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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 06-19-2012, 01:24 AM   #1
Gr8adventure
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Default Considering Pellet Cooker and Competing

I'd like to compete locally some day. I spend too much time Fly Fishing to get too serious about Q competition. However, I am interested in cooking competition quality food on a regular basis. Are there any competition quality pellet smokers under $2k. It seems everywhere people talk about the FEC 100 as being the best for competition, but that is well out of my price range. I want a cooker I could do small local comps with, but cook at home most of the time for about 4 people and occasionally 10. I'm not really interested in owning a bunch of cookers though I'll also have a UDS.

Should I just forget pellet cookers and get something like a Lang reverse flow. I like the idea of the ease of use of a pellet, but I do wonder if they would make enough smoke as I understand that they don't produce as much smoke as a wood or charcoal smoker. Then again I wouldn't likely ever have a problem with over smoking with pellets.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:41 AM   #2
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Check out the Yoder YS-640. I could probably do most of a comp on one. Without the nicer comp cart you are looking at about $1500 with a second cook rack.

http://www.atbbq.com/store/show/ys640_pellet.html

Also search the forum. There are a few cooks here that use this cooker.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nucornhusker View Post
Check out the Yoder YS-640. I could probably do most of a comp on one. Without the nicer comp cart you are looking at about $1500 with a second cook rack.

http://www.atbbq.com/store/show/ys640_pellet.html

Also search the forum. There are a few cooks here that use this cooker.
Do you know how much they are with that cart? Don't see it as an option.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:52 AM   #4
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We're currently cooking on a MAK 2-Star. Super easy to run and the Pellet Boss controller is outstanding.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:26 AM   #5
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Since you indicated you would also have a UDS, then the Cookshack FEPG500 fits your requirements. It is both a grill and a smoker basically at the same time. I, and a bunch of other cooks, use them for both competition and an at home cooker smoker.

It is limited in capacity but could do an entire KCBS contest by itself, depending on the number of briskets and butts you want to cook. I use it mainly for ribs and chicken at a contest and do everything on it at home.

There is a web site that offer a good side-by-side comparison for all of the pellets cookers and grills and gives good tips and advice. The link is http://pelletheads.com/ and I hope this is legal on this site. If not, I apologize and please delete.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:51 AM   #6
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I'm using a MAK 2 star, but have used a Yoder 640 and a MAK 1 star. The one star is a great unit lts of smoke and a price well below you budget. A one star with a WSM or a UDS would easily cook all your comp meats and fit well with your personal needs.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:12 AM   #7
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Thank you all very much for your replies.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Meat Man View Post
I'm using a MAK 2 star, but have used a Yoder 640 and a MAK 1 star. The one star is a great unit lts of smoke and a price well below you budget. A one star with a WSM or a UDS would easily cook all your comp meats and fit well with your personal needs.
I sounds like you prefer the MAK units more than the Yoder 650. If that is the case may I ask what you prefer about the MAK's.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:22 AM   #8
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I dont have either unit right now but have owned (Mak, Traegers, and Yoders in the past)

Good and Bad of Each

Mak

Good (Build Quality, Controller, Materials) Bad (Nothing except price)

Traeger

Good (Cheap, Reliable, parts easy to find) Bad (Materials and Build Quality)

Yoder

Good (Best built, materials) Bad (Controller at least mine was and price)



I put price in the good and bad columns but in actuallity you get what you pay for. I have a FEC-100 right now and I can tell you it blows the doors off all 3 of these smokers but it cant grill like these can either so you have to pick whats right for you.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:58 AM   #9
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Like this, you are looking at $1299 base price. +$100 for second cooking shelf and about $100 more if you want the exterior shelves to be solid stainless, not chrome rod.



This is with the competition cart. Better wheels, tie downs hooks, and it looks sweet. You can get the cart in several different colors but you may have to pay more depending on color. Around $2000-$2200 base price.



They even have an optional custom fitted blanket if you want it, although I'm not sure if you need it since it is made from 10 gauge steel.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:02 PM   #10
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Take a look at the Memphis Pro from Hearthland Products as well. Rock solid temps and very even across the grate. All stainless which is great for the weather. It can be set for temps from 180 up to 600 degrees.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:03 PM   #11
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Oh yeah... It also has a double wall cook box so it performs well in all kinds of weather.
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Last edited by Ron_L; 06-19-2012 at 12:36 PM..
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:56 PM   #12
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We use a Trager Lil Tex for our overnight Butts/shoulders. It'll hold 3 butts easy. we get great scores with it.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:49 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone. I probably should have stated from the beginning that I'm already certian that I'm not interested in Tragers unless I found one for an insanely low deal as I've seen them in person at COSTCO and I just wasn't impressed with the materials and build quality.

I've got to admit, that of all those suggested so far the one I find most esthically pleasing is the Yoder, I just like that more "traditional" smoker look.

However, I've heard so many good things about the MAC and Memphis units here and elsewhere that I might just have to get over my dislike for the stainless steel look. Again I like that good Ol' black industrial look.

Last edited by Gr8adventure; 06-19-2012 at 09:55 PM..
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenmac View Post

Yoder
Good (Best built, materials) Bad (Controller at least mine was and price)

I have been cooking on a 640 and just added a 480. 640 is not quite enough to cook a contest unless you really cut back on meat quantity.

I haven't had problem with controllers. I haven't really monitored temps though. Pork butts and brisket, fat down, 250* at 10pm and I have had beautiful looking product every time at 6am ready for wrap. And sleep.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:20 PM   #15
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Some what above your price range is the Cookshack FEPG1000. It has a lower pellet consumption of all of the mentioned cookers, is fully insulated for use in the northern climes, will sear steaks at over 600 degrees or cold smoke salmon at under 60 degrees or cook pizza like a brick oven. It is usable both summer and winter in your area for home and competion. It will replace your gasser, green egg, smoker, brinkman or whatever else you have. I use it younger brother, the 500, to replace my Traeger, my gasser, my webber and, for the most part, my FE100 at home. I live in a somewhat warmer climate and really don't need the insulation.
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