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woodburner
08-21-2013, 09:39 PM
I've been competing in a few local contest and I've been watching who's making it to the winners circle, and around KC area there's hardly any cookers other than the stick burners consistently winning. I seldom see a "bullet" cooker or a "drum" cooker in the top 10 in calls and I can't remember a G.C. So question is what cooker or type of cooker wins the most, or has most top calls?. Yes I know this is a loaded question, its more than a cooker the cook has to cook but.... Just asking what others see, or think.

Thanks

MilitantSquatter
08-21-2013, 09:48 PM
OK, taking the cook's skills, and potential regionality influence out of the equation...

What is the % breakout you see of the various cooker types ?

Would it also be fair to assume that newer cooks or less competitive cooks may often have less costly and/or less sizeable pits for logistical reasons ?

woodburner
08-21-2013, 10:02 PM
Yes that would probably be the best way to approach this thought, but I'm only able to be at a few comps and was looking for what going on outside my viewing area, here in K.C. The big guys have Jambo,s or other " higher end " offsets. Now there is always a fair share of drums and bullet styles cooking, but "I" don't recall big time wins from them. so what are others seeing?

mrbill
08-21-2013, 10:16 PM
Harry Soo of "Slap Yo Daddy" uses WSM's w/ECU's and does well. I can't remember where I saw or read it, but I know a high end competitor mentioned that even w/in the governing bodies, preferences can vary based on region. so what wins at one comp may not even get you a call at another even w/in the same governing body.

MikeJ65
08-21-2013, 10:19 PM
I think if you research it a bit further, you will find that many of the teams cooking on Jambos were winning before they bought them.

Looking at it another way, someone who has $50K invested in smokers and a comp trailer is probably more serious, cooking more comps, spending more on meats, etc. than someone who showed up with a couple of UDS and a pop-up in the back of a pickup. If you switched smokers with the best teams, they would still beat you (and me).

gettinbasted
08-21-2013, 10:25 PM
Smokin' Guns - drums
The Smoking Hills - WSM
Burntfinger - Rebel
Shake N Bake - Gateway Drums
Butcher - FEC

Just off the top of my head. No doubt that Jambos win, but you don't drop the dime on a Jambo without being a top of the line competitor first.

ssbbqguy
08-21-2013, 10:39 PM
There are many people using drums/barrels with much success. KC Can Crew comes to mind real quick for some. I've been selling my products to many known cooks this year, it's wsms for Harry Soo, and so on. There are many types of cookers winning, and will continue to be that way. There is more great cooks now than ever before, but the best ones can cook on anything. That's one thing I love about competing is the ability to take my products and compete against anything next to us pit wise. Glad it's that way and not mandated more somehow. Steve.

Bubba
08-22-2013, 02:37 AM
American Royal Grand Champion = drum cookers

Lake Dogs
08-22-2013, 07:16 AM
wood, you can win with high end smoker, and with low end smokers. The winners, particularly those who do so with some consistency, do it because they're just ****ed good at what they do. Choose a smoker that fits your style and what you want. If you want sleep, look to the forget-it cabinet smokers. If you enjoy tinkering with fire, get an offset. If you dont mind some fire tinkering, on a small budget, need to travel "light", look at WSM's. etc.

I didnt GC but I RGC'd an early competition using a small brinkmann smoker and 2 weber grills against 42 teams having every kind of smoker on earth. This was TINY, on a TINY budget. I did that well because I knew what to do, knew how to do it, worked by *** off, and got just a tad lucky. Same for every competition; for every winner.

Outnumbered
08-22-2013, 07:30 AM
I believe there is a correlation, but its a chicken or egg thing. Some of those better cooks that cook on Jambos say they are better with a Jambo. When they own several of them and keep winning, there is likely something to that. But they were pretty darned good to begin with. I have one GC, several calls and just won ribs this weekend at Excelsior Springs with drums. Dont ask about the other categories, however.

Outnumbered
08-22-2013, 07:47 AM
Smokin' Guns - drums
The Smoking Hills - WSM
Burntfinger - Rebel
Shake N Bake - Gateway Drums
Butcher - FEC

Just off the top of my head. No doubt that Jambos win, but you don't drop the dime on a Jambo without being a top of the line competitor first.

You also forgot Gettin' Basted does pretty well cooking on drums... :-o

SCSmoke
08-22-2013, 08:59 AM
I don't know the exact count of Jambo's that were at the Sam's regional in Rockford but the BBQSuperstore.com beat them all with his drums. Just sayin:noidea:

columbia1
08-22-2013, 09:39 AM
Those Mak's are doing really good also!!

ModelMaker
08-22-2013, 12:37 PM
5 or 6 years ago there was a young kid cooking on Weber Bullets and started making quite a name for himself. The better they got the better equipment they bought.
Now he has a custom Jambo sitting on the back proch of his custom trailer and is still kickin ass and takin names.
BIG T'Z Q CRU.
Same time frame, same start on equipment, same rise to fame, different kid.
Luckys Q.
SWINE ASSASSINS.
TIPPYCANOE BBQ CREW
Now that's just a small handfull of the teams here in Iowa!

They say it time after time, it's the cook, not the cooker
Ed

AZScott
08-22-2013, 12:46 PM
Yep. Almost all, actually all, start with drums, wsm's, backwoods, FEC's etc. When you started busting out GC's and RGC's this goes from a money losing hobby to a money making hobby. For tax purposes that smoker, toy hauler, etc are a business expense for many.

Alexa RnQ
08-22-2013, 01:10 PM
23 GCs, 22 RGCs, all on WSMs.

Rub'n Wood BBQ
08-22-2013, 01:53 PM
We cook on a drum and an offset stick burner. Our drum has turned out 5 category top 10's in the last year (a 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) while the stick burner has one (9). I think it comes down to style and skill. Personally, I can maintain temp better with my drum. We even had a large Jacks Old South smoker that we used for one year then when back to making our own drums.

ShencoSmoke
08-22-2013, 03:11 PM
I tend to agree with everyone. We started last year with a homemade stickburner, upgraded to a jambo at the end of the season and our results got worse. I worked my arse off during the offseason, learning more about the pit, working on flavor profile, and absorbing everything I can from others and sites like this. Last 3 comps we have had multiple calls and have been top 10 each comp. Although I love my jambo, the results have been a result of the blood, sweat, and tears and not our equipment.

kwas68
08-22-2013, 05:11 PM
To the teams that have progressed to the pricier pits-
Have you ever done a side by side cook-off with your new pimped-out pit and your old WSM or drum with the same recipes and techniques to compare and contrast between the two? If so, what did you find?

McEvoy AZ
08-22-2013, 05:43 PM
I don't think you can go as far as saying that you can't make a nice walk or get a GC without a high priced stick burner. What I will say is that each pit has its own charicteristics, like some use just sticks will give more smoke at once to the food then a pellet cooker or a smoker that uses charcoal. I think even different sizes/shapes of pits or the amount the pit has been seasoned also give your food a distinct flavor or moisture content. I currently cook all four KCBS meats with four smokers and just for the record at my last comp I used a smoker that I bought brand new in a grocery store for $150 for my chicken category. With this $150 smoker I scored over 177 in points to take 1st in chicken over 9 teams that have had GCs in the last year. Out of all those teams I can think of one that cooks on a jambo, but then again that team, IAB 30 has cooked on many other pits in the last year and has won no matter what pits they have cooked on.

CBQ
08-22-2013, 10:10 PM
The most important thing is to know your cooker, regardless of what it is. I think we could do well on anything, but there would be an adjustment period. Took us about 6 months to really nail the FEC100 after moving from an offset. We changed times, temps, meat locations, and some of our processes to match the cooker.

For example, an Cookshack FEC might seem similar to a Backwoods (both cabinets), but they are very different in how the cook needs to use them. The convection patterns are different, the hot shelves are in different locations, there is more horizontal variation in temp on the FEC vs. the BWS, etc.

kwas68
08-22-2013, 10:26 PM
The consensus is:
It is the cook, not the cooker.
You can win with drums and WSM's.
Teams who win with drums and WSM's have success and then graduate to the more expensive cookers. That is why they seem to win more.

It begs the question. Why? If you've found success with the low cost options, why mess with it - especially at such an exorbitant expense for something like a Jambo? Drums and WSM's are also pretty hassle free cookers. A stick burner is going to be a lot more work.

I'm guessing the answer is that the expensive pits provide an edge, albeit small. That small edge can be the difference if you nail everything else. Then there is always the cool toy factor.

I'm curious what you guys think.

gettinbasted
08-22-2013, 11:11 PM
The consensus is:
It is the cook, not the cooker.
You can win with drums and WSM's.
Teams who win with drums and WSM's have success and then graduate to the more expensive cookers. That is why they seem to win more.

It begs the question. Why? If you've found success with the low cost options, why mess with it - especially at such an exorbitant expense for something like a Jambo? Drums and WSM's are also pretty hassle free cookers. A stick burner is going to be a lot more work.

I'm guessing the answer is that the expensive pits provide an edge, albeit small. That small edge can be the difference if you nail everything else. Then there is always the cool toy factor.

I'm curious what you guys think.

A motor scooter will get you to work, but a corvette will look better doing it.

Wrapped trailers and expensive cookers just look better, plus the sponsors love them!

CBQ
08-23-2013, 09:18 AM
Then there is always the cool toy factor.

I now own 9 grills and smokers, 2 BBQ trailers, and an RV with a garage. There is most certainly a cool toy factor at work. :becky:

In New England, winning teams have all kinds of equipment. Jambo's, FECs, BWS, WSMs all win for the top NE teams. DivaQ (also a top 5 NEBS team - you don't have to live in NE to join NEBS) uses Traegers a lot.

Captain Caveman
08-24-2013, 12:10 AM
We do OK and have never cooked (competition) on a commercially built pit......ever.

Wampus
08-24-2013, 01:18 PM
Personally, I think it's really just preference.
People have those preferences for different reasons.

I only started cooking on the team full time last season.
The season prior, JT was using a CTO and a Stumps.
Last year we started the season with the CTO and it was just a PIA to load, unload, etc. (we only have pickup trucks and flatbed trailers, no box trailers, toy haulers, etc.) Then at one contest the fan wouldn't kick on when we tried to light it in the middle of the night. We had to scramble and borrow tools, and literally perform emergency re-wiring surgery via flashlight at 2 am to find a loose connection, strip wires, etc. That's when we decided no more dependency on power.

JT'd already ordered the Jambo the year prior and when we got it, we loved it.
At home, I cook on drums, a bandera style offset, ECB, BGE, BSK, etc. If I had the choice, I'd always rather cook on the Jambo, not necessarily because it's a better cooker than anything else, but it's what we like and it's what we are used to and prefer.

I know teams that cook on 4 - 22" WSMs, teams that cook on 3 or 4 drums, Backwoods or other cabinet smokers, homemade gravity smokers, Jambos, Langs and even gigantic custom offsets. Some win, some don't. All of em cook on what they do for a reason. THEIR reason.

We didn't get our first GC until this year, on the Jambo. While I don't think it had to do with the fact that it's a Jambo SPECIFICALLY, because that thing cooks the same way every time with little fuss from us or need for adjustments, it allows us to concentrate on the other stuff and THAT is important. It may not matter, but it matters to us. Every team will likely give you specific reasons why they choose to cook on what they do.

jeffturnerjr
08-24-2013, 11:03 PM
I wish their was a link/site that listed winners of top competitions around the nation and what they cooked on, temps, woods they used. Hmmm... who's up for that venture?

JS-TX
08-25-2013, 09:52 AM
Even down here in TX, people win on just about everything - Jambos, Gator pits, homemade offsets, Pitmakers, drums, kettle grills, WSMs... even bubba kegs. :wink:

Alexa RnQ
08-25-2013, 10:54 AM
It begs the question. Why? If you've found success with the low cost options, why mess with it - especially at such an exorbitant expense for something like a Jambo?
One thing I can think of immediately is that setting up, breaking down, and hauling/dumping ash for four WSMs gets old. A trailer mounted cooker might also provide some storage area.

For the foreseeable future, though, we'll just have to do without the glamour.