Which smoker would be best?

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Original poster
Jun 15, 2007
Ortonville, Michigan
Does anyone have a gravity fed charcoal smoker like a Stumps or similar? I am thinking of building a smoker and I am torn between this design and a reverse flow offset (like a Lang). I would appreciate any opinion that I can get. I have found a lot of pictures online outlining the build of a Stumps style smoker. I had already started drawing up plans for a reverse flow offset, but the gravity feed seems like it would be easier to use (less tending the fire). I also like the insulated design of the stumps smoker. It gets pretty cold here in Michigan and it would probably be easier to maintain temps with a insulated smoker. I am a machine designer an have access to fabricating equipment so I should have no problem building either design. Here are the links that I found showing the gravity feed smoker.

[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]Here is the video: http://homepage.mac.com/copyconn/iMovieTheater29.html

Here are the construction pics:
I like fire and tending to it, so I'd go with the Lang type. In fact, if I were you, I'd build two, one for you and one for me...
It just depends on what you want. Offsets, by their very nature take some tending. The Stump's style, it seems you just fill with charcoal, set the temperature and let it go. There is also a very video on youtube regarding the Stump's smoker. Both styles work very well, it just depends on what you want to do. I really like the Stump's style, but they are VERY proud of them. If you know what I mean.
Talked to a cooker yesterday after I bought some grub from his place...a we discussed Stumps kind of cookers vs other kinds. He has a Cookshack so there's not much to do....set it and forget it type. He and I were thinking that those kind of cookers ought to be outlawed in comps. I've seen a stumps cooker in action and they still had to put a pit guru on it ..... now is adding a pit guru fair either? Should bbq comps be more about tradition or who has the most money for something like a Cookshack? Interesting question.......
I went to look around at a comp this weekend and on almost every kind of cooker had a guru or a convection fan other than the 3 or 4 big stick burners and one of those had a fan of some sort jury rigged on it.My stumps clone runs fine with out it as I dont open the door very often.I think where a lot of folks are using the guru is for recovery time after having the cook chamber doors open.One of the most common units there being used by people who looked like they do this often were the Backwoods cookers and most of them had Gurus on them.Lots of CookShack FECs also.I am really looking forward to this winter to see how it performs when it gets cold out.
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