My reason for buying a Humphrey's DownEast Beast Smoker.
I often hear people talking about getting bigger and better things just so they can have the best or the biggest. I wanted a new smoker a few years now, but I held off because I wanted to separate what I needed vs. what I wanted. Somewhere in the middle was my compromise which met all of my criteria for my needs with a little extra room for my wants. My reasons were not to show off a bigger and better cooker, but for only practicality of my own use.
While I no longer cook in competitions, I cook for local for Churches, American Legions, and VFW's without charge. Being
in competitions many years ago I do realize the importance of an efficient dependable smoker. With this in mind, I put my needs
as the first priority in selecting a new cooker.
My first need was a well insulated fuel efficient charcoal smoker, the cost of wood or propane on a large cooker can be a real hole in the pocket when it comes to fuel expenses.
My second need was the ability to smoke sausage as I make 20 - 30 pounds at a time, I needed ample height to hang sausage to maximize my capacity in the smoker.
My third need was to be able to do at least 8 - 10 or more pork butts for the American Legion, local churches, or VFW cookouts.
My last need was to be able to put full size and half size steam table pans into the cooker for other uses besides meats.
My want was to have a sturdy and quality constructed unit with a little extra room for more cooking area.
I first looked at a "Stumps" smoker, priced way out of my range. I abandoned my idea but later came across the "Backwoods" line of smokers, again pricey. "Backwoods" has a model called the "Competitor", and while this did fit my needs, it was still more than I was willing to part with. On top of the selling prices were crating and shipping costs.
This winter I found a company in Maine that rebuilds smokers and they were going to make their own line of smokers in the fashion of the reverse-flow vertical design. The different models can be found here.. http://www.mainemachining.com/store/...t=HumphreyPits
I looked at their "Battlebox", a competition smoker for obviously those who compete on a national or regional level. Although the unit is portable it did not meet my criteria. I then looked at the "Down East Beast" which met all of my needs and wants. I went for the unit sight unseen because I had total trust in Kevin, the salesman. He didn't push, he didn't try to up-sell me, he simply listened to what I wanted and then he suggested the unit that met my basic needs.
The unit arrived and it was like having a new child. I have had it for almost a month and I am still more than happy with all aspects of the cooker. It is constructed with superior quality and construction. It is also built with high temperature, 1200 degree, food safe insulation for maximum fuel efficiency.
The unit comes complete with 4 shelves, but I purchased mine with 8 so I can do a multitude of ribs if needed. The water pan is actually a heavy duty full size hotel pan and holds about 3 gallons of water. The shelving is adjustable "slide-in" / "slide-out" for individual spacing requirements. A 5 pound load of charcoal will last me 8(+) hours. The large water pan allows extreme uniformity of heat inside the smoker and eliminates the need for me to foil meats to keep them from drying out. Every cook has provided a full flavored smoked meat with a perfect bark with luscious, moist, tender meat.
My final consideration on purchasing this smoker was the fact that I only wanted to buy one last smoker ever, it met my needs, had most my wants, but most of all, it is made with superior construction and quality. At my age there isn't much left to enjoy as a craft or hobby, and smoking meat and sausage is something I really enjoy, the bonus side of this is that many others also enjoy the product of my hobby. The new smoker brings a smile to my face every time I use it.
With the purchase of a Guru, you can start the smoker, load the meat and walk away, it will tend itself. Because of the size I need only to check the water pan at the 6 - 8 hour mark and I can reload any charcoal (if needed) if it is burning too quickly. (there are vast differences in the burn of charcoals)
While smoking is a lot of work, the guru takes the walking and checking out of the equation, not waking up wondering if the cooker is at proper temp. You can see the pit temp and the internal meat temp without touching the smoker. It also gives you the ability to get a full nights sleep, feeling rested at the cookout so you can enjoy yourself too, not hoping that it will end soon so you can take a nap and get some lost sleep (LOL).