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View Full Version : Stick Burners vs. Set-it and Forget-its


RubMeTender
12-21-2009, 08:52 AM
While I don't think there should be point disparities in competition based on what type of smoker you use, should their be awards based on smoker class?

I understand the deal with pellet smokers, gurus, and stokers and all that. It's nice to have the convenience.

That being said, do you think cooking quality competition bbq on a stick burner requires a higher skill set?

Ron_L
12-21-2009, 09:05 AM
I don't know it it does or doesn't require a higher skill set. I've cooked on both but I chose a pellet cooker because I like the results and I can get a little sleep. At my age sleep is important :rolleyes:.

But, I guess I really don't understand this whole debate. Everyone cooking competitions had a choice of cookers. No one is forcing anyone to cook on a particular type of cooker. I chose a pellet cooker, the guy next to me chose an offset and the guy next to him chose a gravity feed. Each cook made his or her choice based on their style and preferences. Unless someone is violating the rules, why does it matter what someone else chose as long as you are happy with your choice?

BigJimsBBQ
12-21-2009, 09:08 AM
Higher Skill of Fire Control and Chamber Temp Maintenance = Yes

pat
12-21-2009, 09:11 AM
No!!

Plowboy
12-21-2009, 09:19 AM
What if I cook on both? What does that mean?

BBQchef33
12-21-2009, 09:21 AM
Higher skill set? No. Different or Additional Skill? Yes.

I see it this way. If someone has ONLY used an automated pit(thermostatically controlled anything, guru, stoker, digi, FE), and is then put in front of a stickburner with a pile of logs, i think they should anticipate a learning curve as they learn the characteristic of the pit. Conversly, afters years on stickburners, I had to learn a new skill set when I got the Fast Eddy and also when i started using the stoker on the spicewine. Although there are overlaps, any genre of pit will have its own skillset.

BigJimsBBQ
12-21-2009, 09:21 AM
But, I guess I really don't understand this whole debate. Everyone cooking competitions had a choice of cookers. No one is forcing anyone to cook on a particular type of cooker.

Ron,

I am guilty of starting the debate this weekend. I started debate to help justify opening the sanctioned events to allow LP Gas cookers. It is totally illogical to still maintain there is a "un-fairness" of gassers that was once true when thier are Charcoal cooker's technology are set and come back in 12 hours now.

I agree no difference in Log Burner / Pellet Feed / Gravity Feed / Guru Controled / etc. Cookers. I also believe for this reason thier is no difference for gas cookers anymore.

That is the point ... allow gas be added to all sanctioning bodies. This will, IMHO, bring Team counts up in both Backyard and Pro catagories and raise competition and prize money.

Buster Dog BBQ
12-21-2009, 09:22 AM
It's already turning into a long offseason.

Heavenly Hog
12-21-2009, 09:22 AM
This was in response to the latter posts on the thread "BBQ Pitmasters = Bigger Comps". There was some discussion about stick burners being in a class of their own. Since I cook on one I'm biased. There's no doubt they require much more work and skill than a set-it and forget-it style cooker. There are too many variables in play when cooking on a stick burner that can cause things to go wrong (sleep deprivation, wood blend, over smoking, temp maintenance, etc....) To me it's much more fun and rewarding to work at it all night and achieve success!

Ron_L
12-21-2009, 09:30 AM
Ron,

I am guilty of starting the debate this weekend.

You didn't start it, Jim. We've been debating this for years. Your thread and the Pit Masters thread just brought ti up again :-D

This was in response to the latter posts on the thread "BBQ Pitmasters = Bigger Comps". There was some discussion about stick burners being in a class of their own. Since I cook on one I'm biased. There's no doubt they require much more work and skill than a set-it and forget-it style cooker. There are too many variables in play when cooking on a stick burner that can cause things to go wrong (sleep deprivation, wood blend, over smoking, temp maintenance, etc....) To me it's much more fun and rewarding to work at it all night and achieve success!

I think you'll get some argument about more skill. Different, certainly. But my point is that you made the choice to use a stick burner. No one held a gun to your head and told you that you had to do it. You made the choice knowing that the guy you are competing against may have made a different choice. Why should rules be changed or new categories be created simply because cooks exercised their right to choose their cooker of preference?

RubMeTender
12-21-2009, 09:33 AM
I agree no difference in Log Burner / Pellet Feed / Gravity Feed / Guru Controled / etc. Cookers. I also believe for this reason thier is no difference for gas cookers anymore.



How can you possibly compare a standard log burner to a gravity or pellet feed smoker? I agree with you that some of the pellet feed and guru style controlled smokers arent much different than gas, but log burners arent even in the discussion as far as those being the same.

Ford
12-21-2009, 09:33 AM
While I don't think there should be point disparities in competition based on what type of smoker you use, should their be awards based on smoker class?

I understand the deal with pellet smokers, gurus, and stokers and all that. It's nice to have the convenience.

That being said, do you think cooking quality competition bbq on a stick burner requires a higher skill set?
There are stick burning pits that are as easy to use as Pellet Cookers. It's all in the quality of the equipment. Why do stick burners think it's hard to build and maintain a fire? You either know how or you spend all the time fussing with it.

Note I started doing Q on a bullet, went to a $200 brinkman offset then to a small mobile Klose then to a big Klose before I went to pellets. It's easy to maintain temps if you practice and know your equipment.

BigJimsBBQ
12-21-2009, 09:39 AM
How can you possibly compare a standard log burner to a gravity or pellet feed smoker? I agree with you that some of the pellet feed and guru style controlled smokers arent much different than gas, but log burners arent even in the discussion as far as those being the same.

Dan,

I compete on a Lang Model 84 stick burner only, so I know the technical difference. What I was trying to say is forget the special catagories, just allow LP gas as technology is at the point now to where it is no longer logical to band them in the Sanctioned events.

moocow
12-21-2009, 09:41 AM
Not a higher skill set, just a lot more patience! That's why I got rid of my stick burner. Don't get me wrong though, I sure wish I had her back. :cry:I see a new one in my future though. Lets just settle this by saying your not a real bbq cook til you can run them all!:lol:

Bigmista
12-21-2009, 09:42 AM
I really don't care what the guy next to me is cooking on. The contest is who makes the best tasting BBQ, not what cooker requires the most skill. If a guy can get great tasting Que out of a pellet cooker or an LP assisted cooker, more power to them.

Heavenly Hog
12-21-2009, 09:43 AM
It's not a discussion of it being hard or easy, we all know our cookers. Stick burners just require much more work especially when it's 30 degrees out! It's all personal preference. Some like to stay up all night and drink their faces off, some like to put the meat on and get a good night's rest! I'm young so I prefer the first option!

Heavenly Hog
12-21-2009, 09:52 AM
Dan,

I compete on a Lang Model 84 stick burner only, so I know the technical difference. What I was trying to say is forget the special catagories, just allow LP gas as technology is at the point now to where it is no longer logical to band them in the Sanctioned events.


The only gas that should be allowed at comps is the gas that comes out of our arses after eating all that delicious meat!

Muzzlebrake
12-21-2009, 09:56 AM
There are stick burning pits that are as easy to use as Pellet Cookers. It's all in the quality of the equipment.

BINGO! keeping a good clean fire in a Chargriller, or a Bandera is going to take much more work than a Jambo, Klose, Lang or the other quality stickburners. Is it more skill? I don't think so, but like some of the others have said it is a different skill.

One other thing to consider here is that fire control is not the only reason that pellet cookers are popular. In my case, I bought one not only for the ease of use while cooking but also because of the ease in cleaning, maintaining and transporting. I can spend 10 minutes cleaning to make my cooker look brand new and then put it in the back of my pickup by myself with ease. It takes up little space in the garage when not in use and it is one less thing that the NY DMV makes me pay for.

TN_BBQ
12-21-2009, 09:57 AM
Anybody got any figures on the financial issues of local competitions? Seems I've heard terms like "struggling" and "postponed."

Stands to reason if some of these comps are "struggling" they would want to be more inclusionary by allowing all sorts of cookers rather than try to exclude certain types.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe more stick burners would enter if they knew pellet poopers and the like weren't going to be there and the comps would grow like crazy.

ZILLA
12-21-2009, 09:57 AM
Higher skill set? No. Different or Additional Skill? Yes.

I see it this way. If someone has ONLY used an automated pit(thermostatically controlled anything, guru, stoker, digi, FE), and is then put in front of a stickburner with a pile of logs, i think they should anticipate a learning curve as they learn the characteristic of the pit. Conversly, afters years on stickburners, I had to learn a new skill set when I got the Fast Eddy and also when i started using the stoker on the spicewine. Although there are overlaps, any genre of pit will have its own skillset.

I'll second this.

The Giggler
12-21-2009, 10:00 AM
Yeah - the comp season ended a couple weeks ago, and its not even January....

There are pros and cons to every type of cooker out there, all require knowledge of their function and use.

To the guys saying pellet/thermocouple controlled pits are easy: Ever see a team scrambling to assemble the parts for an on-the-fly fix in the wee hours of the night at a comp? How about a power failure or interuption? Ever hear the backup generator sputtering because it is running out of gasoline? What about forgetting to top off the pellet box before turning in, and running it dry? Things can happen, and do.

No matter what type of cooker or method you are using, there is not one morally superior cooker or way. It all takes skill to bring out the best. No doubt, the debate will continue.

For the record, I've worked with both, each with a learning curve.

RubMeTender
12-21-2009, 10:00 AM
I understand it's a personal choice as to which kind you purchase, but until someone comes up with a log feeder for a stick smoker you cant compare them to any other type.

I think if you add gas, then you have to open it to every source of heat. Why not electric coils? How about a slow cooker? Or a convection oven?

NotleyQue
12-21-2009, 10:16 AM
More skill NO...more work YES.
If you are speakig totally on purity why not go 100%...raise your own animals, then butcher them yourself before you cook them on your stickburner.

The skill is in knowing when the piece of meat you are cooking is done, the skill is knowing what spice blends work perfectly with that piece of meat, the skill is knowing what sauce to use that will compliment the cut of meat, and the mix of spices.

Is it a purist mentality TOTALLY. Just like in the surfing world its Longboarderds vs Shortboarders.

In the end its just BBQ, and we all really need to start taking ourselves alot less serious.

Lake Dogs
12-21-2009, 10:23 AM
Perhaps we need a cook naked category.

Alexa RnQ
12-21-2009, 10:27 AM
Perhaps we need a cook naked category.
I am SO coming to spectate at THAT comp!

Heavenly Hog
12-21-2009, 10:30 AM
Perhaps we need a cook naked category.

Gross....I don't like hair in my food.

Lake Dogs
12-21-2009, 10:30 AM
I am SO coming to spectate at THAT comp!

CAREFUL fire maintenance/control would be a MUST, wouldn't 'ya think?

RubMeTender
12-21-2009, 10:31 AM
Gross....I don't like hair in my food.

Thats vile. But agreed.

Alexa RnQ
12-21-2009, 10:32 AM
CAREFUL fire maintenance/control would be a MUST, wouldn't 'ya think?
Either that, or shaving a firebreak...

Heavenly Hog
12-21-2009, 10:35 AM
Either that, or shaving a firebreak...

I just threw up in my mouth. Beer guts and hair.

Ron_L
12-21-2009, 10:40 AM
I understand it's a personal choice as to which kind you purchase, but until someone comes up with a log feeder for a stick smoker you cant compare them to any other type.

There is a very successful cook who uses a stick burner with an insulated firebox and cook chamber and controls it with a Guru. he can go 6+ hours without adding fuel. That's pretty close :-D

KC_Bobby
12-21-2009, 10:41 AM
I think I read somewhere that this year's team of the year won more comps on a stick burner then he did on his FEs.

Things go wrong with non-stick burners. Either Don or I are generally up a lot of the night checking/maintaining on our smokers.

We had a season long pellet issue with our CS. First we thought it was the paddle wheel, then we though it was the brand of pellets. Come to find out it was an airflow issue due to something we altered on the smoker. So, many of these comps were pushing pellets into the burn pit all night long. Each time opening the smoke chamber door and letting out heat.

The BWS runs easy, like a stick burner - it doesn't have (need) any mechanical parts. But needs a refill of coal and water overnight. I generally run it with a Guru, but sometimes I don't. It's taken a first in pork without the guru hooked up.

Like Ron and others have said, we each have a choice of pits and each pit has pros and cons. While stick burners have to get up a few more times at night, other pit owners have to concern themselves with technical issues.

Lake Dogs
12-21-2009, 10:45 AM
The judging of this could be interesting... Perhaps NOT.

roksmith
12-21-2009, 10:48 AM
Funny how this topic comes up just as I'm about to begin working on next season's smoker.
I'm converting an old Henny Penny stainless steel warmer into a smoker for the back of our trailer. I'm debating with utilizing the blower motors to create a convection smoker, or building the fire box directly under the cabinet and going no-power.
I've been cooking for years on my home-built offset and while I don't mind tending the fire, I kind of like the idea of thermostatically controlled draft fans so I can catch a little shut eye.
Now that I read the posts, I have to consider what heppens when the power goes off in the middle of the night. What used to make me snicker a little as folks scrambled to hook up generators or panic while their temperature dropped, might now put me in the same boat.
I'll have to take that into consideration I guess.

We are considering adding another (no outside power) catergory as sort of a side competition to our event in June. I never thought of it that way, but if it increases interest, I'm all for it..

ZILLA
12-21-2009, 10:51 AM
Having to get up/stay up all night to baby sit an offset pit is a thing of the past. My wake up time has been 5:30am for turn in times from 12:00 noon to 3:30pm. A could probably get away with 6:00am but I too excited to sleep more than that anyway. That "getting some sleep" argument for not using an offset makes no sence to me unless your a died in the wool 18 hr. smoke guys and then it doesn't matter anyway. Give me 8 hours and a tight offset smoker and I'll give you BBQ that can win.

RubMeTender
12-21-2009, 10:57 AM
I think everyone understands that the set it and forget it type smokers can have their issues. Thats clear. At the same time, it would be just weird to hear a true bbq pitmaster saying he might not be able to cook this weekend because Radio Shack didnt have the right connector for his computer controlled smoker and his laptop might not keep his fire going.

JD McGee
12-21-2009, 11:01 AM
While I don't think there should be point disparities in competition based on what type of smoker you use, should their be awards based on smoker class?

I understand the deal with pellet smokers, gurus, and stokers and all that. It's nice to have the convenience.

That being said, do you think cooking quality competition bbq on a stick burner requires a higher skill set?

Not higher...just different...:cool: To me a WSM is a set-it-and-forget-it...:mrgreen:

BigJimsBBQ
12-21-2009, 11:03 AM
All you non-off set smokers are Whimpy, Whimpy, Whimpy. :twisted:

BTW - I am looking at either a Stump/Guru or FEC-100, which is the best and safest cook on the sleep factor. :lol::lol::lol::lol:

Double D's BBQ
12-21-2009, 11:20 AM
There is a very successful cook who uses a stick burner with an insulated firebox and cook chamber and controls it with a Guru. he can go 6+ hours without adding fuel. That's pretty close :-D

Candy Weaver cooks on a pellet fed Jambo pit. It's the only one that I know of. Johnny Trigg calls it a morphodite but then we all know he's Old School!:-D

Divemaster
12-21-2009, 01:17 PM
I've cooked on both... I solidly prefer my Lang. I cook on her not only at the comps but also at home. Yes, I have to tend to her more than I did the popper that I cooked on... Did I have to stay up with her all night? No, not even when it was a windchill of -17*. Why? Because I had figured out what she needed and when she needed it.

Is a popper easier? I think no, there are a bunch of things that can go wrong there too. Is a popper more fun? For me, no. I like my stick burner, but that's just me. Would I get more sleep with a popper? No, I don't think I would.

RubMeTender
12-21-2009, 01:38 PM
Did I have to stay up with her all night? No, not even when it was a windchill of -17*. Why? Because I had figured out what she needed and when she needed it.


Were you smoking something for 1 hour? I have a Lang 84 and dont see how it's possible you could cook all night on it in -17* weather and not add anything to the fire. If thats true, you are by far the best master of fire I've ever seen and my new hero.

BBQchef33
12-21-2009, 01:52 PM
i can run my BYC for 3 hours in single digits at 250. Once the steel is hot, all it needs is a welding blanket, a small fire and good coalbed. So all nighters would mean leave the Nu-temp in the pit, set the low temp alarm to 215, keep split logs on top of the firebox, have a chimney of lump ready to light on the camp burner if needed and get up 2 or 3 times.

Now, since i started using the FE at contests,.. i STILL do not go to sleep and leave it unattended. Just not in my genes. The one time we did that, we forgot to fully load the hopper, then transfered the ribs to hold in the FE and loaded them into a soon to be cold pit.

Divemaster
12-21-2009, 02:12 PM
Were you smoking something for 1 hour? I have a Lang 84 and dont see how it's possible you could cook all night on it in -17* weather and not add anything to the fire. If thats true, you are by far the best master of fire I've ever seen and my new hero.

i can run my BYC for 3 hours in single digits at 250. Once the steel is hot, all it needs is a welding blanket, a small fire and good coalbed. So all nighters would mean leave the Nu-temp in the pit, set the low temp alarm to 215, keep split logs on top of the firebox, have a chimney of lump ready to light on the camp burner if needed and get up 2 or 3 times.

Now, since i started using the FE at contests,.. i STILL do not go to sleep and leave it unattended. Just not in my genes. The one time we did that, we forgot to fully load the hopper, then transfered the ribs to hold in the FE and loaded them into a soon to be cold pit.
The Poobha is not only old but he is also wise!

I have a very thick moving blanket for the Mistress that is used for EVERY cook no matter what the outside temp is, rain or shine. By using this I too get 2 1/2 - 3 hours without having to add additional fuel and I also an generally running within 5 degrees over the whole 60" cooking surface. During the rain, while the blanket may get wet, it is not pulling the heat out of the cooker like if she were just sitting there naked.

As an example, I had put the blanket on last week for my -17* windchill cook... Between when I put it on and when I started the cooker, it snowed 2+ inches. I left the snow on the blanket, started the fire, got the cooker area up to 225*. Even with the heat in the cooking area, it took over 3 hours to melt the snow.

Now the problem I have had is that the cooking area is so well insulated that I have gone out to check the fire (because she hadn't dropped in temp in almost 4 hours) and found I only had a few hot coals left. So now I also set a timer along side my ET-73 just in case.

landarc
12-21-2009, 02:43 PM
So the obvious solution, a competition where all the competitors have to cook on four different cookers, stick, coal, pellet and gas. And the meats get judged amongst their peers.

RubMeTender
12-21-2009, 02:50 PM
The Poobha is not only old but he is also wise!

I have a very thick moving blanket for the Mistress that is used for EVERY cook no matter what the outside temp is, rain or shine. By using this I too get 2 1/2 - 3 hours without having to add additional fuel and I also an generally running within 5 degrees over the whole 60" cooking surface. During the rain, while the blanket may get wet, it is not pulling the heat out of the cooker like if she were just sitting there naked.

As an example, I had put the blanket on last week for my -17* windchill cook... Between when I put it on and when I started the cooker, it snowed 2+ inches. I left the snow on the blanket, started the fire, got the cooker area up to 225*. Even with the heat in the cooking area, it took over 3 hours to melt the snow.

Now the problem I have had is that the cooking area is so well insulated that I have gone out to check the fire (because she hadn't dropped in temp in almost 4 hours) and found I only had a few hot coals left. So now I also set a timer along side my ET-73 just in case.

I can't help but be in complete shock by this. I've had our Lang 84 in 108* weather here in Florida in bright sun and there is no way that without adding fuel it could sit steady at 225* for 4 hours. 2 1/2 hours....ok...I could see that. 4? in the snow? sounds like a fish tale to me.

BigJimsBBQ
12-21-2009, 02:58 PM
I can't help but be in complete shock by this. I've had our Lang 84 in 108* weather here in Florida in bright sun and there is no way that without adding fuel it could sit steady at 225* for 4 hours. 2 1/2 hours....ok...I could see that. 4? in the snow? sounds like a fish tale to me.

They are using a Lang 60 (Patio) vs Lang 84.

Plowboy
12-21-2009, 02:59 PM
I think extra points should be given to any team that uses an orange Thermapen since they are the least accurate and slow. I don't even understand how they can live with an orange model.

Bones
12-21-2009, 03:02 PM
All you non-off set smokers are Whimpy, Whimpy, Whimpy. :twisted:

BTW - I am looking at either a Stump/Guru or FEC-100, which is the best and safest cook on the sleep factor. :lol::lol::lol::lol:

If you are looking for a safe sleep factor try an BGE large with a guru. works great but will not hold a lot of meat.

Divemaster
12-21-2009, 03:06 PM
I can't help but be in complete shock by this. I've had our Lang 84 in 108* weather here in Florida in bright sun and there is no way that without adding fuel it could sit steady at 225* for 4 hours. 2 1/2 hours....ok...I could see that. 4? in the snow? sounds like a fish tale to me.
How does a Lawyer say screw you? Trust me, trust me... :eek: LOL, just kidding!:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

First of all, I want to point out that the feeding times is after I have gotten the whole cooker up to temp for at least an hour. Though, it seems to take less time to bring her up to temp with the blankets than if I don't have her covered.

Even at 108*, you still have a differential of 107* between your cooking area (225*) and the outside world (and that's assuming that you have no wind to suck more of the heat away). Now if you can keep more of that heat in the cooking area and not have to replace it with more fire... need I say more? All I can say is try it. It's something that Ron_L had reminded me of when I first got her. I too was feeding her every hour until I put on a standard wool blanket... Once I did that, my feeding times went from 1 hour to about 2 hours... I then went to the moving blanket that is almost an inch thick and my times went from 2 hours to over 3 hours.

Be like Mikey and try it, you might like it....

Candy Sue
12-21-2009, 03:39 PM
I think an awful lot depends on the pit design and the cook too. The fourth time I cooked on my Jambo with sticks, I won the contest. I didn't have a clue what I was doing! Rod told me to feed it a stick every hour and keep the exhaust at 7:00. I can tell you that tending the pellet Jambo takes a bunch more work and more skill than an FEC100 AND cooking with the Jambo with sticks. When it's all said and done, it REALLY is the Cook not the cooker!

Bigmista
12-21-2009, 04:03 PM
I am SO coming to spectate at THAT comp!

DivaHerself likes to look at old fat naked men.

Pass it on...

Plowboy
12-21-2009, 04:47 PM
DivaHerself likes to look at old fat naked men.

Pass it on...

I call my wife a "cubby chaser" all the time. Portly is the new handsome.

Ranbo
12-21-2009, 05:16 PM
I have several guru's and love them. Everytime I let them do there thing and try and sleep, stuff happens. I hate using them in the rain. I'm still researching what I want in a new pit for comp/catering. Ease of use is what I want(FEC, BWS) but stickburners don't need power.
I'm always to excited to sleep at contests.

The Giggler
12-21-2009, 05:54 PM
I have several guru's and love them. Everytime I let them do there thing and try and sleep, stuff happens. I hate using them in the rain. I'm still researching what I want in a new pit for comp/catering. Ease of use is what I want(FEC, BWS) but stickburners don't need power.
I'm always to excited to sleep at contests.

Backwoods don't require power unless you have the convection option (overkill IMO). Insulated, efficient, predictable, and reasonably priced.

ique
12-21-2009, 06:34 PM
If you are looking for a safe sleep factor try an BGE large with a guru. works great but will not hold a lot of meat.

I cook on this all the time on my back deck (not in comp tho). Rock solid even in cold weather. Often put two butts on at 10pm, set the guru, go to sleep and get up at ~7 to pull the pork . :-D

Ron_L
12-21-2009, 06:51 PM
Portly is the new handsome.

If that's the case then I am farking Fabio! :biggrin:

Coz
12-21-2009, 07:06 PM
I think extra points should be given to any team that uses an orange Thermapen since they are the least accurate and slow. I don't even understand how they can live with an orange model.



My GOD thats what happened at the end of the year they jjust figured that out and gave me those extra points :eek:

BBQchef33
12-21-2009, 07:09 PM
BTW, In the BYC, i have a harder time maintaining 250 in 108 degrees than i do in 38. During the summer, it runs on a fire the size of a fist. Heating up half a ton of black steel locks in temperatures and all u need to do is keep that steel hot.

Contracted Cookers
12-21-2009, 08:03 PM
MEAT DOES NOT CARE WHAT IT IS COOKED ON. this is our sport and hobby lets stick together among BRETHREN. have both. love both .

chopshop
12-21-2009, 08:13 PM
What if I cook on both? What does that mean?

it means your a multi tasker

Bogus Chezz Hawg
12-21-2009, 08:44 PM
This was in response to the latter posts on the thread "BBQ Pitmasters = Bigger Comps". There was some discussion about stick burners being in a class of their own. Since I cook on one I'm biased. There's no doubt they require much more work and skill than a set-it and forget-it style cooker. There are too many variables in play when cooking on a stick burner that can cause things to go wrong (sleep deprivation, wood blend, over smoking, temp maintenance, etc....) To me it's much more fun and rewarding to work at it all night and achieve success!

Yep!

chad
12-21-2009, 08:51 PM
I cook primarily on Kingfisher stick burner. I've cooked with others using gas hog cookers, FEC 100's, Webers, and one humongous stick burner that I thought would never get to heat (could of used some serious gas assists or a mountain of oak)...it's all good. Arguing about cookers is like arguing about motorcycles...ain't no single answer. Run what ya brung is my philosophy--assuming it's legal at the contest.

smokincracker
12-21-2009, 08:55 PM
I really don't care what the guy next to me is cooking on. The contest is who makes the best tasting BBQ, not what cooker requires the most skill. If a guy can get great tasting Que out of a pellet cooker or an LP assisted cooker, more power to them.

I'm with Niel on this.
Run what u brung!

KC_Bobby
12-21-2009, 09:40 PM
Stick burners have it easy
- they don't have to worry about the electric going out
- they don't have to worry about mechanical parts breaking
- most stick burners don't have as many rack choices to choose from
- many have plenty of pit room
- they often have hot spots they can take advantage of
- most only have one pit to tend
- many of them don't have to worry about oversleeping
- they can get fuel after any storm or even nearly any ditch on the way to a comp!

Plowboy
12-21-2009, 11:08 PM
Stick burners have it easy
- they don't have to worry about the electric going out
- they don't have to worry about mechanical parts breaking
- most stick burners don't have as many rack choices to choose from
- many have plenty of pit room
- they often have hot spots they can take advantage of
- most only have one pit to tend
- many of them don't have to worry about oversleeping
- they can get fuel after any storm or even nearly any ditch on the way to a comp!

That's actually pretty funny.

Butcher BBQ
12-22-2009, 06:33 AM
Myself all I ever cooked on was a stick till I got a fec and then I liked the smoke and flavor the they turned out. So advantage or disadvantage is a question for me just FLAVOR.

Divemaster
12-22-2009, 09:00 AM
Stick burners have it easy
- they don't have to worry about the electric going out
- they don't have to worry about mechanical parts breaking
- most stick burners don't have as many rack choices to choose from
- many have plenty of pit room
- they often have hot spots they can take advantage of
- most only have one pit to tend
- many of them don't have to worry about oversleeping
- they can get fuel after any storm or even nearly any ditch on the way to a comp!

That's actually pretty funny.
Not only funny, but true! :icon_cool

BBQchef33
12-22-2009, 11:37 AM
Stick burners have it easy
- they don't have to worry about the electric going out
- they don't have to worry about mechanical parts breaking
- most stick burners don't have as many rack choices to choose from
- many have plenty of pit room
- they often have hot spots they can take advantage of
- most only have one pit to tend
- many of them don't have to worry about oversleeping
- they can get fuel after any storm or even nearly any ditch on the way to a comp!


I think i have to engrave that on my trailer wall. :eusa_clap:eusa_clap

KC_Bobby
12-22-2009, 11:55 AM
I think i have to engrave that on my trailer wall. :eusa_clap:eusa_clap

Change:
most stick burners don't have as many rack choices to choose from
to:
most stick burners don't have as many rack choices to deliberate over

and add:
stick burners don't carry the emotional weight of ridicule from purists (except those who cook in hand dug holes)

BigJimsBBQ
12-22-2009, 11:58 AM
Stick burners have it easy
- they don't have to worry about the electric going out
- they don't have to worry about mechanical parts breaking
- most stick burners don't have as many rack choices to choose from
- many have plenty of pit room
- they often have hot spots they can take advantage of
- most only have one pit to tend
- many of them don't have to worry about oversleeping
- they can get fuel after any storm or even nearly any ditch on the way to a comp!

Pellet Poopers have it easy
- they don't have chop down trees
- they don't have to saw logs
- they don't have to split logs
- they don't have to stack and age sticks
- they don't have to haul a half quard of wood to each comp
- they don't have to loose sleep all night tending fire
- they don't have to over-come temp drop when dew-point flips at 2am
- they don't have to over-come temp drop in rain
- they can get fuel at any school's pencil sharpner on the way to a comp

Double D's BBQ
12-22-2009, 12:12 PM
I don't know it it does or doesn't require a higher skill set. I've cooked on both but I chose a pellet cooker because I like the results and I can get a little sleep. At my age sleep is important :rolleyes:.

But, I guess I really don't understand this whole debate. Everyone cooking competitions had a choice of cookers. No one is forcing anyone to cook on a particular type of cooker. I chose a pellet cooker, the guy next to me chose an offset and the guy next to him chose a gravity feed. Each cook made his or her choice based on their style and preferences. Unless someone is violating the rules, why does it matter what someone else chose as long as you are happy with your choice?

Couldn't agree with you more Ron, unless they choose gas!:rolleyes:

And age is all relative, sonny and sleep is overrated especially at BBQ contests. Ahh to be your age again!:-D

Double D's BBQ
12-22-2009, 12:23 PM
I think an awful lot depends on the pit design and the cook too. The fourth time I cooked on my Jambo with sticks, I won the contest. I didn't have a clue what I was doing! Rod told me to feed it a stick every hour and keep the exhaust at 7:00. I can tell you that tending the pellet Jambo takes a bunch more work and more skill than an FEC100 AND cooking with the Jambo with sticks. When it's all said and done, it REALLY is the Cook not the cooker!

Thanks for the tip Candy Sue. Jamie told me to keep her at 4:30 but I've had her as high as 11 at times.

Rub
12-22-2009, 08:57 PM
To answer the original question...not really more skill, but definitely more endurance if you cook low and slow.
That said, I have a 'set it and forget it' for sale in the other room 8)

Yakfishingfool
12-22-2009, 09:18 PM
Best stick burner out there...The spicewine...Fantastic on wood!

MilitantSquatter
12-22-2009, 09:22 PM
Best stick burner out there...The spicewine...Fantastic on wood!

Great with pellets too... Don't forget your Spicebox had chitloads of pecan and cherry pellets tossed on a light bed of charcoal to cook 70 racks of ribs.... :eek:

musicmanryann
12-22-2009, 09:24 PM
I'm thinking you could probably cook with sticks on a 22" WSM pretty well as well.

BBQchef33
12-22-2009, 10:22 PM
tried that. it wasnt pretty.

musicmanryann
12-22-2009, 10:25 PM
tried that. it wasnt pretty.

well, chit. lol.

Divemaster
12-23-2009, 08:38 AM
I'm thinking you could probably cook with sticks on a 22" WSM pretty well as well.

tried that. it wasnt pretty.

well, chit. lol.
Would have liked to watch that show... :lol:

Muzzlebrake
12-23-2009, 09:20 AM
tried that. it wasnt pretty.

uglier than the log in hotel pan???:eek: