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Which Smoker?

SomeGuy

Awesome, Busted.
Joined
May 19, 2020
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138
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Canada
Hey Guys. I have around $1000 CAD store credit to an appliance store that I need to use up. I'm good for everything else I could get there since I have all brand new appliances in the house, so thinking I should throw it away on a smoker. I already have a Weber Genesis NG BBQ and I don't need anything huge, it's mostly just my wife and I, or a handful of people...I don't need to cook for 20+.

They sell Weber, Broil King, and Traeger mostly and I think I'd prefer pellet over charcoal or wood? Though I don't know much about these things or if these things suck as smokers. So would say a Weber Smokefire EX4 or Broil King Crown Pellet 400 work?

Or well, basically I can spend $1000 at this place https://www.goemans.com/ , what should I waste it on when I have fairly new and nice fridge/stove/dishwasher/range hood/microwave/washer/dryer/chest freezer/bbq already.
 
I like my Weber Smokey Mountain (22.5") and I use the sheet out of it. It is a charcoal smoker and you throw wood on the fire for tasty wood smoke. It's efficient enough to run 15 hours in freezing temps on a bag of charcoal. I prefer it because it's dumb simple, very easy to use, and isn't too expensive. It also breaks down for travel pretty easy and I like to move it around. I'm not dogging pellet smokers or big green egg or other types. They all work and taste different but can make awesome food in all cases. I wouldn't spend $1k on a smoker.
 
Traeger. The Weber pellet has some issues with pellet feed and such. Kind of disappointing. Get yourself a Traeger and a pile of pellets and call it a day. Easy set and forget.
 
I didn't see beer fridge on the "already have" list.
No real experience with a pellet smoker, I just have a relatively low-end electric smoker of the $200ish neighborhood, about the size of a dorm fridge, but does enough for what I want.
 
Traeger is awesome, got super lucky my wife asked for a smoker for Christmas. Ribs are a whole new world than smoking on the weber grill. Also way easier to keep steady temp.

have fun
 
So Traeger, how's that tailgater one? I don't really want to chip in $500-1000 more to get something fancier.

I mean if charcoal is easy and better? I'm game for that too I guess?
 
Definitely gonna have to get me one of these pellet grill/smoker contraptions. As much as I love using my old school smoker I just don't really have the time anymore to hang around all day to tend to it. Being able to set it and let it do it's thing would be a HUGE advantage.
 
that tailgater one is definitely on the smaller size - but I am pretty sure you could still get a a couple racks of ribs on there. I have the Traeger Mesa Model - it is basically the same operation as yours, but it has 400+ square inches as compared to 300 sq inches (do I need to convert that to square centimeters for you? :flipoff2: )

If you are reasonably sure you don't need anything bigger, I say go for it. They certainly don't have any other options in that price range.
 
So Traeger, how's that tailgater one? I don't really want to chip in $500-1000 more to get something fancier.

I mean if charcoal is easy and better? I'm game for that too I guess?

On the charcoal stuff, if you get a WSM they are very set and forget for the most part. It will putz along at 225 all day, you can bump it up to 250 and let it go all day, too. If you want to do hot and fast like for a turkey (275-285) then you can run it without water in the pan, or even without the pan at all. I hung 35 racks of spare ribs in mine and smoked them at about 275 for a bunch of people. The Weber folks seem to have figured it out, it's efficient and easy. They hold their temp in the hot, cold, wind (to a point), etc. They aren't perfect. But I've used mine a LOT over the past 10 years.

Better is subjective. The WSM is "better" because it costs less, holds more, is more versatile, more portable, and makes more smoke. Fight me bros! The pussies with their pellet grills don't have to get charcoal on their hands, start a fire, or anything rustic. They also wear gloves so they don't have to touch raw meat. EWWWW!!! Just kidding pass me another hard seltzer bro!

20191017_151007.jpg
 
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Traeger...Love mine...feels like cheating but it works so well:smokin:
 
So Traeger, how's that tailgater one? I don't really want to chip in $500-1000 more to get something fancier.

I mean if charcoal is easy and better? I'm game for that too I guess?

I have that model, fits two racks of ribs, about 8 burger patties. It doesn’t have great insulation, and the internal temperature gauge sucks. Gauge makes it look like it has 100 degree swings. I bought a stand alone temp gauge, and the temps don’t change as much as the Traeger gauge shows.

Holds maybe five pounds of pellets, so don’t plan on leaving it to run all night. Maybe 3 hours or so until I refill it, maybe not that bad but running out of flame in mid-cook sucks.
 
Look into Gateway drum smokers. Stupid easy to control and very efficient. We use them in KCBS BBQ competitions year round and they work flawless.
 
I've owned or ran a lot of different smokers. I like my Kamado Joe by far the best. If that or a BGE is an option I would strongly advise. The diversity of what they can do is amazing.

I'm not a huge pellet grill fan but they do put out a decent product with relatively zero effort.
 
The BGE/kamado ones do more than a base traeger - they can get hotter to properly cook steaks, they give better flavor to me. But more work. Traegers are the easy button - fill the hopper, set the temp and go. Also the grate fits better on the traeger - try doing ribs on a large BGE, fills up quick.

I would recommend having both, but if your going to be lazy and only have one - I use my traeger more often since I usually smoke stuff on the weekends to eat all week. If you are doing lots of steaks/burgers/chicken I would get a BGE style.
 
On the charcoal stuff, if you get a WSM they are very set and forget for the most part. It will putz along at 225 all day, you can bump it up to 250 and let it go all day, too. If you want to do hot and fast like for a turkey (275-285) then you can run it without water in the pan, or even without the pan at all. I hung 35 racks of spare ribs in mine and smoked them at about 275 for a bunch of people. The Weber folks seem to have figured it out, it's efficient and easy. They hold their temp in the hot, cold, wind (to a point), etc. They aren't perfect. But I've used mine a LOT over the past 10 years.

Better is subjective. The WSM is "better" because it costs less, holds more, is more versatile, more portable, and makes more smoke. Fight me bros! The pussies with their pellet grills don't have to get charcoal on their hands, start a fire, or anything rustic. They also wear gloves so they don't have to touch raw meat. EWWWW!!! Just kidding pass me another hard seltzer bro!


Not bragging; but if I were to hang my ribs like that, they would be on the bottom of the grill. Fucking Trager smoked ribs just fall apart. I am new the the pellet smoker things, but am really happy with my ribs and chicken. My old Webber is still in use and is my go-to grill for steak and bbq chicken.
 
Not bragging; but if I were to hang my ribs like that, they would be on the bottom of the grill. Fucking Trager smoked ribs just fall apart. I am new the the pellet smoker things, but am really happy with my ribs and chicken. My old Webber is still in use and is my go-to grill for steak and bbq chicken.

I am bragging though - you can't get 35 anything on your Traeger :flipoff2: In this photo I'm pulling the ribs out after about 2.5 hours and putting them in foil and back on the heat to get tender for about 1.5 hours. Then they get glazed and seared hot usually, but I had 35 to do here so they just had to settle for falling apart with good sauce. You can hang them to full tender, but you have to wire them up funny and it's not worth it for so many. When I'm smoking on the regular grates inside they get as tender as you want but you can't do 35 at a time. I'm a big 3-2-1 fan in any case.
 
I've owned or ran a lot of different smokers. I like my Kamado Joe by far the best. If that or a BGE is an option I would strongly advise. The diversity of what they can do is amazing.

I'm not a huge pellet grill fan but they do put out a decent product with relatively zero effort.

The BGE/kamado ones do more than a base traeger - they can get hotter to properly cook steaks, they give better flavor to me. But more work. Traegers are the easy button - fill the hopper, set the temp and go. Also the grate fits better on the traeger - try doing ribs on a large BGE, fills up quick.

I would recommend having both, but if your going to be lazy and only have one - I use my traeger more often since I usually smoke stuff on the weekends to eat all week. If you are doing lots of steaks/burgers/chicken I would get a BGE style.

I like the zero effort idea, I enjoy cooking but the easier it is the more I will use it. Keep in mind I already have a Weber NG BBQ, so for steaks/burgers/chicken I'm going to use that.
 
I like my old Traeger, got a gas grill too and a couple charcoal grills but use the traeger the most. A couple days ago I figured out to put a propane heater close to it before startup in 10 degree weather which kept the auger from squealing. Made my best Brisket yet.
 
IF you can swing it, check out the Green Mountain Grillers. Im very happy with both my GMG
 
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