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Looking to start smoking...

Started by shazapple, May 18, 2019, 10:21:51 PM

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Meat that is. Any suggestions for a entry level smoker? Electric or propane would be my preference. I have an unlimited supply of apple wood, some of it chipped but easiest would be chunks or sticks.


I think most propane and electric smokers require chips or pellets not chunks. If I were you I'd get my hands on a charcoal grill like a Weber or a kamado style grill. But if you wanna use just the wood you have you might consider a stick burner. I decided to get a ceramic kamado style mostly because the price was right and the bugs are horrendous where I live so I've got it under a roofed deck right next to the house with screen walls so I can smoke and hang out with a beer all year long. But if I lived where you are in kings clear up on a hill like that the bugs probably aren't bad at all you could go with anything you want.
With a stick burner style you need to use it away from the house but all you need to do is start a fire in the fire chamber with your wood of choice adjust your air flow to get your desired temperature and let her go.
The nice thing about the kamado style grills is you can cook low and slow or a high heat sear and everything in between. I can cook a pork shoulder for 12-14 hours without any problems and never needing to add any charcoal.
I guess it all depends on what you want to do...  :cheers:


- If you're crafty you could build yourself an Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS). Google it for examples, there's tones of peoples who made one.

- Weber Smokey Mountain. Similar design to a UDS but made by Weber. Two of my friends owned one for years, the quality is good, they can cook long hours and the modular design allow you to either cook a steak or a long and slow pulled pork.

-Kamado style cooker. They are super efficient, constant, keep the moisture and temp for long hours. There's many brands and price range out there. I own a Primo XL, they're not cheap but I couldn't live without mine. I've used mine on average 2 times a week, year-round for the last 6-7 years. Kamado Joe is another brand I would consider if I would be in the market right now. Vision Grill from Canadian Tire is also good, I have 4-5 friends who got them on sales and they're happy with it.  All kamados pretty much run and perform the same. The differences is in the design, where it's made, available options for it, customer service and warranty.

As for electric, I'm not a fan at all. Flavor is just not the same as to charcoal. I have one and only use it to cold smoke. This summer I'm building myself a 3'x3' smokehouse then I'm getting rid of it

Beside homebrewing, grilling and smoking meat is my next best hobby. Doing some wings tonight!  :rock:


I'll second the weber smokey mountain, thats what I have. I haven't had any issues maintaining temperatures and its nice that it comes apart easy. The electric set ups are nice because they're set and forget but honestly I prefer the flavour from charcoal. Especially since you have an unlimited supply of good wood, you could even go straight wood (but its more work). If you can afford it or find it used/on sale I'd go for the kamado style smoker.

If you have the space and you don't care what it looks like you can also build a pretty decent smoker our of cinder blocks. Thats what we use for our annual pig roast.

One of the best investments I made for my smokey mountain was a wireless probe thermometer like this one. I started with different cuts of chicken to get comfortable with my grill before I moved to ribs and brisket.


I built a uds a few years ago, hardest part was finding a suitable barrel. I liked it, food tasted great, but I've since moved on to a kamado joe. I "think " the food tasted a bit better off the uds, but it was also my first smoker and I had low expectations.

I really like the kamado joe, and I haven't used the uds since I got it, so I guess that says it all.


I ended up grabbing a typical vertical propane smoker off amazon. Since I'm just starting out I wanted something a little more 'set it and forget it' than charcoal or a stick burner, although I was pretty close to getting a Weber Smokey Mountain. Maybe when I'm older and wiser I'll upgrade to a big boy smoker.

I did pick up a wireless probe thermometer, as well as some gasket material for the door.