Absolute Amatuer

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by moonrabbit, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. moonrabbit

    moonrabbit Newbie


    My name is Jeff, I live in Northern NJ, and I am new to BBQ/using a smoker (I do not have a smoker at the moment, the old one was left behind when we moved). I am trying to gather information on a high quality wood and/or charcoal smoking, I used to have a cheap barrel type smoker with an offset box (not sure if that is the right term) which was incredibly inefficient and didn't retain heat. My goal is to find a good quality smoker and obtain all of the essentials (such as a high quality thermostat) to begin my smoking career.

    Any advice on types and/or brands of smokers would be greatly appreciated. While I would rather not go into specifics on my price range, I am looking for a mid-upper range smoker in terms of prices. 

    I decided to purchase Jeff's Rub and BBQ recipe combo and will be testing the rub later today on my rotisserie with pair of 4 1/2 lb chickens. 


  2. Welcome, Moon! Mid-upper price range could mean anything. What are your requirements? Backyard smoking? Cooking for parties? Catering? Competition Q? Examples of good names in increasing subjective order of cost include:

    Low cost: Weber Smokey Mountain Cookers (I use one and like it a lot),

    Medium: Big Green Egg (some folks swear by them),

    High cost: Lang (reverse flow stick burners).
    bmudd14474 likes this.
  3. moonrabbit

    moonrabbit Newbie

    I will be using the smoker for backyard BBQ's and for occasional parties. With regards to pricing, the BGE and Lang reverse flow are likely candidates. I like the Lang style of BBQ with offset box, but, a supply of the type of wood I would like to use (Apple, Pecan, Apricot) is a concern in the Northeast.

    Is there a high quality digital thermostat that can be used/installed with a Lang type of smoker?
  4. moonrabbit

    moonrabbit Newbie

    One other item of concerns for a smoker is the need to be well insulated due to the cold winters. I'd like to be able to use the smoker year round which was simply not possible with the cheap smoker I had previously.

    Tow additional questions:

    1. Is the gauge of metal used for Lang smokers thick enough to be used for smoking with temperatures between 10-25 degrees?

    2.Is it necessary to modify the Lang smokers to prevent heat loss and if so, what are the recommended mods?

    Thanks :)
  5. I don't yet own a Lang, so I can only tell you what I know based on research, not actual experience.

    You can use a BBQ Guru with a Lang for temp control, but this will require a mod to the firebox to attach the blower fan.

    Lang's are made from 1/4" steel. Should work fine in your winters, but you may want to post a question in the "Wood Smokers" forum to be sure. I've smoked using my WSM in some pretty chilly temps. It works harder and burns more fuel, but can get the job done, so I expect the same for a Lang. Will eat more fuel, but will work fine.
  6. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Meadow Creek makes a nice unit also.
  7. Definitely agree with that. Meadow Creek's list prices are about twice those of a comparable Lang, but include more features and if you have a local dealer you can save on the ship cost for a Lang (which I've read runs about $600).

    You might also look into Backwoods and Stumps smokers, both of which are insulated and hold temps well. They have a very loyal followingm are used heavily in competitions (and win) and are fabled to turn out great Q.

    I'm eyeing the Lang, but also looking at Backwoods, Stumps and some others too.
  8. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If you are considering a Stump style cooker look at Pitmaker units. Have a cousin withone rigged up with a digi q and just loves it. He hasn't used his kitchen oven in 2 years.
  9. Those Pitmaker smokers definitely look pretty sweet. Seem to be more an alternative to a Backwoods style (water) smoker than a Stumps gravity feed, though. Should probbably start a new thread in the Charcoal Smokers forum since I seem to have hijacked this one.

    To get back to Moon's question: Moon, lots of good options out there using different methods (stick, gravity feed, water, etc.) and of varying quality.
  10. Hello and welcome to SMF,  decide what your requirements are for a smoker, that will help narrow your search, then go look at them, ask questions, contact people that have the one you are interested in, If there are any BBQ cook offs in your area, Go  look at the different smokers and talk to the people and you can see them working.  For me If I was going to invest in a Lang, Backwoods, Meadow Creek I would want to see it in action and make sure it suited my needs.

    Gary S

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