Comparing Johnson and Lang minimal units for home use

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by powersmoker, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. I have searched for (but not yet found) any information here on the reverse flow smokers manufactured in Ennis, TX by Johnson Fabrication.  I am (or will be soon) in the market for a small reverse flow smoker.  Johnson "looks like" a good unit, and, being in TX, it is more attractive geographically to me than Lang.  Q1: Can anyone here relate any experience with any of the Johnson units?   I am eyeing their Compact Patio smoker at $1375.  I can pick it up myself with a rented trailer all within the space of a day.  Lang, on the other hand, wants $500 to ship its $1295 36" Original to me from GA.  I am not complaining about the shipping cost--these things just cost a lot to ship.  I get around this with Johnson by their being more-or-less in my back yard.

    Also, I am trying to figure out what the Lang size (e.g., 36", 48", 64", etc.) refers to--Lang calls it "cooking capacity."  I originally thought it was cooking cylinder diameter, but this does not appear to be correct, based on photos on their site.  I looked through their FAQs and other information without success to find out what this number in inches actually refers to  Q2: Does anyone know precisely what this number refers to?

    So, two questions (Q1 and Q2) to the group.  Thanks!

    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
  2. weev

    weev Meat Mopper

    500 for shipping holy smokes I was looking into them but didn't realize how much to ship
  3. According to Lang's web site the cooking cylinder on their 36" Patio Smoker is 36"x21.5", so I'm assuming the 36 refers to the length of the cooking chamber.  But someone here that owns one should be able confirm that for me.
  4. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    HI Give Shirley Fab. a look..My 24 x 36 Patio.

  5. phatbac

    phatbac Smoking Fanatic

    Both of those smokers are very comperable as far as i can tell if you can ship for a couple hundred (gas and trailer rental) then that might be the deciding factor. One hidden cost youhave to consider is sales tax. When i bought my lang they told me if i pick it up it would be an extra 7% for tax which is about $90 but there was no tax for out of state delivery. If you pick up a johnson there may be sales tax associated with the purchase. Either one you buy will prob be a first rate smoker. I know the lang will be.

  6. Thank you, Aaron.  The tax angle is a good thing for me to keep in mind.  Even so, I think the shipping for a Lang (or Shirley, which looks nice, too-love the wheels) would tip me toward Johnson.

    As long as oil is selling below $50/bbl, I doubt I will be getting either.[​IMG]  


  7. lonesmoker

    lonesmoker Newbie

    Tommy, did you ever purchase a Johnson Smoker?  I'm looking into Lang and Johnson too and have the same questions.  If so, how is it?  What's the deal with the removable baffle?  Curious if that leaks any smoke?  Also found KAT Smokers in CA.  Looks to be on par with the others but there is a 6 month lead time which is a bit rough.
  8. Lonesmoker,

    No, my smoker shopping is dormant for now, and will likely remain that way until my oil and gas clients begin to want work done again.  I am still eager to gather information on Johnson vs. Lang, however.  I received a PM indicating that there might be more info on this available on the Texas BBQ Forum, since there does not seem to be much response here.


  9. scott m

    scott m Newbie

    my johnson smoker is OK. 

    There is a no refunds, no warranty policy that made me a little nervous.  Because of that policy there was not much of an incentive to really do much "customizing".  If you don't like it, there isn't much of a recourse with a policy like that.  It seems like they sell you a smoker they want you to have.

     Welds and steel are good.  After six or seven uses I'm still trying to figure how how to tweak it for consistent 250F heat. The smoking device is a work of art, but the demonstration at pick up led me to believe they don't actually do much cooking with what they sell.  The device was supposed to be "seasoned" at delivery.  Seasoned is burning off machine oils getting the device up to temperature for a few hours and then cleaning it with cooking you would a giant iron skillet.  It just seemed like there was just a little bit of wood burned in the firebox and that was it.  Not exactly seasoned.

    I like the unit but still need practice figuring out the best way to cook with it.  so far it does ribs nicely and chickens come out OK but watch your temperatures.

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