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Fornetto Basso Charcoal Smoker

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    Fornetto Basso Charcoal Smoker

    My son was at Lowe's last night, and texted me about a little Masterbuilt charcoal smoker for $62 bucks, and I told him to just turn around and walk away from it, that I would rather see him smoke on his Weber Spirit 3 burner grill than buy that....

    I was looking to see what Lowe's might have that was affordable, and saw this on their website - I have seen it in person a few times as well:

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Fornetto-Ba...ker/1000714230

    Has anyone seen these? It seems like a pretty well made copy of a WSM 18, but more modular in design. I like that it clamps together so you can lift it as once piece too for moving it around. Also says it comes with hanging hooks for hanging meat in the description.

    Here is the website for the company:

    http://fornetto.com
    Last edited by jfmorris; April 29, 2020, 09:10 AM.

    #2

    It is cute.

    Comment


      #3
      Looking at the website, it appears they are an Australian company. Not sure why Lowe's here in the US is carrying them, as I don't see any other dealers here, and Lowe's just has the one model, versus the four that are made.

      Comment


        #4
        Fornetto Basso in Italian, translates as low oven, for whatever it’s worth. Seems like an accurate name based on the photos posted herein.

        Comment


          #5
          Looks like ProQ. Same company that makes Napoleon Apollo Smokers. Almost identical. That's a great price if it's not a cheap knock off.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Max Good View Post
            Looks like ProQ. Same company that makes Napoleon Apollo Smokers. Almost identical. That's a great price if it's not a cheap knock off.
            I've looked at these in person before, as they've had them at Lowe's for the past couple of years, on display, but don't carry the WSM in the store. The build quality seems very good, just poking at it in a store. Certainly a better buy than a WSM 18 at $189 versus $329.

            I do see that this appears to be an exact duplicate of the ProQ smoker. Looking at the manual PDF, it appears that support is all out of Garth in Australia. Given that the Australia address for ProQ is a PO Box that is 1000km from the address for Garth support in Australia, I am thinking that maybe this is a knockoff by another Australian company....

            Comment


            • Max Good
              Max Good commented
              Editing a comment
              Could be, but ProQ may be supplying their smokers to another entity, or just branding them differently for Australia.

            • jfmorris
              jfmorris commented
              Editing a comment
              Max Good I plan to try and talk my son who wants a smoker into getting one, then I can do a review on it! . It was the lowest cost decent looking smoker at the Lowe's he shops at.

            #7
            I looked at this cooker again at Lowe's today. Price was now $179, which is good. The build quality stills seems good - the grates seem beefier than on a WSM or a Weber Kettle. Too bad they are just chrome plated and not stainless, but then again, Weber is chrome plated too on all WSM models.

            I wanted to look at the hook/hanger mechanism, and it was a little disappointing. See the photo below. This was the floor model - the 5 hanging hooks were taped to the inside of the lid. They hang from a bar attached to the inside of the lid! This means if you were to hang 5 slabs of ribs, a brisket, whatever, that you have to hold the lid up with all 5 slabs of ribs, while hooking them on, then lower it all into the smoker. That seems poorly thought out at best, and hard to work with compared to a Gateway drum hanging kit used on a WSM, or the PBC. The hanging mechanism appear to truly be an afterthought, tacked on where the bolts that hold the handle are.

            In looking at the photos just now, I can see that the dome thermometer is more useless than most - it appears to cover a range of 0 to 500C, and the range for smoking, corresponding to 225F to 350F, is a very small portion of the range.

            Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1666.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	2.60 MB ID:	840446Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1667.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	3.53 MB ID:	840447Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1668.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	2.56 MB ID:	840445
            Last edited by jfmorris; May 1, 2020, 02:46 PM.

            Comment


              #8
              Did you pull the trigger on this?
              ​​​​​​If so, whatd ya think?

              Comment


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                No - my son was asking me about smokers, and I came across this one at Lowe's. He has not purchased one yet, but this one seems worth considering. For me, I don't think an 18" smoker will be quite large enough.

              #9
              I might keep an eye on those and if the price drops, pick one up. I don't really NEED a second smoker right now......

              Comment


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                It shows $189 online but is $179 at my local Lowe's.

              #10
              My buddy is asking me about a smoker for his dad for Father's Day, but with a $300 limit including accessories lol. I told him you're leaving Picasso without his paintbrush here, but I too stumbled across this and was wondering if it was worth it for the price.

              Comment


              • Ground Chuck
                Ground Chuck commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you, brother!!

              • Ground Chuck
                Ground Chuck commented
                Editing a comment
                He's narrowed it down to the Basso and the Bronco. I've never used either style but was trying to tell him pros and cons. You don't have to take everything out to add fuel to a WSM do you? I'm thinking he may not have to refuel but once when he gets the hang of it. Until then I could see him adding fuel two or three times (or needed to relight for instance). Any other advice? Think cooking capacity could be fairly close between the two. Appreciate all of your help by the way!

              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Ground Chuck - the Basso, like the WSM, has a fuel access door on the size. Its smaller on the Basso, but you can probably toss some more coals in there. The Bronco is like the PBC, in that you have to add fuel from the top. Of those two, I think I like the Bronco best if it is in budget. We have several folks here that really like them. Most cooks can be done on a single load in the Bronco I think.

              #11
              Quit hemming and hawing, tell your son to go get the thing. As long as the porcelain looks decent it will probably cook and last nearly as long as a WSM. Those bullet smokers all cook about the same. You can upgrade to fan control (big plus), stainless grates and a Hunsaker hanger for about the price of a base WSM. DO IT !!

              Comment


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm not hem hawing - my son is on his own for his outdoor cooking - I bought him a Weber Spirit II E-310 with a Weber cover and a set of grill tools, and gave him 3 surface panels of Grillgrates and a Grate tool. I just thought this looks like a good recommendation for a sub $200 charcoal smoker.

              #12
              Interesting, since I just stumbled on the Canadian version of this smoker on Lowe’s Canadian website. For 20$ CDN more than a 14.5 WSM, I could get this 18 in. one. From want I found out, it’s (here in Canada) a rebranded Fornetto.

              Comment


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                I've looked at it in person several times, including this weekend. Seems well built, and priced nicely. I think you can use methods for charcoal lighting that apply to the WSM 18 with this cooker.

              #13
              Wondering out loud if Napoleon is importing/reping for this company rather than developing/building/marketing there own bullet smoker.

              Comment


                #14
                Originally posted by smokin fool View Post
                Wondering out loud if Napoleon is importing/reping for this company rather than developing/building/marketing there own bullet smoker.
                I emailed proq (who make the Napoleon stuff) and they said that Fornetto aren't anything to do with them. I only emailed them as I was researching my purchase of a fornetto Razzo before I pulled the trigger.
                Last edited by Deano_Smokes; July 6, 2020, 05:29 PM.

                Comment


                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Well, it is an almost exact copy then, if you compare the pictures of the Napoleon and Fornetto cookers.

                • Deano_Smokes
                  Deano_Smokes commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Oh yeah, complete rip off. It's very solid though and have had a fair few cooks on it with no issues so far

                #15
                Always willing to stoke the MCS fires for someone, thought I'd pass along a clearance pricing notice on this Fornetto Basso unit. Lowe's has it on clearance pricing at $135 this week. I don't know if that's a regional or national thing, but there you are. For the quality and features, that seem a heck of a deal.

                Comment


                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Seems like a great deal. My Lowe's still has it for $189, if the webpage is to be believed. I was in there over the weekend, and it was still full price then.

                • Uncle Bob
                  Uncle Bob commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Jim, can't help but wonder if someone wanted one if hitting up their local manager for a price match thing would work, just enter the zip for my area and show the advertised price.

                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Ok, found it at 2 Lowe’s within driving distance for $103 on clearance... thinking about it. Might get it to gift my son for Christmas.

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