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View Full Version : Small Spicewine vs. Backwoods Party vs. Caldera Tallboy


STX Cue
04-08-2008, 10:10 AM
This may have been done before, but the search function doesn't let me search.

I am in the market for a cabinet style smoker and I have it narrowed down to these three. I know this is probably going to be the Ford/Chevy/Dodge debate, but can anyone offer pros and cons of the models that you have cooked with?

jrb03
04-08-2008, 10:52 AM
I was in the same boat a few months ago. I had it narrowed down to the small spicewine and the bws party. I looked at the caldera, but only briefly. It seems rather cheaply made for the price, but I could be wrong.

I have never seen a spicewine in person, and have only seen one backwoods, mine! I ended up going with the backwoods for a couple reasons, the main one being weight. Im sure the spicewine is a fine cooker though.

I love my party, and dont regret the decision one bit. I have cooked over 10 hours on it with one load of charcoal, about 8-9 lbs. Very fuel efficent. The food is coming out fantastic too. This thing is a rib cooking machine.

Either one you go with, I think you will enjoy the cabinet design. My other cookers are very lonely right now. Let me know if I can answer any questions on the backwoods party for you.

butts a fire
04-08-2008, 12:51 PM
I am sure you would be happy with your investment in any of the cookers you mentioned.

I have a BWS party and love it, I have seen many spicewines and they are great smokers also. The reason that I chose the Party over the SW is weight. I needed to have a smoker that I could easily load into the back of my truck to take to competitions. You will get a lot of support for both of these as there are many people here who use both.

I have never seen the Caldera in person so I can not really comment on it. I know there is at least one person on here who has one so hopefully they will chime in.

Porky
04-08-2008, 01:00 PM
I have a BWS Party & I am very happy with the results just like all the guys that have them. I was at the Belaire(Md) Bash last year and the boy's from BBQ Guru where running one of the Caldera's and it looked pretty good, the main benefit is that it breaks down for traveling and takes up little space. There were running it with a DigiQ and it held temp real well. Since you are from Tx I am guessing you don't have to worry about freezing weather, the Caldera is not insulated and I am not sure how it would hold heat in colder weather. Hope this helps.

smokinit
04-08-2008, 04:49 PM
I like Backwoods also but I am alittle bias.

Smokin' Joe
04-08-2008, 06:36 PM
I went throught the same thing a couple of months ago as well...I too chose the Party because of the weight, if it was sitting in my backyard or on a trailer I might have gone the other way :?:

Smokin' Joe
04-08-2008, 06:40 PM
Forgot to say that I love my party:)

If you get the party find some wicked good briq's...these seem to be a great match with the party, the burn times are much better compared to lump...

ThomEmery
04-08-2008, 07:51 PM
Well Hum what will I go with?
Yes Spicewines weigh more than Backwoods
If that is a problem you know what you need to do
In dealing with a product made from metal
heavy is not a bad thing
The hand truck option makes moving it simple
and a small would be very easy for most folks to move
The Calderas ability to be shipped flat then reassembled I am sure is
a handy thing for the right guy

BBQ_MAFIA
04-08-2008, 08:58 PM
I never used a Backwoods so I can't speak to it.

I do however have a Large Spicewine. Jay makes a great cooker and I love using mine.

STX Cue
04-09-2008, 08:07 AM
Thank you all for your input. I may delay the purchase for a month or so. I just spent the last couple of days wading through the half a million posts on the UDS. I think I am going to build one of those. Make the wife happy by spending a tenth of the money. Sure, she will have to put up with a trip to the ER and the bills that come along with it, but it isn't her that will be bleeding.

watg?
04-09-2008, 08:31 AM
I have never cooked on a Spicewine or a Backwoods, but from what I have seen and read they are both great cabinet style cookers. I have a Caldera Tall Boy and have been very happy with its preformance. The cooker is very versatile, has a lot of cooking space, and is easy to control for cooking temperature. It is not too heavy and can be easily moved around. I dont use the break down feature as I leave the unit fully assembled to transport, although I am sure that would appeal to some cooks that are tight for space. I used it all winter and had no trouble maintianing temp even on windy days. If you are concerned about loosing heat, they offer as an option a blanket type insulated cover. I have one and rarely use it. The staff at Guru offer great support and are extremely helpful if any questions arise.

jt
04-09-2008, 11:32 AM
Haven't smoked on the Backwoods or the Caldera but I do have the small Spicewine. Awesome cooker. Easy to control temps and extremely well built!

STX Cue
04-09-2008, 11:59 AM
Couldn't any of you have said something bad about your cookers? How is a guy supposed to make a decision with everybody saying great things about all of them?

The good news is that I don't appear to have to be worried about whatever decision I make.

If you are concerned about loosing heat, they offer as an option a blanket type insulated cover.Heat loss is rarely an issue in South Texas...well, some days it gets into the 40's, but I guess you won't have a lot of sympathy, being from Maryland.:mrgreen:

Steve

Porky
04-09-2008, 12:56 PM
How about buying one of each over a period of time, that way you could be the resident expert the next time this question comes up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bigmista
04-09-2008, 01:03 PM
Here's a bad thing about the Spicewine.

Everyone will want to touch it and talk to you about it. It is a people magnet. If you want to be left alone and not talk about BBQ then don't get the Spicewine.

STX Cue
04-09-2008, 01:09 PM
How about buying one of each over a period of time, that way you could be the resident expert the next time this question comes up!!!!!!!!!!!!!If I could find some financial backing and a wife who would understand those purchases, I would love to have all three. As it is I have limited finances and my wife, neither of which is going to go along with that plan.

If you want to be left alone and not talk about BBQ then don't get the Spicewine.Heck, if I didn't want to talk about BBQ I wouldn't be here!

jrb03
04-09-2008, 01:42 PM
I feel ya fellow S. Tx Q brother! Cabinet smokers are non existant down here, everything is offset, being this is the birthplace of the offset smokers. It will be a big interest to people, and will get you several funny looks too.

What do you cook on now? What brought you to looking into cabinet style smokers?

I honestly cant give you any negatives about my party, have enjoyed every cook on it. Sounds like the spicewine owners are the same. If you go with a backwoods, you are only a day trip away from picking it up. Freight costs are out of control right now, need to think about shipping, it will shock you.

STX Cue
04-09-2008, 03:50 PM
I hadn't even considered shipping...and I could get my dad to pick it up. He travels all over east Texas for work. He occasionally slips over to Shreveport to stay the night. Of course I could drag the wife and we could make a weekend of it...

I am currently cooking on an old, rusted out Bandera. I am its third owner (at least) and it was in pretty poor shape when I got it. The ash pan is rusted into place in the firebox and the fire grate supports have rusted out. The smoker cabinet is in decent shape, although the door is bent and a bear to get to close. I like it, but decided it was time to upgrade.

As far as cabinet style smokers, I just liked the idea of a smaller footprint and less tending of the fire. I also liked the idea that nobody around here would know what it was.

jrb03
04-09-2008, 04:05 PM
I hadn't even considered shipping...and I could get my dad to pick it up. He travels all over east Texas for work. He occasionally slips over to Shreveport to stay the night. Of course I could drag the wife and we could make a weekend of it...

I am currently cooking on an old, rusted out Bandera. I am its third owner (at least) and it was in pretty poor shape when I got it. The ash pan is rusted into place in the firebox and the fire grate supports have rusted out. The smoker cabinet is in decent shape, although the door is bent and a bear to get to close. I like it, but decided it was time to upgrade.

As far as cabinet style smokers, I just liked the idea of a smaller footprint and less tending of the fire. I also liked the idea that nobody around here would know what it was.

Those are great reasons to go with a cabinet style. I have offsets for when I fell like messing with the fire all day, but my time is usually limited these days. You damn near live in New Braunsfels and Bandera, I should of known!

Freight is very high right now, and something that will affect the bottom line. I had mine shipped because I had no free time to make the trip, but I could of picked it up for way less than half the shipping cost in my gas thirsty F150. Plus, road trips are fun. Good luck with your decision!

Bigmista
04-09-2008, 05:35 PM
If I could find some financial backing and a wife who would understand those purchases, I would love to have all three. As it is I have limited finances and my wife, neither of which is going to go along with that plan.

Heck, if I didn't want to talk about BBQ I wouldn't be here!

Ummmm...right. I'll let that one slide until you get...acclimated to our humor here.

I don't think any of them will be a bad choice. Compare price, cooking area and your specific needs to come up with the right choice.

smokinit
04-09-2008, 06:18 PM
I hadn't even considered shipping...and I could get my dad to pick it up. He travels all over east Texas for work. He occasionally slips over to Shreveport to stay the night. Of course I could drag the wife and we could make a weekend of it...

I am currently cooking on an old, rusted out Bandera. I am its third owner (at least) and it was in pretty poor shape when I got it. The ash pan is rusted into place in the firebox and the fire grate supports have rusted out. The smoker cabinet is in decent shape, although the door is bent and a bear to get to close. I like it, but decided it was time to upgrade.

As far as cabinet style smokers, I just liked the idea of a smaller footprint and less tending of the fire. I also liked the idea that nobody around here would know what it was.

Hey man I have one being built for my inventory but I could divert it to you it's about 8weeks If you order one now. I also give Bretheren discounts. hope this helps