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Old 07-21-2010, 10:43 PM
 
2,038 posts, read 2,473,309 times
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I got turned on to smoking meats this past month. I used a neighbors Samsonite electric smoker with adjustable temperature control. Three chickens turned out amazing!

So I decided to buy my own smoker, but all I could find at 6 different stores was this cheapo electric brinkman unit. 1500 watts and no temperature control. Not even a temperature gauge.

The rest were gas and coal. I considered using a hot plate and a cardboard box. I was pretty irritated that no one seems to sell an electric unit with temperature control any longer.

I wanted to go electric because of the ease, but I didn't like the idea of a 1500 watt smoker pulling current for as many as 20 hours.

I also liked the idea of being able to put a full packer brisket and a pork butt in a smoker for hours without having to tend much to it, so I went with a gas powered brinkman tower. The results were great, but I feel that the gas creates heat columns that can ruin the edges of meats that hang off the sides of the rack a bit.

Are there any ameteur smokers out there that want to share their secrets, tips or argue why one is better than the other?

I know people get really serious about coal.
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:40 AM
 
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Enjoy this for the brisket...

Pics! Award Winning Competition Brisket
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Illinois
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My son has a charcoal smoker, and hardly uses it. "Too busy" ~~ rrriiigghhhttt
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Illinois
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I prefer charcoal.

You know, I never understood the purpose of an electric grill. Why not use the stove or a grill pan?
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:38 PM
 
506 posts, read 1,321,498 times
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Quote:
You know, I never understood the purpose of an electric grill. Why not use the stove or a grill pan?
well for one thing, it doesn't heat up your entire kitchen like using a stove would for that extended period of time. Also, you don't have to worry about the charcoal going out before the meat is even done.
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
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Charcoal, or even better yet, hickory!
I'm old school.
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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Hickory, hard maple, or apple wood
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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The answer is simple...Whatever makes you happy in the realm of BBQ...

If you want to tend to the fire, charcoal and/or hardwoods...If you want to invite your friends, watch the game and want to "set it and forget it", go electric.

Ignore what your hear from the pro competition winners...Most will SELL books and info that give 90% of their secret recipes and methods...If they gave your 100% they'd be out of business, they need to keep secrets to continue winning competitions...Also, they use $10K+ rigs...MOST use charcoal and/or hardwood, but also water-pans or steaming devices for moisture and rotisseries to eliminate hot-spots...They also use the best of the best meat, not the supermarket us average Joe's will buy...
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:30 PM
 
1,675 posts, read 2,666,729 times
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Check out pellet smokers/grills. Hard wood, digital temp control, sleep, low and slow or grill(not as hot as a good charcoal, get a weber one touch silver for better grill marks, $60).

I live in an area w/out any trees, wood pellets are great. hickory, cherry, mesquite, apple, alder, etc

You'll spend $1000, but well worth it, imho. If you can, look into an FEC 100 by Cook Shack. $3500, but it's the shazzile.

You can also smoke on a $60 weber one touch silver, I have, and it works great. IMHO, no elec or gas/LP.
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:38 PM
 
2,038 posts, read 2,473,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Cave Man View Post
Check out pellet smokers/grills. Hard wood, digital temp control, sleep, low and slow or grill(not as hot as a good charcoal, get a weber one touch silver for better grill marks, $60).

I live in an area w/out any trees, wood pellets are great. hickory, cherry, mesquite, apple, alder, etc

You'll spend $1000, but well worth it, imho. If you can, look into an FEC 100 by Cook Shack. $3500, but it's the shazzile.

You can also smoke on a $60 weber one touch silver, I have, and it works great. IMHO, no elec or gas/LP.
A salesperson at my local Bass Pro Shop tried to turn me on to these. In a nutshell, no thanks. The wood pellets were obviously formed with some kind of a binder. Not to mention, for the price, they didn't seem like they could hold much meat. I steered clear.

Part of what makes smoking meat so wonderful is that you can get cook 25 pounds of meat for 40 bucks. I live in the desert and had no problem getting hickory, cherry and apple wood chips. It would take a long time for me to recover $3500 bucks. I would rather spend that kind of scratch on prime cuts of meat.
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