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Bubba Keg/Big Steel Keg question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I posted in a previous thread that I was looking for a new charcoal smoker, and was looking at either the WSM or the Big Steel Keg. I got a lot of replies on the WSM and others saying go with a UDS. I didn't see any comments good or bad about the BSK though. Is that because nobody on here uses it or what?

If I was looking for just a smoker, I think I would go for the WSM based on all of your reviews. The thing is that I'm in need of a new grill and think that the BSK would make a good smoker/grill.

I was also really thinking about the BGE, but similary equipped, I can get the BSK for about half the price.

I would appreciate any info (good or bad) on the BSK.

I can't believe what a hard decision buying a new smoker has become.
post #2 of 11
I have a Bubba Keg, not the Big Steel. There are a few differences between the two but basically the same.

Anyway, I am new to the smoking world and actually looked at the ceramic grills. I decided against them because of the cost, the cracking and most of the accessories you have to buy.

I've had the KEG for about a month now and have made cooks on each every weekend and a couple of times during the week. Everything I have cooked, from smoking to grilling has turned out amazing. Ribs, chicken, butts and ABT's are what I have been practing with. All have been tender and juice. I have rarely cooked using charcoal or lump so there was a learning curve.

The KEG retains heat very well on minimum fuel as I am still on my first bag of lump. The longest smoke I did was about 6 hrs when I smoked a butt. The first weekend I had it, I did an all day cook, off and on for 11 hrs. This was all done with about 4-5 handfuls of lump. When I shut it down at 8 pm, the temps were dropping but was still at 225.

I never cooked on a WSM so I am partial to the KEG. If you choose to buy the KEG, I'm confident you will be satisfied. It all depends on what type of cooking you do. The KEG can do low an slow and also high heat so it is pretty versatile. And you can attach it to your vehicles receiver hitch for easy transporting.

Hope this helps.

I am completely satisfied and it was the best $449 I spent. I would do it again in a heart beat.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Question for you Nola Saints, what do you use for a diffuser (I think that's what its called). Do you use the BGE one or do you use something else?
post #4 of 11
All I use is a cast iron pizza pan. I am in the process of making one that hangs below the bottom grate. On some of my cooks, I have also used a pie pan filled with liquid that i set on the bottom grate. However, that takes up cooking space which is why I want a diffuser that hangs below the bottom grate and it will also act as a water pan and a catch basin.
post #5 of 11

 

I recently bought the Keg too! So far I love it, but I'm having a hard time smoking on it. Have you been able to maintain a temp between 200 and 225 for more than 3 or 4 hours? You said 11 hours, but did you have to relight the lump coals at some point during the smoke? I love the idea of a water/drip pan hanging from the bottom grate! Thanks for the idea! I would love to see a picture of what you came up with. Thanks

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redjeep View Post

 

I recently bought the Keg too! So far I love it, but I'm having a hard time smoking on it. Have you been able to maintain a temp between 200 and 225 for more than 3 or 4 hours? You said 11 hours, but did you have to relight the lump coals at some point during the smoke? I love the idea of a water/drip pan hanging from the bottom grate! Thanks for the idea! I would love to see a picture of what you came up with. Thanks


 

I see your having trouble. Why aren't you able to keep it lit for more than 3 or 4 hours? Can you take a picture of your bottom/top vents when you are smoking? Are you using charcoal? How are you lighting?

post #7 of 11

I'm using Lump Charcoal and have been using a couple of the Webber Firestarters that look like Ice cubes. I'll get the top coals going with intent that they will ash and light the other coals. That's what the Bubba Keg video said to do for low and slow. That hasn't worked cause I have to cut my airflow down to less than 1 on both vents to keep the low temp. Basicly the fire is going out and nothing else is getting lit. I've tried lighting coals in the chimney and then dumping them in but the temp shoots right up to 500 and it's tough to back it down. I'm open to any tricks or sugestions. Looking forward to hear what you do. Thanks

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redjeep View Post

I'm using Lump Charcoal and have been using a couple of the Webber Firestarters that look like Ice cubes. I'll get the top coals going with intent that they will ash and light the other coals. That's what the Bubba Keg video said to do for low and slow. That hasn't worked cause I have to cut my airflow down to less than 1 on both vents to keep the low temp. Basicly the fire is going out and nothing else is getting lit. I've tried lighting coals in the chimney and then dumping them in but the temp shoots right up to 500 and it's tough to back it down. I'm open to any tricks or sugestions. Looking forward to hear what you do. Thanks


 

That's what I do... 

 

Same vents and all. Maybe, you are closing down too soon, and smothering the young fire. From the time you light the cubes, to the time you start closing down the vents, how long is it typically taking you?

post #9 of 11

I would say about 10 to 15 minutes. I usually will let the cubes burn down a bit then I will close the lid. I've found if you close the lid right away the temp shoots up faster just from the flames of the webber cubes. So I let those burn down and light the top couple of pieces of lump coal. Then I will close it and let it rise. When it gets to 200 I start to close it down so it doesn't shoot up where Its hard to bring the temp back. Any ideas? Thanks for the willingness to help!

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redjeep View Post

I would say about 10 to 15 minutes. I usually will let the cubes burn down a bit then I will close the lid. I've found if you close the lid right away the temp shoots up faster just from the flames of the webber cubes. So I let those burn down and light the top couple of pieces of lump coal. Then I will close it and let it rise. When it gets to 200 I start to close it down so it doesn't shoot up where Its hard to bring the temp back. Any ideas? Thanks for the willingness to help!


 

How much lump are you using?

post #11 of 11

I've got a Bubba Keg grill and am about the smoke a pork butt but have one big question - how to get a water/drip pan in place.  I don't have a lower grate but only have i grate that rests on the upper braces.  How do you get a water pan to sit below the cooking grate but up off the coals?

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