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View Full Version : Spicewine or FEC 100


Todd Ras
08-23-2011, 12:50 PM
I'm debating between the two to purchase for next years BBQ comp season. We don't do a ton of them 5-6 a year tops, but would like to either get a medium custom Spicewine or a FEC 100 to cut down on what we carry to comps. I cook at home as well, so I would want something that's easy and good for both.

Our team cooks on 4 WSM now, but we wanted to get something a little larger. I know the Spicewine folks post on here (and as a Mizzou fan..that's a plus and i'm not too far from Columbia) but wanted to see if anyone had any opinions on either model good or bad.

A few questions comp related:

1) With power sources always an issue at comps and we don't currently have a generator, if we got the FEC 100 should we purchace a battery back up. I think Durcell makes a model.

2) For the Spicewine guys....is a Medium model enough room for comp cooking or do we need a larger model for the brisket, butts and ribs?


Any advice would be appreciated.

AZScott
08-23-2011, 01:03 PM
A few questions comp related:

1) With power sources always an issue at comps and we don't currently have a generator, if we got the FEC 100 should we purchace a battery back up. I think Durcell makes a model.

I use a marine battery from Walmart with a Zantrax inverter to power the FEC as well as a couple of lights. I've never had an issue with it. One time I had to scramble since the battery didn't have a chance to charge much before leaving home. I did some serious scrambling when I found out the gang box near me wasn't working when the battery died. Regardless, I wouldn't seriously consider another cooker.

Slamdunkpro
08-23-2011, 01:31 PM
Spend the extra few hundred and get a super medium Spice.

MoKanMeathead
08-23-2011, 02:17 PM
Todd, I would get a FEC 100. Both are good smokers but I fell that the FEC would provide a more consistent temp for a longer period of time. You guys have a lot of team members so the FEC would allow for more partying (or sleeping)!!

Podge
08-23-2011, 02:31 PM
Hell, buy a Jambo, seems everyone and their mother is getting one.

Todd Ras
08-23-2011, 02:33 PM
Todd, I would get a FEC 100. Both are good smokers but I fell that the FEC would provide a more consistent temp for a longer period of time. You guys have a lot of team members so the FEC would allow for more partying (or sleeping)!!

You know us to well! :heh:

Sawdustguy
08-23-2011, 03:22 PM
A Spicewine with a BBQ Guru can run for well more than a day without tending. This cooker will last forever.

MilitantSquatter
08-23-2011, 03:24 PM
A Spicewine with a BBQ Guru can run for well more than a day without tending. This cooker will last forever.

I agree.

ique
08-23-2011, 03:49 PM
A Spicewine with a BBQ Guru can run for well more than a day without tending. This cooker will last forever.

What is the max temp you can bring a spicewine up to?

Butcher BBQ
08-23-2011, 04:14 PM
I will place a vote on getting FEC 100's. We do several comps a year and we do run with a battery backup. If your going to do just a few a year you can get set up and running pretty quick.

JiveTurkey
08-23-2011, 04:25 PM
I've never cooked on a pellet unit but I do have a Med Spicewine and I love it. It holds steady temps all night and if I want to use water I can, if not I don't, I like having the choice. Charcoal is cheap and plentiful so it's cheap to run. It can burn sticks too if you want to get adventurous. And of course it will last forfreakinever.

It's more than enough space for comps but be warned people will stop you a lot to ask about it. They draw lots of attention.

Capn Kev
08-23-2011, 04:43 PM
I will add another vote for an FEC-100. Not sure what the Spicewine weighs in at, but the FEC-100 rolls off my trailer (via a ramp) fairly easily and I can use it at home when I'm not cooking comps. It has locking caster wheels that makes it relatively easy to move (I'm a big guy). Plus, I love the sheer ease of use. I like my sleep.

Slamdunkpro
08-23-2011, 05:02 PM
What is the max temp you can bring a spicewine up to?

I've had mine up to 425

Solidkick
08-23-2011, 06:04 PM
A Spicewine, with a charcoal basket, will go all night just fine. now, me being the ever cautious Diddler,who watches his pit temp like a hawk, still gets up to check it, but I wouldn't need to. They are heavy, so i hope you are young! Just to set the record straight, my Spicewine has 4 GCs and like 6 or 7 RGCs. And we cook an average of 6 contests a year.

FECs are good cookers as well, so you really won't go wrong with either. good luck with your decision!

ique
08-23-2011, 06:49 PM
I've had mine up to 425

OK, someone was telling me recently that the Spice was difficult to get above typical bbq temps.

boogiesnap
08-23-2011, 06:58 PM
What is the max temp you can bring a spicewine up to?

lookin' to move a patriots blue jambo? :becky:

ique
08-23-2011, 07:35 PM
lookin' to move a patriots blue jambo? :becky:

Yeah that pit will always be a keeper. I have been itching for a new cooker though, the three high on the list are spicewine, komodo kamado and the yoder 640 pellet smoker (yes, all very different).

Bigdog
08-23-2011, 07:44 PM
Yeah that pit will always be a keeper. I have been itching for a new cooker though, the three high on the list are spicewine, komodo kamado and the yoder 640 pellet smoker (yes, all very different).

Great combination. You'll love the 640. That's the one Andy (Smoke On Wheels) and I got to cook on. I believe he has one now so contact him if you are interested in details. I have it on my must buy list.

boogiesnap
08-23-2011, 07:45 PM
^^^:becky:

of course it's a keeper! !!! i was only farkin' with ya....

for whatever it's worth to anyone i'm looking at trading the 2 WSM 22's for a backwoods and kettle. i'm a "stuff" nerd.

jambo or spicewine on a trailer would be the end-game for competing for me.

Slamdunkpro
08-23-2011, 07:46 PM
Yeah that pit will always be a keeper. I have been itching for a new cooker though, the three high on the list are spicewine, komodo kamado and the yoder 640 pellet smoker (yes, all very different).

If you want to come down and cook on one let me know.

ique
08-23-2011, 07:47 PM
jambo or spicewine on a trailer would be the end-game for competing for me.

Ha-ha. I've had at least two end-games!

boogiesnap
08-23-2011, 07:51 PM
Ha-ha. I've had at least two end-games!

and the hardware to have earned them. :thumb:

but for the OP, i can't stand relying power at a comp to run my cookers(stokered).

i have recently abandoned it. i'd go spicewine.

watertowerbbq
08-23-2011, 08:27 PM
I'm a Backwoods Competitor owner, but I can tell you that regardless of which you choose, in the end, you'll be a happy man. Both are excellent cookers.

Lippy
08-24-2011, 05:51 AM
We have a small spice. It has done well for us but it is small. The medium is a great size for comps. Ours holds temp great. After talking with other teams that use FEC, they say they don't get as good smoke taste as with our spice.

Hub
08-24-2011, 07:14 AM
FEC100 -- best cooker by far. Commercial grade. Wonderful support. Rock solid temp control. Great range of temps.

CBQ
08-24-2011, 08:59 AM
I use an inverter hooked to my RV house batteries with my FEC. I have had 5 or 6 power failures this year and they didn't affect the smoker at all. (In fact the only problem is realizing the power IS out...everything just keeps on going.)

The Duracell power pack works well too, but make sure it's fully charged when you start, as the little power supply that comes with it will not recharge the battery as fast as the FEC will draw it down. Fully charged it will run the cooker all weekend.

Bellybro
08-24-2011, 09:33 AM
SPICEWINE!
I have cooked on several. Have recomenneded to several and they love them.

Ours holds temp like a champ! Medium is plenty of room for a comp.

Great smoke! I use ours at home all the time.

And you can customize it to any color you want. The new paint / color options are awesome I understand.

Can't imagine using another!

SteerCrazy
08-24-2011, 11:04 AM
OK, someone was telling me recently that the Spice was difficult to get above typical bbq temps.

the only way I see that happening is if your water pan is full (or the water is extremely cold) and you don't have enough fuel. I've run my large spicewine as high as 450*, water pan was nearly empty and the cooking chamber door was part open. Once the thing get's too hot, it's hard to bring down, even with the door open. This is my 4th year cooking on mine and can hold 225* in any temperature or weather condition just by adjusting the bottom dampers. Once you can 'dial it in' it's a dream to cook on.

Dan - 3eyzbbq
08-24-2011, 11:17 AM
Have you considered a BWS? IMO they are better than the spicewines as the charcoal chamber is completely sealed from the cooking chamber.

Jeff_in_KC
08-24-2011, 12:03 PM
I wouldn't give ya a dime and my Spicewine for a Backwoods! Isn't the Backwoods a knockoff version of a Spicewine? LOL! I'm just kidding! Seriously, I'm a Spicewine guy and it has obviously served us well over the six years we've owned and cooked on it at comps. Get great flavor, easy to clean, works well with water or without, charcoal AND wood combined give GREAT flavor to meats in this cooker. As noted, it is not easy to get the temps down if you lose control because of the insulation. But as a note, when the stick burners are struggling in bad weather to hold temps and get stuff finished, you'll just secretly grin and chuckle to yourself as you roll over and go back to sleep!

Dan - 3eyzbbq
08-24-2011, 12:39 PM
I wouldn't give ya a dime and my Spicewine for a Backwoods! Isn't the Backwoods a knockoff version of a Spicewine? LOL! I'm just kidding! Seriously, I'm a Spicewine guy and it has obviously served us well over the six years we've owned and cooked on it at comps. Get great flavor, easy to clean, works well with water or without, charcoal AND wood combined give GREAT flavor to meats in this cooker. As noted, it is not easy to get the temps down if you lose control because of the insulation. But as a note, when the stick burners are struggling in bad weather to hold temps and get stuff finished, you'll just secretly grin and chuckle to yourself as you roll over and go back to sleep!


To each there own. I just grin and chuckle when I see Spicewines, cause I know I have the better cooker. :laugh:

Thats said, if I had to choose between the FE and Spicewine, I'd pick the Spicewine.

ChicagoSizzlin
08-24-2011, 12:54 PM
What size Spicewine would you guys recommend catering a 150+ wedding doing butts and brisket? Also might be doing some fests next year and this one cooker that is on my radar.

Scottie
08-24-2011, 01:16 PM
FE..... not that the Spicewine is bad. Just cant really compare the 2. Different kind of cooking. Size and weight issues. And this whole thought that you dont get smoke flavor from a FE..... the judges tell me different. Not with comment cards but with trophies and checks... ;)

Jacked UP BBQ
08-24-2011, 01:29 PM
I have had great success with both and serious failures with both. There are huge pros and cons to both. FE can break, spicewine can get grease fires and a pain in the arse to clean. I have had all of the smokers and sizes. I was never able to get my spicewine to run for a day, but people claim they can. I like the charcoal flavor of the spice better. But the FE puts out a great consistent product. They are completely different cookers. I now cook in backwoods and its the same thing as the spicewine. Honestly price shop and just learn to cook on either.

Smokin Mike
08-24-2011, 08:02 PM
I would like to offer you a chance on cooking on a FEC, and a Treager if you want.

I don't live that far from you, and if you like you can test drive a FEC on your own time, I just doing one more contest this year, it's all your's before I go to my contest in a couple months.

EDIT: pm me :)
double EDIT: I mean you can take it home,and test it :)

jbrink01
08-24-2011, 08:26 PM
I have 2 FEC 500's and a 100, plus a Louisiana TG. I'm a confirmed pellet-head. BUT - I would not be at all afraid to compete on one of Jay's pits. They work great. He beat me with his earlier this year (but I beat a couple of them this year as well)....:rolleyes:. Buy what you like and learn to cook on it.

mmmmeat
08-24-2011, 11:24 PM
Spend the extra few hundred and get a super medium Spice.

What's a super medium?

Posted from my fancy android fone!!

Solidkick
08-25-2011, 06:42 AM
What's a super medium?


It is an extended longer version of the medium, more cooking space. Don't quote me as exact but a foot to a foot and half deeper for longer shelves so more capacity.

Jeff_in_KC
08-25-2011, 08:38 AM
Just a clarification - Spicewines are NOT a pain to clean... pull out all racks, scrape and wipe burnt on grease (very little as I catch most of mine) and take racks to carwash or if you have a power washer, do them at home. Tuesday night, I started cleaning mine out at about 7:30 and by 8:20, I was done and that includes a trip to the carwash and back. Easy! All areas within the cooker are very accessible.

Slamdunkpro
08-25-2011, 08:40 AM
It is an extended longer version of the medium, more cooking space. Don't quote me as exact but a foot to a foot and half deeper for longer shelves so more capacity.

It's wider as well, a medium's rack is 17 x 24, a super medium's rack is 26 x 35. I can get 12 butts per rack if I need to on my super mediums. The big plus to a super medium is you can get 3 full hotel pans on each rack - 2 side by side plus one cross ways vs only one per rack on a medium.

Jacked UP BBQ
08-25-2011, 01:14 PM
Jeff you are correct, if you like to scrape grease and remove greasy shelves and take a drive to the carwash it is easy to clean. FE is much easier to clean. If you argue that, you are just looking to argue....As usual!

CBQ
08-25-2011, 02:02 PM
Just a clarification - Spicewines are NOT a pain to clean... pull out all racks, scrape and wipe burnt on grease (very little as I catch most of mine) and take racks to carwash or if you have a power washer, do them at home. Tuesday night, I started cleaning mine out at about 7:30 and by 8:20, I was done and that includes a trip to the carwash and back. Easy! All areas within the cooker are very accessible.

Easy is relative, I guess.

I have a powerwasher I use to clean my Klose offset. It used to take 4 hours by hand, and now I do it in an hour with the power washer.

I clean the FEC in 10 minutes with a paint scraper and paper towels.

Scottie
08-25-2011, 02:07 PM
My FE is so easy to clean... i have my sister do it at a contest. The hardest part is putting some new foil on the drip pan...

chambersuac
08-25-2011, 02:25 PM
I've never owned either, but after visiting Spicewine's shop and drooling over his cookers. I want one.

You say you are not far - get in touch with them and stop by and check them out in person. They are very impressive.

SteerCrazy
08-25-2011, 03:10 PM
I'm not an expert on different styles of smokers but going from WSM's to a Spicewine might be a better transition. I started with WSM's (still cook on 1) and switched to a Spicewine which was an easy transition, for me at least. And in regards to clean up, it's not as painstakingly as some people say. If the water pan is empty I can have all 6 grates and the water pan clean in less than 30 minutes, no car wash needed (although a good idea) I sent you a PM

beam boys bbq
08-25-2011, 09:16 PM
there is only one and true fact we are all good cooks it is what you are use to cooking on

you can cook on an spicewine your whole time you will get it right with cooking on it over and over till you find out how your pit works best for you

we all can tell you what we think it really does not matter you will get an pit and keep it for the long term
you will find out the best way that pit cooks for you and only you can do it

I kept changing pits and getting bigger and better ones ( an big waste of time and money ) get an pit and keep it and learn how it cooks and how you cook on it -- AND ROLL WITH IT

Rich Parker
08-25-2011, 09:27 PM
Cook on a drum! Oops wrong thread.

jbrink01
08-25-2011, 09:36 PM
Cook on a drum! Oops wrong thread.

I do, and an FEC..........:icon_blush:

Bigmista
08-25-2011, 09:46 PM
It's wider as well, a medium's rack is 17 x 24, a super medium's rack is 26 x 35. I can get 12 butts per rack if I need to on my super mediums. The big plus to a super medium is you can get 3 full hotel pans on each rack - 2 side by side plus one cross ways vs only one per rack on a medium.

Damn! I can't do that in my large! Wassup wit dat? Pictures, man! Pictures!

chambersuac
08-26-2011, 12:09 PM
I hate to do this, as he only has three and I want one, but I don't have the money now...so...

Check out the Spicewine sales area in the Brethren sales part of the forum. He is selling off three of his cookers - modified mediums. $1500./each. I would snatch one up in a second, if I had the money.

mmmmeat
08-26-2011, 05:58 PM
Damn! I can't do that in my large! Wassup wit dat? Pictures, man! Pictures!

yeah i agree!!! pics if ya have any

BasicPatrick
08-26-2011, 08:36 PM
Seems to me the real decision is to go Pellet or stay with charcoal/wood. You already seem to have decided on your brands.

The Cosmic Pig
08-27-2011, 05:54 AM
Seems to me the real decision is to go Pellet or stay with charcoal/wood. You already seem to have decided on your brands.

What he said! I have an FEC and a BWS Competitor, which seems to operate about the same as the Spicewine. I went back and forth between them for a while, but I like being able to add different woods to the Backwoods, which you can't do with the FEC (unless there's some mod I don't know about?). I know you can buy different "flavored" pellets for the FEC, but do they really change the flavor that much? I've tried them, but I don't really know. I believe if you learn your cooker well enough, you could probably get as much sleep with the charcoal smoker as you do with the FEC. That's about the only advantage to the FEC. Well, the FEC does clean up a little faster. Otherwise, IMHO, the charcoal smoker is the more versatile of the two. And you don't need electricity to operate it.

Plowboy
08-27-2011, 04:34 PM
Buy both.

HoDeDo
08-28-2011, 10:30 PM
Yeah that pit will always be a keeper. I have been itching for a new cooker though, the three high on the list are spicewine, komodo kamado and the yoder 640 pellet smoker (yes, all very different).

I have been playing with one for several months now.. (a YS640), so we'll have to talk, or you can play with it at the Royal if you like.

HoDeDo
08-28-2011, 11:34 PM
Buy both.

Buy that used medium Spice for $1500, and get a used FEC, too... and you will be set.

Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Jay will even paint it TEAL for you... Just look at Stith's. You can't argue with the food off of either one.

For me, weight was the biggest issue. The FEC (with a wider base under it after some mods) is lighter/easier to move up and down into my Toy Hauler. You will find winners cooking on both.

So I agree with Todd, Buy both!!

CBQ
08-29-2011, 11:33 AM
Buy both.

We use an FEC and a Backwoods. Why decide when you can buy more toys? :becky:

Plowboy
08-29-2011, 07:06 PM
We use an FEC and a Backwoods. Why decide when you can buy more toys? :becky:

Just saying.

Jeff_in_KC
08-29-2011, 09:00 PM
FE is much easier to clean. If you argue that, you are just looking to argue....As usual!

Is that right? At least I've always held my opinion of you to myself. Maybe I shouldn't.