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So This Happened This Weekend...

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    So This Happened This Weekend...

    Sometimes things go full circle. Many years ago (more than I care to think about) when I was a young man, I bought myself COS long before I knew what a COS was. I eventually decided I didn't have the time to tend to an offset cooker for hours on end and so I sold my New Braunfels offset and purchased a Weber Performer and then a Vision Kamado for cold weather cooks.

    Fast forward to earlier this year, with the kids grown and out of the house and retirement just around the corner, I decided I really wanted a stick burner again. So began the search. I researched many cookers, and short version is, for the money I could not find a cooker that competed with the Shirley Fabrication 24x36 model, so I got on their long waiting list. Low & behold last week someone posted a 24x36 for sale in Southbury CT, which is a 2.5 hour drive for me. I got in contact with the owner and this weekend I drove down and picked it up! The cooker is in mint condition. The owner told me he seasoned it and did approximately 6 cooks on it. Unfortunately they had some unexpected things come up and he decided to sell it. I picked it up on Saturday and ran it for the first time yesterday.

    What an impressive cooker! Both in terms of build quality (see the weld pictures below) space & ease of use. Honestly, the plan for yesterday was to learn the characteristics of the cooker and how it responded to changes. I got it going with a chimney of charcoal and added 4 small splits. I placed 3 temp probes (1 on each shelf) to get a sense of the temps I would be working with. I started with 1 probe on the top left. This is where the heat enters the cook chamber (this model is reverse flow) a 2nd probe in the middle of the second shelf and a 3rd probe on the far right of the bottom shelf near the exhaust for the stack (see Signals screenshot #1). I had the middle shelf dialed in within an hour, so I decided to run out grab a rack of ribs and toss them on! The pit ran effortlessly. I ran it with the stack wide open and it was super responsive to any changes I made to the firebox damper. It required 2 small splits about every 45 minutes to maintain temps. I knew the top left would be the hot spot so after seeing how hot it was I moved the top shelf probe to the right side (see Signals screenshot #2) and found a relatively small variance in temps from top (excluding the top left) to bottom.

    Overall I am beyond thrilled and look forward to many enjoyable hours cooking on this pit. There has been virtually zero learning curve so far!

    If anyone questions about one of these cookers feel free to reach out to me. I researched this purchased for many months and can point you to lots of resources and try to answer your questions.

    Thanks for taking a look!
    Attached Files

    Man, that sounds great. Congrats!


    • efincoop
      efincoop commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Sid!

    Congrats on the new to you rig. Shirley's are in a class by themselves.


      Congrats. I sometimes lust for a stick burner, but then I realize that I don't wanna tend a fire every so often, and the lust goes away - mostly.


        N-I-I-I-CE ! ! !


          Nice pickup. Sometimes things just fall into place.




              How cool is that!! Nice score!




                  Very nice. Congratulations!


                    Sounds like th Heavens jus aligned fer ya, Brother!
                    What a Suh-Weet Cooker, always have loved th Shirleys!
                    Welcome (back) to stickburnin, taste th difference
                    Last edited by Mr. Bones; November 15, 2021, 05:40 PM. Reason: +r


                      Excellent! What a great stick burner!


                        Thanks everyone!

                        A fun little aside. When my dad was born, he was given a "family name". So his legal name was actually Shirley Howard. Of course he never used Shirley and went by Howard. When he passed away, one of my best friends found out about the family name and started calling me Shirley he would send me all sorts of stuff whenever he saw or heard something with the name Shirley in it. Signs, video clips from tv shows or movies, it went on for a while.

                        Well when I settled on getting a cooker from Shirley Fabrication and saw that big name plate on the front, I knew it was meant to be! I sent my friend a picture this past weekend and he called me immediately and we reminisced about those exchanges all over again and had a few laughs.


                          That Shirley is a fine lookin cooker!



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