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Old 01-01-2013, 09:52 AM   #1
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Join Date: 05-23-11
Location: Cranford, NJ
Default overnight smokes with stick burners

I was looking at some of the higher end/better quality stick burners (Klose, Lang, Jambo etc.) something small 36-48" range for my family and friends. Anyway Lang has some intersting videos and was wondering something..

Do you guys (I saw a bunch of guys here with Lang, Klose and Jambo smokers) need to attend to the fire all night? Currently when I smoke a pork butt overnight in my UDS it's pretty simple in terms of holding temps, and that is w/out a guru.

Thanks for any input!
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:59 AM   #2
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Typical stick burners require more attending to the fire. That's why I like them. I've had a Lang and now on my second Jambo. There are many easy ways to smoke meat but for me a stick burner makes it more of an art form.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:15 AM   #3
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Location: Coral Bay, USVI

It's the nature of the beast: you have to stay up and feed a stickburner. Ive stayed up many a night with a Lang 84. You have to be part Pyro. It nurtures the caveman in us. It just feels natural to cook meat over an open fire.

While I'm getting older and I'm thinking about going to a pellet pooper that will allow me to set it and go to bed, I will say that my old Bandera still produces better pulled pork than my Eggs. There's something about burning logs that makes better Q. I can't explain it but I can taste a difference.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:53 AM   #4
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I do most of my cooking on my Gator offset. Usually I get up around 3 and spend the day playing with fire. It is certainly a more involved process but I enjoy it. You have to want to do it though.

Between cooking and fishing I seem to always wake before the sun. Someday I'll find a hobby I don't have to get up early for ;)
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:54 AM   #5
somebody shut me the fark up.
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If your gonna graduate to a stick burner you have 2 choices A)cook hotter and finish sooner or B) get a big coffee pot with intravenous drip attachment and cook low & slow. I have evolved to a type "A" and don't regret it In fact I wish my brains had come in a few decades earlier.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:37 AM   #6
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Stickburners are not set it and forget it. There is a skill in building a clean burning fire and loading the firebox and waiting 3 hours to check it is not how it is done. I love my 2 stickburners and in my opinion, the flavor is tough to beat. But I have to feed mine every 45 to 60 minutes to maintain the size of the clean burning fire I need for the temp I am maintaining. If you're going with a stickburner, you will be up all night tending to the fire.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:03 PM   #7
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Stickburners are the opposite end of the spectrum from the UDS/eggs/Primo/Kegs along the lines of burning efficiencies. What the members mentioned - its a learning/burning curve with a stickburner which needs a more often tending; about every 30-60 minutes throwing on another split.

Just recently - did a cook involving 2 smokers; a Klose and a WSM.

[However - if you want to cook non-stop for a few days or wanting fewer reloads and enjoy a few powernaps during the cook; a charcoal basket with wood chunks as a flavored aspect can be used very successfully.]
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:06 PM   #8
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As some have mentioned you have to tend the fire all night. When in the wee hours of the the morning tending the fire and I find a certain peace and serenity of the surroundings and it brings me great pleasure.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:08 PM   #9
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Join Date: 11-16-11
Location: Richardson, tx

I have to be in the right mindset to stay up all night. When I am it is enjoyable.

I use two methods to get some sleep.

1). Smoke for 5-6 hours then wrap and finish in oven.

2). Smoke until 75% done then put in large load of kingsford, barely crack intake and go to sleep. The cooker remains at cooking temp for a couple of hours then slowly ramps down. Six hours later the pit is still warm and the meat has had an extended holding period. Delicious bark and still very tender. Some of my best briskets have been cooked this way.

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Old 01-01-2013, 12:49 PM   #10
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Join Date: 10-16-10
Location: Culver City, CA

As stated, the stickburner and other types of cookers are just 2 different types of cooks. I think the smoke flavor you get in a stickburner just can't be duplicated. That said, you can make damn good BBQ on a vertical, so it's good to have both - the stickburner for when you really wanna get into it, and the other for busy days.

I have a couple of charcoal baskets for the stickburner, but I hardly ever use them anymore. If I'm gonna do charcoal and chunks, I'll just use the UDS or Backwoods.

I get more sleep these days due to cooking hotter and faster, but sometimes I still need to get up at some heinous hour to cook on the stickburner, and I gotta say a quiet peaceful morning and a hot cup of coffee with thin blue smoke wafting is a beautiful thang.

A stickburner is not convenient, but it's still my preferred way of cooking. I don't wanna miss out on BBQ on days when I'm busy, so I have the UDS or Backwoods for that - and I have no complaints about how the food turns out on those.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:39 PM   #11
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I'm no expert but I have a Traeger and an offset and don't plan on getting rid of either. As challenging as my (cheap) offset can be I love it. I'm getting better and learning more all the time. I'd love to graduate to a good offset with reverse flow and thick metal but that's gonna have to wait. For now I have the Traeger when I need to sleep and the offset for when I need the best flavor possible.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
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Does no one still use the "minion method" that was discussed back in the day for longer smokes with the SKD and it's variants? I recall getting 4+ hours of 225-275 on a single load of lump per cook before that basket rusted out on me, which got me through smoking entire chickens and spares (unless I was saucing them at the end).
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:23 PM   #13
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Just wanted to thank everyone for giving their input and thoughts.

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