If you love to BBQ like we do, then you need to invest in a smoker. The New Braunfels Oklahoma Joe's Outdoor Smoker is an excellent choice.
We have smoked everything on this smoker and have never been disappointed. Chicken is delectable. Ribs come out tender and juicy. Brisket is mouth watering. Fish is even easily cooked and comes out great--even though I'm not too into smoked fish.
The fire box is easily accessible and makes for starting and maintaining a slow burning fire. The fire box can easily control heat output because the side vent is easy to open and close at will. We have had minor problems with it sticking, but a little WD40 and a hammer solved that. The smoke stack also aids in heat control because you open and close the cover on it. The thermometer is water tight and very accurate.
The Oklahoma Joe has a handy shelf located right in the front to place any trays, seasonings, or sauces you may need during your cooking adventure. There is also a handle below the smoke stack to assist you in repositioning the entire smoker, if need be, during cooking--it remains cool to the touch. The wheels are made of steel too so they won't crack or warp. The legs are height adjustable. The only thing this smoker is lacking is an under unit storage shelf.
This smoker is solid in construction and is well worth the money we paid for it. We shopped around, most that we looked at fell short for one reason or another--plastic wheels, flimsy fire boxes (Oklahoma Joe's firebox is welded on), or cheap thermometers. The Oklahoma Joe is almost perfect and is built to last through many BBQ seasons.
Update On Apr 18, 2010: I added a little video. The video sound does not seem to work very well uploaded.
We are smoking baby back ribs. For the perfect tender and juicy rib, smoking them is the only way to go. Our baby backs are so tender the meat falls right off the bone. One of our secrets is to smoke them un-wrapped until they start to turn dark, not black, and then wrap them in a single layer with heavy-duty foil. You should try to maintain a low heat, low and slow is the only way to go. The ribs should be cooked for at least four hours. About fifteen minutes before serving remove the membrane and slather with your favorite BBQ sauce.
Academy still sells these beauties. We were just there and saw they have upgraded them just a bit. The wheels are still steel but bigger. Also, our size model now has a shelf below the unit, which was one thing we wish ours had. We also saw they have added a New Branfels smoker model with the firebox on the left. Pricing varies. You can purchase smaller models but your cooking space would be limited.
We still love our Oklahoma Joe and highly recommend it.