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Looking to get a reverse flow offset smoker - what's a realistic budget?

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  • BrisketNBeer
    Club Member
    • Feb 2018
    • 6
    • Eastern Oregon

    Looking to get a reverse flow offset smoker - what's a realistic budget?

    Hey everyone,

    Looking to make the transition away from pellets & gas and get an actual stickburner. I need help determing what a realistic budget should be for a first smoker. Couple of questions:
    1. Insulated fireboxes - am I right in assuming that this is a pretty big deal for maintaining consistent temps?
    2. What's the right smoking area size to handle everything up to a ~35lb pig?
    3. Is it generally cheaper to get a smoker fabricated at a metal shop or buy a commercial smoker?

  • jfmorris
    Club Member
    • Nov 2017
    • 3244
    • Huntsville, Alabama
    • Jim Morris

      Cookers
      • Camp Chef FTG900 Flat Top Grill (2020)
      • Weber Genesis II E-410 w/ GrillGrates (2019)
      • Weber Performer Deluxe 22.5" w/ GrillGrates & Slow 'N Sear & Drip ‘N Griddle & Party Q (2007)
      • Custom Built Offset Smoker (304SS, 22"x34" grate, circa 1985)
      • King Kooker 94/90TKD 105K/60K dual burner patio stove
      • Lodge L8D03 5 quart dutch oven
      • Lodge L10SK3 12" skillet
      • Anova
      Thermometers
      • Thermoworks Smoke w/ Wifi Gateway
      • Thermoworks Dot
      • Thermoworks Thermapen Classic
      • Thermoworks RT600C
      Beverages
      • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

    #2
    Budget is relative. The best known stick burner I personally am aware of that is reverse flow is probably the Lang smokers (https://www.langbbqsmokers.com), and their lowest entry is the 36" patio smoker for $1295.

    I have to think that unless you KNOW what you want exactly, and can draw up the plans, you are better going to someone that makes smokers for a living, rather than getting a local welder to build something up for you.

    EDIT: The Lang 36" says it can hold a 35-45 pound piglet.

    Comment

    • smokinfatties
      Former Member
      • Oct 2015
      • 521
      • Upland, CA

      #3
      Coming from Oregon you're going to have a hard time finding anything that's local. Every now and again you'll run into something used but not a lot of pit makers up in your neck. That's where the shipping headaches come in. Shipping can easily be $500+ on top of whatever your smoker costs.

      To answer your questions:

      1) insulated fireboxes help a lot with wood consumption. Although they do help with maintaining temp, there are other factors like how will the pit drafts (Firebox and smokestack size and length and thickness of pit overall) that will also contribute to maintaining consistent temps.

      2) a 35lb pig is not huge, but you'll want to make sure you get a cooker with 1 large door (VS 2 smaller doors) if you want to do a whole pig. Some folks like cookers with doors on both sides for whole hogs, but those are usually on a larger model.

      3) Buy a cooker from someone reputable that builds them for a living. Too many variables that can be messed up by having someone fabricate a smoker that hasn't done it before.

      For the money, I have been very very happy with the Jambo Backyard. It retails for about $2,500. If you want to do the whole pig thing you can probably talk to Jamie and ask him to put 1 door on it versus two, he posted on a FB group that he will have some for next month so now may be the time to call.

      If I were to go with a Lang I'd probably look at the 48, but honestly the Jambo is the bees knees I love that cooker to death.

      Also maybe consider a reverse flow offset (Lang) versus a standard offset (Jambo).

      Comment

      • Huskee
        Administrator
        • May 2014
        • 15307
        • central MI, USA
        • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

          Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

          Smokers / Grills
          • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
          • PBC
          • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
          • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
          • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
          • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
          • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
          • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
          • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
          • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

          Thermometers
          • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
          • (7) Maverick ET-732s
          • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
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          • Thermapen MkII, orange
          • ThermoPop, yellow
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          • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

          Accessories
          • Instant Pot 6qt
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          • BBQ Dragon
          • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
          • Weber grill topper
          • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
          • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
          • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

          Beverages
          • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
          • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
          • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
          • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
          • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
          • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
          • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

          About me
          Real name: Aaron
          Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

          Occupation:
          • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

        #4
        W/o repeating jfmorris' [edit: and smokinfatties] great advice, I'd say bare minimum $1K, more realistic is the 2K neighborhood, depending on options and size of course

        1. No, I run a non-insulated in MI. BUT...an insulated will be more efficient and require less tending. Steady temps? I disagree that this is needed for steady temps, although it will limit your refilling frequency. As far as steady temps across the cooking surface, even a reverse flow isn't guaranteed to give you steady temps across the surface (although that's their selling point and the theory behind them). You can have them, or not have them, on both. Fire tending, airflow, and time preheating are key.

        2. Hog roasters are BIG for a reason. Not so much the length, but the butterflied hogs need width, diameter. I'd say a 36" long one would be adequate for a small pig of 35lbs, but keep in mind a 100+lb hog can be 2' wide, meaning you'd need a 24" diameter cooker for that. Obviously smaller if you stuck with sucklings or halves. Try to do your best to future-proof your purchase. Think of how many larger cooks you'll do and plan accordingly so you don;t kick yourself later wishing you'd have gotten the next one up.

        3. Unknown on that one. The options are endless and quite varied I suppose if you dug around.

        Comment

        • bardsleyque
          Club Member
          • Oct 2015
          • 638
          • Snoqualmie Wa.

          #5
          "one million dollars" mwa hahaha!!!

          Comment

          • Huskee
            Administrator
            • May 2014
            • 15307
            • central MI, USA
            • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

              Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

              Smokers / Grills
              • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
              • PBC
              • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
              • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
              • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
              • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
              • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
              • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
              • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
              • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

              Thermometers
              • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
              • (7) Maverick ET-732s
              • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
              • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
              • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
              • Thermapen MkII, orange
              • ThermoPop, yellow
              • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
              • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
              • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
              • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

              Accessories
              • Instant Pot 6qt
              • Anova Bluetooth SV
              • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
              • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
              • BBQ Dragon
              • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
              • Weber grill topper
              • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
              • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
              • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

              Beverages
              • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
              • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
              • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
              • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
              • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
              • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
              • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

              About me
              Real name: Aaron
              Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

              Occupation:
              • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

            #6
            Lol bardsleyque

            Click image for larger version

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            Comment


            • PJBowmaster
              PJBowmaster commented
              Editing a comment
              That's what we need around here....more memes. :-)
          • BrisketNBeer
            Club Member
            • Feb 2018
            • 6
            • Eastern Oregon

            #7
            This forum is great. Yep, slim pickings in Oregon - this isn't really barbecue country (but the tri-tip consumption here is insane!).

            Found a fella a few hours away with a used Jambo backyard he's looking to move for $1500 - any tips on what I should look for when I go out to check it out?

            Comment


            • jfmorris
              jfmorris commented
              Editing a comment
              That’s sounds like a good deal to me. Just look for rust, damage, etc. I imagine it’s so well made and such heavy duty metal that realistically unless is sat in a salt water bath for years the worst you will see will be grease and soot buildup, all of which can be taken care of with elbow grease.
              Last edited by jfmorris; February 21, 2018, 05:53 PM.

            • smokinfatties
              smokinfatties commented
              Editing a comment
              At that price just make sure it's really a Jambo. you wouldn't be able to do a hog but you may be able to get creative. I got one for $1,800 with a little rust here and there but everything works fine. You're getting a steel even if it has a little rust. Jump on it!!
          • 6th Borough BBQ
            Former Member
            • Feb 2017
            • 411
            • Jersey City, NJ

            #8
            I truly love my Lang. It's my favorite toy ever.

            Comment

            • DWCowles
              Founding Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 9703
              • Smiths Grove, Ky
              • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

              #9
              Sounds like that Jambo will be worth checking out.

              Comment

              • FireMan
                Charter Member
                • Jul 2015
                • 7838
                • Bottom of Winnebago

                #10
                “To the moon Alice, to the moon!”

                Comment

                • kbremer
                  Club Member
                  • Aug 2017
                  • 112
                  • Palmer Nebraska

                  #11
                  I had Schroder Machine in Shelton Nebraska build mine. It is beyond my expectations. Very affordable and Marln will build anything you need. Check out his site. Also, he used to travel the BBQ circuit............great guy!! Message me if you need any info. Good luck!!!

                  Comment

                  • sam42830
                    Founding Member
                    • Aug 2014
                    • 21

                    #12
                    I have the M grill and love it. Check review at amazingribs

                    Comment

                    • Beefchop
                      Charter Member
                      • Oct 2014
                      • 449
                      • Lafayette, LA
                      • XL Big Green Egg, Shirley Fabrication 24"x42" Patio Cooker

                      #13
                      1) I have no trouble managing my fire here in Louisiana with a 1/4" plate on my firebox, but if I lived someplace cold I'd probably have insulated. The best design, IMHO, is a round firebox because there are fewer corners (i.e. places for ashes to collect). Another consideration for you is gas assist. It not only makes lighting your fire easier but it also helps pre-heat your cooker and can be used to steady your temps.
                      2) A 20" x 36" grate should accommodate a 30 lb. pig.
                      3) As far as I know there aren't any commercial smokers that are RF. Unless you consider Lang or Meadow Creek "commercial" outfits. Lang quoted me $500 to ship from GA to Louisiana, so I can only imagine what it would cost to send it up to Oregon. I ended up going with Shirley, and found a great deal on UShip. AL to LA for less than $200.

                      As far as price is concerned? Some of the custom shops run a standard backyard or patio model that they'll offer from $1,500 to $2K. Gator has a standard 20x36 they keep in stock, and Shirley has a 24x42 patio model they are now sending to a BBQ store in St. Louis. Some of the custom shops, like Lang, offer a catalog of cookers that can order without crazy lead times. There is a 1+ year wait on Shirley cookers.

                      Check out Meadow Creek. They do the RF design and have dealers in CA, CO, and AZ.

                      Comment

                      • ComfortablyNumb
                        Club Member
                        • May 2017
                        • 3409
                        • Northeast Washington
                        • KBQ C-60
                          PK360
                          Thermoworks Smoke
                          Thermoworks Thermopop
                          Thermoworks Dot

                        #14
                        I'd suggest before making that leap you have a source for wood. It isn't cheap buying it mail order, so I suggest finding full cords locally. Here is what the Eastern Oregon CL has:

                        https://eastoregon.craigslist.org/gr...474732173.html

                        https://boise.craigslist.org/for/d/f...503745177.html

                        Comment

                        • Troutman
                          Club Member
                          • Aug 2017
                          • 7465
                          • aka Troutman Taco - Hanging Free in Tejas

                          • OUTDOOR COOKERS

                            BBQ ACCESSORIES

                            WOOD & PELLET PREFERENCES

                            SOUS VIDE

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                          #15
                          For those who have seen my review, I like the Lone Star pits made here in Houston, they are on par with Lang or Jambo. All three will give you the same type of result. We literally have a plethora of pit makers in this area (they and Starbucks are fighting for retail space) and they all seem to pretty much feed off one another price wise. I agree that a good quality, 1/4" plate cooker should run you around $1200. Anything less is compromise, if you are serious about cooking que then get something that will last. The only other thing to watch are the add ons. They are like car salesman for crying out load, "oh you want to add this then cha ching, or you want to add that then cha ching". The next thing you know you're spending $2400 !!!

                          Comment

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