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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 07-04-2014, 08:44 AM   #16
rookiedad
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gotta put some thought into your overall cook for competitions. temps, times amounts of meat, even what wood you want on what. also weight and space limitations need to be considered. i also might have a different cooker for catering as for competitions as you may be looking for different results from each cooker. as Harry Soo proved, a whole competition can be cooked on a wsm mini with good results. sometimes stealth is better at comps as you can concentrate more on a smaller amount of product. for insulated smokers i think two half pints or chubbys running on a stoker, one with a reverse mounted door so both could open into the work area would be great. even 22.5 wsm with a smoking jacket for insulation would be plenty of space and leave you with lots of extra money..
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Unread 07-04-2014, 10:29 AM   #17
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Lots of great comments here so think carefully. The upside is there are a lot of great cookers out there to choose from.

I don't have a Backwoods or a Humphreys, but I do have a Spicewine and can tell you that it is built like a tank and will last a lifetime or 4. Do yourself a favor and call Spicewine Ironworks and talk with Jay. I know he will be happy to answer all your questions.

A Medium Spicewine has a lot of space and is crazy efficient. These cookers are top shelf so your not going to get away cheap. Remember though, when you are looking for value you need to consider quality, efficiency, and life span of the unit.

Good luck with your choice.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 10:41 AM   #18
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Definitely check Meadow Creek BX 50. I know a couple teams replacing Backwoods with the BX50.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 10:45 AM   #19
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image.jpg. Love mine!
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Unread 07-04-2014, 10:46 AM   #20
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Attached below are a few pics of my Spicewine cooker.
The Large Spicewine can hold a ton of meat and is a really a heavy unit.
My wife bought it for me as a birthday gift several years ago. If I would
have have known, I probably would have bought a Medium which would
be easier to move on and off a trailer at comps.

You can't go wrong with a Spicewine. Do yourself a favor and call Jay before making a decision. You won't regret it as it will be a worthwhile conversation.

cleaned up.jpg
*
DSC01979.jpgAttached
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Unread 07-04-2014, 02:40 PM   #21
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Any thoughts on Gravity Fed Vs Vertical water cooker? Im seeing most recommendations on the water cooker and only a couple gravity fed. Any reason for that or just personal preference?
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Unread 07-04-2014, 03:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Militant83 View Post
Any thoughts on Gravity Fed Vs Vertical water cooker? Im seeing most recommendations on the water cooker and only a couple gravity fed. Any reason for that or just personal preference?
I've cooked on both and you can't really go wrong with either one. There are pluses and minuses to each type.

Gravity Fed pluses:
1. The ultimate set it and forget it cooker: consistent from cook to cook (if you buy the right gravity cooker)
2. Easy to start: light a cube or drop a lit chimney into the chute, attach the fan and walk away
3.

Gravity Fed minuses:
1. Potential for grease fires- varies by company/brand
2. Very heavy and this can limit mobility; it took four or five of us to get my largest gravity cooker out of mud and onto plywood to roll back to my trailer
3. With a small load the food can sometimes get a little dryer
4. Bridging: charcoal can get caught in the chute and not drop down and light.
5. Can run on the expensive side

Vertical Water cooker pluses:
1. Backwoods and Humphreys are very mobile cookers (the Humphreys weighs a little more than a BWS, but it is a better built cooker IMO)
2. Moist cooking environment
3. Temps even side to side
4. Easy to maintain consistent temps on
5. Fairly affordable cookers
6. Convection effect: the reverse flow pattern of the heat along with the radiant heat provides a very even cook

Vertical Water cooker minuses:
1. Cleaning up the water pan/grease
2. A little more work to initially load with charcoal and to re-load; ashes can get in your food if you aren't carefully
3. With the standard BWS the steam from the water can make your bark not set properly (some users will debate this issue). Humphrey's has a solution to this: they have a slide out water pan that isn't right over the firebox that provides the moist environment without all the steam.
4. Temps can get away from you if you don't add water or if you light too many coals at one time

I'm sure I'm missing some pluses/minuses, but this a start that others can add to as they see fit.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 04:42 PM   #23
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Ok so correct me if I'm wrong. But what I'm gathering is from the info provided is when it comes to water style cookers, Backwoods, Humphreys, and Spicewine are top of the line choices. And as far as gravity fed goes Southern Q and Stumps are the top choices.

While there are other good companies these seem to be the top.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 07:21 PM   #24
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I cook briskets, butts and ribs on a Superior SS1 and chicken on a Stumps Baby. I cook at 235 degrees in the Superior and 275 in the Stumps. Both are gravity feed, insulated vertical smokers. Both are very easy to control, set it and forget it. Both hold rock solid temperatures in any weather. Both are excellent quality cookers.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 09:52 PM   #25
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Do you guys with gravity fed like the stumps we own find it hard to add smoke and problems with the charcoal bridging? We have to make a small fire in the ash tray and add wood chunks there in order to get smoke. Not a big deal but that is not a problem with our BX50.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 10:10 PM   #26
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I have no knowledge of using a vertical gravity fed smoker. But having 2 smokers even if the second one is an excellent idea. I cook my big meats at 250. At comps a smaller smoker for cooking my chicken I normally run temps about 350 degrees at grate level for chicken. Temps like that will help crisp up chicken skins for a better bite though skin for the judges.
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Unread 07-05-2014, 12:24 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Militant83 View Post
Ok so correct me if I'm wrong. But what I'm gathering is from the info provided is when it comes to water style cookers, Backwoods, Humphreys, and Spicewine are top of the line choices. And as far as gravity fed goes Southern Q and Stumps are the top choices.

While there are other good companies these seem to be the top.
Don't want to offend anyone here, but I don't know that I would consider backwoods top of the line. The sheet metal used is a little thin, and the seems are not welded water tight, like they would be on a cooker I would consider top of the line like a pitmaker. You do not want it getting wet in the walls were the insulation is. Also, I believe they are significantly lighter than some other vertical cab smokers. It ain't made of aluminum or titanium, so if it is lighter, it is built of thinner materials.

If I were looking at grabbing an insulated cooker like this, I am pretty sure I would go with a spicewine of pitmaker. Don't know much about humphreys, but I would research that too. I am reasonably certain backwoods would not be a consideration for me.

Just my opinion, don't wanna make any BW owners feel bad.
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Unread 07-05-2014, 05:31 AM   #28
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I have been to Spicewine Ironworks' shop and witnessed his operation and his cookers first hand. If I were,in the market, I would not consider anything except a Spicewine. Please do yourself a favor and talk to Jay. I believe you'll be impressed and convinced.

Also, since nobody has said it yet, I will. Build a UDS. (It HAD to be said)
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Unread 07-05-2014, 07:02 AM   #29
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Backwoods are great cookers so are the new Meadowcreek vertical insulated cookers
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Unread 07-05-2014, 07:18 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TailGateJoecom View Post
Don't want to offend anyone here, but I don't know that I would consider backwoods top of the line. The sheet metal used is a little thin, and the seems are not welded water tight, like they would be on a cooker I would consider top of the line like a pitmaker. You do not want it getting wet in the walls were the insulation is. Also, I believe they are significantly lighter than some other vertical cab smokers. It ain't made of aluminum or titanium, so if it is lighter, it is built of thinner materials.

If I were looking at grabbing an insulated cooker like this, I am pretty sure I would go with a spicewine of pitmaker. Don't know much about humphreys, but I would research that too. I am reasonably certain backwoods would not be a consideration for me.

Just my opinion, don't wanna make any BW owners feel bad.
Tailgate Joe is right. If you are looking for a heavy, clunky chunk of metal that takes you, three buddies, and a mule to move, then a Backwoods is not for you.

If, on the other hand, you are interested in winning competitions and turning out top quality que without breaking the bank or your back, the Backwoods reputation speaks for itself.
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