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mowin
07-18-2017, 08:46 PM
Lang
Meadow Creek
Bubba grills.
Johnson smokers.

Lang, Meadow Creek, and Johnson would be a patio model due to the cost.
The bubba would be a trailer model.

It's taken me 3 weeks to narrow it down.

Lobsterbake
07-18-2017, 09:16 PM
I would really look at Shirley Fabrication - make an amazing product that will last a lifetime.

mowin
07-18-2017, 09:46 PM
I would really look at Shirley Fabrication - make an amazing product that will last a lifetime.

Just got a email from him earlier. 19 month wait.

I'm glad he's busy, and has lots of work, but that's a excessive wait for a smoker.

The ones mentioned are top notch units that will last a lifetime also.

pjtexas1
07-18-2017, 09:53 PM
I can narrow it down to 3 or 1. Do you need a trailer model?

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

Rockinar
07-18-2017, 09:54 PM
Just got a email from him earlier. 19 month wait.

I'm glad he's busy, and has lots of work, but that's a excessive wait for a smoker.

The ones mentioned are top notch units that will last a lifetime also.


Thats an absurd wait. Should just stop taking order at that point till they can catch up. Thats almost triple the wait of some of the best builders out there. I just talked to Gator about a rather basic 20x40 and was told 2 -3 months.

KevinJ
07-18-2017, 10:05 PM
I like the Meadow Creek best out of your choices., they also come with SS grates which is nice.

Pstores
07-18-2017, 10:24 PM
Personally I would drop Lang off your list. Mine choices would be.
Shirley Fabrication, if you can wait.
Meadow Creek i loved mine.....
Lone star grillz if you don't need the reverse flow.

I wouldn't buy any without stainless grates.
JMHO

ncmoose
07-18-2017, 10:24 PM
Thats an absurd wait. Should just stop taking order at that point till they can catch up. Thats almost triple the wait of some of the best builders out there. I just talked to Gator about a rather basic 20x40 and was told 2 -3 months.

Ah, the effect is the same. I was willing to wait and would rather know I'm in line rather than "I wonder when they'll start taking orders again". They all cost a lot of money and I wanted no regrets. I have what I need to get me by in the interim.

tonyjohnson619
07-18-2017, 11:06 PM
What size smoker you want??? I see great deals on used shirleys on the site here

Notorious Q.U.E.
07-18-2017, 11:12 PM
Personally I would drop Lang off your list. Mine choices would be.
Shirley Fabrication, if you can wait.
Meadow Creek i loved mine.....
Lone star grillz if you don't need the reverse flow.

I wouldn't buy any without stainless grates.
JMHO

^^Pstores has it spot on!! Chris at LSG is about 4 months out. I love RF but I'm thinking about traditional flow when it's properly designed and executed.

Sea Rover
07-18-2017, 11:40 PM
Jambo

Stlsportster
07-18-2017, 11:54 PM
It's always funny. A guy come on..says I've researched and narrowed it down to these,,,give me feedback.

Everyone throws out their favorite and ignore what the OP says. Next thing someone will come along and say build a UDS.


Lang is a great smoker but the quality control has slipped and the welds are sloppy. Having said that it's still a great smoker that will last forever.

Meadow Creek is top notch with fit and finish. They cook great but they are higher priced for the same size vs their competitors.

I don't know much about Bubba Grills.

Johnson has a great reputation and there are some guys on this site that love them.

Look for features and size vs cost vs wait time and what is available in your area. None of the ones you've mentioned will steer you wrong.

Guarantee your friends and family will love the que coming off any of them.

Czarbecue
07-19-2017, 12:11 AM
Johnson Smokers was the second one on my list. Shirley Fab is my first. I was quoted 18 months last month. Get in line.


But from these 4, I'll go with the most expensive T-Pit you could afford from Johnson Smokers. I've seen it in action and it's very efficient, like an upgrade to reverse flow.

Czarbecue
07-19-2017, 12:14 AM
Ah, the effect is the same. I was willing to wait and would rather know I'm in line rather than "I wonder when they'll start taking orders again". They all cost a lot of money and I wanted no regrets. I have what I need to get me by in the interim.



Yeah, me too. I knew with Johnson Smokers I would have that "what if" feeling. Plus no insulated firebox kind of sealed the deal for me. I like efficiency, but kind of ironic with the 18 month wait.

locosmoke
07-19-2017, 12:24 AM
Ah, the effect is the same. I was willing to wait and would rather know I'm in line rather than "I wonder when they'll start taking orders again". They all cost a lot of money and I wanted no regrets. I have what I need to get me by in the interim.

I am waiting and in que for a shirley but i don't think i would have waited for them to take my order. That was the pit that i wanted and figured waiting a year was better than having "i wish i had waited" in my head.

SmittyJonz
07-19-2017, 01:31 AM
Johnson T Pit.!.!..!!.!.!....!!!!......:heh:

http://www.johnsonsmokers.com/20-t-pit/
http://www.johnsonsmokers.com/24-t-pit/

SmittyJonz
07-19-2017, 01:38 AM
Thats an absurd wait. Should just stop taking order at that point till they can catch up. Thats almost triple the wait of some of the best builders out there. I just talked to Gator about a rather basic 20x40 and was told 2 -3 months.

That oughta Tell ya something right there.......I bet them other builders Wish they could Book orders that Deep. Nuttin wrong with the other Top builders but if people are willing to send a deposit knowing it's 18 months out then that just shows what a Great product they put out - and Shirley Should keep on taking them orders. :heh:

mheston
07-19-2017, 06:18 AM
It's always funny. A guy come on..says I've researched and narrowed it down to these,,,give me feedback.

Everyone throws out their favorite and ignore what the OP says. Next thing someone will come along and say build a UDS.


Lang is a great smoker but the quality control has slipped and the welds are sloppy. Having said that it's still a great smoker that will last forever.

Meadow Creek is top notch with fit and finish. They cook great but they are higher priced for the same size vs their competitors.

I don't know much about Bubba Grills.

Johnson has a great reputation and there are some guys on this site that love them.

Look for features and size vs cost vs wait time and what is available in your area. None of the ones you've mentioned will steer you wrong.

Guarantee your friends and family will love the que coming off any of them.

I just bought a Lang 48 and the welds are flawless on 90% of the rig and the other 10% are just fine. To say the quality has slipped is probably not an accurate statement.

Langs are workhorses and put out awesome product. I will never not hane a Lang in my stable.

Sooner21
07-19-2017, 06:25 AM
Johnson T Pit.!.!..!!.!.!....!!!!......:heh:

http://www.johnsonsmokers.com/20-t-pit/
http://www.johnsonsmokers.com/24-t-pit/



I love that design!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

mowin
07-19-2017, 06:51 AM
Thanks for the feedback.

I'm not a comp cooker, and not a caterer.
Just a guy who likes to cook and smoke meats for myself and family/friend.

I do like the mobility of the trailer. I will be taking whatever unit I get to some family functions.
I would also like it big enough to fit a 65# hog.

Those of you willing to wait the year and a half for a rig, that's fine. I'm not willing to wait. Heck, I might not be around in a yr to even see the pit.

The bubba is the 250r on a 3x8 trailer. The only gripe I have, is no rib box on this unit. I'd have to step up to the 5x8 trailer, and it just gets too expensive.

The Shirley wasn't much cheaper, and shipping wasn't added in yet.

TuscaloosaQ
07-19-2017, 07:13 AM
Just some info.... my personal backlog is around 13 months.... for the gentleman that said we should just stop taking orders until we catch up....I'll say this...some people have to save up $$$ for a smoker and the long backlog is convenient and works for them especially since we only require a 300$$ deposit.... the issue along the way has been you'll have a guy that orders a 24x50 patio model before he's done he's changed to a trailer model with an insulated firebox and other upgrades....it's easy to say hire more people but you run into way to many problems.. more headaches... it takes a long long time to train people to work to our expectations.... plus the younger generation have a whole different outlook and work ethic than I was raised with ... not to highjack this thread.... I wish you well in your quest in a great smoker!!!!!

Big N Hot
07-19-2017, 07:36 AM
Lang
Meadow Creek
Bubba grills.
Johnson smokers.

Lang, Meadow Creek, and Johnson would be a patio model due to the cost.
The bubba would be a trailer model.

It's taken me 3 weeks to narrow it down.

Just a quick look at Bubba Grills and Johnson would make me cut them from that list. The offerings just look a little impractical for my tastes.

I went Lang mainly because they had the only offering with a heavy duty pull/push around frame mounted on heavy duty trailer tires. Anything on casters would have been a disaster in my backyard. If Meadow Creek had that option on the TS-120P I would have bit.

In the future I may go with a Shirley. But only because now I have something that I can play on while I wait almost 2 years for it.

sudsandswine
07-19-2017, 09:09 AM
Just some info.... my personal backlog is around 13 months.... for the gentleman that said we should just stop taking orders until we catch up....I'll say this...some people have to save up $$$ for a smoker and the long backlog is convenient and works for them especially since we only require a 300$$ deposit.... the issue along the way has been you'll have a guy that orders a 24x50 patio model before he's done he's changed to a trailer model with an insulated firebox and other upgrades....it's easy to say hire more people but you run into way to many problems.. more headaches... it takes a long long time to train people to work to our expectations.... plus the younger generation have a whole different outlook and work ethic than I was raised with ... not to highjack this thread.... I wish you well in your quest in a great smoker!!!!!

Put quality before quantity and the rest will sort itself out eventually :thumb:

Stlsportster
07-19-2017, 09:11 AM
I just bought a Lang 48 and the welds are flawless on 90% of the rig and the other 10% are just fine. To say the quality has slipped is probably not an accurate statement.

Langs are workhorses and put out awesome product. I will never not hane a Lang in my stable.

Mine is a used 2013 model. Here is what I mean by poor quality welds.

https://i.imgur.com/Lk5yIDIl.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/SjOmAajl.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/Okd4xN7l.jpg

Nothing impacting function....just sloppy. Still cooks great!

ChrisBarb
07-19-2017, 09:15 AM
I am waiting and in que for a shirley but i don't think i would have waited for them to take my order. That was the pit that i wanted and figured waiting a year was better than having "i wish i had waited" in my head.
Not trying to be rude. But, can I ask why Shirley has this reputation as the end all and be all of smokers? I know they are good, but what makes them so much better than their peers that a 19 month wait is acceptable?

DaveAlvarado
07-19-2017, 09:22 AM
That oughta Tell ya something right there.......I bet them other builders Wish they could Book orders that Deep. Nuttin wrong with the other Top builders but if people are willing to send a deposit knowing it's 18 months out then that just shows what a Great product they put out - and Shirley Should keep on taking them orders. :heh:

They can. Gator could fire everybody but 2 welders and one part-time guy and they'd have a wait list just like Shirley.

The problem with Shirley isn't that they have too many orders, it's that they have incredibly high standards, an incredibly long training program for their welders, and a lack of additional Shirley boys to teach. From a business standpoint their options are to either hire more welders at the risk of quality slipping, or keep doing what they're doing and recognize that they're losing some potential sales, but with a year and a half of work to do, who cares?

The market for their smokers is stabilizing--eventually they're not worth the wait, so people just don't place orders with them when the line gets too long. Seems to be about where they're at right now. Jaime Geer had the same problem with Jambo pits for years after BBQ Pitmasters aired. Didn't seem to hurt him any, he just had about a year waiting list and people are still lining up to give him money.

DaveAlvarado
07-19-2017, 09:24 AM
Not trying to be rude. But, can I ask why Shirley has this reputation as the end all and be all of smokers? I know they are good, but what makes them so much better than their peers that a 19 month wait is acceptable?
Their build quality is literally second to none. If you want the best reverse-flow smoker money can buy, you buy a Shirley. They are to reverse flow smokers what Jambo Pits is to traditional flow competition smokers.

locosmoke
07-19-2017, 09:31 AM
Not trying to be rude. But, can I ask why Shirley has this reputation as the end all and be all of smokers? I know they are good, but what makes them so much better than their peers that a 19 month wait is acceptable?

For me I wanted a reverse flow and after looking around on the internet and comparing I felt most comfortable giving my money to Mr. Shirley after watching ALOT of videos of his products and the only negative i could find anyone say anywhere about his smokers was the wait. So i wait!

Czarbecue
07-19-2017, 10:09 AM
Not trying to be rude. But, can I ask why Shirley has this reputation as the end all and be all of smokers? I know they are good, but what makes them so much better than their peers that a 19 month wait is acceptable?


Their YouTube videos won me over. You should check them out.

PatAttack
07-19-2017, 10:49 AM
Not trying to be rude. But, can I ask why Shirley has this reputation as the end all and be all of smokers? I know they are good, but what makes them so much better than their peers that a 19 month wait is acceptable?

This is why.

Ross @ shirley fabrication is slicking those mig welds on again - YouTube

The whole smoker has welds like this. Not just what you can see.

Quality..

SmittyJonz
07-19-2017, 11:16 AM
Not trying to be rude. But, can I ask why Shirley has this reputation as the end all and be all of smokers? I know they are good, but what makes them so much better than their peers that a 19 month wait is acceptable?

One of the main things is they are Custom - more so than most others. If you can think it up and it makes sense to them and feasable they'll do it (with in reason/ within their general style/design) and being a smaller shop with less overhead their prices are lower than many. Another Big Selling point is their sq or rect fronts with cabinet doors on a horizontal reverse flow and sq back/flat back design - bigger grates and easy to open doors. Like Grand Poobah said in a post a while Back - every Major brand was Hot for a while - its Shirley's time right now. I've seen PAuls at 3 N Tx Bash(s) and it's KickAzz.

mowin
07-19-2017, 11:31 AM
Just some info.... my personal backlog is around 13 months.... for the gentleman that said we should just stop taking orders until we catch up....I'll say this...some people have to save up $$$ for a smoker and the long backlog is convenient and works for them especially since we only require a 300$$ deposit.... the issue along the way has been you'll have a guy that orders a 24x50 patio model before he's done he's changed to a trailer model with an insulated firebox and other upgrades....it's easy to say hire more people but you run into way to many problems.. more headaches... it takes a long long time to train people to work to our expectations.... plus the younger generation have a whole different outlook and work ethic than I was raised with ... not to highjack this thread.... I wish you well in your quest in a great smoker!!!!!

I'm the OP... for the record, I did not or mention you should change your business or ordering status.

I think it's great your doing so well and you've got orders for 1 1/2 yrs. (Per your email 2 days ago).

I think you have a great product. I seems this forum is heavily geared towards SF. So much so that every thread I read turns into a SF or nothing thread.

I wish I had the money to get "by" as some say with a sub par unit like a Lang, MC ECT while I had one built, but I don't. Lol. Maybe my lotto ticket will hit tonight..

Czarbecue
07-19-2017, 11:43 AM
I'm the OP... for the record, I did not or mention you should change your business or ordering status.



I think it's great your doing so well and you've got orders for 1 1/2 yrs. (Per your email 2 days ago).



I think you have a great product. I seems this forum is heavily geared towards SF. So much so that every thread I read turns into a SF or nothing thread.



I wish I had the money to get "by" as some say with a sub par unit like a Lang, MC ECT while I had one built, but I don't. Lol. Maybe my lotto ticket will hit tonight..



I still highly recommend Johnson Smokers. As of last month, I was quoted a Labor Day completion date. He may have moved on to a later date by now.

PatAttack
07-19-2017, 12:09 PM
I'm the OP... for the record, I did not or mention you should change your business or ordering status.

I think it's great your doing so well and you've got orders for 1 1/2 yrs. (Per your email 2 days ago).

I think you have a great product. I seems this forum is heavily geared towards SF. So much so that every thread I read turns into a SF or nothing thread.

I wish I had the money to get "by" as some say with a sub par unit like a Lang, MC ECT while I had one built, but I don't. Lol. Maybe my lotto ticket will hit tonight..

I disagree. Folks are just suggesting the quality is much higher with these units. They're not the end all, be all by any means.

Good luck with your search.

SmittyJonz
07-19-2017, 12:09 PM
I'm the OP... for the record, I did not or mention you should change your business or ordering status.

I think it's great your doing so well and you've got orders for 1 1/2 yrs. (Per your email 2 days ago).

I think you have a great product. I seems this forum is heavily geared towards SF. So much so that every thread I read turns into a SF or nothing thread.


Shirley and Lone Star Grills are Hot right now. A few years ago it was Jambo for a while, before that it was Klose and a cpl others had their Time in Spotlight......

SmittyJonz
07-19-2017, 12:13 PM
I disagree. Folks are just suggesting the quality is much higher with these units. They're not the end all, be all by any means.

Good luck with your search.

Value is Much Higher - what you get for the Price is Higher than Any. Quality is Higher than Many but a few are Equal - But those ones were Hot a Few years ago and so they expanded and so did their pricing.......

Jason TQ
07-19-2017, 01:01 PM
Not trying to be rude. But, can I ask why Shirley has this reputation as the end all and be all of smokers? I know they are good, but what makes them so much better than their peers that a 19 month wait is acceptable?

It is a truly a very good question. My sentiments are similar pretty much to what they others have said. Amazing people, amazing cookers and for me the experience of purchasing and who they are is something very uncommon in this world.

Of all the cookers I've been around they are 2nd to none (both in and out of competitions). Obviously here on this forum is a big fan base. I recently had another amazing experience with Mark Hunsaker and bought 3 of his drums after talking and messaging to him for maybe 10mins. Another amazing person.

So from the outside if you are just looking statically at a cooker producer and only see the 13/18month (whatever the wait is) I would have a similar reaction that you did Chris. There's just more behind the curtain. Paul and Tyler can't control the fans hooting and hollering (which actually turns some people off that can stand that "fanboy" appearance at all). Off my douche-canoe pedestal and back to the regularly schedule thread :becky:


So back to the OP. Looks like any of those cookers would be great. I've seen the bubba's in person and really like them. Langs are still great smokers and more readily available. Not sure you can go wrong with any of them. With that selection you really should be able to find the specifics you want, which is a great place to be in. Lots of different models and features between that lot so I'd be making a list of what I want and see who's got the majority of that. Good luck!

olewarthog
07-19-2017, 01:15 PM
Lang
Meadow Creek
Bubba grills.
Johnson smokers.

Lang, Meadow Creek, and Johnson would be a patio model due to the cost.
The bubba would be a trailer model.

It's taken me 3 weeks to narrow it down.


Bubba Grills has a patio model. Lonnie Smith, the owner, is super to work with. He will make sure you get what you want. He competes almost weekly on his own products. Has won Ribs at Memphis in May a few years back.

BillN
07-19-2017, 01:27 PM
Bottom line there are a lot of great smokers out there, with that in mind here is my two cents. Get at least a 24" diameter smoker with removable upper and lower grates. At minimum 3/16" preferably 1/4" or thicker steel. If you need a trailer then get a trailer model. Determine who you are cooking for, a 36", 42" and 48" will cook a lot of food, bigger is great but not necessary unless you cook for large numbers 75 or more. Make sure if you go patio model you get wheels and castors large enough to easily move your cooker these things are beast. Now there are an infinite number of custom options you can put on a cooker so if you got to wait a month or 24 this is a huge investment so get what you want/need so this can be the last cooker you need to buy.

Nuco59
07-19-2017, 01:53 PM
I've watched the videos -everything I saw was impressive.
Then I saw one in person... my buddy waited a year for his.
He did not regret it one bit.
I only thought I was impressed by the videos- I was blown away when I got to lay hands on one.
That is why they have that reputation- they did it the old fashioned way - they EARNED it.

mowin
07-19-2017, 02:03 PM
Bubba Grills has a patio model. Lonnie Smith, the owner, is super to work with. He will make sure you get what you want. He competes almost weekly on his own products. Has won Ribs at Memphis in May a few years back.

I seen his patio model online. I talked to Lonnie twice now.


My issues is I really like the rib box. If I go with MC, Lang JS, I can get that in a patio model, but the size of the pit is a little small for a whole hog. If I go for the bubba 250r on a 3x8 trailer, it wouldn't have the rib box but would easily do a nice sized hog.

It's nice to have choices, and I've enjoyed narrowing it down to these choices. Now it's a little more stressful trying to decide which one fits best for the funds I have.

Big George's BBQ
07-19-2017, 02:15 PM
Meadow Creek is really good quality

SmoothBoarBBQ
07-19-2017, 06:02 PM
I have a smoker from Johnson and I absolutely love it. Very easy to use, great drafting, and just works very well. For the price I think Johnson is the way to go and as others have said I think the "T-Models" are probably the best bang for the buck.

Good luck!

Edit: Just now seeing that you were wanting to do hogs in your smoker. I'm not sure if the "T-Pits" would work for you in that capacity. I have the "Ultimate Chargrill Trailer" and I love it... 24" diameter by 60" long smoking chamber. If you're looking to do anything bigger than a 100Lb hog you might want to go with a 30" diameter as it will give you the capability to hold those larger hogs.

If you're looking to do a lot of hogs ask Chad to cut a single, full length door (rather than 2 smaller doors) as that will keep you from having to maneuver a hog through the brace between the two doors. Chad is a really nice guy and I would recommend shooting him an email and setting up an appointment for a consultation. He's very easy going and in my experience he actually "down sold" me instead of trying to gouge me. I was looking at a 30" cooker but after talking with him he was pretty confident that a 24" cooker would fulfill my needs (and it has so far and likely will for quite some time).

Ruck816
07-19-2017, 06:16 PM
Just some info.... my personal backlog is around 13 months.... for the gentleman that said we should just stop taking orders until we catch up....I'll say this...some people have to save up $$$ for a smoker and the long backlog is convenient and works for them especially since we only require a 300$$ deposit.... the issue along the way has been you'll have a guy that orders a 24x50 patio model before he's done he's changed to a trailer model with an insulated firebox and other upgrades....it's easy to say hire more people but you run into way to many problems.. more headaches... it takes a long long time to train people to work to our expectations.... plus the younger generation have a whole different outlook and work ethic than I was raised with ... not to highjack this thread.... I wish you well in your quest in a great smoker!!!!!

I sent my deposit yesterday. It should be there by Friday. The backlog works out great for me. 1) I don't have to break my neck to get the money together. 2) I can mull over options for more than a year before I have to actually lock it down. 3) The wife was ok with the fact that I have 19 months to pay for this. That way she doesn't think that I'm missing out on a mortgage payment to pay for this. 4) I've watched most of Paul's videos and videos from people who use a Shirleys as well as other cookers. I think the quality that I've seen from the Shirley cookers are excellent (almost makes you want to overlook the fact that they're Bama fans. ALMOST)

Czarbecue
07-19-2017, 06:50 PM
I sent my deposit yesterday. It should be there by Friday. The backlog works out great for me. 1) I don't have to break my neck to get the money together. 2) I can mull over options for more than a year before I have to actually lock it down. 3) The wife was ok with the fact that I have 19 months to pay for this. That way she doesn't think that I'm missing out on a mortgage payment to pay for this. 4) I've watched most of Paul's videos and videos from people who use a Shirleys as well as other cookers. I think the quality that I've seen from the Shirley cookers are excellent (almost makes you want to overlook the fact that they're Bama fans. ALMOST)

I built a spreadsheet with the docs that Tyler sent me. Let me know if you need a copy to see how much the damage is lol

Ruck816
07-19-2017, 06:56 PM
I built a spreadsheet with the docs that Tyler sent me. Let me know if you need a copy to see how much the damage is lol

Thanks! I did the same thing. I've done 3 configurations in my spreadsheet. A "tricked out" build, a "regular" build with a few extras and an "essentials" build that barebones. My "regular" build is starting to look closer to my tricked out build. I'm glad that I have 19 months.

pjtexas1
07-19-2017, 08:12 PM
Ahhhh, the spreadsheet. Lost track of how many I had on my SF build. The one I had when trying to pick an insulated cabinet was insane. :heh:

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

Pstores
07-19-2017, 10:05 PM
I have cooked on a Lang and a MeadowCreek. I will say hands down that the MeadowCreek cooks way better. Not fussy at all. And the Build quality is top notch. When you add the same Stainless Steel shelves the price isn't that far apart. Comes to reverse flow.... MeadowCreek or SF gets my vote.

Unless your really stuck on reverse flow. May want to look at Lone Star Grilzz also.

ncmoose
07-19-2017, 10:20 PM
Ahhhh, the spreadsheet. Lost track of how many I had on my SF build. The one I had when trying to pick an insulated cabinet was insane. :heh:

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

Y'all are killing me. Now I think I'm not thinking about my build enough--and I think about it almost all the time.

To the OP, get what you want and don't compromise more than is necessary (because no option is "cheap"). This board is proof that good 'cue can be put out in many ways. I'm waiting on a Shirley because that is what I perceive as the best option and I know I wouldn't be happy otherwise. The wait isn't a deal breaker for me.

Militant83
07-19-2017, 10:34 PM
Lang
Meadow Creek
Bubba grills.
Johnson smokers.

Lang, Meadow Creek, and Johnson would be a patio model due to the cost.
The bubba would be a trailer model.

It's taken me 3 weeks to narrow it down.

Out of your list id pick Bubba Grills because I think you can get the best bang for your buck if you need a large basic cooker and don't want anything fancy. Also check out these guys I don't know much about them but I stumbled across them on Facebook and prices look reasonable. They are another Georgia based company. Finding builders that have what you want closer to where you live will save you quite a bit of money on shipping charges.

https://www.facebook.com/Built-Rite-Cookers-627299750744539/

jmellor
07-19-2017, 11:17 PM
Given your in upstate I am sure you are factoring in cost to get it to you...you probably already figured out MC may be the easiest option to get locally and you may get a deal on a used one up there. I know MC has an auction or something once a year w good deals. Anyway, delivery cost was a big deal for me in deciding on a smoker...something others may not have issues with. I seriously considered MC based on this... Good luck!

Texian
07-20-2017, 11:22 AM
They can. Gator could fire everybody but 2 welders and one part-time guy and they'd have a wait list just like Shirley.

The problem with Shirley isn't that they have too many orders, it's that they have incredibly high standards, an incredibly long training program for their welders, and a lack of additional Shirley boys to teach. From a business standpoint their options are to either hire more welders at the risk of quality slipping, or keep doing what they're doing and recognize that they're losing some potential sales, but with a year and a half of work to do, who cares?

The market for their smokers is stabilizing--eventually they're not worth the wait, so people just don't place orders with them when the line gets too long. Seems to be about where they're at right now. Jaime Geer had the same problem with Jambo pits for years after BBQ Pitmasters aired. Didn't seem to hurt him any, he just had about a year waiting list and people are still lining up to give him money.
That's a good analysis DaveA. I'd add that Shirley is likely underpriced in the market for high-end smokers. Right now Lone Star Grillz is walking their prices up to address their fundamental under-price problem. Underpriced products quickly capture market share, but ultimately struggle as a sustainable business.

Czarbecue
07-20-2017, 11:30 AM
I passed Lone Star Grillz going to Galveston this morning. They looked pretty busy and wife forbade me from stopping. But they are only 221 miles from me and a straight shot down US 75/I-45. Good to know!


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Texian
07-20-2017, 11:47 AM
I think all those are great smokers, each comes with an excellent reputation. I recently went thru this same process comparing the custom builders around Houston and Dallas. I ultimately selected LSG, many builders matched LSG's quality, but none of them matched LSG's feature set for the $.

The way I made my selection was with an Excel spreadsheet where I could compare features and base, option and shipping pricing on an apples-to-apples basis and easy OTD $ totals. I also added personal notes and links to useful forum threads so that all my thoughts were collected in a central repository.

Goodluck, and be sure to get what you really want. Better to buy once than have a list of dozen ex-smokers in your signature lol.

Texian
07-20-2017, 12:14 PM
You picked a nice time to visit weather wise, enjoy Galveston. LSG has a really nice air conditioned showroom and clean facilities should you need a rest stop on the return trip :wink:

angryelfFan
07-20-2017, 12:46 PM
Just got a email from him earlier. 19 month wait.

I'm glad he's busy, and has lots of work, but that's a excessive wait for a smoker.

The ones mentioned are top notch units that will last a lifetime also.

Makes me even happier that I was able to find a used SF locally just a few weeks ago right on this awesome forum. :-D

CT-Mike
07-20-2017, 09:09 PM
Not trying to be rude. But, can I ask why Shirley has this reputation as the end all and be all of smokers? I know they are good, but what makes them so much better than their peers that a 19 month wait is acceptable?

Chris,

I live near Foxwoods and you are more than welcome to come see my SF in person. Always looking to brag on my cooker and the amazing job done by the boys at SF.

Demosthenes
07-20-2017, 10:29 PM
Since you have narrowed your choices to those 4......your next step should be, although costly, is to take a road trip to each pit maker, and eyeball each pit in person aka 'kick the tires and pull its hair'. If you don't.....then you are at the mercy of people on this forum, singing the praises of a Shirley, a Lang, a Lone Star etc. What someone else thinks is great craftsmanship, may be just average to you. Sounds like you're going to make a decision from hearsay. I've seen Gator's pits, Lang's pits, Klose's pits, Johnson's pits.....all good pits....they all do the same thing. How they perform does vary, but in the end, they turn out a good product. If you are ever fortunate to lay eyes on a Shirley Fab pit, you'll understand why people rave about them and make suggestions to "give them a look", even when they aren't a choice. I didn't think Gator or Klose pits could be beat in terms of quality and craftsmanship, but I found out by luck, that there's a new sheriff in town, and his name is Shirley. It used to be Klose. (but his name doesn't even come up anymore unless someone is buying a used Klose :twitch:) Bottom line is.....preference. Are you going to buy, or not buy, based on asthetics? pit price? availablity/wait time? shipping cost? popularity? It's your dime...your call. Good luck. :thumb:

Cigarbque
07-20-2017, 11:26 PM
To the OP,

I can only speak from my experience. I have cooked on Lang's both in the 250 and 120 type sizes. I own an MC 250. They are both great cookers. I like the feature set better on the MC. I own the MC because of where I live in relation to them and I got an OK deal on a slightly used one from MC. The folks there are very good people to do business with. MC are built by an Amish family business.

Two issues I have with he MC. Every MC I have ever seen has a rusted fire box. They seem to be lacking in the paint area at the factory. I just touch it up from time to time. I have an insulted firebox and its amazing. It blows me away how little wood it takes to run a big cooker for 14 hours. That said if you get too large of a fire going the door warps and it can be very hard to open the door until it backs down a bit.

I have driven it from NJ to central IL and also from NJ to Nashville. Never had an issue with it. It produces great product and once loaded up with product the temps run constant. Easy to clean as well.

Springram
07-21-2017, 11:54 PM
Since you have narrowed your choices to those 4......your next step should be, although costly, is to take a road trip to each pit maker, and eyeball each pit in person aka 'kick the tires and pull its hair'. If you don't.....then you are at the mercy of people on this forum, singing the praises of a Shirley, a Lang, a Lone Star etc. What someone else thinks is great craftsmanship, may be just average to you. Sounds like you're going to make a decision from hearsay. I've seen Gator's pits, Lang's pits, Klose's pits, Johnson's pits.....all good pits....they all do the same thing. How they perform does vary, but in the end, they turn out a good product. If you are ever fortunate to lay eyes on a Shirley Fab pit, you'll understand why people rave about them and make suggestions to "give them a look", even when they aren't a choice. I didn't think Gator or Klose pits could be beat in terms of quality and craftsmanship, but I found out by luck, that there's a new sheriff in town, and his name is Shirley. It used to be Klose. (but his name doesn't even come up anymore unless someone is buying a used Klose :twitch:) Bottom line is.....preference. Are you going to buy, or not buy, based on asthetics? pit price? availablity/wait time? shipping cost? popularity? It's your dime...your call. Good luck. :thumb:

I am sure that David Klose, Rich at Gator and Chris at LSG would sure welcome you to come tell them how to do a better job at making better pits. You know, you being an expert on "quality" construction, etc. Living in the Houston area and having cooked on all of the cookers, including Shirley's, believe me they are all great cookers and all are equally and extremely well made.

mowin
07-22-2017, 07:44 AM
Since you have narrowed your choices to those 4......your next step should be, although costly, is to take a road trip to each pit maker, and eyeball each pit in person aka 'kick the tires and pull its hair'. If you don't.....then you are at the mercy of people on this forum, singing the praises of a Shirley, a Lang, a Lone Star etc. What someone else thinks is great craftsmanship, may be just average to you. Sounds like you're going to make a decision from hearsay. I've seen Gator's pits, Lang's pits, Klose's pits, Johnson's pits.....all good pits....they all do the same thing. How they perform does vary, but in the end, they turn out a good product. If you are ever fortunate to lay eyes on a Shirley Fab pit, you'll understand why people rave about them and make suggestions to "give them a look", even when they aren't a choice. I didn't think Gator or Klose pits could be beat in terms of quality and craftsmanship, but I found out by luck, that there's a new sheriff in town, and his name is Shirley. It used to be Klose. (but his name doesn't even come up anymore unless someone is buying a used Klose :twitch:) Bottom line is.....preference. Are you going to buy, or not buy, based on asthetics? pit price? availablity/wait time? shipping cost? popularity? It's your dime...your call. Good luck. :thumb:

It unrealistic to expect someone who is a 1000+ miles away to go "kick the tires" as you say.

I disagree I'm at the mercy of those on this and other forums. Pictures, videos, and first hand experience with these pits are extremely important. Sure, there's the few who have only seen/used the pit they purchase, and say there's no better pit out there, but there's many who have experience with multiple pits. There opinion is important.

And yes, I am(actually did) buy, based on , price, wait time(major factor), shipping cost. But most of all, research, and what's going to fit my needs best.

All the pits I were looking at were high quality pits with great reputation. All cook great food.
All will last a lifetime if cared for properly.

Check out my thread .... "And the winner is".. for my choice...

Demosthenes
07-22-2017, 05:03 PM
I am sure that David Klose, Rich at Gator and Chris at LSG would sure welcome you to come tell them how to do a better job at making better pits. You know, you being an expert on "quality" construction, etc. Living in the Houston area and having cooked on all of the cookers, including Shirley's, believe me they are all great cookers and all are equally and extremely well made.

No expert...just believe that Shirley pits are slightly ahead of Klose and Gator. I too, have cooked on a Gator and Klose pit. Ritch has been a personal friend since 2004. I've cooked on his pit (Texas Rengade) at the HLSR numerous times. So when I said, ".....didn't think Gator or Klose pits could be beat in terms of quality and craftsmanship", It was/is my 'opinion', based on having seen all 3 pits....that Shirley does a 'neater' job than Klose or Gator. I wasn't trying to downplay Klose's or Gator's quality work. When I took a trip to check out a Lang, I was impressed, the next day, I was looking at a Klose pit. Be honest...there is a difference.