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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 07-18-2011, 11:42 PM   #1
DirtyDirty00
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Default What size cooker for competitions?

Im looking for a backyard smoker that i can haul off to one or two local competitions per year just to have some fun. Im looking right now at the Party Gator, which is 20x40 with 2 full racks. Would this be enough space to cook enough for a comp? What size would you say that i would need at minimum for this?

Thanks!
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Unread 07-18-2011, 11:46 PM   #2
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i've gone to some comps nearby and its amazing the amounts of wsm's and small drum smokers there are. even folks with big cookers seem to have several wsm's and kettles around.
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Unread 07-18-2011, 11:50 PM   #3
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What kind of competitions? Cooking the most food say for a KCBS that pit probably could handle the 4 categories, but might be pretty tight depending how much of each meat you cooked. Not sure your budget, but I'll probably be the first of many to suggest Weber Smokey Mountains. Again depending wow much you are cooking you might need 2 of these.
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Unread 07-18-2011, 11:56 PM   #4
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I would look for a minimum of 16 square feet of cooking space, preferably around 20.
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Unread 07-18-2011, 11:57 PM   #5
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One of the local ones by me is KCBS. However i would be entering next year if possible more for fun than anything else. I would obviously try my hardest and want to do good, but all in all it would be for fun. So i wouldnt plan on cooking much of each. maybe 2 slabs of ribs, 1 brisket, 1 butt, and some chicken thighs.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 12:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDirty00 View Post
One of the local ones by me is KCBS. However i would be entering next year if possible more for fun than anything else. I would obviously try my hardest and want to do good, but all in all it would be for fun. So i wouldnt plan on cooking much of each. maybe 2 slabs of ribs, 1 brisket, 1 butt, and some chicken thighs.
In that case, you can definitely go smaller. I was quoting for someone who is really wanting a good shot at winning and cooking 3-4 butts, 2 briskets, 5 slabs of ribs and a mess of chicken.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 12:06 AM   #7
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I don't know why I didn't think to mention this earlier. You should post this in the Comp forum. A lot of seasoned competitors are over there, and I'm sure many of them have advice on running small for a comp.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 12:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I don't know why I didn't think to mention this earlier. You should post this in the Comp forum. A lot of seasoned competitors are over there, and I'm sure many of them have advice on running small for a comp.

i should have thought of that... oops! thanks!
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Unread 07-19-2011, 12:15 AM   #9
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The competitions I've been in needed big smokers if you were going to sell as well as enter food, if you only want to enter food you could use anything you want, sit back and relax. JB
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Unread 07-19-2011, 10:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDirty00 View Post
Im looking for a backyard smoker that i can haul off to one or two local competitions per year just to have some fun. Im looking right now at the Party Gator, which is 20x40 with 2 full racks. Would this be enough space to cook enough for a comp? What size would you say that i would need at minimum for this?

Thanks!

What's your budget??? If your ok going with a chest style smoker, give the Backwoods Party or Fatboy a peek. I sell alot of the Party and Fatboy cookers to guys in your situation!! Lots of good feedback on them. Either are great for backyarding with the capacity for some competions. The party only weighs about 130lbs and is very portable. The fatboy is a good bit heavier but really does a great job. Food for Thought!!! Hope it Helps!
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Unread 07-19-2011, 10:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbshop View Post
i've gone to some comps nearby and its amazing the amounts of wsm's and small drum smokers there are. even folks with big cookers seem to have several wsm's and kettles around.
when they had the marathon of Pit Masters on the 4th of July, I was surprised at how many teams were using only WSM's
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Unread 07-19-2011, 10:44 AM   #12
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I think the 24" x 40" Party Gator could work for you but the 20" will be too small. You also need to understand that even the 20" Party Gator is a very heavy pit. Like BigaBite said you might want some more space or have a separate chicken cooker. A 24" Party Gator paired with a Backwoods Chubby for chicken is a great combination and very portable too. The common cooking practices of many KCBS cooks are a bit different to the way we do it so I'll defer to those guys, but I can attest to the quality and abilities of the Gator Pit and the Backwoods.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 10:50 AM   #13
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I found that 20" is just to small to cook comps comfortly. Just not enough cooking space. I would go 24" diameter if using an offset. I had a 20 x 48 then got a 24 x 48 and now cook on a UDS and a 22.5" WSM. I love my drum and the WSM.
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