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?
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!
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.
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.
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.