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Thread: "Best" smokers for use with HeaterMeter

  1. #1
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    Question "Best" smokers for use with HeaterMeter

    Hello,

    My history with the HeaterMeter is that I built a v4.0 back in 2012 to use with my 18" WSM. Life happened and I wasn't able to smoke very much in the last 6 years. Part of it was due to frustrations with controlling my WSM. I live in Northern Wisconsin and smoked turkey or chicken at 350 for several Thanksgivings but it can be pretty cold that time of year here and I often had trouble getting the WSM to operate at 350 (I never did any cold weather modifications to the WSM which probably would have helped). Doing pulled pork I had to add fuel during the smoke.

    I'm interested in getting back into smoking meat but with the realistic expectation that if I have to babysit the smoker all the time I just won't do it, with kids and work and all. My family says I should get a pellet smoker but I like the HeaterMeter and want to evaluate what the best option for me would be, especially factoring in a cold climate.

    I'm considering if it would make more sense to replace the WSM with some type of Komodo style cooker (Akorn?) I have never used one before. It seems to me like the insulation would really help when I want to smoke in cold temperatures.

    Can those of you who smoke on these units share your opinion on if you think this would be a good option for me? I'm looking to know how much time is actually involved with you smoking a pork butt or turkey with the HeaterMeter? Can you light it at the beginning and let it go entirely under the control of the HeaterMeter until the end, without having to add fuel or physically adjust anything on the grill? How much more work is it than a pellet smoker.

    Thanks for the advice.

    WSM (18.5")
    Weber Genesis

  2. #2
    TVWBB Wizard Steve_M's Avatar
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    This is one of the reasons the ceramic cookers such as the Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe are popular. Once the ceramic mass gets heat soaked, they do a great job of being able to hold temps very well on their own, or even better when used with a HeaterMeter. I do a lot of winter smoking on mine and the HM keeps things in check quite well.

  3. #3
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    Have you thought about wrapping the WSM in a thermal blanket? Some folks use an inexpensive welding blanket from Harbor Freight (https://www.harborfreight.com/4-ft-x...ket-67833.html), a water heater insulating blanket (https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...E&gclsrc=aw.ds), upscale with a purpose built WSM wrap (https://www.bbqguru.com/storenav?Cat...9&ProductId=81), or they build an insulated enclosure (like the smoke shack in the modifications section of this website - https://tvwbb.com/forumdisplay.php?1...-Modifications).

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    smoking jacket

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vl46pklale...20625.jpg?dl=0

    20$ in parts it keeps my ECB very warm in Vermont for my winter smokes. Chicken wire wrapped in water heater insulation inside and out, dryer vent on top and duct tape... the thing works amazing... I have to put it on right at the beginning of the smoke so the fuel load doesnt get too hot tyring to keep up with vermont cold .. the one time I put it on after a while tyring to stay at 250 it shot up to 400+ in minutes and melted inside a bit..

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys, I think I'll play around with my WSM a little more and think about maybe getting a komodo type if I see a good deal for winter cooking.

    WSM (18.5")
    Weber Genesis

  7. #7
    TVWBB Super Fan
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    Maybe start with a simple wind break?

  8. #8
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    This cost $40 and it runs constant with no attention needed https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?751...8-5-to-propane

    It ran at 240 for almost 12 hours with only adding chunks and about a gallon of water https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?752...ket-burnt-ends

    I haven't run it in cold weather yet, but the burner is 15000btu. I've only needed a small flame during the summer.

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