Buying an Indirect Smoker in Maryland or VA
I was interested if anyone could recommend a place that sells BBQ Smokers or anyone that makes them locally? I am looking to purchase an indirect smoker for my back patio that has a charcoal/wood fire box. Not looking for a big chief or Traeger pellet smoker. Any suggestions are appreciated.
Home Depot or Lowe's should set you up for under 250 bucks. I have had a cheapo offset smoker from the Depot for several years and it still gets the job done. I recommend a cheap offset for anyone getting started on barbecue. It has greater capacity than a Weber Smokey Mountain or a BGE and it really isn't that hard to learn how to control the temperature. Mine can go for over twelve hours unattended at around 225 degrees. Use lump charcoal, not briquettes.
I would also check out the Big Green Egg.....I've owned one for 3 years and the quality of smoked meats that you can produce is nothing less than amazing!!.....You have to do a bit of homework but it's well worth it.....You can smoke meat or you can grill steaks at 800+ degrees on it.....Extremely versatile....Visit www.biggreenegg.com It has an almost cult like following and the folks that distrubute the BGE in Atlanta even have a yearly 'convention' of sorts called an "EggFest".....
I have spent way too many hours looking into this very issue. You might even say I have been obsessed by this question. And the answer is: Barbeque's Galore in Tysons area and Columbia. They have an offset smoker for like $300 that is a big heavy duty pipe model. The other option is the Big Green Egg (BGE). They sell these at the BBQ Galore too. They are like $600 to $1500 depending on extras.
Your next step up is to order one from more of a professional fabrication outfit. And for some reason, they are all in Houston TX. I narrowed my search down to Klose (www.bbqpits.com) and Tejas Smokers (www.tejassmokers.com). There are others in Texas. They start at about $1000 and go up fast. I am all set ready to order one from Klose right now.
What does the additional money buy? The more expensive modes are heavier and they seal better. Both of these things translate into easier bbq sessions. They also have things like heavy duty valves so you can clean them out with a hose instead of mucking about.
But heck, the one at BBQ Galore would work fine. If you modified it a little (with a pizza stone or some basic metal working) it would be maybe 90% of the expensive models.
Good luck. Let us know what you end up doing. Its always handy to have another point of reference. Like I said, I am a little obsessed by this.
P.S. I currently have, and like, a Weber Smoky Mountain smoker. It works well enough, but its not heavy enough and I am ready to move up a little and indulge myself a little too. ;-)