I have been wanting a smoker for a few years now. My old kettle Weber from 2 decades ago doesn’t count.
Me: Boy, a smoker sure would be nice.
The Mister: Uh huh.
Me: I could really smoke up some nice meats if I had a smoker.
The Mister: Yup.
Never really pushed it more than that since it was never at the top of my wish list. Up until a month ago. I figured the only way to convince him that I really need a smoker was to get him hooked. Sure I could have just gone out and bought a smoker but I like it better when he sees it my way (bwahahaha). It’s like as if he has something invested in it too. I had a feeling that a smoker was in my near future. The planets were aligning and signs were there.
I had lunch with a friend a couple of weeks ago and she told me they broke down and bought a Big Green Egg (BGE). Gasp! How freaking awesome is that! If I had money dripping out of my nose, I’d get one too. She was telling me about all the wonderful things they were grilling on the Egg. But no smoking. What? I told her they weren’t official eggheads until they do some smoking. Anyway, I shared her stories with the Mister. He didn’t have too many questions, just his usual 2, What is it and How much does it cost. Coincidentally, I finally got around to looking through my latest Saveur magazine and what do you know, an article on the origin of the BGE. I left it open on that page for him to find. In all honesty, I just thought he’d be interested in the history of the Egg. I wasn’t pushing for one, really.
But it was the pulled pork I (tried to) smoked on the gas grill that ultimately swayed him. We had the last of the pulled pork last night. I think he was a little sad when he took the last of the pork. I asked him if he would like a supply of pulled pork meat readily available. (that’s it, bait him in) And of course he said yes. Didn’t hurt telling him about all the things Mike & Sherry at Menu in Progress use their smoker for (check out all the smoked goodness here).
So now I’m looking for a smoker. Not the Egg (can’t wrap my head around how much those things cost) but something that will produce good results at a more reasonable price tag. I’ve seen some low end electric smokers for under $200 but I think I really prefer a charcoal/wood one. I’m leaning towards a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker (aka, the Bullet) similar in concept as the BGE with really good reviews.
We’re going to go look at some this weekend. There are a few things that the smoker must have: a built-in thermometer, easy way to add (lump) charcoals, good temperature control and big enough to smoke 2 7.5 lb pork butts. So here’s where I need your help. I would love to hear some suggestions and recommendations in picking out the right smoker. What grill/smoker do you use to smoke your meat and how do you like it? What features do you have/want? What else do I need besides a chimney starter, long tongs, BBQ gloves….?