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If you're thinking pellet and you're on a budget, go with Rec-Tec.  They seem to be the clear favorite on the BBQ forums as the best bang-for-your-buck pellet smokers on the market.  

I'm saving my pennies for a Yoder Wichita.  Going to go with the square firebox upgrade too.  Just need to stop spending money on bows, knives and car parts long enough to pay for that beast.  

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1 hour ago, madeinuk said:

The trick to smoking is to go 'slow and low'.

Any temperature much above the boiling point of water (212F) is basically too high.

You really need to stay in the 180-220F zone, ideally, the 195-215F zone.

It really does take far longer than slow roasting which is really what 275F would be doing.

Take a traditionally tough piece of meat and then let the low and slow cooking break down the collagens and 'relax' those muscle fibers.  You will love the results.

That isn't completely accurate. One of the best pork butts I ever cooked was hot and fast on my weber smokey mountain cooking at 300 degrees, I've done ribs this way also. Same can be done with a lot of other cuts. Its my preferred method as it cuts the cooking time to about half with the same and sometimes better results. Competition cooks cook hot and fast most of the time because they don't have time to cook a 8lb butts or briskets for 16 hours and you bet their stuff is coming out delicious (not that I'm a huge fan of his but its the only method Miron Mixon uses). If you buy a unit that can't go over 300 degrees you're really cutting yourself short because with a smoker that can go well over that, it is a multitasker, they can be more of a smokey oven than just a smoker and cook all kinds of things at many different temperature ranges. I love the WSM and for some extra money you can get the BBQ Guru then set and forget a charcoal/woodburning smoker for extended overnight cooks. 

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24 minutes ago, Hitemnasty said:

That isn't completely accurate. One of the best pork butts I ever cooked was hot and fast on my weber smokey mountain cooking at 300 degrees, I've done ribs this way also. Same can be done with a lot of other cuts. Its my preferred method as it cuts the cooking time to about half with the same and sometimes better results. Competition cooks cook hot and fast most of the time because they don't have time to cook a 8lb butts or briskets for 16 hours and you bet their stuff is coming out delicious (not that I'm a huge fan of his but its the only method Miron Mixon uses). If you buy a unit that can't go over 300 degrees you're really cutting yourself short because with a smoker that can go well over that, it is a multitasker, they can be more of a smokey oven than just a smoker and cook all kinds of things at many different temperature ranges. I love the WSM and for some extra money you can get the BBQ Guru then set and forget a charcoal/woodburning smoker for extended overnight cooks. 

Almost all of the electric smokers can be upgraded with an Auber PID and greatly increase or decrease the temperatures you're looking for  

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i have the 5 cubic foot pit boss smoker (399 at lowes), it holds 40 pounds of pellets and takes forever to run out of them. I've smoked everything in it and it works just fine. I make 15 pounds of jerky at a time in it and that doesn't last very long cause it comes out awesome.

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Hammer, i have the 800 model that Sams Club discontinued. It heats up to 500 degrees in about 15 minutes and i've smoked meats on it too. It's made out of heavy gauge steel and after 3 years it's still holding up pretty good. The only thing i've noticed is in the summer if it is going to be humid out the pellets should be removed.  

 

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11 hours ago, Mr12gauge said:

Hammer, i have the 800 model that Sams Club discontinued. It heats up to 500 degrees in about 15 minutes and i've smoked meats on it too. It's made out of heavy gauge steel and after 3 years it's still holding up pretty good. The only thing i've noticed is in the summer if it is going to be humid out the pellets should be removed.  

 

Thanks , I’m going to probably keep this in the garage and just wheel it out the door when I’m going to use it .

looks like a fairly solid unit .

had thought about the 700 , but figure doing fish , and deer stuff the extra room will come in handy . Plus it comes with the  flame broiler 

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16 hours ago, Hitemnasty said:

That isn't completely accurate. One of the best pork butts I ever cooked was hot and fast on my weber smokey mountain cooking at 300 degrees, I've done ribs this way also. Same can be done with a lot of other cuts. Its my preferred method as it cuts the cooking time to about half with the same and sometimes better results. Competition cooks cook hot and fast most of the time because they don't have time to cook a 8lb butts or briskets for 16 hours and you bet their stuff is coming out delicious (not that I'm a huge fan of his but its the only method Miron Mixon uses). If you buy a unit that can't go over 300 degrees you're really cutting yourself short because with a smoker that can go well over that, it is a multitasker, they can be more of a smokey oven than just a smoker and cook all kinds of things at many different temperature ranges. I love the WSM and for some extra money you can get the BBQ Guru then set and forget a charcoal/woodburning smoker for extended overnight cooks. 

I have cooked shoulder, brisket and ribs both ways and both were good on taste. However, 300 degrees does not even come close, in terms of tenderness, to slow and low smoking under 250. Brisket at 300 was tough and chewy. 

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16 hours ago, Mr12gauge said:

i have the 5 cubic foot pit boss smoker (399 at lowes), it holds 40 pounds of pellets and takes forever to run out of them. I've smoked everything in it and it works just fine. I make 15 pounds of jerky at a time in it and that doesn't last very long cause it comes out awesome.

This model is no longer available, I think it was only at Lowes.   

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