq/smoking forums, you will quickly see that each style has its cheerleaders and its arch enemies.

It is a fun hobby that can produce alot of great meals.  There pretty much isn't any thing you can do in an oven that can't be done in a smoker or on a grill.

If you have close neighbors, it won't take many smoke sessions before you start meeting "by chance" and the conversation usually go quickly to something along the lines of "Hey Neighbor, what were you cooking? We were smelling it all day/night and it sure smelled good!!!"   :chuckle:


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Offline Alchase

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2017, 06:03:16 PM »
Seriously I think we are all over thinking this thread.
Wether you use a smoke house, old refrigerator, a little chief, or a plastic tarp thrown over a tripod, the objective is to smoke up some tasty food.
Yes, I have use all of those mentioned above to produce great smoke.
The only difference between those and all of our new fangled smokers is convenience.
Heat control, remote thermometers are fantastic for this, and being able to either set how much smoke you want or being able to refill chips or pucks preferably without having to open the door.
I have that ability with my Bradley Smokers, and I still catch myself doing a big piece of stupid and opening the door.

Whichever smoker you buy, learn to control the heat and you have already ahead.

Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline NRA4LIFE

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2017, 06:48:20 PM »
I improvised at my brother's place in Wisconsin on a bear hunt and turned an old junk oven into a great fish smoker.  It had the pan holder on the bottom.  I smashed a bunch of holes through the bottom of the oven and started a small smoke fire in the pan holder.  Put the fish on the oven racks.  It turned out great.  That was almost 20 years ago and I think they still use it.
Look man, some times you just gotta roll the dice

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Offline Blacklab

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2017, 05:29:22 AM »
Seriously I think we are all over thinking this thread.
Wether you use a smoke house, old refrigerator, a little chief, or a plastic tarp thrown over a tripod, the objective is to smoke up some tasty food.
Yes, I have use all of those mentioned above to produce great smoke.
The only difference between those and all of our new fangled smokers is convenience.
Heat control, remote thermometers are fantastic for this, and being able to either set how much smoke you want or being able to refill chips or pucks preferably without having to open the door.
I have that ability with my Bradley Smokers, and I still catch myself doing a big piece of stupid and opening the door.
Whichever smoker you buy, learn to control the heat and you have already ahead.

 :yeah:  :tup:

It really is that simple. Anything you put can put in a oven you can smoke, just takes longer.  :twocents:  ;)
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Offline spddmn6

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2017, 08:43:47 AM »
I have two (so far), one is the Masterbuilt propane model with 6 racks.  Lots of room and pretty flexible on rack placement.

Seems to hold a pretty average heat range of 225 - 250 on the low end.  One downside I discovered right out the gate was the design of the chip tray.  With the large open slits in it, it was almost impossible to not get through a smoke without a fire and the heat jumping up.

Even worse with pellets, they just wanted to fall through.  I got around that by using a cheap Goodwill purchased skillet and some statnless steel bolts through the bottom as legs to hold it above the fire.

The other is a smaller electric, Landman brand, 3 rack I recently picked up.  Seems to be able to keep down in the 100 degree range fairly easily.  Did a batch of pork ribs using the the 3-2-1 method and happy how they turned out.

The only issue I have found so far was the door latch, it  is pretty cheesy and required some attention to get consistent latching, but this was by no means a top of the line model either.

Next on my list is an offset charcoal/stick burner. 

They are all basically a thin metal box or tube, the thinner ones usually being the lower end or off brand models.  Some seal and hold heat & smoke better than others, so some require a little additional work on your part to add additional sealer and/or insulation to boost efficiency.

Like any topic with different methods, you will find many opinions and if you look on any of the dedicated bbq/smoking forums, you will quickly see that each style has its cheerleaders and its arch enemies.

It is a fun hobby that can produce alot of great meals.  There pretty much isn't any thing you can do in an oven that can't be done in a smoker or on a grill.

If you have close neighbors, it won't take many smoke sessions before you start meeting "by chance" and the conversation usually go quickly to something along the lines of "Hey Neighbor, what were you cooking? We were smelling it all day/night and it sure smelled good!!!"   :chuckle:

I just recently stumbled across bbqgaskets.com, after installing a gasket on my Traeger the temperatures are now staying more consistent inside and the smoke stopped leaking through the doors like I see in your pictures.

Offline spddmn6

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2017, 08:53:48 AM »
What are your tying to achieve with your smoker? That is the first question. I have a Traeger and a Big Chief. Traegers are essentially outdoor ovens you can set your dial from Smoke (sub 200) to 475 (i think is max) and bake with a infused smoky goodness. That is good for cooking anything. I make pulled pork, brisket, chicken, turkey, etc.... On the other hand I use my big chief for smoking salmon and drying it out. It has one setting, plugged in for....ON. In my opinion, I have always gotten the best smoke flavor out of my Big Chief or my charcoal grill because of actually wood chunks/chips vs. using pellets.

Offline floatinghat

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #40 on: September 09, 2017, 10:38:47 AM »
love my kamado

Offline Alchase

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2017, 02:06:36 PM »
love my kamado


For you Komodo and Big Green Egg smokers, there is a considerable price difference from the Big Green Eggs to others like the Komodo. Is the price worth it for the BGE?
I love the way those things cook up large pieces of meat like prime rib, and roasts, and I have been thinking of adding one to my smoking arsenal, LOL
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline Ddouble

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2017, 09:31:41 PM »
love my kamado


For you Komodo and Big Green Egg smokers, there is a considerable price difference from the Big Green Eggs to others like the Komodo. Is the price worth it for the BGE?
I love the way those things cook up large pieces of meat like prime rib, and roasts, and I have been thinking of adding one to my smoking arsenal, LOL
The warranty on the BGE is amazing I have 2 and have 3 other close friends with them.

Offline haugenna

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2017, 09:36:33 PM »
Look at that smoke ring.

GMG with amazen smoke box.

3-2-1 method. Cook at 225 for 3 hours, foil for 2 and I can never let the ribs sit on for the entire final hour.

Offline NRA4LIFE

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2017, 09:55:12 PM »
OMG, I love nothing more than ribs and corn, that looks great. 

Alchase,

I love my BGE, it is awesome.  However, it was a gift from my wife.  (OK, we paid for it)  But I still love it.  I think they are worth it.

NRA
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Offline C-Money

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #45 on: September 11, 2017, 07:51:01 AM »
Smoked a turkey. Was a tad dry, has excellent flavor. Dont notice its a little dry with gravy. Was on a fire, and that prevented me from pulling the bird on time...First pic is 4 hours in, second pic is finished.
I felt like a one legged cat trying to bury a terd on a frozen pond!

Offline Blacklab

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #46 on: September 13, 2017, 04:41:45 PM »
That looks great C-Money great color. Did you brine?
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Offline GameHunter1959

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #47 on: September 16, 2017, 08:37:08 AM »
Smoked a turkey. Was a tad dry, has excellent flavor. Dont notice its a little dry with gravy. Was on a fire, and that prevented me from pulling the bird on time...First pic is 4 hours in, second pic is finished.

Brine well will help eliminate the dryness, but I prefer to inject throughout the process. The only issue with injecting is that it takes a few minutes each time you open the smoker door; hence you lose a lot of your heat and it can take awhile for your unit to heat back up to the correct temperature (pending the type of unit your using).

Offline C-Money

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #48 on: September 18, 2017, 11:06:57 AM »
We did not brine or inject, just tossed it in. Rubbed some butter on it once in a while. Need to try one of those suggestions next time. Loving the turkey sandwiches!!
I felt like a one legged cat trying to bury a terd on a frozen pond!

Offline Alchase

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Re: What smoker should I get?
« Reply #49 on: September 18, 2017, 02:59:00 PM »
I brine my birds, after smoke, I then put them on the hot grill or in the oven for the last 15 - 20 minutes to crisp up the skin.
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1