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best BBQ smokers

I am looking to buy a smoker in the 200 or - range. does any one have any suggestions.

how about vertical versus horizontal?

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  1. I have an old vertical water smoker that does pretty well, but I'd love to have one of those sidewinders too - those seem to be about as close as you can come to a proper barbecue pit, short of either spending lots more money or building something non-portable. The good thing about what I have is that you can do moist or dry smoking, or you can just use it as a charcoal grill. Having two tiers is nice, too - the top one, under the domed lid, cooks at a higher temperature, so you can pick what you want to cook quickly or slowly. First time I used it I did a chicken up top and pork shoulder down below at an all-day party - the chicken was lunch and the pork was dinner!

    1. I'd recommend the Weber Smokey Mountain in that price range. Amazon has them for $210 with free shipping. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004U9VA/?...

      There also an extensive website about cooking with the WSM. http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/

      Horizontal smokers can produce good results but there's more fire-tending than I'm willing to do.

      1. Two top smokers

        Cookshack http://www.cookshack.com/residential-...

        Smokin Tex http://www.smokintex.com/

        as you can see they are almost identical.

        1. I dont like to use the word best, since different people have different needs/methods for bbq.

          I have owned both types, and I prefer the offset smoker with a firebox on the side.

          1. I also have owned both an offset and a vertical and both have advantages and disadvantages. A vertical is more difficult to maintain an even temperature from top to bottom but you can put a bunch of meat in one. An offset is much easier to control temps in but doesn't have the room a vert does. If I were buying today, I would probably purchase the Weber Smokey Mountain. It compact and well built, and there's quite a bit of contest winning "Q" that comes off of them.

            1. I just had this question (see: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/542326 ). I went with the Weber Smoke Mountain that was mentioned above. I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER! Plus the virtual weber bullet site is an incredible resource. I think in the $200 price range, for a smoker, there is no choice. The WSM is the ONLY answer.

              1. I have a ceramic cooker (Komodo Kamado) that burns wood or lump and its very good, but very pricey (close to $3000 delivered).
                I recently bought 2 electric smokers on flea bay. A Bradley Digital and a 40" Masterbuilt.
                I like the Masterbuilt so much I haven't even tried the Bradley and the ceramic cooker just sits there unused also.
                I needed electric to get a low enough temp for cold smoking sausages and cheese.
                I'm selling the Bradley and going to move up to a Cookshack Amerique next.

                2 Replies
                1. re: janzy

                  you wanna give me your seldom used Komodo?

                  1. re: joshlane4

                    Naw, you probably wouldn't want it, it's a lousy color tile :)
                    But, seriously, I never thought I'd enjoy the electric as much as I do.
                    Once it gets colder around here I'll get back to the Komodo.

                2. I have a Weber bullet and love it. Easy to use. produces great results. Highly recommended.