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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 03-07-2012, 08:48 PM   #1
Knuckle Lickin Good
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Default Need Suggestions picking out a Smoker

I am looking to get a new smoker for comps and would like suggestions on the best smoker at a reasonable price. I am looking to start competing in cook offs, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Last edited by Knuckle Lickin Good; 03-07-2012 at 09:10 PM..
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Unread 03-07-2012, 09:12 PM   #2
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If all you're looking for is some suggestions, let me save you a lot of time and sum up what you're likely to read in this post thread:

You can cook a whole competition on one WSM. three if you wanna get all expensive. They will pack in a minivan and cost around a grand total. Multiple teams consistantly win on them.

Build a drum! They're cheap and have great flavour. Multiple teams consistantly win on them.

Stick burner's rule! No need to sleep when you can put out flavour this good. Especially if it's a $12,000 Jambo. Multiple teams consistantly win on them.

Get an insulated charcoal cooker: Spicewine/Backwoods/Stumps/Superior/etc/etc/etc. Some have baskets, others use gravity. Paired with a Stoker or Guru, they let you get sleep, put out good flavour, and are mostly imune to the elements. Multiple teams consistantly win on them.

Get an FEC. Insulated, good flavour that won't over-smoke your meat. Imune to the elements. You get sleep, and these are super easy to clean. Multiple teams consistantly win on them.

I'm sure I've missed something, but the above covers 90% of what you'll read. Figure out what your budget is and what you wanna do, and go from there.

dmp
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Unread 03-07-2012, 09:15 PM   #3
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Default New smoker

You have to make a few decisions first. 1) stickburner or sleep? 2) water pan or no water pan 3)gravity feed or drawer style if insulated 4) what do you consider as a reasonable price?

With that being said, my favorite is Stumps Smokers. It has a gravity fed charcoal chute that will maintain your temperature throughout your cook. It has a wood box below the charcoal chute to add your favorite smoking woods for flavor. They have many different sizes and price ranges to fit your style and budget. I use a Stumps Classic. Alot of people use Backwoods Smokers as well. I also use a Backwoods Fatboy. If I had to pick one smoker to use from now on, i would definately use the Stumps. Dont have to worry about water getting low in the water pan and dont have to load more charcoal in the middle of a cook as I do with the Backwoods. Dont get me wrong, Backwoods makes a good cooker, but the Stumps is more user friendly and much better cooking racks to me. Good luck and keep us posted.

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Unread 03-07-2012, 09:17 PM   #4
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Tall order.

You gotta ask yourself a bunch of questions

For starters

1) Price
2) Pellet, Charcoal, Wood
3) Portability
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Unread 03-07-2012, 09:24 PM   #5
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I've gone back to my drums( and a chicken cooking WSM) which I think are awesome but do require some practice.

If budget is the issue coming out of the gate and you want a smoker that has proven itself on the circuit..WSM.

( if your interested in a gently used Backwoods Party..holla')

Just my .02
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Unread 03-07-2012, 09:25 PM   #6
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I'm personally fond of the drums. I use three of them for comps - 1 for brisket, 1 for pork butts, and 1 for ribs. The chicken usually goes in the pork drum. You can make all three relatively cheap. BTW, all three drums have produced award winning turn-ins.

The UDS's are fuel efficient and once dialed in the temps hold true. They allow you to cook different meats at different temps. with different wood selection.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 09:47 PM   #7
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these are the best smokers out there!
http://www.americanbarbecuesystems.com/
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Unread 03-07-2012, 09:54 PM   #8
Rich Parker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmprantz View Post
If all you're looking for is some suggestions, let me save you a lot of time and sum up what you're likely to read in this post thread:

You can cook a whole competition on one WSM. three if you wanna get all expensive. They will pack in a minivan and cost around a grand total. Multiple teams consistantly win on them.

Build a drum! They're cheap and have great flavour. Multiple teams consistantly win on them.

Stick burner's rule! No need to sleep when you can put out flavour this good. Especially if it's a $12,000 Jambo. Multiple teams consistantly win on them.

Get an insulated charcoal cooker: Spicewine/Backwoods/Stumps/Superior/etc/etc/etc. Some have baskets, others use gravity. Paired with a Stoker or Guru, they let you get sleep, put out good flavour, and are mostly imune to the elements. Multiple teams consistantly win on them.

Get an FEC. Insulated, good flavour that won't over-smoke your meat. Imune to the elements. You get sleep, and these are super easy to clean. Multiple teams consistantly win on them.

I'm sure I've missed something, but the above covers 90% of what you'll read. Figure out what your budget is and what you wanna do, and go from there.

dmp
Close but nobody says "flavour".
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Unread 03-07-2012, 10:04 PM   #9
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There are lots of different options out there, even Ft. Worth has a nice pit builder :-)
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Unread 03-07-2012, 10:06 PM   #10
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18.5 WSM's work great but I would go with the 22 since you can fit a full rack of ribs on it and also a big brisket without having to fold the ends over or anything. We're cooking on an extended backwoods party and a pitmaker BBQ safe now. Much easier with the slide out racks and everything fits without having to monkey around with it. Only thing is that they are much more expensive than a WSM. Both the backwoods and pitmaker are great cookers but we find the pitmaker's quality to be a notch above the backwoods.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 10:09 PM   #11
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I am looking for a smoker, pit, cooker, not exactly sure of the correct terms. Some people say go with a Backwoods Smoker, others say to go with a off set pit. I want to make sure I do lots of research before spending a few thousand bucks.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 06:20 AM   #12
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You reallly need to decide is it an investment for the smoker or not. For the money the wsm I think is the best and easiest to use for the dollars I used them at home for years. For cometition though I bought a bbq vault from pitmaker. They have now come out with the safe a smaller version. When I upgrade I may get two safes so I can vary the temp as needed betwen the two.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 06:30 AM   #13
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Thanks for all suggestions, I am going to look into the Pitmaker.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 06:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuckle Lickin Good View Post
I am looking for a smoker, pit, cooker, not exactly sure of the correct terms. Some people say go with a Backwoods Smoker, others say to go with a off set pit. I want to make sure I do lots of research before spending a few thousand bucks.
If you're considering an offset, don't forget you also have to consider reverse flow!
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Unread 03-08-2012, 06:48 AM   #15
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I'm glad for post such as this,I don't have to ask the same question just read the results!!
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