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Time for an upgrade

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, been lurking on this site for a while and decided to go ahead and register.

I currently have a New Braunfels Bandera smoker and I think I have used it so much I have almost killed it. One good point of advice for this unit is it's not made for transport. This brings me to my reason for posting, I am looking to upgrade to a new smoker.

I don't do competitions as of now but maybe in the near future I might. I mainly do backyard smoking and occasionaly travel to friends houses and setup camp there. I have enjoyed my smoker and really like the design, but I have to babysit it too much and its not very fuel efficient.

Since I have gotten used to the side firebox smokers I'm thinking I want to go back with that, but I have also seen my cousin use the Backwoods Party at Memphis in May but don't want to drop $1200 on one. Rugged and durable is a must because of the few times I take it to other places.

Looking for suggestions and input from y'all. What do y'all use or what would you get for your next smoker?


post #2 of 52
Welcome to the SMF, good luck on selecting your next smoker. II moved your thread to roll cal so that everyone can give you a warm welcome.
post #3 of 52
One thing you will find in offsets is there seems to be a gap between the $150-$250 models & the over $1000 types. Unless you find a good used one on Craigs List, you are most likely going to have to spend $1200-$1500 for a top quality & durable offset.

You asked what I would get for my next smoker? That's easy. A Lang!

post #4 of 52
Welcome to SMF, Lee. Glad you joined us.
post #5 of 52
Welcome to SMF Lee. There's an awful lot to learn here.

Good luck in your smoker research. As for me, I like my CG Super Pro w/sfb just fine - especially after the mods suggested on this forum. However, I'm not planning on doing any competitions.
post #6 of 52
Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks here and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
post #7 of 52
Welcome to SMF -- it's a great place!

I'm still very new, but I read and research a lot. While I have not actually seen a Horizon smoker, they do look like an upgrade from what you (and I) have. They have a backyard model under 800, and another just under $1000. I am pretty sure I read about them first on here....perhaps someone with more knowledge on these can add some help.

Link below shows what they have.


Good luck!
post #8 of 52
welcome to the SMF

check out this guy


his 24 x 36 inch offset is $450 out of 5/16 steel, one guy on this forum got his shipped to chicago for about $200, $650 for the 24 x 48 with a single door and $700 for double doors, he will do most mods you would like for little or nothing most times.

You don't have to spend $1000 + to get a heavy gauge pit

here is the 24 x 36

post #9 of 52
Hello Lee, and welcome to the forums! Glad you joined us. Looks like you're getting lots of good advice. Good luck with your search for your next pit.
post #10 of 52
Thread Starter 
Wow, such great responses. Thanks guys, I will look at all the links y'all have provided and see what I can come up with.

As I said before, I love cooking with my current setup and I have been successful in smoking 6 butts and 2 racks of ribs all at one time. Very challenging to keep them rotated but it was fun, and everything came out terrific.

I am skeptical of the long smokers versus the stand up ones, thinking that the meat next to the firebox will cook faster than the meat at the other end. I guess you could say that I might run into the same problem with a stand up smoker also, and would have to shuffle the meat around in either setup.

Mainly I BBQ pulled pork and ribs. I have done chicken before and am anxious to try a brisket (have one in the freezer ready to thaw). I don't foresee me doing more than 6 butts, but I don't want the smoker to be crowded with 6 in there.

Are the long smokers more favored for home use over the stand up smokers?

Thanks for everyone's input thus far!
post #11 of 52
I'm guessing by long smokers you mean horizontal offsets. Most low end offsets do need some type of baffle to help distribute heat evenly. There are many ways to do this -- metal baffles or tuning plates; water pans, etc.

The higher end offsets like the Langs are reverse flow where there is a metal plate covering the firebox opening that runs the length of the cooking chamber. The heat must travel under the plate & rise into the cooking areas at the end opposite the fire box. The exhaust stack is on the firebox side of the cooking chamber so the air draft pulls the heat & smoke across the cooking grates. Since no direct heat is entering the cooking chamber, the temps are balanced from end to end eliminating the need to have to constantly rotate your meats.

I have an inexpensive offset - Chargriller - & use the charcoal tray in the cooking chamber as a baffle. I can get temps within 10 degrees from left side to right side so I hardly ever have to rotate the meat.
post #12 of 52
Thread Starter 
Yes, I did mean horizontal icon_wink.gif. That makes sense to make a baffle, never thought of that. By reading a few of these replies the horizontal smokers are the way to go then.

I have thought about trying to build one vs. buying one, my neighbor is a welder and has told me I could bribe him with BBQ for services PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif but wasn't sure if it would be any cheaper after the cost of steel to build vs. buy.
post #13 of 52
Jackson to Houston is about 440 miles there are several great Pit mfg in that area, start with Gator pits

post #14 of 52
First off welcome Lee to SMF. It sounds like you are well on your way to be an outstanding new member of this fine site. You'll like it here cause there are abunch of good folks here that would just love to help you out with just about anything to do with smoking. We really like to have newbies here because they can bring in a new propective to how things are done. There's nothing like a new set of eyes to give and new way to make things that little differant to make things alittle better. So I hope you know about the Qview here.
Here's a link to photobucket it's free and easy to download pictures. Then if your really new to smoking Look up the E-course.
It's also free and it will give you the basics of smoking. So after all of that you just need to go grab something to smoke and if you have any question just post them here and we will answer it quickly so you don't have any mishaps with your smoke.
Welcome To Your New Addiction
post #15 of 52
Thread Starter 
@ deltadude I like the way the 2nd pic looks. I'll check out that site you linked this evening and see what they have to offer.

@ balli Thanks for the welcome! I have been using my current smoker for about 3 years now and have learned all the quirks on it (esp. cooking in cold weather).

Next time I pull my smoker out to cook I'll grab the camera and snap some pictures for y'all.
post #16 of 52
Welcome to the SMF forum, You came to the right place. Good people and good info.
post #17 of 52

Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us. This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

For Those of you New to Smoking, be sure to check out Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.
Click Here it's "FREE" ... 5 Day eCourse

I Would Highly Suggest Reading these posts on Food Safety by bbally.

This thread will tell you basically everything you need to know and the man explaining it is
both a ServSafe Instructor and a HACCP Instructor.


Here you can get the 2009 USDA Food Safety Guide from his site.

How to post Qview to Forum:

When you uploading to Photobucket I always use the Large IMG setting, 640 x 480 it is a nice size...

Everyone here enjoys seeing the Qview so be sure to post plenty of pics...

Large ones that us old people with bad eyes can see.

For Step By Step Instructions On Posting Qview Check Out This Tutorial

post #18 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for the warm welcomes! Still trying to decide what I want to upgrade to :D decisions, decisions, decisions!
post #19 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, was looking around and I know cheaper isn't always better, but at the current time I'm not sure I can / want to drop $800+ into a smoker. I am sure in the long run I will regret doing it, but what are opinions of the New Braunfels smokers from Academy Sports?

Here is a link for one I looked at on their site but haven't looked at the store yet. Seems to be heavy duty, but I know you get what you pay for too.
post #20 of 52
I'm not able to reach the bellfab web page. Anyone else having this problem?
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