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View Full Version : Diff in backwoods and pitmaker vaults


jeremy0510
11-13-2012, 02:18 PM
Know this probably has been beat to death but I'm fairly new to this. We are in the market for a new smoker to use at competitions and at home and I thought I had my mind set on a backwoods smoker. I've recently seen the pitmaker vaults and really like them. Are there any real big differences in these brands? I'm a lot closer to the backwoods factory than pitmaker though. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks. Jeremy

Teamfour
11-13-2012, 02:46 PM
Did you read this recent thread?

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=146880

I am not trying to bash Pitmaker here. But, I have never seen that much discussion regarding issues with a Backwoods. Yes I own a BWS, but I also looked at Pitmakers. I then visited a couple of BBQ competitions and found many BWS being used but no Pitmakers (at least at the comps I went to).

Read the link above and also search for BWS issues. I think you will be able to make an informed decision.

Forgot to add: WHO DAT from a former Louisianian.

DawgPhan
11-13-2012, 03:16 PM
isnt that thread just one person who is having problems holding temps. I would imagine that is fairly common with all the smokers are one point or another...uinless you get a kudzu kooker....60% of the time it works every time.

Teamfour
11-13-2012, 03:37 PM
isnt that thread just one person who is having problems holding temps. I would imagine that is fairly common with all the smokers are one point or another...uinless you get a kudzu kooker....60% of the time it works every time.

Yes that specific thread is about one owner. However the additional thread linked to in that post is six pages long and has many other owners lamenting on the temp control issue.

Personally I think the Pitmakers are amazingly constructed. I just decided to go with a BWS based in research and observation.

I can load up my BWS with lump, get the temp to about 20 degrees from target, shut the lower left vent, close the exhaust to about a third, set the guru to target, and voila - it will run at the target steady for hours. Temp recovery after opening the door is about 10 minutes.

Slamdunkpro
11-13-2012, 06:10 PM
My first question would be how you plan on moving it around. Pitmakers are considerably heavier than Backwoods cookers.

WineMaster
11-13-2012, 07:20 PM
The difference ???

Years of experience with a Proven track record and Tons of Awards vs a Pit that is down right sexy.

Smoke Ring
11-14-2012, 12:14 PM
I've cooked on both a Backwoods Competitor and a Pitmaker BBQ Vault. They are both great cookers and you can't go wrong with either one. You see less Pitmakers at contests mainly because they haven't been around that long. I haven't had any temperature control issues. I usually use a Guru but I have cooked without it. In our last 5 contests of the season we won 3 grand championships and one reserve.

The main difference between the two cookers is the method of construction. The Pitmaker is made of 1/8" steel and all seams are welded. The BWS Competitor weighs 350 pounds and the Vault weighs 850. Yes it takes a little longer to get it up to temp because it takes awhile to heat up all that steel. I always use water in the water pan mainly because that is what I was used to with the Backwoods.

DawgPhan
11-14-2012, 12:34 PM
I've cooked on both a Backwoods Competitor and a Pitmaker BBQ Vault. They are both great cookers and you can't go wrong with either one. You see less Pitmakers at contests mainly because they haven't been around that long. I haven't had any temperature control issues. I usually use a Guru but I have cooked without it. In our last 5 contests of the season we won 3 grand championships and one reserve.

The main difference between the two cookers is the method of construction. The Pitmaker is made of 1/8" steel and all seams are welded. The BWS Competitor weighs 350 pounds and the Vault weighs 850. Yes it takes a little longer to get it up to temp because it takes awhile to heat up all that steel. I always use water in the water pan mainly because that is what I was used to with the Backwoods.

thanks for chiming in. I knew you were using one, having great results (no foil even), and probably had very few problems with temps.

SDAR
11-14-2012, 08:48 PM
I have no problems with temp. Right on the money as long as water is in the pan. Love my vault.

jeremy0510
11-15-2012, 12:21 AM
Thanks guys. Didnt know the vaults weighed that much. I havent seen one in person yet but have seen alot of the backwoods. They seem to be very popular. I want it to be portable so backwoods sounds more logical. Walked around at last competition and everybody that had them were really helpful explaining them. Pretty much sold. We've been using a stickburner i had built but the lack of sleep is getting to us. The only problem we seen with someone using a backwoods was one guy who said the door would pop open so he had to watch it carefully but that sounded like a faulty door to me. Wouldve taken it back. But thanks so much for the advice.

boogiesnap
11-15-2012, 08:54 AM
was probably the old style magnetic door. they come with lock latches now. if that thing opens it's cuz someone is crawling in to take a nap!

QTEX
11-18-2012, 02:50 PM
Thanks guys. Didnt know the vaults weighed that much. I havent seen one in person yet but have seen alot of the backwoods. They seem to be very popular. I want it to be portable so backwoods sounds more logical. Walked around at last competition and everybody that had them were really helpful explaining them. Pretty much sold. We've been using a stickburner i had built but the lack of sleep is getting to us. The only problem we seen with someone using a backwoods was one guy who said the door would pop open so he had to watch it carefully but that sounded like a faulty door to me. Wouldve taken it back. But thanks so much for the advice.


If you like the bbq on your stick burner you should have someone build you a charcoal basket or diy if you are able. I built one for my stick burner, works on the same principle as the uprights now, very little air in and out (compared to the normal wide open exhuast on ST's), l load it up with lump or briquets, and a couple of wood chunks too and it will cook all day or night on one load and the bbq is just as good as ever. Just an idea before you go drop a big chunk if you want to try it, it worked for me.