Q: Hi Dr. BBQ,
I’m looking for a first-time smoker grill under $300. Any suggestions? I’m presently using a Webber with propane tank but can’t cook juicy ribs like on Food Network shows.
A: Hi Karl,
There are a couple options in your price range but to me one clearly stands out: the Weber Smokey Mountain, commonly and lovingly referred to as a WSM or a Weber Bullet. It”s about $180 and you”ll need to either invest in a remote type thermometer or install one yourself. There is an amazing website devoted to this cooker: http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/index.html It”s kept by a guy named Chris Allingham and there are tutorials for some great modifications including the thermometer installation. Chris goes as far as to give you the part number and source for his recommended thermometer. There is also a very busy forum to help with any specific questions about the WSM. These cookers are really versatile and a consistent fire is easily maintained, which is key to cooking good BBQ. They have won many awards in competition against bigger and more expensive cookers and will continue to do so. The other common cooker found in this price range is a low-end offset that won”t work very well. That type of cooker needs to be heavy steel to retain the heat and those small light ones just don”t cut it. Avoid the temptation of this macho looking cooker and go for the one that cooks better.