View Full Version : horizontal vs vertical

01-29-2014, 03:03 PM

Horizontal (off set) cooker or vertical cooker? Pros and cons? Which is best? GO!!!

01-29-2014, 03:10 PM
Vertical gives you tons of grate space in a small footprint, that's why I like it. I have 2 verticals (one offset, one gravity fed). If I wanted similar capacity in a horizontal, I wouldn't also have room for my table, my Kettle, my BBQ gear bucket, and my mini WSM :wink:

Best is what suits your needs, wants, and restrictions best.

01-29-2014, 03:17 PM
You're not going to get a whole pig in a vertical.

01-29-2014, 03:19 PM
Either tell the pig to stand up or lay the vertical on its side! lol

You're not going to get a whole pig in a vertical.

01-29-2014, 03:32 PM
verticals with direct firebox are more effecient and require less tending
Check out BigHat BBQ MeatLocker

01-29-2014, 04:08 PM

01-29-2014, 04:27 PM
I have both I like both if I spent as much money on the vertical as I did the Lang I think I would probably like it as much but the cheap features are its down fall.
The Lang is so easy to clean.

01-29-2014, 04:48 PM
You're not going to get a whole pig in a vertical.

What if you removed the racks and hung the pig from a hook?

Team DD
01-29-2014, 05:05 PM
What if you removed the racks and hung the pig from a hook?

That is a lot of weight to be hanging from a hook, never done it, but I would think that as it cooks it would pull away from the bone and be a big mess.

01-29-2014, 05:10 PM
I have an offset and 2 verticals. Love my Texas Smokermaster but the verticals run forever untouched. It just depends on the weather and how lazy I feel. In the winter I get real lazy and the offset never gets used. If people are over and the weather is good we fire up the offset and bs all day around the pit so adding wood every hour is not a big deal.

01-29-2014, 05:13 PM
Got to go with vertical, that's the orientation of my favorite barrel :cool:

Smokin' D
01-29-2014, 05:17 PM
I solved the problem by getting a charcoal fired off-set with 4 grates stacked vertically above one another. Horizontal disposition of course. Best of all worlds.

01-30-2014, 10:23 AM
Everything said here is correct. I'll throw this out there. There are a few bigger "cabinet" smokers that are built wider than they are tall. So, you get the cooking arrangement of a stick burner, the stackability of a vertical cooker/cabinet cooker, and the efficiency of a vertical/cabinet. The Backwoods Piglet Plus and Stumps Stretch are wide....the PP is 34" wide and the Stretch is 32"+-. They are more money than say a Lang 60 but you get a crazy capacity.

01-30-2014, 12:07 PM
Here are a few of my thoughts.
Stick Burners and Cabinet Cookers are different animals. Your first step should be to decide which style suits your needs, then work within that group to determine what you want.
I'm lucky have both styles of cooker so I will give you my 2 cents.
Stick Burners:
Stick Burners are very impressive units and lots of people love it see them cooking away.
Here you need to decide if you are leaning to a Traditional Offset , a Reverse Flow Offset(ie. LANG) or a vertial Offset like a Lone Star.

Depending on where you live, wood can be expensive.
You will need a place to store your wood so it will season properly and always be ready to cook as needed.

You could always buy a charcoal box for the unit and use a combination of Charcoal and sticks.
But, you need to decide if this defeats your purpose of having a stick burner or does it add flexibility.
For me, it added a great degree of flexibility.

Stick Burners can turn out great product but you need to baby sit them closely. If you only burn sticks
the fire box will need to be fed every half hour or so and you will need to work the vents to insure you have stable temps in the cooker. This can take a lot of practice to get right.

If you don't mind all the work a stick burner is a great choice and can be a lot of fun.
For a lot of people staying up all night and feeding a fire box can get old very quickly.
Here again you could use a charcoal box and get longer burn times and some rest..
You could also decide to cook Hot and Fast and save some time. Either way you will need to consider
how you want to manage the fire.

Lastly, you should consider your available space. Traditional Offsets can require more room if you are looking at the larger models.

Cabinet Cookers:
Probably not as impressive to look at compared to the Stick Burner if you like the look of a big Offset stick burner. Of course a custom paint job on a vertical would improve the look if this is important to you. Insulated cabinet smokers stay cool to the touch and can always look clean if taken care of properly. My Spicewine is about 5 years old and looks brand new.

Charcoal is available year round and during certain sale periods can be bought in bulk for a good price. As with sticks, you will need a place to store your charcoal if you buy in bulk. If you don't have the space, it may be a better choice to buy it as needed and avoid the storage issue all together.

Wood chunks can be bought year round and a large supply does not need to be stored.

Insulated cabinet cookers usually hold rock solid temps which allow for long steady burn times.
When assisted with a air control devise like a Guru, Stoker, or IQ 110, it is basically a set it and forget it unit.

Cabinet Smokers can be heavy and difficult to move. The weights on these types of cookers can vary greatly depending on size and manufacturer and specifications.

My Big Green Egg gets the most use at my house, however, if I could have only have one of my larger cookers, it would be my Spicewine which I would have mounted on a trailer.
I can't give a fair comparison between cabinet smokers as I have only cooked on a Spicewine. I can however tell you that Spicewine cookers are amazing and built to last. If you are looking for bang for the buck, the Spicewine will out last all of us. The only down side may be the weight of the cooker. Pricing for Medium Spicewine can be found on their site. http://spicewineironworks.com/ (http://spicewineironworks.com/)The Medium holds a lot of meat and is a great over all size. It can handle almost any job unless you plan on feeding very large crowds on a regular basis.

I have attached a few pics of my Spicewine (Large) so you have an idea of what it looks like while in use. Along with that, there are a few pics of my Lang 84.

I hope this is somewhat helpful. Good luck with your choice and be sure to let us know what you end up buying.


01-30-2014, 12:14 PM
Boom....what BBQ Mafia said......I think he needs another smoker too!!!!!!

01-30-2014, 12:35 PM
BBQ Mafia sums it up pretty well. One additional note, with an offset you can create different temperature zones thereby allowing for different meats to cook at different temperatures. For example in mine, the oven over the firebox runs at about 325, while the main chamber at 265 and the upright at the opposite end of the firebox at 220. This allows me to cook yardbird hot, ribs in the bbq zone and brisket or port at a nice low and slow temp.

As already mentioned wood is a big deal, with an off-set you need a lot of it. I run my pit almost every weekend over night (24hrs) and will chew through 12-30 large sticks depending on the ambient temperature, therefore I go through a good amount of wood and store as much as 3-4 cords at any given time.

Good luck on your selection. I personally prefer off-sets as I also think the smoke taste and texture are slightly different (to me improved) over the upright's. However, if I lived in a cold climate I am sure my opinion would be different. my 2 cents

smoke ninja
01-30-2014, 04:41 PM
You should forget about those and build a uds. Sorry no one said it yet and couldn't resist.

Bbq mafia nailed it. Different animals altogether. Figure out the type of fuel you want to use and what capacity you want and go from ther.