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Unread 06-05-2013, 09:46 PM   #1
titan7
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Default What pit makes most sense for an upgrade

I have 2 WSM, an 18.5 and a 22.5. I am thinking of selling the 22.5 and picking up either a backwoods party, a jambo backyard, or a pitmaker safe. I love the 18.5 for taking with me camping or to a friends house. I want the other smoker for capacity and well, pure want. I really like the look of the jambo but I am cautious as I have read the offset smokers are a lot of work. I have been smoking for 2 yrs, no competition q in my future. It's just a hobby.

Any advice welcome
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Unread 06-05-2013, 10:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by titan7 View Post
I have 2 WSM, an 18.5 and a 22.5. I am thinking of selling the 22.5 and picking up either a backwoods party, a jambo backyard, or a pitmaker safe. I love the 18.5 for taking with me camping or to a friends house. I want the other smoker for capacity and well, pure want. I really like the look of the jambo but I am cautious as I have read the offset smokers are a lot of work. I have been smoking for 2 yrs, no competition q in my future. It's just a hobby.

Any advice welcome
Well being a lifetime offset user who enjoys tending a fire I would go for the Jambo but on the other hand you are correct that an offset is more of a challenge to maintain and if you're used to a more set it and forget it type of set up then the Pitmaker would be a great score! I guess it would depend on how adventurous you're feeling. All I know is, I sure wish that I could have had my first offset experience with a Jambo instead of a box store cheapo with thin steel and poorly fitted doors that needed mods to make it work right! If there ever was a time to buy an offset this is it and there are a lot of us here that can help you get the hang of it.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 10:17 PM   #3
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It would be hard to go wrong with any of those. You have to decide if you want a stick burner or an insulated vertical. If you decide on the vertical look at the Backwoods Party G2. It's bigger. Also, the new Humphrey's insulated verticals are getting a lot of good reviews.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 10:18 PM   #4
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One way to find out buy a Cheap offset and learn to cook on it if you can master a cheap one that Jambo will practically run it's self. If you don't like the experience then sell it and put the proceeds toward the Safe.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 10:29 PM   #5
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Try setting a budget and write down the things that are important to you. Then find a pit that matches that.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 10:47 PM   #6
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Thanks, I was trying to stay around $2500. I love way the webers cook but I like be able to lay 6-10 racks of ribs flat and not having to lift the top grate out of the pit to get to the lower grate. I want a removable or pull out fire box in the vertical pits. The party extended looks fine but when you add ss doors and other options it gets up there in price fast. The jambo is 1900 plus shipping to ca, ouch! How long can the jambo go without attention? Over night cooks? The PM safe is a $3$ pit. The party ext. with ss doors and some other options is about 2.6k+
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Unread 06-05-2013, 11:02 PM   #7
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You might also check out Yoder they have a nice line of backyard pits as well and in the price range your looking for
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Unread 06-05-2013, 11:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titan7 View Post
Thanks, I was trying to stay around $2500. I love way the was cook but I like be able to lay 6-10 racks of ribs flat and not having to lift the top grate out of the pit to get to the lower grate. I want a removable or pull out fire box in the vertical pits. The party extended looks fine but when you add ss doors and other options it gets up there in price fast. The jambo is 1900 plus shipping to ca, ouch! How long can the jambo go without attention? Over night cooks? The PM safe is a $3$ pit. The party ext. with ss doors and some other options is about 2.6k+
You'll definitely have to tend to the fire in an offset. You can't go to bed and get up the next morning to instant BBQ like you can with a Pitmaker. Knowing how to work a fire and exactly when to feed it or stoke it is part of being a "pitmaster", which is why I enjoy offsets so much. It makes that awesome brisket or those amazing ribs that much more rewarding when you personally have so much more to do with the results other than loading a basket with charcoal and a couple of chunks, setting a Guru and going to bed, then waking up to see if the BBQ fairy came by while you were sleeping! BBQ is an art and a tradition and unfortunately it's getting lost in all of the gadgets and technology we have now. So as I step off of my soapbox I would suggest that you get the Jambo and learn how to use it. I think that you will fall in love with BBQ in a whole new way.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 12:11 AM   #9
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Thanks oldbill, I am leaning towards the jambo. I will keep the wsm and my bbq guru for the overnight smokes. I do enjoy tending to the fire and I agree with you on several points about learning the art of pit mgmt. I think all I would need to do with the jambo is have Jamie add locking casters to the stack end of it. I looked at the gator and others that have 1/4" steel vs jambo 3/16 but I don't believe that will make a ton of difference. The I insulated fire box is a lot of $$ on the others and they appear to be 20x48. Is the addition of the second level grate on other offsets a worthwhile thing? The jambo backyard only has the single level grate.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 05:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
One way to find out buy a Cheap offset and learn to cook on it if you can master a cheap one that Jambo will practically run it's self. If you don't like the experience then sell it and put the proceeds toward the Safe.
+1 on this. Offsets have a magical appeal to them. It may be the best fit for you. But I would try one before spending $2500 on one. I would also keep an eye on CL and especially the members sale forum here. You can find a deal if you look for it....
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Unread 06-06-2013, 06:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbill View Post

You'll definitely have to tend to the fire in an offset. You can't go to bed and get up the next morning to instant BBQ like you can with a Pitmaker. Knowing how to work a fire and exactly when to feed it or stoke it is part of being a "pitmaster", which is why I enjoy offsets so much. It makes that awesome brisket or those amazing ribs that much more rewarding when you personally have so much more to do with the results other than loading a basket with charcoal and a couple of chunks, setting a Guru and going to bed, then waking up to see if the BBQ fairy came by while you were sleeping! BBQ is an art and a tradition and unfortunately it's getting lost in all of the gadgets and technology we have now. So as I step off of my soapbox I would suggest that you get the Jambo and learn how to use it. I think that you will fall in love with BBQ in a whole new way.
^ This is great advice. Yes, offsets require attention (some of us call it fun) but a quality pit like a Jambo will teach you fire management but minimize the agony. And you do have some options: get a digital wireless thermometer like a Maverick or iGrill, set the alarms any you will be able to get 2-3 hour naps on overnight cooks; or, cook hot & fast, start at 9:00 am with coffee and serve great brisket or butt by 5:00.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 07:41 AM   #12
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Most guys I know who use the trailer-mounted Jambos at comps go about 45 minutes before adding another piece of wood. The Jambo pits are things of beauty and I would love to have one some day.

Not to add confusion to the discussion, but if you are set on an offset take a look at the Peoria cookers. they have a 24 x 48 backyard model that has an insulated firebox option.

http://www.peoriacookers.com/custom-...rd-cooker.html

Also, R&O makes some nice looking pits. I don't think they have a backyard offset but can probably make one.

http://www.rittersbbq.com/page15.html
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Unread 06-06-2013, 08:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Most guys I know who use the trailer-mounted Jambos at comps go about 45 minutes before adding another piece of wood. The Jambo pits are things of beauty and I would love to have one some day.

Not to add confusion to the discussion, but if you are set on an offset take a look at the Peoria cookers. they have a 24 x 48 backyard model that has an insulated firebox option.

http://www.peoriacookers.com/custom-...rd-cooker.html

Also, R&O makes some nice looking pits. I don't think they have a backyard offset but can probably make one.

http://www.rittersbbq.com/page15.html
beat me to it, those peoria cookers look nice ,love to have the mmif.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 08:35 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by titan7 View Post
Thanks oldbill, I am leaning towards the jambo. I will keep the wsm and my bbq guru for the overnight smokes. I do enjoy tending to the fire and I agree with you on several points about learning the art of pit mgmt. I think all I would need to do with the jambo is have Jamie add locking casters to the stack end of it. I looked at the gator and others that have 1/4" steel vs jambo 3/16 but I don't believe that will make a ton of difference. The I insulated fire box is a lot of $$ on the others and they appear to be 20x48. Is the addition of the second level grate on other offsets a worthwhile thing? The jambo backyard only has the single level grate.
Yeah, overall I think that you're making the right decision. 3/16 steel is still a pretty good thickness that will give a good thermal mass and temp control, especially when combined with the efficiency of an insulated firebox. As far as the second level grate goes, it's nice to have that second level if you find yourself needing a little more capacity for a large get together but there are racks available that are actually made to sit on the cooking grate and give extra capacity when needed, (imagine a small table made of expanded steel with little legs that can easily be added or removed from the cooker). I would say that you would find yourself not needing the second level very much anyway and would end up removing it most of the time to keep it out of the way. You could probably go to almost any good metal fabrication shop and have them make you a rack in any shape or size that you need, in fact Jamie could probably make one for you pretty easily.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 11:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titan7 View Post
Thanks, I was trying to stay around $2500. I love way the webers cook but I like be able to lay 6-10 racks of ribs flat and not having to lift the top grate out of the pit to get to the lower grate. I want a removable or pull out fire box in the vertical pits. The party extended looks fine but when you add ss doors and other options it gets up there in price fast. The jambo is 1900 plus shipping to ca, ouch! How long can the jambo go without attention? Over night cooks? The PM safe is a $3$ pit. The party ext. with ss doors and some other options is about 2.6k+
Jambo backyard fits 9 st luis racks, for 10 I had to use a rib rack, it runs about 45-1 hour between sticks. overnight you will be up every hour or trying toi run it on a charcoal basket, then you might as well get a charcoal cooker.

For money and size check out the humphry pits, even with shipping it should be cheaper than the backwoods.

a backyard bomber might be another option.
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