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View Full Version : How far should Little Dick leap?


LittleDick'sBBQ
11-23-2011, 06:21 PM
Greetings,

I currently own two Weber OTG 22.5s and a Char Griller COS with a firebox. I honestly have not used the Char Griller very much and am just getting the hang of the Webers. I am truly enjoying myself and my family/friends can abide by my new hobby!

As I travel down the BBQ road, I wonder in which direction I should look? I plan to compete casually/locally for fun. Mostly I want to be able to produce good 'cue.

So all you pros: if you could "do it over," what would you do? What equipment would you buy? I have my eye on a WSM 22-inch and a cabinet smoker (Backyard Smoker, Spicewine, et al). A UDS would be nice but I am admittedly NOT handy (Groucho Marx said, "Find out what you don't do well, and don't do it!")! I have given little thought to ceramic egg-type cookers, probably due to my own ignorance of them.

Living in New England, there is less access to dealers to compare products (But we DO house the 2011 Jack Daniels World Barbecue champs!)

I don't mind spending some $$ on a smoker, especially if I do not buy one cooker after another looking for the "perfect" one.

So....keep the OTGs, get a WSM or...save my pennies for a cabinet? How far should I leap? My mind is wide open!

Thanks for considering my dilemma,
Little Dick

MilitantSquatter
11-23-2011, 06:27 PM
key the OTG's (or at least one of them as you'll always be able to use for grilling.

If you don't have the desire to tend a fire, then offsets are easy to cross off your list.. If ceramics are not you're thing & no plans to build a UDS, then you're next options are WSM and/or a cabinet smoker.

I've had a variety of smokers and enjoyed them all, but I'd recommend the WSM to start.. not as much investment and you'll get similar results as a cabinet smoker.. Once you outgrow the WSM and you want a new toy then go to the cabinet.. From there it will be a decision based on cost, weight/transportation, and appearance.

Mr. Bo
11-23-2011, 06:41 PM
What MS said. You can't go wrong starting out on a WSM.

El Ropo
11-23-2011, 07:10 PM
No more "Little Dick" in the title of your threads would be a huge leap. Using default fonts would be another one. :boink:

As far as cookers go, you just missed out on el cheapo NIB WSMs. Check CL for people reselling them for profit, you could prolly find a NIB for $100ish.

An insulated cabinet smoker would rock. You could bbq all winter long!

LittleDick'sBBQ
11-23-2011, 07:20 PM
...[o]nce you outgrow the WSM and you want a new toy then go to the cabinet...

Thank you for your reply. My follow-up question: since I can afford a cabinet, should I skip the WSM "intermediate" stage and go right to a cabinet....and maybe put the $350.00 that a WSM costs to a iQue (or similar device....that's for a later thread!)

I have noticed a lot of folks have "gone bigger" as they have progressed through the world of 'cue. Should I just "cut to the chase" and go for the cabinet or spend my time/$$ ascending the ladder. Is the WSM a worthwhile stop as a teaching tool? Rite of passage?

Thank you,
Little Dick

MilitantSquatter
11-23-2011, 07:27 PM
Thank you for your reply. My follow-up question: since I can afford a cabinet, should I skip the WSM "intermediate" stage and go right to a cabinet....and maybe put the $350.00 that a WSM costs to a iQue (or similar device....that's for a later thread!)

I have noticed a lot of folks have "gone bigger" as they have progressed through the world of 'cue. Should I just "cut to the chase" and go for the cabinet or spend my time/$$ ascending the ladder. Is the WSM a worthwhile stop as a teaching tool? Rite of passage?

Thank you,
Little Dick

If money's not an issue, then you can easily go right to the cabinet, you'll learn just as much with a cabinet style as a WSM.. just be sure it's a hobby you intent to keep so it doesn't become a dust collector or put up for sale in our For Sale section a few months down the road.

BBQ Bandit
11-23-2011, 08:16 PM
Obviously I am a part of the 'go bigger' crowd.

I would only ask how much do you enjoy cooking for the masses? If so... go for it.

LittleDick'sBBQ
11-23-2011, 08:27 PM
Bandit,

Thanks for the input. My grandfather used to say, "if it holds a lot, it holds a little." Will a cabinet be "overkill" if I want to do a smaller cook. How is the fuel efficiency on the cabinets vs. the WSM vs. the OTGs?

Thanks,
Little Dick

Code3BBQ
11-23-2011, 08:31 PM
If you decide to go the cabinet route, I will be anxious to follow a thread on the pros & cons of the various cabinet choices. :becky:

MilitantSquatter
11-23-2011, 08:35 PM
Bandit,

Thanks for the input. My grandfather used to say, "if it holds a lot, it holds a little." Will a cabinet be "overkill" if I want to do a smaller cook. How is the fuel efficiency on the cabinets vs. the WSM vs. the OTGs?

Thanks,
Little Dick


There are smaller cabinets..

Efficiency is good on all of them... hard to compare exactly to a WSM or OTG as the size is bigger, but they are insulated and you get very long burns on minimal fuel loads.

I had a Medium Spicewine.. it was solid like a tank, could get 20+ hr burns (never needed that long but could)

Spicewine (Small) http://spicewineironworks.com/index.php?p=smoker_small_detail

Spicewine (Medium) http://www.spicewineironworks.com/index.php?p=smoker_medium_detail

backwoods (Chubby) http://www.backwoods-smoker.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64&Itemid=85

Backwoods (Party) http://www.backwoods-smoker.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=66&Itemid=86

Stumps (Baby) http://www.stumpssmokers.com/products/gravity-feed-smokers/vertical-smokers/the-baby

Stumps (Junior) http://www.stumpssmokers.com/products/gravity-feed-smokers/vertical-smokers/the-junior

Pitmaker (Vault) http://www.pitmaker.com/product/vin/?vin=62369936

BBQ Bandit
11-23-2011, 08:36 PM
Bandit,

Thanks for the input. My grandfather used to say, "if it holds a lot, it holds a little." Will a cabinet be "overkill" if I want to do a smaller cook. How is the fuel efficiency on the cabinets vs. the WSM vs. the OTGs?

Thanks,
Little Dick

Am not familiar with cabinet smokers... just a stickburner.

Makes a little sense... if heating up a bigger smoker... lean towards a more efficient burner.
You may not want to burn alot of fuel to smoke a little.

(That's why I have a smaller stickburner for the house)

Bbq Bubba
11-23-2011, 08:40 PM
Am not familiar with cabinet smokers... just a stick burner.

god bless you child. :thumb:

cholloway
11-23-2011, 08:43 PM
If you're looking to overcompensate... OVERcompensate!

abangs
11-24-2011, 07:34 AM
Cabinet all the way. If you want a smaller one the Backwoods Chubby and Party are excellent choices and you get a lot of cooker for the $$$$. I have some real world pics of both if you want. Just pm me!

Smokin' D
11-24-2011, 08:21 AM
I'll add in some ramblings too. I started off with a COS, Silver smoker, did all the mods and now it works pretty well and I love the flavor off an offset. Then I got an 18" WSM, awesome cooker, very little tending and good results. Did not like dealing with the greasy water mess and so now use it without water. Perfect. Oh, yeah, built a couple of drums too. One is for sale at the moment. I'll PM you on that though. As to insulated cabinet cookers. Never cooked on one but am looking to get a trailer and an insulated unit will go with that very well. Leaning towards the models with a charcoal chute and no water pan, so no greasy water mess to deal with. The manufacturers I'm looking at, in no particular order are, Stumps Cookers, Superior and SteelCraft. Good luck on your journey, it is a heck of a ride! As a side note, I actually enjoy doing some fire tending plus a cooker with live fire makes for a better show for the customer. The big cooker for the last few parties has been a Rodeo by The Good-One Smokers. Not an insulated cooker, but it has four stacked shelves and an offset fire box. Fun to play with. Sorry for the life story, I'll go off in the corner now and smell some Turkey.

steve6224
11-24-2011, 08:40 AM
I have both biggish and smaller. FEC 100 is the big one but when it came to competitions it was a pain to haul around so bought a couple of 22 WSMs for comps and they are more than big enough for competitons and large get togethers. I like having a bit more control over the smoke of the WSM than that of the FEC.

colonel00
11-24-2011, 09:30 AM
No more "Little Dick" in the title of your threads would be a huge leap. Using default fonts would be another one. :boink:


+1 Perhaps leap into the first person as well. :thumb:

A UDS would be nice but I am admittedly NOT handy (Groucho Marx said, "Find out what you don't do well, and don't do it!")!


A UDS is not hard to build at all. I would recommend looking into the cheaper options before dumping excess money into your Little Dick venture.

bizznessman
11-24-2011, 03:06 PM
Cabinets allow for very even temp control due to the insulation in the walls. Almost like smoking in an oven. They are great if you want to do both personal backyard product or delve into the commercial market as well. We wanted to have something that we could use ourselves and still cook product for a festival style event or catering gig. The BWS was our choice (no we don't get a commission...hmmm.....maybe we should ask them....:decision:).

We considered the Party or Chubby at first. Then decided to take the leap and purchase a Pro Jr. This allows for the larger quantities (16-8.5 lb butts or 8-14 lb briskets) required for larger events. We are even considering purchasing another one next year. One festival event clears us enough cash to buy one. And if we are smoking for personal use......we just smoke MORE :shock:.

As for fuel efficiency I can say that we can smoke at max pit temp of 300F for 12 hrs on about 15 lbs of Kingsford briquets without having to add any (this is with a BBQ Guru DigiQ2 and PitViper 10 cfm fan).

If you have the cash.....go BIG....you will not be sorry and it opens up a lot of possibilities.

tmehlhorn
11-24-2011, 04:45 PM
Unless you are going to be catering or doing large quantities of the food i would go with the WSM. Buy and ique or similar temp control device to ensure good temps during these comps. It is affordable and can do anything you need. If you upgrade frome there there is many good choices, like the stumps