Pitmaker Vault - Thoughts?

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Grizz
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Pitmaker Vault - Thoughts?

Postby Grizz » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:56 pm

I am seriously considering buying a Pitmaker Vault. Anyone have one. If so, how do you like it. Pro's, Con's. Does it give a descent range of temperatures (doesn't max out at 225F) ?
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And in the end it’s not the barbecues in your life that count. It’s the life in your barbecues. – Abraham Lincoln
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Re: Pitmaker Vault - Thoughts?

Postby Okie Sawbones » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:48 pm

The most consistent complaint I hear/read about is the difficulty in maintaining steady temps, getting too hot. They are built like a tank, and are very heavy, which is a con to some people. I looked at these and Backwoods, then decided to get a pellet pooper.
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Re: Pitmaker Vault - Thoughts?

Postby Tinye11 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:39 pm

Consider this as an alternative.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=26494
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Re: Pitmaker Vault - Thoughts?

Postby TwoGuysBBQ » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:34 am

My First thought?.......EXPENSIVE :(
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Re: Pitmaker Vault - Thoughts?

Postby 1484 FPC » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:17 am

I own a Vault and love it. Mine is mounted on a trailer, so I can't speak for how hard they are to maneuver. Because they are so heavily insulated, they take a while to heat up. I use a weed burner to pre-heat the racks to cut down on that. Once up to temp, the Vault will hold 12-14 hours steady. Definitely a "set it and forget it" smoker... Hope this helps.
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Re: Pitmaker Vault - Thoughts?

Postby txsmkmstr » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:26 am

I don't own a Vault but I do have a FatGirl cabinet smoker - very similar in design and operation. Some of my thoughts about cabinet smokers in general for your consideration.

1 ) Very fuel efficient running on charcoal and wood chunks. For short cooks of less than 5 hours you barely need a chimney of charcoal.
2 ) A weed-burner is a must if you want fast warm-up times - these things can take well over an hour to come up to temp (more if you use water).
3 ) They like to run on the hot side of BBQ temps... mine purrs well at 285* with the top shelf hotter and bottom shelf cooler.
4 ) You won't get a great smoke ring (if that's your thing) without some sort of enhancement - smoke ring does nothing for flavor though.
5 ) They're much less susceptible to weather extremes - rain, cold, wind, etc. - and you won't burn yourself if you bump up against it.
6 ) They operate much differently than a stick-burner so (I feel) there's a bit of a learning curve.
7 ) Having owned a backyard stick-burner, a large trailer stick-burner and now the cabinet smoker I can say the cabinet smoker is the easiest to cook on.
8 ) With #7 said, I occasionally find myself wanting a stick-burner because playing with fire and smoke is an art and mostly fun.

Good luck with your decision and keep us posted.
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Re: Pitmaker Vault - Thoughts?

Postby Grizz » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:09 am

Tinye11 wrote:Consider this as an alternative.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=26494


Looks very similar to what I'm looking at...although I do need more room. I do mostly full packers and large butts and do about 8 at a time.
Jeff
GrizzlysBBQ.com

LSG Vertical Cabinet smoker
Bubbakeg (Kamado)
21" WSM

Grizzlysbbq.com

And in the end it’s not the barbecues in your life that count. It’s the life in your barbecues. – Abraham Lincoln
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Re: Pitmaker Vault - Thoughts?

Postby Grizz » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:31 am

txsmkmstr wrote:I don't own a Vault but I do have a FatGirl cabinet smoker - very similar in design and operation. Some of my thoughts about cabinet smokers in general for your consideration.

1 ) Very fuel efficient running on charcoal and wood chunks. For short cooks of less than 5 hours you barely need a chimney of charcoal.
2 ) A weed-burner is a must if you want fast warm-up times - these things can take well over an hour to come up to temp (more if you use water).
3 ) They like to run on the hot side of BBQ temps... mine purrs well at 285* with the top shelf hotter and bottom shelf cooler.
4 ) You won't get a great smoke ring (if that's your thing) without some sort of enhancement - smoke ring does nothing for flavor though.
5 ) They're much less susceptible to weather extremes - rain, cold, wind, etc. - and you won't burn yourself if you bump up against it.
6 ) They operate much differently than a stick-burner so (I feel) there's a bit of a learning curve.
7 ) Having owned a backyard stick-burner, a large trailer stick-burner and now the cabinet smoker I can say the cabinet smoker is the easiest to cook on.
8 ) With #7 said, I occasionally find myself wanting a stick-burner because playing with fire and smoke is an art and mostly fun.

Good luck with your decision and keep us posted.


I have owned an offset stick burner in the past and now have a 21" WSM and an insulated "Bubba Keg" (same as BGE). I love the way the insulated Keg maintains a good steady temp with minimal effort although it lacks on space. The WSM will fit up to 4 average briskets and 4-6 Butts...but it is difficult to get it up to proper temp and maintain it especially on windy, chilly days. I was thinking that the Vault would solve both those problems.
Jeff
GrizzlysBBQ.com

LSG Vertical Cabinet smoker
Bubbakeg (Kamado)
21" WSM

Grizzlysbbq.com

And in the end it’s not the barbecues in your life that count. It’s the life in your barbecues. – Abraham Lincoln
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Re: Pitmaker Vault - Thoughts?

Postby Rodcrafter » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:30 pm

I'm sure it would solve those problems. But a stick burner with a cabinet above the FB, can give you many more options. You can get the horizontal cooking chamber with cabinet doors, then choose what you want to do with the vertical cabinet. Some examples are here. http://www.shirleyfabrication.com/


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Re: Pitmaker Vault - Thoughts?

Postby bsooner75 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:33 am

Rodcrafter wrote:I'm sure it would solve those problems. But a stick burner with a cabinet above the FB, can give you many more options. You can get the horizontal cooking chamber with cabinet doors, then choose what you want to do with the vertical cabinet. Some examples are here. http://www.shirleyfabrication.com/


Making memories.



I never really thought about using the vertical like a cabinet. Not sure why I didn't. With the added damper and heat shield that is essentially what it is. I see no reason why a basket like the ones used in cabinets couldn't be added for long cooks. Or burn straight wood which most cabinets won't handle.


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Re: Pitmaker Vault - Thoughts?

Postby k.a.m. » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:05 am

My Hybrid is set up to cook about a half dozen different ways with the tuning plates and three exhausts. The warmer sets over my firebox and is connected to the cooking chamber with a slide damper. I run a sacrificial plate in the top of my firebox to help with premature heat erosion. The plate also helps maintain my warmer at about 150°/ 175° unless I open the damper then it rises and acts like a cooker.
The biggest complaint I read and hear from friends that own a vault is lack of smoke ring and flavor difference from that of an offset but really those are minimal things if you are looking to cook in volume for functions or catering and what not.There is actually a pretty big push back to offsets in the competition world to get back to the all wood flavor. They are cooking machines when it comes to cold weather and have to cook a lot of meat.
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: Pitmaker Vault - Thoughts?

Postby Swoff1 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:17 pm

Hello I know this is old post . Just my two cents on Pitmaker vault. Have done three cooks on it. The first cook was a disaster could keep the temp under control. The last two cooks were wonderful. problem way to much charcoal. There ratio of one and a half pounds of charcoal for every 10 ponds of meat works great for me ,as suggested by pitmaker.

I preheat with a weed burner then , lite the coals hook up the stocker and 250 is maintained all darn long . I have not tried cooking with water and I have not used the Diverter plate. I love my vault

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