pondpalFebruary 9, 2002

I'm thinking about getting my husband a smoker, and would appreciate any input you have on what kind is best.


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I am planning on buying a new one as soon as the stores around here start getting in the spring merchandise. I had a Brinkman smoker, the electric one and it was wonderful. Left it behind in a move. I loved the flavour that it gave to turkey breasts and baby back ribs. I used the large chunks of wood in mine rather than the wood chips. I intend to buy the same one.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2002 at 11:25PM
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I have a Brinkman electric water smoker, and wouldn't have anything else.
It's well over 10 years old. Smokes the best turkey!!!

I had the regular Brinkman charcoal smoker, but thumbs up on the electric, now!!! No worry about charcoal, and the flavor is just the same.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2002 at 11:54AM
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I have a CharBroil electric smoker I won at a store grand opening, and I have really enjoyed it. I think a charcoal smoker would be just too much trouble, especially on larger items that require longer cooking time.

I smoke a lot of turkey breasts and ribs. Just make sure you carefully read and follow the instructions, and make sure the internal temperature of the meat reaches the correct temp.

I use the large hickory chunks, and also experiment with the liquid in the water pan. I have found a 12 pack of the cheapest beer you can buy works real well. I also like to use the water I soaked the wood in, and add onions, garlic, peppercorns, etc.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2002 at 12:00PM
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I just got an electric Brinkman smoker for Christmas. I have read every site and forum on the web, read or looked at every book I can find, and have asked several people, with no luck. My question is, where the burner is at the bottom of the smoker, there is just the bottom of the smoker. No briquets, lava rocks, or anything else to radiate the heat. Is that the way it is supposed to be. I put some old briquets from an old gas grill there, but I don't know if that is necessary. Also, how do you use the hickory chunks/chips. Just on the aluminum pan or where. I know these are basic questions that I probably should know the answers to, but it is driving me crazy. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 7:57PM
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Sounds to me like you didn't get everything.
First, do you have the heating element?
The heating element rests on the lava rocks which should have been included in the box.

I soak my hickory for at least 1/2 hour, and place around the element, not touching.

Email me, I'll be glad to help.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 8:15PM
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I have heard that the gas smokers are the way to go......anyone care to expand on this?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 11:55PM
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I have a Weber and a Brinkman smoker and both are charcoal.

I personally like charcoal better than gas. In my opinion the flavor of the meat is much better smoked over charcoal and hickory wood.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2002 at 10:56AM
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I just got a Brinkman smoker with no book...... anyone care to share some tips. want to do a turkey or ribs. have no idea how long to cook. Does anyone know of ant informative sites. Feel free to e-mail directly. TIA Wendy

    Bookmark   October 1, 2002 at 7:20PM
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I've got a charbroil that uses the charcoal.

It makes a wonderful turkey, but it requires a LOT of tending over a LONG time.

I wish I had spent the extra $35 and gotten the electric one.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 12:29AM
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My parents use their Brinkman electric smoker all the time and the food is really good, but for that 'real smoked taste', I prefer to use a smoker with a side firebox.
I bought a Char-Griller on sale at HomeDepot last year and ordered the side firebox directly from the company. I use hardwood charcoal (NOT briquettes) and regular firewood, such as seasoned hickory, oak, or, my favorite, applewood.
I've done ribs, brisket, chicken, salmon, and lamb shanks and the taste is awesome!
Yes, it is a bit more work - you do have to tend the fire to make sure that the smoke is at a low, even temperature, but that's part of what makes smoking fun.
If you want the smoked taste with not a lot of work, then get the electric Brinkman, but if your husband intends to really get 'into' the 'art' of smoking meats, then you'll have to buy a smoker with an offset firebox.
I like the CharGriller, but I've provided links for the NewBraunfels, as well. Folks who own a NewBraunfels seem to really like them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Char-Griller

    Bookmark   October 12, 2002 at 10:50AM
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I have the brinkman charcoal model. I agree it takes more tending - every 30-40 minutes or so, but I usually use it when I'm working around the house. I think ribs come out great. For a turkey, I use a weber.

Can't say as I think electric smokers are koser....

    Bookmark   October 22, 2002 at 4:49PM
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Just searching and found this old thread. I hate to revive an old topic but just in the case someone looks for this in the future, a bit more spendy then the Brinkman or CharBroil water smokers is the Weber Smokey Mountain. I have not tried all three but reportedly, it holds temperature very well. Do a google search on it and you will finds lots of happy owners who claim it will hold temp on a single load of charcoal for many hours. I cannot vouch for that myself personally but hopefully soon when my wife approves me getting another cooking "gadget" as she calls it.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 4:27AM
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Me again...I got my WSM and after a mere 3 cooks on it, very pleased. The temperatures are pretty constant but I have so far only done one longer cook (4hrs for best bb ribs I ever produced). My cooker runs a bit hot which is expected for the first few times so other than that, I am not expecting it to need much tending. I like the fact I can also grill on it to finish, for example, a BBQ chicken--to crisp the skin and add grill marks on a roasted chicken. I roasted both tri-tip and chicken with some smoke and am very pleased with the results.

I thought very hard on going electric but after doing a lot of investigation on the internet, I decided that the extremely solid reviews for the WSM (see Amazon) was a good indication that the Weber was a solid choice. The existence of also helped make my choice. It is an excellent resource.

I will do my first overnight cook this weekend (pork butt) and look forward to waking up in the morning and seeing if my temparture really held as long (without tending) as others report they have done.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 11:59AM
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If you want a good smoker, then try the Big Green Egg. I just got one a few weeks ago. It can hold temps at 200 degrees for at least 12 hours(I've done it) without having to do anything to it, and it still had lump charcoal left. The smoke taste is great when you add some wood chips. You have to get the temp leveled out before putting the meat on, but then it stays steady for hours without having to check it.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 3:52PM
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check out they have a great forum and a good product. I own one from which is a knockoff of the cookshack product but doesn't have near the information on their website. Both are excellent smokers and, while a bit pricey, are about the easiest thing on the market to use. Really just a set it and forget it way to go.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 12:31AM
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The WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain) is easily one of the best smokers available at any price. In the sub $300 range it is pretty much unbeatable.

* It holds a fair amount of food. (2 18" circular grates)
* It holds temps extremely well.
* It is very fuel efficient (I regularly do overnight cooks on one load of charcoal with total cooking time of 20+ hours).
* It gives great results with very little effort.
* Many, many BBQ teams have won major BBQ competitions using the WSM. It's a very common smoker on the competition circuit.

The Big Green Egg is reportedly a fantastic product (and one which I would like to get!) but for the same capacity as the WSM you're looking at 2-3 times the price.

An electric smoker will allow you to cold-smoke (smoking at very low temperatures). I personally don't care for the 'file cabinet' look of an electric, nor do I care for the fact that it needs to be plugged in. I like to be able to cook in all kinds of weather and don't want to worry about electricity.

With a good charcoal smoker (like the WSM) it is very easy to get great results. (electric is not necessary for ease of use)

Charcoal smokers that are very inexpensive, like the Brinkmann, are much more difficult to use than the WSM.

Take a look at this site for all the info you'll ever need on the WSM...

Hope this brain-dump helps. :-)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 12:27PM
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I have a Bradley electric smoker and am thrilled with it and the good eats I'm constantly pulling out of it. If you want a set it and forget it smoker, then this is it. Long, over-night smokes are easy with the Bradley. And of course it's versatility is also hard to beat. Hot smoking, cold smoking, no smoke, no problem.

Bradley also has a large loyal following and a nice website devoted to it's use.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:48AM
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My friend just gave me his Great Outdoors - gas smoker. 5 racks. I'm in love.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 2:03PM
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I received a Brinkman 7-in-1 smoker for Christmas of 05. I can't tell you how great this one is. I can use it as a smoker, a fryer or a regular grill. Runs on propane and keeps the heat at an even level.

Enjoy the journey.

eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 2:15AM
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If you can afford to get a Big Green Egg, that is the way to go - the flavor can't be beat. My husband has one and just recently entered his first BBQ cookoff. He was using his egg and going up against a bunch of "metalheads" (guys using metal smokers). He got 2nd place in pulled pork, which was great considering these guys had been doing cookoffs for years! And while they were up all night tending their fires every 30 minutes, he was able to sleep blissfully through the night!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 3:53PM
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I got a Masterbuilt smoker from Cabelas a few years ago. Works good but I have a few issues. It is hard to keep the flame low, has a tendency to go out. Also goes out easily if it is windy out. It does however hold the heat well and gets hot real quick. I smoke ribs for 2 to 4 hours and have to keep making sure the flame is lit. Other than that, it works great.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 3:55PM
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If you truly want "the best" and easiest way to smoke check The Amerique is amazing. Set the temp, insert probe into meat, and add 7 ounces of wood to smoke box. The smoker cooks the pork and then goes into a hold mode at 140 degrees. I live in Bar-B-Que country and I am constantly told how my pork shoulder is better than the best rib shack in the area.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 11:23AM
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Here is a review I made of my offset smoker, the Chargriller Pro

Here is a link that might be useful: Chargriller Pro

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 9:05PM
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I have one of those 7 in one grills. Its great because you can use wood/charcoal/gas, similar to the masterbuilt one... i think mine is called cookmaster.

It works best as a smoker, sometimes during grilling it gets too hot. In order to grill well with it you have to use the water bowl to reduce flare ups, so it takes a little longer to cook sometimes. But i would rather have juicy meats than charred, dry meat.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 11:59AM
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I'm surprised no one has recommended the Traeger wood pellet smoker/grill. Since the first one came to town several years ago, it seems like every patio has one. I haven't used my Brinkman charcoal smoker since I got my Traeger. It does use electricity to start the firebox and to control temperature, but it does a great job with either grilling or smoking.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 11:06AM
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In the world of electric smokers, not pellet smokers, there are three companies making/selling all stainless steel smokers: Cookshack (CS), SmokinTex (ST), and Smokin-it (SI), listed from higher to lower in cost.

I own a CS. American made, it is superb and expensive. I typically use a single 2 or 3 ounce chunk of hickory for my smokes. Next is the ST line, for which I have no first hand knowledge of. It is an import. Lastly is SI, also an import. My brother has the SI 3. It is a very solidly constructed smoker, and like the CS, uses very little wood. It is also priced the lowest of the 3. It has some nice features missing from the other two smoker lines. Performance wise, it is the equal to my CS in terms of produced food quality.

All three sites have a dedicated forum with SI seeming to be the busiest. Not from complaints either. But sharing hints, tips, enthusiasm, and recipes. electric is so much easier than tending a stick burner, which I also own and have used for years. Unlike a lot of electric smokers with chip trays that must be reloaded periodically, these smokers use 1 or 2 chunks of wood at the beginning and you do not need to add any more. In fact, you do not need to open the door till the food is complete.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2015 at 10:02PM
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this was a 12 yr old thread.
anybody stumble in here, look into UDS smokers before dropping money on commercial smokers. they guys cooking at the cookoffs are feeding their families with UDS smokers

    Bookmark   January 9, 2015 at 3:42PM
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