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Food & Wine Ground >> cheapie smoker vs expensive smoker


8/4/08 5:40 PM
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MikeZev
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 so i've had a brinkman electric bullet smoker for the part 2 years w/ a couple mods. i put in a bbq thermometer and added some lava rocks. it takes a little bit of effort to put out a consistent product but not too much. i have to change chips maybe every 1-1.5 hrs. i like the food i get from it and i can smoke a good amount, like 2 9lb pork shoulders.

my question is this: waht are some of the advantages, if any, with the more expensive smokers out there on the market aside from temp regulation and maybe an automatic wood feeder? anybody own both?
8/4/08 10:42 PM
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crescentwrench
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Well, since you modded yours the only thing I can think of is the metal used to build it.  A higher end one would likely have a thicker steel and thus better insulating properties.  Useful for cold weather.  But your rocks kind of act as a stabilizer so during the summer I don't think it would matter that much. 

Maybe total useable volume would be more, if you need to cook a crapload of meat.
8/4/08 11:43 PM
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JKING
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I would go with a thicker model. You can use less wood/fuel when smoking. I made fun of my brother for buying an expensive smoker but that thing kicks ass. It uses little wood and the temp does not move at all for hours.

When I got mine, I thought it was big enough. Always get the bigger one!

Get online and check out reviews, it helped me a lot.
8/5/08 11:35 AM
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MikeZev
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 yeah i cant use it in the winter but I've pretty much gotten the hang of keeping the temp pretty regular.
8/5/08 10:06 PM
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Kevin Curtis
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I bought a cheapy smoker this year, and have had excellent luck keeping an even temp...

First off, I think having a bowl of water inside helps keep a stable temp.

Also, I start about 2/3 a chimney of charcoal and add to the middle of a bed of unlit charcoal. I never have to add additional fuel (easily lasts 6 hrs).

I think the main downside is using it in the colder months, and the additional fuel used due to inferior insulation.
8/5/08 11:41 PM
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Mullet @ Heart
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I too think that insulation is the key. I BBQ all year long... Even in when it's snowing out, in mine. Good insulation.
8/6/08 9:26 AM
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MikeZev
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 yeah when it gets below 50 degrees here its a dodgy operation. i usually settle for slow roasted in the oven w/ a little liquid smoke or just grilling stuff in the winter.
8/6/08 2:20 PM
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JKING
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 I got one of these. I did a few mods on it. I got it Lowes for a little over $100 and they put it together. I got it a week before Christmas last year. They are about $180 when not on sale. I did 4 chickens and a brisket on new years. It was a hot 34 that day! It turned out great.



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