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97 reviews | 4.3 out of 5
I have been smoking meats for 30 years but have always built my own smokers. Mine were the size of a coffin and could handle 500 pounds of meat. When I moved to Florida for retirement, my wife suggested I might want to scale down my smoking somewhat. After reading the many posts about the Smokey Mtn. Cooker I chose the larger of the two. I like the idea of gas as it took way less monitoring than my traditional wood fire approach.
First impressions were favorable. The unit was put together well and had no problems on startup. As I was seasoning the smoker, I had a c-clamp handy as I read so many posts saying the lowest temperature was still too high. It was. Mine wanted to hover close to 275 degrees. I added the c-clamp to the line and closed it almost all the way down. I can now get temps as low as 180 degrees and maintaining the 200 degrees I prefer to cook with is a snap. Even with a wind, the burner does not blow out.
As far as the small water pan, I did not find this to be a problem. I always shuffled things around in my old smokers and used the same concept here. Every couple of hours, rotate the shelves top to bottom and/or front to back to ensure even heat. While I am in there, I refill the water pan.
I looked at the smoker box and decided it was pretty but not very usable. From reading other posts, I packaged my wood chips in tin foil and placed over the burner. Then when I was rotating the meat, I changed out the chips for new ones.
Cleanup is quite easy and after 9 months of use, it still looks pretty good.
Other uses: I also use the smoker as an outside oven with no smoke added. I can get the temperature up to almost 500 degrees and that handles just about any type of baking. I have used it for standing rib roasts many times. Put the roast in the smoker with an external temperature probe in it and set the smoker temp for 200 degrees. Just let it go until you hit 125 degrees internal temp in the roast and you're done.
Other thoughts: Always use an external temperature probe on your meats. It is much more accurate.
If you clean the smoker after use and store in a shed or garage, this unit will last a long time.
Even the large unit is none to big. Don't even think of buying the smaller one. Two racks of baby backs will fill one shelf.
This is my second gas smoker. I started with a bullet style but needed to go bigger. My ribs are being requested more and more often so I had started researching a larger unit when a call came in to cook my ribs for a party of about 100 people. I didn't have any time to experiment with the smoker other than simply seasoning it. I then proceeded to load it up with 18 racks using rib racks which hold 6 racks each. I found the spacing of the shelves to be a little difficult to work with but was able to pull it off.
The temp was very easy to adjust and was extremely stable. Opening and closing the door in order to add water and wood chunks didn't extend the cooking time as the gas fire returned the unit to proper temp immediatly.
The only problem I found was the rack of ribs on the lower shelf in the back were dried out due to the heat being directed up the backside of the unit. Other than that, the ribs were fantastic. Next time, I will fashion a heat shield from the water pan up the backside to redirect the heat up the sides.
I bought this same style of smoker back in 2005. The quality was ALOT Better in 2005. It had 3 vent holes, 2 on the sides and 1 at top. Thicker gauge steel, large water pan, a drip pan and heavy-duty steel wood box where you could actually place wood chunks "not chips" as in this newer version. The 2005 model was wider and deeper, but the height is still about the same. I believe I paid $149.00 or $159.00 back in 2005 at Wal-Mart. I bought this 2 days ago at Wal-Mart for $138.00. I thought I was going to get the same quality as before, but when I opened it up, The Great Outdoors cut back A LOT on this smoker. Now there is no air vents on the side, the water-pan and wood box is 3 times smaller than the 2005 model. AS you may see on the photo where the tag is on the front of the smoker when you open it up, it states “May not look as shown in photo.” That’s what the BBQ Smoker looked like back in 2005 b-4 the changes of the newer model.
Cooks at a constant temp but the minimum temp is to high and cooks to fast. The water bowl is inadequate. The wood chip holder is inadequate. In order to smoke meat you must turn the heat way up to get smoke. If you could control the heat at a lower temp to properly smoke meat and you could get adequate smoke it would be great.
I bought the larger smoker of the two. Its is a very simple smoker, easy to use from novice to experienced. I only use the top three grills, as the bottom grill get to hot, so throw potatoes on it. I also bent the vent tabs so I can control the air flow better. My best time to smoke is over night with temps around 160 degrees, which require refilling the water pan once during the night. The cast iron smoke pan is plenty suffiecent. I use apple wood limbs, and fill the rest to capacity with Hickory chips soaked in water. Must be wet to smolder properly. I get about 4 hours of smoke, which is suffecient for a good smoke flavor. In the water pan, i cut up three apples into quarters and put that in the water for enhanced flavor.
After using this smoker for two seasons, very happy with the smoker. It does what its intended to do, and my neighbors love it, as they get some great eating too.
Note: smoking foods require attendance, and patience, as it is a low temp method of cooking. I always have a jug of water, and stainless steel pans sitting on top of the smoker, with tongs and brushs. I paint brush works great for brushing marinate on the meat etc. I also us a meat temp guage to monitor the meat. Nothing worse than under cooked port, or meat over cooked and dry. So enjoy your cooking, it is a fun hobby, and one your friends and family will enjoy.
This is a great unit. It's actually our second one that we placed side by side with the first. Easy to use. If I had one complaint it would be that the door sometimes closes while your checking or removing food and if your not careful the hot door will touch your arm.
I've had this smoker for about 4 years. Yes the water bowl is too small and yes the smoker chip box is too small. So get over it. I made a new smoke box out of 3" X 6" rectangle pipe. I welded a plate on one end and bolt a second plate on the top. I get about 3 times the wood in and It is air tight so the wood doesn't catch on fire. I add water as needed to the pan. I use the Au jus later for stews in the house. I cover the pan with tin foil so I don't have a cleaning problem.
It does a great job. I smoke chicken and ribs for about 8 hours. I wrap the ribs after about 5 hrs in tin foil and put them back in the smoker to get super tender.
Love it and recommend it to smokers everywhere.
Purchased locally, easy set up. But the biggest problem is that the smoker temperature control knob will not allow the smoker to go below 220 degrees. I called the manufacturer and they said that the gas line probably had an air bubble in the hose. I bled the hose and still got the same problem. Too high heat for smoking things like salmon or trout. I place an electronic temp reader at the mid level of the smoker where they installed temp reader is and still can't get a lower temp. I also asked if they had a smaller flame orifice and they do not. The manufacturer's manual (page 18) says that the temp can get down to at least 175 degrees but when I called them they claimed it was a misprint. So...This item is good for high heat smoking or getting a pork roast well done but not for smoking fish. I have gone to a LP energy company and they made me a custom flame orifice that now lets me get the temperature I need. The company has made my warranty invalid. OK by me. I get the lower temp now.
Excellent product - purchased as a gift for dad and he loves it!
Wood chip pan MUCH TOO SMALL. Water tray barely adequate. Cooks (not smokes) at too high a temp. With a full load of hanging sausage could not maintain below 225 degrees. With a single tray of fish minimum temp was 250. In both cases, outdoor temp. was in the low 60's. I plan to use a hole saw to cut vents low in the box in hope that I can regulate temp.
I got this as a x-mass gift, always wanted a smoker and this one fits the bill.....my pork butts and chickens earn great reviews..everyone loves them and all it takes is changing the wood chips every hour or so which is no big deal i use channel locks to lift box in and out it only takes a minute and yer back smokin i fill the water pan with apple juice and once the meat has dripped into the pan for awhile i use a baster to suck up juice and bast meat everytime i change woodchips.....smoking meat is easy and fun and tasty....its cheap to buy and works great
My very first smoke is a smash hit. Everyone loves when i fire it up, and often small dinner parties end up as keggers and Q.
The water pan IS a little smallish, but if you are doing temp checks every hour and adding water to the pan it's perfect sized.
THe walls are a little thinnish, so I do not smoke in extremely windy or cold weather, but I have smoked in 100deg heat and 40deg winters and every time it comes out amazing.
The fire box IS a little smallish as well, but I just pack it full and after an hour of smoke or so I add another handful of soaked wet chips.
I smoke everything at 225 and I get perfect Q and perfect smoke rings. My first smoke i used mesquite which was a little powerful, and have since switched to apple and hickory chips.
THis smoker is EXTREMELY easy to clean - just hose it out and give it a wipe down!!
I have 3 problems with the design. first the water bowl is way to small. it is not near big enough for the cooking times required for smoking. Second the wood chip box is also way to small, it does not hold enough wood to smoke for 45 minutes. third is there are no dampers on the sides to control the tempature sufficiently.
Great product but need recipes and more info with it
Although I am fairly satisfied with my purchase, I feel that the Smoky Mountain Smoker is just a glorified grill. Last weekend I smoked 30 pounds of venison sausage on it and it turned out great.
But actually, it didn't really smoke- so to speak. It just cooked at a low temp, which was difficult to control at first. There was no smoke involved at all. Next time I may try to add wood chips to the drip pan to enhance flavor.
The water box is too small also, as some others commented.
But it will be great for big parties and cookouts when a single rack grill isn't enough.
You can't just put in your meat and walk away. It
involves tending to quite often.
We are going to cook a green ham on it for Easter
and see how that goes.
Wepll, first off this company is out of business. So don't expect any product support, etc. Second, this is my second smoker from this company. This smoker burns too hot for slow smoking of beef jerky. It cooks the food. I spent quit a bit of time refitting the orofice to the right speification to smoke jerky.
This is my frist smoker and I found out that it needs to be engineered a bit more better than I found it to be.Over-all,I would give it a 4 and a half rating.The other half would have been given,if I didn`t have to drill the 2 back legs for them to stand on their own.I had to do some drilling and screwing to make it right.About 40 mins. of extra time.I`m wondering if I shouldn`t have done it to the front legs also?
I was unable to use this product. It was damaged when we opened it. I returned it to the store and will wait till spring to purchase one I can see before buying.
I purchased this in October and had never smoked anything before. I smoked a ham and some sausage by following the directions on different websites and it came out great. The smoker box is small, but it worked great. When you open the door to add water or chips, you do loose heat, but it quickly goes back to the original setting. I love this smoker. Works great. Holds a constant temperature, keeping in mind that the colder it gets outside, you do have adjust it.
I love this thing I purchased it 7 years ago and it still works great . You can fit a lot of meat in it and it does not use a lot of propane and it is very very easy to use!!! Just find a good reciepe online and you are golden !