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Backyard Smokers

  • m

Does anyone here have experience with home smokers? Recommendations? It's that outdoor cooking time of year and I'd like to try something new. I was browsing around on Amazon and came across a model called the Weber 2820. It had cult-like reviews, but as with all things related to food I'd prefer to get my info from folks on this board. Thanks in advance.

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  1. if you want to start doing reall BBQ the home smokers are a pretty good start. I think the Weber 2820 is way over priced. You can get basically the same thing for $40-80 from other brands. It's $180 for the Weber. The one I got ten years ago for $45 works great and has held up fine. It has been outside uncovered and just finally started to get a little rust this past winter.

    4 Replies
    1. re: The Rogue

      click on the link below for expert bbq advice,
      its basicaly a decision like should i buy a set of cheap golf clubs or a set of callaways that ill have for a while

      Link: http://www.thebbqforum.com

      1. re: byrd

        All I can say is that I have had great results, it's lasted 10 years... and I worked in an open pit BBQ in Georgia for awhile and know BBQ. I say start small and later for $200 you can get a small version of a used pro machine.

        1. re: The Rogue
          Jim Washburn

          I've had a Weber Smokey Mountain for going on 10 years. Before I got it I had a couple of the similar but cheaper cookers. I find the WSM to be vastly superior and well worth the extra cost. It is better made, more durable, more versatile, and much easier to control. This is just my opinion, of course.


          1. re: The Rogue

            me personally i have a stainless brinkmann and a small char broil offset that i got at walmart for about eighty bucks

      2. c

        I had to look up Weber 2820 to find out what it is, Never heard of it. You know what? I have one. It was called a Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) when I bought mine about 6 years ago. Won a couple of ribbons for brisket with it too. I think it is an excellent value at about $180. Will hold 250 degrees for for 8 hours or more with little or no fiddling. Pretty durable, everything is still fine after 6 years, even sat outside for a couple of KC winters. If you want to get started check out the link below. Nice folks, well most of 'em.

        Link: http://www.rbjb.com/rbjb/rbjbboard/

        1. So what do y'all think of the Big Green Egg? Or its snazzier (and cuter) big brother Kamado? It only uses natural charcoal, and it will cook 20 hours without adding any, or so I'm told by the gurus. I bought one for my darling husband for christmas, so we've done the basic grilling, but not smoking. Since it's ceramic, it will never rust. You can get temps up to 700-800 inside 10 minutes. Seems miraculous to me. Unfortunately, though, it's ungodly expensive.

          1. We've been using the Great American Smoker propane fueled wood smoker for about a year -- got it at Costco for about $180.00 last year and saw it in a San Francisco Bay Area Costco store a few weeks ago. We absolutely love it. It has taken the place of the New Braunsfel offset firebox smoker that we had been using.

            This smoker is available from Cabela's outdoor online store -- they also offer a larger one than the one at Costco. It's somewhat more expensive at Cabela's.

            Link: http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/tem...

            Image: http://a1460.g.akamai.net/f/1460/1339...

            1. I have a Klose Backyard Chef. I love the thing. 60" main with pull-out shelves, 1/2 " firebox, log lighter, charcoal grates in the main & counterweighted door.

              Image: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v85...

              1. The 2820 is the WSM. Worth every penny. You can get 18 hour burns with a single load of charcoal using the Minion method(full load of unlit charcoal started off with several lit charcoals) with a minimum of fire tending. Excellent for those long brisket or pork shoulder cooks. Great user support from the Virtual Bullet website.

                Super WalMart sells a decent smoker(or at least they used to sell them--haven't looked in a while) with some of the same benefits as the WSM. It's called the Masterbuilt Grand Mac Triple Crown. Has adjustable vents at the top AND bottom of the smoker(this is the key to good heat control in a bullet smoker.) Won't go quite as long as a WSM, but I've gotten 12 hour burns on it with a single load of charcoal. Holds temperature pretty well, but again, not quite as well as a WSM. Cheaper construction but that's expected at $60 compared to 3x that for the WSM.

                I own them both and like them both.

                1. I won't claim to be any kind of BBQ guru, but I have a Weber Smokey Mountain as well, and I love it. Once you get the hang of controlling the fire, it's really easy to maintain a constant temp.

                  The first thing I tried with it was a brisket, and I fully expected to screw it up bad, given that cook time is upwards of 12 hours. It turned out fantastic, though. I have a friend with an offset smoker who's basically given up on brisket due to the constant fussing he has do with his smoker for the long cook. Not that offset smokers don't have their strengths.

                  One thing I will say is that it seems like it should be easier to add lit coals to an already-started fire. If you use the Minion Method (as explained on www.virtualweberbullet.com), though, you really don't need to add coals too often.

                  I recommend purchasing a remote-check thermometer that has two probes--one that goes into the meat, and one that clips onto the grill and tells you the ambient temperature in the smoker. I put the probes into the meat and the grill, plug the probes into the remote sender, and go inside with the receiver in my pocket. The thermometer I have is nothing fancy and kind of a pain to use, but it's invaluable to have an alarm go off when the meat hits the target temp, as well as if the cooker gets too hot or too cold. It makes it so you can actually get a reasonable amount of sleep on an overnight smoke.