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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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Unread 02-07-2012, 09:51 AM   #1
BC Squared
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Default FEC 100 Pros & Cons for Comps?

Thinking about pulling the trigger on a FEC100 and would love to hear any advice the BRETHREN has! Maybe new but looking at used too. Any controllers I need to stay away from? What about flavor, is that an issue?? Thanks all!
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Unread 02-07-2012, 10:15 AM   #2
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We love ours. We feel the pro's outweigh the cons and most of the cons you can have a contingency plan. One of the biggest things you "hear" is that it isn't smokey enough. I have yet to have one judge ever make that comment or have one person that has tasted our food make that comment. One of our con's is the power can go out or the pot can fill up and we have remedied that by using an iGrill which is a Bluetooth thermometer that synches with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Now we can see where the temp is at in the smoker at all times.

Pros: Sleep, insulation, controlled temp, no bending over, nice capacity, very low fuel use (we use about 10-13 pounds of pellets at a comp).

Cons: Power can cut out at comps (we use a marine battery w/ an inverter), the pot can overfill and go out, mechanical parts could go out, people will call you a pellet pooper.
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Unread 02-07-2012, 10:42 AM   #3
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While it's not a con of the smoker, you need to get quality fuel. Cheap fuel will not produce the results you want I'm told. I don't have one but talk to the guys that do and have won with them.
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Unread 02-07-2012, 11:23 AM   #4
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I have high praise for these cookers. If there is every a problem ( rare ) the customer service if number one.
If your looking at a new unit no prob, if your looking at a used unit check the inside and I like the models with a ramp for the pellets to fall down into the fire box.
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Unread 02-07-2012, 11:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC Squared View Post
... Any controllers I need to stay away from?...
Unless you're buying used, you don't have an option on Controller. New ones from CS all have the electronic IQ4.

Older ones may have the Traeger dial thermometer. If you buy used, make sure it works. I've seen people buy them, but didn't test run them.

As for pellets, get some info on the "mix" of the pellets. Most use Oak/Hickory as a base and add flavor wood for flavor. Typically 65% to 35%. The reason is that you need the base for Heat/BTU's. You can buy 100% of some flavors from some companies. I also don't recommend using Heating pellets (there is a petroleum product used as a die release agent). Some say they have no issues, but given the # of food grade pellets out there, I use those.

You can also run them off a battery and inverter. The power requirement is minimal.
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Unread 02-07-2012, 03:10 PM   #6
This Is How We Que It
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No cons
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Unread 02-07-2012, 03:17 PM   #7
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Never had a lick of trouble out of 3 I've used. I do like the IQ4 better than the older Traeger controlled units. Not alot to go wrong on these pits as long as they are well maintained. Your biggest concern will be clean power, which you can provide yourself with an inverter and a deep cycle / marine battery. Dirty power or low voltage scenarios can make the pit's performance suffer, but that is usually not an issue. Becomes a non-issue if you use the inverter/battery setup. I'll be using an FEC100, and a pair of Yoders this year. The Yoders replaced my highly modified CS-WholeHog.
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Unread 02-07-2012, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by This Is How We Que It View Post
No cons
Well, maybe not a con, but you have to have electricity. That means either relying on comp power and having a backup or providing your own. That can be as simple as a self-contained backup power source, a deep cycle battery and an inverter, or up to a generator.
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Unread 02-07-2012, 03:21 PM   #9
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"Thread Jack Warning" - Regarding using a marine battery... do you all use one or two batteries? In series or parallell? What type/size battery?
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Unread 02-07-2012, 03:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
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"Thread Jack Warning" - Regarding using a marine battery... do you all use one or two batteries? In series or parallell? What type/size battery?
One, group 27.

The FEC draws about 400W when the ignitor is on and only 50W when the ignitor is off, so, 50W @ 13.8V is approx 3.6A. So, the FEC will pull 3.6 AH from the battery. A group 27 is 105AH, so it could potentially run the FEC for 28+ hours. There are a lot of factors that will affect that, but that's fairly close.
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Unread 02-07-2012, 04:29 PM   #11
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Been using an FEC100 since '05, upgraded to the IQ4 in '10 and will be using this year along with an FEPG500 for competitions. Have used two type 27's and a Xantrax Feedom Combi inverter/charge the whole time. Never have a problem with power and the combination can run my trailer with the exception of the AC for an entire competition without external power and can even run the ac about a half hour.

Enjoy sleep and being fresh for turn-in or allows for a copuous consumption of adult beverages without being concerned about the pit
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Unread 02-07-2012, 04:32 PM   #12
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I use the largest marine battery Walmart has. I forget what size it is. I also use a Zantrex 600 watt inverter. I've never had trouble with either except for the one time I forgot to charge the battery for a comp.
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Unread 02-07-2012, 05:45 PM   #13
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AZScott has been dominating on his! I think that Butcher guy is pretty good too ;) We cook our ribs and chicken on an FEC 100 and just walked first in ribs in Havasu. There is something to be said about the consistent flavor you get from these cookers. Like others said before though, make sure you use quality pellets.
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Unread 02-07-2012, 07:21 PM   #14
The Cosmic Pig
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I was thinking about selling my FEC, but you guys have about talked me into keeping it!
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Unread 02-07-2012, 07:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wearcd View Post
I was thinking about selling my FEC, but you guys have about talked me into keeping it!
How much? will be in nashville this weekend and have cash.
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