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View Full Version : Shirley Fab -- Should I get Cabinet Style or Traditional Round?


Aggie98
08-10-2015, 01:17 PM
Howdy all,

I sent in my deposit for a Shirley Fabrication smoker. I'm very excited!

I'm going back and forth on whether to get a traditional round style or the cabinet door style with flat top and straight front/back. My biggest hesitation with the cabinet style is that the condensation/gunk could drip back down onto the meat. Does anyone have experience with this in a Shirley or other flat-topped smoker (eg, cabinet)

I'm also just slightly worried about warping of the 1/4" cabinet doors.

Thanks!!

Jousting Pigs
08-10-2015, 01:20 PM
Get the cabinet, you get a little more rack space on the top rack. I'm not worried at all about the doors warping on mine. The only time I've had gunk drip is on the top rack directly under the smoke stack or onto the bottom rack if I don't clean the top rack.

pjtexas1
08-10-2015, 01:42 PM
Get the straight back cabinet model. The cook chamber is taller and you can squeeze another rack or 2 in there for insurance. I have never heard anyone mention anything dripping on the racks from the flat top but I guess it is possible. If you are paranoid you could always wipe it down before each cook. I would not worry about the doors warping. The 1/4" fire box doors don't warp and they are running way hotter than the cook chamber doors.

Congrats on the new Shirley! Once you get this figured out you will have tons of other decisions. It's part of what makes the wait pass a little faster.

jbounds286
08-10-2015, 01:50 PM
cabinet style...definitely....ease of use over a traditional vertical lift door is just great....my 9 year old can open it with ease

Shagdog
08-10-2015, 02:11 PM
I was on the fence before I got mine, but the cabinet doors are AWESOME. Great upgrade. Never had anything dripping on my food, and I use the heck out of mine. I cook at 300 or hotter most the time and the doors have not warped. even a little. Buy with confidence, its worth every penny

Fat Cap
08-10-2015, 02:33 PM
I love my cabinet model! Easy on the shoulders, and the eyes!!! I wish they were doing the straight back when I got mine. I would have gladly paid for the upgrade.

Twisted T's Q
08-10-2015, 02:37 PM
cabinet style is kind of like a vertical offset ?

rdstoll
08-10-2015, 02:38 PM
Cabinet model here as well. I always hear people worry about condensation dripping down but have yet to see that happen. You get more rack space on the cabinet model.

Have had mine since May of '14 with plenty of cooks in there and have not had any issues whatsoever with doors warping or anything. These things are built like tanks.

Shagdog
08-10-2015, 02:41 PM
cabinet style is kind of like a vertical offset ?
Cabinet doors.. open to the sides vs a standard pipe smoker.. Still a horizontal offset

http://i791.photobucket.com/albums/yy197/Shagdad1126/_MG_3091_zpskytqjqss.jpg (http://s791.photobucket.com/user/Shagdad1126/media/_MG_3091_zpskytqjqss.jpg.html)

pjtexas1
08-10-2015, 02:45 PM
cabinet style is kind of like a vertical offset ?

I joked with Paul about this since mine is a little taller, has 4 racks and is only 55" long. I called it the "vertizontal reverse flow offset". I think it is a hybrid between a regular reverse flow and the vertical. Some have even talked about putting doors on both sides of the cook chamber. Can't wait to see one of those built.

Tango Joe
08-10-2015, 02:52 PM
Chiming in with another vote for the cabinet model.
The look alone is worth having, and the ease of opening the doors is certainly a plus.
I also like the additional shelf that the top of the cabinet gives for holding pans and stuff, this has acted like a warming shelf at times.
Congratulations on joining the Shirley Family.

ButtBurner
08-10-2015, 02:55 PM
Howdy all,

I sent in my deposit for a Shirley Fabrication smoker. I'm very excited!

I'm going back and forth on whether to get a traditional round style or the cabinet door style with flat top and straight front/back. My biggest hesitation with the cabinet style is that the condensation/gunk could drip back down onto the meat. Does anyone have experience with this in a Shirley or other flat-topped smoker (eg, cabinet)

I'm also just slightly worried about warping of the 1/4" cabinet doors.

Thanks!!

LOL those doors will never warp!! ANd I have not experienced condensation, the way the heat flows in the RF chamber it keeps the roof dry

There is one thing about the cabinet doors I do not like

that is that when you open them, the smoke comes rolling out and right into your face if you are not careful. So step away after opening

On the round style like my buddies Lang 60D, the smoke just rises up and out of the chamber

And on big cooks where I am loading and tending 20 butts this becomes an issue for me, I have burned my eyes in all the smoke that is rolling out

So now I wear safety goggles on big cooks!!

Once I burned my right eye the first time, its real sensitive to smoke now.

But I still prefer the cabinet style for ease of use and the extra room they provide!!

pjtexas1
08-10-2015, 03:05 PM
LOL those doors will never warp!! ANd I have not experienced condensation, the way the heat flows in the RF chamber it keeps the roof dry

There is one thing about the cabinet doors I do not like

that is that when you open them, the smoke comes rolling out and right into your face if you are not careful. So step away after opening

On the round style like my buddies Lang 60D, the smoke just rises up and out of the chamber

And on big cooks where I am loading and tending 20 butts this becomes an issue for me, I have burned my eyes in all the smoke that is rolling out

So now I wear safety goggles on big cooks!!

Once I burned my right eye the first time, its real sensitive to smoke now.

But I still prefer the cabinet style for ease of use and the extra room they provide!!

I open my doors slowly. That allows the smoke and heat to escape up instead of into my face. Might be worse for you since you are 7ft tall.:becky:

akoda
08-10-2015, 03:31 PM
I assume pjtexas1 is exaggerating a bit about you being 7' tall, but assuming you are taller than the normal guy does the heighth of the Shirley cause your back to ache? I am 6'8" and in line for a Shirley in Feb/Mar and am pondering getting it raised some.



And on big cooks where I am loading and tending 20 butts this becomes an issue for me, I have burned my eyes in all the smoke that is rolling out

So now I wear safety goggles on big cooks!!

Once I burned my right eye the first time, its real sensitive to smoke now.

But I still prefer the cabinet style for ease of use and the extra room they provide!!

jbounds286
08-10-2015, 03:38 PM
im sure they could lift the entire smoker up???

pjtexas1
08-10-2015, 03:51 PM
I assume pjtexas1 is exaggerating a bit about you being 7' tall, but assuming you are taller than the normal guy does the heighth of the Shirley cause your back to ache? I am 6'8" and in line for a Shirley in Feb/Mar and am pondering getting it raised some.

I think he said 6'7"...
115001

Here is Paul, me and Tyler. We are all "around" 5'8"...
115002

ButtBurner
08-10-2015, 04:08 PM
I open my doors slowly. That allows the smoke and heat to escape up instead of into my face. Might be worse for you since you are 7ft tall.:becky:

As I stated, I step away when I open the doors so I am not hit by the inital burst of smoke

But when I need to stand in front of it working on the meat inside for 5 mins I still get hit by it, there is no avoiding it

I am 6'5" for the record

I am just stating my experience so people are aware of the possible issue, joke about it if you want

the height doesnt cause me any back problems, I am not there that long. I think its a perfect height

jsmorrow2s
08-10-2015, 04:16 PM
ugh i want a shirley fab smoker soooooo bad! i hope you enjoy it!

BBQ Freak
08-10-2015, 04:33 PM
I am going to be the odd man out , I like the looks of the round cookers better .

ButtBurner
08-10-2015, 04:36 PM
I am going to be the odd man out , I like the looks of the round cookers better .

actually I do too

but I am the kind of guy who could care less about how it looks. I think its a lot more functional than the round style

you can have all your fancy wheels and paint jobs and other fancy doo dads. I am not into flashy stuff, plain jane is my style

Aggie98
08-10-2015, 04:38 PM
Hahaha, y'all crack me up! Thanks so much for the helpful replies!! Cabinet model it is!! My question about condensation dripping was obviously from someone who's never cooked using a RF smoker.

Now, how many of you you actually USE your warming boxes? I kinda didn't see the point, since I wouldn't realistically be using a 50" patio model to compete. However, do you find yourself using it for other things (beans, sausage, pre-heating wood)?

PS--I used the "ask for forgiveness" instead of "ask for permission" approach. Hopefully, it calms down around here soon, LOL.

ButtBurner
08-10-2015, 04:40 PM
Hahaha, y'all crack me up! Thanks so much for the helpful replies!! Cabinet model it is!! My question about condensation dripping was obviously from someone who's never cooked using a RF smoker.

Now, how many of you you actually USE your warming boxes? I kinda didn't see the point, since I wouldn't realistically be using a 50" patio model to compete. However, do you find yourself using it for other things (beans, sausage, pre-heating wood)?

PS--Y'all are killing me with your PRON!!

yes on your warming box uses. And more. It can be its own smoker, and even a charcoal grill

but it does get used every cook for pre heating splits if nothing else. I would not want to be without one

AlwaysSmokey
08-10-2015, 04:46 PM
Now, how many of you you actually USE your warming boxes? I kinda didn't see the point, since I wouldn't realistically be using a 50" patio model to compete.

PS--Y'all are killing me with your PRON!!

Get the damper between the FB and warmer. Run it hotter or cooler and cook in it. Options,... and versatility. I could see that being a warmer, or a pizza oven, or a chicken cooking box, or a box of bacon wrapped finger goodies... etc... My next cooker will have this feature. A very cool addition to any offset. Cabinet or traditional. I also vote for cabinet style, but with straight back and third shelf... :thumb:

Regards,

Kevin

Shagdog
08-10-2015, 04:58 PM
Yes on the warming box! And get the dampers for sure. If you're cooking multple things, that warmer is a great for actually being used as a warmer for the things that finish early... BUT Beyond that it is only limited by your imagination. Its great for smaller cooks, direct grilling, I used it this weekend to reverse sear some steaks, and my personal favorite - as a pizza oven. It makes damn good wood fired pizzas!

http://i791.photobucket.com/albums/yy197/Shagdad1126/704F0288-B4A7-42D5-99A2-F68939E3F609_zps3ksc4kyn.jpg (http://s791.photobucket.com/user/Shagdad1126/media/704F0288-B4A7-42D5-99A2-F68939E3F609_zps3ksc4kyn.jpg.html)

http://i791.photobucket.com/albums/yy197/Shagdad1126/9f7f9451-db37-4724-89ef-8a1b76631d96_zpsfvyeseqm.jpg (http://s791.photobucket.com/user/Shagdad1126/media/9f7f9451-db37-4724-89ef-8a1b76631d96_zpsfvyeseqm.jpg.html)

SmittyJonz
08-10-2015, 05:05 PM
I say cabinet front with round back - doors on both sides.......then you have BOTH. :heh:

Aggie98
08-10-2015, 05:17 PM
Yes on the warming box! And get the dampers for sure. If you're cooking multple things, that warmer is a great for actually being used as a warmer for the things that finish early... BUT Beyond that it is only limited by your imagination. Its great for smaller cooks, direct grilling, I used it this weekend to reverse sear some steaks, and my personal favorite - as a pizza oven. It makes damn good wood fired pizzas!

http://i791.photobucket.com/albums/yy197/Shagdad1126/704F0288-B4A7-42D5-99A2-F68939E3F609_zps3ksc4kyn.jpg (http://s791.photobucket.com/user/Shagdad1126/media/704F0288-B4A7-42D5-99A2-F68939E3F609_zps3ksc4kyn.jpg.html)

http://i791.photobucket.com/albums/yy197/Shagdad1126/9f7f9451-db37-4724-89ef-8a1b76631d96_zpsfvyeseqm.jpg (http://s791.photobucket.com/user/Shagdad1126/media/9f7f9451-db37-4724-89ef-8a1b76631d96_zpsfvyeseqm.jpg.html)

SWEEEEET! Is the pan in the bottom of your warmer (that you put your coal/fire in) a standard option typically, or will that be something I need to ask Tyler about?

Shagdog
08-10-2015, 05:30 PM
I think it's standard, but it couldn't hurt to ask about a "charcoal pan."

sylntghost
08-10-2015, 06:40 PM
the charcoal pan is standard with the warmer box. also if you get the fire box to warmer damper you get a heat deflector.i would not buy a shirley without the warmer. i use mine all the time.

SGH
08-10-2015, 06:58 PM
Now, how many of you you actually USE your warming boxes? .

I highly recommend the vertical/ warmer. I use it more than I use the main chamber. Trust me on this one and get it. You will regret it later if you don't.

SGH
08-10-2015, 07:00 PM
Wish I could post more than one pic at the time.

smokerpa
08-10-2015, 08:32 PM
I just have to laugh that the OP thinks a cabinet model and warming box are his biggest decisions. God help him if he finds their Facebook or Youtube channels when he sees options upon options.

FattyMcFatty
08-10-2015, 09:06 PM
I assume pjtexas1 is exaggerating a bit about you being 7' tall, but assuming you are taller than the normal guy does the heighth of the Shirley cause your back to ache? I am 6'8" and in line for a Shirley in Feb/Mar and am pondering getting it raised some.


I'm due for mine late sept/early oct. and I asked Paul about raising the front shelf to aprox. 38" from the ground, he said no problem :-D

I have a Kamado Big Joe and the side shelfs are aprox. that height, so that's where I came up with the number.

I'm only 6'3" but I absolutely hate having to stoop over :becky:


Edit-I will also be going with the straight back cabinet style, it's just to sexy :heh:

pjtexas1
08-10-2015, 09:31 PM
I just have to laugh that the OP thinks a cabinet model and warming box are his biggest decisions. God help him if he finds their Facebook or Youtube channels when he sees options upon options.

His journey has only but begun. What about some of thew newer options? Caged storage under the cook chamber, flip down burner, umbrella base. Then you have ss table, firebox, multiple racks, cook chamber length. It just never ends. Oh, and now they have custom covers.:doh: The only thing that saves you is when your build begins and you are forced to make a final decision. It's a crazy, wonderful ride.:loco::becky: To me that is part of what makes the Shirley process so worthwhile.

akoda
08-11-2015, 08:49 AM
what is the umbrella base?

ButtBurner
08-11-2015, 08:50 AM
what is the umbrella base?

a base you put an umbrella in would be my guess

nachos4life
08-11-2015, 09:32 AM
I have a cabinet style with the warmer. I love the cabinet style doors and the extra room. Cooks great every time. I like the flat top of the pit as well for setting up my line of logs to pre-warm them. I used the warming can this past weekend when vending. It actually got too hot (main cooking chamber at about 300)so I had to keep the door cracked open. Worked well though! my firebox door sometimes seems to not want to close all the way if I leave it open and am cooking hot, but it eventually fits right back in there.
Love the cooker!

pjtexas1
08-11-2015, 11:04 AM
what is the umbrella base?

one of the last videos had a pole mount for an umbrella at the end of the cook chamber. really would have liked that on mine

akoda
08-11-2015, 11:17 AM
I had to join facebook to see these, I hate facebook. I like the underneath storage too.

SmittyJonz
08-11-2015, 11:28 AM
I say cabinet front with round back - doors on both sides.......then you have BOTH. :heh:

Best of both Worlds.........

pjtexas1
08-11-2015, 11:32 AM
I had to join facebook to see these, I hate facebook. I like the underneath storage too.

I just do a search for Shirley Fabrication Facebook. They are not private so it is open to everyone. You can delete your Facebook.

posey's_pork_pit
08-11-2015, 01:11 PM
I am going to be the odd man out , I like the looks of the round cookers better .

+1 on the traditional round cooker ~ keeps my arms and shoulders in shape for splitting wood. :thumb:

posey's_pork_pit
08-11-2015, 01:21 PM
Hahaha, y'all crack me up! Thanks so much for the helpful replies!! Cabinet model it is!! My question about condensation dripping was obviously from someone who's never cooked using a RF smoker.

Now, how many of you you actually USE your warming boxes? I kinda didn't see the point, since I wouldn't realistically be using a 50" patio model to compete. However, do you find yourself using it for other things (beans, sausage, pre-heating wood)?

PS--I used the "ask for forgiveness" instead of "ask for permission" approach. Hopefully, it calms down around here soon, LOL.

Definite yes on the warming box. I bought my Shirley 2nd hand and it does not have the divert between the firebox and warming box. Paul offered to put one in for me however I have found that I really don't need it. Even with the divert between the cooker and the warming box closed, the heat in the vertical is sufficient ~ I am a low and slow cooker. But if you are a hot and fast kinda guy, you may want to get the divert put in.

What I'd really like to have is a mount for the spare tire ~ I gotta get my butt to Alabama soon! :becky:

AZRaptor
08-11-2015, 03:04 PM
Now, how many of you you actually USE your warming boxes? I kinda didn't see the point, since I wouldn't realistically be using a 50" patio model to compete. However, do you find yourself using it for other things (beans, sausage, pre-heating wood)?

I know toys4dlr uses his 24x52 patio in comps and just did really well a couple weeks ago here in AZ.

My build is slated for October and my plans are a 24x50 flat back cabinet with a raised top for a third shelf as that adds a lot more cook space than adding another 10" in length. So I'll probably be looking like part of pjtexas1's "Vertical Reverse Flow" posse.

Notorious Q.U.E.
06-04-2017, 01:51 PM
+1 on the traditional round cooker ~ keeps my arms and shoulders in shape for splitting wood. :thumb:

Hi folks,

I know this is resurrecting a 2 year old thread, but that's the beauty of Brethren: archived knowledge that can be reviewed and added.

I'm still daydreaming about what I'll call my "Super Shirley" patio cooker. HOA bans trailers and, more importantly , so does the wife!

Anyhow, do any Shirley owners have a traditional door round cylinder cook chamber with counterweights?

My current cooker is a 24x50 patio cooker that I bought off the private market. I absolutely ADORE my Shirley but man is it heavy to open. It's probably a 30 pound door. Initially, I tweaked my shoulder cause I was careless. Ever since, you'll laugh, but I've employed proper weight lifting form techniques and I've been fine ever since. I like the look of the round chamber, dig the look of counterweights, and also prefer 3/8 inch thick walls vs 1/4 inch of cabinet.

Here's my question for today: Whats been your experience with a Shirley traditional round door and counter weighted door system?

sylntghost
06-04-2017, 02:35 PM
Hi folks,

I know this is resurrecting a 2 year old thread, but that's the beauty of Brethren: archived knowledge that can be reviewed and added.

I'm still daydreaming about what I'll call my "Super Shirley" patio cooker. HOA bans trailers and, more importantly , so does the wife!

Anyhow, do any Shirley owners have a traditional door round cylinder cook chamber with counterweights?

My current cooker is a 24x50 patio cooker that I bought off the private market. I absolutely ADORE my Shirley but man is it heavy to open. It's probably a 30 pound door. Initially, I tweaked my shoulder cause I was careless. Ever since, you'll laugh, but I've employed proper weight lifting form techniques and I've been fine ever since. I like the look of the round chamber, dig the look of counterweights, and also prefer 3/8 inch thick walls vs 1/4 inch of cabinet.

Here's my question for today: Whats been your experience with a Shirley traditional round door and counter weighted door system?
I had a 24x70 round Shirley cooker with no counterweight.. that door was heavy.. if I was to order any cooker over 60" I would go with a counterweight.

Notorious Q.U.E.
06-04-2017, 05:01 PM
I had a 24x70 round Shirley cooker with no counterweight.. that door was heavy.. if I was to order any cooker over 60" I would go with a counterweight.

Thanks sylntghost. Some follow up questions:

1) In terms of total experience, which of your 2 do you favor? Round or cabinet? If you could magically (poof) have a counterweight, would it change your mind?

2) Do you notice better heat retention or shorter cook times owing to 3/8 metal on round chamber vs 1/4 metal on cabinet?

sylntghost
06-04-2017, 06:50 PM
Thanks sylntghost. Some follow up questions:

1) In terms of total experience, which of your 2 do you favor? Round or cabinet? If you could magically (poof) have a counterweight, would it change your mind?

2) Do you notice better heat retention or shorter cook times owing to 3/8 metal on round chamber vs 1/4 metal on cabinet?
As much as I loved the straight pipe design I love the straight back cabinet model better. My 24x50 has 3 racks and 4 rack positions. So I have cooking options.all 3 of the Shirley's I've owned which I still have 2 cook great. Food gets done at the same time on the cabinet model as it did on the straight pipe design. What sucks is the one I sold is up for sale on the sales page. I wish I could buy it back. That was a hell of a cooker.

Notorious Q.U.E.
06-04-2017, 08:35 PM
You never know sylntghost ! You could always snap it back up. I know a guy who collects Langs and he bought his own Lang back from the man he sold it to...food for thought