Lang Smokers vs. other Top of The Line Smokers

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by pig-a-liscious, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Mike,

    I am new to the smokingforums as well so it is good to know about the pictures. I have several pictures that I want to post when I was smoking 12 turkeys, some chicken wings and sausage on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I unfortunately can't post them as yet because I have a virus on my laptop that is not allowing me to download the pictures from my camera.

    You are absolutely right about doing your due diligence on selecting a new smoker and I think it does take some time to try and make sure that find the one that you believe is going to be the best for your needs.

    I have looked at the smokers on the ABS website and they look very interesting. I have also been looking at the smokers on the Cadillac website which are rotisserie smokers. I have located someone locally who has purchased a Cadillac smoker and I am planning on going to see it before Christmas and find out how well he likes it.

    I will keep you posted. I will be cooking tonight on the Lang 108 along with other smoker team members doing two cases of butts for a charitable event for the new Bass Pro Shop that just opened in Palm Bay, FL. We are going to feed their 175 employees pulled pork sandwiches and sides tomorrow.

  2. Funny to hear you compare an SQ 36 from Meadowcreek to 48" and up offerings from Lang and whoever. The smallest offsets like the SQ36 are of course going to differ greatly from anything 48" and up. In something as small as the 36, it is hard to not be close to the fire and suffer what you describe as hot spots. Even the smallest charcoal fire will be as hot as the ones on the larger smokers when you meat is right next to it. Where the size of the chamber alone provides room to get away from firebox level heat and in to the zone of low and slow required to produce what you are after. Also lining the pan of any reverse flow with simple foil will add additional protection from too much direct heat so the reverse flow design can work as intended and smooth out the hot end. Unfortunately this site has become a marketing board for Lang smokers. There is nothing special about the cooking ability of Lang over others. Maintaining correct temps is how well you know and use your rig. Thicker steel holds heat longer, yes. But it is up to the user to know how to tend the rig to hold temp. If you are exposed to,wind, fix that! If you are lazy and dont tend the fire, fix that. If you just load up the box with charcoal and let it burn away, fix that. If you want set it and forget it, you maybe wanted a pellet smoker and got caught up in the idea of stick burning from watching too much BBQ pitmasters. Reverse flows require understanding fire control, air flow control through the chamber not just the firebox, heat retension, patience and constant attention. The results are the best you can get though!

    Now if you want a good looking smoker as well as a functional reverse flow. Look at mine as an example. I did not just say it was better at cooking Q. That requires all the above mentioned, experience, recipes and some skill too. There are many out there. Some of the most functional are home built. That takes skill and knowledge that few possess here. Brand aint the answer folks. Common sense solves most questions I see posted here. If you understand the process this food requires to make the good stuff. I wish this board would do a REAL 101's of the BBQ process in a reverse flow so this constant marketing for Lang could be replaced by exchange of knowledge. It would serve the community better! And not just help sell more rigs for Lang.
  3. dba1954

    dba1954 Newbie

    I have a lang 36 patio, i looked at the Meadow Creek T260 but felt that the cost and size were not suitable. The lang 36 has 931 sq in of cooking space compared to 756 in the TS60. The material was 3/16" steel versus 1/4" with weights of 602 lbs vs 425. The lang seems much more substantial, I probably would not out live either of them however. The cost of the Lang 36 with SS grates was $1290 verus $2195 so that weighted heavily on my choice. The TS60 had 2 options that I like, one a lot. The bottom pull-out shelve is a really nice feature, both have a pullout top shelve. With the Lang if you are using the top shelf it's hard to get to the meat on the bottom if you need to baste or whatever. The other option is the ash tray although I put this as a nice to have. As far as people comparing the welds, mine looks great, i think people are nit-picking trying to justify the additional cost. The Lang build quality is very good. If you want to pay $900 more for less space and prettier welds that's a personal choice. If you are going for looks I actually prefer the Yoda's.

       At the end of the day, I suspect both will cook equally as well. It's up to the cook to give it the attention needed for good Q. When I wanted a new smoker my main criteria was that it be a stick burner. I think so by far outperforms the CookShack I also have, although I use that for quick smokes like fish and also for sausage. Since I do not know anyone with a Pellet I really didn't even look in that direction.
  4. nybbq

    nybbq Fire Starter

    I have to say this is one of the most lop sided reviews I have ever seen. You are comparing a SQ36 to a Lang 48 patio. To start off the SQ36 is an ENTRY LEVEL BBQ non RF smoker  and the Lang 48 Patio is a RF smoker, big difference. That’s like comparing apples to oranges. Also the cost $$$ of the Lang( $1900.) is twice the cost of the Meadow Creek($1,050.). So anyone looking to purchase a smoker do your homework when you compare smokers to make sure you are looking at apples to apples. The complete article is nothing but a sales pitch to sway people one way on a product. Uncle Jim, I agree 100 % on your post.
  5. @UncleJim,

    Why don't you???

    I'd love to see what you have to offer!

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
    glocksrock likes this.
  6. I think #29 is going to smoke them all!
  7. dba1954

    dba1954 Newbie

    Originally Posted by UncleJim [​IMG]

    I wish this board would do a REAL 101's of the BBQ process in a reverse flow so this constant marketing for Lang could be replaced by exchange of knowledge."

    I don't think the Meadow creek people want the truth, the truth being that they could have gotten a better smoker for far less money. Now they have to worry about how 'ptretty' a weld is to differentiate their smoker .

    Go Lang !
  8. I think that is a great idea. We are all constantly learning and perfecting our craft of smoking. I would be willing to put my background as a training developer to use if someone was willing to do the camera time.
  9. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    After you get finished comparing different models of smoker you can compare Harley bikes to Yamaha and Honda,  next maybe Chevy trucks to Ford, maybe Mahindra tractors to Green Machines.

    I know one reason for Lang biases on this forum is that they where one of the first, widely available, affordable, quality reverse flow smokers.   When I was looking to buy my RF smoker it was one of very few available in the size I wanted with a good reputation across many forums.   Many of the long time, well respected members of this forum own Lang,  I took their opinions into consideration when I purchased mine.

    The forum has always been eager to discuss different smokers.  Everyone's opinion is appreciated.   But head to head comparisons are always biased.  What one person considers an indication of quality workmanship others consider an expensive, un-necessary detail.   Cooking area is not important if un-even heat prevents it's full use.   Slide in racks are great, if the rails still allow you to get that great big turkey in the bottom rack. 

    Best way to buy a smoker is to cook on them.  Visit your local competitions and see what they use.  Read the forums and see what problems are being reported and how they are handled by the manufacturer.   Ask the people you trust what they like about their smokers.  If you absolutely love to smoke and have the resources price may not be a factor when deciding on what smoker you buy.  If you love to smoke but think paying this month's rent is more important then the differences between two smokers your decisions will be different.

    As far as motorcycles I've never understood the "aura" around Harley Davidson.   That doesn't mean they are not quality bikes, just that I am not willing to pay a premium for "attitude".  I bought a bike that I love for about half the cost of a comparable Harley.  Riders may not ooh and ah when I pass by but I enjoy the ride just as much as they do.

    Hemi?  Why do I need a Hemi?

    Big Green Machine?  My Mahindra can cut grass, turn my fields, pull rows  for about 40% cheaper purchase price.  It's amazing but the neighbor's cows don't seem to know what kind of tractor I have even if my neighbor does! 
  10. I'd have to say I disagree..

    I like quality! I'd rather spend more money and have something more enjoyable to work with, look at, and maintain. From tools, to bikes, to the type of paint I put on my house, I'm going to spend more money for better quality every time. I buy Harley because it's made from better materials, parts are more available as with accessories , and I'd rather polish real chrome over cast aluminum or plated plastic parts. I'll buy a Caterpillar tractor over other brands because it was designed to be rebuilt and will last a lifetime. I'd buy a Meadow Creek over a Lang because I would not want to stare at a ugly design sitting on my porch, etc, etc,

    It's not that I have an abundance of money to throw away, it's that I believe in spending my money smartly on quality products that last longer and have better resale value. Something the Walmart generation just does not get.
  11. You're not buying to make other people happy you're buying to make yourself happy.
    Buy the best that you can afford.
    The "premium" stuff isn't always the best value.

  12. I agree with the part about making yourself happy..

    But pick out what you WANT first, then negotiate price second! If you buy based on price, your just going to spend more money down the road trying to get what you WANT.

    Nobody marries a woman based on what they can afford at the time, do they? If they did, I'm sure alimony is kicking their butt!
  13. I'm talking about purchase price, not list price.

  14. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I look at my Yamaha and my Ford as transportation.  They are solidly built with good engines they get me where I want to go when I want to get there.  I don't get a shiver up my pant's leg knowing that I have real chrome on the bike and I don't have my day ruined when someone drops a set of keys or lays a helmet on my tank.

    I make damn good food with my smoker, I'll bet the main reason is my skills, not some inherent advantage in the smoker.   I just can't imagine Lang being a step down from any other type of RF smoker.  There again, my smoker doesn't sit on my front porch where people leave little comments about it.  It's kept in the garage where it stays dry, rust free and ready to be brought outside when it's time to cook on it.

    Bikes, wives and tractors are not central to a discussion about Smokers.  I just wanted to point out that the decision process someone goes through to purchase a smoker is relevant to the other decisions they make in their lives.  I didn't buy a Klose or custom made smoker because my smoker is a tool and I bought the best tool for the job I do, a job I do pretty darn well if you ask anyone that eats my Q.

    BTW    Anyone that doesn't look at "upkeep" and the practicality of lifestyles when deciding to get married is making a mistake. If you spend your time arguing about money or fretting about when the other one will get home from the bar, life will be miserable.

    Just my opinion,  buy the smoker you want, no matter what anyone on this or any other forum tells you.  If you enjoy cooking on it, that's all that counts. 
  16. dba1954

    dba1954 Newbie

    If the tool/smoker does the same job at 1/2 the price but doesn't have welds that you consider 'pretty' .... who the hell cares. Stop trying to force everyone from justifying your expensive purchase and take it as you bought what YOU wanted and was right for you and realize it might not be right to others.....
  17. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Simple answer  I have kept every smoker I have ever bought.  From the 3 ECBs I learned on to the old style Okie Joe offset I have had for over 20 years to my most recent purchase a Lang 36.  They are tools and each has it's purpose.  Each smoker was a learning experience and a step up in capability.

    Resale value is of no importance to me when discussing tools.  Houses and property, yes, tools and automobiles no.  I use them till they are used up or I tire of them and then I gift them to my family or an employee so they can further enjoy them.  My F150 has over 180k on it, it runs fine and I drive it every day, even with the overpowering dog smell from my co-pilots.  I've ridden my bikes with the rubber side up a couple of times so there goes any resale value on that.  My wife now rides my original Suzi and I ride the newer Yami even with the dents and scratches.

    If you want to buy and sell every 5 years and resale value is an important consideration then by all means buy what you want and baby it.  I bought my last boat before Katrina and have proceeded to use and beat the hell out of.  Every nick, scar, busted hatch latch is a memory.  Every stain is fish blood from the one that didn't get away.  My wife is going to bury me in that boat.  I will never get true value if I have to sell that boat.

    Same way with the smokers,  if you can cook better food then I do with a "better RF smoker" all that means is that I have some more learning to do. When I was young a good friend of mine told me I had to buy this Big Bertha driver if I wanted to be a better golfer.  He never quite understood that playing my own clubs more then once a month would make me an even better golfer.
  18. What he said. Seriously. Every word.
  19. First of all. I don't buy any of them! I build my own , to my own specifications. I take pit building very seriously, and constantly try to improve on design and function. I'll put my pits up against any of these builders, any day!

    Second, Yes, I beat up on Lang! Why? Because I see a builders who has gotten his name out there, and has reaped the benefits from the sales he has received due to the publicity his customers have given him, and has not ( from what I see) put any percentage of that money into research and development or product improvement. Ask yourself why would a manufacture continue to have substandard welds after all of these years? You think hiring cheap labor and having a high turn over might have something to do with it? Why would they do something as shabby as adding a counterweight to the bottom left end of a cooker instead of re-locating the wheels to a better position? Because it was cheap and easy and they don't care about the product anymore!

    Third, why do I promote Meadow Creek smokers even though I have never owned one , nor do I know or have any connection to that company? Because as a builder, and a designer, I appreciate their commitment to quality and product improvement. I have respect for the standards they hold, and it's apparent that they hire and hold onto good quality craftsmen! I am old school American, not of the buy it today , send it to they landfill tomorrow , don't care if it comes from a sweatshop Chinese buying Walmart generation.

    I hold myself accountable to my customers to give them the best quality product , with the best workmanship I can deliver at a fair value. I pay my employees well over average wages. I buy them the best quality tooling, give them the best quality training, and they work in some of the best facilities possible in our line of work. They have twice the benefits that any of our competitors give to their employees. We don't cut corners, put out substandard products, throw a patch on something and sell it to our customers. And still are able to be competitive and profitable, year after year.

    It all goes back to a saying I grew up hearing and seeing all the time, "Quality Built, Made in America", but it's probably been years since I've heard this or seen this marked on a product I've purchased. And it's sad, and it's one of the major reasons this country is having the problems it is today. Too many people want instant gratification , and will buy " cheap" over quality to save money that they never end up saving in the long run.

    I jumped into this conversation because I heard people recommending one brand over another based on price alone. Steering potential customers away from a respectable manufacture that builds high quality products, and towards a manufacturer that has shown to me to only be interested in profits , and has not invested anything into his product to improve quality or design. Why would you want to promote that? Why would you want to be loyal to this company? Where is the logic?
  20. dba1954

    dba1954 Newbie

    OMG ... never owner either and goes after defending one over the other. The Lang is a quality build with a solid design. Buy both, become and expert and we Might listen although you have lost credibility at this point.

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