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Unread 01-16-2009, 08:26 AM   #1
rookiedad
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Default bws party and fatboy owners question

with a heat deflector installed which model has more headroom for building a fire basket? being that surface areas are the same what are the advantages of the fatboy provided i had a fire basket built for a party that allowed for ash seperation? is there a noticible difference between the insulation in the cold? any other thoughts? i'm kinda leaning toward the party due to weight issues but i don't wan't to sacrifice anything important.
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Unread 01-16-2009, 09:04 AM   #2
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I'm sure someone will chime in, but I'd ask the same questions in the backwoods forum.
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Unread 01-16-2009, 10:20 AM   #3
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The Party has more "headroom" between the charcoal basket and the water pan then the Fatboy. I had a charcoal basket made for my Party, it was about 9" inches tall, and fit inside the Party charcoal tray. I also have a Fatboy, that I use with just the stock charcoal tray. The span between the Fatboy charcoal basket and water pan is considerably less than that of the Party. However, the Fatboy charcoal pan is much larger than that of the Party. I will likely have a charcoal basket made for the Fatboy as well, but really have not yet put much though into the dimensions. Having owned and cooked on both cookers, I really have not noticed much difference between the taste or efficiency of the two cookers, although you would expect the 2" insulation on the Fatboy to translate to less fuel useage, especially in cold or windy conditions. The Fatboy was designed to cook and entire KCBS contest on one cooker. I have cooked entire contests on my Party, with a BWS Chubby as insurance. Both are fine cookers, and will likely suit your needs. It is hard to quantify, but for my money, the Fatboy is somehow a more "serious" cooker, more well suited to KCBS contests. The lightweight of the Party is nice, but since I only need to load it for travel a handfull of times each year, I am willing to overlook the extra pounds of the Fatboy. I think you will be happy with either choice, and can make excellent food on either. If you have additional questions, I'd be happy to help.
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Unread 01-16-2009, 12:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjl View Post
The Party has more "headroom" between the charcoal basket and the water pan then the Fatboy. I had a charcoal basket made for my Party, it was about 9" inches tall, and fit inside the Party charcoal tray. I also have a Fatboy, that I use with just the stock charcoal tray. The span between the Fatboy charcoal basket and water pan is considerably less than that of the Party. However, the Fatboy charcoal pan is much larger than that of the Party. I will likely have a charcoal basket made for the Fatboy as well, but really have not yet put much though into the dimensions. Having owned and cooked on both cookers, I really have not noticed much difference between the taste or efficiency of the two cookers, although you would expect the 2" insulation on the Fatboy to translate to less fuel useage, especially in cold or windy conditions. The Fatboy was designed to cook and entire KCBS contest on one cooker. I have cooked entire contests on my Party, with a BWS Chubby as insurance. Both are fine cookers, and will likely suit your needs. It is hard to quantify, but for my money, the Fatboy is somehow a more "serious" cooker, more well suited to KCBS contests. The lightweight of the Party is nice, but since I only need to load it for travel a handfull of times each year, I am willing to overlook the extra pounds of the Fatboy. I think you will be happy with either choice, and can make excellent food on either. If you have additional questions, I'd be happy to help.
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Unread 01-16-2009, 05:06 PM   #5
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Oh Aubrey......Aubrey Aubrey Aubrey. Perhaps I should have used the words versatile, or sturdy...as opposed to serious. Here are some quick points to ponder regarding the Party vs the Fatboy.

1. 2" of insulation vs 1" of insulation.
2. Total cooking area does not always translate to usuable cooking area.
3. Heavier gauge racks.
4. The locating tabs on the bottom of the Fatboy charcoal pan allow for
easier refills during extended cooks.
5. The lower profile of the Fatboy translates to less temperature
differential between the top and bottom grates.
6. The Fatboy's larger waterpan allows for increased time between time
refills.
7. The 2" inch ball drains allows for easy water pan draining, as well as
the possibility of adding autowater refill potential to the cooker with a
a easy and simple modification.
8. The Fatboy has a "hide setter" option, which allows the Fatboy to
cook at higher temps while maintaining a moist cooking environment,
brings the cooker to temp more quickly, and allows for a much more
rapid escalation of cooking temps for setting sauce or finishing
chicken.
9. The Fatboy is a purpose built cooker, designed from the ground up
to cook KCBS competions. "Podge", a fellow Brethern, has won the
Jack Daniels World Championship cooking all 4 categories on one
Fatboy. That is certainly no knock on the Party, but a accolade for
the Fatboy none the less.
10. Finally, and most importanly...I just like saying "Fatboy"

Mr Freeman, judging from the time, tenor, and terseness of your response, I can only assume that your sometimes fragile psyche is already under the influence of one Mr Jack Daniels. As I am working on call this weekend, do I need to drive to your home in the middle of the night, to try and talk some sense into your booze sotted and befuddled mind?

Yours in BBQ,
ML
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Unread 01-16-2009, 05:13 PM   #6
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The fatboy has larger grates and is heavier. The coal basket is larger too. This means you'd have more room for charcoal.

Yes, they might have same amount of cooking area...they really don't. Ribs fit better on the larger grate. You can squeeze more brisket and/or butts on the racks too.

I have a Party and love it, but then again I'm not so sure I'd try to cook an entire KCBS competition with it. What I think I'd love to have is an extended Party. It's a normal Party that's 3" deeper. That would be super cool.
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Unread 01-16-2009, 06:04 PM   #7
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I have both...I started with the Party and cooked a couple of contests on just the Party, it takes a little more touch and good timing but is not difficult. The big downside is your limited in the amount of meat you can cook (I always did 2 butts, 1 brisket, 3 racks of ribs and 12 chicken thighs).

I also agree with the guys above the Fatboy is much more cooker, mjl covered the issues very well. I would recommend you go look at them if you haven't done so already, it will make your decision easy when you see them in person. IMHO the Fatboy is the way to go...especially if your going to compete, I would be $1400 wealthier if I had bought the Fatboy first but there's no way I'm giving up my Party now

Good luck, you will love it no matter which way you go. IF you have any other questions just fire away...
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Unread 01-16-2009, 06:51 PM   #8
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I want a Fatboy. My birthday is coming up next Thursday. Anybody feeling generous?
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Unread 01-16-2009, 08:02 PM   #9
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I too am a fan of the name Fatboy - it must be one hell of a cooker.
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Unread 01-16-2009, 08:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rookiedad View Post
with a heat deflector installed which model has more headroom for building a fire basket? being that surface areas are the same what are the advantages of the fatboy provided i had a fire basket built for a party that allowed for ash seperation? is there a noticible difference between the insulation in the cold? any other thoughts? i'm kinda leaning toward the party due to weight issues but i don't wan't to sacrifice anything important.
thanks,
phil
Phil, you are welcome to stop by and take a look at my Party. I extended the charcoal pan with expanded metal and I have the heat deflector. Otherwise it is a stock unit with SS doors. It has no problem with cold weather or windy conditions.
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Unread 01-16-2009, 11:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rookiedad View Post
with a heat deflector installed which model has more headroom for building a fire basket? being that surface areas are the same what are the advantages of the fatboy provided i had a fire basket built for a party that allowed for ash seperation? is there a noticible difference between the insulation in the cold? any other thoughts? i'm kinda leaning toward the party due to weight issues but i don't wan't to sacrifice anything important.
thanks,
phil
The Fatboy comes standard with the commercial fire grate which is on sliders. The Party has the fire grate that sits on top of ash grate which sits at bottom of cooker.
The insulation is a non-issue. The 1" insulation on the Party model is more than adequate.
Fatboy's inside steel gauge is 14 ga
The Party is 16 ga.
Outer skin on both is the same.
I have cooked on both and prefer the Party model because of the weight.
One nice thing about the Fatboy is the larger cooking racks which fit a full slab of ribs.
Maybe another option is the Extended Party ?
Good Luck Phil.
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Unread 01-17-2009, 12:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob S View Post
Phil, you are welcome to stop by and take a look at my Party. I extended the charcoal pan with expanded metal and I have the heat deflector. Otherwise it is a stock unit with SS doors. It has no problem with cold weather or windy conditions.
Mind sharing some info on how you extended the charcoal pan? I have been wanting to do the same so I can pack it full for overnighters. I also have the heat deflector from the factory. Im curious how much higher the walls could be but still be able to lift the pan out easily mid cook to add more charcoal.

I agree with the other posters, dont worry about the insulation. The 1" in the Party is more than enough. I dont notice any difference in the cooker between hot summer nights and the recent near freezing cook I did. I love my party, but Im sure the fatboy is just as good. The weight was my deciding factor, and the thing hasnt moved an inch since I got it a year ago

I can get plenty of food in my party, and I've never had a problem fitting a rack of ribs lenghtwise? Always surprised when I hear people mention that as a problem, the are pretty snug at first but shrink up during the cook. Here is a pic of my first cook on the party last year, 1 brisket 14 lb i think, 3 racks loin back, 2 rack beef ribs, 2 whole split chickens, sausage, and a pan of potatoe surprise, with one rack unused.

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Unread 01-17-2009, 09:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwnly View Post
The Fatboy comes standard with the commercial fire grate which is on sliders. The Party has the fire grate that sits on top of ash grate which sits at bottom of cooker.Maybe another option is the Extended Party ?
Good Luck Phil.
With my party, I raised my ash pan & charcoal basket off the bottom of the smoker by placing it on top of some angle iron.

The Extended Party is/was not a stock BWS. They can make them pretty much any size you want (and can pay for). I think they put out a few of the Party models that were 3" deeper and called them "extended."
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Unread 01-17-2009, 01:10 PM   #14
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[quote=jrb03;828078]Mind sharing some info on how you extended the charcoal pan? I have been wanting to do the same so I can pack it full for overnighters. I also have the heat deflector from the factory. Im curious how much higher the walls could be but still be able to lift the pan out easily mid cook to add more charcoal.

I used expanded metal to extend the height of the charcoal pan. The sides and rear are 6 inches high and the front is 5 inches. I cut the 4 pieces a couple of inches longer than I needed and then bent the last 2 inches of one end 90 degrees. This allowed me to overlap the corners for strength and slide the pieces along each other for an exact fit. Everything was wired together with stainless steel wire. No welding at all. The extension is very sturdy and doesn't fall out when I dump the pan. I also have the pan sitting on 2 pieces of square steel tubing so it is above the lip on the cooker and slides straight out. This makes it a lot easier to handle, especially when hot.

I got the idea for the charcoal pan extension from this thread and then improved the strength of the corners. http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=32546

Hope this helps.
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Unread 01-17-2009, 06:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob S;828377I used expanded metal to extend the height of the charcoal pan. The sides and rear are 6 inches high and the front is 5 inches. I cut the 4 pieces a couple of inches longer than I needed and then bent the last 2 inches of one end 90 degrees. This allowed me to overlap the corners for strength and slide the pieces along each other for an exact fit. Everything was wired together with stainless steel wire. No welding at all. The extension is very sturdy and doesn't fall out when I dump the pan. I also have the pan sitting on 2 pieces of square steel tubing so it is above the lip on the cooker and slides straight out. This makes it a lot easier to handle, especially when hot.

I got the idea for the charcoal pan extension from this thread and then improved the strength of the corners. [URL
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32546[/URL]

Hope this helps.
Thats exactly what I was looking for, thanks! Would love to see pics of your mods if possible. Great idea lifting the bottom so it slides over the lip.
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