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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 05-07-2013, 08:55 AM   #1
jmoney7269
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Default Flavor: offset vs offset RF

Is there a noticeable difference in flavor between a reverse flow and regular offset. Pros and cons? Fixing to pull a trigger on a Pitmaker magnum sniper trailer and not sure if I want it to be reverse flow or regular vortex. I know there will be more usable space but I heard that reverse flows can transfer that burnt fat flavor onto other meats while cooking. Hoping the expert stick burners will chime in on this one.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 09:06 AM   #2
BBQ Bandit
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Using a reverse flow utilizes a lower baffle plate which sizzles the drippings and fat. Personally - haven't done a blind taste test of identical meats on tradititional vs. reverse flow smokers on my pits.

Believe the use of properly seasoned woods will be the bigger influence.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 09:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoney7269 View Post
... I heard that reverse flows can transfer that burnt fat flavor onto other meats while cooking. ...
I've never heard this nor experienced it, nor have any idea HOW this might occur. The reverse flow would take the grease the other direction, away from the fire, so burnt fat? Perhaps sizzled, as said above, but non-RF's can do this too...

Just the opposite; RF irons out hot spots and gets a more even smoke distribution.

I have both, and I've cooked on many of both types. Frankly, IMHO, RF is superior, if made by a reputable manufacturer who knows what they're doing.


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Unread 05-07-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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I can cook on mine either way (guess its called a hybrid by some) and I've cooked everything but ribs both ways without detecting a difference in taste. One thing I have noticed, when I run it RF setup I can consistently keep temp variation across the pit to <10*; in traditional or "regular vortex" (love that term) setup, temp variation is more like 25*, but that might just be specific to my pit. Also, the RF plate makes it a no-brainer if you want to add a water pan. I now almost always use it RF and based on my experience, I would have gone strictly RF in my build. I agree with BBQ Bandit the key factors influencing taste (and everything else) in stickburners are using good wood and a clean fire (or lack thereof).
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Unread 05-07-2013, 01:54 PM   #5
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i have a traditional setup with tuning plates... and it cooks just as evenly as my buddies RF.. Traditional with Tuning plates.. are great cookers.. hard to beat IMHO
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Unread 05-07-2013, 02:54 PM   #6
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I know there is alot of love for the RF smoekrs here but for me I want a traditional that be set for low and slow on one side and hotter on the other to get things like chicken done. Still working on how to accomplish this but I think I am on to something with an adjustable tuning plate.

For the reverse flow people out there how much space is between the grate and the reverse flow plate?
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Unread 05-07-2013, 03:31 PM   #7
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For the reverse flow people out there how much space is between the grate and the reverse flow plate?
My RF plate is 4 1/2" below the bottom grate. I think anywhere from 4" to 6" is standard.
I have been cooking on my RF since last March and love it. Even temps across the grate(15-20 degrees difference at times, less at other times). I still need to add a sacrificial or slave plate in the top of the firebox which should even the temps out even more. The one thing I have noticed with a RF as to previously cooking on a smaller direct flow unit, the smoke flavor is much more subtle. Part of that may also be the fact that my exhaust is at the top of the tank and not at bottom grate level.
J$, you going to have them mount the Pitmaker you already have on the trailer as well? If so, that will be sweet setup.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 04:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernMN View Post
I know there is alot of love for the RF smoekrs here but for me I want a traditional that be set for low and slow on one side and hotter on the other to get things like chicken done. Still working on how to accomplish this but I think I am on to something with an adjustable tuning plate.

For the reverse flow people out there how much space is between the grate and the reverse flow plate?
The baffle is a shallow "v" shape valley - as a designed grease drain along the center of its length. The upper edge of the "v" is the resting points of the grates.

[The smoker was just scraped down... getting prepped for the pressure washer. ]
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Unread 05-07-2013, 05:29 PM   #9
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Lang, it's immediate (as shown above). Bubba, there's probably 10", maybe a foot... I've seen some use Bubba's like a grill (although I find it rather silly)...
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Unread 05-07-2013, 06:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernMN View Post
I know there is alot of love for the RF smoekrs here but for me I want a traditional that be set for low and slow on one side and hotter on the other to get things like chicken done. Still working on how to accomplish this but I think I am on to something with an adjustable tuning plate.
On a RF, you can easily accomplish that just by lifting or lowering the tongue of the trailer.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 06:30 PM   #11
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On a RF, you can easily accomplish that just by lifting or lowering the tongue of the trailer.
Does it really make that much of a difference lifting and lowering the tongue. If so would lifting the end away from the firebox make that end hotter and the firebox end cooler? Just curious what your experience has been.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 06:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruno994 View Post
[B]
J$, you going to have them mount the Pitmaker you already have on the trailer as well? If so, that will be sweet setup.
No, we would be getting the vault mounted on a custom CP-1 Pitmaker trailer with the magnum sniper, the vault I currently own would be mounted to it, the artic cat would drive up the side of the trailer sideways and the wheels would fit inside channels and strap down just like a tow dolly. I have had some time to think about this. I had some ribs this weekend off a Pitmaker sniper that was burning a really clean fire and they were the bomb. I never understood the whole "stick burner with a clean fire can't be beat" flavor wise and I experienced that. The just burned really dry and seasoned live oak and post oak.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 06:53 PM   #13
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Does it really make that much of a difference lifting and lowering the tongue. If so would lifting the end away from the firebox make that end hotter and the firebox end cooler? Just curious what your experience has been.
Yes. I usually go for as little a difference front to back, top to bottom as I can. For chicken (which I dont consider BBQ), I lower it a tad and then place them right on the back, almost over the firebox. That way they're basically grilled...
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Unread 05-07-2013, 07:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoney7269 View Post
... I never understood the whole "stick burner with a clean fire can't be beat" flavor wise and I experienced that. The just burned really dry and seasoned live oak and post oak.
Yep. Same here, either hickory or white or some red oak, or a combination.
Always dry, always seasoned. Warmed if you can. Dial in sweet blue and stick it. Master this and even though the set-it-and-forget it aspect of some other smokers will have their allure, you'll never part with your offset. Me, I LOVE my Lang RF. I'm sure I'll have her until one of us passes away...
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Unread 05-07-2013, 07:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
Yes. I usually go for as little a difference front to back, top to bottom as I can. For chicken (which I dont consider BBQ), I lower it a tad and then place them right on the back, almost over the firebox. That way they're basically grilled...

Thanks i have a rf and have had a larger variance in temps from one end to the other and after reading this I will have to take this into consideration. The end closest to the firebox gets a lot hotter than I would have expected. I always thought it was because the diverter plate wasn't thick enough. Are they normally 1/4 inch and welded out completely? Mine is thinner sheet metal and just sits on angle (Not welded out).
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