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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 07-03-2014, 08:48 PM   #1
Militant83
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Default Ok guys help me make up my mind!!!

Ok guys I have been scouring the threads in the comp and Qtalk section trying to make this decision easier but I'm still up in the air on which way to go.I plan on getting a new cooker soon then experimenting for about a year then starting off on comps in the backyard division and working my way up to the pro level. So here is my dilemma.

1. Do I go with one large cooker or two smaller cookers?

2. I know I want to use a insulated vertical and this is where most of my dilemma is. I really like the Backwoods, But have also been looking at brands that are similar in design and construction but are new to the insulated smoker market so there isn't much of a proven track record to go on(BQ Grills & Lonestar Grillz). It's hard to look past the proven record of the Backwoods brand, which is why they are so appealing to me.(I know just because you own a Backwoods doesn't get you wins.)

3. So how much is the cook and how much is the cooker when it comes to success.

4. As far as budget I could probably swing a Backwoods competitor and buy another smaller unit the year after. But If I was able to get the same results out of a cheaper unit then that's more money toward other comp. toys.

I had looked at Humphreys as well but after adding the extra options I would want i would be close to a Backwoods in price and would rather go that route at that point.

So any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance
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Unread 07-03-2014, 09:37 PM   #2
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Unread 07-03-2014, 09:50 PM   #3
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1. You can do everything in one cooker like a Fatboy or Competitor, but a second cooker gives you the flexibility to cook at different temps.

2. You can't go wrong with Backwoods, but the others that you mentioned make good cookers. Figure out what you want, and then look at your budget, lead times, etc.

3. Yes

4. See number 1
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Unread 07-03-2014, 09:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Militant83 View Post

I had looked at Humphreys as well but after adding the extra options I would want i would be close to a Backwoods in price and would rather go that route at that point.
Can I ask why? I owned 5 Backwoods before switching to Humphrey's and I would not go back.
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Unread 07-03-2014, 09:53 PM   #5
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I think you will find Humphreys gives you more than backwoods and they for sure are built like a tank.
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Unread 07-03-2014, 10:08 PM   #6
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Ron, I had originally looked at the Fatboy, but like many threads have said if you think you might need a bigger cooker in the future then get it from the beginning if your budget allows. And catering might be a possibility in the future so the bigger cooker might be beneficial there.

Lead times are not a huge deal for me as in no hurry to jump into things, I just want to make sure I make the right investment the first time. And that I get the best option for the money being spent.


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Can I ask why? I owned 5 Backwoods before switching to Humphrey's and I would not go back.
Being that I have never seen either in person, I'm only making observations on pictures from their websites. The fit and finish on the back woods looks to be more refined. Feel free to tell me otherwise. This is why im coming to the Brethren who might have first hand knowledge of said cookers Since I do not have the capability to get my hands on them prior to making a decision.
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Unread 07-03-2014, 10:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I just want to make sure I make the right investment the first time. And that I get the best option for the money being spent.
Then you would be buying WSMs.
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Unread 07-03-2014, 10:20 PM   #8
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1. This can depend a multiple things. Like transportation, ease of moving a large cooker vs 2 smaller. How do you want to cook? Do you want to run everything at 1 temp or 2 different temps? I wanted to be able to run 2 different temps and like the flexibility of 2 different smokers. I also wanted cookers that I could get in the back of my truck so 2 smaller was the way to go.

2. Lots of different insulated vertical cookers out there. Search for them all and read all the reviews for them all, with everyone swearing to their grave their cooker is the best and see teams killing it with all different types of cookers, then be confused, then over-analyze, then pick one you think will work for you . That is actually the fun part . If you are in position to buy any of the smokers you listed then you'll have fun with any of them

3. It is primarily the cook, but having reliable/quality equipment helps, especially for those starting out. I know it helped me .

4. I suggested rocking 2 22.5 WSM's because they work well, have good room and are inexpensive. You can get 2 brand spanking new for $800 max and that leaves tons of coin for extra bbq stuff and entry fees . If you are starting in backyard that is plenty of room. Even for pro that is enough to cook everything and lots of teams doing awesome on them. Plus if you want to change it up you will have zero trouble selling the WSM's and buying something else .
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Unread 07-04-2014, 12:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fnbish View Post
1. This can depend a multiple things. Like transportation, ease of moving a large cooker vs 2 smaller. How do you want to cook? Do you want to run everything at 1 temp or 2 different temps? I wanted to be able to run 2 different temps and like the flexibility of 2 different smokers. I also wanted cookers that I could get in the back of my truck so 2 smaller was the way to go.

I plan on getting an enclosed trailer to transport them in so as long as I can roll them moving them isn't to much of an issue. And yes I like the idea of being able to run two different temps.

2. Lots of different insulated vertical cookers out there. Search for them all and read all the reviews for them all, with everyone swearing to their grave their cooker is the best and see teams killing it with all different types of cookers, then be confused, then over-analyze, then pick one you think will work for you . That is actually the fun part . If you are in position to buy any of the smokers you listed then you'll have fun with any of them

That's what makes it hard there are so many and the people who do own which ever brand swear by them so its pretty hard to make a decision off of all good reviews.


4. I suggested rocking 2 22.5 WSM's because they work well, have good room and are inexpensive. You can get 2 brand spanking new for $800 max and that leaves tons of coin for extra bbq stuff and entry fees . If you are starting in backyard that is plenty of room. Even for pro that is enough to cook everything and lots of teams doing awesome on them. Plus if you want to change it up you will have zero trouble selling the WSM's and buying something else .
I'm pretty set on a insulated vertical. It gets cold here in Ohio in the winters, having the insulated cooker would make cooking over the winter nice as well.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 01:24 AM   #10
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I used to own a Backwoods Party, and it was a really fine rib cooker. Lightweight too, which is important if you're lifting the smoker to load rather than rolling it up a ramp. Still, my Southern Q gravity feed holds temp better, gets up to speed faster and does a better job on the big meats than the Party ever did.

Track record? Southern Q Smokers won 47 Grand Championships last year.

I really think you need to actually work with a cooker to know if it will suit you, otherwise you're just tossing darts blindfolded. Find somebody who has the models you're interested in and ask them if you can check out their machine by helping them cook at an upcoming event. After a couple hours you'll know if it's the one for you or not.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 04:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
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I used to own a Backwoods Party, and it was a really fine rib cooker. Lightweight too, which is important if you're lifting the smoker to load rather than rolling it up a ramp. Still, my Southern Q gravity feed holds temp better, gets up to speed faster and does a better job on the big meats than the Party ever did.

Track record? Southern Q Smokers won 47 Grand Championships last year.

I really think you need to actually work with a cooker to know if it will suit you, otherwise you're just tossing darts blindfolded. Find somebody who has the models you're interested in and ask them if you can check out their machine by helping them cook at an upcoming event. After a couple hours you'll know if it's the one for you or not.
In all of my research on here I have never came across Southern Q. Do they have a new website their link on their Facebook is disabled?

Thanks for throwing out another option to muddy up my already confused mind..hahah
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Unread 07-04-2014, 07:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
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In all of my research on here I have never came across Southern Q. Do they have a new website their link on their Facebook is disabled?

Thanks for throwing out another option to muddy up my already confused mind..hahah
The website is currently being revamped and isn't up at the moment. The Southern Q Limo which is at the top of their FB page runs $3800 base and if you look at the Limo Elite (the bright green one that is currently on their news feed) its something like $4200 or $4300 with the custom paint job.

The Limo is a gravity fed cooker unlike the Backwoods/Humphreys cookers which are insulated vertical water smokers. Before you pull the trigger I'd investigate gravity fed cookers as well. The best advice was given above: try to find people who own the various cookers you are interested in and see if you can at the very least watch them set it up and operate it.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 07:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtboswell View Post
The website is currently being revamped and isn't up at the moment. The Southern Q Limo which is at the top of their FB page runs $3800 base and if you look at the Limo Elite (the bright green one that is currently on their news feed) its something like $4200 or $4300 with the custom paint job.

The Limo is a gravity fed cooker unlike the Backwoods/Humphreys cookers which are insulated vertical water smokers. Before you pull the trigger I'd investigate gravity fed cookers as well. The best advice was given above: try to find people who own the various cookers you are interested in and see if you can at the very least watch them set it up and operate it.
I wish I was able to get out and see some of these cookers first hand. But my work schedule doesn't allow me to do that unless they are really close or I plan the time off in advance. My weekend is mid week. Im assuming they offer other models as well. I say a youtube interview on their cookers and they showed a more cubed looking model that ran around $2700 they said I believe.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 08:04 AM   #14
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Meadow creek has a new vertical smoker, may be worth checking
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Unread 07-04-2014, 08:22 AM   #15
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It is tough to argue with Backwoods record in winning competitions. As an example, and as I stated in another thread recently, the Memphis in May World Championship, one of the biggest and most prestigious contests, has been won by the same three teams for the past six years with each of those teams winning twice during that time period. Two of those teams, Sweet Swine O' Mine and Yazoo's Delta Q, won using Backwoods smokers. I don't know what kind of smoker the third team, Big Bob Gibson's BBQ who won this year, used.

You can get a Backwoods Party and a Chubby for around $2500. This would give you the versatility of two smokers without breaking the bank and, as someone else mentioned, these models are relatively lightweight and easy to transport in the back of a truck or SUV.
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