T Nation

Recommendations for Buying Your First Smoker


#1

Looking for any recommendations or lessons learned from people with experience smoking meats.

Right now I’m leaning towards a big green egg or a Webber Smoky mountain. I haven’t quite ruled out electric smokers, but I have concerns about long term reliability, taste comparison and authenticity.

Looking to buy nice, not twice. Any recommendations or advice is greatly appreciated.


#2

I like the kamado joe imo


#3

My brother in law (who was a traditional smoker for years) recently bought an electric smoker. The convenience is amazing. Super accurate in temp settings, multiple racks, multiple options for flavor chips, and no more babysitting the fire and temp gauge to make sure you don’t over heat.


#4

I have a Bradley smoker. The lower end one with the dial (not digital). I love the thing.


#5

big green egg, without question. The heating properties of ceramic are so great. It’s the easiest thing to use, and you have a ton of room for error cooking most things.


#6

I second this. I have one and I’ll never go back. It’s a bit more upfront financially (and heavy as shit) but the quality is top notch!

Ribs out of a green egg are AMAZING!


#7

I lost mine in my divorce. I’ll get another one when I move back into a house, I’m in a condo right now and I can’t put one on my patio.

the best thing I’ve cooked in a green egg is chicken. it comes out so perfect, every time. ribs are great too.


#8

Your wife took your smoker!! Dude, that is HARSH. And you’re a Texas boy too, right? Me too.


#9

yea. it’s just an annoyance though. I make plenty of money, it’s replaceable. there were other things that were much harder to swallow than that.


#10

My wife got me an elec smoker for my birthday this year (goddamn I love smoked food). If I could go back I’d request a non electric version. I’ve heard great things about the Green egg but I’ve never used it personally.

My 2 complaints are the size of the wood chip container feels way too small, and that the smoke just doesnt penetrate as quickly. I loves the pulled pork I made as it spent a good amount of time exposed to the smoke, but when I did ribs I followed the conventional method of foil wrapping halfway through to save moisture and the smoke penetration was pretty dissapointing.

These could both be brand specific though, so grain of salt


#11

Holy shit, I had no idea those egg grills were over a grand. I wish I would’ve known that before I started fixating on it at work all day, daydreaming about all of the smoked food I can eat and feed to women.

Now that I’ve watched a few videos I’m basically set on it. I’ve always been a charcoal griller, using it many times per week when it’s not freezing, and these Kamado grills are everything I’ve ever dreamed a grill can be to me. I could even set that fucker up right outside in the winter for some long cooks.

Throw in what seems to be industry-standard lifetime warranty and I’m sold.

Now I just need to figure out what brand I’m going with and how much I’m ready to sink on this.


#12

Why have I never seen these grills before?

You people should have told me!


#13

To add to your wrinkle, if you’re in that price range I’ve also seen good things of the Kamado Joe from a bbq/burger YT channel I follow. I haven’t used them personally, but I feel like their system of grill inserts that cover half the grill seem more versatile for my needs. That being said there could be Green Egg friendly equivalents that I just don’t know about.

My current grill is cast iron, so it’s gonna last a bit, but my next grill when I have the money would be
http://www.kamadojoe.com/grills/big-joe-24/


#14

No need to spend a grand. IMG_1176

Seriously, this shit terrifies me!


#15

Big green egg is the bomb. I’ve yet to overcook anything in it. Not even boneless chicken breasts.


#16

Big Green Egg without question, if you’re okay with the money.

I have a relatively inexpensive electric that actually works great. I like the digital controls with the probe, pretty easy to control temps with it.

I did a turkey in it a few years ago - dark meat was awesome, white meat a tad dry. I used the white meat to make turkey salad and it was great.

I also recommend you consider getting into making your own sausage - home made smoked sausage is really good.

Oh, and pastrami. By a corned beef, rub it with black pepper and coriander, smoke it, then steam it before serving.

And you can make a really good ham out of pork butt.

Getting hungry now.


#17

I am hungry. I just had first breakfast! Still love kamado, but egg is cool, too! Love the meat, gives you an excuse to have people over to mind control them into playing poker when by the end of the night you are the “sober” one haha…my Gatorade in coffee cup most still think is a mixed drink…haha. Vodka and Gatorade used to be my drink of choice…hey, it balances out the electrolytes :joy:


#18

Ive got a 40inch Masterbuilt electric smoker and love it. I smoke some chicken brisket or salmon at least once a week. Good way to spice things up.