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Level of Expertise: Intermediate
Date:November 30, 2010
Ease of use:
I thought about getting the Smoky Mountain Smoker by Weber, but changed my mind. I feel I made the right choice. I have yet to pull somthing out of this thimg that wasn't great. I like the fact that I can regulate the Temp. and just feed it the wood chips, and not have to guess with charole and wounder if the fire is going to go out. I just did our Thanksgiving turky on it and it was a hit. Took 10 hours but well worth the wait. Looked at several smokers also, and this one was the most sturdy built. Have had it 4 months. Easy to clean. This will last me a long time.
I've had this smoker for about a year now and it is still in great condition even though it was on an uncovered patio for the first 6 months (well worth the money!). This is my third smoker (1st gas) and I am extremely happy with my purchase. Have no problem getting the temperature up to 225-250 DegsF for turkey and pork butts or keeping the temp below 200 DegsF for brisket and ribs. Once you get the temperature set where you want it, it stays with no problem. Love the double door design so you don't lose heat when adding chips. The only thing about slow smoking below 200 is you have to place the chip tray in the bottom of the smoker (caddy cornered to let heat by) or the chips won't smoke. If you are cooking on high heat, the chip rack is fine. I love to cook and entertain so i wish it were a little bigger, but for the family, it is great. Everyone loves the food! The maximum size brisket it can hold is 14.5 lbs and you can cook up to 6 slabs of spare ribs at a time. You have to cut them and stack them right though. Hope this helps!
Pros High quality, Durable, portable, maintains temp
I've seen a couple of other reviews that this smoker doesn't get hot enough. I had the same experience. I hate to return it, because I love the features, but it just doesn't get hot enough. I bought this just prior to Thanksgiving. It wouldn't get over 200 degrees with a turkey and ham in it. We had to finish cooking the turkey in the oven. I thought I'd give it another shot for Christmas dinner. Again, it didn't get hot enough to cook 6 racks of ribs in a reasonable amount of time. Because of the low temps, it took me 9 hours to smoke ribs that should have been done in 5 hours. The outside temperature was about 40-50 degrees on those days, so that could be the problem, but I want a smoker I can use year-round. Lowe's was very helpful and took my dirty smoker back for a refund. I'm going to try their electric smoker instead.
After having a charcoal/horizontial smoker for 10+ years, I decided to try a vertical/propane smoker. I have read many reviews of other brands online, and this model at Lowes, seemed to get the best reviews. After ordering it online, and picking it up at the local store, I took it home and assembled it. The local store offered to assemble it at no cost, but I wanted to do it. The instructions are easy to follow. The only issues I had was that I was missing some of the bolts. All hardware came on a blister pack, which is great, but somehow a wrong set or pack was put it. No big deal, beacause the missing items held the handles on, and I replaced them with good ol' American made ones. After seasoning it in, I decide to smoke some baby back ribs. I had no problem holding the temp. I used a voltmeter unit that has a digital temp readout to verify the stock thermometer. Expecting it to be junk, the thermometer only had an + error of 10 degrees. I had a spare gas tank on hand, because I felt it wouldn't last 6 hours, but it did. This unit seems to be very efficient. I did have some small leaks, but it didn't affect the cooking. I did order a seal kit, and will install it later. The best feature of this is the upper and lower doors. When you have to either add more water to the pan, or add more wood chips to the smoker pan, the lower door is great. Most other smokers have only one door, and if you open it, you loose the temp, and it will take a while to come back up and settle. I left the lower door open once for about a minute to add water and chips, and the temp only dropped 10 degrees. All in all, if you're a average or beginner smoker, you can't go wrong with this unit!
I have owned and used many smokers though the years, this one is by far the best product for the value. It does it all, with a little practice. like many I would suggest a hanging thermometer, just till you know how far off the one in the door is, it keeps constant temp but the temp is wrong, not a big deal for me. I would and have sugested this product to friends.
I purchased this smoker March 2011. After wearing out my old electric stand up torpedo style smoker over the last 3 yrs. I wanted something with more interior room and easier to use. Here is what I have found as upgrades to my old electric. 1. Food trays are quickly adjusted to fit how you like. 2. Food can be mopped by extending the tray out the door, no more lifting the top tray out of the way to mop the bottom shelf meat. 3. Temp gauge as measured and compared to my electric stove was spot on. Temp can be adjusted by turning the burner up or down or adding a higher BTU wood like oak vs applewood in combination with the burner adjustment. 4. It took 35 minutes to assemble. 5. Propane use is efficient. 6. No more tripped circuit breakers as suprises when checking the food. 6. Smoker is light weight. Lighter than the 20 pound propane tank when filled. 7. Easy to light with battery ignitor, with a match, or with a butane lighter. 8. Smoker is very sturdy as it hasn't blown over when not being used while on the deck. Cons: I haven't been able to find a quality cover that's long enough, it needs to extend down to the bottom of the legs. For $149.99 its a very good bargain.
I needed a smoker that was easy to use and at the same time smoke my foods with reasonable quality. After reading many post on this model I set out to see it in the store. I was suprised to see how well it was made. It had easy access for tending the water pan and the smoker box. Assembly was a breeze right out the box following the instructions. I made sure to follow the suggestions of the fellow reviewers to find a box that had no damage with no suprises. My apple wood smoked 18 pound free range turkey turned out awesome with low heat. The smoker is very efficient on propane and very controllable at low heat settings. This was a very good choice if you like great results with little mechanical effort. Thank you fellow posters for steering me to this smoker. I have told my friends about this smoker.
Pros High quality, Durable, easy to use, great results, cooks anything, easy clean, great on gas
Excellent smoker. Compared to a charcoal and electric smoker this is smooth . I've had a few smokers and temp is always the key factor. My first use was smoked salmon on a high wind day . At no point did I have any issue keeping a ideal temp. I would never give a review on any product but for the price this was worth a few comments. If your a back yard smoker guy , buy this model !!!
I got one on my last birthday and have used it lots, everyone loves my whole smoked chicken with seasoning from Cabelas. We just bought our son one for Christmas, i looked around for a better one but found this was made better than most and it was the best propane smoker i found.
As for the smoke leaking from the door i see complaints about, once you find how to use it right it isn't an issue; i also checked the thermometer on the door against my inferred thermometer and is was only one degree off.
Great smoker. Good temp control, even without the gasket around the doors as many have commented. Thermometer is accurate, but temp at door is a little different from temp within cooking area. One question - where do you find a cover that will fit this smoker for storage???