What does is cost you?

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by fatback joe, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    How much do you figure it costs you in fuel for an average cook?........let's say to cook one butt for this example.

    The recent thread about finishing a butt in the oven and a comment or two on it being more economical to move it into the oven made me think about this.

    As most of you know, that have been around here for a bit, I don't finish anything in the oven as a matter of principle, "what starts in the smoker finishes in the smoker".........but that line of thinking aside, I honestly think that it is cheaper for me to finish in the smoker......atleast in the summer months.

    In the summer months here, I run around $400 a month for an electric bill. [​IMG] If I moved the cook to the oven that would add to it in electric cost by oven usage (which would probably not be much) but it adds to the heat in the house and I can tell a difference in trying to keep the house cool and that really adds up around here.

    Now as far as my smoker goes. I cook damn near everything in my Stumps GF223. If you are not familiar with them, they really are amazing IMO. It takes a bit to get them up to temp, but after that, they stay dead on and hold the heat with very little charcoal usage. I generally use Royal Oak lump since it is readily available and a decent product. I can usually get a bag for about about $5.50..........I probably use about 2/3 of a bag for an average butt cook of around 12 hours start to finish at 250 degrees.................

    ..........so all of this nonsense just to say that I probably spend about $4 in charcoal from start to finish.

    How about the rest of you?

    Especially curious about the charcoal crowd.....but you no good gas and electric types are welcome to join in as well...........stick burners, that goes for you to....except the "no good" part. [​IMG]

    What does is cost you in fueld to cook a butt?
  2. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have pondered this as well. You DO have an advantage with the Stumps... but for folks with the fuel hungry SFB's or folks stickburning without a readliy available cheap wood supply, that's prolly the ones who could benifit from an oven finish. It would prolly take me 1-2 small chims of lump to continue the maybe 4-5 hours to finish on a butt in the WSM. Not terrible... My main reason for ovens is lazyness and repeatability/accuracy of temp control. I have a plug in temp probe interface in my oven, and can set 200° and CLICK... off goes the oven.
  3. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Oh man, that would be cool.
  4. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, a butt cook on the drum takes about 6 lbs of charcoal, so about $3 worth of fuel?
    Gas and electricity's gotta cost more than that! [​IMG]
  5. ck311

    ck311 Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I also think the fuel saving may have been pointed towards the propane users. I know I'm one of them but I'm still to new to the long smokes to really give an estimate of what it cost me.
  6. cajun_1

    cajun_1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I agree ... RO costs me $5.27 a bag. Last week it was $5.00 per bag.
    Wood chunks are usually from the trees I have trimmed.
  7. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Soo.. we agree... the main points being:
    1. Availability and cost of fuel
    2. Efficiency of the smoker involved.

    This of course is considering ONLY the cost savings between the two methods. As I mentioned, I have other considerations for using the oven.
  8. phreak

    phreak Meat Mopper

    $400 a month??? dude, you need to have an energy audit(seriously it's free and you get some kick butt rebates for updating A/C, insulation, windows, etc)...as far as finishing in the oven, no way jose...I will admit 1 time I finished a butt in a the big ole crock pot, everyone(except me) loved it...
  9. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Now see here ya go confusing the issue... with a qualitive judgement when the question was of cost savings/efficiency! [​IMG]

    Heh sorry feeling "engineerish" today for some reason.
  10. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have. [​IMG]

    I have 10ft ceilings, the backside of my house is damn near all glass (3 windows and 6 (yes 6) sliding glass doors), fridge and separate freezer in the garage, pool pump running, kids going in and out, TVs, computers, game systems, my wife doesn't work so something is always running...........you get the idea. Anyhow, for me $400 in the summer is just a fact of life and pretty much on par with my neighbors.

    Sorry to get to rambling..........I don't like it, but I have accepted it.
  11. guvna

    guvna Smoking Fanatic

    propane doesn't cost jack. $10 through a company called propane taxi and they deliver to your house for free! i've done two smoke sessions on this tank totaling about 20 hours and the tank still feels heavy as hell. i bet i could get three or four more smokes out of it. i'd bet that if you're running a vertical set-up, propane is the most efficient (99.9%) and cost effective heat source available. ....let the arguing begin :)
  12. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When I started this thread, I fully expected it to derail quickly..........I probably should have just started a poll.
  13. chrome

    chrome Smoke Blower

    I use about the same amount of lump in my SFB smoker for a butt (2/3 bag).
    It's a NB Hondo (about the same as a Char-Broil Silver Smoker) with most of the mods.
  14. twistertail

    twistertail Smoking Fanatic

    I have the small GOSM and get between 30 and 40 hours on a tank. Just got a tank refilled last weekend and it was $23. So if I take an average of 35hrs for $23 its costing me about 65 cents an hour to run. Not sure how much it cost to run the oven per hour.
  15. meowey

    meowey Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It depends on the costs associated with various fuels in your area. The best price I can get Locally for Royal Oak Lump is $7.00 a bag. I figure my CGSP (with mods) uses about $1.00's worth of RO an hour, on a 12-16 hour burn. Propane has a sliding cost schedule here. The propane I buy to fill my 20 and 30 pound cylinders costs me about $4.50 a gallon which gets used in the GOSM and the Char-Broil grill. (I use about 40 pounds a year) The propane I buy to fill my 100 gallon tank that I use for the kitchen stove costs me about $3.29 a gallon. (I use about 100 gallons a year) I'm sure that I don't use $1.00 an hour for the oven, especially when it's set to 235°F.

    Just to further muddy the waters, where I live, we use about 1200 gallons of fuel oil per year for heat and hot water with no cost for air conditioning. Electricity is on top of that. We have brutally cold winters.

    Great thread FBJ!

    Take care, have fun, and do good!


  16. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I mainly burn wood, use it in my horizontal, for my underground pit, cinderblock pit and in my smokehouse firebox.
    Usually cut my own, but the last 2 years I have found a cheap source. It's kind of a prison work farm, they sell cords of wood and will load it for ya. I take my 16' stock trailer over and they fill it up, take cigarettes and they make sure I get the trailer filled to the top. lol
    Last trip, I ended up getting 2 stock trailer loads......I'm set for awhile.[​IMG]

    I do use coal in my little brinkman vertical and my UDS....Have not kept track of what the vertical uses, but the UDS is very efficient. I usually put in 8lbs and it lasts for the whole smoke...and usually have coals left when I'm through.

    As for my house oven, I have free gas on the farm so it does not cost anything to run...I do not like heating up the house and making the AC run extra though.

    So in other words, after re-reading this long post....I have no idea what it costs me to smoke. Just haven't taken the time to figure it out. lol
  17. phreak

    phreak Meat Mopper

    oops, didn't mean to derail...cost of lump for a butt smoke = about $5
    cost of running a 1950's GE electric oven= no idea
    taste of butt smoked the entire time = priceless
  18. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Not sure , but I'll take a guess and say a bag and a half of RO in my chargriller. She just happens to be cold blooded and hungry for fuel.

    Meowey , have you looked into running a line to your smokers from your big tank ? And look into a propane water heater , we got a tankless one and love it. You may have to move up to a 250 gallon , but when you replace that furnace [​IMG] it will be worth it.

  19. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Got some bags of charcoal sitting out in storage, been using the propane conversion so much. Figure around to $2.44 to $2.93 a smoke.
  20. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That would'a been nice, haven't been polled in a while.....[​IMG]

    I like the way you think! [​IMG]

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