Decisions, Decisions

There are a lot of options for charcoal smokers. Deciding on which one I want is going to be difficult!

I stopped in at Lowe’s yesterday to pick up a new ceiling fan and a light switch. You can tell the store is all geared up for spring. It is March and here in West Virginia we are bound to get a few 60°+ days very soon. That will trigger spring fever when everyone heads to the big box home improvement stores.

I also needed to also pick up some seed starting mix, so as I walked toward the lawn and garden section, the prominent display of grills and smokers caught my eye. I wandered over to the smokers “just to look”. My wife Sara was with me. Sara asked me if I wanted to get a new smoker. I told her my Weber equipped with a Smokenator has been working well for me. She hinted that maybe it’s time that I upgrade. Well okay, then!

I purchased the Smokenator 1000 in 2012 when I first became interested in smoking. For me, the Smokenator was the perfect solution for a relatively low cost way to get into smoking. Since that time, it has served me extremely well. I am a big fan of the product.

Justification for a new dedicated smoker

So why would I get a new dedicated smoker? Capacity and convenience. The two main issues I’ve noted over my years with the Smokenator are the limited amount charcoal you can load at a time and limited cook space that you have available.

The Smokenator isn’t going away though. I can still think of circumstances where a large dedicated smoker would be overkill. I’ll keep the Smokenator on hand for those smaller cooks.

The Plan

It sounds like the new smoker will end up being a Father’s day gift for me. That means I have a few months to figure out what I want to purchase. I’ve got my work cut out for me. There are so many styles of charcoal smokers available. I want to make an educated purchasing decision.

Over the coming weeks I will be documenting my smoker research here on My hope is that others will find my research helpful in making their own purchasing decision on choosing a dedicated charcoal smoker.

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