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Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

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Anyone using a Mixon H2O smoker?

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  • Frozen Smoke
    Club Member
    • Nov 2017
    • 1528
    • Northern Mn

    Anyone using a Mixon H2O smoker?

    Believe it or not I've been intrigued by his water smokers. I'm a big fan of the cabinet style and his smokers are rectangle which allow maximum space utilization. I've never used a water pan in my stick burner and never thought I needed one. I certainly have no problem with drying anything out. So I'm wondering if Myron is blowing a bit of smoke on his H2O theory.

    One thing I absolutely do not like about it looks like you darn near have to lay on the ground to feed the fire. Actually if not for that I'd be rather tempted to buy his 36" model.
    Just wondering if anyone here cooks on one or knows somebody who does and what the opinions are.
  • mrteddyprincess
    Club Member
    • Sep 2018
    • 280

    I looked at Myron's smokers and came to the conclusion that I can add a pan of water and accomplish the same thing. I think adding the water is a good thing but I don't think you need to have his smoker to do it. A water pan can be added to any smoker.


    • PBCDad
      Club Member
      • Jan 2016
      • 330
      • Seattle area
      • Pit Barrel Cooker - 2015
        22" Kettle + SnS - 2016
        Maverick ET-732 - 2016
        Thermapen - 2016
        Jambo 24x48 offset smoker (Big Tex) - 2017
        Camp Chef Denali griddle - 2018



    • Frozen Smoke
      Club Member
      • Nov 2017
      • 1528
      • Northern Mn

      The other draw back I have is living where I do. Having to deal with water outside in the winter months can be shall we say a challenge and the frozen water months are longer than the non frozen water months. A water pan in part of a smoker is one thing but his water pans span the entire length and width of the chamber. That's a lot of water with fire underneath it. Just seems to me it becomes a steam table pretty quickly.

      Well I guess that's why I'd like to hear some hands on personal experience. I know they have been reviewed here by Max Good and he gives them a gold star rating but that's only one cook I believe.


      • PaulstheRibList
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 1609
        • Lake Charles, LA
        • Started Low-N-Slow BBQ in 2012. Obviously, it's taken hold (in chronological order:
          1.) A pair of Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5's
          2.) #LilTex, a 22" Expensive Offset Smoker (looks like a Yoder Witicha)
          3.) #WhoDat1, a HUGE Gravity Fed Insulated Cabinet Smoker (cooking chamber 3'x2'x6')
          4.) A Full Size Commercial Dryer/converted to Vertical Smoker.
          5.) Jambo Backyard stickburner (my FAVORITE Pit so far)
          6.) GrillMeister, a huge 24"x48" Adjustable, Charcoal Grill from Pitmaker.com
          7.) 22" Weber Kettle with Slow-N-Sear
          8.) Vault insulated reverse-flow cabinet smoker from Pitmaker
          9.) BarbecueFiretruck...under development
          10.) 26 foot BBQ Vending Trailer equipped with HUGE Myron Mixon 72xc smoker is HERE, Oct 2016!
          11.) Opened www.PaulsRibShackBarbecue.com Food Trailer officially in March 2017
          12.) Austin Smoke Works 500 Gallon Propane Tank Offset Smoker, named "Lucille" as travel pit for PaulsRibShack, Oct 2018.
          12.) Opening Brick & Mortar location at 4800 Nelson Rd, Spring 2019. Had a pair of 1,000 Gallon Austin Smoke Works pits, both in RibShackRed for our new place!

          Fabulous Backlit Thermapens, several Maverick Remote Thermometers (don't use any remotes anymore), Thermoworks Smoke, Other Thermoworks toys, Vacuum sealer, lots and lots of equipment...

          I'm loving using BBQ to make friends and build connections.
          I have #theRibList where I keep a list of new and old friends and whenever I'm cooking, I make 1 to 20 extra and share the joy.

        I have a 72XC Myron Mixon, in RibShackRed powder coat.

        I love it!

        My very sophisciated system for selecting the stickburner to put on the back of our new barbecue trailer was thus:

        What's the largest (capacity) stickburner that I can fit on the back deck of my new barbecue trailer? The trailer is 8.5' wide, so it's got to fit and function inside that width?

        A traditional offset style would take at least 2.5 feet just for the firebox, then the first 12-018 inches of the cooking chamber is really too close to the fire for long cooks. The highest capacity offset I could find is the Magnum Sniper from Pitmaker in Houston. It fits 3 racks in the cook chamber (all very close together), has a cool door system to give you access to them, and they would put a side-loading firebox door, so I could tend the fire from inside the back deck of the trailer.

        The Mixon H20 has a ton more room per square foot of floorspace that it takes up. Nearly double the Magnum Sniper on paper. Functionally, the H20 is triple or more cooking capacity of that particular offset smoker.

        The Water Pan serves 2 functions:

        1.) It's a great heat sink, allowing you to build a nice fire directly beneath your smoking grates, and not have radiant heat that will scorch your meat instead of smoking it. If you are limited on real estate to park your smoker, this is invaluable. To put it in perspective, my 6 foot wide and 4 foot deep 72XC Myron Mixon can cook as much as my new 1,000 Gallon Tank conversion smokers, that are nearly the same width buy 20 feet long!

        I'm committed to a stickburner style smoker. Guys with barbecue trailers on a back porch like mine are basically limited to vault style smokers, Gas-rotissire style, or something like the H20. Otherwise, you can only cook for 100-150 people on a 7-8' long offset.

        2.) It does add humidity to the cooking chamber, and that can work to your advantage in some types of cooking. The offset stickburner has faster airflow and lower humidity, even if you put a waterpan in them. That will put more bark on your food faster. I love bark! For smoking Turkey breast, for example, the stickburner puts too heavy of a bark and/or more dried out surface of the meat, making the outer layer of the turkey have too much tug. So when smoking turkey on the offset, we have to wrap them, which I never do on the H20.

        The chamber is not super humid. With a big fire, there is a rolling boil on the part of the pan that's right over the fire. The added humidity, admiditly, I don't even notice it.

        It seems that ribs cook a little faster on the H20 than on my offsets. The bark sets earlier on the offset, but they seem to take a little less time on the H20. I really need to do some side-by-side tests to verify this.

        The H20 is very flexible. I have three HUGE grates, 69" x 33". They are nickel plated, and the wires that touch the meat are thin. This is great - it allowes for a ton of air to be in contact with the bottom of your food. I love this grate system, and want to develop a similar style for applications on my other smokers. The grates are such that you can pull them very far out and they don't bend at all.

        I could add more grates, just weld more grate holders. I actually have 4 set of holders for my 3 grates, in case I want to cook a pair of 250 pound hogs on it at the same time.

        Downsides are that you have to drain that water to move the pit. I'm a barbecue trailer, so if I go to an event, I have to bring a system to drain that hot water into. And I have to have enough water to run the pit all day if I go somewhere to cook. I don't have your freezing problem.

        There are hot spots, like on any pit. If you build a big fire in the center, the back center of the racks, particularly bottom, will get charred. One way around this is to run two, smaller fires on the bottom, one to the right and another to the left. But that's more work, for certain.

        Myron talks about how the added humidity tenderizes the meat as it cooks. I don't know exactly what that means, but, I'll say this, adding humidity slows the evaporation from the meat, which may help it cook faster at the same temperature. I'm good with that!

        My pitroom in our under construction restaurant will have a pair of beautiful, 1,000 gallon offsets from Austin Smoke Works, and a 1K H20 from Myron. Then I can do a full restaurant day and a big catering event at a time. I like the H20 that much and respect it's high-volume capacity.
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        • Dale Case
          Dale Case commented
          Editing a comment
          Nice write up !

        • wcberner
          wcberner commented
          Editing a comment
          I can definitely confirm the humid air cooks the meat faster - I started using a water pan on my offset’s tuning plate which increased the steam considerably and decreased my rib cooks by over an hour. I barely even wrap them now since they stay so moist (and since the bark sets slower like you mentioned).

        • PaulstheRibList
          PaulstheRibList commented
          Editing a comment
          good to know wcberner!
      • Frozen Smoke
        Club Member
        • Nov 2017
        • 1528
        • Northern Mn

        Thanks for taking time for the excellent write up Paul that's great information! You are dead on about the capacity of these smokers which is what drew me to them to begin with. Cabinet smokers that are rectangle optimize space. According too the Max Good review they are built like a tank and very high quality and made in the USA which is always a good thing.

        If I didn't have the freezing problem I'd probably be ordering a pit from him right after the holidays but I think the winter will just make it to cumbersome to use. I could run a hose to it as I can run outside water all year long but if you don't have a constant flow of water going through that hose the water in it it will freeze pretty quickly.

        Then there is the emptying of the water reservoir when finished. I have to do it while the water is still warm. No letting it go until the next day to do it. Wherever I dump those gallons of water in the winter it will leave a skating rink.

        So in the end the H2O smoker is a warm climate smoker even though Myron built it double walled insulated the water aspect of it just makes it too hard to deal with here in the cold climes.

        I've had my eye on a large trailer rig that's used but local. It has on board sinks and water tanks but they can be drained and not used in the winter months. It's a standard off set large capacity smoker with a roof and awnings. Guess the money I'll save by not buying from Myron will go towards that in spring!

        Thanks again PaulstheRibList for your input!


        • PaulstheRibList
          PaulstheRibList commented
          Editing a comment
          You got it! Happy Barbecue!

        • PaulstheRibList
          PaulstheRibList commented
          Editing a comment
          You got it! Happy Barbecue!
      • TBoneJack
        Former Member
        • Aug 2016
        • 261

        I attended a Myron Mixon BBQ class 2 years ago, and fell in love with his H2O smokers. I want the 36" model.

        I also watched his regular competition crew cook on those smokers. They seem to like them a lot. One thing I noticed is they use the door thermometers exclusively. They do not use an external digital thermometer with probes, so they must really trust those door thermometers. However, each of them carry a Thermapen and use them religiously.

        We separated into groups of 4 for our hands-on BBQ prep/cooking. Two of the guys in my group bought H2O smokers that weekend. They were giving free shipping to all BBQ class attendees, which I understand is quite a big savings.

        The claim was made by Mixon's salesmen that there is only 7 degrees of temperature variance anywhere inside the H2O smokers. And while I don't believe that, I still like the smokers.

        And before anyone here thinks they truly need a large model to compete at KCBS events, let me say this: the weekend I attended Mixon's class, he told me that he was going to California the following weekend to compete in an invitation-only BBQ contest, and he was using the 36-inch H2O smoker to cook all 4 KCBS meats. He said he could easily compete in any KCBS event with his smallest (36-inch) smoker.

        I want one real bad. I'm trying to decide between Backwoods (much less expensive), Lang, Meadow Creek, and the Mixon H2O. I think I'm gonna wait and see if the Aaron Franklin smokers ever get to market. I was under the impression that they were going into production this past summer, but I guess there were some delays.

        In the mean time, I'll stay busy using my PBC, and my UDS, and my 2 WSMs (18 & 22), and my Kettle with Slow 'n Sear 2.0, etc. The list goes on and on.




        Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

        Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Space is limited to 400, secure your spot by booking early! Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
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