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Seeking suggestions for a new charcoal smoker.

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  • Barbara
    Club Member
    • Jun 2017
    • 5

    Seeking suggestions for a new charcoal smoker.

    I am looking to get a new smoker and can't decide which one to get. I don't want a round one with multiple pieces to take apart to clean. I already have that with the Weber Smokey Mt smoker. The two I am considering are The Good One and the Hasty Bake 256. I would appreciate if any one has one of these two tell me what they like or don't like about it.
    Thanks in advance,

    Barbara Lusk
  • jfmorris
    Club Member
    • Nov 2017
    • 2141
    • Huntsville, Alabama
    • Jim Morris

      Cookers
      • Weber Genesis II E-410 w/ GrillGrates (2019)
      • Weber Performer Deluxe 22.5" w/ GrillGrates & Slow 'N Sear & Drip ‘N Griddle & Party Q (2007)
      • Weber Genesis Silver A w/ GrillGrates (2002)
      • Custom Built Offset Smoker (304SS, 22"x34" grate, circa 1985)
      • Lodge L8D03 5 quart dutch oven
      • Lodge L10SK3 12" skillet
      • Anova
      Thermometers
      • Thermoworks Smoke w/ Wifi Gateway
      • Thermoworks Dot
      • Thermoworks Thermapen Classic
      • Thermoworks RT600C
      Beverages
      • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

    #2
    Hi Barbara - both the Hasty Bake 256 and The Good One Open Range are solid cookers to consider. I don't have either personally - but others here do. There are probably more Hasty Bake owners than The Good One owners. I am paging Mr. Bones to comment on their Open Range model, as he is the only person that comes to mind.

    I would point out that the designs of the two cookers are very different.

    The Hasty Bake is designed principally as a grill, but with its solid deflector installed, does an excellent job of smoking as well as baking. Without the deflector, the charcoal pan can be set at multiple levels from the main cooking grate, giving you a "Santa Maria" style grilling experience as well. And as they say in the review here on the free side of AR, it is one of Meathead 's favorite cookers, which is saying something! I think the grates are stainless steel, and should last forever.

    The Good One Open Range with its unique design can grill on the lower section, and smoke on the upper section - at the same time if you want. The upper smoking section has a stacking method for providing two grate levels, with one stacking on top of the other. All grates are expanded metal, which you will want to keep oiled until well seasoned, to prevent rust. I've got expanded metal grates on my smoker, but they are made from stainless expanded, so rust is not an issue. I don't think the grates are stainless on the Good One, but maybe that is an option. Overall the Good One Open Range gives you somewhat of an offset smoker type arrangement, but I will point out that on their website, they say that it is a charcoal fueled cooker - I don't think the lower cooking chamber is heavy duty enough or sized for burning logs like some offset smokers. I think its more a charcoal and wood chunk cooker.

    In reading the reviews and spec sheets on both, I think that the Hasty Bake has more overall space if you want to grill OR smoke (but not both at the same time). The Good One has smaller grates, and if only grilling, less overall space. If smoking, the stacked grates provide about the same space as the main cooking grate on the Hasty Bake, but with some vertical space limitations - for example, if cooking 6 boston butts, they say that the two on the upper grate have to be butterflied to fit.

    All in all, you can do a lot with either one. If I had to pick, I would say that the Hasty Bake is the more versatile cooker, as it can grill, smoke, bake and emulate a Santa Maria in some senses while grilling. And it has a little more space. The Good One Open Range is a very unique and cool looking cooker in its own right, and if you want more of an offset smoker experience, may serve the bill better.

    Ok, now that I wrote a novel on the two options you mentioned, have you thought about vertical charcoal smokers such as the ones from Backwoods, like the Chubby or G2? It's more of a cabinet smoker, but if you are strictly looking for a charcoal smoker, and not a drum type like your Weber Smokey Mountain, its something to look at. https://www.backwoods-smoker.com

    Also, I see that you did not mention offsets, but charcoal, so I am not going there. I have an offset, and rarely use it because I usually don't have time to deal with constant fire management, and I prefer to smoke with charcoal and get some sleep...
    Last edited by jfmorris; November 19th, 2019, 11:34 AM.

    Comment


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      I think with both cookers, I would learn it a little first before modifying it with a fan. They ought to both be able to be setup to run for hours and be stable without a fan, but if you are used to one with your WSM, I am sure they can be setup with it too.

      Thanks, but nope - not a KCBS judge, and while I've been to the Whistle Stop, its been a few years. I want to enter it in the "shade tree" category, but my 3 kids getting married 2018, 2019 and now 2020 keeps interfering with going...

    • Meathead
      Meathead commented
      Editing a comment
      There is no way you could mount a fan on a HB. There are just too many leaks.

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      Meathead that was kinda what I was thinking, glad to hear you confirm it. I am guess it really doesn't need one in the long run, once you learn the cooker and the right technique for setup for low and slow or hot and fast.
  • Meathead
    BBQ Whisperer, Mythbuster
    • May 2014
    • 1189
    • Chicago area
    • Remember, no rules in the bedroom or kitchen
      Meathead

    #3
    I agree with jfmorris . Are you aware that we have Max Good a full time grill and smoker tester and he has a database of more than 500 grills and smokers with ratings and reviews and photos and videos? You can search by price, fuel, etc. Use that to start your search narrow down the field, and ask Max for help. https://amazingribs.com/ratings-revi...smoker-reviews

    Comment


    • Barbara
      Barbara commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, I have used the search tool to find a charcoal smoker with a Platinum or Gold rating. That is how I selected the two smokers I was asking about. I also read the reviews you wrote on both smokers. Thank you for your reviews.

    • Meathead
      Meathead commented
      Editing a comment
      Great! I think you've zeroed in on my two faves. Tough choice from there.

    • Barbara
      Barbara commented
      Editing a comment
      When you cooked on the HB did you use lump charcoal or regular charcoal? The HB site recommends lump charcoal which burns hotter. I wonder if you use regular charcoal it would be easier to maintain a lower temp?
      In your review you mentioned "precise measuring of the coals". Can you give me a hint as to what precise measuring" is? Did you start with a certain amount of coals and add more till you were able to maintain a temp of 225? It must take a fair amount of trial runs to get it right
  • Old Glory
    Club Member
    • Feb 2018
    • 624
    • Northshore MA

    #4
    M1 grills can use both charcoal and wood. They are similar to Hasty Bake but overbuilt to last a long time.

    Lone Star Grill and Smoker.

    Cabinet smokers allow for for lots of cooking space and are insulated and very efficient.

    Weber Summit Charcoal is round but easy to use.




    Comment


    • Barbara
      Barbara commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the info. I will look them up.
  • FireMan
    Charter Member
    • Jul 2015
    • 6686
    • Bottom of Winnebago

    #5
    Yup with the Max Avenue.

    Comment

    • SavageSmoke
      Club Member
      • Jun 2019
      • 157
      • Eden, NC

      #6
      Get a Stumps! They have any size you could need.

      Comment


      • Barbara
        Barbara commented
        Editing a comment
        I am afraid they cost a "little" more than I want to spend on a back yard smoker.
    • Mr. Bones
      Birthday Hat Master
      • Sep 2016
      • 7871
      • Kansas Territory
      • Grills / Smokers
        *********************************************

        Kingsford 24" grill (Free) 'Billy'
        Brinkmann Smoke n Grill
        Oklahoma Joe Highland, gaskets, LavaLock baffle / tuning plate. 'Big Joe'
        Weber 18" Kettle ($30 CL) 'Lil' Feller'
        Weber Smokey Joe ($25 CL) 'Lil' Brother'
        Weber 22.5 Master Touch '93 P Code Blue($85) from fellow WKC member Bmitch 'Elwood'
        Weber 22.5 Bar-B-Q Kettle '69-'70 "Patent Pending" Red ($80) from fellow WKC member dwnthehatch 'Maureen'
        Weber 22.5 OTS DD Code Black ($40 CL) 'DeeDee'
        Weber 22.5 OTS DO Code Black ($15 CL)
        Weber 22.5 OTS E Code Black ($20 CL
        Weber 22.5 OTS EE Code Black ($20 CL

        Weber "C" Code 18.5" WSM '81 ($50 CL) 8-0!!!
        Weber "H" Code 18.5" WSM '86 ($75 CL)
        Weber " " Code 18.5" WSM

        Weber 26.75, $199 NFM clearance !!!
        Weber SJS AH 'Lil' Brother'
        Weber SJS AT 'Lil' Sister'
        Weber SJS DE Code (FREE) 'Lil' Helper'
        Weber SJG M Code 'Lil Traveller'
        Weber SJS AH Code 'Kermit'
        (Lime Green)
        Horizon 20" Classic, w/baffle/tuning plate (FREE)
        Good One Open Range, (FREE), Monthly Prize from AR giveaway!!!!



        Thermometers:
        *********************************************
        Ol' Skool Bi-metal probe pocket thermo, that has checked / served ~ 1,000,000 meals in my possession, easily...
        Maverick ET-732, (Black)
        Thermopops, (Red, Yellow, Green)
        ThermaPen Mk4 (Black), THANKS!!! to jgjeske1
        Blue ThermaPen Mk4
        Orange Thermapen Mk4
        Pink Thermapen Mk4
        ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S
        ThermoWorks Smoke
        ThermoWorks Open Box Smoke
        4 Pro Series cable extensions
        Smoke Gateway

        Accessories:
        *********************************************
        2 Slow 'N Sears, Slow 'N Sear XL, Grill 'N Griddle
        BBQ Vortex, 2 Hovergrills, Top Deck
        Warming shelf
        MyWeigh KD-8000Kitchen Scale
        Backyard Grill marinade injector
        Acoustic Guitars/Electric Guitars/Basses/1928 National Duolian/Harmonicas/Banjo Washboard, Spoons, kazoos, pocket comb with wax paper, egg shakers ;-)
        Bear Paws
        Meat Rakes
        BBQ Dragon/Chimley of Insanity, Dragon Wing Shelves (x2 ea.)



        Cookware:
        Probably a ton of cast iron, mostly very old...still cookin'
        G'Ma's Piqua skillet, :-)( They went out of business in 1934~)
        '60's Revere Ware (Mom's), + others found elsewhere
        60's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (Mom's) Daily driver
        50's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (G'Ma's), for a backup! ;-)
        Carpy Wally World stock pots, in approx 2 gal/3gal sizes, blue speckledty-porcelain enameled
        Tramontina 6.5 qt Dutch Oven

        Cutlery, etc.:
        Shi*-ton of kitchen/chef knives, most sharper than my straight-razors are. (Better steel!) Chicago Cutlery, Old Hickory, various, including some nice German stuff ;-)
        Dexter 12" slicing knife, 6" Sani-Safe boning knife
        Smith's Tri-Hone Natural Arkansas Knife Sharpening System
        Multiple steels, from all over the planet
        Crock sticks
        Diamond stones, various
        Lansky Sharpening System

        Tableware
        Daily driver:Washington Forge Mardi Gras, Navy / Cobalt Blue
        Dinner: Guests: Washington Forge, Town and Country
        Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

      #7
      Barbara, on break right now from recordin some tracks, but I will try my dangdest to give ya a more personal viewpoint on th Good One Open Range, as my time permits...soon!
      Ain't never been unhappy with it, or any of it's mannerisms, quality, build, operation, nuthin...
      Time er two, wished it was a lil larger...
      Gotta Go!

      Comment


      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        Mr. Bones I know vertical space with the 2 grates on the smoking portion is limited. Can you fit a couple of large turkeys up there? I usually end up smoking two 20 pounders every Thanksgiving. The cooking grate(s) up there are 11x30, so it seems it might be tough to fit a spatchcocked turkey (or two) up there?
    • jfmorris
      Club Member
      • Nov 2017
      • 2141
      • Huntsville, Alabama
      • Jim Morris

        Cookers
        • Weber Genesis II E-410 w/ GrillGrates (2019)
        • Weber Performer Deluxe 22.5" w/ GrillGrates & Slow 'N Sear & Drip ‘N Griddle & Party Q (2007)
        • Weber Genesis Silver A w/ GrillGrates (2002)
        • Custom Built Offset Smoker (304SS, 22"x34" grate, circa 1985)
        • Lodge L8D03 5 quart dutch oven
        • Lodge L10SK3 12" skillet
        • Anova
        Thermometers
        • Thermoworks Smoke w/ Wifi Gateway
        • Thermoworks Dot
        • Thermoworks Thermapen Classic
        • Thermoworks RT600C
        Beverages
        • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

      #8
      Barbara with Thanksgiving coming up, and while we wait on Mr. Bones to respond above, I think you need to consider whether your new smoker/grill can handle big items like a turkey. The Good One Open Range has 3 total cooking grates, all 11" deep x 30" wide. One for grilling, two for smoking (stacked on top of each other). You need to consider whether you like to do things like smoke a turkey, and if a turkey (spatchcocked or not) could fit well on the Good One Open Range. I'm thinking the smoker chamber on the Open Range is more optimized towards brisket, ribs and butts than it is something as large as a turkey.... making the Hasty Bake 256 with its larger primary grate a better choice for those type items... The Hasty Bake certainly appears to have more vertical clearance for a non-spatchcocked bird as well.
      Last edited by jfmorris; November 20th, 2019, 09:33 AM.

      Comment

      • Meathead
        BBQ Whisperer, Mythbuster
        • May 2014
        • 1189
        • Chicago area
        • Remember, no rules in the bedroom or kitchen
          Meathead

        #9
        Speaking of Hasty Bake. I am testing their new 357 model and it is sweeeet. It is based on the older models but has numerous refinements, including a $3400 price tag.
        https://www.hastybake.com/collection...charcoal-grill

        Comment

        • jfmorris
          Club Member
          • Nov 2017
          • 2141
          • Huntsville, Alabama
          • Jim Morris

            Cookers
            • Weber Genesis II E-410 w/ GrillGrates (2019)
            • Weber Performer Deluxe 22.5" w/ GrillGrates & Slow 'N Sear & Drip ‘N Griddle & Party Q (2007)
            • Weber Genesis Silver A w/ GrillGrates (2002)
            • Custom Built Offset Smoker (304SS, 22"x34" grate, circa 1985)
            • Lodge L8D03 5 quart dutch oven
            • Lodge L10SK3 12" skillet
            • Anova
            Thermometers
            • Thermoworks Smoke w/ Wifi Gateway
            • Thermoworks Dot
            • Thermoworks Thermapen Classic
            • Thermoworks RT600C
            Beverages
            • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

          #10
          Something to consider is the 20% off sale at Hasty Bake through 12/2:

          https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...-off-thru-12-2

          Comment

          • tbob4
            Charter Member
            • Nov 2014
            • 2087
            • Chico, CA
            • BBQ's
              _____________________
              California Custom Smokers Intensive Cooking Unit
              California Custom Smokers Meat Locker
              Santa Maria Grill
              Vision Grill

              Beer
              _______________________
              Sierra Nevada IPA

              Wood
              _______________________
              Almond
              Oak
              Madrone
              Cherry
              Peach
              Apple

            #11
            Besides the two you listed, I'm looking forward to Max Good getting a chance to review the Masterbuilt Gravity Series charcoal grill and smoker. It might be gimmicky but it looks promising.

            Comment


            • jfmorris
              jfmorris commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes, that rig looks VERY interesting. Like a charcoal fueled pellet style rig. Will we call it a charcoal pooper?

            • tbob4
              tbob4 commented
              Editing a comment
              jfmorris - I will call it MCS until Max tells why it shouldn't be.
          • Meathead
            BBQ Whisperer, Mythbuster
            • May 2014
            • 1189
            • Chicago area
            • Remember, no rules in the bedroom or kitchen
              Meathead

            #12
            Barbara I use whatever charcoal I have on hand, usually briqs. When I speak of precise measuring, I know, for example, that a Weber chimney holds 80 briqs. That is a fairly precise amount of energy every day of the week. Temp is directly related to number of briqs. Because lumps range in size from small chips to softball size, they burn unevenly and the volume and surface area varies everytime I fill a chimney. I can't get consistency. And I talked with Richard Alexander (HB owner) about why he recommends lump and his explanation was because he thinks it is more natural. We discussed the issue and he said he never heard my arguments for briqs. I think he went away scratching his head.

            Comment


            • Barbara
              Barbara commented
              Editing a comment
              I am sorry for the delay in getting back with you, I have been really busy. Thank you for your in put, I appreciate it.
          • WhollySmoke
            Club Member
            • Mar 2018
            • 2
            • Sapulpa, Ok
            • Primary Rig: Hasty Bake Gourmet 257 - All Stainless
              Secondary Rig: Hasty Bake Gourmet 256
              Toy Rig: Hasty Bake Portable
              Thermometers: Tappeque, Thermapen Mk 4, Maverick 732

            #13
            I've I have had a hasty bake for years and presently have 3 of them. I used nothing but Kingsford blue for the first several years on my original Hasty bake and it worked like a charm. I have since switched to all natural lump or all-natural briquettes made from compressed lump and usually a corn starch binder. I know some will argue that you can't tell a difference between Kingsford blue and natural lump or compressed natural lump but I think I can so I use those. For really long Cook's I use natural briquettes, but for everything else I use natural lump. Low and slow or hot and fast, it's all about getting to know your rig and getting familiar with it and taking into consideration the atmospheric conditions

            Comment

            • Barbara
              Club Member
              • Jun 2017
              • 5

              #14
              Thanks so much for your input. I appreciate all the help I can get.

              Comment

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              Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

              Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Space is limited to 400, secure your spot by booking early! Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
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              This beautifully embroidered shirt is the same one Meathead wears in public and on TV. It's wash and wear and doesn't need ironing (really!), but it is a soft cottonlike feel. Choice of four colors and both men's and women's.

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              Support ARC

              Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon.

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              Spotlight

              These are not ads or paid placements. These Are Some Of Our Favorite Tools And Toys.

              These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

              Use our links when you buy things

              Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon

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              Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

              Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


              Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

              maverick PT55 thermometer

              A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

              Click here for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there


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              Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool


              Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners

              the good one grill

              The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King's proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

              Click here to read our complete review


              The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

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              The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

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              Click here to read our detailed review and to order


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              Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them


              The Undisputed Champion!

              thermapen

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              Char-Broil's Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you're off to the party! Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

              Click here to read our detailed review and to order


              The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

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              Click here for more about what makes this grill special


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              G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

              Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

              If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

              Click here to read our detailed review

              Click here to order from Amazon


              GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

              grill grates

              GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

              Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


              kareubequ bbq smoker

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              Click here for our review of this superb smoker


              Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

              masterbuilt gas smoker

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              Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

              Click here to read our detailed review


              Professional Steakhouse Knife Set

              masterbuilt gas smoker

              Our founder, Meathead, wanted the same steak knives used by steakhouses such as Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Morton's, Kobe Club, Palm, and many others. So he located the manufacturer and had them stamp our name on some. They boast pointed, temper-ground, serrated, high-carbon stainless-steel, half-tang blades with excellent cutting edge ability. The beefy hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip secured by three hefty rivets. He has machine washed his more than 100 times. They have never rusted and they stay shiny without polishing. Please note that we do not make, sell, or distribute these knives, they just engrave them with our name.

              Click here to read our detailed review and to order


              PK 360 grill

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              Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

              Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for AmazingRibs.com readers only


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              Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

              Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

              Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

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