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KingRanch450 12-16-2011 01:45 PM

Reverse Flow vs Offset
I'm sure this has been beat to death here so forgive me....Im a newbie and trying to research my first pit purchase. I've narrowed my search down to two pit builders here in Texas. One is a Reverse Flow and the other an Offset with tuning plates. I will be cooking mostly for family and friends but am interested in cooking comps someday. I'd love to hear everybody's opinion on which would be best for a rookie smoker.

SirPorkaLot 12-16-2011 01:53 PM

I have only used an offset, but have the understanding that the reverse flow is a fuel hog, but produces more consistent temps.

I temp differences all over my offset, but now that I have those differences mapped out, I actually enjoy having different temp zones in the same smoke chamber.

I am interested in the responses you will get, so I'll be following this thread closely.

BBQ Bandit 12-16-2011 02:44 PM

That is hard to say... have both styles (Lang and Klose).
The Lang's for needing to cook more than 100 lbs.
The Klose BYC is just that ... my BackYard Chef.

Each stye has pros and cons... both are stickburners... however buy the thickest metal you can afford in either smoker.

NRA4Life 12-16-2011 04:42 PM

When I built my pit, it was an offset. After battling hot spots and uneven temps for a couple years, I converted it to a reverse flow. Now it cooks even throughout, and I don't notice any difference in wood consumption between the 2. If you want my recommendation, get the reverse flow, and as stated above get the thickest metal you can afford.

morgaj1 12-16-2011 04:46 PM

BBQ Bandit, will you expound on the plusses and minuses of each as you see them?

nmayeux 12-16-2011 04:59 PM

Reverse flow works better with smaller smokers, as it allows more cooking space due to managing the "hot spot." Also, you can adjust temps across the smoker by raising and lowering the trailer tongue. As for larger smokers (larger than a Lang 84), the hot spot is a much smaller percentage of the total cooking area.

If you buy from a reputable pit builder, you will get a decent smoker.

Also, fuel consumption should be roughly the same, and I am regulary impressed at how much wood I have left over from a cook with my little 60.

KingRanch450 12-16-2011 05:15 PM

The reverse flow is built from a 250 gallon propane tank that is 1/4 " steel and is built by East Texas Smoker Company and the offset is built out of 1/4" pipe from Gator Pits. Both companies have excellant reputations in this area. I hope this helps the discussion.

BBQ Bandit 12-16-2011 05:33 PM


Originally Posted by morgaj1 (Post 1882651)
BBQ Bandit, will you expound on the plusses and minuses of each as you see them?

Please take the following with a grain of salt. Have only had these last two smokers (Lang 84/Klose BYC) for a few months... and still learning about it. The comments below are just on the configurations, sizes, and styles that I have. These are not the only answer, just one person's observations. YMMV.

Both smokers (main chamber) are made out of 1/4" steel.
Both smokers are over 1,000 lbs... altho not on a similar size.
Both are stickburners.

Klose offers 1/2" steel firebox as an option, Lang doesn't.

Both have options for a warming box;
* Klose's vertical chamber is opposite end of the firebox (coldest zone)
* Lang's vertical chamber is directly above the firebox.

Lang is a reverse flow... which is a full length baffle running under the grates from the firebox... meaning the smoke and thermal energy runs under the baffle (right to left) warming the baffle. The side effect is that baffle becomes a source of radiating heat... minimizing hot/cold spots. Once the smoke reaches the left side of the chamber... rises above and returns (left to right) over the meat before leaving thru the exhaust stack. The tell-tale indicator is that the smokestack is right next to the firebox, not the opposite end as in a traditional offset.

The Lang and Klose configurations that I have are without a trailer axle.
There are trailer configurations available for both.

The Lang was modified by a third party; adding larger wheels... intended to be softer ground/surfaces for mobility and is a comp ready smoker. Rolled and maneuvered on grass without a problem. (The smoker came standard with smaller steel casters... not intended to see anything other than paved roads or a concrete patio pad.) The larger wheels allow me to roll in/out of my trailer using a 12 volt winch and strap down to transport onsite.

The Klose had 6" caster wheels installed (option) and has seen competitions in its previous life (Poobah). Would be worried seeing soft ground. (Klose was moved by myself... however laid down 1/2" plywood (3 sheets) end to end to distribute the weight of the smoker. Not advisable without proper preparation.

Found both models used and well taken care of... reducing the impact of the overall cost.

speers90 12-16-2011 07:08 PM

Wow! Those are some sweet wheels.

cpw 12-16-2011 08:19 PM

A buddy of mine has an east Texas smoker, and it's a great pit. Very well made, and holds temps very well.

captndan 12-17-2011 06:12 AM

Yea! Pimp My Pit! Only other thought is make sure there is a baffle between the firebox and the cooking chamber to direct the heat in the right direction.

michiana mark 12-17-2011 07:48 AM

I've owned both a Gator pit Predator and a Lang 60. The gator pit was a true Texas pit. Lots of room, 48 pork butt capacity, 1/4 in thick metal through out. It had tuning plates, but with hot spots that you could use, once you got to know them. The Lang that I owned was a first generation. The main chamber was 3/16 in thick, as was the fire box. It cooked fairly evenly, with the ends being warmer than the middle. The Lang seemed to use more wood, but that might have just been me.

Buy what makes you happy. I know the Ritch at Gator Pit builds a quality pit, that he's proud to put his name on.

DirtyDirty00 12-17-2011 12:00 PM

yep i bought a pits by jj. love my pit, except for the wheels.
they are made (like above stated) for blacktop, concrete ect)

i need to put big wheels on my pit so i can easily roll it through my backyard on grass.

Lake Dogs 12-17-2011 12:26 PM

best for a rookie smoker?

Easiest to handle; least likely to burn the meat up, etc. These are what I'd recommend for a rookie smoker.

With that, and without knowing which you're looking at, everything else being equal (thickness of steel; quality of build, etc.), the decision is fairly easy. Go with a reverse flow offset smoker. The reverse flow tends to distribute the heat and the smoke more evenly, therefore being a little more forgiving of mistakes.

I have 2 offsets; one that's reverse flow and the other not. They're both good smokers. However, I haven't touched my traditional offset smoker in years because I've never had the need to do so, and the reverse flow smoker has stayed fairly busy.

Best of luck with your decision.

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