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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 05-06-2013, 05:40 PM   #1
Mahoney86
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Default Reverse flow or standard offset

Im going to be pulling the trigger soon on a new cooker. I want to make sure this cooker is something that I will grow into and not grow out of like my last 3 cookers. Im not really at the comp level yet, but I hope to try one by end of year or beginning of next. I know the pros and cons of both offset and reverse flow. Would either one make a better cooker for comps or is it really a matter of choice? For instance I feel my chicken gets better skin at 300* and I like to cook my ribs and butts in the 250-275* range and this would be easier done on an offset then a close to dead even reverse flow cooker. I appreciate all your input
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Unread 05-06-2013, 07:42 PM   #2
buttburnersbbq
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I cook my ribs, butts and brisket on a reverse flow smoker. I cook my chicken on a WSM , since we use apple wood for chicken and hickory in the reverse flow. It ll depends on what your cooking style . Just like you said there are pros and cons on both. You can get a offset smoker with tuning plates to achieve different temp throughout the smoker. I am partial to my reverse flow and will not trade it for anything. But that is my opinion and style of smoking.
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Unread 05-06-2013, 07:46 PM   #3
Butt Rubb'n BBQ
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Reverse flow all the way if you ever plan on competing. If just a back yarder a offset with double barrel would be fine.
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Unread 05-06-2013, 07:57 PM   #4
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I cook on an offset - a Yoder Smoker Kingman. Helluva smoker and has helped me win some $$
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Unread 05-06-2013, 09:11 PM   #5
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If your interested in a Lang 60 I'm thinking about selling mine. As we are both in NJ it could be a close ride.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 06:26 AM   #6
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Unread 05-07-2013, 06:34 AM   #7
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You need one of each!! Get that Lang 60 from Guido and also buy a Jambo.

There is no one perfect smoker; you need an arsenal.

I love spending other people's money!
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Unread 05-07-2013, 06:42 AM   #8
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All kidding aside, I've cooked on a Lang 84 for 4 years. Awesome machine. This will cause an argument but I'll say it's better for catering than comps.

As I've gotten older, I dont mind telling you that I cant stay up all night like I used to. I can still do it but it takes a toll on me.

In comps, people with Jambo's usually cook hot & fast, where people with Lang's usually cook low & slow.

You need to decide what type cooking you want to do. For catering you need space - cooking surface. For comps you dont need as much space but you need reliable steady heat.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 12:16 PM   #9
Mahoney86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brauma View Post
All kidding aside, I've cooked on a Lang 84 for 4 years. Awesome machine. This will cause an argument but I'll say it's better for catering than comps.

As I've gotten older, I dont mind telling you that I cant stay up all night like I used to. I can still do it but it takes a toll on me.

In comps, people with Jambo's usually cook hot & fast, where people with Lang's usually cook low & slow.

You need to decide what type cooking you want to do. For catering you need space - cooking surface. For comps you dont need as much space but you need reliable steady heat.
That's where my large problem is right now. I am not sure how far or many of comps I will do, hell if Ill even like it but I certainly know I want to try it. I do like to do a lot of cooking and cook for a large group in exchange for a season ticket seat at all NY Giants home games, plus Im hoping to be able to cook for some larger family parties this summer. I know I don't need a huge cooker like an 84, but I also want something I can cook a whole hog on, but at the same time have a cooker I can use every weekend to throw a butt and some ribs on.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 12:31 PM   #10
Butt Rubb'n BBQ
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I would probably stop thinking in terms of using the same smoker at comps as you do at home. I use a reverse flow at comps made out of a tank that was probably 150 gallons and I never cook on it at home. Would be a waste to burn my pecan logs to cook three racks of ribs for my family. You would be better off having one for each.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 12:35 PM   #11
Mahoney86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butt Rubb'n BBQ View Post
I would probably stop thinking in terms of using the same smoker at comps as you do at home. I use a reverse flow at comps made out of a tank that was probably 150 gallons and I never cook on it at home. Would be a waste to burn my pecan logs to cook three racks of ribs for my family. You would be better off having one for each.
In reality you are right. But at this point in time I only have the space and money for one cooker. Im trying to cut back on all my extras and toys as Im putting all that money into a new house, apparently "its time to be a grown up" . Fuel isn't a huge problem for me, I use to have a tree/landscape company and have more oak and hickory than I know what to do with. What I need is a multitask cooker for now, which is why I was looking for something in the realm of 120gallons, not too large its a pain to fire up for a weekend cook and not too small that I have no space
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Unread 05-07-2013, 12:52 PM   #12
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I think you are touching on a bunch of different things. You mention not wanting to "grow into" the cooker, what do you mean by this? What made you grow out of your previous cookers, size, controllability, versatility or quality?

You also mention wanting to use it when and if you get into doing contests and wanting to cook at Giant games which means you need to take transportability into account.

I think that finding something that you can cook a hog on but be small enough to fire up for the odd rack of ribs on a weekend is kind of a tall order. Sure it can be done but thats a lot of cooker to get going for some ribs or chicken for dinner for a couple of people but thats just my opinion.

Lots of people are very successful at contests on a wide variety of cookers, you just need to master the one you are using.

The Yoder Kingman with its adjustable heat damper will give you a great hot spot to do your chicken. Jambo's have a very distinct heat pattern that will give you the same effect and a Lang will also give you variable temps across the grates. The big thing is deciding what you want to spend and what you want it to do. No one cooker is going to be perfect at anything, you just need to figure out what it to do.

FWIW, if you want a Kingman, I have one.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 01:05 PM   #13
Mahoney86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzzlebrake View Post
I think you are touching on a bunch of different things. You mention not wanting to "grow into" the cooker, what do you mean by this? What made you grow out of your previous cookers, size, controllability, versatility or quality?

You also mention wanting to use it when and if you get into doing contests and wanting to cook at Giant games which means you need to take transportability into account.

I think that finding something that you can cook a hog on but be small enough to fire up for the odd rack of ribs on a weekend is kind of a tall order. Sure it can be done but thats a lot of cooker to get going for some ribs or chicken for dinner for a couple of people but thats just my opinion.

Lots of people are very successful at contests on a wide variety of cookers, you just need to master the one you are using.

The Yoder Kingman with its adjustable heat damper will give you a great hot spot to do your chicken. Jambo's have a very distinct heat pattern that will give you the same effect and a Lang will also give you variable temps across the grates. The big thing is deciding what you want to spend and what you want it to do. No one cooker is going to be perfect at anything, you just need to figure out what it to do.

FWIW, if you want a Kingman, I have one.
I meant to write I want to grow into the cooker. When I was younger I always use to buy cheap stuff when I got into a hobby, and would constantly upgrade and make changes which in the long run cost a ton of money and if I would have just went from one cheap item to a top of the line item it would have been cheaper. I went from a Brinkman Propane smoker, to a UDS that a gave to a friend of mine to get him into the hobby and now my Pitts and Spitts cooker. I upgraded because I didn't like the propane obviously, the UDS I liked but upgraded as I want a stick burner and now that I have been using strictly wood I know that is the style cooking a like. I want to upgrade out of the pits and spits because I have started using aluminum pans for during different times of my cooks and space is just an issue, plus I find that this cooker tends to like charcoal cooking more than a wood fire, it is possible as I do it every weekend but its not the easiest stick burner I have used.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 08:13 PM   #14
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I just got a reverse flow that I couldn't be happier with. Night and day from the cheap offset I had before. 60" main chamber and 24 in firebox on a small 10' trailer, easy to pull and just the right size for competition.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 08:30 PM   #15
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I wont go into the competition debate, but the competitions I compete in my Lang 84 is FULL FULL FULL with just ribs and whole shoulders, and we use another Lang 84 for the hog... :-) Anyway, if fuel isn't a big deal to you (it's not for me either), go as large and as sturdy as you can. I've yet to regret the day I purchased my Lang. For smaller meat category comps like KCBS, I have another person help and we shift sleep (staying up all night is a ***** now that I'm older). For KCBS, I *can* cook chicken on the portion by the fire box, but frankly I actually grill them, so I use a Weber silver grill. Like said earlier, it's a style choice. IF I ever have another smoker, I'll replace my existing Lang 84 with another. I've cooked on non-RF offsets, and other RF offsets. I like the Bubba Grills RF too. Frankly, I like the firebox simple design of the Lang...
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