Reverse flow or not?
I'm looking into buying a 500 gallon propane stickburner cooker locally. Wanted to see the pros and cons of having it built reverse flow or not? better heat distibution, wood consumption, and hot spots, etc. Any help is appreciated.
I was torn on this one for a long time. Did a lot of reading and a lot of research. It boils down to preference. I well built stick burner with tuning plates will be just as efficient as a reverse flow. Came down for me thickness of the metal and if the firebox was insulated.
I looked at Lang, JohnsonSmokers,Jambo, R&O, Gator, and a few others. Ended up deciding on an R&O. Reasons were:
1. Lang never returned my calls or my emails
2. Local - JohnsonSmokers, Jambo, R&O, Gator all in Texas.
3. In the end Firebox efficiency and flow of heat won out over the reverse flow.
4. Price - more bang for my buck. Saw a Jambo/R&O/Gator in person. All are quality built. R&O though had pricing that saved me a bit of money. I actually finalize my order next week with them ...
Again though - each has their own opinion and preference.
I don't think you can go wrong with either offset or reverse flow. The RF really reduces the hot spots and temp differences between one side of the pit and the other. I personally don't think the variation is such a bad thing though. Say you want do ribs that are low and slow and a bird at a higher temp- you just place the meat in the area on the offset that have the corresponding temp.
That's a frequent topic... here's a few threads on it.
Since you are inquiring about a 500 gallon monster - drop a line and PM a Brethren member '5-0 BBQ' and he'll fill you in.
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