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Going with a Pitmaker. Can't decide between Vault and Safe. Help!

ambassador

Newbie
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Joined Apr 2, 2013
Well after 6 years with a WSM I'm aiming to move up in the world. I think I've decided on either a Pitmaster Safe or Vault but I can't decide between the two. Currently I cook mostly ribs/briskets/pork shoulders for friends and family but we have a big family gathering (60 people) twice a year 2 hours away that I may be cooking for eventually. I do not compete and don't plan to. Thoughts so far are the following:

1: Cost per square inch (Vault)

90% of my cooking will fall into what the Safe can handle and it will be a huge improvement over my WSM. However, for only an extra $600 bucks I can more than double the capacity and allow for huge cooks should the opportunity present itself. If I go with the Safe now I am afraid I will be kicking myself down the road wishing I had just spent a bit more.

2: Transportation (Safe)

Most of my cooking is at home, but should I end up cooking for the aforementioned gathering I would need to be able to move the smoker. Transporting a Vault is nearly impossible without loading equipment or an extremely big ramp setup. (Although the Safe may not be big enough to feed 60 people?)

3: Long term use (Vault)

I'm never going to outgrow the vault and some day when my kids graduate I can use it to feed everybody for an open house or for my parents 60th wedding anniversary and if anything I could always put it on a trailer if I want to haul it around.

4: Efficiency (Safe)

If I get the Vault but I mostly cook a few shoulders or racks of ribs at a time, I'm heating unnecessary space so my lump would stretch further with a Safe. (Although I reckon I use more charcoal with a WSM than I would with the Vault.)

So I feel kind of stuck. Part of me says to go with the Safe as it will meet most of my needs and be cheaper in the long run. If down the road I really feel the pinch and want more space I could opt for a Vault trailer setup. The other side of me says to just get the Vault and consider putting it on a trailer later without having to buy another smoker as I will already have "the big one."

Thoughts? Suggestions? Something I haven't considered? Please help!

Side note: Does anybody know if Pitmaker will put a Vault on a smaller trailer other than the 15 footer they currently sell? I wouldn't mind springing for a Vault on a shorter trailer like Spicewine does with their large. Perhaps somebody out there has already done something like this. Don't get me wrong, I like Pitmaker's trailer but I simply wouldn't need all the extra room.
 

noboundaries

Legendary Pitmaster
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Joined Sep 7, 2013
My dad always told me, "Son, when it comes to buying something, always buy first what you'd buy last.  You'll spend more up front but save a fortune by not having to buy bigger and bigger as time goes by." 

Personally, I'd get the Vault.  If you needed to trailer it someplace, you could always rent an open trailer and a come-along to winch it up a ramp then tie it down securely.    

 

ambassador

Newbie
3
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Joined Apr 2, 2013
 
My dad always told me, "Son, when it comes to buying something, always buy first what you'd buy last.  You'll spend more up front but save a fortune by not having to buy bigger and bigger as time goes by." 

Personally, I'd get the Vault.  If you needed to trailer it someplace, you could always rent an open trailer and a come-along to winch it up a ramp then tie it down securely.    

Thanks for the input. I can appreciate the idea of going big first if that is what I want to do down the road anyways but I'm not set on needing/wanting the Vault if the Safe will meet my needs.  I called today and I'm looking at about a difference of 700 bucks after shipping between the two units.  Anybody have one of these and wish they would have bought the other?
 

relentless1

Newbie
2
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Joined Sep 5, 2016
I have owned Pitmaker Safe for a year now and LOVE it! No regrets.

1. Capacity. Super Bowl I cook St. Louis style ribs for 40. I cooked pulled pork sliders for 150 women and had leftovers. It will hold 8 butts or 4 full packer briskets. Unless you do catering the Pitmaker Safe is the way to go IMHO.

2. Competition. Should you decide to go comp, Pitmaker Safe is MUCH easier to handle, load and transport. Also, you are not cooking for a crowd. My friend has a Vault said he wished he had the Pitmaker Safe for that reason.

You will be happy with either one. Best pits made and customer service is world class. Call Pete, Victor, or George and they will take the time to answer your questions and help you decide the right one for your needs. They care.

My dad always told me, "Son, you are never sorry if you buy the best".
 

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