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what type of smoker grill to buy

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Post Sat Aug 23, 2003 9:52 am

Posts: 3
Location: taneytown, MD
I'm looking to buy a smoker grill on a reasonable budget. I'm not sure if I should buy a charcoal, electric or gas smoker, and what to look for . What type and brand should I buy?

Post Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:38 pm
Longmill

Tell us a little more.....

What would you like to cook? Do you prefer a "set it and forget it" or do you enjoy a more hands-on approach? Are you cooking in a big back yard or on a tiny balcony? What do you have in mind in terms of cost?

Much of the decision on what to buy is personal preference. People enjoy successful cooks on all the types of equipment that you mentioned. Over time many folks acquire several types of equipment in order to take advantage of the special benefits each offers.

For charcoal grilling I bought a Char-griller Pro without the offset box this past spring. Large cast iron grates, fire pan adjusts height of fire. I've been well pleased with it. Cooks a great beer can or spatchcocked chicken. It was $119 from Lowes.

I decided to buy an upright smoker instead of adding the offset to the Char-griller. Bought the Great Outdoor Smoky Mountain 36" from WalMart $98. Just seasoned it and hope to do some low and slow cooking in the next few days.

Again, tell us a little bit more about what you have in mind.

Longmill

Post Sat Aug 23, 2003 7:01 pm

Posts: 3
Location: taneytown, MD
reply to longmill
I truely enjoy cooking on the grill in our backyard for our family and friends. and it doesn't matter how cold it gets during the winter. I'm looking for a smoker grill to cook all types of foods ranging from hamburgers, steaks, chicken, seafood, spareribs , turkey.... in a price range of around $100 or less. I'm not sure what type/ brand smoker grill to buy. Does a gas or electric smoker grill give the same flavor effect that a charcol smoker gives.
thanks for your help

Post Sun Aug 24, 2003 1:51 pm
Guest

I saw the chargriller at lowes what do you like and dislike about it
again thaks for your help
Longmill wrote:
Tell us a little more.....

What would you like to cook? Do you prefer a "set it and forget it" or do you enjoy a more hands-on approach? Are you cooking in a big back yard or on a tiny balcony? What do you have in mind in terms of cost?

Much of the decision on what to buy is personal preference. People enjoy successful cooks on all the types of equipment that you mentioned. Over time many folks acquire several types of equipment in order to take advantage of the special benefits each offers.

For charcoal grilling I bought a Char-griller Pro without the offset box this past spring. Large cast iron grates, fire pan adjusts height of fire. I've been well pleased with it. Cooks a great beer can or spatchcocked chicken. It was $119 from Lowes.

I decided to buy an upright smoker instead of adding the offset to the Char-griller. Bought the Great Outdoor Smoky Mountain 36" from WalMart $98. Just seasoned it and hope to do some low and slow cooking in the next few days.

Again, tell us a little bit more about what you have in mind.

Longmill

Post Sun Aug 24, 2003 7:04 pm
Longmill

Anonymous wrote:
I saw the chargriller at lowes what do you like and dislike about it
again thaks for your help


Cons first. Wish the pan under the fire grate was a little deeper for ash collection during long cooks. (My model doesn't have the offset smoker.) I can see where this might be a problem with very long cooks. I elected to buy a separate smoker instead of adding the offset ($60) for smoking, so I don't have any material experience with it for low and slow cooking.

Wish it had a grease collection pan attached. Shouldn't be hard to fabricate one. Currently using a disposable pan set on the shelf below the cook chamber.

Pros: Heavy cast iron grates are in 4 sections. Makes it easy to add charcoal during a cook. Just remove the applicable section of grate above the coals. Or, remove a grate section to easily reach the coals to knock off ashes when needed. A grate lifter was included with the grill.

Large cooking area with a lid tall enough to easily handle beer can chickens or a turkey on a roasting rack. Enough room to have a good supply of charcoal on either side of a drip pan. I do plan to either make or order the charcoal baskets to hold even more charcoal.

Easy to adjust the height of the fire grate, as needed.

It was easy to assemble and season. Plastic wheels could be a little better, but no real complains about them.

All in all, I think it was a good buy at $119. If it's on clearance now, it would be an even better bargain. Had it since May. So far I don't regret buying it.

Longmill

Post Sun Aug 24, 2003 7:55 pm
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
I have the Char-griller that I purchased from Lowes and then added the offset firebox (direct form Char-griller $59 w/ free shipping). I must agree with Longmill on the advantages but will add that the offset firebox was the best investment that I could have made for my smoker - I actually think that the firebox is built better than the main unit! With the offset firebox it is a breeze to control temperatures and then you do not have to worry about moving your food when you need to add more fuel. It has a side door that you can remove the grate and tray that the fuel burns on for easy cleaning. I just finished a couple of racks of ribs on the Char-griller and all I needed to do was add 1 small log (hickory) every 1 1/2 - 2 hours and spray ribs with apple cider when I added fuel. Ribs were completely done in about 4 hours cooking at 225 degrees.

Additional note on the smoker - the thermometer is located in the top of the hood and is approx 12-14" from the cooking surface so there is a difference of about 25 degrees between the temp on the thermometer and the cooking surface - so in the above situation the termometer read 250 degrees.

Post Thu Aug 28, 2003 1:14 am
starpacker medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 53
Location: southern Arizona
grill dreamer wrote:
I'm looking to buy a smoker grill on a reasonable budget. I'm not sure if I should buy a charcoal, electric or gas smoker, and what to look for . What type and brand should I buy?


Dear Dreamer,

Go to Home Depot. In the BBQ Grill section (at least the one here,) they have a charcoal smoker (verticalwater variety) for $29.95. Am getting one Friday. Yum-yum-yum!
Image

Post Mon Sep 01, 2003 7:55 pm
Guest

Thanks for the reply and sounds like a great price too. I ended up getting a smokey moutain upright charcoal smoker at walmart that was $ 98. for $ 75. before we went away for the labor day weekend. now that camping season and the " honey to due list " is alot shorter I plan on doing alot of grilling.
thanks again[
quote="starpacker"]
grill dreamer wrote:
I'm looking to buy a smoker grill on a reasonable budget. I'm not sure if I should buy a charcoal, electric or gas smoker, and what to look for . What type and brand should I buy?


Dear Dreamer,

Go to Home Depot. In the BBQ Grill section (at least the one here,) they have a charcoal smoker (verticalwater variety) for $29.95. Am getting one Friday. Yum-yum-yum![/quote] :)


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