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Cheap alternative smoker

So I have a buddy looking to buy a smoker. Does not need it to grill, just smoke. He wants to keep it around $200. Any tips? Thanks
Boom

Comments

  • makismakis Posts: 81
    Trash can and a hot plate. Can be done...
  • webber smoky mountain. $300

    Not great in cold weather but they are widely considered to be good for the money

  • CT that is one I recommended to him too. I told him to avoid gas or electric smokers if possible.
    Boom
  • I saw Alton Brown make one with a hotplate in a terra cotta pot.

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

    We invented the U.A.W. and carjacking!

  • yeah, he's going to have to go brinkman or bottom of the barrel if he goes any lower. He could build a great a UDS (ugly Drum Smoker) for that if he has any skills in that area. Lots of videos and websites that show how to build them. It's really simple

  • CT, thanks. I'll pass that along.
    Boom
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,316
    well ill go against the grain and say propane, my choice would be one of those all in one smokers that grill, fry boil smoke etc. atleast when he upgrades to an egg he will have a big burner
  • Fish, his goal is to buy a BGE eventually. He just bought ~260 acres of land last year so he is paying that. He going to build a house on it in ~2 years and will get an Egg and full setup. He is just looking for something to smoke the wild pigs he shoots short term.
    Boom
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,316
    ive done a bazzillian turkeys with the gas type ive mentioned, set it up as low as possible and cook all day while out fishing and they smoke fine, the only smoker other than one of those that i would get is the wsm but thats over budget. i still use the big burner from the old propane job so i got my money out of it and its nice for doing a quick seat on a roast before tossing it into a 250 degree egg, or to set it up with a big pot and steam lobsters etc
  • I always thought an old fridge was the best smoker

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 11,428
    Fish, his goal is to buy a BGE eventually. He just bought ~260 acres of land last year so he is paying that. He going to build a house on it in ~2 years and will get an Egg and full setup. He is just looking for something to smoke the wild pigs he shoots short term.
    With all that land, he could always go real old-school and dig a hole in the ground and put up a spit. 
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 11,428
    Photo: ENCORE PERFORMANCE.....On-the-go BBQ pit.  I have featured this idea before.  A salvage yard is a treasure trove for grilling ideas.

    Or this. It's big, green, and egg-like. He is already halfway there!

    Hooray Google Image Search!
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,024
    edited November 2012
    There is an egglike grill made by char-griller sold at Lowes. It isn't ceramic, but would do the trick. Also, check out Big Steel Keg. Not sure of the price on the big steel keg, but many folks like them.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 11,428
    I agree on the Char-Griller. It's $300 bucks.

    The Big Steel Keg is in BGE territory for price, $800.
  • McStewMcStew Posts: 532
    +1 on the trash can simple and easy this is what I used on the trash can  to burn the chip in. WIth a simple $10 dollar air pump I can now I use it on the egg for cold smoke 
    photo-71.jpg 105.4K
    Marina Del Rey CA 
  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 590
    +1 UDS - for what you say he's going to smoke - it would do - and the pride of fabrication makes food taste almost as good as the BGE

     

    Large BGE

     

  • McStew, I'm a little slow. Can you explain in more detail what I'm looking at?
    "Take yourself lightly, but what you do seriously." - M. Martin XL BGE - Johnston, IA
  • Fish, his goal is to buy a BGE eventually. He just bought ~260 acres of land last year so he is paying that. He going to build a house on it in ~2 years and will get an Egg and full setup. He is just looking for something to smoke the wild pigs he shoots short term.
    With all that land, he could always go real old-school and dig a hole in the ground and put up a spit. 
    Or build an actual smokehouse.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 14,983
    He should search craigslist for smokers.  They're on there all the time as people buy eggs and jettison the old appliances.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Weber Smoky Mountain's are great smokers for the price.  Used one for 8 years before I got my egg in Wisconsin winters.  Not so much the cold being the problem, its the wind that gives it trouble.  I built a 3 piece plywood wind block for it and it perforrned decently.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • tulocaytulocay Posts: 1,737
    WSM. You can find them used for around $60 - $75, or new for $150. Great little smoker.
    LBGE, Marietta, GA
  • Everyone, thanks a bunch for replies. Just another example why I love the forum. To the two guys who mention the Char-grilled that's the route I will steer him down. I have another buddy who owns that grill and he loves. I forgot all about it. He is not in a super rush so will spend a couple weeks looking at Craigslist. He lives in Savannah and I live in Columbia so have two spots to scourge. He killed this yesterday, kind of stuff will be smoking. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
    Boom
  • TUTTLE871TUTTLE871 Posts: 1,316

    To Be Honest my dad on one of his bored days made the Hot Plate and Terra Cotta Pot. We did some Ribs on it and they were incredible (Not Egg Incredible but damn good).

    I think he spent a total of 50 Bucks.

    "Hold my beer and watch this S##T!"

    LARGE BGE DALLAS TX.

  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 835
    My brother bought one of those Lowes egg like smokers and he has made some nice tasting food on it, including a whole turkey and pizza.  I think he said the complete set up cost him just over $300 here in Canada.

    Gerhard
  • I have used a Weber smokey mountain for about 6 years and I love it. I couldn't afford my egg at the time and it was around $300. It would be a great choice
    LBGE
    Go Dawgs! - Marietta, GA
  • SkinnyVSkinnyV Posts: 2,713
    edited November 2012
    Here is my main smoker for larger cooks since I only have a mini. The terracotta pot smoker, might have $80 into it in supplies. At times the hotplate goes out but thats $10 and I have only used 2 in almost 2 years. For my bacon I had no hotplate so I used my high Que grate on some feet and fed it coals during the day for about 6 hours, too much work but it worked.

    Things ive done

    Just did 7lbs of Bacon... came out perfect.
    15 lbs of Butt for a party
    Ribs
    Beef Jerky
    Smoked Salmon,

    A large egg is in my future but for now the mini and this fit the bill.

    Thermometer sits in the little hole on top. Smoke escapes since the seal from top and bottom is not perfect, you can foil for tighter seal but i dont see a difference when doing so.
    imageimage

    Supplies
    Grate, Stainless Steel Basket which holds up my grate and holds any liquid or used as fat catcher with foil. Small cast iron pan used to hold chips or wood that sits on top of the hot plate located on the very bottom.

    image

    Seattle, WA
  • So just as an update, and again appreciate everyone on here, I am slowly talking him into spending a bit more now. He is now looking on Craigslist for LBGE deals. Almost had a new LBGE in box for $700 but guy sold it same day he listed. He has moved price to around 500-600 if he can find one.
    Boom
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,006
    Fish, his goal is to buy a BGE eventually. He just bought ~260 acres of land last year so he is paying that. He going to build a house on it in ~2 years and will get an Egg and full setup. He is just looking for something to smoke the wild pigs he shoots short term.
    With all that land, he could always go real old-school and dig a hole in the ground and put up a spit. 
    Or build an actual smokehouse.
    I was gonna suggest the same thing. Oh geez...did I just agree with him?

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • DonWWDonWW Posts: 261
    Either a bullet smoker (looks like R2D2) or a small offset firebox from Academy Surplus.  I have used both.  Used nothing but the offset firebox smoker for years before the BGE.  In fact, if he's in north Dallas, he can have mine for cheap.
    XL BGE.  Dallas, Texas.
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