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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 01-03-2013, 08:53 PM   #1
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Default Are cabinet smokers the new trend in competitions?

I was having a discussion with a BBQ buddy today and his opinion is he is seeing more cabinet smokers on the competition trail. He thinks that the cabinets will take over the percentage of smokers versus the traditional stick burners in competitions within a couple of years. What says the brethren?
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:14 PM   #2
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Jamie Geer is about 9 months out for a new pit and Rich at Gator is about 6, so someone is ordering offsets.

I don't know that any one style will ever "overtake" another. Where do you put WSM's or Drums or Pellet smokers? Walking around a KCBS competition I see the entire gamut of cookers.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:26 PM   #3
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I guess this is probably a very regional conversation. Seems like around here everyone has some sort of cabinet style cooker.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:37 PM   #4
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Southeast has been loaded with them for 5 years. I'm working on changing that trend. ;)
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:41 PM   #5
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I ordered a Gator from Ritch in Nov. I'm in TX it'll be my first offset. Proly won't be ready until march or so depending. If it turns into a longer wait no biggie.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:59 PM   #6
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I think cabinets appeal to backyard and competition cooks a lot because of the small footprint:high food capacity ratio. They are more portable than a huge offset, and dont take up the whole patio.

My opinion, of course. I like both, but imagine that I'd go for a large cabinet (stumps, backwoods, rebel,etc) until I had to make SERIOUS quantity. Then the large offsets start making sense.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:19 PM   #7
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Most cabinet smokers are insulated and offer some form "set and forget" mode, even if it's from add-on electronics. I think that appeals to comp cooks who like to cook low-and-slow and get sleep.

While there are a lot of stick burners out there, I see very few of them in use for low-and-slow cooks. Most of them are hot-and-fast cooks, or they're for cooks who do one competion per year. I'm not saying that there aren't exceptions, but that's the trend I've been seeing at comps in Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia over the last five years or so.

Of course, just because something is a cabinet (vertical) smoker doesn't mean it isn't also an offset, and not all offsets are "horizontal pipe" smokers. There's the Brethren/Klose MOAB, the Yoder Stockdon, and my own personal pit, the Beast from Lonestar. I'm pretty sure Ritch has a couple of vertical only stick burners in addition to the Rebel cabint if memory serves.

I'm not sure if I have a point this time, except that insulated cabinet smokers that run on baskets, gravity, or pellets allow for sleep. Horizontal stick burners are still used a lot in comps, but mostly for hot-n-fast cooks from what I've seen. Things change...

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Old 01-03-2013, 11:04 PM   #8
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I( see it going very strongly either Jambo type or Backwoods/rebel/assassin style cabinets...
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by dmprantz View Post
Most cabinet smokers are insulated and offer some form "set and forget" mode, even if it's from add-on electronics. I think that appeals to comp cooks who like to cook low-and-slow and get sleep.


No to mention you can concentrate on all the other tasks of in a comp.

Also, since they take up a small footprint, you can fit it inside a trailer alongside your fridge, prep tables, sinks, bed, etc.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:30 AM   #10
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Because insulated verticals are the shizz. They laugh at what weather has to offer. Heat wants to travel up. Why fight it?
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:08 AM   #11
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We use a Tucker offset and do about 10 events per year. We don't run hot and fast on it, but not as low and slow as we used too. It is a perfect size for a KCBS cook, and is almost a set it and forget it cooker, with the exception of having to recharge it every 5 hours. Having said that, my next pit will most likely be a cabinet style smoker because of the benefits mentioned previously.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:48 AM   #12
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There's no spot on top of the 9x9 box to indicate what type of cooker was used.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:10 AM   #13
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I hope so !!! We got slammed in 2012. Not a bad problem to have!!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:58 AM   #14
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I used a Stumps all this year. I will be going back to my stick burner Lena this year.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:47 PM   #15
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Here in the Northeast, cabinet smokers have been en vogue for a long time. There was and still is a large contingent of teams that are Backwoods fans, some of which have been very successful.
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