Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Talk about anything that floats your boat (no pun intended). This is general talk about anything not related to boating/fishing.
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bikerider
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by bikerider »

I've been interested in getting a smoker for a while now to smoke the fish I catch and maybe other things as well. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is interested in this here on tinboats so I ask you all; what smoker do you have/like? I am brand new to it and pretty ignorant about the types, sizes, and price levels.
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Jake2250
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by Jake2250 »

Have gone thru allot of smokers in my life. From large off set stick burners to the Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker. If you are just looking to do a few fish once in a while you can't go wrong with the "Little Chief Electric" smoker. They work great for fish.
If you are going to do a bunch of other things like beef,chicken and what not, the big trend now is either the automatic pellet smokers or the big dollar "Egg" smokers.
Just depends on your demands.
I was into competition BBQ and spent allot of money on different smokers. Texas Brand smokers are fantastic but pricey.

I am now retired from all that and its just the wife and I now. A few years ago I bought a Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal "Bullet" smoker and I couldn't be happier. I did get the 22 inch size and feel it may be a little big for what I need,,but once in a while I can load it up with multiple racks of ribs,brisket,or a bunch of chickens!

I have owned a "Little Chief" electric smoker for over thirty years now and it still performs great! I have loaded it up with about six to ten trout depending on size, and smoked them all day. They turned out great, I use Hickory for fish, but apple wood works out good also.
One rule I have always followed,,never smoke fish on the Meat smoker. Use the smaller smoker for fish. If I am doing larger cuts like Salmon,, I'll use the Weber kettle bbq and cook it on a cedar plank.

Again,, this is just what I prefer,, your demands may be different. Some many variables when it comes to this topic.But if you are just starting out,, You cannot go wrong with the Little Chief Smoker for fish! Good luck and Happy Smoking!

UP BOATER
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by UP BOATER »

I have had a few electric smokers, I did have a Little Chief and it worked good except for when it was cold out then it struggled staying warm enough. Have had a couple of electrics since and have had better results. I use pretty much just apple that I cut up small. I have had this one three years now.
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Jake2250
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by Jake2250 »

Agree with the cold,, I have found a "Water Heater wrap" works wonders in the cold.

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BigTerp
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by BigTerp »

I built a UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker) a few years ago for about $100. Love it!! Added a PartyQ temperature controller from BBQ Guru and it's pretty much set and forget. Mostly do chicken legs/thighs, whole chickens, pork butt and pork ribs. I mainly use Royal Oak lump charcoal and wood chunks for the smoke. Remote thermometer is a Maverick ET-733

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Ribs
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Pork Butt
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Chicken Legs/Thighs. Probably my favorite thing to do on my UDS
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BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> viewtopic.php?f=21&t=26774

UP BOATER
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by UP BOATER »

That’s a dandy Terp

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bikerider
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by bikerider »

Jake2250 wrote: 22 Apr 2020, 16:06 Have gone thru allot of smokers in my life. From large off set stick burners to the Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker. If you are just looking to do a few fish once in a while you can't go wrong with the "Little Chief Electric" smoker. They work great for fish.
If you are going to do a bunch of other things like beef,chicken and what not, the big trend now is either the automatic pellet smokers or the big dollar "Egg" smokers.
Just depends on your demands.
I was into competition BBQ and spent allot of money on different smokers. Texas Brand smokers are fantastic but pricey.

I am now retired from all that and its just the wife and I now. A few years ago I bought a Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal "Bullet" smoker and I couldn't be happier. I did get the 22 inch size and feel it may be a little big for what I need,,but once in a while I can load it up with multiple racks of ribs,brisket,or a bunch of chickens!

I have owned a "Little Chief" electric smoker for over thirty years now and it still performs great! I have loaded it up with about six to ten trout depending on size, and smoked them all day. They turned out great, I use Hickory for fish, but apple wood works out good also.
One rule I have always followed,,never smoke fish on the Meat smoker. Use the smaller smoker for fish. If I am doing larger cuts like Salmon,, I'll use the Weber kettle bbq and cook it on a cedar plank.

Again,, this is just what I prefer,, your demands may be different. Some many variables when it comes to this topic.But if you are just starting out,, You cannot go wrong with the Little Chief Smoker for fish! Good luck and Happy Smoking!
Thanks for all the info. I am brand new to smoking food but would like to start with fish and hopefully move on to other things like chicken, ribs, etc. I've seen lots of people using little chief smokers but did not know they have a problem holding temp during the cold. If you use the same smoker for meat and fish does the fish change the taste of the other meats?
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bikerider
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by bikerider »

UP BOATER wrote: 22 Apr 2020, 18:33 I have had a few electric smokers, I did have a Little Chief and it worked good except for when it was cold out then it struggled staying warm enough. Have had a couple of electrics since and have had better results. I use pretty much just apple that I cut up small. I have had this one three years now.
Having a glass front seems like a good thing. Are you talking about apple flavored wood chips?
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bikerider
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by bikerider »

BigTerp wrote: 23 Apr 2020, 08:58 I built a UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker) a few years ago for about $100. Love it!! Added a PartyQ temperature controller from BBQ Guru and it's pretty much set and forget. Mostly do chicken legs/thighs, whole chickens, pork butt and pork ribs. I mainly use Royal Oak lump charcoal and wood chunks for the smoke. Remote thermometer is a Maverick ET-733
Nice job on the smoker :) The food looks really good too. When you aren't using it do you store it inside?
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UP BOATER
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by UP BOATER »

On the apple wood , I just cut smaller limbs off an apple tree on the property and take slices off it on the miter saw.

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bikerider
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by bikerider »

UP BOATER wrote: 23 Apr 2020, 19:04 On the apple wood , I just cut smaller limbs off an apple tree on the property and take slices off it on the miter saw.
That's cool that you have a replenishing supply of smoker wood. :)
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BigTerp
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by BigTerp »

bikerider wrote: 23 Apr 2020, 15:12 Nice job on the smoker :) The food looks really good too. When you aren't using it do you store it inside?
Thanks. Yes, I store it in my shed when not in use. I also clean out all the ash from the bottom and give it a decent wipe down the day after a cook. My buddy built one at the same time I did mine. He doesn't clean his at all and leaves it outside. It's rather rusted and crappy looking, but still makes good BBQ. Mine has zero rust and should last for quite a while. I imagine the bottom of his barrel will rust out shortly.

The only other maintenance I due on mine is scrap it out really well with a paint scrapper and steel wool down to the bare metal. Then re season with Crisco. It's due this year and will be done here shortly. Last it was done was 2 years ago.
BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> viewtopic.php?f=21&t=26774

Jake2250
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by Jake2250 »

Some fish will leave an odor in the smoker and can leave a taste on what ever you smoke next. Allot of folks see it as an unwritten rule. Buy a different smoker for fish only!
I use my weber kettle to cook salmon and striper, but I always throw an additional pile of coals on afterwards to burn the fish smell off.
As far as the little chief smoker,,it depends on your climate, I am in California so we rarely get very cold weather. So the little smoker works great.
In the winter and windy days I will throw a Water heater wrap blanket on my smokers to hold a more consistent temperature.

During competitions its not un common to see wraps on smokers. Also, a few bricks in the bottom of some smokers help to hold heat.. I had a large Texas offset smoker, I put sand and ceramic tiles in the bottom of mine to hold the heat longer. Also,, I added baffle plates to move the smoke where I wanted it..

The auto feed pellet smokers are great, pricey,, but convenient. You just fill the pellet hopper and "set it and forget it"! Some hard core competitions do not allow them but then again,, allot of competitors have multiple pellet units going.

At the height of my smoking adventures I invested in a Smoker trailer unit with a partner, custom built by Texas brand. We had a propane assist burner in the fire box and an automatic temperature control exhaust. Along with multiple remote thermometers. Sure was allot of fun,, allot of work, but fun. I still make my own rubs and sauce, rarely buy store bought stuff.

During the summer months I will do a large brisket and 25 pound pork shoulder for family get together s.
I do not own a pellet unit,,yet,, but have my eye on a few. Wife has said if I want a pellet smoker that I will need to get rid of the other smokers I still have and don't use! Hate to part with them,, but, who knows!

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Jim
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by Jim »

I have my eyes on the Traeger Pro 575. This will be my first pellet smoker.

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paper
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Smokers, what do you have? what do you like?

Post by paper »

I have a couple Pit Boss Tailgater smokers. My local Walmart had 4 of them on clearance, marked down from $300 to $199. I have several co-workers who have Pit Boss smokers and I couldn't find anyone who had anything bad to say about the brand, and with a 5 year warranty, I decided to buy one. Well, I loved it so much I bought a second one for my cabin.
I've tried a few different pellets and so far my favorite is Pit Boss's Competition blend, which is Apple, Maple, and Hickory.
The thing I like about it (other than the price) was that I can slide the firebox open and sear meat, too.

I'm looking forward to the next weekend's opening weekend for trout, and I'll be smoking several.

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