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Unread 04-18-2008, 09:36 AM   #1
Joe Bryant
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Question Help From The Pitmasters - Compare / Contrast Vertical vs Horizontal?

First off - great board you folks have here. Glad I found it.

I've cooked for the last 5 years of so with an offset Oklahoma Joe's. Something similar to this http://www.hawgeyesbbq.com/20rdlg.jpg I like it a lot and it's worked well. Mainly pork shoulder burning hickory.

But I'm looking to go with a mobile rig that has a much larger capacity. I'd like to be able to feed up to 300 folks or so.

The question I have is can you folks with experience using both vertical and horizontal smokers offer some insights into how they compare and contrast?

It seems to me that you can max out the cooking space a bit more with a vertical style. Along the lines of something like this http://www.bbqpits.com/commercial_in...30_upright.htm (I hope the links are ok for illustration. If not I'll remove)

But I know the horizontal style (like I have now) seems awfully popular. http://www.bbqpits.com/mobile_cookof...0x8_mobile.htm

And then I know the rigs combining both styles are popular like this http://www.bbqpits.com/mobile_cookof...2x6_w_uprt.htm

I know there are lots of ways to skin a cat. But I was looking for some feedback from the folks here with experience on the different styles.

What do you like or dislike about the different styles?

Thanks for the insights.

J
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Unread 04-18-2008, 10:28 AM   #2
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I wise man once said that vertical smokers observe the laws of physics better than horizontal smokers.
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Unread 04-18-2008, 10:43 AM   #3
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I have a Lang 60 that I love cooking on.... and have heard nothing but great things about (http://www.pigroast.com/model60deluxe.htm) If you are looking for something larger you could always go with the twin 84 (http://www.pigroast.com/model84t.htm) and I think you can even get a twin 104 if you really need the space!!!!

The thing I love about the Lang is that it's a reverse flow...
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Unread 04-18-2008, 11:05 AM   #4
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With a horizontal you can have it tuned to even the temps fairly closely across the horizontal. With a vertical the heat is more even.

A combination like the Klose you looked at is the best of both worlds. The vertical will run a little cooler, but is great for holding meat and sides. Or if you need the extra capacity you can move meat from the vertical to the horizontal as space becomes available.

If you want an education, and be able to quikly figure out what your needs are give Dave Klose a call. The man is a walking fountain of knowledge that he doesn't mind sharing.
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Unread 04-18-2008, 11:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster View Post
I have a Lang 60 that I love cooking on.... and have heard nothing but great things about (http://www.pigroast.com/model60deluxe.htm) If you are looking for something larger you could always go with the twin 84 (http://www.pigroast.com/model84t.htm) and I think you can even get a twin 104 if you really need the space!!!!

The thing I love about the Lang is that it's a reverse flow...

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the info. I'm just learning about reverse flow. Can you share your thoughts there on how you like it compared to the normal style with the chimney on the end opposite the firebox and using tuning plates?

Thanks.

J
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Unread 04-18-2008, 11:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bryant View Post
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the info. I'm just learning about reverse flow. Can you share your thoughts there on how you like it compared to the normal style with the chimney on the end opposite the firebox and using tuning plates?

Thanks.

J
It's really the best of both worlds...

The way the smoker is built is that there is a solid steal plate that runs the length of the horz. smoker from the fire box to just short (about 3-4 inches) of the far end. This way the heat is spread and there are no real hot spots while the smoke travels all the way under the plate and then comes back over the plate to the chimney surounding the meat.

I've found that the it is a far more even cook (I loose maybe 15 - 20 degrees from the fire box to the far end), and this may just be in my mind, but I feel like I have a better control on not just the heat, but also the smoke flavor.

With a 'Standard' horizontal smoker the end next to the fire box is normally a lot hotter and you have to move and or flip the meat to keep the cook even....
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Unread 04-18-2008, 11:21 AM   #7
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You may want to think about doing something fast, I got the most recent Klose newsletter stating that he is getting ready to raise his prices Substantially. Primarily because of the rate at which steel is rising...
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Unread 04-18-2008, 11:24 AM   #8
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I cooked on a homemade reverse flow once... that sucker cooked at 245 on the far side and 235 on the firebox side for 4 hours WITHOUT touching the woodbox. It took a heck of long time to get it up to temp, but once there, it was the best cooking machine I've ever cooked with outside. I love my offset, but half the fun was learning how to control it, could use some tuning plates on mine... one of these days when I am full time employed again.
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Unread 04-18-2008, 11:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge View Post
If you want an education, and be able to quikly figure out what your needs are give Dave Klose a call. The man is a walking fountain of knowledge that he doesn't mind sharing.
I don't want to cause any issues, but I would not recommend any one try to give Dave Klose a call. I called Klose Pits several times when I was pit shopping and never once got to speak to the man. One time I asked Monty if I could talk to Dave, and he said Dave was never there. He was always "out fishing." Talking to Monty and the other woman was equally as painful, cause I felt like I was getting a big heaping of marketing with every question. I have nothing to say about the quality of Klose products, but I would recommend seeking an education from sources other than that company.

YMMV,

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Unread 04-18-2008, 11:50 AM   #10
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My mileage varied substantially. While he does like to fish, he went out of his way to give me all the info I wanted.. including fishing;). I believe the woman, was probably his sister and she was helpful when I called as well...including going out on the lot with a tape measure to check the height of a pit to see if I could store it where I wanted to.
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Unread 04-18-2008, 12:05 PM   #11
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I've never tried to talk with Dave. I have spoken with Ben (Lang) and he was always more than helpful. (But that's coming from some one that has a Lang)

By the way Joe, swing on over to the Cattle Call and intoduce yourself... Oops.... Never mind....
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Unread 04-18-2008, 12:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster View Post
I've never tried to talk with Dave. I have spoken with Ben (Lang) and he was always more than helpful. (But that's coming from some one that has a Lang)

I've heard the same thing from quite a few people, but haven't ever spoken to him myself. I don't think you could go wrong talking to either gentleman.
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Unread 04-18-2008, 01:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge View Post
My mileage varied substantially.
I'm glad that you had a good experience. I've read where other people have had similar experiences. Like I said, I don't want to cause a problem, but every time I read a positive review of Klose and a suggestion to call, I did, and every time I was dissapointed by the lack of communication and marketing hype. I just thought I owed it to the world to share that info. No one was ever rude to me I guess, I just didn't like the communications. I could give a few specific examples, but besides being told that Dave is never there, I'm trying to avoid that.

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Unread 04-18-2008, 01:26 PM   #14
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To get this back on track a little bit, I'm sorta like the OP. I have an older NBSS horizontal offset. Cooked on it for years and liked it, but wanted something bigger/better. I looked at various horizontal cookers, but just never really waned one. To me, it was all about vertical cookers. A lot of ppl like the BYC and similar models like the ones you pointed out, Horizontal + Vertical, but one, they were all too expensive for me, and two, there is supposedly like a 100 degree drop from the horizontal to vertical portions. I wish the best of luck to those who have them, it just wasn't what I decided was right for me.

I ended up buying a vertical from Lonestar, and love it. I'm still getting used to it, but it cooks some good Q. If you look at all the newer "gimmick" BBQ cookers, you'll see that they are almost all vertical or chest style. I think that says something. Cost and space was also an issue. My pit has more space than a BYC, yet cost less, and I think the space is more usable. Prices are always changing among vendors, so compare apples to apples yourself, but that's just one example.

On the topic of communication, the guys at Lonestar were great! The owner, Tom, was very easy to reach in phone and eMail, and I was given Steve Bateman's personal cell phone to call him with any questions or comments. Completely throughout the pit building process, I was sent updates and pictures. Overall, a great pit, for a great price, and great communication. Another group that I talked to a few times but didn't go with was Ritch at Gator Pits. I've heard nothing but good stuff about them, and Ritch was always very helpful and friendly with the pit education.

So there it is. I like uprights, and for my money, you can't go wrong getting a wide upright and skipping the horizontal. The only question then is to decide whether you want a more traditional "Houston" pit, or a modern Stump/SW/BW/FEC/Whatever that's insulated.

dmp
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Unread 04-18-2008, 01:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmprantz View Post
To get this back on track a little bit, I'm sorta like the OP. I have an older NBSS horizontal offset. Cooked on it for years and liked it, but wanted something bigger/better. I looked at various horizontal cookers, but just never really waned one. To me, it was all about vertical cookers. A lot of ppl like the BYC and similar models like the ones you pointed out, Horizontal + Vertical, but one, they were all too expensive for me, and two, there is supposedly like a 100 degree drop from the horizontal to vertical portions. I wish the best of luck to those who have them, it just wasn't what I decided was right for me.

I ended up buying a vertical from Lonestar, and love it. I'm still getting used to it, but it cooks some good Q. If you look at all the newer "gimmick" BBQ cookers, you'll see that they are almost all vertical or chest style. I think that says something. Cost and space was also an issue. My pit has more space than a BYC, yet cost less, and I think the space is more usable. Prices are always changing among vendors, so compare apples to apples yourself, but that's just one example.

On the topic of communication, the guys at Lonestar were great! The owner, Tom, was very easy to reach in phone and eMail, and I was given Steve Bateman's personal cell phone to call him with any questions or comments. Completely throughout the pit building process, I was sent updates and pictures. Overall, a great pit, for a great price, and great communication. Another group that I talked to a few times but didn't go with was Ritch at Gator Pits. I've heard nothing but good stuff about them, and Ritch was always very helpful and friendly with the pit education.

So there it is. I like uprights, and for my money, you can't go wrong getting a wide upright and skipping the horizontal. The only question then is to decide whether you want a more traditional "Houston" pit, or a modern Stump/SW/BW/FEC/Whatever that's insulated.

dmp

Thanks dmp. Do you have a link to your pit? Are these the guys http://www.lonestarcustompits.com/

Which one did you go with? Thanks for the insights.

J
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