08-01-2013, 11:45 AM
Quintessential Chatty Farker
Join Date: 07-10-05
Location: NORTH BERGEN, NEW JERSEY
I also agree with Casey Dog and IAMMADMAN. Her are a few of my thoughts.
Stick Burners and Cabinet Cookers are different animals. Your first step should be to decide which style suits your needs, then work within that group to determine what you want.
I'm lucky have both styles of cooker so I will give you my 2 cents.
Stick Burners are very impressive units and lots of people love it see them cooking away.
Her you need to decide if you are leaning to a Traditional Offset or a Reverse Flow (ie. LANG).
Depending on where you live, wood can be expensive.
You will need a place to store your wood so it will season properly and always be ready to cook as needed.
You could always buy a charcoal box for the unit and use a combination of Charcoal and sticks.
But, you need to decide if this defeats your purpose of having a stick burner or does it add flexibility.
For me, it added a great degree of flexibility.
Stick Burners can turn out great product but you need to baby sit them closely. If you only burn sticks
the fire box will need to be fed every half hour or so and you will need to work the vents to insure you have a
stable temp in the cooker. This can take a lot of practice to get right.
If you don't mind all the work a stick burner is a great choice and can be a lot of fun.
For a lot of people staying up all night and feeding a fire box can get old very quickly.
Here again you could use a charcoal box and get longer burn times and some rest..
You could also decide to cook Hot and Fast and save some time. Either way you will need to consider
how you want to manage the fire.
Probably not as impressive to look at compared to the Stick Burner. Of course a custom paint job
would improve the look if this is important to you. Insulated cabinet smokers stay cool to the touch and can
always look clean if taken care of properly. My Spicewine is about 5 years old and looks brand new.
Charcoal is available year round and during certain sale periods can be bought in bulk for a good price.
As with sticks, you will need a place to store your charcoal if you buy in bulk. If you don't have the space,
it may be a better choice to buy it as needed and avoid the storage issue all together.
Wood chunks can be bought year round and a large supply does not need to be stored.
Insulated cabinet cookers usually hold rock solid temps which allow for long steady burn times.
When assisted with a air control devise like a Guru, Stoker, or IQ 110, it is basically a set it and forget it unit.
Cabinet Smokers can be heavy and difficult to move. The weights on these types of cookers can vary greatly depending
on size and manufacturer and specifications.
My Big Green Egg gets the most use at my house, however, if I could have only have one of my larger cookers, it would be my Spicewine
which I would have mounted on a trailer.
I can't give a fair comparison between cabinet smokers as I have only cooked on a Spicewine. I can however tell you that
these units are amazing and built to last. If you are looking for bang for the buck, the Spicewine will out last all of us. The only
down side may be the weight of the cooker. Pricing for Medium Spicewine can be found on their site. http://spicewineironworks.com/ The Medium holds a lot of meat and is a great over all size. It can handle almost any job unless you plan on feeding very large crowds on a regular basis.
I hope this is somewhat helpful. Good luck with your choice and be sure to let us know what you end up buying.
Lang 84 Deluxe Warmer with Chargrill
XL - BGE
Med. BGE ( Bought it for my son Vincenzo)
Kenmore Elite Gasser
Camp Chef Outdoor Stove