Seeking Advice - Horizon 16" Classic v. Big Green Egg

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by mmelrod, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    LOL, just puts efficiency in perspective.  David, i just got my 55 gallon drum today and will be starting the transformation into my not so ugly smoker soon(hopefully not ugly)....very excited
  2. this is a link to my uds build with divorced smoke box.  so far it cooks great. remember to post pics of your build.

    happy smoken.

    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  3. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    best of both worlds? What about a backwoods or pitmaker? I spend too much time looking for my smoker.:)
    neumsky1 likes this.
  5. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    ^^^^^I see we have the king of the pit in this thread.[​IMG].^^^^    What would the original folks say that dug pits and smoked meats over them say to the yahoo's that have to use big steel containers and ATC's?     I wish we all could be [​IMG]  smokers!    lol
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  6. These are great points!

    I have a larger offset firebox smoker/grill - 20" X 40" Indirect Heat Cooking Chamber PLUS 20" X 20" Fire Box and Direct Searing/Grilling Chamber. I can grill steaks/pork-chops/corn-on-the-cob/asparagus in under 10 minutes on the cooking grate in my Fire Box on the same Direct Searing/Grilling Surface Area as a 22.5 Weber Kettle, WHILE I concurrently have a low/slow smoke going on in my Indirect Heat Cooking Chamber with briskets/turkey-breasts/ribs. This allows me to cook dinner while I'm smoking other food for the week. I can also add different aromatic smoke-wood sticks/chunks at different times during a low/slow smoke without having to take anything apart, remove what I'm smoking, etc., as I would with an egg/kamado style cooker. Yet, the egg/kamado style cookers clearly have their own strengths as well, such as being well insulated and weather independent, efficient/economical to operate for small quantities, and flexible for different types of cooking operations (albeit only supporting one type of cooking operation at a time).
  7. I got a chance to use both of these smokers within the past week.

    - The biggest difference I noticed was the amount of fuel / food management. The Egg was pretty darn close to as much hands free cooking as can be desired. This past week I cooked a 6 lb pork shoulder on a standard issue Green Egg and 12 full racks of ribs on my Horizon 16" classic.

    While I am still learning the proper fuel + damper control setup I am very happy with the amount of hands on cooking. I was able to spend ample time with my fellow party goers and produce a solid cook. 

    - Since I personally prefer a bit more smoke flavor to my cook I tend to cook this way for everyone. Some of the party goers prefer less smoke. The takeaway from this cook was that the smoke flavor was spot on. I used a combination of Hickory and Apple stickwood. 

    - damper / heat control was easy enough on both. Obviously the Egg is much easier to maintain heat longer. 

    - cooking space was a huge PRO for the horizon. I smoked 12 full racks of ribs on my horizon. Definitely would have been a challenge on the Egg. 

    Can't think of any other details that stood out. 
  8. [​IMG]
  9. pic from the ribs (posted on the main message board too), the other half of the ribs are on a weber. Just dont have a finished product picture (drank too much to remember to take pics). Working to get pics of the shoulder. 

  10. Looks good.

    Happy smoken.

  11. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    mmelrod , hello and welcome .  I'm not going to try to persuade you either way; I will say that the reason I enjoy my kind of smoking is the necessity of tending the fire ( hands on cooking , from beginning to end.) I will someday settle on a set-n-forget model as Winters wear on me.

    However if you would rather have less "babysitting" in your cooking , I suggest going the BGE.

    I agree they are a great way of cooking ( and would welcome one if offered) , but my love of setting outside with a good Drink ,having a long conversation with a Friend and tending my Smoker , is just the beauty of having a BBQ, whether it is just Hot Dogs or Brisket , the long slow smoking does something to food that quicker methods lack.

    Have fun and as always . . .
  12. pics of the shoulder on the BGE

  13. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    OP. If you are ever down this way (Wilmington) I have a guy you can get some nice seasoned wood from. He has oak, cherry and mulberry all the time. 

    I too have a Horizon, it's a deluxe 20". Been cooking on it for 5 or 6 years, makes wonderful bbq. 
  14. I have had 2 roofs replaced by hail. Since I got my BGE. No damage to the BGE. If you get hail big enough to break a BGE. You have enough damage to your house to cover your deductable. So add the BGE to the claim.

  15. Thought I would provide some feedback on this topic since I've been using the Horizon for going on 10 months. What really drove me to write a follow up was my smoke yesterday. I smoked 3 full racks of baby back ribs. My goal was to cook hot and fast, around a 3 hour cook time. Now I am based in NE Ohio and yesterday was mighty cold. About one hour into the cook my fire went out. I restarted it and again it went out roughly one hour later. Ok so looks like a disaster of a cook right? Well, the ribs turned out pretty damn well and my total cook time, with meat resting time, was just around 4 hours. 

    Ok so after 10 months of using this guy I still find myself struggling to manage the fire to fuel ratio. Definitely just my struggles and less the smoker but I find myself wondering if the hands-off approach the BGE offers is more pleasing.  The flavor of the ribs, fish, steaks, pork, etc. cooked on the Horizon have all been superb. I chalk this up to the quality design and treating it like a cast iron skillet. My in-laws weren't big on BBQ but I have them all loving BBQ now. A lot of the flavor comes from the smoker and its ability to retain flavor from previous smokes. 

    Maintenance isn't too burdensome and rusting isn't an issue so long as you keep it out of the rain or snow. I just spray the inside cooking grates with PAM as well as the internal side walls and door covers. When it is not being used it is covered almost entirely. 

    I have found that having the large cooking space on the Horizon is ideal for my style of BBQ'ing. I end up cooking for 10+ people on average and sometimes BBQ multiple types of meat. For example I smoked 50+ chicken drumsticks on Superbowl Sunday and filled up the entire main chamber. A BGE would not have been able to accommodate all of these at one time, ok maybe the XL BGE. Point being, the large cooking/smoking space is a huge benefit of this style smoker when you're cooking for a lot people. 

    I am looking forward to a full spring/summer of cooking on the Horizon. I suspect I will find a reason to buy a BGE but that is a long way off. 

  16. ryeguy45

    ryeguy45 Smoke Blower

    i cannot see spending that much money for something that small.
  17. ps0303

    ps0303 Meat Mopper

    BGE = Way too expensive. 
  18. urnmor

    urnmor Newbie

    I just recently joined this forum however I own 2 BGEs and have been cooking on the them for over seven years in the heat, the rain and the snow.  Am I an expert no but I can shed some light on two of the questions asked in the initial post. 

    3. If I plan to use this smoker for daily charcoal grilling, does anyone have experience charcoal grilling with either of these? Definitely would like to know if anyone can tell me which one will heat up faster for charcoal grilling too.

    I usually light the eggs about 30 minutes ahead on when I will place the food on the grill.  This gives the temp in the egg a chance to stabilize.  Also be very careful when you first open the egg after it is lit as you can have a flashback.  I use welder gloves  to protect and open it very slowly to allow the smoke to disipitate.  

    4. Based on your experience, what can I expect on-going maintenance to be like, given I follow manufacturer recommendations and use a cover? Does one require more maintenance versus the other?  

    I do very little maintenance and do not have any covers for them.  They have held up very well over the years.  Every now and then I will do a high heat cleaning where I allow the egg to get very very hot to clean the inside and I vacumn when the ash gets to high.  However one must becareful when moving the egg or taking out the insides because they are made of ceramic and can crack easily. After tim the seal between the base and the lid might wear out but I have not found that to be a problem when cooking.  I also use BBQ guru to control the heat for long slow cooks.

    Hope this helps
    jshillin likes this.
  19. neumsky1

    neumsky1 Fire Starter

    Love it!:yahoo:
  20. neumsky1

    neumsky1 Fire Starter

    Love it!:grilling_smilie:

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