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In Reply to: Smoker advice posted by Chris Michigan on June 24, 2012 at 18:17:51:
Congratulations! Sounds like you're hooked! (and it was that little $50 smoker that reeled you in)
Many of us here have gotten 'the addiction' the same way that you have, with that little smoker (commonly known as an 'ECB' for 'El Cheapo Brinkmann') being the 'gateway drug'. You've come to the right place.
Probably most folks might agree that you could move into what we call a WSM (for 'Weber Smokey Mountain')...the 18" (diameter) model would cost about $300 and a recently introduced 22.5" (diameter) would cost you about $400. Back when I moved up from my ECB, only the 18.5" model was available.
If you decide on the 18.5" model, your $50 unit could be cannabilized for improving your 18.5" Weber.
The charcoal pan (that you want to put holes in) could be used as a larger capacity water pan (so don't put holes in it)
The cooking grates from the $50 smoker could be used on top of the charcoal grate in the WSM to improve fuel/charcoal management.
The Weber Smokey Mountain...
I bet if you went to any barbecue contest you would find that half the teams there use that smoker for one thing or another, with some teams having as many as four.
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