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Old 08-28-2013, 08:35 PM   #1
Mo-Dave
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Default question about reverse flow smokers.

Can anyone tell me what the pros and cons are on a reverse flow, compared to other smokers. I have never had the opportunity to use one, and just wondered if they are a better smoker, in some respects. If they are, I would think if they are the better smoker then why aren't most builders making them? Just curious , no ax to grind here.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:41 PM   #2
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Dave, Sorry to get off topic but are you from Lake Ozarks territory?
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:04 PM   #3
va_connoisseur
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Not better but different. The reverse flow plate evens out the temp across the body of the smoke chamber. If designed properly the smaller chamber (>250gallons) are easy to manage.

The difference from a traditional offset, is that you loss the dual zone hot spot ability. On a traditional offset, the firebox side is significantly hotter than a reverse flow. I've used both, when you are comfortable with either you can produce some amazing 'cue.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:11 PM   #4
mikeleonard81
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That's the big difference like va con said. Just a litle more even heat thru the whole cooking chamber. The fire box side is a little hotter but not by a lot.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianS View Post
Dave, Sorry to get off topic but are you from Lake Ozarks territory?
Yes, Sunrise Beach/Hurricane Deck, next to the Hurricane Deck bridge, if you know the area. And you are where? if you don't mind telling the world, anyway the NSA already knows.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:23 PM   #6
Mo-Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by va_connoisseur View Post
Not better but different. The reverse flow plate evens out the temp across the body of the smoke chamber. If designed properly the smaller chamber (>250gallons) are easy to manage.

The difference from a traditional offset, is that you loss the dual zone hot spot ability. On a traditional offset, the firebox side is significantly hotter than a reverse flow. I've used both, when you are comfortable with either you can produce some amazing 'cue.

I have had a couple offset traditional smokers, just not a reverse flow. All my smokers are verticals at this time,. Well I have a vertical bandera with a side box, don't know if that counts as a vertical or offset well I guess its a vertical offset, but it is still being refurbished, soon to be cooking on it.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:00 PM   #7
davefan360
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as stated above a more even flow of heat, my 120gallon pit is 13-18* difference from side to side. and the ? about why more builders are not building them, well just like everything else everyone like something different.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:24 PM   #8
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Reverse flow allows the heat from the fire box to pass through a chamber to evenly diffuse in the cooking chamber before the heated air and smoke are exposed to the meat. The heated air and smoke bath the meat as it changes direction back toward the exhaust near the fire box, thus the term reverse flow.

Reverse flow is not limited to horizontal smokers. Some vertical smokers like Humphrey's and Backwoods also utilize the reverse flow principles.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:26 PM   #9
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I'm seeing a lot of builders around my area making and selling reverse flow smokers. I know my next stick burner will be a reverse flow, probably a Lang.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:59 PM   #10
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On a reverse flow - while I know the goal is "even" temperature in the cooking chamber - but what should be the hotter side - near firebox or end where smoke exits the reverse flow baffle ?
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:32 AM   #11
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On mine it is hotter where the heat and smoke exits from the RF baffle, opposite the firebox, but on the occasions I have actually measured it, my temp difference is only about 5*-10* across the cooking grate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHojo View Post
On a reverse flow - while I know the goal is "even" temperature in the cooking chamber - but what should be the hotter side - near firebox or end where smoke exits the reverse flow baffle ?
I've cooked on both, all about the same 120 gallon size. I agree with the comments above, not necessarily better but more even heat and I believe a RF is a little more fuel effecient and you don't need to "feed the beast" quite as often.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:02 AM   #12
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The thicker the heat baffle plate, the more even the heat should be, and this means more money. This also means more weight if you move it around a lot. I kind of like the normal offset so you can have dual cooking zones. But to each their own. Maybe a hybrid is the best option like how many people modify their offsets, with movable baffle plates to set up the cooking zones as necessary for your cook.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:18 AM   #13
lynnaepdx
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Hey Guys,

So yeah I have been cooking on my Lang for a couple of years now. It's a custom 6'x13' trailer with a 60 deluxe on one side and a 40 original and chargriller on the the other. At the time I had a smaller truck (Tacoma) so I wanted more space on my trailer to haul tables, coolers, wood, etc - hence the wide body trailer design. Ben and the gang at Land built me a great pit. I now own a larger truck w/canopy (Tundra) so all that extra on-board space isn't needed.

Although I've cooked on traditional offset cookers, I have a lot more experience with Lang's reverse offset design (1/4" steel, non insulated) and how it's worked for me. While I can't for sure say the one is better than the other, I will tell you my experience with my Lang. It's an awesome pit. It didn't have much of a learning curve and was affordable for me. At the time, there were a few teams he in the Pacific Northwest using Langs as opposed to other trailer pits so I was able to study them closely.

I love the flavor and color I get on the meat. Yes, you need to feed it...not much sleep with that pit. Not like my Stumps which got me so much sleep it was almost criminal. That's a different story though...

I use cheap charcoal to get the steel hot then wood (100% of the time) to cook the meat. Depending on the type and dryness of the wood I will get an average of 1 to 1 1/2 hours of burn time before adding fuel. By raising a lowering the tongue and fiddling with the stack damper you will achieve more even temps throughout the cooker. I can generally achieve a 10 degree difference front to back but of course the closer you get to the fire box, the hotter and boy, it's hot down there. Like a microwave.

I am no engineer but I will say this: Ben needs to rethink the fire box dimensions and stack diameter on the smaller pit line (40 and 60 models). Bigger fireboxes and slightly wider stack diameters, IMO, will produce better draft and air-intake/fire combustion. This is NOT a criticism, rather an opinion from my experience...others' may vary :)

Lynnae Oxley
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:24 AM   #14
BrianS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo-Dave View Post
Yes, Sunrise Beach/Hurricane Deck, next to the Hurricane Deck bridge, if you know the area. And you are where? if you don't mind telling the world, anyway the NSA already knows.
Dave
I live down by Ava. I'm fishing a 2 day bass tournament in October on Lake O.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:33 AM   #15
jlane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnaepdx View Post
Hey Guys,

So yeah I have been cooking on my Lang for a couple of years now. It's a custom 6'x13' trailer with a 60 deluxe on one side and a 40 original and chargriller on the the other. At the time I had a smaller truck (Tacoma) so I wanted more space on my trailer to haul tables, coolers, wood, etc - hence the wide body trailer design. Ben and the gang at Land built me a great pit. I now own a larger truck w/canopy (Tundra) so all that extra on-board space isn't needed.

Although I've cooked on traditional offset cookers, I have a lot more experience with Lang's reverse offset design (1/4" steel, non insulated) and how it's worked for me. While I can't for sure say the one is better than the other, I will tell you my experience with my Lang. It's an awesome pit. It didn't have much of a learning curve and was affordable for me. At the time, there were a few teams he in the Pacific Northwest using Langs as opposed to other trailer pits so I was able to study them closely.

I love the flavor and color I get on the meat. Yes, you need to feed it...not much sleep with that pit. Not like my Stumps which got me so much sleep it was almost criminal. That's a different story though...

I use cheap charcoal to get the steel hot then wood (100% of the time) to cook the meat. Depending on the type and dryness of the wood I will get an average of 1 to 1 1/2 hours of burn time before adding fuel. By raising a lowering the tongue and fiddling with the stack damper you will achieve more even temps throughout the cooker. I can generally achieve a 10 degree difference front to back but of course the closer you get to the fire box, the hotter and boy, it's hot down there. Like a microwave.

I am no engineer but I will say this: Ben needs to rethink the fire box dimensions and stack diameter on the smaller pit line (40 and 60 models). Bigger fireboxes and slightly wider stack diameters, IMO, will produce better draft and air-intake/fire combustion. This is NOT a criticism, rather an opinion from my experience...others' may vary :)

Lynnae Oxley
Sugars Barbecue
BBQ Pitmasters RGC Season 4
Thanks for the information Lynnae. I'm looking hard at the Lang right now. I was going to get the 36" patio, but after watching you all cook those hogs last week, my wife thinks I need to step up to the 46" so I can get a small one on there, I think she's right.
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