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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 12-29-2012, 02:06 PM   #16
johnnysmoke
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i will take a good look at the wsm.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 02:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysmoke View Post
i will take a good look at the wsm.
If you go that route, you will not be disappointed! Guaranteed.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 02:25 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JPS11 View Post
I noticed this Brinkman Trailmaster Limited offset at Home Depot today for $299. It was up on a shelf so I couldn't get a good look at it but it seems more heavy duty than most cheap offsets. Weighs 170 lbs. Says welded construction and the reviews are pretty good.

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/brinkma...l#.UN9LKqxtVSQ
Within the link you provided - At the bottom of the Home Depot page; there's a hotlink to download the assembly instructions in PDF form.
It's a bolted DYI to assemble.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 03:04 PM   #19
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Trailmaster Assy Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qcfev7sqRQ
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Unread 12-29-2012, 03:10 PM   #20
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If you enjoy staying up and maintaining a fire, purchase an offset. If you want to try and replicate a set it and forget it mode, UDS or WSM type smoker. Throw in a cheap controller and you will be ready to go.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 03:12 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by GreenDrake View Post
Build an Ugly Drum and you will be happy forever.
ABSOLUTELY...
A UDS is a great smoker, and with the money you save, you can afford
lots of meat.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 04:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob in St. Louis View Post
I like to chime in once more, if I may......

--in my opinion--

A guy that knows what he's doing can make great food on cheap equipment.
A guy that doesn't, needs better equipment to help him make "good" food...or at least help him to not screw it up.

Is that a fair statement?
+1
I finished 4th in my very first competition with a New Braunsfels off set from Academy that was so rusted and used that the hinge broke on the main chamber right after we lit the fire. I stayed up all night tending that fire. If nothing else, the work you put into those little wood burners will certainly make you a better cook. I turned out a lot of good food with that cheap pit.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 05:00 PM   #23
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Agree with Bandit. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Seems particularly true with offsets. Guys here are terrific at pointing out values, but tends to not be offsets.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 06:35 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob in St. Louis View Post
I like to chime in once more, if I may......

--in my opinion--

A guy that knows what he's doing can make great food on cheap equipment.
A guy that doesn't, needs better equipment to help him make "good" food...or at least help him to not screw it up.

Is that a fair statement?
AMEN! Jimi Hendrix played a piece of chit broken down strat yet he became one of the best guitarist of all time. Its all in the hands and the passion put into cookin' great food.

But as for the 300 dollar question... As already mentioned a WSM is a good all around cooker. Commercially made and worth the money. The other choice is a UDS. Also a great all around cooker, but requires building rather than simply buying. With that said, $300 for a UDS is a very very wide budget. A lot less could be spent on building one, but a $300 UDS would be totally sweet if built up right.

Offset wise, $300 will get you the Brinkmann Trailmaster and anything below that. Which is okay. If you really want the offset, go for it. You just have to learn the twitches and tweaks of the pit and put passion into your food. Every pit is different and putting in a little work to tend a fire builds character!!

So, go with your gut. Pick whatever you think you will enjoy cooking on the most. The worst thing you can do is buy a pit that will never get used, for whatever reason that may be..
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Unread 12-29-2012, 06:50 PM   #25
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Take $100, build a UDS. Take the other $200, and have a throwdown.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 06:53 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob in St. Louis View Post
I like to chime in once more, if I may......

--in my opinion--

A guy that knows what he's doing can make great food on cheap equipment.
A guy that doesn't, needs better equipment to help him make "good" food...or at least help him to not screw it up.

Is that a fair statement?

Yes and no ....

Can that same guy who knows what he is doing make even better BBQ on a kick-ass cooker? My opinion is yes, but that's all it is, my opinion.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 07:07 PM   #27
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I had one of the Brinkmann early bolt-together offset and another Smoke-N-Pit. Both were complete garbage and both were thrown away. I then (20 years ago) purchased a much heavier gauge welded steel offset which is no longer made (similar to a Yoder today), and this was MUCH better, but was $800 then... Getting something anywhere resembling fire control, consistent temps, and clean sweet blue smoke is next to impossible on these leaky ill-conceived models. I've since upgraded to a much nicer Lang and all those hassles are gone. Have a friend who had been BBQing on 2 char-griller offsets for the last few years with moderate success, but he'd judged competitions and had had mine on more than a few occasions and knew his BBQ was lacking. This summer he purchased a nice Bubba Grills offset (reverse flow, like Lang) and immediately went from making pretty good BBQ do damned great slap-yo-mama BBQ in just two cooks.

For under $1000, you're just not going to get a worthwhile offset, IMHO, and then I cant think of one in that $1000 range. Anyone seen how much Lang wants for a 48 patio? That's probably where you start getting fairly good equipment. Maybe a larger Yoder (I think they start at $1500+- for what I'm talking about, but they aren't reverse flow).

In the $300 to $500 range, it's going to be VERY tough to beat the quality and versatility of a WSM. Get the 22. There are competitors who compete, and I mean
compete effectively nationally in KCBS competitions using a few WSM's; they're that good.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 07:08 PM   #28
BBQ Bandit
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I hope there wasn't a confusion on the basis of what was earlier discussed.

At no time - did I say it shouldn't, wouldn't, or could not be done successfully.

My opinion was based on years of a trial and error learning curve - on several cookers over the past 10 years or so.

(2) Brinkmann verical water smokers,
A Brinkmann Smoke King Deluxe - a Bandera clone.
Built a Double Barrel Smoker...
(2) Bubba Keg smokers
Lang 48 patio offset
Lang 60 mobile
Klose Backyard Chef
Lang 84 Deluxe kitchen
and a 22.5" WSM - latest addition.

That's 11 smokers over the last ten years - and have cooked edible BBQ in all of them.
Would I want to do it again on lower end equipment?
Only if there are no better options available.

Been there, Done that mod.

Was only trying to pass on my opinion based on the above background and experience learned.

The question I have is in three parts;
1. How often do you want to upgrade the smoker?
2. Do you want to modify the existing design to make it work?
3. How difficult of a learning curve do you want?


Those questions will lead you to the WSM - a championship proven, efficient smoker right out of the box.

Am only suggesting to chose wisely.
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Last edited by BBQ Bandit; 12-29-2012 at 07:27 PM..
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Unread 12-29-2012, 07:37 PM   #29
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I would go one of two ways. Spend $100 building a UDS and take the other $200 and search craigslist until you find a older all welded thick steel offset. Or you could go get yourself a WSM.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 07:42 PM   #30
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Just to throw it out there, just because you own a WSM which, yes, is proven to and regularly does win competitions, it doesn't automatically make your Q amazing and 1st class comp grade. I feel that sometimes, a lot of people get the notion that they can just buy a $300 cooker that wins competitions and expect awesome results. It takes practice to turn out good Q, not just good equipment.

Back in October, I competed in the Backyard Class at one of the late BBQ comps here in STL. The team next to my spot had 2 22' WSMs and 2 Ceramic cookers. Easily over $1000 in cooking equipment that ended up getting beat by a majority of the 22 teams. The cooks experience is just as valuable as the price tag on his equipment, if not more. That said, I had my Silver Smoker and my Coleman, both costing me a combined total under $100 from sellers on CL and with mods to the Silver, and I ended up with 5th in Ribs and 12th in chicken. Not too shabby for using two pits that are second or third hand with the Coleman being about 5-10 years older than me. You just need to find a pit that is going to compliment your cooking style and experience, and also give you room to grow. And once you find one, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!

**Disclaimer** I am in NO WAY discrediting the WSM. They really are fantastic cookers for the price. I am only trying to illustrate the point that cooking experience and a cheap pit can go a much farther way than a $500-$1000 rig and an inexperienced cook.
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