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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never owned a smoker before but really need to buy one, after having some of my salmon smoked by a friend recently I have to say I'm addicted to the candy like flesh. So looking in the under $300 price range what do you guys suggest that I can't easily screw up? And while I realize this is not for a recipe, it is strongly related to how food is prepared.
 

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Camp Chef Smoke Vault 18" or 24"
My buddy got me one for Christmas last year and it gets used regularly. It's the 18" model.
 

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Best value the two up above are great. You can look on KSL and find some awesome deals. I have a Traeger and a Big Green Egg and do a ton of smoking and grilling, cooking pizzas, pies.......you name it. Smoking meat has become an addiction for me. I cook outside far mor than inside and the wife does as well. If you already have a good grill just get a basic smoker and it will work great. Lots of the stuff on KSL can be had at real good prices. People buy them think they are going to use them a ton and then don't. I would buy a used smaller unit and see how much you really like doing it and then if you use it a bunch you will make buying and bigger and better one a priority. Once you have slow smoked a big turkey, rack of lamb, brisket, rib roast etc....you will wish you started long ago. Thanksgiving turkeys get done around our place about 5 times a year.
 
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I'm a fan of smoked turkey, although I don't usually do the 'slow' part since it doesn't need to be cooked at low temps like pork butt, ribs, brisket, etc. I have a Kamado Joe and have loved it. It's like the Big Green Egg in that it can be used for smoking at low temps, all the way up to temps in the 500-700° range.

As for a cheap smoker, I had a Bradley Electric Smoker for a while and had good results. I think I paid $75 for it on KSL. It's pretty easy to use since it manages the wood disks for the smoke. One problem I had was that it was a bit under-powered, especially for colder days. If I were to get another one, I'd probably go for an electric Masterbilt 'mini-fridge' style smoker.
 

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I second the kamado smokers... If you want to go the kamado route without investing in ceramic, take a look at a Chargriller Akorn. They have them at most home depots. Very versatile cookers.

I also have 2 Kamado Joe "Big Joes", and don't think I would've trade them for anything.

If going the ksl used route, I would look at just the regular old weber kettle. Don't get any cheaper then that.
 

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Once you have slow smoked a big turkey, rack of lamb, brisket, rib roast etc....you will wish you started long ago.
Ya, you might want to be careful. It's a lot like reloading, it gets addicting. I did a deer rump roast the other day and yowza! that was good!!!

The one that DallanC suggested looks like a good one.
 

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The most economical is by far teh UDS, like I have and love. However, the next step up would be those around your price range, much less than that is usually pretty fair results. I saw Sams Club had a big propane one for about $300 that looked decent, I didnt catch teh brand.
 

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I'm a fan of smoked turkey, although I don't usually do the 'slow' part since it doesn't need to be cooked at low temps like pork butt, ribs, brisket, etc. I have a Kamado Joe and have loved it. It's like the Big Green Egg in that it can be used for smoking at low temps, all the way up to temps in the 500-700° range.

As for a cheap smoker, I had a Bradley Electric Smoker for a while and had good results. I think I paid $75 for it on KSL. It's pretty easy to use since it manages the wood disks for the smoke. One problem I had was that it was a bit under-powered, especially for colder days. If I were to get another one, I'd probably go for an electric Masterbilt 'mini-fridge' style smoker.
I have a temperature controller on my BGE and I can control it anywhere between 100-900 degrees. We can do everything on it from smoked cheese to cooking a pizza in 90 seconds flat. No BS.
 
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I have a temperature controller on my BGE and I can control it anywhere between 100-900 degrees. We can do everything on it from smoked cheese to cooking a pizza in 90 seconds flat. No BS.
I need to look into one of those. I've got a large BGE and love it...but have had a tough time keeping the temp real low. In my experience the BGE is great for bigger pieces of meat, but when doing jerky, snack sticks, fish and such...I end up using my reg. little refrigerator style smoker (which I'm looking to get a better one)
 

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Not shamed to admit it but I can run my controls through an iMac, Ipad and iPhone.
 
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I love em. To each their own.
 

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Its called a Stoker. It was a demo at trade show that I got for $100
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I will be researching all of the suggestions and scouring ksl over the next week.
 

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If it were me, and I've already gone through this, I'd take the money I was going to spend, and save it for the better one. I did the same thing you are doing now and liked smoked product so much, it wasn't that long after that we got something that made things a lot easier.

I got a Traeger and absolutely love it! I know with them, they offer deals through their corporation where you can buy it interest free in 4 month installments making things a little easier if you need to. There's some good smokers out there, don't know if Traeger is the best, but it's the best one I've ever used. I've had it for about 6-7 months and cook far more on it than I do in the house. I haven't used my bbq in 6-7 months. It's probably a nice yellow jacket retreat at this point.

Good luck!
 

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I second Huge's recommendation... Build yourself a UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker) and spend the rest of your money on meat! I'm in the Utah County area and would be happy to help you build one. It should cost you less than $100 and it's got a ton of room, very reliable and it will cook you up some mean food.
 
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