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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 01-28-2011, 08:22 PM   #1
nrok2118
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Default What smoker to buy? Pellet vs Stickburner

I know this can easily end up in a unanswerable debate, but Id like to get everyone's opinions anyway. Im new to the world of BBQ, Ive always enjoyed cooking and this past summer I looked into smoking and bought a wsm and loved it! Used it at least once a week whenever I had the time and thought I could make some decent Q.

But now I'm already getting greedy and want to take it to the next level, Im working a lot of OT right now and can afford to throw some money at a new pit. Now I dont make a lot of money so Im thinking at most...$3000?, and thats only cause (at 25) Im convincing myself you only live once. I started off thinking about getting a pellet pooper so I had some extra space and plenty of convenience that comes with pellets. Than I started thinking how bad ass a real stickburner is. Yes its more work, but more work leads to more gratification. Plus with the extra room an offset has I can try to cater personal parties and events, and move up from there. I'd also like to try some competitions too, though up here in eastern PA I would be cautious spending money for comps until I have some proven recipes. But today while researching I starting leaning back towards a pellet grill. What sucks is I have no experience with either and am going on pure research (which I do a lot).

So what say ye brethren? Save up for a lang 60, or get a pellet (I like the GMC and the new Yoder) and maybe something else, or save money for more meat! I also have given myself the goal to smoke a whole pig/hog. Cant do that on a pellet, unless I go with the whole hog CS smoker but Im not sure on the quality of the product for $2k.

I have a lot of ideas and obsessions going through my head and would love to get your input! Sorry for the life story, but none of my friends understand my rambling and I like advice.

Thanks!
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Unread 01-28-2011, 08:26 PM   #2
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Besides the heat source (pellets vs. sticks), your really comparing apples to oranges. A Lang 60 is a big offset and a GMG or Yoder is a much smaller pellet grill/smoker. You really need to decide which size fits your needs first.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 08:34 PM   #3
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Besides the size and the fuel, you also have to decide how much time you want to spend with your cook. Set it and forget it? Then it's pellet pooper all the way! Hands on throughout, where the cooking is as important as the eating? Stick burner all day long!
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Unread 01-28-2011, 08:36 PM   #4
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I think thats my problem, Ron. Im having trouble deciding whether a large offset is going to get its money's worth, or if a smaller unit is going to be big enough. Its like apples and oranges, but Im hungry and I want some fruit!

I guess its better not to really debate the two, but rather explore each, which Im hoping this post can do.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 08:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Bob View Post
Besides the size and the fuel, you also have to decide how much time you want to spend with your cook. Set it and forget it? Then it's pellet pooper all the way! Hands on throughout, where the cooking is as important as the eating? Stick burner all day long!
Id like to trail it, set it and forget it, and be able to feed 50 or more people. But for my price range I dont think thats an option. Im really leaning towards a stickburner right now, its just a lot of money for me. Which brings up another point, why are Langs *dare I say* cheap compared to other trailered offsets? I mean am I missing something? They seem good quality and every owner seems to always be satisfied.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 08:58 PM   #6
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Just something to consider,

I also was looking at the Lang 60 recently. Because of the distance (also live up in PA) I went with a local pit maker, Meadowcreek BBQ. However, if you are set on getting a trailer mounted pit. Go with the 60, just drive yourself to and from GA where they are built. You can probably drive down there and haul it back for less than it would take to ship. Plus road trips are fun, even better when trailing a Lang 60 for the return. And for the record, I love Queing with my new offset, tending a good hot fire of cherry or apple wood with a little K mixed in is magical.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:12 PM   #7
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Where does those pellet trees grow at .Never seen one around my place.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jestridge View Post
Where does those pellet trees grow at .Never seen one around my place.
Food grade pellets are 100% wood.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrok2118 View Post
Id like to trail it, set it and forget it, and be able to feed 50 or more people. But for my price range I dont think thats an option. Im really leaning towards a stickburner right now, its just a lot of money for me. Which brings up another point, why are Langs *dare I say* cheap compared to other trailered offsets? I mean am I missing something? They seem good quality and every owner seems to always be satisfied.
When I refer to 'set it and forget it', I mean fire it up and walk away until the food is done without re-fueling or worrying about temperature. You will not get that with the Lang 60 or any offset for that matter. You'll have to feed and tend the fire at least every hour.

You will be able to trail it and feed 50 people though, and the Lang is a great cooker. Good luck with whatever you choose!
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:38 PM   #10
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do you really want to spend that much on something that is a "pooper"?
i vote for stick burner
if it has an electric cord, it's not for me!
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:39 PM   #11
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Another option to think about is a box smoker like the Spicewine cookers. They will run for hours on a single load of fuel. Spicewine makes a trailer version but it is above your range. The Medium Spicewine is in your range but you'd have to provide your own trailer.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:40 PM   #12
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What does one of those nifty Backwoods or Spicewine cookers cost? I kinda like those if you are wanting to step it up from a WSM. I would be more interested in owning two 22.5 WSM's. I love those big pull-behinds, especially since I got to mess with a Klose this year, but, I would hardly ever use it.

(dang that Ron guy types fast)
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:49 PM   #13
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note the he had to say "food grade" there? ha. here's what i was told and it make sense. if you want a big smoker, and have no idea about what you want or the art of cooking in it, go with cheaper to learn on. look on craigslist. people always selling stuff like that. I was looking to have one made and found a guy to do it. old heating oil drums on an axle with some bells and whistles. about $800. figured at that price he was still making some money, so could i build one for $800? lets try and see what i end up with. thats what i did. called a welder buddy... sat down and talked about it..3 days later we had a cooker. now 2 years later, its paid for itself 10 times over, and i'm looking for what I need now. Now that i have some personal experience. lots of cookers out there. even more opinions on which is better idea. i like the idea of the water cookers made by maxifab down in GA. takes the UDS idea and scales it up. great cookers for the $$$. Still gotta feed the lang every hour or two. that always sounds good.. until 4:00am when all the beer drinking friends ain't helping tend the coals no more.. ha

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Food grade pellets are 100% wood.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:51 PM   #14
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and if your talking about 50 people... thats only 3-4 butts.. just build ya a couple UDS's for less than $200. they are bad ass enough in their own right..
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Unread 01-28-2011, 10:12 PM   #15
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If you have a WSM then you already have a set it and forget it cooker. I'm partial to stickburners myself. I even burn sticks in my spicewine now. Lang, Klose, Meadow Creek, Gator Pits, check them all out if you like offsets.
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