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  • luhnlaw
    Club Member
    • Jun 2017
    • 17
    • Upstate NY

    New to the Pit

    Greetings. I just "jern'd up" and am anxious to learn and share information, news, tips, and recipes. I'm in the agonizing throes of selecting a smoker. I have a charcoal offset that I purely hate, mostly because it requires way too much fussing around with. I'm leery about the electrics, despite their convenience, though there are some pretty serious-looking ones out there (e.g., Smokin'It and similar boxes). I'm also dubious about smokers that use only wood chips -- it seems that they'd burn down to nothing so fast that you will be constantly adding chips for something like a brisket or pork shoulder. Any comments, thoughts, etc. will be happily accepted. (PS: I'll be locating the smoker on a decent-sized deck.) Thanks to all. C
  • JCGrill
    Club Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 1728
    • Minneapolis / St Paul burbs
    • Charcoal - 22" Weber Kettle
      Gas - Saber
      Smoker - Green Mountain Daniel Boone
      Portable - Charbroil Tabletop Propane Grill

    #2
    Welcome to the pit! You're in the right place, and the reviews here are an excellent resource. Lots of ways to go, but if you are looking for less fuss (less tending the smoker) pellets aren't a bad way to go. I've used the Bradley electric too, and I think it does OK. However, if you want something that can sear, I would not recommend either of those. Or get a 2nd grill.

    Comment

    • HouseHomey
      Club Member
      • May 2016
      • 5263
      • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
      • Equipment
        Primo Oval xl

        Slow n Sear (two)
        Drip n Griddle
        22" Weber Kettle
        26" Weber Kettle one touch
        Blackstone 36” Pro Series
        Sous vide machine
        Kitchen Aid
        Meat grinder
        sausage stuffer
        5 Crock Pots
        Akootrimonts
        Two chimneys (was 3 but rivets finally popped, down to 1)
        cast iron pans,
        Dutch ovens
        Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732, RTC-600, pro needle and various pocket instareads.
        The help and preferences
        1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
        KBB
        FOGO
        A 9 year old princess foster child
        Patience and old patio furniture
        "Baby Girl" The cat

        Erik S.

      #3
      Huntington Beach welcomes you. Good luck. I'm a kettle kinda guy but I'm sure others will chime in.

      Comment

      • MBMorgan
        Club Member
        • Sep 2015
        • 6191
        • Colorado
        • > Weber Genesis EP-330
          > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
          > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
          > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
          > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
          to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
          > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
          > Thermoworks Smoke
          > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
          > Thermoworks Thermapen
          > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
          > Anova sous vide circulator
          > Searzall torch
          > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

          > Favorite Beer: Guinness Extra Stout, Fat Tire, Anchor Steam, or Alaskan Amber
          > Favorite Wine: Klinker Brick Old Ghost Zinfandel or Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend
          > Favorite Whiskey: Balvenie Double Wood Scotch or Jameson Irish

        #4
        Welcome from Colorado.

        Normally, I'll recommend a Pit Barrel Cooker (PBC) to most anyone in your position. It fits pretty much any budget and while it can sear, that's not its greatest strength. Another great choice is one of the medium or larger Weber kettles (22 or 26") with the appropriate Slow n Sear (SnS) accessory. That combo excels at both smoking and searing ... although it won't have the capacity of a PBC.

        If you haven't already done so, check out the searchable database of reviews on the AR main site: http://amazingribs.com/bbq_equipment_reviews_ratings/

        Comment

        • DWCowles
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 9709
          • Smiths Grove, Ky
          • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

          #5
          Welcome luhnlaw

          Comment

          • kmhfive
            Club Member
            • Mar 2017
            • 2988
            • Northern Illinois
            • Weber Kettle -- 22.5" (In-Service Date June 2015)
              Slow-n-Sear/Drip-n-Griddle/Grill Grates (In-Service Date March 2016)
              Pit Boss 820 (Retired)
              GMG Jim Bowie WiFi (In-Service Date April 2017)
              Maverick ET-733
              Fireboard
              Home-brewer

            #6
            Welcome to fun and learning! You may find that there are ways to adjust the COS to get a good smoke out of it while you review your options. I agree with Mbmorgan that the Weber kettle with a SnS is a great way to start if you are absolutely done with the COS. I don't have a PBC, but it does produce a moderately high volume of quality BBQ. I do have a pellet cooker and I love it for low-n-slow cooks. It's truly as much a set and forget setup as I've ever used. However, my brothers have Kamado-style cookers and they work great also with little fussing. Plus you can expand your cooking repertoire into breads and other fine foods!

            So, as you read up, keep in mind that you will get a case of MCS and there is no cure. You can treat the symptoms temporarily, but it will keep coming back!

            Think about (and share if you're willing) what foods you want to cook at first and for how many. Then think about how much you can spend initially. Based on those three ideas, you will find a good cooker to start with. Keep in mind that you'll want the proper accoutrements--a good thermometer being among the top items on that list!

            Have fun and eat good food!

            Comment

            • LA Pork Butt
              Charter Member
              • Dec 2014
              • 5349
              • Grew up in New Orleans, lived in Texas for 20 years, lived in Mandeville, LA for 22 years. I now liv

              #7
              Originally posted by Mbmorgan View Post
              Welcome from Colorado.

              Normally, I'll recommend a Pit Barrel Cooker (PBC) to most anyone in your position. It fits pretty much any budget and while it can sear, that's not its greatest strength. Another great choice is one of the medium or larger Weber kettles (22 or 26") with the appropriate Slow n Sear (SnS) accessory. That combo excels at both smoking and searing ... although it won't have the capacity of a PBC.

              If you haven't already done so, check out the searchable database of reviews on the AR main site: http://amazingribs.com/bbq_equipment_reviews_ratings/
              Makes good points. I cook on a BGE and if your budget would allow it I would look at a Ceramic for versality ranging from low and slow to roasting and baking to grilling with or without electronics.

              Comment

              • PaulstheRibList
                Founding Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 1585
                • Lake Charles, LA
                • Started Low-N-Slow BBQ in 2012. Obviously, it's taken hold (in chronological order:
                  1.) A pair of Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5's
                  2.) #LilTex, a 22" Expensive Offset Smoker (looks like a Yoder Witicha)
                  3.) #WhoDat1, a HUGE Gravity Fed Insulated Cabinet Smoker (cooking chamber 3'x2'x6')
                  4.) A Full Size Commercial Dryer/converted to Vertical Smoker.
                  5.) Jambo Backyard stickburner (my FAVORITE Pit so far)
                  6.) GrillMeister, a huge 24"x48" Adjustable, Charcoal Grill from Pitmaker.com
                  7.) 22" Weber Kettle with Slow-N-Sear
                  8.) Vault insulated reverse-flow cabinet smoker from Pitmaker
                  9.) BarbecueFiretruck...under development
                  10.) 26 foot BBQ Vending Trailer equipped with HUGE Myron Mixon 72xc smoker is HERE, Oct 2016!
                  11.) Opened www.PaulsRibShackBarbecue.com Food Trailer officially in March 2017
                  12.) Austin Smoke Works 500 Gallon Propane Tank Offset Smoker, named "Lucille" as travel pit for PaulsRibShack, Oct 2018.
                  12.) Opening Brick & Mortar location at 4800 Nelson Rd, Spring 2019. Had a pair of 1,000 Gallon Austin Smoke Works pits, both in RibShackRed for our new place!

                  Fabulous Backlit Thermapens, several Maverick Remote Thermometers (don't use any remotes anymore), Thermoworks Smoke, Other Thermoworks toys, Vacuum sealer, lots and lots of equipment...

                  I'm loving using BBQ to make friends and build connections.
                  I have #theRibList where I keep a list of new and old friends and whenever I'm cooking, I make 1 to 20 extra and share the joy.

                #8
                Welcome Welcome!

                Lots of good suggestions above. If you don't want to mess with your smoker, then that puts the Stickburners off the table. You have several good set-it-and-forget-it choices.

                Pellet Cookers. They smoke while you sleep. Period. I am looking forward to putting one back in the rotation at the house when I don't have the time to tend my beloved Stickburners.

                PBC. I haven't used one, but there is a loyal and vibrant following on the form who have demonstrated these things work!

                Weber Smoke Mountain. I cut my teeth on a 22.5" WSM, and they are terrific! Practice a bit and take some notes, and you will know just how you can set the coals, vents and then go to sleep. I can cook 10 racks of ribs on each WSM, or 4-6 pork butts.

                Ketttle and SNS. Again, the following here is robust and successful! This is a very versatile combo, but you are limited on the size of the output. If you want to cook for more folks than a handful, you will need a dedicated smoker. (I own a kettle, and use it. And I own an SNS...but haven't used it yet. The SNS crew may excommunicate me for this sin.)

                My suggestion in helping you use this wonderful crew to help you narrow your selection: Pick one or two of these options, plan out some typical menu's that you will want to cook for, and ask some more specific questions.

                On another post, pick the same or different cookers, and some other menu selections, and do the same.

                If my life and several others on here are any indication, you may want to plan on owning a couple smokers...

                Have fun!
                paul

                Comment

                • RonB
                  Club Member
                  • Apr 2016
                  • 12695
                  • Near Richmond VA
                  • Weber Performer Deluxe
                    SNS
                    Pizza insert
                    Rotisserie
                    Smokenator 1000
                    Cookshack Smokette Elite
                    2 Thermapens
                    Chefalarm
                    Dot
                    lots of probes.
                    CyberQ

                  #9
                  Welcome to The PIt. There are plenty of great recommendations above, but we can be more specific if we know:

                  How many will you be cooking for - regularly and on occasion?
                  How much time are you willing to spend during the cook - set and forget to tending maybe every half hour?
                  What do you like to cook, and what would you like to cook?
                  Are you looking for one cooker to do everything, or are you possibly willing to have several cookers?
                  And how much would you like to spend? You should include the price of a good instant read digital thermometer in your budget at the very least. A leave in thermometer with at least two probes is also extremely helpful.

                  Comment

                  • jgreen
                    Charter Member
                    • Oct 2014
                    • 2721
                    • Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
                    • Cookers:
                      Broil King XL
                      Broil King Smoke
                      Weber Kettle 26
                      Grilla Pellet smoker
                      Capital 40 natural gas
                      Napoleon Pro 22 kettle

                      Thermometer:
                      Maverick 733
                      Thermapen (ok..4 thermapens)
                      Thermo works DOT (or two)
                      Fireboard (probably my favourite)
                      Thermworks Smoke (or two)

                      Accessories:
                      SnS (original, plus and XL)
                      DnG pans, 6 or 7 of these
                      Vortex
                      Grillgrates
                      and, maybe some other toys as well

                    #10
                    Welcome from Winnipeg. There are tons of great choices out there, especially if you have room for multiple cookers. The kettle makes a great all round unit if you are more limited on space.

                    Comment

                    • Nate
                      Former Member
                      • Apr 2015
                      • 3811
                      • Quarantined

                      #11
                      Welcome from Indiana.

                      Comment

                      • Spinaker
                        Moderator
                        • Nov 2014
                        • 10597
                        • Land of Tonka
                        • John "J R"
                          Instagram: JRBowlsby
                          Smokin' Hound Que
                          Minnesota/ United States of America

                          ********************************************
                          Assistants
                          Dexter (Beagle mix)
                          Kinnick (American Foxhound)
                          ************************

                          Grills/Smokers/Fryers
                          Big Green Egg (Large) X2
                          Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle 4-Burner

                          Broil King Keg
                          Karubeque C-60
                          Kamado Joe Jr. (Black)
                          Lodge L410 Hibachi
                          Pit Barrel Cooker
                          Pit Barrel Cooker 2.0
                          R&V Works FF2-R-ST 4-Gallon Fryer

                          Weber Spirit Gasser
                          ******************.
                          Thermometers
                          FireBoard (Base Package)
                          Thermoworks ThermaPen (Red)
                          Thermoworks MK4 (Orange)
                          **************

                          Accessories
                          BBQ Dragon
                          Big Green Egg Plate Setter
                          Benzomatic TS4000 Torch X 2
                          Benzomatic TS800 High Temp Torch X 2

                          Bayou Classic 44 qt Stainless Stock Pot
                          Bayou Classic 35K BTU Burner

                          Digi Q DX2 (Medium Pit Viper Fan)
                          Dragon VT 2-23 C Torch
                          Eggspander Kit X2
                          Field Skillet No. 8,10,12

                          Finex Cat Iron Line
                          FireBoard Drive
                          Lots and Lots of Griswold Cast Iron
                          Grill Grates
                          Joule Water Circulator
                          KBQ Fire Grate

                          Kick Ash Basket (KAB) X4
                          Lots of Lodge Cast Iron
                          Husky 6 Drawer BBQ Equipment Cabinet
                          Large Vortex
                          Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum
                          Marquette Castings No. 13 (First Run)
                          Smithey No. 12
                          Smokeware Chimney Cap X 3
                          Stargazer No.10, 12
                          Tool Wizard BBQ Tongs
                          Univex Duro 10" Meat Slicer
                          ********************************
                          Fuel
                          FOGO Priemium Lump Charcoal
                          Kingsford Blue and White
                          Rockwood Lump Charcoal
                          Apple, Cherry & Oak Log splits for the C-60
                          **************************

                          Cutlery
                          Buck 119 Special
                          Dexter 12" Brisket Sword
                          Global
                          Shun
                          Wusthof
                          *******
                          Next Major Purchase
                          Lone Star Grillz 24 X 48 Offset

                        #12
                        Welcome to The Pit, we are happy to have you here!

                        Since this is your first post, please check out our homework assignment post for new members, it contains a few how-tos and please-dos. This will help you learn your way around so you can get the best experience from our forum.

                        Also, it's very important that you:

                        Give us an email address you use on a regular basis. You can check the email we have on file for you by clicking your name in the upper-right, then User Settings, then the Notifications tab. You currently cannot change your email on file with us since it’s tied to your Pitmaster Club account as well as our payment processor, Stripe. Don’t worry though, we’d be happy to change it for you. PM (private message) ”Huskee” with your email change request, or via email at huskee[at]AmazingRibs[dot]com.

                        Add the domain AmazingRibs.com to your email safe list. We NEVER spam! This is important to receive notices about your account, such as if you’re up for renewal or are ever drawn as our monthly Gold Medal Giveaway winner, which is open to all USA members or those with a USA delivery address (we’d hate to have to pick another person because you don’t answer us)!

                        Thank you for the support! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Make sure to jump right in on the fun. This is a a great place to hang out!

                        -Spinaker

                        Comment

                        • fuzzydaddy
                          Charter Member
                          • Nov 2014
                          • 4957
                          • Winchester TN
                          • Hardware
                            Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado.
                            Slow 'N Sear Kettle Grill.
                            Slow 'N Sear (1.0, Deluxe, 2.0), DnG Pans/Racks, Easy Spin Grates, Elevated Cooking Grates.
                            Weber Chimney starters (regular and half).
                            Joule.
                            GrillGrates, GrateGriddles.
                            Maverick XR-50 [my favorite].
                            ThermoWorks Smoke & Gateway, Thermapen, Thermapop, ChefAlarms, DOT, probes

                            Consumables / Favorites
                            KBB (short cooks), Weber (long cooks)
                            Ribs (beef & pork), Pork Butts, Chuck Roasts, Pork Tenderloins.
                            SnS Grills salt free rubs: Not Just for Beef & Rocky’s Rub.
                            MeatChurch Holy Cow. MMD, BBBR, S&G, Herbs de Provence, SPOG.

                          #13
                          Welcome from Florida!

                          Comment

                          • FireMan
                            Charter Member
                            • Jul 2015
                            • 7674
                            • Bottom of Winnebago

                            #14
                            Welcome aboard! Mbmorgan pretty much covered the bases w/ PBC & the kettles w/SnS. You will do some great eatin & some great learning before you get knee deep in MCS & get fancy with big money. Eat good & have fun!

                            Comment

                            • Henrik
                              Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
                              • Jul 2014
                              • 4290
                              • Stockholm, Sweden

                              #15
                              Welcome to the pit!

                              Comment

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                              Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

                              WE'RE SELLING OUT FAST! Less than 10 seats available. Secure your spot by booking now!
                              Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis)
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                              If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

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                              Click here to read our detailed review and to order