I am looking to buy my first smoker. It's going to be used for my wife and myself mainly. Occasionally it will be used to feed a few guests as well. What smoker would you guys recommend?
Cannot recommend this enough. I use this smoker and this website tought me so much. Each recipe has detailed instructions on how to setup your smoker for that specific cook. Let me caution you though. If you smoke a turkey (Apple Brine) for Thanksgiving, be prepared to be on the hook to do it every year.The Weber Smokey Mountain. The best charcoal smoker made. If you want to learn to be a pit master...
Your best source for Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker information and discussion on the Web. Get recipes, usage tips, modification ideas, and discuss the Weber smoker with owners and enthusiasts in our online forums.www.virtualweberbullet.com
The "best ribs in the universe" recipe on this site alone is worth buying the WSM.
Two separate animals. One is a grill (steaks, chops, chicken parts, etc) and the other is a smoker (brisket, ribs, butts, whole chicken/turkey). I personally do not think you get good results with a combo smoker/grill.Thank you for all the quick replies. One thing I'm unsure about, never having had a smoker, is the ability to grill on it as well. We like to grill steaks mainly and would want something that could handle that as well. Would that change any of the recommendations above?
I really appreciate this answer and was anticipating this would be the conclusion of the matter. Weber has all the name recognition even for a grilling/smoking neanderthal like me. Good to see that there's a reason why their name is so recognizable.Two separate animals. One is a grill (steaks, chops, chicken parts, etc) and the other is a smoker (brisket, ribs, butts, whole chicken/turkey). I personally do not think you get good results with a combo smoker/grill.
Buy a small Weber Smokey Joe (very small grill perfect for two) if you want to grill a steak, but get the Weber Smokey Mountain if you want to have a smoker. I don't work for Weber, but have been grilling and smoking for decades and can say you can't go wrong with Weber for quality and value. Just my 2 cents.
If the OP has the space for a full sized Weber kettle, that is definitely the way to go (get both the kettle and the Smokey Mountain). I had both plus a gas grill. I moved to a high rise condo a couple of years ago and now have none. That was/is the hardest part of my downsizing from a house to a condo, not having my grills and smoker.Agreed that the Smokey Mountain doesn't grill well. I have a kettle too. The Smokey Joe is great for close direct grilling but it's too small for anything indirect.
I will second the kimado type. I have a Charbroil Akorn, because I wanted to try the form factor first. It uses very little charcoal. Works great for grilling,too.I've had a slew of sheet metal smokers, they all work about equally well, and all require constant attention. I bought a Green Egg a few years ago and wish I had earlier. Can be 20f outside, with wind. Set it around 250f and it stays there for hours without tending. Not inexpensive, but worth ever dollar. The cheap knockoffs work well, but without the heavy ceramic they don't work as well in a breeze and cold.
An automated Traeger pellet grill would be my second choice.
You might check with the condo first to see what is and isn't allowed. If you have a yard you're in the clear, but if you have a patio/balcony/covered space then fire regulations might restrict you to electric.I'm purchasing a Condo so size is a factor. Might have to go for the Smokey Mountain, and small smokey joe combo. Also looking at the Traeger mentioned above.