Cabinet Smoker Insight.

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SmokinEdge

Legendary Pitmaster
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Jan 18, 2020
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Western Colorado
Hello SMF family.

Looking hard at a large cabinet smoker, charcoal fired, for a small diversion into a side catering gig for as many as 300~ish people. This would be an on again off again kinda thing but need to be able to cook 150-200# of meat at a time. Flying under the radar at the moment but need to think about Health Department clearance at some point.

So I’m dead set on the cabinet style smoker, there are tons of options out there in the size range. I was looking hard at the Southern Smokers Limo as a gravity fed charcoal unit, very nice machine, but then I stumbled onto in searching, the Lone Star Grills large cabinet smoker which has a coal box in the bottom that you can utilize the snake method of charcoal and lace it with wood chunks for something like a 30 hour burn, that’s way longer than I need but it’s nice to have options. Plus it has a built in water pan, which in my dry desert climate would be a plus.

Just asking for experience with the chute style cooker versus the coal basket in bottom on a large cabinet. I’ll buy once and cry once, but want a good system. I have zero experience with these type of smokers, although I’ve cooked on almost every other style. These look great to me and have the option for adding a Guru or Fireboard for temp control. Any insight or recommendations are very much appreciated. This is a big purchase, so I want to be right as can be.

https://lonestargrillz.com/collecti...large-insulated-cabinet?variant=8162459779176


https://www.atlantabbqstore.com/products/southern-q-limo


What says your sage advice? And thank you for any and all feed back.

Eric.
 
I owned the lonestar for a short time. It was just too heavy for my old self..It cooked awesome and is built like a tank. Great owners @ lonestar and awesome customer service. Good luck which ever way you go.👍👍
 
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I owned the lonestar for a short time. It was just too heavy for my old self..It cooked awesome and is built like a tank. Great owners @ lonestar and awesome customer service. Good luck which ever way you go.👍👍
They offer an “off road cart” with pneumatic wheels, but I can build that myself. It’s a pig of a cooker, right around 1000#, it’s no joke of a cooker.
 
I think you'd be extremely happy with either of those choices Eric. Judging by what I saw on the video and read on their web-sites. I think I'd lean more towards the Lone Star. Filling a drawer seems easier than pouring charcoal down a chute. Also It looks like you could use small splits in the firebox. My only concern would be how much of an added cost would some of the extras be. The shelf should have been a standard feature and not an added accessory.

I have zero experience cooking on anything even remotely close to those smokers. So my opinion is just my observations. Best of luck in your decision and new adventure.

Chris
 
I 100% stand behind 270 Smokers as one of the finest charcoal cabinet units out there. Unique design promotes convection air flow. Nice you get temp dialed in it will hold temp for 8-12 hours or more on a basket of coal and wood chunks. I still love my KC model. The other thing is the owners are just super great folks. I bought mine used Despite that when I was shopping for used and multiple times after they spent time with me on the phone helping me understand and master it. I use it rarely now with the Lang but hold onto it for any needed to do an overnight hands off cook. The design is such that it’s easy to maneuver around too. I think the Memphis model would fit your needs.
 
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I think you'd be extremely happy with either of those choices Eric. Judging by what I saw on the video and read on their web-sites. I think I'd lean more towards the Lone Star. Filling a drawer seems easier than pouring charcoal down a chute. Also It looks like you could use small splits in the firebox. My only concern would be how much of an added cost would some of the extras be. The shelf should have been a standard feature and not an added accessory.

I have zero experience cooking on anything even remotely close to those smokers. So my opinion is just my observations. Best of luck in your decision and new adventure.

Chris
I do appreciate your input Chris. I’m leaning on your side. The cooker is going to be spendy no matter which way I go, but for what I want to accomplish these style cookers and expense are necessary. That bottom coal basket gives me the option to make my own coals from locally sourced wood,( limited to gamble scrub oak and various other hardwood bushes is all, but lots of fruit trees too) seems like a natural choice since I could not use local woods , to any degree, in the Chute style charcoal cabinets. Just thinking out loud.
 
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I 100% stand behind 270 Smokers as one of the finest charcoal cabinet units out there. Unique design promotes convection air flow. Nice you get temp dialed in it will hold temp for 8-12 hours or more on a basket of coal and wood chunks. I still love my KC model. The other thing is the owners are just super great folks. I bought mine used Despite that when I was shopping for used and multiple times after they spent time with me on the phone helping me understand and master it. I use it rarely now with the Lang but hold onto it for any needed to do an overnight hands off cook. The design is such that it’s easy to maneuver around too. I think the Memphis model would fit your needs.
Thank you for the response Jeff. I will look into these cookers for sure.
 
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