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Old 01-28-2014, 07:24 AM   #1
Got Wood.
Join Date: 08-12-13
Location: Crandall tx
Default Stick burner VS pellet smoker

To all the folks that have used a offset stick burner and pellet smoker. What do you perfer when it's comes down to taste. For me it seems like the offset when i'm smoking brisket taste better than in the pellet smoker, but it sure is less work using my pellet smoker. Ribs, Chicken, Turkey all taste about the same on either smoker.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:31 AM   #2
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Join Date: 08-27-13
Location: Princeton, TX
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I have never owned a pellet pooper, but have cooked on them and eaten plenty of Q off of them. I very much prefer the flavor that comes off of a stick burner. The flavor that hardwood smoke imparts when rolling through an offset is something that cannot be captured through any other cooking method IMO. I find it true with pretty much any meat, maybe even more so with fowl than pig or beef (because there is less seasoning/rub used typically).
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:29 AM   #3
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Join Date: 09-20-13
Location: New Braunfels

I own both. I have a Yoder 480 pellet smoker and a Yoder Cheyenne backyard wood smoker. What can I say? I like Yoder quality and consistency.

There is a definite difference in smoke intensity between the two. Obviously, the wood smoker places more smoke on the food being cooked.

I use the wood smoker for cooks between 5 and 8 hours. I cook chicken, ribs, etc. within that time period. I use the pellet smoker for very long cooks like pork butt and brisket. The major reason that I do this is because I can leave the pellet smoker unattended for 18 to 24 hours except for one refill of pellets until the meat is ready to remove. With the wood smoker, I have to check fuel and air flow every hour in order to keep the temperature where I like to cook the meat.

Look, I am 71 years young. I enjoy the PROCESS of wood smoking and the result, but I am not going to stay up all night and beat the crap out of myself just to have a $9.00 pork butt or a $20.00 brisket. With the consistent temperatures that are provided by the pellet smoker, I can always have a very moist and juicy result.

Smoke can be enhanced, if you wish, on the pellet smoker, but not like a wood smoker, using an AMNPS tube filled with burning pellets. I do use this on occasion.

Just a note: the pellet smoker is very much like a convection oven with a little smoke from the burning pellets.

I hope that this experience will help you in your thinking.

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Old 01-28-2014, 09:49 AM   #4
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Join Date: 09-07-13
Location: Kansas City Missouri

I enjoy the controlled smoke flavor I get off my stick burner. However I can honest say that I've never tasted anything off a pellet cooker.

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Old 01-28-2014, 09:54 AM   #5
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Join Date: 11-15-08
Location: Lake View, New York

I just finished up a hopper build and the sticks will produce more flavor for brisket / butts. However pellets worked good on chicken and prime rib...Pellets really easy and thinking of using it around the house..Really up to own personal have to experiemnt to see if works for you
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:04 AM   #6
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Join Date: 08-09-13
Location: Round Rock, TX


Looking at some of your previous threads (1, 2, 3), you have been lamenting this question for a few months, it seems. Reading your previous threads, it seems you want the set and forget convenience but the stickburner smoke.

Based on my reading on here, you are probably going to want to go with one of the higher end pellet cookers to give you the convenience you want with as much of the smoke flavor you can get. If you look up nucornhusker, he has a detailed thread on his Yoder YS1500 pellet cooker and based on his results, a Yoder might get you what you are after. And, if you want a heavier smoke profile, you could always add an auxiliary smoke device (tube/tray/smokedaddy, etc.) if it still isn't enough smoke for ya.

In a previous post, you mentioned your max budget was $2K. The Yoder YS640 might be right up your alley.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:07 AM   #7
Got Wood.
Join Date: 08-12-13
Location: Crandall tx

I will continue to do ribs, chicken and turkey on the pellet smoker, but on the brisket I was thinking of putting it on the offset for the first 4 or 5 hours until i get the flavor and good bark then switch it over to the pellet smoker after foiling to finish. The offset is really alot of work even after i did a bunch of upgrades to it.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:11 AM   #8
somebody shut me the fark up.

Join Date: 08-22-13
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

The pellets all go to generating heat in a pellet burner with higher heats....smoke pretty much gets eaten up.

If like peeps said you are leaning toward set it and forget it then look at vertical smokers or the Smoke Daddy to a pellet like mentioned.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:22 AM   #9
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Join Date: 07-17-13
Location: Burleson Tx

That's opposite ends of the Smoker Spectrum.........lots of option in between........
NO Such Thing as Over Smoked - just Over Dirty Smoked.............
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:26 AM   #10
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Join Date: 05-31-08
Location: Tucson, AZ
Name/Nickname : Jim

I'm thinking you may have the best of both worlds with a gravity charcoal/wood smoker like a Stumps or an Assassin . This will give you the heavier smoke profile and with adding a BBQ Guru the set it and forget it you want.
Stumps Stretch, Rec-Tec Pellet Smoker, Primo Oval XL and a Pit Barrel Cooker
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:43 AM   #11
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Location: southern Wisconsin

Originally Posted by SmittyJonz View Post
That's opposite ends of the Smoker Spectrum.........lots of option in between........
So many options from cabinets to UDS, im not a fan of pellet cookers. Yes a stick burner takes more attention, more work but the outcome is in my opinion is better than any pellet pooper.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:46 AM   #12
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Join Date: 08-29-11
Location: Lincoln, NE

Stickburner vs. pellet smoker. I've done many cooks on both, so I'll offer my take.

Both have their benefits, but a lot of it will come down to how much work and effort you want to put into your cooks. Stickburner=babysitting. Pellet=set & forget. If you want to make it an experience and feel more of a part of the cooking process and have time to dedicate to that, then go with the stickburner. There is a sick, twisted part of me that actually enjoys getting up at 4 AM to prep the pit, split wood with an ax, start a fire, watch it burn down to a bed of coals, then add wood and stabilize the pit temp all while keeping the fire clean and the smoke blue. And then checking on it periodically, or spending the whole day outside tending the pit. It is very peaceful, relaxing, and most of all fun. It's great to watch the world wake up while a brisket is smoking, and play with a fire all day. I also derive the greatest cooking pleasure while stickburning because I was a part of that process all day. And without my constant intervention of adding wood, adjusting vents, etc, that food would have been ruined. It gives you a real feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment (well, it does to me anyway). This also means braving the weather no matter what it is; hot and humid with no breeze, cold/windy and snowing, or perfect days, I've stickburned in them all. I miss owning a stickbuner and I plan to buy one sometime in the next few years. The resulting food is flavor wise and texture wise amazing if the fire is kept clean. Plus, fuel is very easy to come by, trees.

Now, pellets. Pellets do remove you more from the overall process. All you have to worry about with pellet pits is the food. You turn on the smoker, make sure the pellet hopper is full, set your temp, and it does the rest. You will want to cook around 225* in a pellet pit, because if you cook hot and fast you will lose a lot of your smoke flavor with some pellet pits, and you run the risk of overcooking the bottom side of the meat with some pellet pits too. But the beauty part is, set it to 225*, throw that brisket on at midnight, and let it cook until it's ready for dinner the next day. All you have to worry about is keeping pellets in the hopper, and checking the food. It's really great to get sleep, avoid cooking in the extreme elements, and have time to do other things during the day. I still have two young children, so the thing I disliked the most about stickburning was that I lost a lot of time with them those days I cooked because I couldn't focus on just being Dad, I had to be part-time Dad, part-time pit minder. I also couldn't run errands if something needed to get done while stickburning. With the pellet pit, the day is yours. The food quality is excellent, juicy, good smoke flavor with no bitterness, and it looks amazing. Plus if the day is nice, you can still spend it outside by the smoker.

Just with anything, you need to find the type of cooker and brand that is right for you. Pick the smoker that you will enjoy using the most. If time with the family is paramount, think hard about pellet pits. If you have time to kill and are deciding between BBQ and whittling, get a stickburner.

Peeps mentioned my Yoder. I had the YS640 and currently have the YS1500. I chose Yoder for the build quality, controller, and positive reviews about smoke flavor, among several other reasons. I have cooked on two other brands of pellet smokers, and the Yoder does give more smoke flavor than many other brands. My friends that own Traegers comment on how good the smoke flavor is when they have my food, and I don't use a cold smoke generator to supplement the smoke from my pit. Plus, we go in on bulk pellet buys to save a ton of money on pellets, so they are using the same pellets as me as well.

I ultimately wanted and got the YS1500 because it is as close to a hybrid of a pellet pit and stickburner as there is. It is more or less their Kingman stickburner with a pellet hopper instead of a wood firebox. It is very unique compared to most pellet pits. However there are also insulated pellet pits too that a lot of people like. It's all a matter of what works best for you and what you budget is.

I hope my rambling helps you out a little. This has been my experience with these two types of pits.
Yoder Smokers YS1500, Kamado Joe BigJoe & Joe Jr, IMBAS Certified MOINK Baller
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