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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-03-2013, 10:11 PM   #1
GrillsGoneWild
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Default Trying to decide between a gravity fed "assassin" or manual fed "backwoods" cabinet smoker

I'm looking at making a purchase on a cabinet smoker, but I'm in a dilemma of whether to go with a gravity fed model or a manual fed. Does the gravity fed smokers have a larger fuel capacity and therefore longer burn time? I want to go with something that is going to give me the longest burn time on a load of fuel possible. When at competitions I can handle the up every 1 1/2hr to fed the stick burner but on a lazy weekend at home and I want to throw on a brisket for the next day's lunch I don't want to babysit my smoker.
Anything else other than burn time that someone can point out the differences between a Backwoods and an Assassin?
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Unread 03-03-2013, 11:05 PM   #2
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One thing you will never have to concern yourself with using a Backwoods is a logjam in the feed chute.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 06:03 AM   #3
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I think it might be easier to control wood usage with the backwoods. Both smokers are going to give you plenty of burn time.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 06:38 AM   #4
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13.8 lb bag of Kingsford yielded a 15 1/2 hr burn at 28 degrees with winds 10-20 mph on a MJH last weekend. Thats a fuel miser. Thats using the fuel to heat it up from cold too.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 06:43 AM   #5
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2 different cookers, do you want to use water? I think the backwoods gives a more pronounced smoke, the gravity feed, can go on forever.

With the backwoods, you can set your burn up and not add wood or coals until your done, with the gravity i have to add wood every 1-2 hours for the first part of the cook to get the smoke i like.

I also think the backwoods puts color on faster than my stumps, good or bad, it does, it also cooks a bit faster.

both quality smokers but different.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 08:03 AM   #6
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Goddahavit hit the nail on the head. Stumps gets LONG burn times with the smallest amount of effort. It has a tiny learning curve but requires you put flavor wood in every so often. with a backwoods you set it up in the beginning and tend to it a little to get it where you want it but then it should chug along. If it needs more charcoal, it is a bit more work. They cook faster because of the reverse flow and use water. They are more difficult to clean up as well but put out a great product.

Both are great cookers and have their positives and negatives. If you want ease, nothing beats a stumps. If you want water and more smoke, go with backwoods.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 01:57 PM   #7
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Personally I wouldn't want to mess with water, just another thing to prep and clean afterwards. If you use lump (that's not RO or Cowboy) you should have plenty of smoke flavor regardless of what you use.
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Unread 03-05-2013, 10:31 AM   #8
GrillsGoneWild
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WineMaster View Post
13.8 lb bag of Kingsford yielded a 15 1/2 hr burn at 28 degrees with winds 10-20 mph on a MJH last weekend. Thats a fuel miser. Thats using the fuel to heat it up from cold too.
WineMaster - You have my interest on the MJH with that long of a burn time. Is the firebox hold the whole bag or did you have to reload? What temp was that cooking at? Is the MJH set up like the Backwoods to be a reverse flow smoker? Do you use the water pan in there? How is the clean up?
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Unread 03-05-2013, 09:22 PM   #9
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That MJH does look pretty good, especially considering its cost.
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Unread 03-05-2013, 09:46 PM   #10
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I literally just went from a gravity fed (TnT) to 2 Backwoods in December. Burn time is pretty similar. I could get a few more pounds of charcoal in the gravity chute, but I haven't really had to reload my BWS. Adding more charcoal in a gravity fed is a little easier, but for BWS all you have to do is push the lit stuff to the back of the pan and add more in the front. Not hard at all for me.

The water pan clean up is something you don't have to deal with in a gravity feed. The BWS is a little easier to setup the wood for long smokes without having to add more wood, though a lot of gravity fed guys add wood in the chute with the charcoal.

Both cook efficiently, but I have noticed that my BWS temp recovery time when I open the door is a lot faster than the gravity fed. A part of this is due to the BWS cooking chamber being smaller.

One other thing to think about is what size do you need. I loved how big my TnT was, but rarely ever had it loaded up and I needed a trailer to move it. I can get both my BWS in the back of my truck and tote them around.
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