View Full Version : Which Cooker?

12-31-2009, 10:50 AM
With the current time of year, there is a certain lull, and I thought it might be nice to discuss something that isn't related to the KCBS BoD or TLC, so....I was driving in my car yesterday, and I had an interesting thought related to KCBS competitive BBQ: There are several teams that use a single cooker for all four categories in KCBS. There are also several teams who use multiple cookers depending on what you are cooking, and why not, right? Different meats may require different cooking space requirements, times, temps, and smokes, so it would be understandable to have as many as four different cookers.

If we go with a some-what minimalist approach though, and you could only have a single cooker at any comp, which cooker would you use? Note, I don't mean which type of cooker, so two seperate UDSes, BWS or FECs, etc don't count. If you could only have one fire going and you had to cook all four meats in the standard time frame, which one, single cooker would you use? Teams that currently only use one, feel free to share what that is.

As a bonus question, for the teams that currently use multiple cookers (and those who don't but want to) would you share why you use two cookers? Do you need the extra capacity, or is it one of the smoke/heat options I mentioned above, or some other great advantage? I'm just curious here and hoping to spark some new conversation.



Jeff Hughes
12-31-2009, 10:55 AM
I use my 24x72 Klose mobile for all four meats.

I used to have it tuned to cook evenly, but now I have the tuning plates set so 85% of the cooker cooks evenly, and I have 15% of the cooker running about 75 degrees hotter to cook chicken...

12-31-2009, 11:03 AM
I use nothing but my Lang 60 to cook all the meats for a comp. We are able to keep her within 5-10* from end to end.

Of couse that's because.......


(You knew it had to be said some time... lol)

12-31-2009, 11:22 AM
Only used Langs for years now using a Jambo for all 4.

12-31-2009, 11:25 AM
I would guess trash cans if you only used one kind. We use the Spicewine for ribs, pork and brisket and the Weber kettle for chicken simply because we can get a good smoke rolling in there and can cook at high heat needed by chicken.

Smoke on the Horizon
12-31-2009, 11:49 AM
I use a 24x72 Horizon for all four meats with a deflector plate that I keep closed until I really need some heat at the firebox end then I can open it up and get about 75 degrees more heat at that end.

12-31-2009, 11:55 AM
I use 2 Stumps, mostly for superstitious reasons. But I do like being able to use 2 different temps.

If I could only use one, it would be a Stump's Stretch:


12-31-2009, 12:14 PM
If I had a choice and could only use 1 it would be an FEC500. Lots of capacity to position things, good temp control.

I use 2 FE100's at a contest usually. I can cook the contest on one and have when one had auger problems or when I needed the other 2 for vending. I like having 2 for temp variations between chicken and ribs. But I can use chicken temps for ribs if I have to although the hotter temp means a little time adjustment, especially when wrapped. Big cuts are off before the chicken goes on so no issues there.

Capt ron
12-31-2009, 12:21 PM
http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/worbs2/Dover%20Downs%202007/pic001.jpghttp://www.tuckercooker.com/CustomerPictures/tuckercooker/slides/0139.htmlhttp://s121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/worbs2/?action=view&current=BBQOnTucker.jpgMight I suggest a Tucker. This was at a comp... Just cooking enough but had plenty of room and versatile...


12-31-2009, 12:31 PM
I use my Horizon 24" off-set. I do chicken on a WSM primarily because I have the door open a lot during the last couple hours of the comp (for things like burnt ends) and want the chicken to have a constant 300*. I could do that on the Horizon, but with the WSM it is just too easy.

Jacked UP BBQ
12-31-2009, 12:39 PM
I like to do ribs and big meats on the spicewine for FE, but chicken rolls on the backwoods - little guy.

12-31-2009, 12:43 PM
Backwoods for the big three and Weber kettles for the bird. If I had to, they would all go on the BW.

12-31-2009, 12:47 PM
I'm trying to work out a process to do an entire contest on one FEC-100. Comes down to timing with lower temp big meats and high temp ribs & chicken.

Dan - 3eyzbbq
12-31-2009, 12:54 PM
BWS for me. If I had room, I'd get a competitor. Maybe in the future, for now, could get it done on my party.

Now I use a BWS for 3 meats and the WSM for chicken. Always like to have a backup cooker and I can use different wood for chicken that way.

12-31-2009, 01:04 PM
I found the The Medium Spicewine to be great for comps cooking all on one pit

Chicken could be cooked much hotter on the top rack getting the benefit of the radiant heat off the overhead metal that was only a few inches away from cooking grid.

Jacked UP BBQ
12-31-2009, 01:20 PM
BWS for me. If I had room, I'd get a competitor. Maybe in the future, for now, could get it done on my party.

Now I use a BWS for 3 meats and the WSM for chicken. Always like to have a backup cooker and I can use different wood for chicken that way.

the secrets are out!!!!!!!:razz:

Candy Sue
12-31-2009, 01:25 PM
In the beginning, I used a Tucker, then 1 FEC100 in the back of my pickup, then added a WSM (advent of trailer), then dropped the WSM for a Fatboy, then Fatboy was replaced by a second FEC100, then added a Primo XL Oval. Last year I cooked most contests with the pellet Jambo. If (when) I sell the trailer, I'd like to get a Jambo-type trailer to mount an FEC100 with room for another cooker.

Kinda along the same line, Joanne Blanchard, Smokin' Joe's Too (a Texas cook), always cooked all three/four categories on one 18" WSM. One of those minimalist cooks with 1 brisket, 1 butt, 2 slabs of ribs and just enough chicken (Texas rules they do halves). Always admired the planning it took to do that and she did it quite well. Made it to the Jack in 2007, I think. Fine lady, she could stir the pot better than most. RIP

12-31-2009, 01:27 PM
I cook all four categories on a Superior Smoker SS-One.

Butcher BBQ
12-31-2009, 03:10 PM
We use 2 FEC 100's.

12-31-2009, 03:14 PM
Last year I cooked most contests with the pellet Jambo. If (when) I sell the trailer, I'd like to get a Jambo-type trailer to mount an FEC100 with room for another cooker.

What is a pellet Jambo??

Ryan Chester
12-31-2009, 03:24 PM
I'm on multiple WSM's. Each type of meat in its own cooker. Thank for god for my stoker.

This Is How We Que It
12-31-2009, 03:51 PM
Right now we do all four on a Good-One Rodeo.

12-31-2009, 03:55 PM
What is a pellet Jambo??


we did it bbq
12-31-2009, 04:27 PM
we also use 2 FEC-100's, but would like to experiment with a jambo.

12-31-2009, 07:50 PM
I cook all four categories on a Superior Smoker SS-One.

We'll be on two Superior Smoker SS-2's next year

12-31-2009, 09:21 PM
I prefer a single cooker for simplicity but the wife insists that the chicken be done on WSM so simplicity is out the window.

12-31-2009, 09:39 PM
Right now we do all four on a Good-One Rodeo.

Last season we did all 4 on a Rodeo. Ribs on bottom, butts & briskets in middle and chicken on top.

Buster Dog BBQ
12-31-2009, 10:03 PM
i use an FEC 100 and a large BGE.

01-01-2010, 08:20 AM
Backwoods Piglet or Competitor

01-01-2010, 10:17 AM
I will have 4 modified Spicewine Mediums and a Thurminator on my new trailer.

JD McGee
01-01-2010, 11:56 AM
We do our butts, brisket, and ribs on 3 WSM's...we do our chicken on a UDS or Cajun Bandit...:cool: We would be hard pressed to do a comp on one single bullet as we use different smoke woods and temperatures for differtent meats...:?::?::?:

That said...I'm fairly certain there will be a pellet pooper in the mix in the near future...:twisted:

01-01-2010, 01:21 PM
I'm using two large BGE's. I'd like to get another one or two.....or maybe an FEC........or something else :>)

I see the benefit of a bit more space, but right now I pack everything into a minivan so two Eggs are the limit.

01-01-2010, 01:39 PM
I appreciate the responses, and it's good to be talking about something, but I think the point of the thread has been lost: This isn't a "What does every one cook on?" thread, it's "What would you cook on if you could only have one pit?" or "WHY do you cook on more than one pit?" Some good answers and explainations, but a lot of "me too's" too:(


01-01-2010, 01:43 PM
Now for me, if I could only cook on one cooker, it would probably be The Beast. I've only used it at one comp, but it did well. I'm in the process of having it mounted on a trailer so that I can use it at more, but being a large vertical smoker, it has lots of space for all the meats. Additionally, with as tall as it is, I can get a 25* temp difference if I want and cook things with lower temp requirements higher in the chamber. For things with really high temp requirements, I can use the grill over the firebox. Another nice thing about it, I can switch between sticks, charcoal, and pellets mid cook with little effort. I just have to work out some of the kinks with transportation:(

If I didn't have or want The Beast, I'd prolly say a backwoods competitor or FEC.



01-01-2010, 02:46 PM
I can do it all in my Large Spicewine. Briskets over Butts over ribs. Chix on top shelf while everything else is in cambros. Simple.

01-01-2010, 03:20 PM
Most of my contests in the last several years have been on a single FEC 100 with a 6 shelf system. Works fine.
Only requirement is to have one shelf open by the time chicken needs to go on.

In Mid 2009 I built Sherman and added a Traeger Lil Tex which works wonderful for chicken.

When Brent is out with the team, we have his SpiceBox.
Now, that is a wonderful setup with the FEC, SpiceBox, and Traeger available! Spoils me. :lol:


01-01-2010, 04:34 PM
I cook everything on one Backwoods Fatboy. If i thought I needed something else to compete with, I'd bought it years ago. i've replaced the racks, had the bottom door worked on, and needs a new ash pan as this one is about to rust out.. it has 35 contests on it and triple the amount of practice cooks at least. It is getting wore out. I cook all 4 meats at two different temps all on this cooker. See no real reason to change.

Intersting topic !

Candy Sue
01-01-2010, 07:38 PM
If I could only have one pit (under $1,000), it'd be a 22" WSM plus the Stoven pellet fire system. This setup is pretty awesome and very versatile. Plus, if you have an electric problem, just switch to charcoal. If money is no object, Jambo wins hands down.

01-01-2010, 07:48 PM
If I could have any cooker, I think I'd opt for a large spicewine, as I've heard nothing but good things about them. But I also like the idea of cooking without any sort of temp control other than knowing one's cooker and regulating as needed. (this is NOT a slam to any other type cooker! I think stick burners are cool, but I like sleep. And I have no issue with those who use pellet poopers....it just isn't for me)
That said, we use a 22" WSM and an 18"WSM. The 22" we use for brisket and chicken, the 18 for Butts and ribs

Contracted Cookers
01-01-2010, 08:40 PM
START everthing on the good one finish on the fec only one it has to be the uds KISS.

01-02-2010, 05:40 AM
Use my Bates off set for all 4...(24x72) with upright

And learned use the different temp ranges across the cooking grate to my advantage..

Stick burner by choice..:-D

01-02-2010, 06:34 AM
I would stick with my Superior Smoker SS-One for all four meats like I do now.

Rick Hamilton
01-02-2010, 05:12 PM
Superior Smoker for me. I switch between doing all 4 meats on it and doing the chicken in WSM. Works great for me.

01-02-2010, 05:50 PM
Being a trash can cooker, I cook on 2 UDS right now. If I had to I could do a comp on one can, but it would be tight.

01-03-2010, 10:53 AM
Superior Smoker for me. I switch between doing all 4 meats on it and doing the chicken in WSM. Works great for me.

I do the exact same thing. I'm trying to get the WSM out of the mix for this year. Just to simplify a bit.

01-03-2010, 11:06 AM
I usually cook with a FEC and FE, using BBQr's Delight pellets. I can easily cook on just one cooker, as I have flown in to many contests and borrowed someone else's FEC. You adjust your schedule to cook on one cooker. I honestly like the challenge. Especially if I have to dodge a moose wanting to go through my camp.... ;)

01-03-2010, 05:07 PM
im using my traeger for my ribs and chicken and my beam wood burner for the rest

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
01-04-2010, 10:38 AM
I use 2 MeadowCreek pr42 pig roasters and a MeadowCreek bbq26s chicken cooker. I like having alot of cooking space.

01-04-2010, 11:32 AM
We like to use the WSM 22.5" one for the brisket and one for pork butts, transfer one of the two products to the triple barrel, and throw the ribs on in the AM. Chickadees on the kettle.

01-04-2010, 11:57 AM
I would like to have an offset(Lone Star Custom or Jambo) if money wasn't an option. I currently use a 18 1/2" wsm, 22 1/2" wsm and a BDS or two. It's great being able to use different temps and woods with multiple cookers but transport is a hassle.
An Fec or BWS would work for me also.

Capn Kev
01-04-2010, 03:36 PM
Simple answer for me...an FEC-100. Which is why I'm looking for one right now. :lol: