Originally Posted by markrvp
I'm looking forward to seeing which of your three smokers (YS640, Assasin, Lang) you prefer the smoke flavor. I have three smokers on my wish list and they are the Yoder YS640, Assasin 28, and Jambo Backyard. Three very different smokers for sure.
I used to have a YS640 and of all the pellet cookers I've owned, it produced the best BBQ IMO. However it was an earlier model, single fan that didn't have as good of temperature control as the later units. I did not get the same results with the YS1500 as I did with the YS640 out of the gate. With the YS1500, I had to switch to 100% Hickory pellets. With them, the smoke flavor is MUCH better on the YS1500.
The best BBQ I've ever made has come off of my little 18.5 WSM. I have to tell you that the sweet smell of cherry wood smoking really makes me enjoy BBQ and that's not something you get with a pellet cooker. However a pellet cooker gives you flexibility, such as grilling or changing temperatures fairly easily. Turn it on, you have fire. Turn it off, it goes away quickly. Easy to refuel as well. If I sell my YS1500 some day, I will have a pellet cooker of some sort. They are simply very convenient and consistent.
I was looking at the Jambo Backyard as well. They build an outstanding product and I would have zero hesitation going with one. For me, a stick burner is never going to be my everyday cooker. I have too much going on half the time to tend a fire. However I know I'm missing out on a big part of what makes BBQ special and for that reason I have bought a stick burner as well, though on the small side. Fine by me.
The Assassin will probably become my goto smoker. It's fuel efficient, seemingly easy to run and I can add as much smoke into the meat as I want by simply adding more chunks into the ash pan. I did make a mistake in adding the wood in there at the start, because I have a hell of a nice bed of coals in there now. Any wood I put in there gets vaporized quickly. Next time I'll let it settle into it's temperature and then quickly toss in my smoking wood at the edges of the ash pan.
I will post up frequently between my cooks on the YS1500, Assassin 28 and Lang 36. I'll probably spend more time with the Lang during the next couple of months because it's going to be completely new to me.