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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 04-09-2014, 09:15 AM   #1
lkissell
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Default Assassin vs. Humphreys

I have been researching my next smoker purchase for almost a year now. Some would say I'm overthinking this purchase!

After much consideration I'm down to the Assassin / Assassin 28 and the Humphreys Down East Beast. Right now I'm leaning towards the Humphreys for the following reasons:

1. I'm pretty much a set it and forget it cook, and I'm concerned about charcoal bridges in the Assassin messing up my overnight cooks, especially if I use lump. With the Humphreys I can use a charcoal maze and my Stoker to almost guarantee worry free overnight cooks.

2. The Humphreys seems a bit better at allowing for wet or dry cooks. The Assassin has a water pan, but it appears rather small and more of an afterthougt. It really looks like the Assassin is designed primarily to cook dry, whereas the Humphrey's can cook wet or dry equally well. The ability to cook wet may not be an issue, but I like having options.

Now for the advantages I see with the Assassin:

1. It has a lot more room to handle large cooks / cuts of meat, and to spread things out to ensure adequate air flow.

2. I live near the Assassin plant, so I could pick up the smoker and avoid shipping charges.

So users of either of these smokers please chime in with your thoughts. I realized that I am chosing between two very good options, but since this will be the last smoker that I buy (to avoid the wife divorcing me), I want to make the best possible decision.

Thanks Brethren!
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Unread 04-09-2014, 09:27 AM   #2
peeps
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You could always use a larger water pan on the lowest shelf or maybe even have them fab a larger one.

When I tried lump in my SS2, I never had bridging in the few cooks I did. I use Stubbs briquettes now and much happier with the fuel consumption and no discernible difference otherwise.
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Unread 04-09-2014, 09:38 AM   #3
lkissell
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Thanks Peeps!

So I'm guessing that you are happy with the SS2 and would purchase it again?

What is your fuel consumption like using Stubbs and cooking in the 250 degree range?
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Unread 04-09-2014, 09:41 AM   #4
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I've never used an assasian, but I'm sure they are great. However I do have a Humphrey's Battle Box. I love it, built like a tank and very fuel efficent. Chad is easy to work with at Humphrey's as well, good customer service.
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Unread 04-09-2014, 09:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkissell View Post
Thanks Peeps!

So I'm guessing that you are happy with the SS2 and would purchase it again?

What is your fuel consumption like using Stubbs and cooking in the 250 degree range?
Well, if $60 in raffle ticket purchasing is buying, hell yeah, I would buy again!

I don't have precise consumption info but I think the longest I have cooked on Stubbs is about 8 hours or so. I started with a full chute and I still had about 1/4 to 1/3 of the chute left when I started it up the next time. I typically cook in the 275F range.
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Unread 04-09-2014, 10:07 AM   #6
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I had the same considerations as you when choosing, especially #1.

I do a lot of overnight cooking, and this was a concern to me leaving it unattended while sleeping.

Both are great units and I have seen an Assassin in person also. Both are built well.

At the end of the day I chose the Humphrey's due to weight and my concerns with the gravity feed.

I don't regret it at all, which ever pit you choose you are making a good choice
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Unread 04-09-2014, 10:08 AM   #7
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New Assassin owner here. I was surprised by how large the water pan is. It is the size of a medium or large pizza box. Perhaps the large size of the Assassin makes its water pan appear to be tiny. I can take pictures if you would like.
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Unread 04-09-2014, 10:12 AM   #8
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I know of at least 6 cook teams that have assassins and love them... it's a quality product and produces great award winning bbq!!
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Unread 04-09-2014, 11:44 AM   #9
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If your going to compare Humphreys to Assassin 28, at least compare the cubed pint to the 28 based on price/size.

Grease managment would be my concern with the Assassin. other than that, they look like fine gravity fed cookers. Im sure either choice you'll be happy with.
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Unread 04-09-2014, 04:47 PM   #10
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I have thought about both of these smokers a lot, just as you have. I want to get the Assassin but one thing that turns me off a bit is a lot of people post about how quickly their smoking wood burns out and how they have to keep adding more. This might partly take away from the set it and forget it technique. Where as with the Humphrey's you can make a nice snake and space out your smoking wood so that it will continue to ignite more wood without your help. I do not hear people complain about bridging much anymore since these tapered chutes came into existence. Some bigger pieces of lump might need to be broken up, but that is about it for that fear.
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Unread 04-09-2014, 04:56 PM   #11
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You can mix hardwood chunks in with your charcoal in the chute...I need to do another trial with this. The first time I had some temp problems as I think I added way too much and it maybe ignited too much of it.
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- Weber Kettle 22.5 OTG w/ Craycort Cast Iron Grates
- Major - Mini WSM (from SJS)

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Unread 04-09-2014, 06:53 PM   #12
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I have never had the bridging problem with my Assassin 24. I have done many overnight cooks.

I add wood chunks under the fire grate, bout every hour for the first few hours then off to bed.
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Unread 04-09-2014, 07:26 PM   #13
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I own the Superior SS-1 which is made by the same guy as the Assassin and I've never had issues with bridging or wood burning up and I cook around four times a week on it. As long as you let it come up to temp BEFORE you add the wood you should be okay with it not burning up. In relation to bridging if you use lump and watch the size you put in the chute you should be perfectly fine.

Keep in mind that adding charcoal and wood to the Humprhey's cooker is going to be more work than with a gravity fed; if you use water, clean up will also be a little more extensive. I quit cooking on my BWS Fatboy once I got the SS-1 because the product was no different and it was much less work for the result.
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Unread 04-09-2014, 07:40 PM   #14
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I too contemplated several cookers for purchase and decided on the Humprey's Down East Beast.

I can tell you that even without the maze the beast burns overnight for about 14 hours on an 8lb load of lump charcoal. I would have to slightly adjust for weather changes or differences in charcoal, but it would run consistently once set.

I did wind up buying a BBQ Guru Digi-Q II not because I had too, but to make my sleep more restful. After many years of inefficient cookers, getting up to check the smoker, this was a hard habit to break. I found myself waking up and checking the Beast when I really didn't have to. It wasn't until I added the Guru that I put that old habit behind me.

I sleep like a baby and now I enjoy my gatherings and functions as much as the others.

Here is a link to why I bought the Down East Beast. But don't buy it because it fit my needs, buy the one that fits your needs.

.
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Unread 04-09-2014, 07:43 PM   #15
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If I were buying it would be a Humphreys without question
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