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View Full Version : Humphrey's Battle Box MEGA REVIEW with MEGA PRON!


Dex
01-13-2014, 07:32 PM
Humphrey’s Battle Box.

The following is my review on the Humphrey’s Battle Box. My goal in this review is to give information to help anyone who may be looking to purchase this smoker.

On my order, there were 2 Battle Boxes that we will be using for competitions. Both came on the same pallet. The cookers were packed well and arrived undamaged from Humphreys. This picture (along with some others) was provided from Humphrey’s before they shipped.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/cookers.jpg

The only problems we ran into was the delay on the smokers arriving. Much of the delay was due to holidays, and bad weather which was our out their control. Humphrey’s did include a few freebie gifts for the hold up. Nevertheless, they arrived and they looked awesome! Keep in mind these were ordered sign unseen and our decision was made on what feedback we could find from others using the same cooker.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_100343.jpg

My first objective was to remove my smoker from the pallet (my cooking teammate owns the other) and put the casters on that I had ordered. The instant that I went to move the smoker, I knew these things were built like tanks. If you want a smoker that feels like a flimsy file cabinet, this may not be for you. I could tell right away that these were well built.

As I mentioned above, my first order of business what putting on the casters. I absolutely love the way the casters mount. 1 bolt and you are done. Here is a close up of the brackets for the casters.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_101507.jpg

To me, the only downside to having a setup like this is you have to have casters with a specific plate size so they fit. Not really a big deal. I found plenty online to choose from.

In a matter of minutes I had all 4 casters on. How nice it was to only have to deal with 4 bolts and nuts compared to 16 (on previous 4-hole mounting systems.) Here is a close up of the mounted caster(s).

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_102200.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_103215.jpg

The finish on these smokers is beautiful. Powder coated inside and out. We actually paid to have extra clear coat put on ours. I can’t comment on how they compare to one without the extra clear coat, but they sure do look nice and shiny! Pictures are taken in my garage, lighting wasn’t the best.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_104656.jpg

Working from the top of the smoker down, the smoke stack/exhaust vent is nicely fitted with a Humphrey’s branded cap. The fit is tight and slides back and forth well.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_104015.jpg

The latches on these smokers are outstanding. With just a slight flip of your finger it shuts. It’s almost like shutting a refrigerator door (and is sealed.) They may be called “slam latches”… but they don’t need to be slammed to shut!

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_104146.jpg

Hers is a nice blurry shot of the front of the smoker. Nice Tel True thermometer and large pin wheel at the bottom for the air intake.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_104134.jpg

Here is a photo on of the inside of the smoker. As you can see, I went with the model that had the slide out water pan. Yes, I lose some cooking space, but I feel the cleanup at competitions will be easier. Won’t have to dig out the water pan to empty it. Simply slide it out.

Also note the door. It opens BEYOND 90 degrees. Not by a ton, but you don’t realize how nice it is to have this extra space until you in fact have it!

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_104210.jpg

The smoker came standard with 3 shelves. I could have upgraded to stainless shelves for only $100 but decided not to. If these don’t hold up, I will order some. The shelves are well built and the smoker offers plenty of different rack sliders.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_104226.jpg

The smoker does hold full size pans.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_104522.jpg

Here is the slide out water pan. It can be removed completely if you would like to.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_104241.jpg

The main air intake consist of a single pinwheel on the front of the firebox. This is a nice tight fitting wheel. I’ve seen other smokers where the vent is all loose and rattles. Not the case here.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_104544.jpg

Behind the firebox door. Large, heavy duty pull out firebox. On the floor sits an ash try that helps with cleanup. My only complaint here is I tend to use larger chunks of wood. I wish there was more clearance between the firebox and the top of the door opening. Looking at the picture, it appears there is room to move it down some. Maybe its in this location for airflow reasons? I don’t know. I like to pile my charcoal high and use large chunks of wood. I will have to change that with this as I don’t have the clearance that I am use to.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_104602.jpg

Here is a nice shot of the pull out firebox. Well built! Although I wouldn’t expect anything thing less based on how the rest of the smoker is built.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_104631.jpg

Finally, the smoker comes with a ball valve with a guru fan adapter INCLUDED. I like the ball valve setup over the “guru adapter” plate that you have to purchase separately for other cookers. Much tighter, air controlled fit. Did I mention it comes with it?

Kill plug also comes with it. Not really needed though if you just shut the ball valve.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_104027.jpg

I fired it up for the seasoning. Once it got up to temp, I just the front air vent and opened the ball valve where the fan would go. The smoker held rock solid at 275 like this. Sorry for the terrible cell phone picture. It was bright outside.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140111_115027.jpg

Ok…. On to the good stuff. How does it cook? I have cooked on 4 different models of Backwoods (Competitor, Party, G2 Party, and G2 Chubby) and Big Green Eggs. That is what I am comparing to.

Pork.

Fired the smoker up and got it up to temp to cook 2 pork butts. Each were around 9 lbs. The night before I trimmed one up for a competition practice using a new rub combo. The other I didn’t trim as much. Both got injection and went in the fridge overnight.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140112_211156.jpg

In the morning I took them out, wiped off excess injection, and applied my rub. After letting them sweat for a while, they were ready for the smoker.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140113_075530.jpg

In the past I have had issues with my smokers keeping steady temps. Even with the guru. This thing rocked out all day long at 250. It didn’t move once. Needless to say I am happy to see this.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140113_084517.jpg

I took the butts to the temp I was looking for before I foiled. They looked great in person. The brightness from the outside and smoke kinda dulled the picture a little bit. But you get the idea.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140113_134727.jpg

Pork turned out great. I am more than happy with the results. I sliced up the money muscle. Here are a couple pictures of the end product.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140113_163004.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140113_162951.jpg

I figured since I already had it fired up, I would go ahead and do some ribs. I wanted to try out a new rub combo for them as well. I did the usually prep for ribs. Trimmed them up, applied the rubs, and let it sweat.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140113_132748.jpg

I put them on until they got to the right color and then I foiled them. I forgot to take a picture of the ribs at this point…. But they looked like ribs at the right color :)

So here is the finished product. Pictures aren’t the best due to it being dark out and my terrible kitchen lighting. However, the taste totally made up for them!

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140113_180328.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y251/ndexter/20140113_180711.jpg

Conclusion: I am happy with the smoker and the end product. For the money, they are great. If you are considering one, go ahead and pull the trigger. I am fairly confident you will be happy with your decision :clap2:.

SmittyJonz
01-13-2014, 07:46 PM
How much of and what cuts would you feel you could reasonably cook at once ? For ex: 4 butts, 2 brisket and 2 racks ribs or more / less?

71-South
01-13-2014, 07:48 PM
Outstanding! Thanks for posting this.

Dex
01-13-2014, 07:50 PM
How much of and what cuts would you feel you could reasonably cook at once ? For ex: 4 butts, 2 brisket and 2 racks ribs or more / less?

I would feel comfortable with 4 butts total.

I had 2 butts and 4 racks of ribs. It was pretty full then.

Offthehook
01-13-2014, 07:51 PM
Looks like an awesome smoker, wish I could fit it into the back of my honda

sliding_billy
01-13-2014, 07:51 PM
Great post, and great looking grub.

SOB
01-13-2014, 07:55 PM
Wow great looking smokers. Looks like they turned out great looking Q also.

scm1226
01-13-2014, 07:56 PM
I am so jealous. I am getting the same color scheme, just waiting. The waiting is killing me. Those are so fine looking smokers!!! I can't wait. I Have legs coming with mine. Man I am jealous.

plowin-fire
01-13-2014, 07:59 PM
I sure like mine. Looks like they added a few more cool features to yours. And yes, not sure why they shove the firebox up so high, be nice if they was 2" more clearance.

snook806
01-13-2014, 08:06 PM
thanks for that....excellent review:thumb::thumb::thumb:

swamprb
01-13-2014, 08:09 PM
Awesome review and fantastic cook pics!

What was your charcoal setup, did you fill the tray or use a maze?

Dex
01-13-2014, 08:13 PM
Awesome review and fantastic cook pics!

What was your charcoal setup, did you fill the tray or use a maze?

I loosely filled with Kingsford Comp. I really wasn't paying attention to time... but I would say that I added a little more around the 8 hour mark.

Had I loaded it up, I may have been able to do the whole cook on one load. But I'm not sure.

I have the mazes, but haven't used them yet. I wanted to see how it ran without first.

MarleyMan
01-13-2014, 08:36 PM
They look great! Congrats:clap2:

I found the same issue this weekend. I had a large chunk of cherry and it would not fit in my Qubed Box.

I was able to get 17 hrs out of one bag of Stubb's with the mazes and running at 250 (using sand in the water pan though).

I opened the firebox because I thought it was just residual heat and there were actually 3 small coals still glowing at hour 17...amazing!

They are built well and turn out great food! Enjoy the new pits! :thumb:

bbqwilly
01-13-2014, 08:39 PM
Great looking pork. And a sweet smoker.

namodio
01-13-2014, 08:50 PM
Awesome review with great pics of the smoker! :clap2:

grillinguy247
01-13-2014, 09:26 PM
Thanks for the review. Lots of people ask questions about smokers and this is a great review. :thumb:

Dex
01-13-2014, 09:29 PM
Thanks for the review. Lots of people ask questions about smokers and this is a great review. :thumb:

That was my goal. To provide a review that I would want to find when researching a smoker that I am considering.

Indybbq
01-13-2014, 09:35 PM
Great write up with some nice pics. Thanks for sharing!

smokinit
01-13-2014, 09:53 PM
Thanks bud great job I know it was a long haul to get them there just some bad luck. Thanks for your patience guys and enjoy.

T&S BBQ
01-13-2014, 09:57 PM
Really good job, it's nice you took the time to post pics and review the product. It really helps people who are serious about buying a new smoker and don't what to just read the adds. Thanks again

Dex
01-14-2014, 06:55 AM
Thanks guys, glad you enjoyed it.

Untraceable
01-14-2014, 07:06 AM
Yeah, most people cant just cruise through the dealership on a sunday to check these things out. Detailed pictures sure help out a guy looking at a new one.

My Thermopen is that color. I can assure you its the fastest

dwfisk
01-14-2014, 07:06 AM
Great review and obviously a great cooker.

I'm not familiar with the Humphrey's design, is there a baffle or diffuser plate of some type in between the firebox and cook chamber or does it just rely on a drip/water pan? I really like cookers designed to handle full sized pans.

Oh yea, great looking grub, wish you all the best in your future comps.

Dex
01-14-2014, 07:15 AM
Great review and obviously a great cooker.

I'm not familiar with the Humphrey's design, is there a baffle or diffuser plate of some type in between the firebox and cook chamber or does it just rely on a drip/water pan? I really like cookers designed to handle full sized pans.

Oh yea, great looking grub, wish you all the best in your future comps.

With the slide out water pan design, the firebox and cook chamber are separated by metal. It almost looks like the metal is doubled up.

On their drop in water pan version there is a heat diverter. However I am not sure if that is standard or if it is an add on item.

One thing I forgot to mention is with the slide out water pan being further away from the fire, I didn't use nearly as much water compared to my Backwoods that is closer to the fire and separated by a diverter. I bet I didn't even use half of the water in the pan.

Smokin'Butts
01-14-2014, 09:36 AM
Great review and a good read. Thanks for sharing!

BBQ_MAFIA
01-14-2014, 10:06 AM
Great review and pics. Thanks for taking the time to do this.
The pics of your food look fantastic too.

Stlbbqstore
01-14-2014, 11:09 AM
Congrats !
I love the color scheme :thumb:

Ackman
01-14-2014, 12:12 PM
I have the same issue on the location/size of the fire box with my Battle Box. I have always used lump charcoal in my BWS and I struggled to get it loaded with lump and wood chunks -- almost had to hand pick the pieces. I have since cooked just using Kingsford and was very pleased with the results. Other than that I love this cooker--and it is built like a TANK

Dex
01-14-2014, 12:25 PM
I have the same issue on the location/size of the fire box with my Battle Box. I have always used lump charcoal in my BWS and I struggled to get it loaded with lump and wood chunks -- almost had to hand pick the pieces. I have since cooked just using Kingsford and was very pleased with the results. Other than that I love this cooker--and it is built like a TANK

It isn't really a deal breaker by any means to me. I suppose I could always take the basket somewhere and have new brackets put on it so it hung lower. :shocked:

SmokenQ
01-14-2014, 04:16 PM
Nice review! Time to get the smoken started!

plowin-fire
01-14-2014, 11:13 PM
It isn't really a deal breaker by any means to me. I suppose I could always take the basket somewhere and have new brackets put on it so it hung lower. :shocked:

I am making another deeper basket for my beast. Then I don't have to modify the smoker construction at all. Will get pics when I get it done.

Dex
01-15-2014, 06:37 AM
I am making another deeper basket for my beast. Then I don't have to modify the smoker construction at all. Will get pics when I get it done.

Look forward to seeing it!