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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 12-18-2011, 07:59 PM   #1
White Dog BBQ
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Default New competition cooker -- Backwoods Chubby or 22.5 WSM?

I have about $1,000 to spend on a new cooker for the arsenal. Right now my team cooks on 3 WSMs -- 2 18s (one mine, one my teammates) and my 22.5. All are Guru powered. I transport by pickup or minivan and won't be adding a trailer any time in the next several years, so anything significantly large is out. Based on my budget, I have narrowed things to one of the following:

Another 22.5 WSM, which we would use as a 4th cooker. I would add a temp control (likely a Stoker because I want to use it with my iPad) and possibly a Smoking Jacket. I know the cooker, would maintain conformity with my current cookers and would allow us to have one cooker per meat.

Backwoods Chubby, which I would possibly use in place of my 18" WSM. I figure a Chubby could be a 2 meat cooker (pork and either chicken or ribs). It's heavier than a WSM and different than anything I have cooked on, but I understand the transition from WSM to BWS is pretty easy. I love the cabinet smoker aspect, I hate having to move grates on the WSM and I have had some close calls already. But at $1,000 that's a lot of coin for something with similar capacity to a WSM.

Any thoughts? I have heard some people say that getting good product consistently is a little easier off of Chubby than it is a WSM. Is there anything I am not considering? Is getting two half-pans of chicken and 2 butts on a Chubby reasonable?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Erik
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:24 PM   #2
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Just a thought, have you considered the Onyx Oven from Guru? I know you said that you wanted to use a Stoker (and I'm a Stoker user too!), but the Onyx has some definite advantages. It's about the same cost as the Chubby, and is very similar in design to BWS, but I think has a little more room, and comes with a Guru adapter built in. You could probably find a way to make the Stoker's Guru adapter work on it. Just a thought....

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Old 12-18-2011, 08:35 PM   #3
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You might want to consider a Party instead? Same basic footprint as the Chubby, but more capacity for only a little more weight and $. I am anxiously waiting arrival of my new BWS with lots of options, so I've been through this mind struggle already.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dmprantz View Post
Just a thought, have you considered the Onyx Oven from Guru? I know you said that you wanted to use a Stoker (and I'm a Stoker user too!), but the Onyx has some definite advantages. It's about the same cost as the Chubby, and is very similar in design to BWS, but I think has a little more room, and comes with a Guru adapter built in. You could probably find a way to make the Stoker's Guru adapter work on it. Just a thought....

dmp
Thanks -- I did in fact consider the Onyx. I have been a little put off by some of the negative feedback I have read about the Onyx, specifically the build quality. But you're right, it does have more room than a Chubby. It might be worth a trip to a vendor to see one in person.

I would likely just use the Guru off of my 18" WSM with either a Chubby or Onyx. The iPad will have to occupy itself with Angry Birds :-)
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:32 PM   #5
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The chubby is pita to move by yourself due to it's short height and weight. The party only weighs 15 lbs more and is easier to lay against a tailgate on a moving blanket and slide up into the bed of your truck. You get two more racks with one and a bigger firebox which will run for ridiculous times on full load of brigs with a guru.

If you are patient they pop up for sale on CL and the BWS forum all the time for what you will be paying for a new chubby. Good luck with which ever you choose and if you have any questions on the BWS hit me up. I have owned most of the Backwoods cookers up the Competitor model and have spent a lot of time cooking on them all.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:58 PM   #6
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Maybe Kit from Deguello can weigh in here. I've been reading with great interest his posts on Facebook talking about his experience with his new Extended Party:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deg%C...0484751?ref=ts
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by slowerlowerbbq View Post
Maybe Kit from Deguello can weigh in here. I've been reading with great interest his posts on Facebook talking about his experience with his new Extended Party:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deg%C...0484751?ref=ts
Ha ha Mark it was my comment about wanting to add a Chubby to my inventory that got Erik thinking about it! We've been talking about it a bit. Interesting idea about adding a Party as opposed to a Chubby. Since I have the EP already I have one cooker that will accept full size steam table pans. Extra racks in a Party vs. Chubby has appeal. Either way, I'm really sold on the EP thus far. It burns really clean, and the temp control with the Guru is awesome. I had about a dozen briquettes in a bag this morning, and I lit them in a chimney and threw in the EP (no Guru, just cracked the side and top vents). Filled the water pan completely and it held around 225F for almost three hours.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Ha ha Mark it was my comment about wanting to add a Chubby to my inventory that got Erik thinking about it! We've been talking about it a bit.
Well there ya go! It was really interesting reading about your experiences transitioning from the the WSM to the BWS. Keep 'em coming Erik's comment about moving the cooking grates on the WSM is one of the big reasons I started eyeing these up about a year ago. I would imagine there is huge difference in cooking capacity as well. Only thing holding me back now is the $$$.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Dog BBQ View Post
I did in fact consider the Onyx. I have been a little put off by some of the negative feedback I have read about the Onyx, specifically the build quality.
I've seen Onyx Ovens twice, both times with The Guru Competition Team. I agree with what you are saying that they look cheaper than BWS, but they seem produce good Q, have a decent amount of space, and are priced to move. I was considering one for a while, but decided it was just too small, and didn't make sense for me to buy two....

I then moved on to BWS, and had a phone conversation with Mike about the EP. I definitely think it is the best bang for the buck for KCBS competitions from BWS. Truly great measurements. I didn't suggest it because you said you had $1,000 to spend, and the BWS EP is almost double that. If you're looking in that price range, I would at least consider the DW Kountry Cookers Titan 4. It costs more than the EP, but has some nice features itself.

I've since decided just to build a drum ;-)

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Old 12-19-2011, 08:51 AM   #10
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Erik- get the party already. Trust me

And why a 4th cooker? IMO should be trying to move down to 2. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowerlowerbbq View Post
Maybe Kit from Deguello can weigh in here. I've been reading with great interest his posts on Facebook talking about his experience with his new Extended Party:
Kit's in the process of sliding down the slippery slope and is dragging Erik with him
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:21 AM   #12
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I would want my butts and briskets on the BW's and packers won't fit unless you go EP.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Dog BBQ View Post
I have about $1,000 to spend on a new cooker for the arsenal. Right now my team cooks on 3 WSMs -- 2 18s (one mine, one my teammates) and my 22.5. All are Guru powered.
I would check out the Guru Oynx cooker. I am testing one out now. I like that it fits full hotel pans. I ran the cooker last weekend on 10lbs WGC briquettes and sand in the water pan and burned 235 for 24 hrs and its didnt use all the charcoal.

No, its not built like a tank like the backwoods. But the upside is its quite portable weighing under 100lbs.

The chubby always seemed a bit too small, if you go backwoods I would try to make the party work.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:09 AM   #14
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Id buy a 22 WSM and a little utility trailer at harbor freight with the rest and start constructing a nice mobile bbq battle station. Not loading and unloading everything out of the truck/van before and after a comp will be worth more than a touch more cooking space IMO.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Slamdunkpro View Post
Kit's in the process of sliding down the slippery slope and is dragging Erik with him
I'm already down at the bottom of the hill. I threw Erik a lifeline and now he's about to go off the precipice!

Good advice all around on the thread. For those know me, you're already aware I was a 100% WSM guy all of 2011. I had an Onyx in 2010, and although it didn't work for me, it did work quite well for the person I sold it to (he's got a red ribbon, a bottle of Jack and a mini-statuette to prove it). It was basically an issue with seal and door fit that BBQ Guru made whole for its new owner. By the end of this year I'd just gotten tired of hauling around all those WSMs, setting them up, taking them down, cleaning them etc. and dealing with the stacked racks. SDP made the fateful suggestion that I'd benefit from an insulated cooker and it kinda went from there.

My plan is to go from four WSMs to the Extended Party and a WSM for now. Like I said, I may add another BWS in lieu of the WSM, but that's not a done deal. Just as long as I can keep those stinking door handles on the WSM from breaking........
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