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Other smokers

My parents want a smoker - probably not the best place to ask this... but what experience has everyone had with other smokers?  Before I bought my large egg, I had problems with temperature control on cold days.  They don't want to spend a lot, so I have been eyeing the Masterbuilt 30".  Looks well insulated.  Granted, I am not expecting outstanding quality, but for them, I think it'll be fine.  What do you say? 
Auburn, AL
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Comments

  • Egghead_DaronEgghead_Daron Posts: 657
    Go Egg or go home! After owning an Egg I couldn't recommend anything else. I had a vertical wet smoker before the Egg and what a waste. I made halfway decent food but wasted more charcoal than you could imagine.
    LBGE and recently added SBGE
    Columbus IN
  • ddeggerddegger Posts: 244
    I'm a die hard BGE user because of the versatility, but there are some good smokers out there.  My father-in-law couldn't afford the price tag of the egg and mostly just wanted to smoke meats.  He got one of the Weber bullets (I think the 18.5 smokey mountain) and it's been great.  He's used it a couple of times per month for more than five years and has had great success with pork butts, ribs, chicken, etc.
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 9,759
    What is the budget? There are other ceramic cookers on the 300 dollar range(chargriller?)
  • brownbwbrownbw Posts: 110
    They want (dare I say) an electric cooker.  Set it and forget it kind of deal. I'm die-hard BGE fan also, but they don't want to spend that kind of money.  
    Auburn, AL
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    I have a Masterbuilt electirc smoker.  Used it three times.  Works good.  Set the temperature  - load the smoke wood and let it rip!!  Negative thing is it is a PITA to clean.  Poor design allows the moisture to condense on the door and the door glass and run down and out of the smoker.  Paid $300 for it at Sam's Club.  Now just an dust collector.
  • SamMiller0SamMiller0 Posts: 38
    my dad recently purchased a Green Mountain Daniel Boone pellet smoker. I think it's their smallest one, he got a fairly good deal (I think < $700).


    It is very much a set-it and forget-it smoker. It does require an electrical outlet.
    Rochester, MN  --- Large BGE
  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,736
    For about 13 years I used an electric water smoker you can pick up at a Home Despot for $50-75, and while its no BGE I got plenty of good, if not outstanding, 'que out of it.  The big pan of water between the heating element and the meat is actually what provides the temperature control, temps can't rise above the local boiling point of water as long as there's water in the pan (you did have to refill the pan once during a 12-hour cook).  Pretty foolproof.
    They suck electricity, can't be used reliably in the cold, rain or the wind, and are a tad messy, but for the occasional barbequer you can't beat them for bang-for-the-buck, unless you build an Alton Brown corrugated-cardboard box/hotplate combo.  
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • SoCal_GrillerSoCal_Griller Posts: 403

    I have heard good things about Traeger but never used one myself...

     

    Simi Valley, California
  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 285
    I had a cheap electric smoker that I used for a couple of years before getting an Egg. I only used it in the summer when it was warm out. Even then, if I ripped a fart anywhere near it the thing would drop 20 degrees. I had to set up large pieces of cardboard around it to keep even a slight breeze off of it to maintain temp. I would avoid the cheap electrics if I were you - or find a way to wrap it with some sort of insulating heat resistant blanket to keep the heat in.

    I did a pork butt cook this past Jan 2nd or so. 26 deg and still the night I put them on. Woke up the next morning to 17 deg and very windy. The Egg was plugging along just fine. Experiences like that are what make the extra cost of an Egg worthwhile. My old electric probably would have had frost built up on it.  ;)
  • SWATSgtSWATSgt Posts: 21
    I have no experience with the electric smokers but I have a gas (propane) powered vertical wet box smoker. It it very simple to use and has the set it and forget it kind of use. The only thing you have to add during a 6-8 hour rib smoke is water or apple juice to the to water pan. I owned it for 2 years before getting my LBGE. and for $150.00ish plus a propane tank its a steal. Mine is a 30" or a 34" version and it was very good on propane usage. I could get 4 or 5  cooks out of it on one tank plus using the same tank for my gas grill. I did learn the hard way that 3 whole 8+ pound chickens will keep it from getting up to temp even with the burner wide open. As for size, I was able to cook 6 racks of baby back ribs at once after cutting them in half so the door would close. 

    I have smoked everything from jerky to ribs and fish with no issues. Not sure where you live but the coldest I ever used mine was in the high 20's- low 30's and all I had to do was put a trash can off to the side to stop the breeze from directly hitting it. 

    I bought mine at Gander Mtn during a Black Friday sale in 2009 or 2010 and got it for under $100.00. It has held up really well too. I still use it to smoke sausage and jerky just because it has so much rack space. I bought a Maverick for it after the first few cooks and now I use it in my egg for low and slows (just to lazy to walk all the way outside). 

    Good Luck
    Tommy
  • beteezbeteez Posts: 301
    If they do not want to spring for the egg the Chargriller Acorn seems popular on other forums with capabilities similar to the egg. 
  • ToolmasterToolmaster Posts: 41
    http://www.bradleysmoker.com/
    I have had the 6 rack for a few years and love it.
    I went to bed last night mean and woke up meaner !  
    "Matt Dillon"

  • batboybatboy Posts: 25
    beteez said:
    If they do not want to spring for the egg the Chargriller Acorn seems popular on other forums with capabilities similar to the egg. 
    I second this.  If you/they are comfortable with the Kamado-style smokers, this is a respectible Egg knock-off for a fraction of the price.  I really enjoy my Akorn and, just like the egg I can hold low temps overnight, grill direct hight temp, etc.
  • TUTTLE871TUTTLE871 Posts: 1,316

    My buddy has one of these and loves it, we had a throw down a while back and he actually turned out some nice stuff. The egg was the winner but I was impressed.

    http://www.smokintex.com/

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

    LARGE BGE DALLAS TX.

  • lewisj82lewisj82 Posts: 53
    If all they want to do is smoke would they be interested in an Orion? They're not terribly expensive. (Hope I don't get beat up in here for suggesting it)

    http://www.theorioncooker.com/

    My dad has one and let me borrow it to see if I'd like it before buying it. It does well for cooking large cuts, turkeys, chickens, ribs, but you can't GRILL on it. It's pretty fast too, I did a brisket in like three hours I think, came out quite nice! You can add wood chips to the inside for smoke. They have a great forum as well, lots of good tips.

    The only problem is that it SUCKS to clean. 

    BGE XL- Tomball, TX- Texas BBQ... with a Cajun accent.
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 9,759
    batboy said:
    beteez said:
    If they do not want to spring for the egg the Chargriller Acorn seems popular on other forums with capabilities similar to the egg. 
    I second this.  If you/they are comfortable with the Kamado-style smokers, this is a respectible Egg knock-off for a fraction of the price.  I really enjoy my Akorn and, just like the egg I can hold low temps overnight, grill direct hight temp, etc.
    Costco has the Vision ceramic for a little more. You get the benefit of the Costco guarantee if anything goes wrong.
  • joe@bgejoe@bge Posts: 394
    I am thinking of adding an Onyx Oven from BBQ Guru to my arsenal, but that is mainly because I want something portable to take to competitions.  But at this price point, you might as well get an Egg!   :D

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 12,393
    What about a mini or small?
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • aemaem Posts: 111
    The Weber Smokey Mountain is a good smoker and has a strong following.  I learned how to smoke on the Weber.  Obviously I like the egg better, but at the time the WSM was a good choice.
  • TonyATonyA Posts: 549
    If they want an electric, that is what it is. Other low cost smokers I'd consider the pit barrel cooker or the big poppa smokers drum kit and a drum. I have a drum smoker and like it for basic bbq cooks
  • brownbwbrownbw Posts: 110
    Update: I borrowed a traeger from a friend since there wasn't any electric smokers that I liked in our little town. Nonetheless the traeger is ok. It's proprietary fuel (pellets) really aggravates me, since there's no dealers that sell them near us. There is absolutely NO CONTEST when comparing with the egg. I cooked 3 butts yesterday, and the flavor was ok, but there was no bark. I wouldn't even think of attempting a brisket on it. It really may best best for them to get an egg.
    Auburn, AL
  • SpaightlabsSpaightlabs Posts: 591
    I had a Masterbuilt before I got my egg last month and it always turned out good grub.

    Skip the window - costs more and becomes obscured by schmutz sooner or later.  It is a pita to clean...
  • SpringramSpringram Posts: 417
    I had a Cookshack smoker for 11 years. It did a pretty good job of providing trouble free ribs and briskets. Once I got my first Egg, I gave it to my neighbor. 

    Springram
    Spring, Texas
    LBGE and Mini
  • dstrbd488dstrbd488 Posts: 65
    I have had a masterbuilt for years and it has always worked flawlessly. The newer ones have a lot of nice features that allow you to set it up and leave it with no worries like built in meat thermo. Also I can't remember the size of the one that I had but all of the parts fit into the dishwasher for clean up.
  • hapsterhapster Posts: 5,726
    Have them buy whatever they think will make the best storage vessel... cause after a little while, they will realize they should've gotten an egg from the start.

    Don't let them waste potential accessory and toy dollars on any cooker that isn't an egg...
  • SpringramSpringram Posts: 417
    hapster said:
    Have them buy whatever they think will make the best storage vessel... cause after a little while, they will realize they should've gotten an egg from the start.

    Don't let them waste potential accessory and toy dollars on any cooker that isn't an egg...
    Amen.

    Springram
    Spring, Texas
    LBGE and Mini
  • I used to have a Smokin Tex (kind of a knock-off of the cookshack) electric smoker before I got my egg. Really simple to use and made some decent BBQ with it. It's definately a set it and forget it. I think I paid about $600 for it..
  • calracefancalracefan Posts: 476

    I have a 42" Masterbilt Electric smoker, the temp is set it a forget it but you have to feed it wood chips every hour. The food is alright ,but not as good as what the egg produces.

    I had an issue with the latch being stripped out (screws holding it )when I bought it ,called the company , they sent me a new door.Pretty good customer service. If they decide to get a masterbilt I don't think they will be disappointed, except when you bring them egg food !

    Ova B.
    Fulton MO
  • Hokie_SmokerHokie_Smoker Posts: 435
    Give them your egg & get yourself a new one. You'll be the hero for Fathers Day, because they'll have a better grill than they would have had & you'll have a new one to boot.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    Johnson, Navin R... Sounds like a typical bastard.

     

    Belmont, NC

  • JebpotJebpot Posts: 338
    Why not throw in part of money and tell him it is a Father's Day present? Unless it would offend him, older people being independent at times.

    XL and Small

    Chattanooga, TN

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