New offset smoker, opinions needed

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Which would you personally pick?

  • Yoder Loaded Wichita

  • Johnson Customs Compact Patio

Results are only viewable after voting.


Original poster
Jan 16, 2018
I have a propane vertical smoker already but I am interested in a new challenge in the sense of an offset stick burner. I am mainly between the Yoder Loaded Wichita with the heat management plate, and the Johnson Customs Compact Patio pit. They are both around the area for cooking space I am interested in (enough for a couple briskets/pork butts) and both have similar features. The biggest difference and the one that is causing me to ponder my decision is that the Johnson has a reverse flow system where the Yoder does not. In your personal opinions, do you think the Yoder would be better for a couple hundred dollars more and have a good heat distribution? Or is the reverse flow of the Johnson more than enough to warrant a purchase? Please let me know your honest opinions and thank you for taking the time to read this!



Smoking Fanatic
Dec 6, 2016
North Louisiana
For $100 more, you could look at the Johnson Rolling patio smoker. It has a removable reverse flow plates- seems like the best of both worlds. Just a thought.
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Nov 22, 2018
Austin, TX
Although I do not have an offset, I can offer some opinion. I have been cooking with solid fuels for many years in suburbia with busy family life.

I agree that a chimney starter is a must for practicality. I will always attempt to plan ahead as much as I can though. I have the Weber ready to go, the starter filled with fuel (charcoal is my preferred) and in position on my gas burner the night before, ready to light for when I get home the evening.

As far as the neighbors are concerned, I have a large wood oven that can create lots of smoke, I regularly use the Weber for smoking and grilling, I sometimes fire up the spit for hours and I have never had a complaint. I have 5 neighbors on my boundaries & live in a built-up area. Maybe I have been lucky?

Other practical things to consider:
1. You will need to close the widows & doors for your entire cooks,
2. Your clothes & hair will smell of smoke and might make your wife mad when you spread this odour to the couch when taking a break during long cooks,
3. You will need to remove washing from the clothesline (as above: angry wife)
4. You may need to leave the air-conditioner turned off if the air intake is in close proximity to the prevailing downwind path of your bbq
5. There may be an increase in dust in your backyard from the ash, mostly when using wood. Be wary of proximity to gutters/ rainwater tanks.
6. Fat & condensation drips, or wayward embers on your deck, pavers or concrete can permanently stain or ruin floors without good surface preparation or prevention mats.
7. Be aware of fire ban days, these limit your available bbq days.

Also, click here if you're interested to read more about offset smokers 2019 reviewed!


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Oct 17, 2014
Gilbert, AZ
I don't see how you could go wrong getting either, the craftsmanship and quality on both seem to be top notch. I wouldn't plan on moving either one around too much, they both weigh quite a bit at around 600lbs or more, +/-. My SW36 weighs 310lbs and that about all I can handle. RAY


Smoking Fanatic
Mar 5, 2019
Everybody has a Lang, Yoder, Shirley or LSG. Johnson makes a fine smoker too but they don't have the marketing and slick website. Really comes down to individual preferences, value between comparable models and shipping expense.


Fire Starter
Aug 11, 2019
Traverse City, Michigan
I suggest that you watch You Tube vids on the smokers that you are interested in.

Most vids show close ups of the smokers. Pay attention to the welds and overall quality. Some of those welds, on certain brands, look like my 8 year old grand daughter did them. Once I noticed this, I quickly eliminated them from my list of prospects, when I was smoker shopping last July.
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