investigating a stick burner

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el luchador
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investigating a stick burner

Postby el luchador » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:23 pm

Hi all,

I threw away my POS (pitiful offset smoker) after many years of wasting fuel due to leaks everywhere and just an unpleasant cooking experience. not holding temps etc

after a lot of research I built an ugly drum smoker. as far as cooking goes it is essentially perfect. its almost as easy to get going as my oven. it uses almost no fuel, keeps temps steady, makes great tasting Q, and its even on the internet via a heatermeter so I can check or set my temps from anywhere via my phone or laptop.

however, Ive noticed that the smoke flavor is lighter than what I would expect. Maybe I got used to the taste of Creosote from my old POS. the food tastes great, its just everytime I take that first bite I get that feeling of a very light but good smoke flavor. I usually throw about three hickory chunks on the coals. I dont want to do anymore for fear of the creosote taste since the uds does not use a roaring fire.

So Im looking at options for a stick burner. I dont want to spend too much since I may not use it too often. I would prefer to buy used but if you have looked at Dallas Craigslist you will note that sellers are very proud of their stuff and ask near new prices.

my budget is $500 so here are my questions.

1. at $500 for an offset am I throwing money away?
2. Ive been looking seriously at the old country pecos smoker at Academy-anyone have any experience with this?
3. most important question- does a clean burning, thin blue smoke, stick burner, impart a smokier flavor than a charcoal burner? or am I going to spend my money only to get the exact same flavor as the uds.

THANKS guys.
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby GRailsback » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:13 pm

If you looking for opinions, mine is to buy a quality offset smoker and be done with it. One that will last a lifetime. No matter how often you use it. And quality ones are going to cost a few dollars, as you can tell buy looking at the used ones.
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby el luchador » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:16 pm

GRailsback wrote:If you looking for opinions, mine is to buy a quality offset smoker and be done with it. One that will last a lifetime. No matter how often you use it. And quality ones are going to cost a few dollars, as you can tell buy looking at the used ones.


hi, thanks for the opinion . What would you consider the entry level for quality?
thanks
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby GRailsback » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:33 pm

Of course everyone is different. But I don't consider it as entry level or anything else. If you approach it that way, instead of approaching it as a one time purchase, then you could potentially end up buy something in the 500.00 range, then realize that you really like offset cookers and wish you had got something better. Or you may purchase something the 500.00 range and end up not liking it. But if the latter happens hopefully it won't be because it was a cheap product. If you like it and then want to upgrade then you end up with the cost of 2 of them, versus buying a quality one the first time. One that you could sell and recoup most of your investment if you didn't like it. In your area someone like Johnson smokers would be worth looking at, or in this area, Houston, you could take a look at Lonestar Grilzs or maybe pits by JJ. Or even higher end pits like BBQ pits by Klose or Gator Pits. But at the end of the day if comes down to what you can afford and what you are comfortable with.
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby el luchador » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:58 pm

GRailsback wrote:Of course everyone is different. But I don't consider it as entry level or anything else. If you approach it that way, instead of approaching it as a one time purchase, then you could potentially end up buy something in the 500.00 range, then realize that you really like offset cookers and wish you had got something better. Or you may purchase something the 500.00 range and end up not liking it. But if the latter happens hopefully it won't be because it was a cheap product. If you like it and then want to upgrade then you end up with the cost of 2 of them, versus buying a quality one the first time. One that you could sell and recoup most of your investment if you didn't like it. In your area someone like Johnson smokers would be worth looking at, or in this area, Houston, you could take a look at Lonestar Grilzs or maybe pits by JJ. Or even higher end pits like BBQ pits by Klose or Gator Pits. But at the end of the day if comes down to what you can afford and what you are comfortable with.


thank you for the reply.

what do you look for in a good offset smoker?

thanks
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby GRailsback » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:06 pm

Thickness of the metal, the quality of the construction and performance, and one that will meet your specific needs. Do you have a need to cook for 10 or 12, or for 30 or 40, or even more than that. Because it really doesn't take any more fuel to cook one brisket than it does to cook 5 or 10. You just need to make a determination on what your needs are at this point and what they may be going forward then make your determination on what is best for you. And when it comes to that no 2 individuals are the same. But fortunately there are many options no matter which route you take.
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby el luchador » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:21 pm

Thanks so much for the feedback.
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Chasdev
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby Chasdev » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:08 am

Having owned an Old Country Pecos smoker my advice is to take that $500 and scour Craigslist for somebody selling off a $1000 or higher smoker for that amount.
The Old Country are not terrible but you will struggle with temp control and significant cook chamber temp variations both of which will have you seeking modifications to try to make it run more like a $1000 or higher cooker.
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby el luchador » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:54 pm

Chasdev wrote:Having owned an Old Country Pecos smoker my advice is to take that $500 and scour Craigslist for somebody selling off a $1000 or higher smoker for that amount.
The Old Country are not terrible but you will struggle with temp control and significant cook chamber temp variations both of which will have you seeking modifications to try to make it run more like a $1000 or higher cooker.


thanks so much for that info. I LOVE hearing from people who have used these smokers.

I will keep searching. now, you guys have me thinking of building my own.
I have a 225 amp tig /stick, and a nice Lincoln mig maybe I should get my hands dirty?

I called Garland steel and 4x8 3/16 mild steel is $156 with $15 a cut,
1/4 4x8 mild steel is $194

I can fab but sometimes its better to buy but it seems like in this situation I may just be better off fabbing my own. good deals don't come up on Dallas craigslist often
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby GRailsback » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:08 pm

If you decide to build your own don't go any less than 1/4 in. And make sure you reach out to a the guy on here that is the master at building. He will get you going in the right direction with proper dimensions so you only have to do it one time.
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby Chasdev » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:20 pm

I think the best way to start on the cheap is to snag a retired propane bottle and go from there.
Franklin has some good video on how he built his.
Still think a used one is the best bang for the buck, metal and cutting said metal is getting pretty spendy these days.
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby GRailsback » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:24 pm

Yes, and they are the proper thickness in my opinion. Personally I think 3/8 is the perfect thickness for BBQ pits. But I have seen a lot of nice ones out of 1/4 as well. Either way you have to keep paint on them.
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby el luchador » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:27 pm

GRailsback wrote:If you decide to build your own don't go any less than 1/4 in. And make sure you reach out to a the guy on here that is the master at building. He will get you going in the right direction with proper dimensions so you only have to do it one time.


ok, duly noted. the price difference is not much so I'll definitely go 1/4. 3/8 I think would be way too heavy even if Im building it at my house. Resale would be more difficult I think.

who is this master? I must talk to him. Please share :)
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby el luchador » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:28 pm

Chasdev wrote:I think the best way to start on the cheap is to snag a retired propane bottle and go from there.
Franklin has some good video on how he built his.
Still think a used one is the best bang for the buck, metal and cutting said metal is getting pretty spendy these days.


I agree. I have a lot of wood working and metal working tools but I prefer not to build unless I have to. why spend time doing something if I can just buy it for the same price or maybe a little more?

if you see any good deals, keep me in mind :D
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Re: investigating a stick burner

Postby GRailsback » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:08 pm

el luchador wrote:
GRailsback wrote:If you decide to build your own don't go any less than 1/4 in. And make sure you reach out to a the guy on here that is the master at building. He will get you going in the right direction with proper dimensions so you only have to do it one time.


ok, duly noted. the price difference is not much so I'll definitely go 1/4. 3/8 I think would be way too heavy even if Im building it at my house. Resale would be more difficult I think.

who is this master? I must talk to him. Please share :)


K.A.M. is his user name on here. He can send the pit calculator that you will need for dimensions. If you want to build something that works. Afterall there is a method to the madness.

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