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Thinking about getting a new smoker

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Been reading for weeks now. Looking at a Lang 36 or a 48. There is a used only cooked on a couple times Meadow Creek 120 for sale close by for more than a new Lang also. But his price has been dropping. Today I started to read about wood fired cabinet smokers. Think I ruled that out. Lol..... I have had a treager pellet. Great flavor. Cabelas Pro 100 cabinet pretty good flavor. And have an XL BGE I cook on a lot currently with a guru. I have never cooked on an offset. But if I do get one I think I want to go with a reverse flow. May add a Digiq port for which ever I get. So I guess my question would be..... If you had 2000 -2500 to spend on a cooker what style would you look at? Pellet, vertical wood fire, or offset? And anyone have opinions on the MeadowCreek 120ts? Seems most prefer the Lang over it from my readings. But not many have had experience with both brands. Think I been reading to much, lol.....
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Forgot to add I do cook in extreme temps. -20 f sometimes and in the snow a lot.
post #3 of 7

Have you looked at any insulated vertical smokers, the ones I know of burn charcoal, not wood.  But at -20 it might be a good option.

post #4 of 7

Lots to discuss here. First on the reverse flow set up. I have never cooked on one but the Lang is a extremely popular smoker and it didn't get that way by accident. I came within a hair of buying one some years back. The whole idea behind the reverse flow is even cooking temps across the entire cooking chamber. Nothing wrong with that. But consider this. A standard offset with tuning plates gives you more flexibility. I can run mine at 300 on one end of the smoker and 250 or less on the other end depending on how I adjust the tuning plates. This is great for poultry on the hotter side and ribs or pork butts on the other. It's not quite that simple as the plates work in conjunction with how hot your fire is also. It's a trade off you will learn.

I can also run 250 across the board if I want. Some will argue you get more smoke on the meat with a reverse flow but I'm  not sure I buy that.


I have cooked in below zero temps many times. My smoker is not insulated and I have had no problem keeping temp as long as there is not a howling wind. It takes more wood naturally and a bit more fire tending but once the steel is heated up it runs along smoothly. This is where you need a quality smoker. 3/16 to 1/4 inch steel construction is a must. The thin skinned Brinkmanns and Char Grillers will really struggle in those kind of temps.

With that being said I am having a new smoker built by Arizona BBQ Outfitters located in Tuscon. It is a combo unit on a trailer. It will have a wood fired Santa Maria grill mounted on the front side of the trailer and a 7 rack vertical offset wood fired smoker on the back. Dave the owner and builder is going to insulate the vertical smoker for me at no extra charge. Because of my location and cold weather smoking I do all he wants is feedback on how it works.

So I will be interested in finding out for myself.

Take your time and look around. There are a lot of custom fab shops out there doing excellent work. You are in the game with a $2500 budget unless you want a trailer smoker.

Beware of Craigslist garage built units. A lot of guys out there who can weld metal together but don't have the foggiest idea of what it takes to make a smoker work properly.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Been looking at Lang, Shirley, Meadow Creek and Gator. Going back and forth on the reverse flow vs the tuning plates. Both have thier advantages.......
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok looks like I'll have up my budget alittle. Getting it narrowed down to Shirley Fabrication, gator, lonestar Grillz I think. Been doing a lot of reading. Tuning plate or no tuning plates. Lol..... One thing I saw was one builder had a square front and round sides and back. Kind of wondering how that flows smoke, And some say pull the smoke off the top and some saw bottom grate level. I saw Perori Cookers have a vent top and bottom..... Lol..... I wonder how tuning plates would do with heavy 1/4" mesh a couple inches above. One to even the heat out and two to disperse the smoke alittle....
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Or maybe a plate with 1/4 or 1/2" slots cut into it a couple inches above the tuning plates instead of mesh. Seems like this could be the best of both worlds.....
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