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Comparison of the Landmann and Camp Chef Smoke Vault Gas Smokers

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    Comparison of the Landmann and Camp Chef Smoke Vault Gas Smokers

    I have now used the Smoke Vault twice and know more about it than when I posted my “Comparison of Vertical Water Smokers” on June 25th, which compared my Backwoods charcoal smoker, Landmann, and Smoke Vault gas smokers. Since one of the smokers I compared was charcoal, I posted this under the general area Grills and Smokers. This will compare the Landmann to the Smoke Vault. For those that haven’t read that part of the comparison posted on June 25th, it is repeated here. To read the new information, skip the next three paragraphs and go to fourth paragraph below this one.

    The Landmann currently has an MSRP of $379.99, but it is available through Amazon for $357.64 with free shipping, but requires that you assemble it. I had to assemble the one I bought. The Smoke Vault has an MSRP $319.99. I bought it through Home Depot for $209.80, with free shipping and assembly plus sales tax, which brought the total to $224.59. The Landmann weighs 103 pounds and the Smoke Vault weighs 75 pounds.

    I like the design and size of the Landmann better. It has 5 racks that are 22” X 14” X 4.5” apart. The Smoke Vault has 5 slots for racks that are 3.25” apart, and came with 3, one of which is a mesh rack for jerky or shellfish. The racks are 21.5” X 14”. I bought 2 additional racks for about $25 plus shipping. The height of the cooking chamber in the Landmann is 25” compared to 19.5” in the Smoke Vault. So the cooking area in the Landmann is greater than the Smoke Vault. The Landmann has 9 meat hooks in the cooking chamber ceiling from which to hang sausage or possibly racks of ribs. Also the Landmann’s water pan and wood pan are larger than the Smoke Vault’s, and the Smoke Vault wood pan has no lid. The Landmann wood pan has a vented lid which lengthens the smoking time.

    I haven’t compared the amount of water the water pans hold in each smoker, but it appears as if the water pan in the Landmann holds more than the Smoke Vault. Cooking at 275 degrees, yesterday I had to refill the water pan in the Smoke Vault after two-and-a-half hours, while the Landmann is good for 3-and-a-half hours cooking at 275. I also like it that the water and wood pans on the Landmann are held on racks in drawers separate from the cooking chamber, so it doesn’t have to be opened when adding water or wood, which is not the case with the Smoke Vault. The stainless steel door on the Smoke Vault closes with a handle latch while the Landmann has magnetic door closure. The door on the Landmann sometimes popped open during cooking, but that was easily remedied with a bungee cord attached to the door and side handle. Both smokers have burners that are 18,000 BTUs but the temperature range for the Landmann is about 200 – 350 degrees, while the Smoke Vault is 160 – 400 degrees. The higher temperature range of the Smoke Vault is probably due to its smaller cooking chamber. The rotary igniter on the Landmann starts the burner on the first try every time, but the Smoke Vault often has to be repeated once or twice.

    The Landmann has two metal damper guards inside the smoker over the bottom side dampers that blocks wind from affecting the flame. The Smoke Vault does not have this. So if the wind starts to blow or changes direction a couple of hours into a cook with the Smoke Vault, so that it blows into the damper slots, you will need to turn the smoker so it is facing into the wind. This will probably require that you remove the water pan to keep from spilling water. In my earlier comparison of these smokers on June 25th, I said the Smoke Vault water pan had to be refilled after 2 ½ hours, but that was for starting with water that was straight out of the tap, not already boiling. Cooking at an average of about 275 degrees, and filling the water pan with boiling water, it needs refilling about every 2 hours. The Landmann’s water pan is good for about 3 hours if initially filled with boiling water. Finally, during my second cook with the Smoke Vault, I was never able to get the temperature to stabilize like it did on the first cook. Maybe I was lucky on the first cook.

    On the second cook, I wanted to cook at 275 degrees and had my ThermoWorks Smoke air probe low temp set at 230 and high temp at 290. I fiddled with it for 45 minutes, with the temperature going from 230 to 290, frequently activating the alarm. Finally, I put the chips on to smoke and then put the beef ribs in the smoker. This reduced the smoker temperature to less than 200. It took almost an hour for it to climb back to 290. The best I could do was to keep it going up and down between 240 and 285. The slightest turn of the temperature control knob would move the temperature gradually 30 to 40 degrees. I finally gave up and stopped trying to control the temperature. I added water once and wood once, and each time the temperature in the smoker dropped to about 220 degrees, and it took almost 30 minutes for it to get back above 270. Three-an-a-half hours into this cook, I took the beef ribs out of the smoker, turned it off, wrapped the ribs in foil, and put them in the oven in my house to finish cooking.

    With the Landmann, I was quickly able to learn that on high it goes to 345 degrees, on medium to 280 and on low to 222. Halfway in between these settings gives temperatures in between. So if I want to cook at 250 degrees, I turn the control knob between medium and low. The 280 degrees I get at medium is close enough to 275. Once these temperatures are reached it stays there. A different Landmann smoker would probably achieve different temperatures with the low, medium and high settings than this one did. I had a second Landmann that I used for about a year, then gave to my son. For that smoker, high is 330 degrees, medium is 270, and low is 212. Between low and medium is 240, and it holds those temperatures rock steady. Since the Landmann’s wood and water pans are on separate trays that are not in the coking chamber, adding water or wood doesn’t affect the temperature.





    #2
    Gas burning wood produces some sweeeeeeet smoke.

    Comment


      #3
      Your bummin' me out dude! I chose Smoke Vault over Landmann based on other reviews I had read. I just used my Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24" for the first time yesterday. I too noticed the slightest move of the gas dial created big temp changes (which is sooooo frustrating when I wanted easier temp control when switching from slowNsear to Smoke Vault) but when I was done with smoke after 2 hours I was able to control the temp by using a lower gas knob setting and utilizing the top vent (I leave it wide open during smoking). I really wish Camp Chef had designed the Smoke Vault with separate wood and water access like thr Landmann model you have. It just makes sense to me. Fortunately though, I didn't have issues with getting the Smoke Vault back up to temp quickly after opening and closing the door. The Pork Butt came out awesome in the end. I have to admit the looks of the Smoke Vault did play a SMALL part in choosing it over Landmann. The final decision maker for me was the ratings of the two units here at Amazing Ribs and the Smoke Vault video review by Max Good.

      Comment


      • texastweeter
        texastweeter commented
        Editing a comment
        I love my smoke vault. I am able to hold temps pretty easy. Use the knob to get close, and then fine tune with the vent. Unless the ambient temp drops drastically, it will hold within 10 degrees either direction for cooks as long as 16-18 hours.

      #4
      I've had a 24 inch Smoke Vault for several years. Early on, I also found that I seemed to be chasing the
      smoker temps a lot even when the outside temps were fairly stable. Unfortunately, I didn't find the side or
      top dampers didn't help much with temperature control.

      I've finally figured out that the way my smoker will stabilize temps is to leave it alone for a while. I start with
      a slightly lower temp (e.g. 220 when I want 250), and it gradually warms up and hits a stable temp and
      stays there. Is with a lot of things in life, the less I did, the better it did.

      Here's a diagram of smoker, meat and outside temperatures from a recent chuck roast cook I did on
      the SV. After initial warm-up, I lowered the burner and left it alone. It took about 2 hours, but the
      temps came up to about 250 F and held nicely.

      Click image for larger version

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      Comment


        #5
        Theroc, are you able to set your dials and consistently get steady temps regardless of what your cooking or ambient temp?

        Comment


          #6
          mine holds steady as well. FWIW, the hotspot is at the top.

          Comment


            #7
            How’s the flavor compare to a pellet smoker? Thanks

            Comment


              #8
              McEDaddy, yes I am able to get very close to my ultimate desired temp based on the dial setting. This took a bit of time making notes about dial position and temperature, but now it is pretty reliable. There's always fine tuning, but as I said earlier patience pays off.

              I don't have a pellet smoker so can't say how the SV cooks compare. I can say that we love the smoke flavor we get from the SV. Another lesson learned that probably applies to many smokers was to not overdo it with the wood chunks.
              Last edited by theroc; August 19, 2018, 02:38 PM.

              Comment


                #9
                Thanks bud

                Comment


                  #10
                  Well a year later and I finally replaced my ambient probe. Smoked 4 slabs of Ribs for 5.5 hours and barely had to adjust the temp. Adjusted the gas knob once and the dampeners a couple times. So my Smoke Vaults reputation was skewed during to a faulty iGrill ambient probe.

                  Comment


                  • theroc
                    theroc commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Glad to hear you got things squared away!

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