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Unread 11-14-2013, 10:19 AM   #16
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 03-15-13
Location: Annapolis & Ocean City Md.
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Hey ArmyGuy! I've followed your journey on various forums and figured you were going to take the plunge againwhen you sold the Dreamworks. So here's my two cents: Get a Backwoods, Humphrey's, Pitmaker or similar cabinet smoker. I have three eggs--a clay I've had for about 30 years and two of the newer ceramics. So they are thrifty and give a result like your steel keg, easy to control, etc. but not much capacity. I also have a large WSM. Great results, a needs a bit more charcoal or lump but easy to control. I got a Backwoods extended party about a year ago. Pretty thrifty, easy to control, good capacity and good results. I'd say you can get results that are pretty close to your keg. And a plus is you can get crispier skin on chicken, if that becomes one of your objectives. With a heat shield and water in the pan mine likes to settle in around 225-250. With no water in the pan I use crumbled foil for a moderate heat sink and cook at about 275-300. With the standard charcoal basket at 275 my burn is probably about 6-7 hours using briquettes before I start throwing a few more on to ensure a nice steady temp for a typical 10 hours. I did have my backwoods cranked up to 400 or so when I was seasoning it but I really don't think it is designed to go much above 300. Don't worry about venturing into a cabinet style water smoker. It is just a heat sink and many prefer not using water.

I had a stick burner years ago when I didn't mind tending a fire for hours. I think you will be pleased with the convenience and results of a cabinet. They are very easy to regulate. You can do small cooks or use one to full capacity. I still use my eggs and WSM but at some point I'll move to somplace where I don't have the space to store all of these cookers and will consolidate. I'll probably keep a cabinet and maybe a pellet smoker/grill. The Backwoods is a fine cooker but I think any similar design would give you the results you want.
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