Offset smoker question - new to this!

Any type of purchased BBQ Pit.

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StanLSU
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Offset smoker question - new to this!

Postby StanLSU » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:20 am

I'm about to buy the old country BBQ pecos smoker. I anticipate I'll have to make some modifications, but should I spend more on a higher quality smoker?

I hate the idea of buying something, then having to upgrade later, I'd rather get the right smoker the first time. How much will a smoker like this hold me back?

I did some searches and couldn't really find what I was looking for. Thank you guys for your help!

Looking forward to showing off some food soon!
"Baton Rouge happens to be the worst place in the world for a visiting team. It's like being inside a drum."

Bear Bryant referring to Tiger Stadium
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Re: Offset smoker question - new to this!

Postby k.a.m. » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:34 am

StanLSU, the price difference in one from academy that may or may not need tweaks depending on how picky you are and a quality cooker from say Gator or JJ will be about 800.00 easy. Keep in mind learning the cooker whatever you you buy is up to you they do not run on their own. In my opinion the box store cookers like old country and OK Joe are not designed properly as far as draft is concerned. With some pretty extensive mods on my son-in-laws 20" OK Joe including tuning plates I created a nice cooker that works. The problem he was having was the way the cooker was set up allowed for to high a temp or to low a temp no in between and the differences were extreme.
So what are you looking for in a cooker?
1.) What size cooker?
2.) How many folks do you plan on feeding at certain times such as party's or family gatherings?
3.) Do you like tending a fire all night or do you prefer sleep while the cooker is doing its job?
4.) How much are you wanting to spend for a quality cooker?
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: Offset smoker question - new to this!

Postby marvda1 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:06 am

stantlsu, where are you located? i just got the old country brazos from academy. it is 1/4" steel and larger for $999. the only upgrade you might want to do is tuning plates or a convection plate, these would still be upgrades from other companies plus you would be paying almost double to start out. horizon smokers has a convection plate for $60 that would fit the brazos or you could get someone to cut you some tuning plates. and you may get lucky like i did, the brazos i bought was transferred from an out of town store. when i went to pick it up, the main grate was a little too long and would not slide into the tracks. well the manager knocked $200 off the $999 and i got the guy who cuts my yard to fix it for $40. seasoned it the next day with a chicken as not to waste the wood and it cooked great. yea, i was looking at the big name cookers, jambo $1999, r&o $3200, lone star grillz $2300 but i have have another money grabbing hobby, two channel stereo and spent $3000 for a pair of $5000 speakers. the brazos is cooking chamber 19" x 40.1, firebox 19" x 20"
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Re: Offset smoker question - new to this!

Postby StanLSU » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:24 pm

k.a.m. wrote:1.) What size cooker?
2.) How many folks do you plan on feeding at certain times such as party's or family gatherings?
3.) Do you like tending a fire all night or do you prefer sleep while the cooker is doing its job?
4.) How much are you wanting to spend for a quality cooker?


I'm still trying to determine the size I want. Would like to be able to do 6 racks of ribs, or a huge brisket, or two large turkeys. I don't think I'll be feeding more than 8 people, but my girlfriend is a private chef, so I'm sure she'll use it from time to time. I don't mind tending the smoker. I'd really like to keep it around $1,000, but less would be great - or more if really necessary.

Thanks for the help!
"Baton Rouge happens to be the worst place in the world for a visiting team. It's like being inside a drum."

Bear Bryant referring to Tiger Stadium
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Re: Offset smoker question - new to this!

Postby StanLSU » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:26 pm

marvda1 wrote:stantlsu, where are you located? i just got the old country brazos from academy. it is 1/4" steel and larger for $999. the only upgrade you might want to do is tuning plates or a convection plate, these would still be upgrades from other companies plus you would be paying almost double to start out. horizon smokers has a convection plate for $60 that would fit the brazos or you could get someone to cut you some tuning plates. and you may get lucky like i did, the brazos i bought was transferred from an out of town store. when i went to pick it up, the main grate was a little too long and would not slide into the tracks. well the manager knocked $200 off the $999 and i got the guy who cuts my yard to fix it for $40. seasoned it the next day with a chicken as not to waste the wood and it cooked great. yea, i was looking at the big name cookers, jambo $1999, r&o $3200, lone star grillz $2300 but i have have another money grabbing hobby, two channel stereo and spent $3000 for a pair of $5000 speakers. the brazos is cooking chamber 19" x 40.1, firebox 19" x 20"



I'm in Baton Rouge, but about to move to Austin (lakeway). Thanks for the advice! I hear ya on hobbies...I have a pilots license, have a huge guitar collection, and want to get going with BBQ! I've always wanted a pair of B&W speakers, but I've been happy with my klipsch reference.
"Baton Rouge happens to be the worst place in the world for a visiting team. It's like being inside a drum."

Bear Bryant referring to Tiger Stadium
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Re: Offset smoker question - new to this!

Postby Damon54 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:28 am

Don't even get me started on the Airport "Nazi" @ Lakeway Airpark!


I have acquired an older 1/4" Brinkman Trailmaster that I believe is the same main chamber as your Brazos & am wanting to do some mods to get where it sounds like your headed.

It currently has no offset but I can fix that rather quickly with a plasma cutter. Guess that will be the end of the 75 Year Warranty! Currently leaning towards a square shaped firebox & would prefer the pit to be a reverse flow design.
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Re: Offset smoker question - new to this!

Postby StanLSU » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:38 am

I'm going to be a few blocks from that airport. Was looking forward to meeting some people there - you'll have to give me a heads up on who to avoid. Any rentals there?

The more I look into pits the more unsure I am on what I want!
"Baton Rouge happens to be the worst place in the world for a visiting team. It's like being inside a drum."

Bear Bryant referring to Tiger Stadium
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Re: Offset smoker question - new to this!

Postby marvda1 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:20 am

stanlsu, what did you decide on?
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Re: Offset smoker question - new to this!

Postby Red Farr » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:21 am

StanLSU don't be in a hurry to get one, I agree doesn't make sense to modify a new smoker so it'll work.The guy who runs Amazing Ribs has a smoker grill review, good place to start. If you get something large enough to lay flat a six rak pak to cook you'll end up getting another smaller grill when there's just the two of you.

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Re: Offset smoker question - new to this!

Postby StanLSU » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:14 pm

Just moved to ATX...haven't got one yet. Plan on getting one within a month! Thank you so much for the advice!
"Baton Rouge happens to be the worst place in the world for a visiting team. It's like being inside a drum."

Bear Bryant referring to Tiger Stadium
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Re: Offset smoker question - new to this!

Postby jtilk » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:15 pm

Size and budget will determine alot for you...
BluDawg and Swamp Donkey will tell you that you could always build a UDS for starters.
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Re: Offset smoker question - new to this!

Postby Damon54 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:51 pm

If the Chef / Significant Other is going to be using the smoker extensively you may be well served to step up your quality level!
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Re: Offset smoker question - new to this!

Postby erbeman » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:39 am

I 2nd the idea of a UDS or two. I just started with a build and it looks like you can complete a pretty nice one in the $300 range. If you could care less about looks, and are handy with metal or have friends willing to help you who are, you could make one for around $100. The UDS is going to give you much longer burn times without having to feed the fire, and a more controlled temp than a mass produced stick burner from the sports store. The great thing about a UDS is you make it how you want it. You aren't taking someone else's design and trying to change it to work for you. Once you start getting into smoking and want to do more meats or comps, or just want to move up to a stick burner, you could always drop some bills and get a big smoker from R&O, Big Hat, etc...
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