View Full Version : cabinet smokers - running dry

06-04-2017, 09:13 PM
I am planning to purchase a cabinet/GF smoker for longer cooks - my trusty old offset just takes too much tending for briskets and butts. Looking at Assassin, Lonestar Grillz, Humphrey's or Stumps. I know they're all great and more capable than I am. I am not at all interested in using water so my question is which one (or something other than I listed) is best at holding consistent temps when ran dry. Thanks in advance.

06-04-2017, 09:20 PM
We run our Humphrey's Battle Box and Weekender dry with play sand in the water pan. Foil pan liner over the sand to catch the drippings. Works really well and eliminates the mess that water creates. Been able to hold temps at 225 and 275 and as usual never adding charcoal.

Sid Post
06-04-2017, 09:50 PM
I'm not sure why but, I tend to gravitate towards Backwoods over Humphrey's.

The LSG Large cabinet model keeps calling to me though I don't know that I would ever use that much capacity.

06-04-2017, 09:56 PM
I have a Humphrey's weeble. I don't use water and it runs great. I been using broken pieces of an old firebox from kamado in my Humphrey's water pan. I will be getting some sand to try.

06-04-2017, 10:15 PM
Deep South smoker

06-04-2017, 10:15 PM
Hard to beat the quality and Craftsmenship of Lonestar Grillz.... Dollar for dollar best cabinet out there IMHO

06-04-2017, 10:28 PM
I have an Assassin 24. Bought it used with no water pan. I see no reason for a water pan, as there is plenty of moisture in the cooker. Holds temp like a dream with a BBQ Guru. Never tried to run it without the Guru. I could not be happier with this cooker. It is basically set it & forget it, and produces great Que. Put two nice sized splits under the charcoal chute, and that's all the wood you need for a cook...

06-04-2017, 10:31 PM
I'm partial, but looking at the lineup of makers you're considering, I think you'd be remiss in leaving out Pitmaker. I run mine dry all the time and never have had an issue with spiking or dipping temperatures without a temperature controller.

Filipino Monkeyboy
06-04-2017, 10:48 PM
I just got my Humphreys pint plus and couldn't be happier. I'm gonna run it dry with firebricks in the bottom this coming weekend. I'll report back afterwards. For all I researched it should run fine and it's even better if you like to go hot and fast to run dry with firebricks or sand.

06-04-2017, 11:20 PM
All the smokers listed above are awesome! LSG was great to work with and I couldn't be happier with the smoker, I would buy it again no doubt. There's also a thread on here currently for Iron Side Smokers, look pretty nice in the videos.

06-04-2017, 11:42 PM
I run my Humphrey's down east beast without water or anything in the pan like sand. I have not had a problem holding temps.

06-05-2017, 05:20 AM
My Lone Star cabinet will hold temps like a rock with or without water.

06-05-2017, 07:54 AM
Stumps don't build no junk.

06-05-2017, 08:11 AM
I have a Humphreys Pint that I run dry, no worries at all. I run mine with large fire bricks in the slide out pan ( I really have no idea why I don't just remove that pan). I foil wrap the bricks and place a foil pan on top to catch drippings. Up to temp in 45 minutes and cruises wherever I set it. Running dry is no problem at all in a cabinet.

06-05-2017, 09:29 AM
I've only had it for a couple months so only a half dozen or so cooks in it, but I have a Humphrey's Qubed Pint and have never ran water in it, it holds temp really well with no electronics.

For those using firebricks or sand - do you really need the extra thermal mass? I haven't done a cook with a ton of meat yet but I'm having no issues with stability or recovery with the cooker. Given that, I can't understand why I'd want to add sand or bricks.

06-05-2017, 09:41 AM
Stumps don't build no junk.


06-05-2017, 12:06 PM
I run a pitmaker vault with and without a guru. Always dry regardless of the load with hotel pans to catch drippings. Never have had problems with temp swings. Like most insulated cabinets, temps are easy to control and recovery time is quick.

06-05-2017, 12:12 PM
LSG Large Cabinet. Never had any water in it. Stable with and without the Guru. Without the Guru, mine likes to run around 255*, which is good enough for me.

06-05-2017, 02:24 PM
If they can't run dry.... stay away

06-05-2017, 02:37 PM
Another shout out for Assassin. I have a 17 GF. I comes with a water pan but I have never used it. Take the time to compare what you get as standard features and/or no charge customizations on the Assassin line vs what are extra cost options on some others. All are great smokers, well built & have solid, reliable customer service. IMHO, Assassin gives you more bang for your buck.

06-05-2017, 03:20 PM
You cant go wrong with any of those cookers. I run my humphreys dry and it cooks like a dream.

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06-05-2017, 06:23 PM
I have never used a water pan in my deep south. If you are looking at GF, don't forget about them.