Q: Dear Dr. BBQ,
I was wondering what kind of smoker you recommend for a guy on a budget. I currently use your typical charcoal grills—most of them I get used, and just fix them up! We BBQ about three times a week for an average of 12 people at a time. Also, if I wanted to enter an amateur cook-off, what kind of cooker would you recommend?
Don “In NC”
A: Hi Don,
I had a few mighty fine cookers made out of 55-gallon drums in my early BBQ days and they work very well. So if you’ve got a friend who can make one for you, you can probably trade the work for some BBQ. I’ve also seen some pretty nice sheet metal grills in the $100-$200 range. A kettle grill can do most anything with a little work and is under $100. Last but certainly not least, if smoking is what you want to do, is the Weber Smokey Mountain. It”s about $180 and works very well.