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Daba's BBQ

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Original poster
Jun 24, 2021
340
221
Metro NYC
Some of the offset smokers I see for sale and in folk's backyards are truly amazing! They are huge! But what I want to know is how anyone can afford to spend $2000, $3000, $4000 or more on these things? And given their size, is everyone using them for competitive barbecue? There is no way people are using these in their backyards to make a few briskets, ribs, or pork butt. Just curious.
 
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GonnaSmoke

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Sep 19, 2018
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My first offset was an Oklahoma Joe Highland, about $300 at Walmart back in the day plus mods. I learned to cook on it and still use it today for small cooks, but it simply didn't have enough room for bigger cooks. I started researching and saving my pennies until I could afford my "custom" pit, a TMG Copperhead 52" reverse flow. I do not do competition or commercial cooking, just cook for my family and friends which at times will be 30 or more here at my house.

There is no way people are using these in their backyards to make a few briskets, ribs, or pork butt.
Yes, my large offset is just for my backyard use. Matter of fact, it's rolling TBS right now...
 

Daba's BBQ

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Original poster
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Jun 24, 2021
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Metro NYC
How much did you pay for the TMG? I'm not being a arsehole, just curious since you arent doing competitive cooking? How large is it?
 

GonnaSmoke

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The guys at TMG wanted to make a pit with a full 48" cook surface so this pit is 52" long. It is big and not something that I want to move around by myself. The lower rack is 48"x24", the upper rack is 48"x18". Probably weighs around 800 lbs. or so. I got the off-road wagon package, the fire basket, and I went and picked it up myself. I ordered it in February of 2021 and their backlog was about 16 weeks at that time which has since grown to 32-40 weeks. I picked it up in May of 2021 and I have around $3000 in it, but with the increase in the cost of metal, the price has gone up. I wish now that I had gotten the hotbox, as well.

Here it is at their shop the day I picked it up...
20210516_090930[1].jpg


Next to my OK Joe...
20210516_161633[1].jpg
 

DougE

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Apr 13, 2010
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Richmond,KY
I have the same Oklahoma Joe as Charles does, but I'd love to have something like his TMG, or a Bell Fab offset. I am not interested at all in competition. It's just a fact that pits made from heavier steel perform much better, burn less fuel, and make fire management easier. They are also engineered better; firebox to cook chamber size, stack size for proper flow, etc.
 

chp

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
Sep 30, 2020
108
93
Colorado
Some of the offset smokers I see for sale and in folk's backyards are truly amazing! They are huge! But what I want to know is how anyone can afford to spend $2000, $3000, $4000 or more on these things? And given their size, is everyone using them for competitive barbecue? There is no way people are using these in their backyards to make a few briskets, ribs, or pork butt. Just curious.
I went bigger and heavier for more consistent cooking temperature. I started out, like many of us, with cheaper and lighter options. I learned a lot that way, but I wouldn’t go back. I really enjoy my Horizon and bought it used.
5C5E571B-5277-42AE-B31F-D7FA6FBC151A.jpeg
 

culpepersmoke

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Jan 16, 2010
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Split between Michigan and Texas
Some of the offset smokers I see for sale and in folk's backyards are truly amazing! They are huge! But what I want to know is how anyone can afford to spend $2000, $3000, $4000 or more on these things? And given their size, is everyone using them for competitive barbecue? There is no way people are using these in their backyards to make a few briskets, ribs, or pork butt. Just curious.
I‘m guilty of spending more than that on my offset. Probably twice a year I cook for a large family gathering that will come close to filling it up. Other than that I’ll fire it up just so my wife and I can have ribs for dinner. I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to compete but I have no intentions of doing it. so yes we do use them in the backyard for small cooks.
I love my my pit and if I had to make the decision again I’d pull the trigger again.
 
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ifitsdeadsmokeit

Meat Mopper
Apr 9, 2010
267
33
Hollister Missouri
I also started out with an OK Joe for about $250. Was looking for something bigger and better and found a used 48" Lang patio smoker about 2 years old for $600 from a widow whos husband just died a few months prior and just had to drive 6 hours to pick it up. It makes fantastic bbq. Then bought a lake house not too long ago and needed a smoker for there and went with a new Yoder 640s. How can I afford it? I went to college and became an engineer. I am also very frugal and save a large percentage of my take home pay every month. I prioritize what I spend my hard earned $ on, family, hobbies (smoking and golf), kids college fund. I drive a 17 year old truck and a 7 year old corolla because cars are the worst thing to spend money on. I eat out at restaurants maybe a couple times a month at most. If I cant pay cash or put it on my card and pay off the next month it doesnt get bought. It is all about lifes decisions and priorities. I do find myself smoking more often with the Yoder due to the convenience of firing it up and not having to babysit it. The que isnt as good as off the lang, but it is still delicious.
 

Displaced Texan

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Nov 11, 2020
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Burr Ridge, IL
I was prepared to drop $3200 on a Yoder Loaded Wichita 2 years ago. Then, I ran across Bell Fab, and dropped $950 on what is a comparable, size wise, pit. Quality wise, as good or better.

I had a Char Broil for 15 years. Too small and flimsy even though I made good barbecue in it. Needed a bigger, better quality pit.

You must be on the Offset Smokers of America Facebook group, or someone coincidentally posed a nearly identical question there.
 

sawhorseray

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It's all a matter of priorities. I spent $2200 on my SQ36 and cooked on it about twice a month. It was a solid rig that held temps well, ate a ton of wood. Got rid of it last year, getting too old to want to tend the fire for long smokes. I got a 26" Weber kettle to replace it. Using the SnS or snake method I can still do 10-12 hours cooks without having to lump the 110º + heat here to smoke a butt, get great smoke flavor, not offset, but dammed close. You can get a 26" Weber for around $350. RAY
DSC_0014.JPG
 
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GonnaSmoke

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Sep 19, 2018
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I have the same Oklahoma Joe as Charles does, but I'd love to have something like his TMG, or a Bell Fab offset. I am not interested at all in competition. It's just a fact that pits made from heavier steel perform much better, burn less fuel, and make fire management easier. They are also engineered better; firebox to cook chamber size, stack size for proper flow, etc.
Doug, I agree about the heavy gauge metal. If someone can learn on a Ok Joe, then a heavier gauge cooker should be a piece of cake. When I first started looking, I was looking for somewhere close that I could go look at and pick up. Lang is a little closer than TMG and I probably would have bought a Lang had they just answered the phone or returned my calls or emails. Now I get emails from them regularly, too late. I really like the Bell Fab, but a little too far to go for a visit as are some of the pit makers in Texas that I like...
 

SecondHandSmoker

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Jun 30, 2018
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SE Arizona
Most versatile tool in the box.
Amen!

Ray, I really wanted to take your SQ36 off your hands.
Then the realization of wood supply dashed that idea.
Although I am surrounded by mesquite and one of the world's largest pecan groves is close by, all of that wood is on private, state, or federal land. I used to be able to get a little bit of free pecan wood but that changed over the past couple of years.
The Weber kettle is by far a good alternative to a stick burner.
Plus I can get bags of lump and briquettes for relatively cheap.
 
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DougE

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Apr 13, 2010
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Richmond,KY
My lab mix will lick the ash catcher tray on my Kettle to get the grease that will occ drip down while I'm cooking. And she will get the ashes also. I'm like "gross!"
Jim
It took my dogs a year to figure out that there's a grease bucket on my pellet grill. Now I have to remember to take it off and put it inside the grill when I'm done cooking. I don't so much care that they get the little bit of grease out of it but they knock the bucket off and play football with it and mash it up.
 

sawhorseray

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Yeah Stu, not a lot of hardwood trees grow in the desert. I used to buy 50lb bags of Hickory splits from Cabelas at $35 a pop, go thru a whole bag smoking a butt. Just broke into my last bag of oak a few minutes ago, spinning a couple of game hens later today. Bag should last about a year!
 
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