New ROYAL OAK smoker impressions

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by coyote-1, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    Based only on observation, not on actual use. Saw one in Lowes yesterday. Didn't see the firebox, so this is just about the smoke chamber.

    External dimensions, minus the firebox: 40" long x 18" diameter.
    Steel: Same gauge as the firebox of the CGSP, except for the small side door which is thin-gauge. Nice sturdy legs.
    Cooking grates: porcelain-coated.

    The finish looks good. The thermometer looks good and is nicely mounted. And the heavier steel would likely keep things more consistent when smoking.

    The fit of the doors doesn't seem as good as it ought be. Both the main door and the side door were somewhat ill-fitting. Could be just due to lax staff at that Lowes (the CGSP standing next to it seemed rickety, my own CGSP ain't like that), but if the main door in particular doesn't fit well you'd have enough leakage to offset the benefits of the heavier steel.

    So from what I've seen recently:
    - For $159 the CharbroilSilver and Brinkmann SnP offsets have very thin steel for both their smoke chambers and fireboxes.
    - The CGSP's price has dropped to be in-line with those ($99 for the smoke chamber at Lowes and $59 for the firebox). Unfortunately, its manufacturing quality has apparently deteriorated slightly - with difficult to remove football knockouts and ill-fitting doors on the firebox. However, the steel on the smoke chamber is slightly thicker than the above two and the firebox steel is significantly heavier.
    - At $400 for the complete unit, the RoyalOak has good steel but ain't quite a deal. If it were somewhere below $300 it might be worthwhile. For $400 I'd want a main door that fits better, and doesn't flex when you open it.

    My brother-in-law has offered to take the CGSP off my hands for $125. I was seriously considering doing that, and picking up the RoyalOak. Having seen it up-close, however, I'll stick with what I have.

    Just my opinions of course - YMMV
  2. richp692

    richp692 Smoke Blower

    I have one, and have no problem with leaks. The thing works like a charm.
    The only thing close to a mod I have done is use a loaf pan full of water on the cooking grate next to the firebox to block radiant heat form the fire.
    Believe it or not the factory thermometer is spot on compared to my maverick. And it holds the heat well and recovers quickly. The only thing I wish is that there was a little more height in the cooking chamber to do beer can Turkey. But I am thinking about removing to cooking rack and trying it on the charcoal racks. It was a bit more that the other offsets sold locally at lowes and Home depot, but I think it was worth it.
  3. jdt

    jdt Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

  4. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I agree, I almost bought the RO but it truly is not in the same league as a Horizon or any such smoker built with 1/4" steel.
  5. richp692

    richp692 Smoke Blower

    I would have done just that, but I didn't have an extra $700 to spend.
  6. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  7. jdt

    jdt Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    yep, I understand the money thing, I couldn't get the horizon I wanted for the money I had so I had to go oklahoma for a bellfab, one $1000 pit that lasts 50 years is more initial outlay than a cheaper unit but once you replace the cheaper unit 4, 5 or maybe even 8 times in 50 years it evens out, let alone if you spend $1000 on a horizon and cook on it for five years until you get your next pit you can still get $500-600 out of the used pit if its a heavy gauge steel.
  8. richp692

    richp692 Smoke Blower

    I look at it this way, the 700 I saved. Is 700 closer to a lang. In the mean time I have a pretty good smoker to work with.
  9. jdt

    jdt Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    lol, I think the only offset guys not saving for or lusting after a lang have klose or Jambo pits.
  10. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    Replacement is not always needed.

    My brother has one of the old New Braunfels Black Diamond units. The stand/cart rusted out, but the smoker itself is in great shape. So he built a new stand/cart from kindorf! He'll easily get another decade or more from it. Since he got the smoker for a hundred bucks and the kindorf for thirty, his outlay over two decades will be $130.

    I'm gonna preserve my CGSP by not leaving it out in the rain & snow. I fully anticipate getting 15-20 years from it. Gotta say, the legs on the RoyalOak unit look like they'll last a looong time.
  11. papad

    papad Smoke Blower

    I agree. My cheapo Brinkman has lasted me 8 years now and at the rate of deterioration on it, I fully expect to get another 10 years if I sand it and repaint it. Trust me, I have not been taking care of this thing. It is always out in the weather, rain, snow, tornadoes, volcanoes, sand storms, makes no difference, it's out there.

    I don't think that's too bad for the $150 I bought it for.
  12. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    You put it well.
  13. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    and they are now using thinner-gauge metal. Looks like EVERYONE in the mass-produced smoker world is cheaping out. [​IMG] But I guess that, given the current economy, it's the only way to continue to bring these things to market at useful entry-level prices.
  14. Folks I've been smoking for a long time and I use a Char-Griller Pro with a SFB, I liked it so well that this past Father's day Lowes put it on sale, so I went a picked up another one, and on top of that I also have a Treager Pellet Smoker, I have to tell you that it's really hard to beat the Char-Griller Pro, for the Backyard Que'r. and besides we all know it's about maintaing the Temps and the smoke. Also I have had my 1st. Char-Griller for probably about 6 or 7 years now,, So they do last along time if you keep it covered when it's not in use.
    I hope this is some help

    Happy SmokeN'
    Sunny St. Petersburg, FL
  15. forcedsquint

    forcedsquint Fire Starter

    They have yet to show up in my local Lowe's, but the price for the main chamber and the SFB will be $338. I love my UDS, but I'm seriously thinking about picking one of these up. I've been wanting to add more capacity and have a horizontal to "play with". It also helps that I have a $100 Lowe's gift card from last Christmas that hasn't been used.

    With that said, Bass Pro Shops has the Horizon 16" Classic in-stock and on sale for $699. That's a good deal.
  16. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    I ended up getting a Bellfab unit too...with a couple modifications that I had him build into it, so I didn't have to mod it later!

    I really love it, and for $500 plus shipping, I don't know how I could have done better.

    For starters, it's got 1/4" steel for the smoking chamber and 5/16" steel for the SFB!! That will outlast my kids' kids...

    Also, with the baffle that I had him weld in...I don't use any other tuning plates and I get 2-3 distinct cooking "zones" that I can use to smoke different foods at different temps.

    Father's day, I had beef short ribs cooking at 225°, pulled pork at 250 - and a turkey breast going in an area that was around 275°. Not bad...
  17. forcedsquint

    forcedsquint Fire Starter

    What is a Bellfab unit? Is it a Horizon smoker and where did you get it? I don't see anything they offer for $500? Do you have a link?

  18. forcedsquint

    forcedsquint Fire Starter

    Never mind, I found their site. [​IMG]
  19. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Bell Fab . Seems like a good deal, I looked into them also. One major drawback for me was; you have to provide your own shipping which I knew nothing about.

    That's a pretty fair price for the Horizon. I ended up going with a 20" RD special from Horizon and love it.
  20. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Was this done on purpose or is it the nature of that particular design? Can you even the temps out if necessary, like doing a full smoker full of one product?

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