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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 07-04-2010, 03:26 PM   #1
el_matt
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Default Opinions on Stoker type devices

My wife just found out about Stokers. She was less than Stoked. She thinks it's "cheating". Her theory is, if you have to use a computer to control your heat, you might as well cook in the oven. She was amazed to learn they are legal at competitions. I finally got her to recognize that for a long/overnight cook at home, they'd keep you from getting up every couple of hours. But she still thinks manual temp. control is part of a BBQers "skill".

I've always thought they were a neat device, but I never contemplated buying one, mainly because of the price.

Don't misunderstand, I'm not knocking anyone who uses one, I'm just curious what other folks think.

Matt
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Unread 07-04-2010, 03:44 PM   #2
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Cook how you like. Not much different then electric augers on pellet poopers. Some people like to sleep or do other things than tend fire.
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Unread 07-04-2010, 03:57 PM   #3
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Anybody who isn't slaughtering their own pigs, cutting their own wood, and cooking over a pit they dug with a homemade shovel is cheating in one way or another. As far as temperature control, it takes no skill to maintain steady temps on my WSM, stoker or not, and I don't feel like I'm cheating. Now ELECTRIC smokers...
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Unread 07-04-2010, 04:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qnbiker View Post
Anybody who isn't slaughtering their own pigs, cutting their own wood, and cooking over a pit they dug with a homemade shovel is cheating in one way or another. As far as temperature control, it takes no skill to maintain steady temps on my WSM, stoker or not, and I don't feel like I'm cheating. Now ELECTRIC smokers...
Amen!

I guess I won't be inviting your wife over to this cheaters house for dinner.
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Unread 07-04-2010, 06:39 PM   #5
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I'm a cheater in many ways. I do enjoy all night cooks sans controllers so that I can enjoy the outdoors, stars, time with friends, and brews.

That said, sometimes sleep, work or family takes precedent and I slap on the techno Guru and walk away until it tweets me that it is done. Nothing easier! On those nights, I often wake up to beeping and don't know whether it is a client ringing me on my blackberry, the baby monitor alert, or the guru complaining about temperature. A bit depressing but enables me to do more.
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Unread 07-04-2010, 07:30 PM   #6
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Matt I have been thinking about investing in one because I suffer from sleep apnea and I need my sleep and after an all night cook I am dead to the world by 4 or 5 the next day and into the next day. My only problem is I am cheap as hell. Just ask yourself if you wanna be rested when you are enjoying your Q
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Unread 07-04-2010, 09:38 PM   #7
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So many righteous thoughts! Is using propane to start/supplement your cook cheating, or using a thermostat with it to regulate temps? Is using commercial charcoal, briqs or lump, cheating? If electronics are too "new", is a Maverick or Thermapen cheating, or if not new technology what about bi-metal thermometers? To be true to BBQ I don't think there is one competiror who cooks in the oldl BBQ methods of burning down their wood, shoveling the coals into a pit, and cooking their meats. Doesn't mean it's not tasty and not BBQ, or what is BBQ?
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Unread 07-04-2010, 10:47 PM   #8
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What they all said, if I were you I would tell the wife to stay up and tend the fire and see how long that lasts. Bottom line is how does it taste.
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Unread 07-05-2010, 12:03 AM   #9
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Fire control is a fundamental skill in bbq, and any forced air controller is by no means a substitute for that skill. Nor does it guarantee a prefect, steady fire - you still have to know your pit - you have to know its intricacies with forced air and without it. And it doesn't deprecate your other skills and techniques for flavorings, tenderizing, trimming, rubs, sauces, boxing, meat selection, and the countless contingencies for when things do get sideways.

Plus, I need all the sleep I can get at competitions so's I don't come in DAL.
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Unread 07-05-2010, 01:40 AM   #10
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I would definitely learn to manage a fire before you get a Stoker or Guru. We have been "self-managing" our fires for two years on our Pro Q's. It's really important to understand the the intricacies of proper fire control before you make the big leap to a draft type system.

That being said, we just bought a Stoker and absolutely love it so far.
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Unread 07-05-2010, 07:27 AM   #11
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Sounds like your wife just volunteered for overnight duty.
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Unread 07-05-2010, 08:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD08 View Post
Sounds like your wife just volunteered for overnight duty.
True dat!

If your wife thinks its a Ronco "set it and forget it" device, she's sadly mistaken.

They are just tools (as are all the other things folks use). There's still plenty of skill involved. The good news is they are not mandatory and folks don't have to use them if they don't want to.
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Unread 07-05-2010, 08:25 AM   #13
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I have had the BBQ GURU, and I had people giving me flack about cheating, so I sold it. Then I bought two pellet cookers and I built a trailer with a/c so I could get out of the elements. I also put running water in my trailer, and a fridge. How do you like me now Beoch!!! That's what I think! Call it cheating if you want. I can cook just the same without the pellet cookers or the draft induction, it doen't matter. I do it only for my benefit of ease. It's all about "ME TIME"!
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Unread 07-05-2010, 03:13 PM   #14
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What I think/ Your wife should stay out of the conversation because she doesn't know what she is talking about. Unless she is a hottie.... then she can say what she wants. You know, just it allows you to have an excuse to watch her mouth move.

Now YOU--- you are okay... I am fine with you... but me saying what I said allows ME to take the heat for probably telling her what you have been wanting to for years.

Stokers are legal in every competition I can think of yet boiling is not... and frankly... men were boiling large cuts of meat in strong stocks and laying them on pits LONG before the Food and Drug act of 1905 spelled the end to pits in favor of ovens... which essentially are what we all use now... ovens. THEY are NOT pits...Not even my brazos... though I call it one.

My take on Stokers....


If you go on to youtube and type in "barbecue and stoker," you will see I pretty much own the results.

http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...ue+stoker&aq=f

I get more hits than even he does and even challenge him on Google.
I cannot stand the way John Jackson runs his business and other than the power supply's problems when you get to the 25CFM fans, I endorse it strongly.

Rock designed the platform before doing higher output fans and when you get to 25cfm, they pretty much can do only one fan and with no long cords.

I so wish he would sell his great product to someone who knows how to run customer service. He is also one who holds a grudge based on a lie as he has never thanked me for taking the time to disspell the old "under 30 F malfunction" some claimed the unit had. It didn't as my experiment proves.

I also spent considerable time showing his product COULD be used on larger pits (1000 lbs) if routed properly.





Quote:
Originally Posted by el_matt View Post
My wife just found out about Stokers. She was less than Stoked. She thinks it's "cheating". Her theory is, if you have to use a computer to control your heat, you might as well cook in the oven. She was amazed to learn they are legal at competitions. I finally got her to recognize that for a long/overnight cook at home, they'd keep you from getting up every couple of hours. But she still thinks manual temp. control is part of a BBQers "skill".

I've always thought they were a neat device, but I never contemplated buying one, mainly because of the price.

Don't misunderstand, I'm not knocking anyone who uses one, I'm just curious what other folks think.

YOU know... Now that I think of it....I should put back up my first two tries with the stoker when the unit malfunctioned and I had a 700 degree pit.

we had to exchange stoker parts several times.

Matt
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Unread 07-05-2010, 03:18 PM   #15
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Why I used a stoker....

I was in god damn connecticut. You cannot get my pit up to 300 degrees when its 20 outside without one.

Now that I am back in Texas..... I do not use one except to monitor on the meat Mama and I need it to get to 475 on the brazos to cook like 70 stombolis. The brazos runs a bit cool too and I was either going to redesign the firebox (the brazos weighs like 6600lbs) or route the air and tweak the grate a bit.

I can get the pit up to higher temps but i have to chop wood more and make the sticks smaller and really pile it on.

I won my manhood bbq wise back in the 1990's and while working at Kreuz in the 1980s so I got nuthin to prove, LOL


Please send pic of your wife.
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