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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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Old 12-30-2006, 12:08 AM   #1
SmokeyBear
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Join Date: 12-29-06
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Default a question of cookers

I've always cooked with a gas grill, but I want to start cooking with coals and doing some smoking. I'm considering the following cookers:

Big Green Egg: I like the setup, but the price is a bit higher than I wanted to go. Rust wouldn't be a concern with the BGE, but I am concerned about the ceramics getting broken somehow. I would like the ability to go mobile, but I believe this would increase the chances of breakage. Also, I store my grill in my garage and move it outside when I want to cook. The wife does want to build back deck, which would allow me a place to keep the cooker without having to move it. The large (18" grate" is the size that I would like, but I expect it would be a handful to move around. The medium is closer to my price range, but I don't want to regret not going ahead and getting the large.

Oklahoma Joe: I don'r know the model number, and I can't find it online anywhere. The unit has cast iron sides with a stainless steel hood and cast iron cooking grates. The coal grate can be raised and lowered with crank. This unit is a bit more in my price range. It is for sale at Academy Sports. They only had the floor unit in stock the other day, and they didn't have the manuals for it. This unit would allow for direct and indirect grilling.

I'd appreciate any feedback and suggestions.
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Old 12-30-2006, 12:14 AM   #2
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You're tapping into a lot of experience here. Lots of offset and BGE users. Looking forward to seeing what advice you get. My guess is that the BGE is going to be the more versitale because you can do direct and indirect with it. Its very fuel efficient as well. To me, a good patio cooker is one that you don't have to tend to constantly. That's why I have the Traeger 075 and would go for the BGE for a non-pellet cooker. Kinda like my fellow 075 owner: Q_Egg.
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Old 12-30-2006, 12:39 AM   #3
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I'm not familiar with the Oklahoma Joe, but I do have a Large BGE. You should check out the BGE users forum and get acquainted with the capabilities of the grill. Go with the Large and keep in mind you will want a platesetter for indirect cooking. I have to build an area for my cookers as my wife wants her deck back!
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:50 AM   #4
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I don't cook the capacity I used to and I don't cook competitive
but I do have 2 WSM smokers and I dearly love them.
I encouraged you to read about them no matter what you
have in mind.
This is Just My Opinion....
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check out the Minnion Method also !!
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Old 12-30-2006, 05:26 AM   #5
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Offset man myself, but I like to play with and tend fire.
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Old 12-30-2006, 06:27 AM   #6
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I love the offsets, but what kind of cooking are you looking to do? If you plan on just grilling, its hard to beat a Weber kettle. However, some of those new santa maria style cookers built by Brinkmann and others are pretty cool.

If you want to expand to smoking, then you need to decide how much work you want to do. I personally prefer to tend a fire, as the cook itself is just as important to me as the finished product. Offsets allow you to use both wood and charcoal for fuel, while the vertical units are very low maintenance (almost set and forget), but sacrifice some space. My first and one of my favorites is the Bandara/BSKD unit.

Lastly, what is your budget? If you are looking at a BGE, then I'm guessing you want to spend under $700. This leaves you a lot of options.
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Old 12-30-2006, 06:33 AM   #7
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Offsets for me. I am a Stick Burner. Love the fire and smoke from a whole load of wood in there just a burnin'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Once you get used to any smoker, they ALL work great.
Remember, it's the cook, not the cooker.
Smoke On!!!!
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Old 12-30-2006, 06:49 AM   #8
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I bet that Lang has a part in your cooking! How can you be up so early, as I know how hard you like to party?
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:45 AM   #9
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Hey Nmayeux!!!!
Here's the deal. I work hard until 4:30 p.m., drink hard and smoke hard until about 8:00. I go to bed at 8:30 and get up about 4:30 every day. I just wake up and go at it all again.
Lang??? I have to tell ya, that I smoke 10 times more on the little Brinkmann than the Lang and the product is just as good.
Love the Lang, but would not trade that little $150.00 Brinkmann for nothing.
Have a GREAT day and a Happy New Year.
Smoke On!!!!!
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:51 AM   #10
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I agree that you need to figure out what kind of cooking you will do most. If it's grilling it's hard to beat a Weber kettle.

For smoking I am partical to the offsets and really enjoy my BSKD. It takes some getting used to and you have to want to play with your fire... but for me that is half the fun. Plus it gives me a good excuse to be outside AND drinking beer!!

Have fun making your choice. I bet you end up with 2 or 3 grilling/smoking devices!!
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:34 AM   #11
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Default sams

Hey, sams club has a really nice offset for the price..I belive it is around $250.00 Its all welded constrution and has a adjustable cooking surface, so you could use it as a grill as well..I belive it is called the black dog..I would go with a stick burner, There is no fun in these smokers that you just set it and forget it!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-30-2006, 09:09 AM   #12
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I agree with Bevo, I enjoy temding the fire as well. Its such a relaxing thing to do for me anyway. It may also be all the booze helping me relax lol.
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:37 AM   #13
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Smokey Bear,

I have seen the Oklahoma Joe's at Academy Sports and Outdoors. They are also marketed as New Braunfels Smoker and I believe along with Charbroil, they are now one and the same manufacturer. I have had a New Braunfels and it worked real good for me until I allowed it to deteriorate due to weather. If you like to feed wood, it is a great stick burner and due to the size limitations of the firebox, you will definately drink beer and feed wood. I really liked it for the few years that I had it. Had I paid closer attention to the hinges (they rusted and bent causing an ill-fitting lid) I would still have it today. I did like that it had a grill as well as a smoker feature. Sort of the best of both worlds.

As for the BGE, I have always wanted one. The wife and I were talking last night about getting one. There is also an alternative to the BGE it is the PRIMO, I have not used either, but I know that they both will achieve very high temperatures. They will also maintain constant temps.

Good luck on making your choice.

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Old 12-30-2006, 10:47 AM   #14
SmokeyBear
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The Oklahoma Joe's unit is not an offset smoker.

I have looked at some of the offset units, but I'd rather have something that I not have to tend to as much to begin with, but I do tend to fuss over stuff when I cook; so, I might enjoy one of those as well.

With whichever new unit I purchase, I want to be able to smoke/indirect cook. Having the ability to grill/direct cook would be a plus.

I bought one of the cheap Brinkman units several years ago. It tried it a couple of times and never used it again.

I've been reading the BGE forum as well. I found this forum through a thread there concerning fatties.
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Old 12-30-2006, 11:06 AM   #15
SmokeyBear
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Anybody have a link for New Braunfels/Oklahoma Joe's? None of my searches are getting me to the companies directly.
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