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Cheap and lazy

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    Cheap and lazy

    Thanks to this site, I'm finally able to smoke good ribs and the holy grail of Texas barbecue, brisket. I no longer have to pay barbecue joints $18-$22 a pound for what a lot of times is pretty mediocre. I'm using a 15 year old Weber kettle (thats the cheap part) with a slow n sear and am really happy with the flavor profile that I get from charcoal and a few chunks of hickory or apple wood. Ribs are a relatively easy 5-6 hours, but brisket is usually 12-14 hours on the cooker. I usually put it on at midnight to have it ready to eat by 6pm. I have to add charcoal around 5am and then worry about it while I'm sleeping. I need more capacity, a cooker that can go longer without refueling, and hold temperature so I don't have to tend to it as much. A pellet smoker is the obvious solution, but a quality one is pricey, and I've heard that they don't have the the smokier flavor profile us Texans prefer. I started thinking a 26 inch Weber kettle would give me more capacity and a longer cook time without refueling, but I would still have to tend to it like my 22 inch kettle. A 22 inch Weber Smokey Mountain would give me plenty of capacity, but I read they're difficult to keep at the 220-225 temperature I like to cook at. I lean toward Weber products because they last. I've been looking at the Masterbuilt 560 which seems to cover cost, capacity, ease of use, and flavor profile I like. What causes me to hesitate is the quality. I can't imagine one of those lasting much more than 5 or 6 years without some of the pricey mods some users are adding, like $270 for a stainless firebox liner and water pan. I up for any advise I can get.

    #2
    Howdy from Kansas Territory, Welcome to Th Pit!

    Lookin forward to learnin along with, an from ya!

    I gots me a kettle, too!

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      #3
      I can be of no help because I cook primarily on a pellet cooker. But welcome to the pit from WI! I am sure you’ll get plenty of advice.

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        #4
        Welcome from Minnesota. Enjoy The Pit!

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          #5
          Welcome from Virginia Beach.

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            #6
            Welcome from south Texas!

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              #7
              Welcome from Colorado ...

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                #8
                Welcome from Nor Cal, might want to think about a PBC.

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                  #9
                  Welcome to the PIT from the Lou!

                  I have a couple kettles - my performer Louie and my redhead Lucille - so I know what you have and what you're up against. I too, am working within a budget, so I've learned to hack.

                  I look at Craig's List a lot, and came upon a new, unused Kitchenaid grill for $ 100 - the owner said it was 'too big'. None of us would consider buying or owning this by choice. Jackpot.

                  I reset the chimney with a gasket, put a gasket on the lid, put grommets in for thermometer probes, put in a thermometer at the grate level, sealed the chassis to assure I had a smoke chamber, and used trimmed magnetic plates for bumper stickers to seal the front areas around knobs and such. I put in a sheet metal rectangle in the ash bin to prevent the floorboard from rusting out. The monster gives me about 50% more burn time than a 22.5" kettle.

                  My point is, maybe think outside the box and put some work into something to make it what you want. One thing this grill does have it great CI grates, and a pretty big second tier tray to boot.

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	KitchenAid Upgraded.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.72 MB ID:	912853
                  The lid gasket and landing pad...
                  and ready to go ↓
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	KA Phase 1.jpg Views:	0 Size:	840.4 KB ID:	912854
                  Food for thought maybe? I use two grates on the left as the smoking area, and the entire grate on the right, boxed off, as a fuel box. If you're handy building something up could be fun..

                  (this is not good for dead of winter cooks, the gauge steel is too light)
                  Last edited by JGo37; September 18, 2020, 01:28 PM.

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                    #10
                    I think pit barrel cooker might be what you would be a smoker that checks off a lot of those wishes off the list. because it runs a little higher and efficiently heats the meat my neighbor has been cooking 11 lb briskets with one fire tend.

                    Good luck and welcome to the pit!

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                      #11
                      Check out the snake or fuse method on the YouTube channel they can go a long time without tending to the fire. I’ve used it with success on my son’s 26” with good success.

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                        #12
                        I have a 26” kettle and a PBC. I’ve done as many as 7 slabs of ribs on my Kettle by rolling them up. I can get up to 6 7-8 lb pork butts in the PBC. As far as whole packer briskets go...only one on the kettle and two in the PBC.
                        i would love to have more capacity too but am VERY pleased with how each of these cookers operate.

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                        • JGo37
                          JGo37 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          You can't go wrong with a 26" kettle - that's a beast of a cooking machine!

                        #13
                        My two cents worth: I still have my circa '78 Weber kettle in addition to a current Weber Performer and PBC. I jumped on the pellet cooker bandwagon a couple years ago, was never really impressed with the smoke profile and the controller failed after 13 months. If it were me I would do a 26" kettle if capacity and low and slow was the real need. Just sayin.

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                          #14
                          Welcome from Westerm Masschusetts.

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                            #15
                            Welcome from Chicagoland!

                            I own a MB560 so I would definitely recommend it. The mods you are considering are not worth it, in my view. However, it is an excellent smoker. I think it deserves to me on your short list still.

                            Some others that might meet your needs would be a Pit Barrel Cooker or a Oklahoma Joe Bronco barrel cooker. The OJ can be sometimes found at Walmart for around $200.

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