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View Full Version : Which Pit to buy for competition?


ed78esco
08-20-2013, 04:34 PM
I am currently looking to buy a competition pit. I have been looking at the east texas smoker company RK250 which is a 7 foot reverse flow horizontal offset smoker or the pitmaker vault. I like the fact that for the price the east texas smoker is already on a trailer but I also like the reputation behind the pitmaker vault. I am just not sure how to haul the pitmaker vault because I can't afford the trailers that pitmaker mounts there vaults on. Any advice and suggestions are welcome. My max budget is $5,000.

Eddie

ribsrdone
08-20-2013, 05:53 PM
Buy two Yoder YS640 pellet smokers on Competition Carts. Then when you compete you can get some sleep.

Smokin'Butts
08-20-2013, 06:44 PM
For $5,000 you could get you a real nice BWS and a simple enclosed trailer to haul it in.

MattG
08-20-2013, 08:17 PM
Stump Stretch is a great choice

Podge
08-20-2013, 08:29 PM
..or you can just use the search.. this question is asked at least once a month.

MilitantSquatter
08-20-2013, 08:48 PM
A cooker on a trailer under $5K is great.. but only if you are going to enjoy cooking on it.

The two cookers noted are practically at opposite ends of the spectrum as far as requirements, characteristics etc.

figure out what kind of pit you really want to cook on first

Lake Dogs
08-20-2013, 08:50 PM
Buy the WINNING pit. If you cant get that one (the one that wins every time), I suggest getting the one that suits your cooking style and preference best.

CivilWarBBQ
08-20-2013, 09:02 PM
For that money you could buy a used cargo trailer off Craigslist and roll on a nice SouthernQ gravity feed. A small cargo trailer is fully depreciated at around $2,000, so as long as you take care of it you should be able to resell it for what you paid for it in a year or two when you are ready for something fancier.

CBQ
08-20-2013, 11:52 PM
:popcorn:

Many, many choices in pits for that budget. For the two you are looking at, the Pitmaker is an insulated cooker. It will use less fuel, and you will get more sleep vs. the East Texas Smoker.

(...or get a Battle Box (http://www.mainemachining.com/store/WsDefault.asp?Cat=HumphreyPits) for $1500, and have plenty of cash for your trailer - these guys are new in the pit business (but been refurbishing other brands for years), which is why they are cheaper and you haven't heard of them, but they are rapidly gaining a great reputation in NEBSland)

Smokin Hoggz
08-21-2013, 06:02 AM
:popcorn:

Many, many choices in pits for that budget. For the two you are looking at, the Pitmaker is an insulated cooker. It will use less fuel, and you will get more sleep vs. the East Texas Smoker.

(...or get a Battle Box (http://www.mainemachining.com/store/WsDefault.asp?Cat=HumphreyPits) for $1500, and have plenty of cash for your trailer - these guys are new in the pit business (but been refurbishing other brands for years), which is why they are cheaper and you haven't heard of them, but they are rapidly gaining a great reputation in NEBSland)

Yes, I also agree with the Battle Box (http://www.mainemachining.com/store/WsDefault.asp?Cat=HumphreyPits). The Humphrey's have been refurbishing all models of cookers for a few years now(they rebuilt my BWS) I just got my new Battle box last week, and I broke it in this past weekend at a contest. We ended up winning the contest!!!! I fired it up at 9:30 sat morning and it burned for 12hrs @ 250. I'd say it's a pretty tight cooker!!!

KingRanch450
08-21-2013, 06:35 AM
I've been trying to decide between a Pitmaker Safe and a BWS Fatboy. Thanks to those that posted about the Battle Box....I have some more investigating to do!

smokinit
08-21-2013, 12:52 PM
Humphrey all the way!!

do0d
08-21-2013, 01:34 PM
How much meat are you guys fitting on the battle box for a KCBS comp?

EDIT: found this link, but still interested in comments.
http://www.mainemachining.com/store/WsAncillary.asp?ID=10

smokinit
08-21-2013, 01:38 PM
How much meat are you guys fitting on the battle box for a KCBS comp?

I just use it as my Brisket cooker and for setting glazes with the slide out water pan. I know a few do an entire comp on it they should chime in here when they see it.

Sauced!
08-21-2013, 03:20 PM
..or you can just use the search.. this question is asked at least once a month.

This x10

Smokin Hoggz
08-21-2013, 03:43 PM
How much meat are you guys fitting on the battle box for a KCBS comp?

EDIT: found this link, but still interested in comments.
http://www.mainemachining.com/store/WsAncillary.asp?ID=10

I cooked my butts, brisket and chicken on it!!

Cast Iron Chef
08-21-2013, 03:50 PM
For what's it's worth we have a team in Nevada that has an East Texas Smoker reverse flow and he really loves it. There is also a team in Utah that is sponsored by them and they have done very well. If that is the smoker you want I think you will be happy with it. I have never cooked with it but have sen it in action. Pretty well built.

theBBQspecialist
08-21-2013, 06:46 PM
If you are looking for portability and to cook an entire comp, I suggest a Humphrey's BB'Cube. (12 rack locations) and 20" wide x 24" deep. Lots of room in a compact cooker. The Battle Box is a solid cooker! It pulls in awesome results at the comps.... Don't just take my word for it..... Read our reviews here on the brethern, and online. Our Customer Service is rated #1 and our craftsmanship top notch!

Know Bull
08-22-2013, 03:20 PM
The age old question is which pit to buy. Don't worry, you will buy a few more after this.

First thing is what other use will you put the cooker to? Will you cater? Competition only? Ease of loading and unloading is a BIG concern.

I have never cooked on a reverse flow, but having talked to successful cooks that use Langs, they really like the pits but have 2 consistent complaints. If you want to cook hot and fast, then the baffle plate at the bottom of the cooking chamber gets VERY hot. They feel that the grease dripping down gives them an acrid smoke in the cooker when the temperature is too high. While you can cook hot and fast, the reverse flow is not the pit of choice for doing so. I have yet to see anyone use the add on smoke chambers for actual smoking. They get far more use as a warming and holding bin. And of course, complaint #2 is that they are tending the fire all night.

Water smokers (The Vault, Backwoods, etc.) are easy to operate, compact, and you can get several hours of sleep between having to tend the fire. They are heavy, so think about how you will load and unload. I really like my Backwoods. I can cook an entire KCBS contest on my Backwoods Gater and only have to manage one fire and load one cooker. I suggest if you go this route that you get upgraded insulation (at least 2 inches). First time it rains on you, you will be glad you have it. The rain will not sap all of the heat out of the well insulated pit. Water smokers are most comfortable cooking at 225 to 250 degrees. While you can cook hotter than that, fuel usage jumps way up, and you will start generating excess steam in the pit. I think there are significant drawbacks to cooking at high temps in a water smoker.

I have no experience with gravity feeds (e.g. Stumps); although very successful teams that appreciate their sleep brag about them.

A Fast Eddies FEC100 is also in your budget. Some people love pellet cookers, some hate. I just bought one, and have not yet mastered it. But I certainly appreciate the set it and forget it while I catch some Zs at night. If you intend to cater, this may be a good choice. It will hold 80 to 100 pounds of meat, and you will not ruin the large load when you have other things to prepare and cannot baby sit the cooker. Pellet cookers do not seem to impart as much smoke flavor, but there are some tricks to help the smoke. I prefer the FEC to the Yoder and Traeger. The FEC is very well insulated. It burns less pellets and has a more even heat than the cheaper brands. And unlike a Traeger, it is American made. You are buying a restaurant quality tool. They are already on their own cart, so if you have a trailer with a ramp you can just roll it in and out with no additional tools or expense.

Jambo is out of your budget. Not very practical for catering either.

The good cooks can be successful on anything. Someone said buy the winning cooker.... that part is completely up to you. And you can win with any of them. Buy the one that best suits YOUR cooking style.

ed78esco
08-22-2013, 07:32 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I guess I have some decision making..

buttburnersbbq
08-22-2013, 07:43 PM
Need to buy a Reverse Flow smoker . You have to monitor your fire more but at end results you will be pleased .