HBT Welders?? Who dat?

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riseabove50
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HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby riseabove50 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:37 am

so I've contacted a few of you (KAM) to get your thoughts or experience with HBT (http://www.hbtwelding.com/#). not sure if anyone has heard of or used them before, but their prices are almost ridiculous to the point of concern and hesitation. I am considering their 401 custom model. one thing stands out to me though:

they use diamond stamp metal standard. which I think would look cool, but how well does it seal on the main chamber door? I've reached out to them and gotten on their Facebook page to ask some of their customers (who for all I know could be relatives) about their experience with HBT's pits.

does anyone see anything else that concerns them about these guys? or if you have a smoker from them, am I just being too worried that this really is a great deal (other than them being in Alabama)?

Thanks for your input.

Mark
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HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby CrazyD » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:33 am

According to plugging theirs numbers in the pit calc that firebox is about half the size it should be. (63%)

Ive seen this style of smoker offered at these prices from several diferent sellers online. Greasyhillcustoms is one also. They even "model" them the same names. Their are others out there selling these same pits but i cant remember the names.

There have been lots of bad reviews on them online.

Ive never owned one so i have no personal experience with them but for all the things ive mentioned and reviews ive read online the saying is true, you get what ya pay for.
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riseabove50
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Re: HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby riseabove50 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:41 am

would you mind providing some of those links to the bad reviews? I can't find them and I've looked for the past 2 days.

they told me the main chamber is 60"x31" and the warming box could be either 32" or 36" tall. at what size/measurements would you recommend that the fire box built? I'm sure they would be willing to modify if necessary.

is Greasy hill smokers any better? any awareness of the quality of their work?

thanks D.

Mark
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Re: HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby riseabove50 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:27 pm

it seems to me from the links you sent that several of the issues can be addressed in advance with a simple conversation with either greasy hill or HBT about what I'd like changed (Links to other BBQ forums are Verboten, see viewtopic.php?f=1&t=569 for details 8) ):
1. slightly larger fire box
2. additional air damper/intake on the fire box
3. shorten the opening to the main chamber from the fire box
4. lower the fire box grate by 3 inches
5. ask for a 6" smoke stack instead of a 3"

the rest is primarily cosmetic pending any leaks between seals or doors. I too am on a budget like some of the buyers that have gotten one of these. the cost including driving to pick it up is still much lower than ordering something from a local builder in Houston by close to half. to me, as long as the above is worked out and I am able to fire it up and test it for a few hours before purchasing it, then I have resources available to clean up the leaks or cosmetic issues. plus if it's leaking on site while testing, i would expect that the seller would opt to patch any serious leaks identified.

thanks for the links. they've been very helpful. I appreciate all opinions offered. definitely gave me insight to think on.

Mark
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Re: HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby moocow » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:37 am

HBT and Greasy Hill Customs are one of the same... I have one of there smokers and it works quite well. Reaches temp in 20 minutes and will hold 300 degrees easly. Yes it was a long drive from nothern ohio to pick it up, however I believe it is worth the trip... The Charcoal grill on the end is really handy and it too holds the heat, even a little to well, could use a bit more adjustable vents. The rib warmer is a super addition to the package. The assembly tows like it dont exist considering the 1400 pounds. For the price this cooker is a great value...
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Re: HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby Grillchamp » Mon May 04, 2015 7:58 am

I am looking into buying a HBT Reverse Style 400 smoker. I have read some mixed reviews on the smoker. Have the quality of the smoker gotten better? Is there anyone who owns one that can shed some light about the smoker thanks.
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Re: HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby All_Grilla_No_Filla » Mon May 04, 2015 11:50 am

At the end of the day, you'll do what's best for your personal situation, and if you're happy with it, then it was the right choice. I know personally for me the issues that have been aired even just by you alone would be enough to scare me another direction. Less than half is nice, but it's still a significant investment. Not saying it's wrong, I just am floored people are having to tell these guys how to build their pits. It just seems like they're not pit builders, they're welders. Ultimately, it sounds like your heart is set on it, and I hope the pit cooks awesome for you. Best of luck whichever direction you opt. Post pics of your new rig and cooks!
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Re: HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby riseabove50 » Mon May 04, 2015 2:36 pm

I have one and love it. If mine were stolen or damaged in transit, I would order another one the very next day. the guy that runs the business is named Stacy. real good guy and takes custom order requests just the way you want your rig to work. he has standard designs he follows but if you want certain bells and whistles on your rig, he'll make it just the way you ask. however his standard models work just fine. the only things I asked him to do on mine was to put in an extra damper on the fire box door on the side, and one on the grill box, and also make the reverse flow plates removable so I could use the main chamber as a large grill with a charcoal tray underneath as well. I also had him add an extra damper on the rib box so I have one on the left and right side. my backyard has a strange airflow pattern so having multiple options of air intake helps me regulate my temp.

so the real question is why are they so cheap when everyone else is so expensive. well, if you go with a klose, gator or any other big name rig, you're going to get pristine welds that look so pretty and clean. and cuts will be so precise you'll think they were laser cut. with an HBT rig, the welds on the outside shelves aren't all the way across (tack welded instead - meaning in some places you can see between the shelf and the main chamber, but it's only a very small slit), and the trim around the chamber doors are the same. but the doors seal well, the hinges are heavy duty, the metal is thick, the fire box is more than capable of handling your fuel, the rig holds temp and the reverse flow works - straight from this horses mouth. to an engineer, it won't look perfect on close inspection. but their rigs work, and they work very, very well. I have a 400 reverse and it is awesome. I get compliments all the time. i'm not concerned if an edge looks a little rough or a weld spot isn't smooth and pristine. i'm concerned with how did it cook, and how does the food taste. so far 100% satisfaction.

One mod I always suggest every smoker owner do is add oven gasket to every cook chamber door regardless of how well it seals when shut. it just adds an extra layer of security to keep your temp and smoke inside instead of leaking out. my 400 was no exception. I also added some stained red oak planks to the work areas for extra surfaces to work.

If you're in the Houston area, you can always look me up and come take a look at mine. I've already shown another Houstonian my rig and he ordered his later that same week. if you don't find someone close by, I suggest making the trip out to see him for yourself. I had my doubts at first as well, so I actually flew out to see him and to take a look at his work. I was convinced so placed my order that day and picked it up the next weekend.

i definitely agree that it's really a personal preference/choice like Grilla said.

Give Stacy a call. he'll be honest with you and tell you his stuff is not the cleanest like some of the other pit makers, but he (and I) will tell you his stuff works, and works well.

here are some pics of my rig.
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here's another (pre-wood shelving) with briskets, ribs and pork butts. notice the oven gasket on the chamber door.
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this is 10 briskets, 4 pork butts, 2 racks of ribs, 2 chickens and a turkey. the pallets are to save my grass from me wearing a path back and forth from the patio to the rig.
IMG_1161.JPG
so I added some stained redwood planks to the metal shelves for extra room to work as seen here. they're easily removable with wingnuts.
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Re: HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby riseabove50 » Mon May 04, 2015 2:42 pm

oh, and just to clarify, greasy hill and hbt are two different companies that actually partnered together for a while. greasy hill basically mentored hbt, but now hbt is independent and running on its own.

hbt does have a facebook page that they update on a regular basis that you may want to check out if you want/need more info or pics.

and one more clarification - I realize I listed a lot of modifications in a previous post of things I wanted to change. I didn't do any of them except add the additional air dampers on the fire box, grill box and rib box. honestly, I probably would've gotten along fine without them, but just like you're trust firearm, it's better to have and not need, than need and not have. i'm content with that decision.

just one mans humble opinion.
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one more from the side with the rib box getting in on the action.
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Re: HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby Grillchamp » Tue May 05, 2015 8:26 am

Thanks a ton that info was very helpful!!!
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Re: HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby Adam Yates 28 » Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:33 pm

I bought a smoker from hbt smokers. No it's not perfect. Cons;It leaked smoke from everywhere,lid,their rf plate leaks all the way around, fire box, also fire box door does not lock when hot, smoke stack damper could be better. Nothing is air tight so you can't get temp to low. Has drain hole in bottom but it's by fire box & when you clean u got to raise front & drains into firebox, also has sharp edges
Pros; does hold temp good, cost me only $1600, with all the cons I still like it & it does a good job
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Re: HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby Veteran BBQ » Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:43 pm

Is greasy hillbilly building the smokers for BBQSMOKERPROS.COM.
The grills there are very similar to HBT, but spoke to Stacey and he can build whatever I want. At BbqSmokerPros.com that can't make any modifications and the metal there looks different. Any help would be appreciated.
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Re: HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby Txdragon » Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:29 am

Adam Yates 28 wrote: cost me only $1600, with all the cons I still like it & it does a good job



For that price, all the flaws you listed are ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE. I have been looking to this place as well because the prices are reasonable, but not any more.
I have a couple wal-mart bought side box smokers that can match the pros you have listed..
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Re: HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby Ringo » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:26 pm

I have been looking into a Chuck Wagon three in one smoker that looks identical to the HBT minus the diamond plate. It is only $2899. Chuck Wagon Smokers is located in Tyler Texas. Any feedback on them?
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Re: HBT Welders?? Who dat?

Postby Koyote » Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:46 am

Ringo wrote:I have been looking into a Chuck Wagon three in one smoker that looks identical to the HBT minus the diamond plate. It is only $2899. Chuck Wagon Smokers is located in Tyler Texas. Any feedback on them?

Did you buy one? I live near in Sulphur Springs and saw your comment.
I checked their website and like a couple of their smokers.

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