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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 01-03-2018, 08:58 AM   #1
LordRiffenstein
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Join Date: 06-27-17
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Default Looking at buying an offset stick burner.

Little background: I have been Q-ing for many years but only got into smoking about 2 years ago. I decided to get a Traeger pellet grill and have really liked using it. About 9 months ago I picked up a Weber kettle (and a WGA) and have been using that alongside the Traeger. I use the Traeger for low n slow stuff but also smoke a lot of stuff on the Weber. I ALSO have a big wood-fired oven in the backyard and I enjoy firing that up and playing with fire.

So I've come to the point where I'm thinking I could really enjoy smoking on a stick-burner. I really enjoy Q-ing/smoking, even more then before and find myself working my schedule to fit in Q-ing time. Have realized it gives me more joy to nail a cook on the Weber as on the Traeger. I know it needs a closer watch but I'm pretty sure it's something I will enjoy doing on an offset.

Been talking about it with the misses and she has OK'ed me looking into an offset. So here's where I'd like some opinions. I'm looking at Oklahoma Joe style offsets. Most of our cooks are just for the 2 of us or some friends, but occasionally we have bigger parties 15+. I was looking at 16" smokers but after reading on a few forums, it sounds like I'd be better of getting a 16" longhorn or perhaps 20". How much meat can you generally get on a regular 16"? It's also my understanding that a 20" or a long 16" is easier to maintain than a smaller smoker.

Anything else that I should be weary about? I've read so many threads and it hasn't made things easier. I'm trying to find something 2nd hand, not in a rush but you know... I have found some nice new stuff over here in Europe, if anybody has some good brands in Europe let me know!
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:04 AM   #2
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If you enjoy messing with the wood burning oven...get a stick burner. I always loved playing with a fireplace or campfire and the stick burner is the same way.

The only advise on 16 vs 20 is that a full rack of spare ribs is about 17-18 inches long. With a 16 you have to lay them side to side. The 20 they can go front to back. May not matter if you are just cooking for close family and a few friends. But something to consider.
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:06 AM   #3
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you havent mentioned what your budget is. If its in the <$500 range, I would SERIOUSLY look at the Oklahoma Joe Bandera. Its a reasonably priced vertical offset and what I started on almost 30 years ago(also he cornerstone of where this Forum started). Due to the vertical nature, capacity is much more than the horizontals. A bandera can easily handle 8-10 racks of ribs or 2 turkeys, where a similarly priced horizontal would do half that. Its fairly easy to run, we can help with some mods to aid in performance and will give you a good taste of fire management and smoke control.
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:12 AM   #4
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I have the OK Joe Highland and after a few mods, I love it. Same here, just me and the Mrs. and sometimes the family....about 10 more people. I use the OK Joe and the Weber kettle and have plenty of room. I also added a hover grill to the weber for some additional space.
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:52 AM   #5
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Being in Belgium throws a wrench in things for many of us on this side of the Atlantic as we don't know what shipping and VAT adds to the overall purchase process.

What is your budget? What do some of the smokers you see over there cost? What size constraints do you have?

I know there are a couple people from Switzerland who really like the Shirley Fabrication smokers and I have seen a few Langs in Europe as well. Whether there are builders in Europe that make a good offset smoker is a mystery to me but, I know smokers are becoming more popular in Europe and traditional grilling (BBQ to some) is very popular as well.

With the USD dollar falling in value relative to the Euro, getting an offset smoker in the USA and shipping it might not be as costly (expensive) as it has been the past few years.

For a 'very rough' price for a good entry level offset smoker, a 120-gallon cook chamber in a 'patio' model (not trailer mounted) will be roughly 1/4 inch stock thickness (~6mm) which is typically heavier than most 'big box store' smokers made overseas. I'm looking at one right now that is 24"x51" for $900USD. I have seen some in the 20"x42" range that were ~$600USD.

I have looked at shipping a car back from Europe but, never something that was less than a 'container load' so, I can't venture a reliable guess on what it would cost to crate and ship one of these to Europe. Then there is the pickup at the 'port of entry' and transport back to your home along with VAT and any other 'import' fees.

The main advice I have as you start your shopping, don't buy a 16" diameter smoker. I get meat portion sizes in Europe are much smaller than over here but, you will want to smoke a Turkey, Lamb, Pig/Piglet, etc. at some point. You will want the capability to do so even though you don't see the need right now. The larger height also allows you to smoke larger boned meats like a ham. Then there are beef ribs and briskets to consider, which while not a frequent cook, just like a piglet you will want to cook one at some point.

A 20Kg piglet or lamb for Christmas, especially 'racing style' in a smoker is a wonderful thing! Or, I'm sure on national Belgian holidays when you have friends over and the presentation makes everyone stare in appreciation.
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:54 AM   #6
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Yikes, I just noticed that you're in Belgium. Shipping is going to be a killer if you don't find a local manufacturer/distributor.

That said, I think Old Country offers a pretty good pit for the money:

https://www.academy.com/shop/browse/...atalogId=10051

I would definitely go for a 20". The trick to running a stick burner is managing a fire. I think it would be more difficult to maintain a small fire in a 16".

That and most cuts of meat are under 20"...

Just my $0.02,

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Old 01-03-2018, 11:50 AM   #7
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I wouldn't go under 20" diameter. As to getting an offset where you're at - you might want to holler at Phubar - he and his Lowland Smokers team from Utrecht are active in the comp circuit over there and he may be able to steer you to where you can source an offset without having to ship from the US. There are a few custom rigs I've seen in EU and they're usually very cool. You can also find some offsets in the UK. I think there is a Meadow Creek or Yoder distributor in the UK - not sure though.

Don Marco, another Brethren here, might be able to give you some tips as well. He sells BBQ stuff (I'm not sure if he sells cookers) and he is farking serious. He's in Germany and his site is here.
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:17 PM   #8
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In the US Shirley Fabrication makes the best offset smoker in my opinion - getting to Belgium would be an expensive endeavor however. Tyler Shirley & Co make a great product.
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:44 PM   #9
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With the cost of the smoker and shipping would it be possible to find a fabricator over your way to have one custom built? It might be cheaper that way and even possibly be built better. Just a thought anyway
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:24 PM   #10
LordRiffenstein
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQchef33 View Post
you havent mentioned what your budget is. If its in the <$500 range, I would SERIOUSLY look at the Oklahoma Joe Bandera. Its a reasonably priced vertical offset and what I started on almost 30 years ago(also he cornerstone of where this Forum started). Due to the vertical nature, capacity is much more than the horizontals. A bandera can easily handle 8-10 racks of ribs or 2 turkeys, where a similarly priced horizontal would do half that. Its fairly easy to run, we can help with some mods to aid in performance and will give you a good taste of fire management and smoke control.
Yeah, I didnt mention it because because I am not sure to get 2nd hand or new. A new OK Joe 16" in 6mm is about 1500-1600euro so for a 2nd hand one Id say around 900 would be an ok price.

Not sure a OK Joe Bandera is available over here in Europe, there are some shops in Belgium/Holland/Germany selling OK Joe though.

Overall, budget wise, Id like to keep it around 1500euro MAX, for a new one, knowing that Id be buying something for the rest of my life.
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:32 PM   #11
LordRiffenstein
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Thanks for the input, Im definitely looking at getting something in Europe.

Seems that the consensus is to get a 20" because at some point, you might need the space. I do not really have space constraints so a 20" should not be a problem.

Im also member of a Dutch forum that Phubar runs, Ill be posing the same question there :-) I just thought the US guys have more experience then us so might as well ask them as well.
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:44 PM   #12
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The Horizon Smokers 20” rd special is a widely respected pit. I have definitely heard of a Europe based distributor for Horizon. Perhaps email Horizon head office and ask for details?
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:51 PM   #13
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You get what you pay for with offsets. More money buys thicker steel. Thicker steel buys more stable temps, less babysitting, less frustration.
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:20 PM   #14
SmittyJonz
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20x42" minimum. 24x48" is Perfect.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:32 PM   #15
jason&egla
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[QUOTE I have found some nice new stuff over here in Europe, if anybody has some good brands in Europe let me know![/QUOTE]

https://www.bbqeurope.com/
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