Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Any type of purchased BBQ Pit.

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verapx
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Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby verapx » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:50 pm

Hello,
I am new to this forum but have been doing a lot of reading. I have owned a Pitts and Spitts 24x36 and am now have a Klose 20x42, both offset smokers. I used charcoal with woodchunks with the Pitts and Spits but am using the Klose as a stick burner and am now hooked on that. By the way the Klose is built like a tank. I really like the Klose but it's just too small. I am looking at the Pitmaker long sniper or a Shirley Fab 50" elevated straightback with warmer. The 3 shelves being important to me for extended family cooks. I am used to offset smokers and have no experience with reverse flow cookers. I believe the quality on both are exceptional. This smoker will be used the majority of the time in my back yard and will need to be rolled through the yard to the back patio. Any help with this would be appreciated.
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby bsooner75 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:27 pm

Welcome to the forum.

Where are you located? When I was smoker shopping I just put a call out on a couple of forums for anybody that had a pit they would be willing to show me. I wound up driving from Dallas to Belton to see a Shirley and walked away thoroughly impressed . Wasn't able to get one but I sure loved it.

My point is not to tell you Shirley is any better than Pittmaker. I'm trying to say that you need to look them both over for yourself and get input from the owners.

Best of luck!


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Notorious Q.U.E.
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby Notorious Q.U.E. » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:31 pm

Shirley 1000 percent. I've owned four cookers and this thing beats the pants off anything out there. It's a long wait but man is it worth it. I doubt the pitmaker has a 3/8 inch thick wall for the cook chamber. Even though Shirley is the best built, they have NOT jacked up their prices. The wait is over a year for a reason!!
Shirley Fabrication 24x50 Traditional Door (3/8 thick CC and FB) Patio aka "Precious Metal"

"can't you see? Sometimes your words just hypnotize me and I just love your flashy ways. Guess that's why they broke and you're so paid."
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby verapx » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:28 am

I live in Lake Charles, about 3 hours from Pitmaker and 9 hours from Shirley Fab. I'm going to Pitmaker as soon as I have a few days off. I know the Shirley has thicker metal just about everywhere. I was leaning to the Shirley on a modified trailer but that is not the best solution for my backyard.
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby Notorious Q.U.E. » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:24 am

May want to check out the wagon wheel patio Shirley models. My cooker is 1100 pounds and the stock wheels made it a breeze to move over our lawn. We had 3 guys but two could've easily taken care of placement. If we had wagon wheel upgrade with T arm for steering, I could've done it by myself. FYI, the 24x65 Shirley Patio with wagon wheels has bigger capacity than small trailer cookers.
Shirley Fabrication 24x50 Traditional Door (3/8 thick CC and FB) Patio aka "Precious Metal"

"can't you see? Sometimes your words just hypnotize me and I just love your flashy ways. Guess that's why they broke and you're so paid."
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby GRailsback » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:14 pm

verapx wrote:I live in Lake Charles, about 3 hours from Pitmaker and 9 hours from Shirley Fab. I'm going to Pitmaker as soon as I have a few days off. I know the Shirley has thicker metal just about everywhere. I was leaning to the Shirley on a modified trailer but that is not the best solution for my backyard.



If you are going by Pitmaker, swing by Klose and all the other offset builders in town while you are here.
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby Okie Sawbones » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:38 pm

I've seen lots of people complain about the Pitmaker burning hot, hard to keep the heat down. I have no personal experience. :dont:
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby Notorious Q.U.E. » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:49 pm

A follow on is that all Shirley 24 inch diameter builds come standard with 3/8 inch thick steel on the cook chamber. Pitmaker is 1/4 inch. When you think heat retention, you're looking at 50% more thermal mass on the Shirley. I went with upgraded 3/8 firebox and couldn't be happier.

Pure laws of thermodynamics say that you'll have an easier time holding even heat on a Shirley . The drafting is unreal on my Shirley. 12 inch pinwheel intake damper and 6 inch internal diameter smokestack. I can get thin blue smoke even when feathering my dampers to a 25% sliver.
Shirley Fabrication 24x50 Traditional Door (3/8 thick CC and FB) Patio aka "Precious Metal"

"can't you see? Sometimes your words just hypnotize me and I just love your flashy ways. Guess that's why they broke and you're so paid."
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby GRailsback » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:56 pm

I have great flow in mine. But I also have an insulated firebox.
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby Notorious Q.U.E. » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:20 pm

Insulated has got to be nice on a Klose. I'm sure that it's real deal 1/4 inch, thick insulation, sandwiched between 2nd 1/4 inch plate. On a long cook Grailsback, how often do you have to add a stick to maintain temp? I'm ideally every 40 minutes
Shirley Fabrication 24x50 Traditional Door (3/8 thick CC and FB) Patio aka "Precious Metal"

"can't you see? Sometimes your words just hypnotize me and I just love your flashy ways. Guess that's why they broke and you're so paid."
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby verapx » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:31 pm

Notorious Q.U.E. wrote:A follow on is that all Shirley 24 inch diameter builds come standard with 3/8 inch thick steel on the cook chamber. Pitmaker is 1/4 inch. When you think heat retention, you're looking at 50% more thermal mass on the Shirley. I went with upgraded 3/8 firebox and couldn't be happier.

Pure laws of thermodynamics say that you'll have an easier time holding even heat on a Shirley . The drafting is unreal on my Shirley. 12 inch pinwheel intake damper and 6 inch internal diameter smokestack. I can get thin blue smoke even when feathering my dampers to a 25% sliver.

Would you get the warmer and cabinet doors if you got another Shirley? I do like the CC space that you can get with 3 racks instead of 2. I would like to keep whatever I get in my shop and not outside so it's footprint is important to me.
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby GRailsback » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:38 pm

The insulation is way thicker than than that, probably around an inch and a half or so, and it is bewteen 2 1/4 inch plates. But yes, it is very fuel efficient for as big as it is. I put 6 sticks in it and light the burners. It runs up to about 300 or so on those 6. Then I add the meat when the temp is on it's way down at about 270, and it has a nice coal base at that point. Then yes, it is about every 40 or so, and it chugs along with cool blue smoke from there on out. It is weather dependent though, on some days it may be every 30 or so.

I don't have any experience with a Pitmaker, or those types, but I suspect they are really efficient as well. Nor do I really have much time around any reverse flow pits. I have just been raised on steel offset stick burners my whole life. And they still produce great BBQ.

A buddy of mine just did Galveston County this weekend. But he said they didn't hit on anything.
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby GRailsback » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:49 pm

verapx wrote:Hello,
I am new to this forum but have been doing a lot of reading. I have owned a Pitts and Spitts 24x36 and am now have a Klose 20x42, both offset smokers. I used charcoal with woodchunks with the Pitts and Spits but am using the Klose as a stick burner and am now hooked on that. By the way the Klose is built like a tank. I really like the Klose but it's just too small. I am looking at the Pitmaker long sniper or a Shirley Fab 50" elevated straightback with warmer. The 3 shelves being important to me for extended family cooks. I am used to offset smokers and have no experience with reverse flow cookers. I believe the quality on both are exceptional. This smoker will be used the majority of the time in my back yard and will need to be rolled through the yard to the back patio. Any help with this would be appreciated.


Verapx,

I have a fairly good size Klose trailer pit. You can't go wrong by swinging by there and getting yourself a larger back yard model on order. Be the last one you will ever need for the backyard. And see if they will take the one you have back on trade and they may refurb it and sell it. I know they have at times bought back trailer pits and re-sold them.
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby verapx » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:06 pm

I'm going to talk to the guys at Klose while in Houston. I would need larger wheels than the 8" casters that are on mine now. I really would like to avoid having a trailer if possible. If Klose has a solution to make the pit roll on the lawn they go back on my list. I'm not sure about the third grate in the CC either. It may be simpler to just stick with 2 grates. I do want this next smoker to be my last smoker.

Thanks for everyone's help so far.
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Notorious Q.U.E.
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Re: Need help choosing between a Shirley Fabrication or Pitmaker

Postby Notorious Q.U.E. » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:04 pm

Verapx,

I would definitely go with as much Shirley as my wallet could handle. Warmer seems great. Shirley patio models with wagon wheel upgrade would allow you ability to roll over grass. My stock Shirley wheels would be considered upgrades by most other makers. Their website has a mag wheeled 24x65 with hip roof warmer , insulated firebox, and cabinet. That'd be my next level up but family obligations come first!
Shirley Fabrication 24x50 Traditional Door (3/8 thick CC and FB) Patio aka "Precious Metal"

"can't you see? Sometimes your words just hypnotize me and I just love your flashy ways. Guess that's why they broke and you're so paid."

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