HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

A question for Woodburner (and anyone else that has an opinion)

I've come to the conclusion that it's dumb to use my gas grill to smoke meats (a full tank of propane for every 12 hr session = $20) so I want to make an interim purchase . My choice at the moment is a Brinkman bullet smoker or a Weber kettle grill (both very close in price). As far as end results are concerned, which of these would you go with for pork butt and brisket? Thanks in advance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. For butts and brisket, I'd say neither, but if your budget limits you to those two exclusively, go with the Weber kettle. I've had both, but I've since gotten rid of the ECB (El Cheapo Brinkman). I still use the kettle for grilling or *small* load smoke sessions, but most of my BBQ gets turned out of my offset. You can do butts and briskets on a kettle, but if you're serious about it, either get an offset, a Big Green Egg, or a Weber Smokey Mountain. Or dig and build your own pit...but that's another question!

    6 Replies
    1. re: ricepad

      Thanks for your reply. My guess is that I'll be smoking foods a couple of times a year as my wife only likes smoked fish so it seems overkill to get myself something bigger. I saw the Brinkman today at Home Depot and couldn't get myself to buy it at any cost.

      1. re: jnk

        All the more reason to get the Weber kettle (and spend a few bucks extra to get the 22.5" GOLD, because the ashcatcher is worth it). A Weber kettle is way more versatile than almost anything for outdoor cooking.

        1. re: ricepad

          If you buy a weber you should look into buying a smokenator.

          http://www.smokenator.com/

          It will allow you to smoke for 6 hours on 1 load of charcoal. I have one and it works.

          If you want a great grill and smoker combo look at The Big Steel Keg.

          http://www.bigsteelkeg.com/

          It is about $500 and is similar to the big green egg but it is all steel. I bought one a month ago and my first time using it I smoked a pork butt and it came out perfect

           
           
        2. re: jnk

          "My guess is that I'll be smoking foods a couple of times a year as my wife only likes smoked fish so it seems overkill to get myself something bigger"
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          I agree. No need to buy a dedicated appliance for smoking a couple of times per year.

          Also, agree with ricepad...The 22.5 Weber Kettle (Gold) sounds like it would fit your needs perfectly...It will do an excellent job for all of your grilling needs, and with some practice, it will do an acceptable job for an occasional pork butt, ribs, fish etc.

          Have Fun & Enjoy!

          1. re: Uncle Bob

            I don't know about you, but as much as I recommend that cooker, Weber should put me on the payroll!

            1. re: ricepad

              LOL........Me too! Maybe Sr. VP of Marketing? :)

      2. Definitely buy the Weber. I bought a Brinkman bullet smoker several years ago and used it a few times. The price was right, but the whole vertical thing is a pain in the butt. It's not easy to put more coals or soaked wood chips in through the little door. If you wish to smoke more than the one rack will hold you have to lift the top rack out with meat on it to get to the bottom rack. Those two things are the reasons why I don't use it anymore. I have an offset smoker and a weber and use them both for smoking and the weber for grilling. (The smoker is at our cabin and the Weber is at home so I still use the Weber for smoking meats, usually pork ribs or shoulders. I save the long smoke-time on the brisket for the off-set smoker).

        If money is no object, and it doesn't sound like it is, it isn't for me anyway, I'd get a Big Green Egg.

        1. I only smoke stuff a dozen times a year. My Centro electric smoker performs reasonably well and is easy to use. It reportedly has reliability problems, but has worked well for me.

          If you look at this thread you may wish to include / eliminate the electric option.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/518284

          2 Replies
          1. re: Paulustrious

            And the decision was.............22 inch Weber Gold.
            The 11 lb. whole packer in one the grill now using Woodburner's charcoal method. We're 2 hours into it and after some adjusting )a lot of adjusting) the kettle has settled in at 240 degrees ((inside the top of the dome, so a little lower @ the meat. Will start taking internal temp in about 6 hours, and will rotate the meat over the cooler coals as needed (to large a piece to not go over some coals. Will keep you posted.

            1. re: jnk

              that was "too" large a piece.

          2. Since you already have a grill, and I have an idea of the price range you want to stay in, I'd opt for an upright electric smoker....I think brinkman even makes one. No fuss with the coals, fire, etc, lots of room for additional meats, just have to keep the smoking media (chunks or chips) topped off. If money were no object, I'd have a bge or komado variant in a heartbeat. I did however, make alton's rig a few years ago on the cheap:

             
             
             
             
             
            2 Replies
            1. re: BiscuitBoy

              Thanks, I'm using the weber...still a smokin'.

              1. re: jnk

                It's July 5th now and the party is over. The raves for the brisket and pulled pork was worth all of the time and effort to get ithem done. The smoked pork should was a piece of cake..I cooked it on the gas grill and it was a no brainer as far as keeping the temperature constant. The brisket on the other hand I did on a 22 inch Weber Gold. Woodburner, your modified Minion worked great! I had the brisket on the grill for 1 1 hours (adding some briquets at the end) before moving it over to the oven. Both meats came out moist (mostly) with great flavor (yes I got the smoke ring on the brisket).

                I made the pork ahead of time. I pulled it and then vacuum sealed it and froze it for 5 days. When it came time for serving, I put the bag in a pot of hot water and it came out the same way it went in. Moist. Same thing with the brisket except in this case I did not freeze it but instead smoked it, sliced it, vacuum sealed it on the same day and 3 days later served it. Again, it tasted as if I had smoked it that day. Many thanks to all for their advice and support.