My new American Barbeque Systems smoker

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by stabone, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. stabone

    stabone Fire Starter

    Just picked up this American Barbeque Systems smoker to add to my collection. Brand new and paid $800 cash for it. Right now I am cooking on my "Good One" but figured I couldn't pass up the price on this. Retail is $1300+ tax. Now, I should sell them both and pick up a Pitmaker Safe! 

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  2. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hi Stabone!  Never heard of an ABS but it looks nice.

    Would you mind updating your profile to include your location?  Might help us when responding to some of your questions in the future.


  3. stabone

    stabone Fire Starter

    Thanks, Bill. Status updated. The ABS smokers are made here in Kansas. They seem to me to be very similar to the "Good One". In fact, the All-Star that I just purchased is strikingly similar to the "Marshal" that the Good One makes. I'll have to let everyone know how it works out. Should have some pic up of the first smoke this weekend if things go right!
  4. stabone

    stabone Fire Starter

    Update on my ABS smoker. Loaded up 8 racks of St. Louis style this weekend. Overall I wasn't very impressed with this smoker. The temps are all over the place and the damper does not give very accurate control of the heat. I know this was the first smoke and this thing will take some getting used to. Compared to the Good One that I have, there is no comparison in my opinion. Maybe it's just because I know the Good One much better and have figured out what setup works the best for me. Glad I only paid $800 bucks for this thing. I would be severely disappointed had I paid retail price. 

    One thing I noticed right from the start is how off the stock thermo is. The temp on my Maverick was reading at least 75 degrees hotter. Overall I just don't like the lack of control I have with the ABS smoker. They pretty much copied the Good One but they didn't copy the important things. The dampers on the fire box are janky and as I stated before, the damper adjustment does not allow you to make minimal adjustments. You are really restricted to about 5-6 factory settings because of the way that the designed it.

    The fire in the firebox seems to burn very hot. My wood chucks would catch fire and burn up in no time flat. I really had high hopes for this smoker but so far, I'm not too impressed. I will tinker with it a bit more but can't see myself holding on to this thing for very long.  
  5. hazzo

    hazzo Newbie

    What a deal - is there another one available? Seriously.

    I've been smoking for a few years with my brother in law and now I'm ready for my own. Interestingly, I am focused on this All-Star model and The Good-One. I just went to a BBQ Bootcamp class with Chris Marks of Ace of Hearts/Three Little Pigs BBQ, and really liked the performance of The Good One models. How does then ABS compare? Does it have the same full length damper design between the fire and smoke box like the The Good One has?
  6. hazzo

    hazzo Newbie

    Your 2/19 comments are enlightening. If there is such a lack of control with their stolen design, then it's best to spend the money once for The Good One. We used four different models at class and all were very hands off and stress free with respect to fire box/smoke box control and overall temperature sustainability. 
  7. stabone

    stabone Fire Starter

    Yes, there is a full length damper in the ABS models. I need to add some important information though, as my judgement may have been a bit unfair. I noticed when I went to the BBQ store that there is supposed to be a heat deflector in the fire box. Mine did NOT have one of these. Not sure if it was because it may have been an older model, or it was due to the fact that they didn't put it on when they delivered it. This could be a major factor in why I had the temp issues with my All-Star.

    All the above being said, I did just purchase another model of the American BBQ Systems smoker. This one is called the Bar-Be-Cube. I have heard great things about this model locally so I decided to give it a try. Mainly because of the price point. I have another thread that I started about it in the forums. So far, very impressed with this model. Haven't cooked on it but I seasoned it yesterday and it held temp perfectly. I have high hopes for this one. 

    The Good One are definitely worth the money. I just couldn't justify the spend. For $3000 I'd rather buy a Backwoods. 
  8. hazzo

    hazzo Newbie

    let me know after try again with missing part. I am a month or so from buying. thanks
  9. stabone

    stabone Fire Starter

    Hazzo, I actually sold the "All-Star" model after I used it twice. I just bought the "Bar-Be-Cube" model and it is awesome. Couldn't be happier with this unit, as far as how well it holds temps and cooks. Way better than the "All-Star" in my opinion.  
  10. hazzo

    hazzo Newbie

    Ok thanks. I am committed to getting a Good One by summer. Can't wait
  11. stabone

    stabone Fire Starter

    What Good One model are you going to purchase? 
  12. hazzo

    hazzo Newbie

    Open range model
  13. johnbarclay

    johnbarclay Newbie

    Hmm i think you thought well. you should sale it out.
  14. Nice looking unit. Great to have multiple smokers around the house....[​IMG]
  15. hazzo

    hazzo Newbie

    Four of us BBQ fanatics took an awesome class with chris marks from ace of hearts/three little pigs using good one smokers. best BBQ ever and used basic simple long slow pit methods. good one's were essential.
  16. liketosmoke

    liketosmoke Newbie

    I see your post on your new ABS smoker.  I have been looking for one like that or The Good One smoker.  Would you be willing to sell one?
  17. hazzo

    hazzo Newbie

    Mine is a keeper. Very good unit. I did 4 butts on less than 20 lbs of charcoal. Awesome.
  18. woodyboy

    woodyboy Newbie

    I have been a user of American BBQ systems for about 10 years now. I currently have

    an All-star a Pit Boss and just purchased a Judge. All three smokers perform very well if you know how to work them. I personally delt with the owner Mark Hillman on all three units. He's a great guy and spent quite a bit of time explaining how to get the best performance from each. I would suggest anyone who has purchased an ABS give mark a call and let him explain the do's and do not's of his product. He has a top notch manufacturing facility in Olathe, Kansas. His smokers are 100% made in america with quality american parts and materials.

    Now let me tell you a little about the Good Ones. I have been it there factory/warehouse in north KC more than one time. Mark is a great guy also and very knowledgable in the BBQ world. Many competition teams use the Good Ones smokers. They do perform well. However, since those good old days several thing have changed for the Good Ones. The biggest being the company was sold and production moved to good ol China. Yep, MADE IN CHINA. I personally prefere to prepair my BBQ, the most American food there is on an American made product. But, thats only my opinion.
  19. hazzo

    hazzo Newbie

    Did this help?
  20. mfalto

    mfalto Fire Starter

    I bought an ABS All Star last Dec.    Just starting to use it now that the weather has warmed up.   Do you use water tray in the bottom of yours our just put some water in the bottom of smoke box.  I use two 9 by 12 trays.  I have found the ABS probe in the door to be consistently off 60 degrees from my digital probes so I need to rely on my digitals or add 60 degrees to what ever the ABS probes says.  So for I like it but am just getting use to it.  Any tips for controlling temps at 225.  thanks mike

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