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Unread 10-02-2013, 09:27 PM   #1
Thespanishgrill
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Default Looking for a pit spot in Los Angeles.. Suggestions ?

Hi all,

Just recently found your excellent site. Pretty new to smoking but looking for an offset under a grand to learn and hone my skills. I've seen the big box stores and it looks like the best they have to offer is a Oklahoma longhorn for around 465.00 or so.
It looks like I'll either have to get a pos for around 175 and if It works save for a real pit or if anyone has a loc of a good spot that would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your suggestions and advice.

Cheers
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Unread 10-02-2013, 09:56 PM   #2
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One thing about cheap offsets (COS's) is that they sometimes will turn people off to the idea of smoking because they can be frustrating due to being leaky, inefficient, etc. Some folks do mods on them and then have a pit that they know and love and turn out great food on however.

There are occasional good scores on offsets on Craigslist, but I am not aware of a shop where you can just go and buy a quality offset around here. There is Big Poppa Smokers in Indio - they do mail order/delivery and may be worth a look - great to deal with and they have all kinds of stuff. I doubt if they have COS's, but if you're gonna be into smoking it's good to know about these guys for sure.

There are other alternatives- WSM, UDS, etc. but if you're dead set on an offset and are willing to deal with the problems that come with a light metal cooker, then by all means go for it - once you can control the heat on a COS, you're a badass mofo in my book and will be able to run a heavy metal cooker just fine. I don't know enough about the differences in quality and capacity between the $175 and the $465 options to be able to give any insight on that.

What I would probably do is build a UDS and start saving and looking for a deal on a used offset, or save a lot (and I do mean a lot - plus shipping!) and look at Klose, Gator, Horizon, Jambo, Lang, Meadowcreek etc.

I just looked on CL and there are a few COS's for sale - they're ugly but they're cheap!

Probably worth mentioning that I much prefer cooking on an offset when I have time to tend the fire.
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Unread 10-02-2013, 10:06 PM   #3
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Look for fabricators on your local CL to build you a nice cooker. This will save you a boatload in shipping, get you a quality cooker, and you will have the ability to go with a thinner plate thickness than with some of the big guys to save some $$ if you so choose but still be a nice starting point at a better price point.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 08:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thespanishgrill View Post
Hi all,

Just recently found your excellent site. Pretty new to smoking but looking for an offset under a grand to learn and hone my skills. I've seen the big box stores and it looks like the best they have to offer is a Oklahoma longhorn for around 465.00 or so.
It looks like I'll either have to get a pos for around 175 and if It works save for a real pit or if anyone has a loc of a good spot that would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your suggestions and advice.

Cheers
These guys are in your vicinity I think. I came across them on youtube some time ago and had forgotten about them until I saw your post. Check em' out! http://www.katbbqsmokers.com/ They have a 17" x 35" reverse flow offset for $775!
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Unread 10-03-2013, 08:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbill View Post
They have a 17" x 35" reverse flow offset for $775!
Personally, I wouldn't spend that much money on a pit less than 20" in diameter. 17" isn't wide enough to put 2 briskets side-by-side and it isn't wide enough to put some racks of ribs perpendicular to the long axis of the pit without trimming them.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 09:20 AM   #6
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Really, you can't go wrong with a UDS, unless you really want to spend coin. Not knocking the high-end smokers though, there are some really nice ones out there.

No need to spend 175 bucks on a POS. You can easily spend less than 100 (I spent 75-ish, including all parts and a couple cans of bbq paint).
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Unread 10-03-2013, 09:33 AM   #7
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Call Renea at the Woodshed in Orange. They had a stick burner on display fabricated by a guy out in the Riverside area. Renea might be able to hook you up.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 10:37 AM   #8
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Maybe looking @ craigslist might be worth a look if you don't mind something used. I got a weber kettle for less than half of retail and also got 2 charcoal baskets, tongs, a steel wire brush, and a charcoal chiminey.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 10:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke duke View Post
Personally, I wouldn't spend that much money on a pit less than 20" in diameter. 17" isn't wide enough to put 2 briskets side-by-side and it isn't wide enough to put some racks of ribs perpendicular to the long axis of the pit without trimming them.
Yeah I agree, 17" is a little narrow and I don't really care for the design on the firebox but they might be able to get wider pipe or custom make something. I think that they are the only California based pit maker that I know of, at least for the quality that Thespanishgrill is looking for and in his under a grand price range. They seem to be well built pits looking at the videos and website.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 11:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borzwazie View Post
Really, you can't go wrong with a UDS, unless you really want to spend coin. Not knocking the high-end smokers though, there are some really nice ones out there.

No need to spend 175 bucks on a POS. You can easily spend less than 100 (I spent 75-ish, including all parts and a couple cans of bbq paint).
Well said sir.

If it were me I'd either build a UDS on the cheap, or spend some dough and get a quality, tight fitted offset. Cheapo sheet metal offsets seem like they'd be a total cooking nightmare to me. Have you any Academy stores near you? They carry Old Country pits for around $500 that are all welded and thicker steel. Some say they have quality control issues(gaps in lid etc) but if you could look at one in a store you could make sure it was all good before buying. From what I've heard they're pretty good for a $500 pit, but I've never seen one in person.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 11:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Rod View Post
Well said sir.

If it were me I'd either build a UDS on the cheap, or spend some dough and get a quality, tight fitted offset. Cheapo sheet metal offsets seem like they'd be a total cooking nightmare to me. Have you any Academy stores near you? They carry Old Country pits for around $500 that are all welded and thicker steel. Some say they have quality control issues(gaps in lid etc) but if you could look at one in a store you could make sure it was all good before buying. From what I've heard they're pretty good for a $500 pit, but I've never seen one in person.
Yeah, I've seen the Old Country pits in my local grocery store H-E-B. They're definitely a step up from the box store things, 1/4 " steel and put together well but they have a lot of gaps around the doors. I would probably invest in some high heat silicone caulk to seal it off if I got one of those. Other than the leaky door issues though, they appear to be pretty nice backyard pits!
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Unread 10-03-2013, 11:37 AM   #12
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I would go with a UDS also as there are a couple of drum dealers in LA that sell refurbished unlined drums. And it's also an easy, fun project.
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Unread 10-03-2013, 11:46 AM   #13
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Bass Pro sells Horizons. If nothing else, it will give you a chance to see a welded 1/4" offset in person. I think their prices (Horizon in general) are too high, but they should have something local for you to look at.
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Unread 10-04-2013, 06:54 AM   #14
Thespanishgrill
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Thanks for all the good suggestions. The uds seems to be popular but time permitting isn't an option now I would probably go with wsm. I'll reach out to that put maker and see if that leads anywher.
I'm not familiar with heb so guessing they are not around here. I will continue to look on cl but I've never had any luck there.
Going to try a brisket this weekend on my acorn and see if I can make some edible.
Thanks to all for your suggestions

On a side note, anyone know of real bbq classes in Los Angele?
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Unread 10-04-2013, 07:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thespanishgrill View Post
Thanks for all the good suggestions. The uds seems to be popular but time permitting isn't an option now I would probably go with wsm. I'll reach out to that put maker and see if that leads anywher.
I'm not familiar with heb so guessing they are not around here. I will continue to look on cl but I've never had any luck there.
Going to try a brisket this weekend on my acorn and see if I can make some edible.
Thanks to all for your suggestions

On a side note, anyone know of real bbq classes in Los Angele?
It takes no time at all to slap a Big Poppas Smoker kit on a drum.
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