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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 11-11-2019, 06:15 PM   #1
Sid Post
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Join Date: 05-31-13
Location: East Texas, USA
Default What are the Pro's and Con's of current Gravity-fed and Insulated cabinet smokers?

With Evie Maes smokers not being available for purchase in the near future, I'm rethinking my mid-size cabinet smoker options.

Using lump or briquettes, what are the advantages and disadvantages of Gravity-fed or traditional insulated cabinet smokers?

I'm considering brands like Ironside, LSG, Myron Mixon, Assassin, TK, Humphrey's and similar makes. There are other brands out there worth consideration too such as Stumps that sort of get overlooked unless you live around them which is fair I guess, considering shipping expenses which is why I don't currently own a Humphrey's Weekender.
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:16 PM   #2
DocFenner
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Sid, I will let others elaborate on the nuances of the cookers and differences between the style, but...

I live in Lufkin and recently bought a LSG Mini Insulated Cabinet, which I absolutely love. I, too, looked at Humphrey's and just couldn't bring myself to order something from Maine when I was 80 miles away from a highly-rated, family-run manufacturer like LSG.

Depending on how far away you are from them, I encourage you to check them out and let Chris walk you through the cookers.

Just my $0.02 from a LSG fan.
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:22 PM   #3
twatsonr1
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I have a Deep South, and I honestly believe there’s a ton of pros vs cons. First, most of the similar pits are gonna be ran using a BBQ guru or similar system. That just means you throw some wood in, and go to bed while she cooks consistently all night. The only down side is probably lack of flavor compared to a stick burner. But I still remember that first bite of food I had from my GF. I thought I had just gone pro after switching from a little electric smoker.
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:42 PM   #4
pharp
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I have three humphrey's smokers. A whole hog and a pint on my truck and Long Weekender for home use.
Pro's- Super efficient, lots of capacity vs. footprint, ability to control the smoke profile with the amount of wood chunks you use, set and forget (even more so if you use a controller).
Con's- The only con (I actually like it) that I could see bothering some people is with Humphrey's you are hotter at the top. But it is easily accounted for by swapping a rack or putting meats that need a higher temp on top. I had mind going all day Saturday and could not have been happier with the food.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:55 PM   #5
Rusty Kettle
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Welded vs. Riveted. I prefer all welded myself.
T&K looks good to me. I don't own one yet. I want one but just not in the cards yet.

I do own a 270 Smokers Sumo.
Lot of pros and a number of cons as well. They all have pros and cons.
I suppose I will start with the pros
All Welded construction
Cooks faster than most cookers. Cooks pretty evenly. Claims 5 degrees left to right and top to bottom. I would say that is average but can have temp swings up to 10 degrees but not major.
Built like a tank.
Price is pretty reasonable. Still the cheapest fully welded option out there.
Staggered shelves that are wide and shallow are great and make things easier to reach meat imo and its much easier on my back.

Cons:
Gaskets they are trash. Felt gaskets. Constant failure. I had some freeze yes. Seemed to absorb moisture. Some seemed to just fall apart over time. Bits of fuzz or fibers came apart even when no freezing. I hated the felt gaskets. I discourage anyone from using felt. They do offer rope gaskets. Messy to apply but once done much more durable imo. I had mine freeze the other night. No damage at all. The 270 folks sell them but discourage their use because they are more difficult to install. Worth the effort to install them imo. You will curse if you do it but you will be glad you installed them. Much better durability.
The finish is sensitive. Just does not hold up. Must be cleaned a certain way. Imo the powder coat is sensitive.
Avoid the cover they sell. It does not breath and heats up the surface and ruins the powder coat.
Fire box warps. Its considered normal according to the manual.
The ash pan warped as well. Never operated above 325. 350 is the limit.
The ash pan does not slide smoothly in and out. Sticks a bit and have to muscle it in and out.
Once heated up it moves in and out smoothly but when first starting it that is a real pain in the butt.
Customer Service
Kind of in between on this one. Most of the time was fine. Had one problem. Not the answer I was given that bothered me. Just kind of short with me the last time. Felt Stephanie was a bit rude. Normally she seems cool. I figure the lady was stressed out. Seemed to be anyways. So honestly probably an isolated incident. We all have our bad days. Still worth mentioning. If you have an issue maybe call by phone. I would not use messenger to talk to them though. To be honest I would not use messenger to talk to anyone about a problem again. Again I think this was isolated and was not typical.
Would I purchase another? Yes and No. Purchase a used model yes. Well built cooker with some minor flaws. New probably not. Customer service experience left a bad taste in my mouth. It could have been handled better when I had a problem. No need to be rude. Just state what your side is and be done. In my book it was and is a minor problem. I was a bit taken back by the whole experience. Oh well. Probably not typical and we all have bad days. I do like the cooker over all but one incident can really leave a bad taste in your mouth. To bad really. I was pretty happy with my purchase until then.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:17 PM   #6
Sid Post
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270Smokers Sumo is one I have looked at off and on. The sloped door and shelves seems attractive from a usability point of view. The tilt back with rollers for movement looks good too. New, they seem a bit pricey but, so are most of the others which all seem to be about market rate for that level of smoker.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid Post View Post
270Smokers Sumo is one I have looked at off and on. The sloped door and shelves seems attractive from a usability point of view. The tilt back with rollers for movement looks good too. New, they seem a bit pricey but, so are most of the others which all seem to be about market rate for that level of smoker.
For the price they are not bad. To get better you have to spend more. Right now the Hollywood replaced the Sumo. Only 2 inches deeper than the Sumo.
The design is like a dolly. That thing is really heavy. I can move it and have loaded it into the back of a minivan. Its going to make you tired from moving it. Just very heavy.
I would say bang for your buck is pretty good. Just get rope gaskets and don't buy the cover. Buy something custom that breaths.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:44 PM   #8
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Sid I just ordered an LSG Mini which I started to get 4 years ago before I bought my Humphrey’s. I really like they are all welded and not just riveted on skins except for the doors. I know several folks that have GFs and love them but most say you steal have to add wood every so often which for my loving to sleep old rear is a disadvantage for me. For day time cooks know big deal but I use the IVC for over night cooks 99% of the time and wouldn’t want to be adding wood every hour or so.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:38 PM   #9
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There is another thread about BQ Smokers going on right now, they look really nice. Never seen one in person though.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:02 AM   #10
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Gravity Fed opinions:

Cons: Heavy. Expensive. Vertical shelf arrangement makes you have to think more about what to put on which shelf. Ash pan isn't huge, but with blue bag Kingsford you just need to empty it maybe once on longer cooks. Too easy to use if you like tending to a fire.

Pros: Everything else.

Reviews from owning a Myron Mixon G20 for a year now.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:21 AM   #11
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I have a deepsouth GC28 and i really like it. It is heavy, but its easy to move by myself, but i need help getting it onto a trailer. I run the cyber Q, and this thing is pretty much set it and forget it. I can do a whole overnight cook on one bag of lump. I have started cooking in pans since i got this cooker, and i really like how fast it is to clean up afterwards. I will say they are local to me, and i have had Randall make me a couple racks. I have no complaints with this beast.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Kettle View Post
For the price they are not bad. To get better you have to spend more. Right now the Hollywood replaced the Sumo. Only 2 inches deeper than the Sumo.
The design is like a dolly. That thing is really heavy. I can move it and have loaded it into the back of a minivan. Its going to make you tired from moving it. Just very heavy.
I would say bang for your buck is pretty good. Just get rope gaskets and don't buy the cover. Buy something custom that breaths.
Didnt I send you some gaskets last year? If you need more let me know. I usually replace mine every year. I use the rtv food rated red rtv adhesive and it adheres just fine. Never had any issues.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:46 PM   #13
Raider18
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Is Arnis backed up on new smokers? If so good for him, bad for you.
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:01 PM   #14
luv2smoke
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I have an insulated reverse flow cabinet from Cascade Smokers. My smoker is bottom load and will hold enough charcoal and wood chunks for two or three long cooks. I like the reverse flow concept as opposed to the direct flow as the smoke and heat in a reverse flow travels twice the distance before exiting the smoker providing even temps rack to rack and in my opinion better efficiency as the heat is traveling farther before exiting the smoker. I also like the ability to control the amount of smoke that is imparted depending on the amount of wood chunks I use and the fact that I never have to refuel (open the fire door) no matter how long my cook is. Just my .02 cents for what it's worth.
If there is a con I can think of that might be a factor for someone is that it's heavy. My smoker weighs in at close 1100 lbs. it rolls effortlessly literally one hand to push on concrete or asphalt pushing across a gravel or grass is not an option at least with the wheels I have. I had a winch hook mounted to my smoker for the rare occasions I transport my smoker. With the winch hook I can easily load the smoker myself into my trailer. Without the winch hook I suspect it would be at least a two man job to push the smoker up the ramp of my trailer.
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Old 11-12-2019, 02:15 PM   #15
Rusty Kettle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmarkw View Post
Didnt I send you some gaskets last year? If you need more let me know. I usually replace mine every year. I use the rtv food rated red rtv adhesive and it adheres just fine. Never had any issues.
No must be someone else. I have the rope gasket and red rtv from 270. Much better.
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