Originally Posted by katman
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.
I second this post and was going to write something very similar. For your needs an insulated cabinet sounds like the best bet. Good luck in your search!
FEC120, XL BGE, DigiQ DX2, UDS, Cimarron, Weber Jumbo Joe, Grill Grates, ThermoWorks RT600C