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Best Entry Level Grill/Smoker as Gift for Fish loving son

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    Best Entry Level Grill/Smoker as Gift for Fish loving son

    My first Pitmaster Club post and its not even about my favorite protein source. I'm a WSM and Kettle SnS novice, but cook pork and beef. My son, however, just moved to the North Carolina coast and is a fish fanatic. As a housewarming and birthday gift, I'd like to get him started with a grill/smoker. I was thinking a Weber Kettle with SnS. Should I add the GrillGates? Any other suggestions before I start looking for an online provider to ship it to him? Thanks for any suggestions in advance.

    #2
    First off,
    Howdy from Kansas Territory, Welcome to Th Pit!
    Lookin forward to learnin along with, an from ya!

    Of course I'd be among th Very First to advocate fer a kettle/SnS combo...

    That bein said, an a Given, though...

    Kinda depends on his capabilities, an time availability...

    If he gots several, or even one ankle-biter, he might not have a whole lotta Free Time, imce...

    While not an advocate fer such, one can make some mighty good, predictable fish smokes in a lectric, or even propane cabinet smoker...my Beloved Son, an his wife, ('Felony Melanie') each have a lectric cab smoker, an after some tutelage, can now make some purty dang credible bbq...

    Mixed feelins bout their cookers, but overall Proud Pa...

    Comment


    • Rob Reid
      Rob Reid commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you Mr. Bones. No ankle-biters yet, but he's a busy man. Working in drywall while finishing his business degree online.

    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      Whew!!! Btdt, hangin sheet rock is no joy, especiall 3/4" lids

      Definitely Workin his way through school! Props!

      ...Builds character, ime, but is lousy on th bod, when ya look back from a few decades subsequent...
      Last edited by Mr. Bones; July 25, 2020, 10:24 AM.

    #3
    Consider frog mats for gifting to your son. Great for fish so it doesn’t fall through.

    Comment


    • Rob Reid
      Rob Reid commented
      Editing a comment
      Excellent idea.

    #4
    I'm gonna offer some thoughts that are probably pretty contrary around here.

    - get a gasser!!

    -Broil King makes some grate 3 and 4 burner grills. These things are built like a tank and have a 10 year warranty.

    -They can be set up for 2 zone cooking, and can be set up to smoke too. Get some grillgrates for the hot side.

    - I prefer fish grilled or smoked on a gas grill.
    Here's my set up - smoking Mahi
    Click image for larger version  Name:	20200626_181224.jpg Views:	0 Size:	2.63 MB ID:	886022
    Click image for larger version  Name:	20200626_190023.jpg Views:	0 Size:	2.94 MB ID:	886021
    Hot side is on the right. Smoked with wood chips on a foil packet til it hit 110, then seared on the hot side.

    ​​​​​​
    - for busy people, nothing is more convenient than a gasser. It's all I had while I was working and going to grad school and there's nothing i can't cook on it.

    Easy, convenient, versatile. Start with gas!
    ​​​
    Last edited by BFlynn; July 25, 2020, 06:50 AM.

    Comment


    • BFlynn
      BFlynn commented
      Editing a comment
      You're right Bonesy.

      Only wrong answer to "what cooker should I buy?" is not to buy a new cooker

    • Rob Reid
      Rob Reid commented
      Editing a comment
      Very good suggestion. I’ll read the reviews, but what are the best gas entry level grills or just best value? What does a Broil King run? I see the thermal probe in the Mahi-Mahi? Do you use what came with the grill to read ambient temp or something else? I will not be buying him a FireBoard like I have for sure.

    • BFlynn
      BFlynn commented
      Editing a comment
      A broil king baron {their mid line} 4 burner runs about $500-$600.
      I have a baron 5 burner and love it.

      There are a bunch of reviews on the free side. Anything with a gold or platinum rating is quality stuff.

      I'm using a Fireboard now. But I've used a maverick 732 for years and years. The xr 50 is very popular too.

    #5
    Also - now that I've pondered a bit {sometimes I have the habit of speaking before thinking}

    Broil King may not be "entry level".

    I'd definitely look for the best built 4 burner gasser in my price range.

    The 4 burners/extra space being a little easier for 2 zone cooking.



    So that's my advice. But free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it.
    ​​​​​​

    Comment


      #6
      Welcome to The Pit Rob. There are two main differences between a gasser and a Kettle. Gassers are quicker to get going, but a Kettle will give you a smokier flavor.

      You know your son - would he be more concerned about ease of use or flavor?

      Almost forgot - if the choice is a Kettle, don't forget the chimney.
      Last edited by RonB; July 25, 2020, 08:37 AM.

      Comment


      • Rob Reid
        Rob Reid commented
        Editing a comment
        My son won’t have a lot of free time. When he’s not working or studying, he will be spending that time on the water, including fishing and spearfishing in free dives. I’m sure he’s concerned with flavor, but convenience might be more important. He will be eating fish every chance he gets.

      #7
      This may not be pertinent in your son's case, but I added a $50 Brinkmann to smoke just fish and sausages so my WSM wouldn't smell fishy. Got to agree on the 4 burner gasser for much more versatility.

      Comment


        #8
        You might look at some of the smaller pellet grills on the market?
        I personally would get a Weber kettle but if he’s too busy then the convince of a small pellet grill might be best for him.

        Comment


          #9
          Check on craigs list in his area for a used Weber genesis, they still make parts for them and also grill grates

          Comment


            #10
            You can find Camp Chef SmokePro models for less than $300 a lot. Definitely convenient to use and they work pretty well. Throw in a fish basket and he’ll be set for a while for easy surf grillin’. I’m not personally a GMG fan, but if you want to add portability so he can take it to the beach they have a Davy Crockett model and Camp Chef does a 20” portable model too that looks like it would be quite a bit nicer but costs a little more. I think the Davey Crockett will run on 12V, not sure on the Camp Chef.

            Comment


            • glitchy
              glitchy commented
              Editing a comment
              Biggest advantage over gasser is flavor. I actually sold my gasser because I never used it, food tasted better if I took just a little more time and used pellets. It takes a few extra minutes to preheat and maybe 20% longer to “grill” things at higher temps since it’s all indirect, but the results were always tastier. Really searing a steak on a pellet grill outside of the SmokeFire is disappointing, that’s the biggest downfall. Everything else works there. I bake pies and banana bread on mine.
              Last edited by glitchy; July 25, 2020, 12:50 PM.

            • glitchy
              glitchy commented
              Editing a comment
              Here’s an example of a fish basket: https://www.amazon.com/ACMETOP-Stain...s%2C172&sr=8-5

              Just makes it easier to not have fall apart and stick to grates.
              Last edited by glitchy; July 25, 2020, 12:48 PM.

            • aladdin4d
              aladdin4d commented
              Editing a comment
              I have a Davy Crockett and technically it only runs on 12V via a cigarette lighter/accessory plug. It comes with an AC adapter and a battery clamp adapter.

              Searing is definitely not a strong suit but MCS took care of that when I picked a Lodge Sportsman grill. Smoke in the Davy Crockett and sear over lump on the Sportsman.

            #11
            Like Dadof3Illinois, I was thinking pellet cooker might be a good option if cooking primarily fish. The lower smoke profile won't overpower the more delicate flavors of some fish. I haven't cooked a lot of fish on mine, but my wife loves the "Schmancy Salmon" that I have cooked on my GMG. Plus the easy start up & set it and forget it cooking sounds like it would be a plus.

            Comment


              #12
              cheap and near the coast don't mix well... I'm over an hour from the beach in NC and I've gone through 2 "cheap" ($500-900) range in 9 years. I'd either go VERY cheap knowing it won't last more than a few seasons, or add to a savings account to buy something stainless or aluminum or with a trusted long lasting coating. As mentioned above one of the better cheap pellet smokers lives in the camp chef lineup, though if looking at a gasser with a pellet tube or something for extra flavor, all SS boat grills are fairly affordable and built against the sea. They do tend to run on the small side though.

              Comment


                #13
                Rob Reid I have a kettle with the SNS, and also have Grillgrates. The Grillgrates are good for direct cooking stuff, and work really well for fish. I usually only use my set of Grillgrates when direct grilling on the entire kettle, versus when smoking with the SNS, but sometimes throw one of the curved sections over the SNS for searing.

                I also do fish fries and other seafood in either the Drip ‘N Griddle or a cast iron skillet or dutch oven, on the kettle.

                The kettle is a great grill, and more versatile than anything else I have.

                Comment


                  #14
                  Welcome from Maryland. If you decide on a gas grill, get at least 3 burners. I live with saltwater on three sides of my home and stainless is best for this environment. I have the Weber Spirit II 3 burner in stainless and it has held up here. Best of all, I bought it on sale when one of the box stores decided it was time to clear out the summer inventory. That time is soon coming up.

                  Comment


                    #15
                    Thanks to all. I've weighed all of your advice and talked to my cousin who lives in the same area (and has grilled a lot of fish and replaced a lot of grills and parts over the years). I decided to buy my son a Char-Broil Performance Stainless Steel 4-Burner for which I found a pretty good deal (I would have preferred the Broil King but it was an extra $200 at the prices I could find now). I threw in some Frogmats, a grill basket, and cover. The consensus was to go with the best value gas grill for versatility and convenience until we see how my son takes care of the grill or can later afford a more expensive stainless steel model that can survive the environment better. Thanks for welcoming me to the Pit with all the great advice. Once the numbers on the virus in North Carolina go down, I hope to visit my son and see if he's mastered any fish grilling skills.

                    Comment


                    • HawkerXP
                      HawkerXP commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Sounds like you got it done. By the way, I am available for adoption.

                    • BFlynn
                      BFlynn commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Rob Reid
                      Be sure to get him a subscription to the forum too! This site, and decent thermo-meter are my two most useful grilling accessories.

                    • FireMan
                      FireMan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      You will be just dandy with that grill. If’n ya want a smoke flavor ya can put some chips in foil.

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