been on the hunt for the past few months for a new smoker. i have been contacting Lang, Gator, etc for quotes/shipping information etc. i have some money to spend, but can't quite seem to pull the trigger on anything.
been smoking some time (bout a year now), sometimes every weekend, at the minimum every other weekend it seems on a custom built offset. i purchased it off of craigslist for $300. it is 1/4" steel all around, a 30x20 cooking chamber with round firebox. it cooks well (most complaints are with my skill). it leaks some, more than i think is appropriate, around the firebox lid and the cooking chamber lid. this is what led me to the Lang, Gator, etc. for a while i thought a properly built rig might solve some of my let downs of my first pit.
my dislikes first.
-heavy, it takes two, maybe three friends to move my current pit. it came originally with just a stand. i added some wheels, which allows me to move it around a bit by myself - but i certainly can't get it out of my backyard without help.
-uneven temperature. i am fairly certain this is user error. i have my maverick setup to show grate temp on either side of the smoker. sometimes it varies by 10* sometimes by 50* or more when I try when I add a split. i know temperatures are inherently uneven on an offset, and that it can be used to an advantage. i tend to obsess
about temperature control though. i spend more time adjusting make shift tuning plates, than enjoying cooking and being outside etc.
-tending the fire. another thing that is inherent to an offset. i am getting better, but adding a split every 45 minutes can be cumbersome - and while i don't mind it for the first 5 hours, it can be tedious and can get old.
-space. lots of space. easy to work with food with the lid open
-classic. lots of compliments from people when they come over. can easily become the center of attention at a gathering.
my dislikes for the offset brought me to vertical smokers, some insulated, like Humphrey Smokers. i nearly pulled the trigger on a Battle Box a few months ago - even had the approval from the WIFE!
i have long known about the UDS, but never was serious, thought it was too much a of noob move ( don't hate me!) after owning a fancy offset. if i couldn't enjoy smoking with my offset, why would i like a UDS. recently though the advantages of the UDS made me more interested.
am i crazy to get rid of my offset for a couple of UDS? i really like the idea of stable temperature, long cook times, set it and forget it mentality, not to mention the price. could definitely use the extra money for a ceramic grill, and a new playstation 4 when it's released
sorry to babble, my wife gets tired of me weighing the pros and cons and constantly debating over what to do. any thoughts or suggestions?