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View Full Version : Are Ole Hickory Pits Suitable for the Common Man?


AKMIMNAK
03-11-2018, 09:42 PM
https://www.bigpoppasmokers.com/ole-hickory-ace-jw

The only guy I've ever seen use one is Malcom Reed from howtobbqright.com and Killer Hogs comp team. I am not even close to being a comp BBQer, so I'm wondering, do regular joes use these smokers, are are they only for restaurants and comp teams?

Reasons I'm interested in one:

1) In a few years will likely be moving to an area of the country that has virtually no access to hardwoods (or good smokers). So, my stick burner will be useless (I'll be selling it). Next best thing IMO is charcoal with some wood chunks. I'd like to buy a dream smoker and throw it in the Uhaul when I depart. Ole Hickory's price point certainly falls in the "dream" range :)

2) I'm not really interested in a pellet cooker. However....

3) I do like the convenience of some "set it and forget it" type features, which the Ole Hickory has (convection fan, temp control).

Is an Ole Hickory the best fit for my situation?

tom b
03-11-2018, 10:40 PM
I say get one and report back as a service to the brethren, honestly IDK

Westx
03-11-2018, 10:47 PM
IMO I would look into other brands like Lonestar Grillz, Humphrey's or several of the other IVS builders. The downside to me of the Old Hickory is the max temp of 275 and the quantity of meat you can cook for the price point.

luv2smoke
03-11-2018, 11:28 PM
Like Westx says, max temp of 275 would be the deal killer for me. I'd certainly be looking at an IVS were it me. What part of the country are you moving to with no hardwoods or good smokers, kind of sounds like hell to me?

Czarbecue
03-11-2018, 11:44 PM
What part of the country are you moving to with no hardwoods or good smokers, kind of sounds like hell to me?

Moving further up north? Gah...

Personally, I just don't like relying on an outlet for my barbecue. A battery operated fan? Sure, why not. But something large enough to be tripped by a dryer or a microwave... No.

Nuco59
03-12-2018, 06:27 AM
The 275* upper end is the only bothersome thing to me. The dependence on electricity might be looked on as a "yeah- and?".

All that said, I'd pass. Get a LSG, Backwoods, Humphreys and party on.

AKMIMNAK
03-12-2018, 05:06 PM
Like Westx says, max temp of 275 would be the deal killer for me. I'd certainly be looking at an IVS were it me. What part of the country are you moving to with no hardwoods or good smokers, kind of sounds like hell to me?

Alaska. My homeland :) The pros far outweigh the cons. Can't wait to go back. BBQ is growing there so the smokers will (hopefully) come. Hard to create hard woods though. Spruce rules the day in the region where I grew up. Aspen and birch are really the only options. Not so much for smoking.

AKMIMNAK
03-12-2018, 05:08 PM
The 275* upper end is the only bothersome thing to me. The dependence on electricity might be looked on as a "yeah- and?".

All that said, I'd pass. Get a LSG, Backwoods, Humphreys and party on.

Is there a way to add temp control to these? I'm totally ignorant on these brands and all vertical units. Never even looked at verticals before.

Smokey Lonesome
03-12-2018, 05:26 PM
Brethren Jimsbarbecue will hopefully chime in as he has experience with tha ACE BP model.

The units do have temperature control built in. Jim can elaborate.

Good luck.

Nuco59
03-12-2018, 05:30 PM
Is there a way to add temp control to these? I'm totally ignorant on these brands and all vertical units. Never even looked at verticals before.

Never looked at verticals? You should check out the home pages for all 3 - they have cookers for most every budget. Yes, bigger ones will cost more- but if you need bigger, they got 'em. Temp controllers are very popular on insulated verticals and most manufacturers have at at least one option you can click on- just like extra grates, drip tray, custom color....

KevinJ
03-12-2018, 05:31 PM
You can get a BBQ Guru to control temps on and insulated cabinet. I personally think the Ole Hickory is an awesome cooker too, would love to own one more so than a insulated cabinet.

medic92
03-12-2018, 05:33 PM
Alaska. My homeland :) The pros far outweigh the cons. Can't wait to go back. BBQ is growing there so the smokers will (hopefully) come. Hard to create hard woods though. Spruce rules the day in the region where I grew up. Aspen and birch are really the only options. Not so much for smoking.

Isn't there a fair amount of Alder up there?

Demosthenes
03-12-2018, 06:23 PM
No experience with them, but the fact that it has moving parts ( rotating racks) is a deal breaker for me....however, the one that has stationary racks would be considered. :-)

Westx
03-12-2018, 07:04 PM
Also ther is a pitmaker here in Texas that got his start in Alaska. I want to say the name is Rocking W Smokers. Give him a call and talking to him about the situation.

AKMIMNAK
03-12-2018, 09:21 PM
Isn't there a fair amount of Alder up there?

There is in some parts. But Alaska is huge and my region not so much. Lots of alder and willow bushes, I believe, which the moose eat. But not so much on the trees. People with woodstoves are burning alot of birch because it's the best they've got.

AKMIMNAK
03-12-2018, 09:29 PM
Also ther is a pitmaker here in Texas that got his start in Alaska. I want to say the name is Rocking W Smokers. Give him a call and talking to him about the situation.

HUGELY HELPFUL. Thank you. This guy is operating in my hometown of Fairbanks, but since I moved away from there 11 years ago I never ran across him and didn't know he existed. No better guy on the planet to talk to about how to smoke in interior Alaska than him! I've shot off an email to him. Thank you for your help!

jimbloomfield
03-12-2018, 11:25 PM
We do have one and love the food it produces. It is a smoker and not a grill. Has our run at temps over 275. Yes. I have cooked as little as one chicken Breast on it. They are thermostat controlled. I wouldn’t call it a everyday cooker. We also have a Hasty Bake and a MAK pellet grill. The temps are accurate in the cooker,but it cooks faster at 275. Then our MAK does. Any questions please ask. I did go and tour the plant when they built ours. Well made and designed

martyleach
03-12-2018, 11:33 PM
Alaska. My homeland :) The pros far outweigh the cons. Can't wait to go back. BBQ is growing there so the smokers will (hopefully) come. Hard to create hard woods though. Spruce rules the day in the region where I grew up. Aspen and birch are really the only options. Not so much for smoking.

Dang and I just sold a double insulated Backwoods Chubby that would have been perfect for you. Bummer!

Cook
03-15-2018, 03:41 PM
I'm not sure which OH model y'all are talking about with the 275* limit, but the ones I have used have all had a 350* upper limit. I wish that was a bit higher, but it certainly was not 275*. I had it shut down on me at least once...I would set my temp at 325* for chicken. Somehow it overshot and shut down when it hit 350*. Had I not been paying attention we would have had late chicken that day. For that reason, I wish the upper limit safety was something like 375*.

They cook great...and you can get the smaller versions for home use...they still hold alot of meat.

KevinJ
03-15-2018, 07:32 PM
Like the Ole Hickory a lot.

mcyork28
03-15-2018, 09:02 PM
The Ole Hickory pits listed at Big Poppa smokers show a max temp of 275. If you look at Ole Hickory's site the pits they have are somewhere above 300.


I'm not sure which OH model y'all are talking about with the 275* limit, but the ones I have used have all had a 350* upper limit. I wish that was a bit higher, but it certainly was not 275*. I had it shut down on me at least once...I would set my temp at 325* for chicken. Somehow it overshot and shut down when it hit 350*. Had I not been paying attention we would have had late chicken that day. For that reason, I wish the upper limit safety was something like 375*.

They cook great...and you can get the smaller versions for home use...they still hold alot of meat.

Cook
03-16-2018, 09:56 AM
The Ole Hickory pits listed at Big Poppa smokers show a max temp of 275. If you look at Ole Hickory's site the pits they have are somewhere above 300.

I gotcha. Didn't know that. The only times I have purchased Ole Hickory products has been from Ole Hickory. Yep...upper limit is 350 from the company.