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New Smoker Advice... Help me spend my money!

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    New Smoker Advice... Help me spend my money!

    Pitmasters I need help!

    I am looking to jump into a larger pit. Think competition style, small catering just about too big for a backyard. I already have an SNS-powered Weber Performer, the SNS Kamado, a Gas grill, and my Blackstone Griddle. I am looking for something that will let me do a larger volume. Minimum of 4 briskets and 2-4 pork shoulders. I have a large family and can't seem to cook enough each time I smoke. I am biased toward a stick burner as I don't own an offset and think that would be awesome. Although, I have become spoiled with my fireboard and fan combos where I can still get a good night's rest. I would love to hear of something that has some set it and forget it (maybe not 4 hours at a time but something) although I understand that may not be possible. I already find myself often firing up both the SNS Kamado and Weber in order to get it all done in one day.

    As to budget I have not set one per se but would be willing to consider all the way up to a trailer competition-style setup that gets me into that $10K range. But not looking to spend that much would be happy to spend less. I was looking at Outlaw smokers, Jambo pits, Primitive Pits, Centex, etc. just don't want to drop that much money and feel like I outgrow it immediately.

    I post some photos of my cooks on Instagram in case anyone is interested.

    310 Followers, 532 Following, 132 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Jose Amaro (@josegatortri)

    Pellet grill,
    Trager Timberline 1300, Diva Q has won many competitions using Traeger pellet grills.




    15Rib Racks


    12Pork Butts
    Total cooking space1300 sq. in.Total weight226 lbsPellet hopper capacity24 lbs Max temperature 500° F


      Boy, did you come to the right place. Prepare for the onslaught of people more than willing to help you spend your money!
      Lone Star Grillz makes some of the best smokers out there. Several members here own one and give them rave reviews. Of course this one might be too big, but on their website are several smaller smokers.

      Attached Files
      Last edited by Panhead John; May 21, 2021, 10:12 AM.


      • JoseGator
        JoseGator commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the comments John! I was hoping I had come to the right place.

      I don’t have hands on with either, but sounds like you might want to look at vertical offsets or gravity feed smokers. For gravity, I’m not talking about the cheap Masterbuilt stuff, but something like a Stumps Classic. A vertical offset will let you sling logs, a gravity feed with burn charcoal and chunks, but be more hands off. It probably depends on how much space you want to take up for the volumes you want to cook. You’ll probably be looking at a trailer model for horizontal.

      With the mention of offsets, you might not be satisfied with the smoke profile from a pellet grill, However, Smokedaddyinc and cookshack both make vertical pellet smokers with lots of capacity. The Cookshack FEC series is popular for restaurants and competition cooks.


        I have never had a vertical. Not sure I like the idea of one brisket dripping onto another and wetting the bark while forming. Again, I have never cooked on one so will accept all the "your wrong" comments but that's partly why I was discounting that option in my mind.


          Also at Lone Star Grillz, look at their insulated cabinet smokers. They are charcoal and wood chunk fired and with a controller and fan are fairly hands free. I have a large with the comp cart and love it. Great capacity!


          My post on getting the cabinet
          Last edited by ofelles; May 21, 2021, 11:56 AM.


            Just to compare to others - look at M series grills. I’d say the M1, but that isn’t the size you need. But the other M grills are nice!

            That said - I’d probably go with a LSG!!!!!!
            Last edited by barelfly; May 21, 2021, 12:03 PM.


              LSG. Also now makes a pellet smoker. If you want to stay spoiled. 😁

              Product Details: 100% MADE IN USA including the pellet feeder hopper and the PID controller PID Controller is designed by FireBoard Labs giving you the ultimate in temperature control and unrivaled plotting and logging capabilities.  You have the ability to add notes and pictures with each cook creating a personal digi

              I have their 24”x36” offset and can fit 8 butts or 4 briskets depending on how big they are.
              So the 42” pellet will definitely hold more.


                I agree with others. You have quite the lineup there already. I would consider a vertical pellet cooker.


                  So, this was said in another thread on a similar topic but in your shoes I'd think about this:

                  1) Budget. There's no point in looking at $6k smokers if your max budget is $3k.
                  2) Style. If you like the smoke profile from charcoal and offsets, a pellet grill will not work for you as they're almost all noticeably lighter.
                  3) Capacity. You seem to have thought of this and have cookers for smaller projects, so I think you have this one down.
                  4) Usability. You can't have an offset that's set and forget. Are you REALLY willing to feed the fire every 30 minutes or so? If you're not, then don't bother with them. Conversely, if you really don't like the smoke profile you get from pellets, their set and forget nature isn't going to work for you. Be honest with yourself here.
                  Last edited by rickgregory; May 21, 2021, 01:58 PM.


                  • JoseGator
                    JoseGator commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks for the thoughtful guidance.

                    As far as budget maybe I was unclear in how I stated my comment. I am looking at anything up to the $10k range but it’s not that I won’t be happy with something less expensive. Basically stating there is no ego in having the most expensive pit, not that type of guy.

                    I have never cooked on a vertical smoker how does that compare to what I am currently cooking on? They are efficient from a footprint perspective but know nothing about cooking on one.

                  As a happy owner I give another vote for LSG. Check out their site, there's bound to be something that will fit your needs. Definitely not cheap, but you get what you pay for and it's something your grandkids will be using long after you're gone.
                  Last edited by CaptainMike; May 21, 2021, 01:58 PM.


                    Also I see your in FL. If you opt for a stick burner of some sorts make sure you have access to an abundance of smoking woods.


                    • JoseGator
                      JoseGator commented
                      Editing a comment
                      This is definitely one of my concerns.

                    Suggest gravity fed from
                    Southern Q
                    Myron Mixon

                    Great mix of charcoal & flavor coupled with low maintenance, large capacity, & as simple as pellet grills. Lots of choices that are big enough for full size hotel pans within a small footprint. Can do 15 racks ribs, 5-6 full packers, or 10-12 butts on my Limo Jr.


                      LSG offset cabinet smoker! Absolute pro set up


                        Just to give you guys a heads up. I am in the process of certification in Mexico so I am legal to export from there. Hopefully soon I will be able to ship pits from my shop in Mexico city. Also I am able to ship container loads of pits from Argentina if anyone is interested.


                        • JoseGator
                          JoseGator commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Do you have a link to your smokers so I can see some pictures?


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