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Smokers - help me choose one


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I want something for regular grilling, like burgers and steaks. But I'd also like to smoke pork butt, brisket, ribs, maybe some fish and chicken. I also have a plan to do some frying on it when there's leftover heat (just some Chinese salted fish which stinks up the house too much and fried garlic) 

I'm debating between the Original Pit Barrel Cooker 

https://pitbarrelcooker.com/products/18-5-classic-pit-barrel-cooker 

* CAD $399 which is a bargain considering it's USD$349

*Can smoke and grill

*Can use regular charcoal

*Can make a big brisket on it, or even smoke a turkey

*can use cheap charcoal briquettes for normal grilling, and better quality stuff for when I want better performance

Or the Pit Boss portable pellet grill

https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/pit-boss-portable-pellet-grill-0853193p.html?_br_psugg_q=pit+boss

*On sale for CAD $299

*Portable, so it won't take up too much room, and it's reasonably sized for 2 people

*Can also smoke and grill, although kind of small, so no Turkey smoking if I ever want to do that

*Must use pellets for fuel which is a little more limiting and more expensive (pellets are $1+/lb)

Any suggestions?

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I agree with Joe re: weber kettle.  I use mine to do bbq on the reg. ( Ribs, Brisket) does require some babying and monitoring tho. And good charcoal choices.

For your requirements the pellet grill is a non starter as the pellets don't generate enough heat.

The Pit Barrel is a popular entry level choice amongst the crowd at amazing ribs, but I'd see what the say about using it as a grill.

 

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I would seriously look at the ceramic grill/smokers: BGE, Kamodo, Weber's version.

They are expensive but they can do both grilling and smoking (lump charcoal only). It's a longer startup than with the Weber kettle or the bullet. But based on your Canadian climate the biggest advantage of ceramic is being able to smoke/grill in the dead of winter.

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5 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

I’m partial to a classic Weber kettle.

I don’t know how you’re gonna fry with leftover heat on anything.  

You mean if I light up the grill to cook 10 burgers, it won't be hot enough after to heat up the oil, throw in either the shredded fish or the chopped garlic, and then take off the pan to let the fish or garlic cook off heat? I have a big memory of my dad doing that, but now that I think about it I think we had a propane barbecue at the time.       

A Weber kettle was my initial first choice, but I was doing some reading and the current consensus is it's not a very good value for the money. They're quite a bit more in Canada than in the US, and although I had last planned to go to the states to buy one and bring it back, it doesn't look like that will be possible for least 6 months, and by then, the the weather will not be as good for grilling.

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2 hours ago, SLBunge said:

I would seriously look at the ceramic grill/smokers: BGE, Kamodo, Weber's version.

They are expensive but they can do both grilling and smoking (lump charcoal only). It's a longer startup than with the Weber kettle or the bullet. But based on your Canadian climate the biggest advantage of ceramic is being able to smoke/grill in the dead of winter.

Those are well above my budget! I've always wanted a bge mini, but even that is $630 (the mini max is $900). The regular sized bges would, I think, be overkill for my needs (especially given the price). 

 

I can get a Weber original 22" for $230. I read some forums about using a Weber kettle to smoke, so it can be done, just not as easily.  The US vs Canadian price difference makes me cringe. It's only US$160! 

 

Eta, the Weber i was looking at was the premium which is CA $230 but US $175 which is not so large a difference.

 

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4 hours ago, mitchells said:

Maybe get the Weber bullet which is of course great for smoking. You can use the bottom third of the bullet to potentially grill. 

I can afford the smallest bullet. The 14" is $299 and the 18" is $439. 

With that in mind, from what I read, it will be easier to smoke with a kettle, than to grill with a bullet. 

I will think again.

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6 hours ago, Anthony Bonner said:

I agree with Joe re: weber kettle.  I use mine to do bbq on the reg. ( Ribs, Brisket) does require some babying and monitoring tho. And good charcoal choices.

For your requirements the pellet grill is a non starter as the pellets don't generate enough heat.

The Pit Barrel is a popular entry level choice amongst the crowd at amazing ribs, but I'd see what the say about using it as a grill.

 

I read on some forum that it is ok for grilling. But i was thinking it was better to have a smoker that did ok grilling than a grill that did ok smoking. Then again, how much smoking am i really going to do? I imagine a lot, but in reality, maybe once or twice a season. 

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And for grilling, the weber is nice for a two-level fire.  I used to use it a lot for plain old roasting with just a little smoke, like for a whole chicken, a pork roast, etc.

I don't know where you're looking at prices, but I see the classic kettle (18" - do you need much bigger?) at $99 US, and the 22" at $119 US...

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