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Grilled or smoker?

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    For me it has to be both. I started as a griller but it really just cooking in general to me. In addition to playing with fire, I just love to cook outside, does not matter if it is a grill, smoker, flat top or over an open fire pit. The type of food just really depends on the mood and what we want to eat at any given time. Good thread..


      I have been cooking over live fire "braai-ing" ever since my memory alows me to remember. When I joined up here I would smoke something every opportunity i could.
      Now my cooking habits have generally become a monotonous routine (not boring though).
      Monday's and Tuesday's I almost always braai. If I dont then its a indoor kitchen Sunday lunch.
      I'm on the flat top from Wednesday's thru Friday's. That leaves Saturday and Sunday for smoking and most of the time the weather plays along. So pretty much an even split between grilling and smoking.


        Both for me too. Growing up my folks had the Weber going every weekend during the summer (we lived in MI) so I understood how grilled food just tasted better. They even had one BBQ that had a rotisserie so they made chickens and ribs with that one.

        After moving out my first grill was a small hibachi and I guess I have been graduating from that time. Being single I copied the method my folks had which was making enough food on the weekends to just about get through the week. I was buying a new cheap gas grill every other year as I used them often and they didn't last. The first time I bought a new Ducane (it had a lifetime warranty) for $600 back in the eighties it about killed me and I had to rationalize that purchase for a month before I bought it.

        In the nineties I want to a pool party where a friend smoked a turkey and butt roast on a WSM and I was hooked. After a few cheaper vertical smokers, one RT pellet grill I now have a LSG pellet, a LSG offset, a Weber gasser and a BS flat top and all have their time and purpose depending on my mood, time and weather.


          Part of the issue of what I am is what the words mean. On the west coast, especially when I was younger, the words Grilling and BBQ meant cooking over direct heat, no top/lid on your BBQ/Grill while cooking. It included things like hamburgers, hotdogs, sausages, chicken, steak. The two words could be used interchangeably.

          Smoking meant something down in the South with big chunks of meat in "BBQ Restaurants". It wasn't something done in the backyard. Although some odd ducks, here and there, had figured out how to BBQ their turkey for thanksgiving. And smoking was definitely not something us Westerners would do.

          And honestly, as long as you could turn out decent burgers and your chicken never killed anybody, that was about all you were expected to do to call yourself a Griller or BBQ'er. The guy that had figured out beer brats on his Weber was king of the neighborhood. Most cooking over live fire was, honestly, reserved for camping trips and the three summer holidays: Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day.

          Now that I've broadened my horizons greatly on cooking outdoors with live fire, I don't really know what that makes me. Except someone that loves to cook meat kissed with flame and smoke.


          • CaptainMike
            CaptainMike commented
            Editing a comment
            I concur and approve this message.

          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            I still think many folks use the word BBQ in that sense. Here in the American South, I get it from folks who don't know a smoker from a George Foreman, like my son in law. I can smoke ribs and brisket all day long and he will tell me I'm the "best griller ever". I grew up calling pulled pork and ribs BBQ, everything else was just a cookout (grilled).

          Oh, on any given day.....

          Seriously, live fire is the most fun, smoking is the most satisfying, and grilling is more or less indoor cooking done outdoors. Well, except for that charcoal thing, but still pretty much the same.


            I guess since I grew up with grilling and smoking and sticking hot dogs and stuff in fire on sticks I look at it all the same. I know that technically smoke is low and slow and grill is hot and fast, but I don't differentiate. Lately I guess I have been grilling more, but only because I haven't had the time to do a low and slow cook. But I enjoy both equally. I can get a couple beers down even during a hot and fast cook...


              I was strictly a griller. Weber gas. Could cook decent steaks, burgers, dogs, and sausages. Burned the crap out of chicken. Then I bought Meathead's Book. Two zone cooking, reverse sear. Thinking of the grill like an oven. Then I tried charcoal. Did my first Butt and now I do both grilling and low and slow. Mostly grilling or pellet cooking lately but get to play with low and slow cooks on the weekends. Problem is there are three of us and butts and brisket make a ton of food.


                I joined to learn and make myself better. I would say I was 20% smoker and 80% griller. Much more balanced now, PLUS, I am super inspired by y’all and doing other items. Thanks to y’all and The Pit, my confidence level has definitely increased. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼


                  I do both. Depending on cut. FlatIron fast. 2# Rib Eye, Texas style. Now with the PBJ, a whole different realm. Start slow with hanging a bird. Will be an evolution. Try not to neglect Kettle and Genesis.


                    I joined here wanting to be better at both grilling and long and slow cooks. I started in my early 20's by emulating my dad's cooking of meat. Shoe leather. I didn't know the difference until I was shown the difference and Sizzlers is not where you learn. I embarrassed myself a few times to be sure. After time, I was the guy they wanted grilling at all the company and family gatherings at the parks. I too, like an earlier poster had a brinkman grill, then a chargriller offset.I used metalized tape to seal up the brinkman to try to turn it into a smoker due to someone wanting a smoked turkey one year for Thanksgiving. It turned out well but was too much work but got me thinking. So one day, I ended up with an electric vertical smoker and discovered control. Hello! Then expanded with Kamado style grill, all wood or charcoal and step it up a notch more. I was coming here for all the great ideas to be found to up my cooking. I would say I am 50 / 50 griller, BBQ'r. I enjoy both but the long cooks are more fun and the outcomes I feel are worth the work and the wait. I currently have a Traeger, was given to me, and have turned out good things on it, a gas smoker, a gravity fed charcoal grill / smoker and a finally replaced the Kamado with a new one just the other day. And have a gas grill for the real quick cooks. I am always cruising the message boards to see what all is going on and even going back a few years to boot. I recently retired so I now have more time to cook. I keep threatening my wife that I will get a food truck. Just a nice dream. I will continue to cook on a budget but I sure like looking at some of the really serious stufff y'all are using.


                      Grilled for me. I don’t smoke often, but I do grill probably 4 nights a week. I’d consider myself a cook more so than a smoker as well, considering I really enjoy being in the kitchen and experimenting with new recipes. Early on in my cooking days, I was really into pasta, but sadly, I’ve left that due to my wife and I moving to a gluten free diet. I still make GF pasta, but it’s not quite the same. And bread baking….

                      fun to read the other comments here as well.


                        The structure of my Kamado makes it better suited to smoking, but I do my best to work in some grilling, too.


                          I’m all of the above. I really enjoy experimenting with my cookers in unconventional ways.


                            Started grilling with gas, then pellets, then moved on to charcoal. Smoking and AR.com came along somewhere in the middle of all that. I like to try cooking/smoking almost anything outside.


                              Right after my son was born we bought our first house and one of the first purchases was a Weber Spirt NG grill. At the time I really only did burgers and small pieces of chicken. I found this website and decided to make some steaks. I never liked steak growing up as a kid because my mom always over cooked the cheap cuts she bought at the local Happy Foods. After making the steaks that night and using my first ever thermometer I fell in love with steak and grilling. I expanded my meat pallet too and took advantage of the local butcher in town. I worked at a BBQ restaurant right out of college so that introduced me to ribs, butt, and brisket. I started smoking by first using wood chips in a smoke box and loved it.

                              I then received my WSM as a work prize and that’s when I got into smoking. What an eye opener. However I had some growing pains with the WSM which in retrospect has been very helpful. We moved two years ago and finally finished our outdoor cooking space this summer. I added the pellet grill last year and oddly enough found myself using the WSM more this year than I did last year.

                              Working from home this year allowed me to smoke foods during the week which was something I could never do if I was in my office during the week. We still use the grill all the time too so no one is neglected. We hosting thanksgiving this year and my wife said she wants to make the bird in the oven. I said fine……I’ll make one in the smoker too. Now the question is what smoker to use for the bird.
                              Last edited by radiodome21; November 7, 2021, 07:25 AM.



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