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Which one would be more "efficient" and other questions. Lang vs Offset

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am debating whether to save up and get a Lang 60 which is a reverse flow. I hear you need to add a split every hour or temps will drop. loading up the lang can cause it too get too hot as well. 

 

On the other hand i see 250 gallon smokers on trailers for sale. One guy told me that was selling his that he could get a good coal bed going. throw some flavoring wood on and itll hold for 4 hours or so. 

 

I guess i am asking two questions. Which one will in the long run use less wood or would they both be using the same amount as one of you load up and the other you slowly load up. Also is it true that you can load up the 250 gallon smoker and it should hold its temp for more than a couple hours? I am asking this question for future all night cooks.  Any experience from you guys out there?

post #2 of 12

Hello.  The answer to both is yes.  I know I'm sometimes dumb as a bag of rocks but as I read your questions seems to me you are asking the same question two different ways.  I assume you are after a large smoker as the Lang is a good size.  The guy selling his 250 gallon home made smoker will tell you anything to sell his smoker.  Fact is that the fuel consumption on the home made smoker depends on how its made, ie firebox size, stack size, does it leak like a sieve?  If you have an abundance of wood then you can use it as a fuel source, if not you can use charcoal for heat and wood for flavor.  I do have to say your question puzzles me and I'm not sure how to help.  You are buying a really big smoker and then hoping to cut down on fuel consumption.  Isn't that like buying a big 350 V8 4x4 pickup with the old 4 barrel carb and then complaining about it using too much gas.  I mean no disrespect, I am just failing to understand your question.  As just an opinion, if I needed a large smoker like that I would go with reverse flow.  Afraid I can help no further.  Hopefully someone smarter than me will come along with better suggestions.  Keep Smokin!

Danny

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Danny. No offense taken over here. Maybe the way I worded it sounded weird. I am debating does it take more wood to run a lang reverse flow or a 250 gallon offset. I am sure they both take a good amount of wood to keep going.

I also always just start with a chimney of charcoal then maintain with splits from there. The old man selling the 250 gallon smoker used to just use it to sell BBQ at the local bazaar/traders village. Also did some time on the BBQ circuits he says. Seemed pretty honest. He just didn't need this smoker anymore. Probably sized down and not doing all that smoking for bigger crowds thing.

So in all, just wondering which one takes more wood and if I can load the 250 with good amount of wood and take a nap! But the lang is such a beautiful rig.

Thanks Danny for your advice.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

i currently have an old country BBQ Wrangler offset. its a good smoker. Im going to keep it for the days i only need a small batch of meat. I am just interested in upgrading to something that can accommodate more meat. 

post #5 of 12

Hello.  I just noticed you are from back home in God's Country; Texas.  Well, NOW you've thrown the a spanner in the works.  Seems the old man has used this home made rig for quite a few years.  Surely he has tweeked it to get the best out of it.  Without using both it is almost impossible to tell the difference.  I would normally say go with reverse flow but if you can get that 250 gallon for the right price you could convert it.  I would say then it's down to price and manual labor.  Does the home made need a new paint job / or would you like the home made to have a new paint job to protect it AND look good? $ + time.  $ to convert to reverse flow?  That home made may be fine without reverse flow.  I guess what I am saying is weigh up the price, stick a wet finger in the air and then pull the trigger.  Wish I could help more.  Keep Smokin!

Danny

post #6 of 12
I have a lang 84". It does not take very much wood to keep it at smoking temps so I find it hard to believe the 250 gallon homebuilt will be significantly more efficient to the point that you would notice the wood savings. The biggest issue with the Lang and any similar style stick burner is you are going to get the best results with small more frequent wood additions. You can load it up and then choke off the air to get it to burn slower for longer, but that is not going to give you the best TBS and best flavor. Same goes for filling it with briquettes as a heat source. You can do it but you probably won't want to.

If you want set it and forget it, you should look for propane or electric, or add a propane mod to a stick burner to make a hybrid. A straight stick burning Lang requires tending which is part of the fun to some and a chore to others.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Great advice. So, true stick burning will always have to be tended to. Loading the firebox up won't produce the TBS that we shoot for.

That's what I needed to know! How often do you add wood to your lang 84 to keep your smoking temps?

I'm leaving towards the lang 60. Do you have any hot spots on your lang? I sometimes would like to use the hot spot to throw some chicken on that spot while I have other stuff at other places
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Danny, I don't think I want to build anything myself. Wouldn't be the best of situations haha
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisher6688 View Post

Great advice. So, true stick burning will always have to be tended to. Loading the firebox up won't produce the TBS that we shoot for.

That's what I needed to know! How often do you add wood to your lang 84 to keep your smoking temps?

I'm leaving towards the lang 60. Do you have any hot spots on your lang? I sometimes would like to use the hot spot to throw some chicken on that spot while I have other stuff at other places

Those are a couple of loaded questions!

How often I have to add wood depends on target temp, outside temp, kind of wood, how well seasoned, how good of a base fire I have and so forth. Generally 45-90 minutes give or take.

I have generally learned how to eliminate any hotspots and can get an even temp within 5 degrees end to end...OR...you can get one end to run about 25-35 degrees warmer than the other. The best way to control the hotspot is to manage your fire so you can keep air flow at max, and also bias the fire toward the door end of the fire box. You can also put a water tray on top of the fire box or tip the nose up and pour some apple juice or water inside the main chamber on the reverse flow plate. I also often keep a cast iron pot with water in the fire box.

If the wood is over seasoned, fire too close to the rear of the box etc. you will get more heat at the fire box end, but I might make use of that to cook briskets at a higher temp than pork shoulders that are sharing a smoke bath. If you get the trailer model rather than the patio, the nose jack allows you to adjust the angle and that helps control the heat balance as well. Nose it down and the fire box end will usually get hotter. It seems like a simple machine but there are a ton of ways you can tinker with things to get it to behave the way you want. It just takes practice and some experimentation.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

great tips. and the lang 84 is a very nice rig

post #11 of 12
If I can figure this out, I cleaned out the Lang today in prep for a cold smoke and took some pics of my temps. The thermometer with the heat shield on the right is the fire box/chimney end. The one with the shield at the left is the far end. First set at normal smoking temps, then I ramped it up to 475 to burn off any grease. As you can see, about 5 degrees difference or less end to end over the entire temp range. Hard to beat that!







Now I am cold smoking in it with an AMNPS in the FB. Given the size, amount of metal and amount of airflow, it is running less than a degree above the air temps. By waiting for temps to drop in the evening, I can still cold smoke on a hot summer day. How cool is that? Love the Lang!
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info! Man, I want a lang!
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