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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Old 03-08-2011, 12:04 PM   #1
Capn Kev
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Default Stick Burners or Pellet Cookers

I've been noticing a trend over the past couple of years, and I have also been taking some notes on the cookers that championship teams are using. I'm curious to see if everyone else is noticing it too.

Top 20 TOY KCBS teams from 2010, and their Cooker:

QUAU - Offset (Peoria)
Pellet Envy - Offset (Jambo)
Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ - WSMs w/ Guru
Rhythm 'n Que - WSMs w/Stoker
Lotta Bull BBQ - Offset (Custom Yoder)
BIG CREEK BBQ - Not sure what Jeff cooks with...FECs if I remember right
Parrothead Smokers - Stumps Vertical
4 Smokin' Butts - Green Eggs
MUNCHIN HOGS@THE HILTON - Vertical Stick burner, won with it at Winter Q
Butcher BBQ - FEC-100s?
Bub-Ba-Q - Stumps (if I remember right)
CHIX, SWINE & BOVINE BBQ - Offset (Jambo)
All Sauced Up - ??
TippyCanoe BBQ Crew - Stumps or Backwoods...can't remember
The Long Dawgs - Offset (looked like a Jambo at the Jack)
4 Legs Up BBQ - Combination of pellet cookers
BIG T'Z Q CRU - FECs?
GROG N HOGS - ??
Buffalo's BBQ - Offset (Jambo)
KC Can Crew - Set of UDS cookers

2010 GAB - Big Creek BBQ - FECs?
2010 AR Invitational Winner - Smokers Wild - Offset (Jambo?)
2010 AR Open Winner - Lotta Bull BBQ - Offset (Yoder)
2010 Jack Daniels Winner - Quau - Offset (Peoria)


If I'm wrong on any of the above, please let me know.

From what I'm seeing, there is a shift from pellet cookers back over to stick/wood/charcoal burning units. 4-5 years ago pellet cookers were making their run. In fact pellet cookers were winning a lot of the big championships.

Now, in the past couple of years, we've seen some of the biggest names revert back to stick burners (i.e., Pellet Envy). I'm curious to hear from some of the above cooks as to why they are making the shift. Is it flavor, smoke ring, ease of use now that there are aids such as gurus/stokers, etc.? It used to be that pellet cookers were favored because they achieved similar flavor results to stick burners, but allowed the cook to get some rest in the evening.

I'm not trying to start a great debate, I'm just curious to understand the shift. I'm considering adding a stick burner to my arsenal, but will probably never give up my FEC-100.

Kevin
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:35 PM   #2
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Personally I feel that a good cook can turn out great bbq on practically anything out there. You've pointed that out in your post already. Speaking for myself a pellet smoker will allow a team more rest, if they so choose. Obviously stick burners require attention all night long whereas pellet smokers are predictably stable. Stick burners are not hamstrung (no pun intended) by electrical requirements and at contests the power can go out anytime. I do feel that stick burners, wsms, stumps type cookers definitely will out perform any pellet smoker in the smoke flavor department. Drawback is you have to know what your doing because over smoked food is not very good and I don't think you have to worry about that with a pellet smoker. I own two, FEC 100 and Traeger Lil Tex. They are very good cookers but have their faults and limitations. I used both in the 3 comps I did last year. In one of them the FEC went haywire and cut out with a high temp problem. Killed my brisket and pork. Had to replace the entire controller but thankfully it was under warranty. I am practicing now for the 2011 season and experimenting using the WSM in combo with pellet smokers. At least I will have options in case something goes wrong.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:36 PM   #3
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Big Creek uses his Spicewine.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:52 PM   #4
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if im not wrong Pellet Envy has a pellet burning Jambo.correct me though if im wrong.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:53 PM   #5
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I'd be interested to see what some of the teams listed above mention as the reasons
for switching. Scottie? Why now the Jambo?

I wonder if it has some to do with competing in other non-KCBS sanctioned cookoffs
that dont allow electric or gas power of any kind.
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:21 PM   #6
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I think the pellet cookers have had their due, rightfully so, but who wouldn't want a Jambo or a sweet Yoder like Lotta Bull? I do know that my wife was on board with an FEC 100 and she was not with a Jambo for obvious reasons. I do know that if we achieve success these coming years with the FEC 100 we can justify the Jambo. Perhaps it boils down to being able to justify a $10 - 15k smoker and in order to do that the majority of people are going to want to be successful in competition bbq first.
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
I'd be interested to see what some of the teams listed above mention as the reasons
for switching. Scottie? Why now the Jambo?

I wonder if it has some to do with competing in other non-KCBS sanctioned cookoffs
that dont allow electric or gas power of any kind.

Mid-life crisis.... In reality, it's the challenge for me. Folks think that us pelletheads can only turn on a switch and award winning BBQ comes out. I'm here to change folks opinions on that...

Plus, while a FEC is sharp with the stainless. Nothing beats the sleek lines of a Jambo...
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:20 PM   #8
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Rod burns pecan logs in his Jambo. Candy Sue from BBQr's Delight has the pellet fired Jambo...

Quote:
Originally Posted by douglaslizard View Post
if im not wrong Pellet Envy has a pellet burning Jambo.correct me though if im wrong.
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:35 PM   #9
ique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
I'd be interested to see what some of the teams listed above mention as the reasons
for switching. Scottie? Why now the Jambo?
I switched from Backwoods to a Jambo but mostly just because I wanted a new toy. I know that Rod had a season where he cooked on both FEC and Jambo and most of his wins came off the Jambo.
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:56 PM   #10
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Additions, changes noted in red.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Kev View Post
I've been noticing a trend over the past couple of years, and I have also been taking some notes on the cookers that championship teams are using. I'm curious to see if everyone else is noticing it too.

Top 20 TOY KCBS teams from 2010, and their Cooker:

QUAU - Offset (Peoria) pretty sure he also cooks with Stumps vert interchangeably
Pellet Envy - Offset (Jambo)
Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ - WSMs w/ Guru actually Stoker
Rhythm 'n Que - WSMs w/Stoker
Lotta Bull BBQ - Offset (Custom Yoder) Still has his Jambo though, I think
BIG CREEK BBQ - Not sure what Jeff cooks with...FECs if I remember right
1 big arse beautiful spicewine
Parrothead Smokers - Stumps Vertical uses Jambo interchangeably that he sells at least once every season
4 Smokin' Butts - Green Eggs
MUNCHIN HOGS@THE HILTON - Vertical Stick burner, won with it at Winter Q last I saw he was using a big ol' Horizon offset with a weber kettle
Butcher BBQ - FEC-100s? yep-2
Bub-Ba-Q - Stumps (if I remember right)
CHIX, SWINE & BOVINE BBQ - Offset (Jambo)
All Sauced Up - ??
TippyCanoe BBQ Crew - Stumps or Backwoods...can't remember Definitely Backwoods--has a fatboy and burns his chicken on his party
The Long Dawgs - Offset (looked like a Jambo at the Jack) bought his jambo off of parrothead
4 Legs Up BBQ - Combination of pellet cookers one self built and a louisiana I believe
BIG T'Z Q CRU - FECs? Everything but ribs on Stoker'd WSM's, FE for ribs so I can get an extra hour of sleep.
GROG N HOGS - ??
Buffalo's BBQ - Offset (Jambo)
KC Can Crew - Set of UDS cookers he calls them trash cans

2010 GAB - Big Creek BBQ - FECs?
2010 AR Invitational Winner - Smokers Wild - Offset (Jambo?) Jambo, yep
2010 AR Open Winner - Lotta Bull BBQ - Offset (Yoder)
2010 Jack Daniels Winner - Quau - Offset (Peoria)


If I'm wrong on any of the above, please let me know.

From what I'm seeing, there is a shift from pellet cookers back over to stick/wood/charcoal burning units. 4-5 years ago pellet cookers were making their run. In fact pellet cookers were winning a lot of the big championships.

Now, in the past couple of years, we've seen some of the biggest names revert back to stick burners (i.e., Pellet Envy). I'm curious to hear from some of the above cooks as to why they are making the shift. Is it flavor, smoke ring, ease of use now that there are aids such as gurus/stokers, etc.? It used to be that pellet cookers were favored because they achieved similar flavor results to stick burners, but allowed the cook to get some rest in the evening.

I'm not trying to start a great debate, I'm just curious to understand the shift. I'm considering adding a stick burner to my arsenal, but will probably never give up my FEC-100.

Kevin
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:01 PM   #11
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Quau only cooks on Peoria Meat Monsters now. His Stumps is in his smoker Hall of Fame in his barn.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:12 PM   #12
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All I see Lotta Bull cook on now is that Yoder. I would love to have a Jambo but I am afraid Lena would get awful jealous....
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:31 PM   #13
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Doesn't Smokin' Triggers cook on a Jambo J-3?
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:32 PM   #14
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GROG N HOGS cooks on 22.5" WSMs. They have had a Superior Smoker in the mix at some point.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:34 PM   #15
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no

He has a j-5 and a one off.



Quote:
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Doesn't Smokin' Triggers cook on a Jambo J-3?
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