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Pappy Q
06-18-2013, 06:03 AM
For those of you using this smoker for competitions, do you always use a Guru? Curious as to how well the smoker works without one. Any input appreciated.

9Q1
06-18-2013, 06:35 AM
Yes, I have both a Competitor and a Party. I do have a guru on the Competitor but have found that you really don't need it if you want to smoke around the 250 degree mark. It does depend on how much fuel you have in the fire (lump or brickettes) and how you manage the dampers. Personally, I don't like my Competitor and tend to cook more on the Party. Would gladly let it go for another model or something totally different --- but that's a different story.

Cuz
06-18-2013, 06:36 AM
i have a backwoods "fatboy" and have not bought into that you have to use a guru, it is very easy in maintaining a constant temp in these cookers without it. i have found that once fire is going, i can leave just one side cracked app 1/2" for 225 degrees, or open to around 3/4-1" for 250 degrees,

Shiz-Nit
06-18-2013, 07:12 AM
I have the BW compeditor and use it for comps and catering. She is rock solid on temps and yes I could get by without using a guru if needed and feel I could put out a winning product.
BUT I do use the guru just so I can feel a little more at ease and get a little more sleep at night. Since I compete mostly by myself with no help at all.

fnbish
06-18-2013, 07:48 AM
I got my G2 Party and Chubby at the beginning of the year and got a great deal on a used cyberq 2 to control both of them. I didn't buy the backwoods attachments right away so I made sure to learn how to run the pits without the Cyberq.

The learning curve was short as the pits do run very well on their own so it could certainly be done at a competition. But I'm also all for controlling all the variables that I can. So I use the cyberq to help run the pits.

Dragline
06-18-2013, 08:12 AM
Pappy, I have 2 Fatboys and I use the Guru to run both, having said that I learned by advise from a very good friend how to control the pits without; you never know when Murphy will show up. They are very easy to maintain temp no matter what that temp is that you are wanting to maintain, I used the Guru as stated above for an insurance of a constant temp for competition, but at home for family gatherings (for me) I found it more enjoyable to go old school. IMHO

Kave Dweller
06-18-2013, 08:12 AM
I have a party, it runs fine without the guru as long as you "walk" it up to temp. If you feed it too much air and get it too fast too quick, it's not easy to get it back down. 250 does seem to be its sweet spot, pretty easy to cook at that temp.

billm
06-18-2013, 08:46 AM
never used one on my Party. Once I extended the charcoal basket it burns all night and stays at a solid 250 or so. I just never saw the need

indianagriller
06-18-2013, 11:04 AM
For those of you using this smoker for competitions, do you always use a Guru? Curious as to how well the smoker works without one. Any input appreciated.

Say it aint so Pappy...:tsk:

dhuffjr
06-18-2013, 12:24 PM
Say it aint so Pappy...:tsk:
He is going to the square side....I received similar comments when I added the Party to our Egg arsenal. :mrgreen:

Pappy Q
06-18-2013, 07:24 PM
Say it aint so Pappy...:tsk:

Could be......sleep becomes more important when you're a senior citizen. We'll see.

indianagriller
06-18-2013, 08:02 PM
Well I guess you do what you gotta do... But I call dibs on the enclosed if it goes up for sale. Lol

Lippy
06-19-2013, 05:56 AM
There is this guy I know, I think he won the Jack with a Backwoods. I think he uses a guru. I just can't think of his name.

New Pal Frank
06-19-2013, 05:57 AM
Come on over Pappy. we will be glad to have you in the family.

Big George's BBQ
06-19-2013, 10:23 AM
There is this guy I know, I think he won the Jack with a Backwoods. I think he uses a guru. I just can't think of his name.


Name is Chris Hart team IQUE and he did it on a Fatboy Now he uses a Jambo
I am with a team that uses a Guru on the BW Competitor- works great

KC_Bobby
06-19-2013, 10:36 AM
Yes, I have both a Competitor and a Party. I do have a guru on the Competitor but have found that you really don't need it if you want to smoke around the 250 degree mark. It does depend on how much fuel you have in the fire (lump or brickettes) and how you manage the dampers. Personally, I don't like my Competitor and tend to cook more on the Party. Would gladly let it go for another model or something totally different --- but that's a different story.

I have a party, it runs fine without the guru as long as you "walk" it up to temp. If you feed it too much air and get it too fast too quick, it's not easy to get it back down. 250 does seem to be its sweet spot, pretty easy to cook at that temp.

We used a Competitor for 5 years - generally with a Guru but not always. I don't feel we needed the guru, but it was peace of mind while sleeping. Every unit will be slightly different and may change as gaskets and doors wear. Mine started out running at 235 naturally, worked it's way up to 250 then I changed the firebox gasket and it went back down to 225 without using the guru and only air from the guru door.

As mentioned in the 2nd comment above, walking it up slowly definitely helped me too. By letting it get up to temp slowly it was easier to maintain the temp I wanted. Those times I needed to get it humming quickly, it was often a challenge to keep it under 250 because of the amount of coal that would get going. I preferred to let the Competitor get up to temp naturally before turning on the guru to force air in. When possible for comps, I liked to get it going 2-3 hours before putting meat on. When I was able to do that, it was practically maintenance free outside of refilling the coal once and some water from time to time.

Speaking of water, the Competitor holds about 5 gallons - adding more than 1.5-2 gallons at a time can also affect the temp in a big way. Which sucked at times but was also a savior from time to time. Temp running away? No prob, drain some and add in cold (repeat as needed).

Loved that smoker, but was a pain to load in the toyhauler and we were only using for one meat. I'd like to find a party or extended party.

indianagriller
06-19-2013, 10:51 AM
Name is Chris Hart team IQUE and he did it on a Fatboy Now he uses a Jambo
I am with a team that uses a Guru on the BW Competitor- works great


Actually Lippy is referencing Pappy Q's neighbor Podge who won the Jack in 07 i think with only a fatboy. Hart did as well, but it was more of an inside joke i think. :wacko:

Kave Dweller
06-19-2013, 12:37 PM
Loved that smoker, but was a pain to load in the toyhauler and we were only using for one meat. I'd like to find a party or extended party.[/QUOTE]

Party isn't bad, we throw it on a dolly and can throw it in the back of trucks. Its pretty much just our rib cooker.

Scottie
06-19-2013, 01:29 PM
Name is Chris Hart team IQUE and he did it on a Fatboy Now he uses a Jambo
I am with a team that uses a Guru on the BW Competitor- works great



Huh. I would have guessed the Jambo.

Podge won on the" Little Cooker that did"...

ique
06-19-2013, 02:03 PM
Name is Chris Hart team IQUE and he did it on a Fatboy Now he uses a Jambo
I am with a team that uses a Guru on the BW Competitor- works great

For that Jack cook I was using the Jambo. Which by the way may be brought out of retirement this weekend (renovation includes a guru mount)

I've owned a variety of backwoods smokers and it is perfectly suited to a guru. While you can certainly run the backwoods without, its nice to have a babysitter.

Wampus
06-19-2013, 05:43 PM
Could be......sleep becomes more important when you're a senior citizen. We'll see.

WHAAAAAAAT?

Sleep's for the OFF SEASON Pappy! :wink: :becky:


You looked at the Vault by Pitmakers yet?
We've been looking at the Vault and other comparable cabinet smokers. Stumps, CTO, etc? More for vending than comps, but .......the Vault's pretty sweet and it's looking like it'll have more room than the others.

Pappy Q
06-19-2013, 06:55 PM
WHAAAAAAAT?

Sleep's for the OFF SEASON Pappy! :wink: :becky:


You looked at the Vault by Pitmakers yet?
We've been looking at the Vault and other comparable cabinet smokers. Stumps, CTO, etc? More for vending than comps, but .......the Vault's pretty sweet and it's looking like it'll have more room than the others.

Lack of sleep leads to me making stupid mistakes, so exploring options. I've looked at many options and keep going to Backwoods. I swore I would never do it but I guess the lesson is to never say never.

KC_Bobby
06-19-2013, 09:10 PM
Party isn't bad, we throw it on a dolly and can throw it in the back of trucks. Its pretty much just our rib cooker.

Yep had a Party before the Competitor. It would also fit in my truckbed even while towing the fifth wheel if needed. And I still have the dolly I bought for it.:grin:

smokeisgood
06-20-2013, 07:24 AM
Lack of sleep leads to me making stupid mistakes, so exploring options. I've looked at many options and keep going to Backwoods. I swore I would never do it but I guess the lesson is to never say never.
If you can get it into your hauler, I would second looking at a vault. I saw them in various phases of construction while picking up the sniper, and was very impressed. My next move will be to order a vault on a trailer, which they said they could add the existing sniper to......of course, you know, after I win the lottery....

New Pal Frank
06-20-2013, 09:04 AM
The Vault may be a great cooker, but at 900+ lbs,I dont see it as being a cooker to load & unload from a toyhauler. Competitor is around 300 lbs.

indianagriller
06-20-2013, 09:45 AM
Frank, just pick it up... its easy... just like i did you at jeffersonville...

New Pal Frank
06-20-2013, 10:07 AM
JT, I would like to return the Brotherly love, but I would need a little help from Wampus.

jmoney7269
06-20-2013, 10:18 AM
WHAAAAAAAT?

Sleep's for the OFF SEASON Pappy! :wink: :becky:


You looked at the Vault by Pitmakers yet?
We've been looking at the Vault and other comparable cabinet smokers. Stumps, CTO, etc? More for vending than comps, but .......the Vault's pretty sweet and it's looking like it'll have more room than the others.

Actually the CTO (2809") has more space than the vault (2750"). For vending your way better off with a CTO IMO. We decided to go with the vault because I only wanted to fill the coal basket once at comps.

indianagriller
06-20-2013, 10:29 AM
Actually the CTO (2809") has more space than the vault (2750"). For vending your way better off with a CTO IMO. We decided to go with the vault because I only wanted to fill the coal basket once at comps.

We have a CTO, and the total usable space on it is less, the top rack will fry whatever you have on it. Not to mention the dependability on both propane and electricity to run. its not fun trying to bring it up to temp with coals as it chews through the coal with a full load. The design may have changed with newer models but they are also very hard to load and unload. A Vault on a trailer ( in our case) will be easier to use and will also serve as an attention getter and show piece while vending. We have the Jambo to use at comps.

jrbBBQ
06-20-2013, 03:36 PM
The new version of the CTO's don't have near the hot spot that they used to, but they are a PIA to load and unload. I love mine, but I'll be scouting for help tomorrow at Indy to help unload it. I really wish I had it mounted on a porch trailer, that would be perfect, and what's prettier than shiny stainless steel.

Pappy Q
06-20-2013, 03:47 PM
The Vault may be a great cooker, but at 900+ lbs,I dont see it as being a cooker to load & unload from a toyhauler. Competitor is around 300 lbs.

The weight of the vault is the negative for me.

sitnfat
06-20-2013, 04:06 PM
If sleep is the problem just cook hotter :biggrin1: I got rid of my Stumps and brought Lena out of retirement:boxing: