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48 reviews | 4 out of 5
I just got this smoker over the weekend and smoked 2 beer Butt chickens with ease and an 8lb pork shoulder the next day. After sifting through the reviews I realized something had to be done about the Charcoal pan so I took my drill to it and put around 30 holes all over the pan on the sides and the bottom to help with air flow and diminish ash build up. I had no problem reaching 300 degrees and maintaining it best chicken I have ever had. This little guy works great and has plenty of room to smoke several things at once. The water pan is a must use even if you don’t put water in it put it in when you cook to help break up some of the heat, ash, and flames. Its real light so it’s easy to take in and out of the garage. This will not let you down for the price.
This smoker is similar to the Brinkman but a little more expensive - not sure why I bought this instead of the B, but I'm happy. There is a lot of info on the brinkman on the internet if you need more help. This one is very sturdy, metal seems thick enough, and easy to put together. I did some reasearch and talked to a 'pro' smoker and have come up with the below 'tweaks' to help.
I'd say if you don't want to do electricity or propane and are still just starting, it's an awesome grill.
I live in Phoenix and since electricity is outrageously expensive here, I opted for charcoal.
Also, I just think it's a little more manly to have a charcoal smoker since it's more of a challenge compared to just plugging something in and turning a dial to adjust the heat.
I've had this a month and have grilled whole Chickens and some ribs and wow they're tender.
-Recommend Drilling a BUNCH of 3/8" or larger holes in the charcoal pan so the dust can fall through, or get a Mr Bar B Q 06034X Platinum Prestige Stainless Steel Wok Topper since it's full of holes already for the burned charcoal dust to fall through so burning can continue. If you don't the burned charcoal dust will limit the burning of the charcoal.
-Get a 'chimney' charcoal starter ($15) so you don't have to use charcoal fluid to start. Put some charcoal (unlit) in the pan, then use the chimney to start some, then put the lit ones in the pan. This will slowly light the unlit briquettes so you can get a long burn. For burns over 3 hours, you will have to replenish the charcoal, but the lower door allows that without losing all the heat out the top.
-Consider getting a thermometer to replace the one that's there - sometimes the ones that come with smokers, especially inexpensive ones like this, are inaccurate.
-Get a probe thermometer (I got a CDN Digital Programmable Probe Thermometer) with a metal-lined cable between the thermometer and the probe. The only real way to tell if your meat is done is to test the internal temp. You can just route the cable/probe through the top vent, stab the probe into your meat, then set the alarm to beep when it hits the temp you choose. This thermometer allows you to constantly monitor the meat temp without opening the door and losing your heat which is why I prefer this to those hand probe thermometers.
-I lined the upper door with felt (green egg) to prevent leaks since some smoke was coming through the top door.
-I plan on putting on a plywood shelf on the back and side to hold my stuff. i.e. thermometer, food, etc...
Hope this helps - bottom line I'm very satisfied with the smoker.
I feel like people who rate this lower are people who are rating this smoker against higher end smokers. The problem is, this CLEARLY isn't a higher end smoker because of the price. Anyone who does a little due diligence and research can easily find out what they're getting with this smoker, and for the price in comparison with smokers in it's class-range this thing is AWESOME! Yes, the metal is thin and you have to perform a few modifications to it, but you knew that going in. And the mods are easy and cost an additional $20-30 extra. You will not find a better beginner smoker for the price, and it allows for easy mods and room for upgrades (adding more racks, etc). I highly recommend this for a first smoker or as something for the "casual" smoker. I am a novice to veteran griller/smoker and I have turned out GREAT food with this thing. There is a bit of a learning curve, but there's one for anything you buy: you have to learn how it performs and its nuisances. Again, great smoker.
I purchased this unit yesterday because I needed a smoke cabinet that I could modify to use a variety of heat sources. This is intended to be used with charcoal, but I placed a 1500 watt brinkmann heating element in the bottom. I ran the cord out the vent, then set my hickory wood in the bowl above the heat element. I filled the space below the element with lava rock. I also have a gas burner that will fit nicely if I decide to use propane. I seasoned the smoker for about an hour before use. I cooked a 15 lb brisket all night last night. Using a digital thermometer I was able to check the accuracy of the guage in the unit door. It was pretty accurate to about 15-20 degrees from what I could tell. The unit maintained a temp of about 240 degrees all night with an outside temp in the forties. I'm sure charcoal would work just as well. With 4 adjustable vents, temp regulation should be easy. The unit was undamaged and packed well. Assembly was a cinch, as my 8 year old son was able to do most of it. He enjoys helping. The only addition that I plan to make is some high temp felt gasket for the doors, as some smoke does tend to escape there. The brisket turned out amazing. This is nothing fancy, but it is well made, affordable, and makes a perfect smoking chamber. I'll add some images to this review.
This smoker is quite good, it gets good temperatures and handles 2 to 3 turkeys or around 8 racks of ribs. I will get quite a few years of use out of this smoker...(my old brinkman smoke and grill finally died after 10 years) and this was the best replacement a decent price I could find
I bought this smoker recently and I have been unable to get the heat past 200. I have put holes in the charcoal pan, and on a hot day I may reach 200 but just for a short while. Any assistance would be appreciated.
Very nice smoker for the price. I use it every wknd. Piece of advice though....buy the standard size Weber vegetable tray for ur charcoal. The bowl provided with the smoker has NO holes for ventilation at all. Thats using a smoker with charcoal 101 in my opinion. The Weber tray is an EXACT fit in this smoker.......beautiful! Just to warn everybody, the metal on this smoker is thin but it still holds the heat pretty well. Overall, I will put this smoker 2 wrk 4 a long time. Oh yeah, and it holds a ton of meat on two separate adjustable height racks. Later!
I purchased this smoker to replace my Brinkmann Smoke N' Grill (got tired of having to lift a full smoker off the coal pan to refuel).
Being new to smoking, I wasn't in the market to spend a lot, so I wasn't expecting a professional grade smoker. For the price, I'm pleased with the quality and convenience of this smoker.
When I received my new Char-Broil smoker, I assembled it, adding some self-adhesive smoker gasket material around both doors. I also purchased the Mr. Bar B Q wok topper to use as a coal pan (to increase airflow and prevent coal smothering). I didn't test the smoker without the gasket, so I don't know if it was really necessary but it seems to work well. As for the coal pan, unless you're willing to drill the stock pan full (and I mean FULL) of holes, I'd highly recommend a wok topper/grill basket -- square or round, either will work.
I have to say, I'm very pleased with my purchase. The temperature was easy to control with the vents and the smoker held steady temp for over two hours on my initial trial run. When opening the bottom door to add more coals/wood, there was very little heat loss.
I appreciate the convenience of being able to add coals and water throughout the cooking process by accessing the coal and water pans through the bottom door.
I'm pleased with my purchase and would recommend it to anyone looking for an inexpensive charcoal smoker.
I drilled 10 holes around the side of the burn pot to get air in there, if you don't you can't keep the heat up. Once I did that it worked perfect. kept temp at 215-225.
If you want a small smoker just for family meals, this is a good one. I smoked 3 racks of baby backs on it and they were great. Temperature was easy to manage.
Bought on line and received via ground delivery a day ahead of forecasted delivery. Assembly was easy. Followed seasoning to a tee and the first meal came out great. Only negative was the water bowl is difficult to get to when cooking. Be care-full when pulling the racks out, they will pull completely out easily. Smoker quality exceeded my expectations considering the price. Overall very pleased and satisfied with this smoker.
we use it all the time Ribs and pork loins come out great also did beer butt chicken and very good and moist
As was mentioned in some reviews that I read before purchase, the pan for the coals should be manufactured with the necessary hole to allow coals to breath. I followed the advice of previous reviewers and drilled half-inch holes during assembly.
I smoked some spareribs and they turned out well. The smoker actually met all my smoking expectations after the aforementioned modification. I also found the thermometer to be fairly accurate as well. For the price this smoker works just fine.
this is the first smoker ive got in its easy to put together and smiple to use
Great little smoker - does more than just charcoal, can use wood chunks and chips also. Could us a bit more intake air flow for the fire. I drilled some extra holes in the fire pan to get it more air to burn. I do like the other 4 adjustable air vents - 2 on each side. Was easy to put together and set up.
I'm new to smoking and this little smoker has been great to learn on. It does need a few modifications and some TLC while your cooking but a great place to start. I've done chicken and brisket and both turned out great.
Good little smoker. I had to drill holes in charcoal holder. Design makes coal burn it self out. Also was missing 2 nuts and 3 washer for lower handle.
Great smoker for the price. We have used it a couple times still trying to get it all figured out. I would recommend it.
Well made. Best smoker value ever and no shipping--whadda deal!
Product worked well manufacture needs to ventalate charcoal pan
so ash will drop out and so coals will stay hot.right now ash buidl up smothers
charcoal and reduces heat making it hard to maintain control of heat.