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Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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Upgrading to an Offset, need some help!

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  • Lock Stock and Barrel
    Club Member
    • Apr 2018
    • 147
    • Victoria, TEXAS

    You asked about the round glass stick thermometers that you install on the lid or through the smoke chamber. If you research this forum you will conclude that they are heat indicators and not thermometers. I installed one on mine in case we have an EMP and my digital probes do not work. To say that they are inaccurate and slow to respond would be an understatement. I consider them genuine made in China junk. I spent around $18.00 just to have one on the pit so you can say it looks complete. Does not even come close to accurate and since pit temps fluctuate constantly it never reads within 10 or 20 degrees due to slow response times. I have bought what I consider "test" thermometers from various manufactures. Cheap was the main intent so I could test this equipment before spending $200 or $300.00 dollars for my final wish list. I was at the grocery store and found a $13.00 Taylor digital thermometer with 3 foot probe for the oven. I also bought a $29.00 Maverick HD32 probe that has 1 3 foot probe. Cooked 5 or six cooks on them. Found them very accurate but problematic.

    Taylor probe got sprayed with water and began to mess up bad after 2 uses. Probe wire is so short I fight trying to keep the digital indicator away from the pit heat. I let the probe go through 2 or 3 more longs cooks and it now functions good. You must keep the indicators these in a plastic baggie if it rains. Also, it the digital part fell into my grease bucket while I was eating. Had to take apart and wipe. Still works though!

    The Maverick has a transmitter that transmits temperatures to a receiver you bring in to the house, easy setup, problem is it does not transmit through walls and windows very well at all. Constantly holding this unit up in the air high to get a read on the pit. For under $30.00 it was a steal.

    Finally, after using the to cheapo probes through all my cooks I decided that "biting the bullet" was in order and I bought a Flame Boss 400 Temperature fan regulator with 2 probes, one for the grate temp and one for meat. I will be posting the results of my first cook with it soon. It was $219.00 and I find it worth the time saving and fuel savings that it produced on my first cook. Will want to try another cook before school's out on it.

    Good luck with your Lang! I would like to know how she performs on 12 hour cooks.


    • Beefchop
      Charter Member
      • Oct 2014
      • 451
      • Lafayette, LA
      • XL Big Green Egg, Shirley Fabrication 24"x42" Patio Cooker

      Lang, Meadow Creek, Johnson BBQ, and Shirley all make reverse flow designs. Of these MC is closest to you. They actually have a dealer in NJ. I have a custom reverse flow made by Shirley manufacturing and I love it. The baffle plate that directs the airflow acts as a hot griddle that adds sizzle and smoke flavor when the drippings hit it. The only downside is that it is welded in and you can't remove it, so you get what you get temp wise. While the temp is pretty consistent through the cook chamber the spot near the fire box runs a little hotter, and I can create zones by drafting through the warming box. I picked this design mainly because I could draft through the warming cabinet (main chamber is 275 and the cabinet is 225), cook directly or indirectly in the warming cabinet (they make a baffle that shuts of heat to the main chamber) or draft through the cook chamber and use the warming chamber simply to heat sides, sauce or pre-heat the firewood. If I didn't have the special cabinet design from Shirley then I would have gone with a traditional offset with tuning plates. You can always use the plates to create an even temp cook chamber if you are cooking a bunch of the same cuts, or you can pull the plates and cook with different heat zones in your cook chamber. I.e. chicken hot and fast close to the fire box with ribs and shoulders at the other end. Some guys like this because they cook different meats in the chamber. For traditional offsets, check out Gator Pits in Texas, or Peoria Custom Cookers in Indiana (further north). Horizon and Yoder offsets are easy to find regardless of where you live. You can get Horizon smokers at Bass Pro.
      Last edited by Beefchop; October 22, 2018, 08:19 AM.


      • Tony7781
        Tony7781 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for this info! im not back to the drawing board as Im checking out the MC and Gator pis! This is not an easy decision!
    • Frozen Smoke
      Club Member
      • Nov 2017
      • 1528
      • Northern Mn

      As far as therms in the door go as mentioned they may be accurate for the temp right at the door. 1just have gotten to know that when my door therm is reading 200 my pit is running right around 250 which is where I usually run things at. So they serve their purpose in that sense. I'm not a gadget guy and don't like wires coming out of the smoker and probes hanging in the smoker and sticking out of the meat. I use to stick a analog oven therm in the pit and watch that but I've gotten away from using them even. Get to know your pit and don't rely on gadgets to do things for you. I use a Thermapen for checking meat. Mostly briskets, pork butts, turkey breasts etc. I never probe ribs I just know when they are done.

      As mentioned reverse flows are designed to run even heat across the length of the pit which is all right. I prefer the tuning plate standard offset. I can run the exhaust end 50 degrees hotter than the fire box end or make it run pretty close to even. I like the flexibility. I can run chicken or sides hotter on one end around 300 and keep my ribs at 250 or so on the other. You just have to know how you want your tuning plates set up before you get things hot.


      • richleelv
        Club Member
        • Mar 2017
        • 1


        I have a trailer mounted off-set grill. Lots of modifications, buffers, internal temperature, lowered chimney, etc. Way better than it used to be. QUESTION: has anyone mounted a small slow fan to simulate a convection chamber. I guess similar to Traeger grills, It sounds like a pretty good idea, but where would you put it...Both my sons-in-law have Traegers and tease me constantly. I'm kinda old school and just can't get my head around pellets.


        • Timcee
          Timcee commented
          Editing a comment
          That does sound like a good idea but also like what a Cyber-Q, Digi-Q, etc does.. I have a pellet and while it is set and forget the flavor profile isn't the same as using the wood... I would imagine that when it comes to the end product you're the one teasing..

        • CandySueQ
          CandySueQ commented
          Editing a comment
          I can pull the firepot out of my Jambo and just use the fan to push a wood fire. Works well to get a blast of smoke (and to light the pellets when I switch over!).

        • kboy24
          kboy24 commented
          Editing a comment
          I Have a Traeger Jr and I luv it. I also have the Yoder Loaded Witchita offset which is just bad to the bone. I use the Traeger with little cooks like Ribs, Brisket, etc.. When I unwrap the Yoder then it becomes playtime!!!! Takes a bit more effort to get the yoder to do it's thing but ya dial them in with use and I just feel stick burners are the BEST.. I also got the Weber 3 burner with 10 year warranty for grilling . Best to ya, Kevin
      • Tony7781
        Club Member
        • Mar 2016
        • 20

        Can the warmer box be used to smoke jerky and fish at lower temps? I wasnt looking to get the warmer box but was just thinking it might be easier to use for jerky then the main cooking area. Also, if your only cooking one rack of ribs or a smaller amount of food, you can probably just make it in the box vs the main pit?
        Last edited by Tony7781; October 28, 2018, 04:59 AM.


        • Beefchop
          Beefchop commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, the warming box can get down to 150 deg. F. depending on the design of the cooker and how you run it. Mine runs 20-30 deg. lower than the main chamber when I draft through it, closer to 50 deg. F. when being used as a warming chamber.
      • MBMorgan
        Club Member
        • Sep 2015
        • 6414
        • Colorado
        • > Weber Genesis EP-330
          > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
          > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
          > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
          > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
          to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
          > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
          > Thermoworks Smoke
          > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
          > Thermoworks Thermapen
          > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
          > Anova sous vide circulator
          > Searzall torch
          > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

        Originally posted by richleelv View Post
        QUESTION: has anyone mounted a small slow fan to simulate a convection chamber. I guess similar to Traeger grills, It sounds like a pretty good idea, but where would you put it...
        There was a discussion about this very question a couple of years ago. Not sure how far it got but here's where it all started:



        • Huskee
          • May 2014
          • 15417
          • 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)

            • (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

            • 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

            • 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)

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

          Originally posted by richleelv View Post
          I have a trailer mounted off-set grill. Lots of modifications, buffers, internal temperature, lowered chimney, etc. Way better than it used to be. QUESTION: has anyone mounted a small slow fan to simulate a convection chamber. I guess similar to Traeger grills, It sounds like a pretty good idea, but where would you put it...Both my sons-in-law have Traegers and tease me constantly. I'm kinda old school and just can't get my head around pellets.
          I blow my BBQ Dragon into my firebox on occasion. I absolutely love it for that. Get some good rechargeables and it'll go on low all day long, low is all I need.

          Plus, off the record I'm with you on pellets, at least for most things. I've considered a pellet grill for things I purposely don't want a lot of smoke flavor on but still some, like turkeys or prime rib. But I kinda like running my own smoker instead of a power cord & circuit board running it. We're a crazy bunch aren't we...


          • Steve B
            Club Member
            • Jun 2016
            • 3103
            • Rockland county New York
            • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
              Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

              22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

              Napoleon gas grill (soon to go bye bye) rotting out.

              1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
              1 maverick et-733 - gray
              1 new standard grilling remote digital thermometer
              1 thermoworks thermopen mk4 - red
              1 thermoworks thermopop - red

              Pre Miala flavor injector
              taylor digital scale
              TSM meat grinder
              chefs choice food slicer
              cuisinhart food processor
              food saver vacuum sealer
              TSM harvest food dehydrator

            Jon Liebers kinda funny you asked about the weather. The very first cook I did on my LSG was a 5lb prime rib in Torrential rains. I think we got 2-1/2-3” during the cook. That being said I have had no issues with weather using the cooker. In really cold temps I keep a larger firebed going. One thing I do have is a 9’ patio umbrella over the smoker so rain and snow aren’t an issue at all.
            Any more questions please feel free to ask. Click image for larger version

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            • Jon Liebers
              Jon Liebers commented
              Editing a comment
              looks great. I have never before had a stick burner, I use a BGE . So how would you compare (if you can) the fire maintaince, especially on long cooks . Does it require lots more attention or ....? don't want to get in over my head.

            • Steve B
              Steve B commented
              Editing a comment
              Jon Liebers I also have a large BGE. and will not lie a stick burner definitely requires a lot of attention. You will typically have to add fuel, splits, every 30-45min in most cases. occasionally an hour but that's about it, and you will have temp swings, but once you learn your cooker fire management and temp control becomes much easier.
          • smokinfatties
            Former Member
            • Oct 2015
            • 521
            • Upland, CA

            I would highly recommend the Jambo Backyard. such an awesome smoker to cook on! And I think if you call Jamie you can find out when he's fixing to fabricate some of the back yards and he could probably put a single door (versus the doubles it usually comes with) on it to accomodate piglets- you won't be disappointed!


            • LeeAvirett
              Former Member
              • Jun 2018
              • 11
              • Tallahassee, FL

              Just returned from Lang's Q School taught by none other than Paul Kirk, six-time grand champion and master chef. He is 77 now and really knows his stuff. Here is what I learned: The reverse draft cookers produce meat flavor like no other grills I have owned in past 50 years. Lang's 30 years of experience really shows in every aspect of construction, e.g., height of the stack, elevation of meat rack above heat baffle, solid quarter inch steel, etc. The fact that meat juices constantly drip on to the heat baffle produces a sweet flavor that is lacking in other grill styles. Each student cooked five meats while the class was conducted mostly inside the building. About every hour we would all go out and check our temps and usually add just one stick of hickory wood. Nothing could have been easier or more forgiving. We did not have to baby sit these grills. Folks cooked on a yard full of grills from their Patio Models 36 and 48 all the way up to some very large ones. Without exception, everyone got the same beautiful results for their chicken, patty sausage, brisket, butt, and ribs. We used them in the hot/fast mode of 325 degrees and were able to serve the brisket for lunch after only 4.5 hours and it was fork tender and smoked to competition perfection. A full packer brisket like that would normally take nearly three times that long, but cooking it half the time in the smoke and then finishing it covered in a metal pan with a quarter inch of broth in the bottom steamed it super tender. To sum up, the heat baffle produces meat flavors that only a reverse flow can produce; the meat is cooked by radiant heat from the baffle and convection heat over the top of the meat; the fire burns very clean with only a lightly colored smoke which produces sweet flavors without creosote and formaldehyde condensing on the meat as occurs in many types of grills; and with 30 years of experience Ben Lang knows how to perfect his grills. Its the closest thing to the flavors of open-pit style cooking that I have seen. I am getting one of the Patio 48 models so I have plenty of room to cook lots of meat but yet no excess capacity. These grills will put your Q up on a competition shelf!


              • Beefchop
                Beefchop commented
                Editing a comment
                I've thought about going to his school since I have a Shirley, and it's also a reverse flow with the baffle plate design! Thanks for the great write up.

              • CandySueQ
                CandySueQ commented
                Editing a comment
                I'll bet that's a humdinger of a class! I love Paul's recipes in the Bullsheet every month.
            • kboy24
              Club Member
              • Dec 2016
              • 6
              • San Diego

              I myself have a Yoder "Loaded Wichita" which I luv!! I"ve heard great things about Lang but I think I'd give the nod to Gator Pit. Those just seem so well designed and built. Definitely Gator Pit. Check his videos and you'll see. Whichever way ya go bro you will be a winner!!!!! Luv the stick burner and people trip out over them


              • LeeAvirett
                Former Member
                • Jun 2018
                • 11
                • Tallahassee, FL


                In response to kboy24, Gator pits are simply extremely well made off set pits, but are not like reverse draft Lang's. Lang's cook by radiation AND convection. This makes a difference in meat flavor from juices hitting solid metal barrier under the meat and smoke traveling over the top of the meat. Cooking is faster due to heat below and above meat. Cooking chamber heat is more even since it travels from one end of the cooker and back again before exiting the stack. They function differently while looking somewhat similar.




                Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

                SOLD OUT! Secure your spot on our waitlist now. First-come, first-served!
                Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis)
                See more
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                Meat-Up in Memphis


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