04-11-2013, 03:41 PM
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
Join Date: 02-12-13
Location: Plumas Lake, CA
Review of my new Lang smoker
I recently became the proud owner of a Lang smoker and I thought I would share my experience making the purchase as well as comments on the cooker. Being as that I had never even seen one in person before purchasing, I hope this review will help anyone that may be considering such a big purchase sight unseen as I did. Hopefully this will help.
I was in the market for a smoker to use for backyard parties, competitions, and possibly small catering events. After six months of researching different smokers on the internet, I thought I had pinned it down to the 48" Hybrid Deluxe patio model. This is probably what "I needed," but at the last minute, I decided to take the advice of many comments on the internet saying to "go one size larger than what you think you need." I ended up with the 60" Deluxe longneck with Chargrill. Ben was a huge help in deciding to go with this model and I am very glad that I did. Now for the review:
1. Customer Service - Ben and his son Benjamin were very helpful every time I called to ask questions. They were very friendly and would get back to me very quickly if they needed to find the information requested. Now with that said, if you have questions, make sure you call them and not email. I had emailed a few general questions (due to work hours and time zone differences) before calling and never received a response.
2. The Cooker - This cooker is very solid and well built. The welds are clean. I added a second thermometer to the smoker lid, changed the gate valve for the grease drain to a ball valve, and added a butterfly damper from the firebox into the warming box. The valve change is simply for a visual. I wanted to be able to look down and easily be able to tell if the valve was opened or closed. The butterfly valve was to be able to cook chicken at higher temps separate from the smoking chamber. Now for the things I would have changed if I would have seen in person first.
A. The expanded metal shelf on the back side of the cooker doesn't extend out over the tire as the door side. There is just a metal plate that extends over the wheel. It would have been nice to have extra shelf space, but no big deal.
B. The steel caster wheel on the tongue doesn't roll well, I'll be changing this out.
C. One of the complaints I had read about before purchasing the cooker was "runs" in the paint. I was hoping this was from older models and the quality control has been corrected for this, but it wasn't. There are about 2-3 runs that are moderately noticable. Not a deal breaker.
D. The only "real" complaint I have is the latches to seal the doors shut. The receiving hooks for the latches on the doors were cut out too much and they are not tight when closed. This is just a downside for something that is "hand made" I guess. The chargrill and smoker doors aren't a big issue since their weight keeps them tight, but my problem is with the vertical warming box. There is about 1/8" in play that keeps it from sealing shut. I will fix this by welding in some material to fill in the gaps and grind correctly so the doors seal shut.
3. Cooking with a Lang - I've used it once so far to cook two turkeys and a ham on Easter. Once I adjusted the dampers to the firebox to get the temp I wanted, I never touched them again for the rest of the day. Just added a split of wood every 40 mins and it was on cruise control. It recovered fast after opening the door and turned out some great Q. Ben's videos on their website were very helpful in getting a good fire started and maintained.
4. Registration at the DMV- I wanted to pass this information along so other people don't have the same headache I did, especially the ones in California. Ben sent a "Certificate of Origin" with the cooker that included the VIN# for the trailer. I made an appointment at the DMV and took a day off work to go down and get it registered. I got all the paperwork done and they went out to match the VIN on the trailer to the certificate, but there was no VIN on the trailer. I guess I should have checked myself before hand, but I didn't think about it. They wouldn't register it and sent me to the highway patrol to have it inspected. Since the inspection required an appointment, this will have to be put off to a later date.
Sorry for the long post, but I wish I would have read something like this before my purchase. Overall I'm very pleased the cooker and can't wait for my first "real BBQ" cook next weekend and using it for comps this year.
Lang 60D Longneck w / Chargrill
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