Buying a Smoker | Smoker Buying Guide with Pitmaster Malcom Reed

Things to Consider when Buying a Smoker

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Tips for Buying a Smoker

I get countless questions looking for information about purchasing a new Smoker, so I thought it would be cool to shoot a quick video talking about a few important ideas to consider before buying that new pit.

1. What’s your Budget?

Smokers come in all price ranges but ultimately how much you are willing to spend determines where you start. There are lower end pits in the $100-$400 range. This is where most people start out, and there are good options here.

For me I’d go with a drum smoker or Weber Smoker Mountain. In the midrange $400-$1000 you’ll find a little more quality. Stick Burners, ceramic smokers, and even pellet grills can all be found in this range. The high end smokers are typically over $1000 and this range is for serious pit masters.

2. What are you using it for?

Do you just want a pit for the backyard? Are you planning on getting into competition bbq? Or do you plan to make money with this smoker? These are all important questions to decide the use of the smoker and will determine what type of pit you need.

3. How much capacity do you need?

Capacity is how much meat can fit on the grate. If you’re just cooking at home for family and friends you probably don’t need a huge smoker. If you’re doing comps or catering gigs then smoker capacity is an issue; and you want to make sure that the pit can handle the job.

4. What is your smoking style?

This is your personal preference, whether its stick burning, pellet smoking, or a combo of coal and wood, your style is important when it comes to deciding on a pit.

There’s plenty more to consider when buying a new smoker like accessories, durability, versatility, and even fuel choices these are just a few of the ideas you should be considering.

The main point to thing about is do some research first; don’t make a blind buying decision. There’s plenty of good info out there if you just look for it. Videos and websites are valuable sources and I would also talk to people who actually own the type of pit you’re leaning towards. Learn all there is to know about the smoker before dropping money on it and you won’t regret the purchase.

Hope this helps a little when you’re deciding to buy your next smoker; and Welcome to the Addiction!

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scott- o says:

Don’t forget to inspect how easy it will be, to clean. Some designs can be a nightmare when it comes to that aspect.

4wolverines says:


crempster says:

I did a lot of research and ended up buying the woodwind pellet grill with the sear box and I love it.It has worked out great.Ive cooked a lot things on this grill and got most of the recipes from your videos.I really appreciate you doing these videos and hope you continue.

Yazoo says:

Looking to buy my first smoker. Was leaning towards a pellet smoker. Came here for some more information. Great video. Sub’d and am moving f on to see what other videos you have on grilling and smoking. Thanks for the information!

whoyoukidding1 says:

This is a great video and I’ve added it to my favorites. I’ve been thinking about this very thing for a few months now. I’m just a backyard pitmaster and I just cook for family and friends. I have the WSM 22, the Weber Master Touch Kettle, and a Weber Genesis Silver B gas grill that I’ve had for 17 years. I want to buy another smoker but I want to move away from Weber (not that I don’t love my cookers). I don’t want the UDS, or something like it because it seems too similar to the WSM. I’m thinking maybe an offset smoker? But I don’t know! Ugh!

Trey Matlock says:

Thoughts..I got ripped off on my last grill purchase. I’ve went back to my trusty Weber kettle. My last purchase was a gas, charcoal, smoker all in one. After watching this, I’m thinking about doing a gas grill that will also allow me to smoke with. Do you have any suggestions for this?
I’m mostly doing for family cookouts. Nothing really big and low priced.
Thanks for all the videos..I really enjoy them!

Tang Chee Sum says:

18 spoiled rotten, no life,zombie feminazis hate this video. Lots of people learned new things, new recipes of these cooking channels.

Trey Newawlins says:

What’s a good one jus for starting out currently I own a electric smoker masterbuilt

Miguel Ramirez says:

Can you make more videos smoking on Weber’s pls

Joe Garza says:

Thanks bro. Always great food and info.

Mighty Creeper says:

ur the best

Campin & Q'n says:

Great Video as always – you give great perspectives on all types of smokers, and you have a great demeanor about you – you’re enjoyable to watch. I would think you would be a great person to know.

Kevin Harker says:

After this video, I am heading over to his smoker tour video. I’m looking into buying a smoker and trust this guys opinion. Thanks Malcolm and keep up the great videos.

Anthony Brown says:

Great video Malcom. I am in the process of trying to step in up this tailgating season. I am looking for something I can put in the back of my truck. I love my green egg so was looking at the mini max or even the primo 200 go. However after watching this and knowing that these grills could break and take a long time to cool down. I have been doing research on PK and they look like a great option. I see you have the PK360 in the background. Would you think this would be a better option. I am fine with the price of any of these grills. Looking for something I can use for years to come and one I can transport and limit the risk of breaking.

Dan Stutzman says:

Pellet grills are where its at. Camp Chef, Rec Tec and Grilla all have amazing products.

Guns and Pussy says:

Im in the market for a cock smoker

Dal V says:

Never trust a skinny chef

dylan welch says:

i love my do-it-all grill. i got a 40″ offset smoker so i can throw some wood chunks into the firebox and ride low and slow all day. or i can fill that 40″ of cooking space with coal and blast out burgers for a kids birthday party. best part is you can pick em up for less than $200 all day and it wont break the bank having weekly cookouts for the family.

Alex Whitsel says:

Malcom, thank you so much for all of your videos! I’m trying to decide between a Traeger Timberline 850, Camp Chef Woodwind SG, or the Rec Tec RT-700. I was hoping you could point me in the right direction as I value your opinion! Thanks in advance!

Smokey Cue says:

Great advice Malcom.

BigMark2.0 says:

22 WSM, and a 26 Weber Kettle work fine for me/us. I have an eye towards a Big Joe. I’d like to someday have a trailored stick-burner, or one of the high-end large capacity ”hockey puck” units.

The New World says:

Man start eating better and lose some weight before something bad happens seriously…
Not trying to be a dick

Jermz Money says:

can you do a smoke one the 35 dollar water smoker at walmart can you get decent quality on something like that

jake edinger says:

Great video sir.  Keep on smoking!!!!!

Backyard Smokers BBQ says:

Excellent points and an excellent video as always sir!

Forged in Fire says:

you are the king ….hands down

Bood droe says:

Gas or electric smoker

Mike Scott says:

Great advice for life in general “first, set yourself a budget…”

4wolverines says:

Would love to have that Old Hickory Ace you have but I need to be able to grill as well. I’ve been Looking at a MAK 2 star. It’s more money than I really want to spend but with it’s new Flame Zone, it looks like it can grill really well and smoke awesome too. Wondered if you’ve every cooked on one of the new ones and if they are good. Do pellet grills food taste as good as the food off of your Old Hickory? Thanks for your time

MrDoctorSpanky says:

I went over board a bit and got the master built 30in. Electric smoker. I have not been happier in my life. Everyone has been loving the food I’m bringing out of that.

Jack Dotzman says:

Great vid Malcom, always appreciate your advice. I have greatly, that’s GREATLY, improve my cooking following your instructional videos on cooking. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and very well edited videos. Thanks. JD in Missouri

farmingfromabove says:

Love your videos. I really liked the one where you profiled all the grills you have. My wife saw it too and she said when i say you have enough you better listen on me… what a hoot

Jacob Dapolito says:

Malcom your channel was always good but is now also polished. Thank you! Noticeable recently.

mo od says:

bla , bla, bla, dont ask malcolm to start a fire, he can only push a button on a pellet. never seen him use a real smoker. sorry.

MrAntsr83 says:

You always giving the bbq community so much help.. I remember a couple years ago being completely lost with the new grills I got and watching you’re videos. Now I get asked atleast twice a week what I’m putting on the smoker this weekend.. I truly appreciate everything you do..

nonyabeesnees says:

Malcom, which is better the Campchef Woodwind or the Rec Tec?

Jayson Hinton says:

Great channel Malcom! Could you do a video on your process for cleaning and maintenance after a cook? Maybe tips throughout the cook that help in the cleanup process? Grate maintenance seems to be one of my biggest issues, how do you keep standard metal grates in such great condition?

Ruben Ortiz says:

Hi Malcolm just want to say love your videos your the man I was wondering what is your opinion on the Stump gravity fed box smokers? Ever since I’ve heard about them it’s been my dream to own one but I would like an opinion of a true pit master before I throw down that kinda cash

FourDollaRacing says:

Weber Kettle and WSM. Anything else is a niche product….

Weenee Da PooP says:

Thaks for the tips boss

wayne maglinger says:

Malcom you are the man! Your channel and recipes are awesome! Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I learn a lot from you brother. Keep it up!!

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