View Full Version : Smoker Blasphemy

04-16-2011, 07:00 PM
Ya know We've had a Lang for a few years and I'm getting weary of the grind with the long long long hours of stokin the fire. We're thinking of converting to propane...what do ya think? Anyone out there that has done it? Pros & Cons please..

04-16-2011, 07:02 PM
Have you thought of building a charcoal basket and maybe getting a Guru or other draft system?

04-16-2011, 07:27 PM
Don't know about the propane, haven't done it, but I will say that the process is supposed to be enjoyable - whatever gets you there, do it!

04-16-2011, 07:37 PM
I have no idea how you manage in that climate. Must be feeding it continually. If it were me, I'd make the switch.

El Ropo
04-16-2011, 10:18 PM
Someone has to say it.... UDS?

04-16-2011, 10:22 PM
I converted my ECB to a propane....:rolleyes: was happier... :redface:
till I built a UDS:-D

04-16-2011, 10:50 PM
I have a ECB propane to! havnt used it yet but i have had food from propane smokers and it was GOOOD!

a southern pride cooker to be exact!

04-16-2011, 11:14 PM
Have you thought of building a charcoal basket and maybe getting a Guru or other draft system?

This with a charcoal basket should do the trick.

04-17-2011, 03:47 AM
Thanks guys for your comments. :thumb:

I have a "gassmoker.com" conversion kit, and wondering before I install it if it will create enough heat for the Lang 84? It's supposedly 112,000 btu's with the taps wide open. It's supposed to but just trying to find anyone with actual experience.

04-17-2011, 10:22 AM
friends dont let friends switch to propane!

In all seriousness why not take a look at different kind of cooker instead of doing a conversion. There are plenty of cookers in the same price range as your Lang that will give you long unattended cooks without having to use gas. Check out the Cookshack, Backwoods, or Stumps lineups for some ideas

04-17-2011, 11:21 AM
As a lover of all things charcoal and wood smoked.....I HAVE to agree with Muzzlebrake here.....

There HAS to be a viable alternative to going to gas outright. You, yourself, called it "blasphemy" right out of the box!!!

Not giving you grief. And I also agree with Gore....those climates up there in the Great White North have GOT to be some kind of challenge. Only you know for sure.....but MAN......say it ain't so.....:tsk::rolleyes::heh::becky:

04-17-2011, 11:26 AM
I say switch to propane. I started smoking with my 55 gallon drum grill but like you I was constantly attending to the fire. I got a propane smoker and I love that thing. I can go spend time with my friends and family while I'm smoking and not worry about the fire going out or getting too low. I just put more wood chips when needed and I'm good to go.

04-17-2011, 11:51 AM
Bank your coals...or make the switch...whatever makes you happy...screw everyone else.

04-17-2011, 12:08 PM
If it were for personal use, I'd agree with everyone else and build a UDS or get a ceramic. I got mine primarily so I could Q in the winter. For commercial use though, I think you're really fighting an uphill battle. You also have to consider your customer base. Are they really going to care? I would bet probably not. Do you have any competition?

04-17-2011, 03:22 PM
Yep, it's a difficult decision, keeping the fire going in the cold vs warmer climes isn't a big issue, it's pretty well the same regardless of the season. I'm thinking that with propane I could better utilize the cooker. Take a pig roast for example, smoking it makes the skin is inedible, possibly with higher heat at the end from lp will change that? I don't know I'm guessing until I try it, that's partially why I'm posting.
I could use it as an oven for cooking other items that would not be appropriate with smoke, maybe grilling as well. The kit just setís in place, no drilling no welding, no mods making it a permanent fixture. I do like the depth of flavour that all wood brings so it could be quickly switched.
I guess I'm going to have to try it. I'll keep you posted in the meantime your comments are very welcome. :thumb:

04-17-2011, 09:51 PM
I'm a stick burner but if I get lazy, I would go to a pellet pooper rather than a gasser.

04-18-2011, 11:02 AM
I cant get pellets up here without shipping them, then they're worth their weight in gold. lucky we got hardwood I figure..lol

04-18-2011, 12:41 PM
I'm thinking that with propane I could better utilize the cooker. Take a pig roast for example, smoking it makes the skin is inedible, possibly with higher heat at the end from lp will change that? :thumb:

I use a propane cooker - (with a smoker box for flavor not heat) - for whole hogs and it is so much easier to ramp up the heat towards the end to blister/crisp the skin. As a side note - On the North Carolina competition circuit, all of the teams use propane. Crispness of the skin is a key judging category.

This is one of my son's entries before judging:
During Judging:

It was the first time he had ever cooked a whole hog by himself, he got his skin really crispy and beat me by 6 points. :doh:

04-18-2011, 01:16 PM
Orval, you are cooking both commercially and for personal use right? I would say that while I am not a fan of BBQ coming out of gas cookers, if I was cooking under the condition you are cooking, I would want the ability to go with gas at least as an option. Southern Pride smokers are a restaurant and commercial staple for a reason. I would hate to convert a Lang to gas, but, you do what you gotta do.

I am one who feels he can usually tell whether a product has been wood smoked or gas smoked, there is a difference in the nature of the flavor of the meat and in the texture as well. The same goes for for offset versus direct heat cooking. I am saying different, not better or worse. My friend Matt and Charlotte use a JR Oyler and wood only, my buddy Mike uses a Southern Pride, both are cooking excellent BBQ although Mike's has a cleaner profile, more refined smoke flavor and finer texture, Matt's is more "real BBQ" in terms of texture and a whack of smoke.

I think of the ability to control heat in terms of gas versus wood, with a gas smoker being run a lot like an oven, turn a knob, adjust the heat giving you a lot more control for a lot less effort and planning. A stickburner, especially a offset is going to have a lag, and you need to plan and adjust for that. Then again, I know very few folks reliably producing good BBQ off of a Southern Pride, so it is not all that easy.

I suspect you will find that the real solution is a cabinet smoker, I notice that guys that cater a lot like things like FEC and Spicewines, the insulated cabinets and ability to use Stokers or Gurus just makes controlling and holding heat a lot easier than any offset can be.

Full Draw BBQ
04-18-2011, 03:17 PM
My Lang was a pain to keep at temp, or even anything remotely steady, UNTIL I built a charcoal basket for it. Holds a 20 pound bag perfectly....I start that with a weed burner, and let the smoker come up to temp, then start feeding logs every 45 min to an hour. It made the smoker so much more enjoyable to cook on.

Full Draw BBQ
04-18-2011, 03:20 PM
I failed to also say that if you are making a change....a pellet or Stumps should get a long look. Best of luck to you!!