New Smoker, need opinions, Bubba vs Custom Pits & Fabrication of GA

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by mismith, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. Hey folks, we are ready to step to a larger offset reverse flow for local competitions and catering. We are looking at a trailer model of course and in the 60" cook chamber size.

    We have narrowed down to 2 choices so far. The Bubba a Grill 250R and the Custom Pit & Fabrication A1 standard. I am in NC and have not seen either of these in person yet. I am looking for opinions from folks who have used or own or have inspected these models in person. I like quality but we have to make that dollar stretch to get the best for the price. We have about a $3k budget to work with.

    I know someone will suggest Lang. I like the 60 but there are some quality concerns on the ones I have looked at. I think they are a little over priced too.

    I talked to Lonnie and he is a super nice guy as you all know. A couple things I did not like was the 3/16" fire box and No grate in the box. I know he will do those upgrades but it adds cost. The unit looks great and pretty much is what we are after.

    The Custom Pit of GA model A1 looks good on the web page. I don't particularly care for the cheap looking air vents on the fire box. The fire box is up higher and much larger. They have standard grates in the box. They will also do the 1/4" upgrade on the box for 100 bucks. The cook cylinder is a whopping 3/8" rolled steel. Now that got me interested. It pretty much has the same size cooking area as the Bubba 250R. However the price is much cheaper.

    The Bubba on a 3x8 trailer with no extras is $2600. The Custom Pit A1 Standard on a 3x8 trailer is only $1850 with no extras. With the extras that I want, the Custom Pit is gonna come out much cheaper, even if I upgrade to a 5x8 trailer with storage box. Now I am not gonna just jump on the Custom Pit because it's cheaper. I want some real hard core honest opinions from owners of both if possible.

    We are most likely going to take a trip just to see both in person and inspect them. Unfortunately we do not live close enough to rent one of the Custom Pit A1 and try it out. Thanks in advance for your inputs!

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
  2. buttburner

    buttburner Meat Mopper

    I have seen some posts about some quality issues with the A1 pits, they are online if you search for them. Does not mean they are a bad pit, just what I have read.

    I would call Paul Shirley of Shirley Fabrication in Tuscaloosa Ala. His work is impeccable. I have one of his RF trailer pits.

    His website needs updating as he is very busy building pits. Last I talked to him he has 35 orders

    He is the nicest guy you will ever talk to. Every pit is custom made and the prices are reasonable.

    Here I am with my pit

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    PM BamaFan he has a Bubba and I think he's very happy with it
  4. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Butt Burner has a good point. I have read several comments about quality problems on the Custom Fab. Also, folks have not been able to get in touch with them. It seems that they use contract fab shops in several locations and do the marketing from a store front office somewhere. Have you contacted Craig Bell? I don't know if he will do a RF, worth the asking.
  5. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    Check out Cauble's Custom Fabrications LLC, he's in Salisbury, NC and makes some really nice stuff. He has a facebook page that shows a lot of his stuff, and he's also a member on here. I've seen his posts in the Reverse Flow build section.
  6. Yeh, that's who built the small reverse flow we have now. Great workmanship! However he wants $2795 for just a 48" trailer model reverse flow. I can get the Bubba 250R @ 60" for less. He's just a little too high for us.
  7. cats49er

    cats49er Meat Mopper

    I live up in Vance county NC. There is a place in Ivor Va that makes A1 smoker their web site is phone 757-849-0227. This maybe closer for you to visit. The high mounted fire box was some concern for me,didn't know how it might affect the draft on the unit. I had planned to buy a Lang 48 deluxe after I could not get any feed back on the A1.In the mean time I was waiting for a man to pay me some money he owed me so I could order my Lang.I was search out all the bbq forums, craigs list, ebay,etc  I could for a used one.I didn't find a 48 deluxe,but I did find a 60 deluxe for $2500.That works out to about $700 savings over a new 48 deluxe and almost $1800 over a new 60 deluxe.You can find a good used unit of any make for a big saving if you have time and patients.I'm really happy I got the 60 deluxe, When I was looking for a Lang, there was quite a few on different sites and forums around Charlotte NC.  Good Luck

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