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Help on different styles of smoker, please...

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:41 pm
by perthsmoker
G'day!

I am pretty new to these forums, although I have been reading a few bits on here over the last few weeks.

I LOVE my barbecues! I moved to Australia (Perth) from the UK about 4 years ago, and left behind my collection of 5 barbies - 1 x WSM, 1 x weber kettle, 1 x gas kettle, 1 x rotisserie and 1 x tandoor (!) :( I currently own a 4 burner gas bbq, which is pretty average (at best!), and I am now looking into buying a new smoker.

My first thought was to go for another WSM, but they require quite a bit of work, right? And I have always fancies an offset smoker, so have been looking at the Hark Tri-Fire. I am intrigued by the pellet smokers (Traeger Junior?), and love the idea of the "set and forget" cabinets (Hark or Bradley?, gas or electric?)... In terms of budget, I guess I'm looking at somewhere between $500-1000 - preferably towards the lower end of that scale.

I'm not sure which way to go with my next purchase. Convenience is a massive factor for me, although I am not afraid of a bit of hard work (really...), but initial cost, quality (of the smoker and the food it produces), and running cost (gas/ electric/ charcoal/ wood/ pellets?!) are also very important.

I'd love to get some thoughts and suggestions from you guys. Urban Griller - do you have a shop where I could come and have a chat and pick your brains? Not sure that I'll get what I am looking for by asking the guys at BBQs Galore...

Thanks very much :)

Re: Help on different styles of smoker, please...

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:57 pm
by Gumb
As a starting point, have look through here.....
bbq types

Re: Help on different styles of smoker, please...

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:13 pm
by perthsmoker
Yeah, thanks gumb, I've already had a read of that. Was just hoping for some personal opinion.

Thanks again :)

Re: Help on different styles of smoker, please...

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:43 am
by beachbums
Hiya Perthsmoker, Welcome to the forum. We have a Hark gas upright and an Offset. Both are great fun to cook with but haven't been using the offset very much lately, might get a bit more use over summer. It's good when I have all day to sit around with a beer and play with the fire :D

The Hark upright cabinet style one is probably my fave though. Turns out good tucker and easy to use. Purists won't like it because it runs on gas but we love it :D

If it's any use to you to help you make your mind up you could borrow the offset and have a play with it for a couple of weeks to see how it suits you?

Cheers, Wayne and Jan

Re: Help on different styles of smoker, please...

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:47 am
by GarthFader
I jumped straight in to an off-set (Hark Tri-Fire), the learning curve is pretty steep not having come from a Webber Kettle or gas cabinet style unit. I've had it for about 7 months now and have only just started to get consistent cooking from it.

I think starting with a kettle/WSM like you have will set you up well for a Tri-Fire, but it's certainly not a set-and-forget deal.

Re: Help on different styles of smoker, please...

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:01 am
by gussigan
perthsmoker wrote: My first thought was to go for another WSM, but they require quite a bit of work, right? And I have always fancies an offset smoker, so have been looking at the Hark Tri-Fire. I am intrigued by the pellet smokers (Traeger Junior?), and love the idea of the "set and forget" cabinets (Hark or Bradley?, gas or electric?)... In terms of budget, I guess I'm looking at somewhere between $500-1000 - preferably towards the lower end of that scale.
in terms of requiring more work, an offset is probably up the top of the effort-factor list. I've got the Hark Tri-Fire and I love it but it can be a pain if you don't want to be housebound all day.

The pellet smokers are probably the best in terms of convenience but come in well over your budget if you want a reasonable sized unit.

I would suggest doing one of Urbangriller's BBQ courses because you get to use several different styles of BBQs during the day plus they're a load of fun

The best way to get started quickly is to jump on to gumtree and grab a secondhand weber kettle - that way you can get started bbqing for under $100.

Re: Help on different styles of smoker, please...

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:14 pm
by urbangriller
perthsmoker wrote: I'd love to get some thoughts and suggestions from you guys. Urban Griller - do you have a shop where I could come and have a chat and pick your brains? Not sure that I'll get what I am looking for by asking the guys at BBQs Galore...

Thanks very much :)
Yep, you can meet me at BBQ School and have a chat. PM me.

Cheers
Chris

Re: Help on different styles of smoker, please...

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:21 pm
by beachbums
urbangriller wrote: Yep, you can meet me at BBQ School and have a chat. PM me.

Cheers
Chris

Surely you mean MEAT? :wink:

Re: Help on different styles of smoker, please...

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:29 pm
by urbangriller
beachbums wrote:
urbangriller wrote: Yep, you can meet me at BBQ School and have a chat. PM me.

Cheers
Chris

Surely you mean MEAT? :wink:
I only say that to the girls Wayne.

Chris

Re: Help on different styles of smoker, please...

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:35 pm
by perthsmoker
Hey, thanks for all the replies guys :D

Thanks for the offer beachbums, but I think garth fader has put me off the offset smokers... Sounds like I need to have a closer look at the cabinets and pellet grills. Chris, is your BBQ school down at Bibra Lake? I'm heading down south next weekend so wonder if I could pop in on the way back next Monday. Will pm you...

Thanks again everyone :)