Who makes the best stick burner out there?

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by radio, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. radio

    radio Smoking Fanatic

    I'm not all that familiar with the various makers of smokers, so lets see your opinions of who makes the good ones.  Lets keep it in the smaller end of things, say 36"  to no more than 60" and on wheels, not trailer mounted.

    I've done a bunch of searches, but I'm sure I've missed some pretty neat designs and would like to see what all is out there.  I'll most likely never be able to afford one, but there is always the dream of winning the lotto, right[​IMG]
    thatcho likes this.
  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't own one, but after I win the lotto I'll be buying a Lang 48 patio. It's a good mix of being small enough to realistically use regularly in a backyard setting, while being large enough to roast a whole pig or cook for a big gathering. Plus, compared to some of the other high end smokers, they're pretty reasonably priced.

    They have a great reputation, and while I've never used a Lang personally, I've eaten a fair amount of food cooked on one and enjoyed every bite.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
    willham728 likes this.
  3. radio

    radio Smoking Fanatic

    I have a friend in California who was looking for a good smoker, so I suggested looking at a Lang, but the shipping was darned near as much as the smoker!  He has since drug home a New Braunfels and is in the process or cleaning and painting it
  4. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yeah, I guess the shipping is pretty prohibitive. We're down in GA a couple times a year about 50 miles from where they're made so I'd be able to just go pick it up.
  5. radio

    radio Smoking Fanatic

    Guess no one is taking this seriously[​IMG]   I Don't know who all makes great smokers and have found many doing searches, but I'm sure I'm missing some good ones.  I really like looking at the various designs and trying to figure out why one might be better than the other and get ideas for a future build.  Post up who you think has the best stick burner and why[​IMG]
  6. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    in no particular order here are the ones i have heard are good:


    meadow creek




    gator pits



  7. 64driver

    64driver Fire Starter

    Peoria Custom Cookers IMO should be added to the list. I've seen their backyard cooker at some BBQ festivals and I really think they are quality smokers. So much so that I narrowed my selection down to them and Lang for which I want to buy next year.
  8. radio

    radio Smoking Fanatic

    Whoa!  those are some serious smokers!!!!  Notice the humongous firebox and way oversize stacks?  I wonder how those affect the performance of the cookers?  according to the calculator I've seen on here, those are way overkill and could negatively affect performance.  Maybe some of the experienced builders could weigh in on this?
  9. 64driver

    64driver Fire Starter

    Overkill on the size (length) of the stacks? I will honestly say I don't know. The Powerpoint presentation from their website on the backyard cooker says they "experimented" and found that that size yielded the best results. Obviously I don't know enough to argue that point. Even if I went with them, I would ask them to cut those stacks down to no more than 6' total height, since I will be keeping my new toy (whichever I end up going with) under my deck and that's the max height it can be to fit. I just like the option of the dual top/bottom stacks, the insulated firebox, and the adjustable baffle. Lang is a tried and true company, but it's hard to swallow an extra 32% total cost of the unit in shipping. I can actually drive and pick up the PCC, since I have family in the area. But like you, I'm interested in what others with more knowledge have to say about it...
  10. 64driver

    64driver Fire Starter

    Can you possibly point me out to the calculator you're talking about? Seems interesting....
  11. radio

    radio Smoking Fanatic

    The one DaveOmak has in the bottom of all of his posts  http://www.feldoncentral.com/bbqcalculator.html

    I just watched to powerpoint presentation on the peoria Cookers site and would love to have one of them!  I just need to win the lottery[​IMG]
  12. I have a Pitts & Spitts Horizontal/vertical combo smoker with an offset wood box.

    Horizontal cooking surface is 2x4 with a second shelf that is 1x4 (feet).  Vertical has two 1.5x1.5 foot shelves.  (Propane can is for quickly starting charcoal or wood.)

    I've had this for over 12 years and have been generally very happy with it.  P&S are located in Houston, Tx. 

    They use a minimum of 1/8 inch rolled steel for all their pits, it is very heavy duty.  Mine has been used a bunch, and traveled around the world with me and shows no signs of metal fatigue even around the fire box.  Their air inlet is a plate on a bit bolt, you can screw it in closer or open it up - infinite positions and it works very nicely in controlling the temp.  The exhaust is on the top of the vertical section and has a good rain hat.  I've gotten good, stable temps in 110+ hot days in Tucson and in -5 and snowing in Norway very easily.

    I've cooked a truck load or two of briskets, ribs, pulled pork, etc. on this over the years - they come out great.  I had never done real BBQ before I got this - and my first ribs came out wonderful  something about the right tool making the job easier...

    The only downsides:

    1.  The right side of the horizontal section (right next to the fire box) can get 25-50 degrees hotter than the left end - so if you are filling it up, you need to rotate the food.

    2.  it is fully manual - so you have to keep feeding it wood/coals.  It usually takes me about 45 minutes to get to a stable 225 temperature after starting it up, and I need to "feed" it every 2-3 hours or so.

    3.  I find that in really hot weather (which we have a bunch of in Tucson), I don't use it as much as keeping a good set of coals going just makes me that much hotter  - I use my Pellet smoker all the time in the summer and the P&S more in the winter now.
  13. 64driver

    64driver Fire Starter

    Haha, that's why I will buy a PCC or a Lang next year....been saving for quite some time now (They ain't cheap!!).

    Thanks for the head's up on the calculator. You're right in the fact that it seems to be a bit of an overkill. I might call PCC one of these days and ask them why they put such a large firebox on it.
  14. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Check out the Yoder brand, good quality and straight people to deal with. Yoder's are manufactured in Hutchinson, KS and sold by All Things BBQ in Wichita, KS.
  15. radio

    radio Smoking Fanatic

    I like the twin stainless stack option on the PCC cooker.  Neat feature of being able to turn them so the wind doesn't affect their draft, plus, them being at two levels makes for ultimate control.  It would take a lot of trial and error to master coordinating them, but should work like a champ once you do.  "Course I'm far from an expert, but that smoker really appeals to me more than the Lang.  Now if they just made a reverse flow model! (AND i won the lotto;-)
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  16. smokngun

    smokngun Smoke Blower

    Some of my best bbq was done on a Kingfisher Kooker, I had the 36" Kombo. Due to a divorce and moving into an apartment I was forced to sell it. With a water chamber built above the firebox you had the option of filling it and adding moisture to the cook chamber or just leave it empty. It was very well built and would last a lifetime.
  17. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I am really hooked on Lone Star Grillz. They make all the typical vertical and hoizontal offset smokers. But this one has me really excited because it's a combo grill smoker, has a huge cooking surface, burns wood or charcoal, has a ton of options and a small foot print. I would seriously like to get one...JJ

    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  18. Lang and Yoder are two great stick burners. I was going to buy a Lang but changed my mind. I just bought a REC TEC pellet smoker. Great reviews and bad ass looking...They are shipping next week.....[​IMG]...........After I did some research and checked out this unit, I was sold.


  19. got a Lang 60 this June picked it up in nahunta GA. at Lang got good look at 48 inc. and 36inc. model they are all the same basic design there built like tanks (you can will it to your grandchildren) they don't need elect. and make the best BBQ in the world
  20. radio

    radio Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for all the input[​IMG]   From all I've seen so far, the Peoria Custom Cooker would be the one I would get if I were buying one today.  A little pricey, but the materials, attention to detail and the workmanship put them a cut above IMHO.  I mean, what other manufactures puts oil impregnated bushings in the hinges so they don't squeak or bind?!?!?!

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