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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 06-12-2008, 10:37 PM   #31
Jeff_in_KC
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Careful using a weed burner to clean the racks in the Spicebox! I ruined a few and had to buy replacements from Jay. I'm talking about the removable grates, not the frames.
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Unread 06-12-2008, 11:02 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
I'm looking at the Competitor in the Backwoods, possibly the medium Spicewine.

I'm aware of the obvious differences in finish and features, the things I'd like to hear from owners are things like:
  • Mobility loading and unloading on a truck or trailer
  • Any rust or leakage issues
  • Ease and method of cleaning
  • Manufacturer support and warranty claims
  • Unattended cook times
  • Hot spots or other idiosyncrasies
Thanks for your help! I like to get as many opinions as possible before buying...

-gf

GF
Nice to see you are doing your homework.
I would suggest that you take it one step further and talk or email other owners of the particular smoker you are looking at (Medium Spicewine or Backwoods Competitor ) not just the brand of smoker.
Here are pics of Ed E piece of 2" insulation ( made by Mike @ Backwoods ) sandwiched in stainless steel that acts as a barrier from the Backwoods Fatboy that he uses.
He cooks without water and is extremely happy with the results and it also increases his cook times.This is designed to drain the grease thru the ball valve.

This is Ed's comments about it on the Backwoods website

Mike has been playing around with some mods for dry cooking. I've got a retrofit in my Fatboy and had my Patio built with it. It's basically insulation sandwiched by sheet metal that fits in the water pan. My Fatboy has a permanent water pan and he fixed it where the grease will drain out the valve. I've been very happy. They are super efficient. Just an option you might want to check out.

http://usera.imagecave.com/edembry/BWS-Mods/
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Unread 06-13-2008, 06:31 AM   #33
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Smile OK, so you knew I'd chime in !!!

I don't sell Spicewines because I need the money!
During my journey finding the best cooker for the money in the past 10 years nothing compares to a Spicewine.

I've used them both (Backwoods & Spicewine) for pleasure and competition. I have researched it to death. No comparison as far as quality.
I am a licensed Inspection Authorized Aviation Mechanic and Quality and Durability is the quality I look for in anything worth buying with my hard earned money. The Spicewine is made for the long haul.

OK so I like my cookers....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg spice18.jpg (31.3 KB, 233 views)
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Unread 06-13-2008, 09:16 AM   #34
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I agree with Jimmy! The Spicewine is built like a Brick Chithouse and may be the last cooker you ever need to buy.
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Unread 06-13-2008, 09:23 AM   #35
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Unlike many of you who might seema bit biased to the cooker that you own or sell I have a different perspective.I do not own either and per my avatar I am partial to the wsm. That being said I have had the luxury of cooking on both and hands down the spicewine would be my choice. BW= Maserati(poor mans ferrari) very nice car well built but not......SW= Ferrari. ( FERRARI)
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Unread 06-13-2008, 10:10 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
Thanks for all the great input folks!

By "leaks" I mean the nasty black tar dripping out of the bottom of the unit. I've heard some reports of this occurring with the Spicewine.

Interesting observation on the left hand doors on some of the Backwoods models. I wonder why some open to the right and some to the left? The racks seem a bit flimsy on the Backwoods - any problems when you stuff the smoker full with cases of butts?
Backwoods owner here. No leaks at all with my party, they are sealed tight. Backwoods WILL mount your door which ever way you want, its personal preference. Default from the factory is open to the right, but they will reverse if you wish. The racks on the backwoods did seem flimsy the first time I saw them, but quickly realised they are fine. I load mine down and no problems at all. When I move my BWS around I appreciate that the grates dont weigh a ton and it is not needed.
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Unread 06-13-2008, 11:49 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
I'm looking at the Competitor in the Backwoods, possibly the medium Spicewine.

I'm aware of the obvious differences in finish and features, the things I'd like to hear from owners are things like:
  • Mobility loading and unloading on a truck or trailer
  • Any rust or leakage issues
  • Ease and method of cleaning
  • Manufacturer support and warranty claims
  • Unattended cook times
  • Hot spots or other idiosyncrasies
Thanks for your help! I like to get as many opinions as possible before buying...

-gf
I own a BWS party and love it. I can't comment on the Spicewines, but I hear they are quality smoker's too (as are the Stumps smokers).

Regarding the mobility, I think the lighter BWS will be easier to move although I'm not sure either is going to be "easy" to move around.

Rust. Both are made of metal.

Leakage. The BWS have a nice gasket on the doors. I've not had any issues with leakage.

Cleaning. A clean smoker is a neglected smoker. I wipe the outside of mine down with a damp rag and stainless steel appliance cleaner because I want the outside to shine.

Warranty. I can't imagine either group would want to have disgruntled customers and I suspect they both stand behind their product.

Unattended cook times. Both will give you plenty of unattended cook times (especially if you use a Guru, DigiQII, Stoker or something similar). The limiting factor might be with the water pan, but I got 7 hours of sleep with my BWS party last weekend.

Hot spots. Not that I've discovered, but some say the upper grate is hotter than the lower grate. The lower grate is closest to the water and might affect bark, but I haven't had any problems like that.

Budweiser or Miller. I'm a Miller High Life guy
Ford or Chevy. I'd go with Ford although I don't own either

I'm not sure about Spicewines, but I know there is a strong secondary market for BWS. So if you bought a BWS and didn't like it, you shouldn't have any problem unloading it for a reasonable price.
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Unread 06-13-2008, 02:29 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
Thanks for all the great input folks!

By "leaks" I mean the nasty black tar dripping out of the bottom of the unit. I've heard some reports of this occurring with the Spicewine.

Interesting observation on the left hand doors on some of the Backwoods models. I wonder why some open to the right and some to the left? The racks seem a bit flimsy on the Backwoods - any problems when you stuff the smoker full with cases of butts?
No problems with loading my Competitor to the max the Party model is lieghter weight but will still hold what it is designed for.
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Unread 06-13-2008, 03:33 PM   #39
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I recently purchased a used BWS Piglet. Similar weight to the Competitor, but significantly more space to cook on.

The primary reason I purchased this cooker was ease of use and weight.

So far, I have been very happy with it. It comes up to temp and holds well, is efficient, and effective at producing the results.

The only complaint I have is the casters. They are not meant for rolling over anything except hard surfaces. I upgraded to a 10" pneumatic tire caster setup through Northern Tool (thanks to Pigmaker23). If I were to buy one new, I would buy the casters, and ship them to the factory for installation.

As far as customer service, I contacted BWS today. Talked with Chase. Believe me, they stand behind their product. In short, they are handling a manufacturing defect (thermo location) like pros. Also, please recognize that I am not the original purchaser of the cooker. Their attention to the matter really impressed me.

Before I bought the BWS, I looked at all the vertical water smoker companies. They all do a great job. Some differences, but in the end lots of people produce great Q on each of the brands of cookers. Weight was the single biggest factor for me.

Whether you buy a new or used cooker. Give these guys a try for freight, contact Rick @ Craters and Freighters out of Tulsa, OK. He managed the whole transaction of picking up the cooker at the owners house, crating it, insuring it, and freighting it to Boston, NY. The whole transaction was easy, and reasonable. They are nationwide. This guy has a lot of experience shipping cookers.

Craters & Freighters
1515 West 36th Place
Tulsa, OK 74107
918-447-9600 - 877-887-9600
fax: 918-447-9606
Tulsa@CratersAndFreighters.com

Good luck in your quest! Let us know what you decide.
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Unread 06-13-2008, 06:53 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_in_KC View Post
Careful using a weed burner to clean the racks in the Spicebox! I ruined a few and had to buy replacements from Jay. I'm talking about the removable grates, not the frames.
Thats why we put expanded metal in the shelves So we can use the weed burner
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Unread 06-14-2008, 01:44 AM   #41
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Thanks guys for all your input. It's going to be several months before I pull the trigger, but I put a lot of research in before buying a smoker. I'll probably cook on one of each before making the decision. Part of the timing will depend on our sponsorship situation next season - one of our current sponsors is a cooker manufacturer so that has us pretty well locked in for competition right now.

Regards,

Gowan Fenley
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Unread 06-14-2008, 02:40 AM   #42
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I have had leaks on the bottom of my Spicewine.
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Unread 06-14-2008, 06:29 AM   #43
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I have had a leak in my SW door. I adjusted the handle and it was fine. Took about 15 seconds to fix.
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Unread 06-14-2008, 07:59 AM   #44
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The new door latches do not need adjustment
Always tight no leaks
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Unread 06-14-2008, 09:25 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomEmery View Post
The new door latches do not need adjustment
Always tight no leaks
Tom do you have a photo of the new door latches you can post and also a photo of the diamond plate door fronts, thanks.
Dave
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