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Need Some Stick Burner Advice

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    Need Some Stick Burner Advice

    I turn 59 1/2 in December and will have access to a ROTH IRA that I've had for years. I've decided that I would like to get a true stick burner and I'd like some advice from those of you who have them. What are the pros and cons of your unit and what would you do differently if you could. I have access to plenty of red oak so wood is not an issue. I'd like to keep it under $3K, but would consider upping that for more value. Appreciation in advance, thanks.

    #2
    I only have the Yoder loaded Wichita, and I love it. I wish I'd gotten the larger Yoder Kingman, but I didn't. Happy shopping and choosing!

    Comment


    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      What was your deciding factor to get the Yoder?

    #3
    I have a home built stick burner. In no particular order:

    -Bigger firebox (probably won't be an issue with professionally built ones)
    -Bigger cook chamber (mines a ~100 gallon).
    -Better wheels (I move mine around my yard a fair amount).
    -Better grates (a result of being home made).
    -Best pro: I get to play with FIRE!!!

    Comment


      #4
      I have a Jambo Backyard - 24" x 48" interior, I think just over 6' long total with the firebox and stack. 3/16" steel for the cooker, about 500 lbs. Insulated firebox and stainless steel shelf are standard. Super high quality, and just about the best pedigree you can find when you look at commercial smokers. Very even heat across the grates except right by the fire and right by the exhaust. I thought it would be too big at first, then my wife volunteered me to cook for bigger and bigger crowds so every once in a while I run out of room!

      I did make my own stainless bar grates to replace the expanded metal grates, I could never clean them very well. While I was at it I made a shelf when I want high heat or need the extra capacity.

      The two things I don't love about it are true of every offset to my knowledge. If I don't put down pans to catch the grease, cleaning it kind of sucks because you have to lean in through the doors and scrape up the gunk. Second, the paint at the firebox has partially flaked off, and above each door there are some rust spots as well that I've been too busy to take care of yet. Oh also, Jamie's not big on customer service, but I was okay with that - just make sure when you get it shipped that you pay for the insurance in case something happens to it in transit.

      I know there are a lot of really high quality manufacturers out there including Shirley, Lang, Lone Star, etc. I would never try to persuade you not to get one of those if you felt called to it, because stick burning is so much fun! All I will say is that when I was looking, the Jambo Backyard to me gave me the best value for the size and type of smoker I was looking for.

      Comment


      • CaptainMike
        CaptainMike commented
        Editing a comment
        Great write up and advice, thank you! The JB looks like a nice fit, kind of scratching me where I itch!
        Last edited by CaptainMike; October 1, 2020, 02:44 PM.

      #5
      I have no real advice on which smoker to buy in that price range, but having a good supply of wood readily available is a great start.

      Comment


      • CaptainMike
        CaptainMike commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, there's no shortage of that around here.

      • MTurney
        MTurney commented
        Editing a comment
        I learned that one the hard way 🤦🏻‍♂️

      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Practically Mandatory lol!

      #6
      Have fun with the search, and, of course, we want photos...

      Comment


        #7
        Capt. I’m quite sure you know how much I love my LSG.
        Here’s the link to their website.

        https://lonestargrillz.com/

        If you have any questions please feel free to PM me. I’ll give you my phone number and we can talk. 👍👍

        Comment


        • Steve B
          Steve B commented
          Editing a comment
          Anytime my friend. 👍👊

        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          Well, I' be dayum! Zat an LSG in yer avatar, Brotherman?

          Never knew ya had one o' them there thangs lol!

          Here, an all along, I'd jus always figgered ya'd captured ya a pic of a U-Boat suddenly surfacin in yer backyard, there.
          Last edited by Mr. Bones; October 3, 2020, 01:07 AM.

        • Steve B
          Steve B commented
          Editing a comment
          Yesireee Mr. Bones That there LSG is planted in my yard. 😂

        #8
        I recently got a Lang 36” and it’s my first stick burner. I have zero regrets with it....even temps on the top and bottom shelves (as even as an offset can be). I will say cleaning it is a task but I’d imagine it’s that way with any stick burner. And it would definitely come in under your budget from what it sounds like. Good luck with the search!

        Comment


        • CaptainMike
          CaptainMike commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you, I'll check them out.

        • mrteddyprincess
          mrteddyprincess commented
          Editing a comment
          I've been cooking on a Lang 48 inch patio deluxe for about two years now. Left-handed version. I cook all year long and have cooked as low as -15 F outside temps with no issues. I won't make any claims about Lang being better than others because I only have experience on the Lang. For me, it's been a great cooker! Good luck!

        #9
        My stickburner is nothing to write home about (or write in the comments about 🤣), but I’ll tell you that you’re on the right path to outstanding barbecue.

        It was about five years ago that I switched from charcoal with wood chunks to full stick burning. The flavor profile is second to none. The work it takes to manage a fire is worth every bit of lost sleep during an overnight cook.

        Comment


        • Steve B
          Steve B commented
          Editing a comment
          I’ve only done a couple of overnight cooks with my LSG. I still have a full time job. So I really have to take that into consideration. Even when doing a day long cook.
          As much fun as it is it does take a bit of a toll on you.

        • Steve B
          Steve B commented
          Editing a comment
          Don’t get me wrong Mike. I love the journey to get to the destination. Great BBQ.
          Tried to edit my last post but it didn’t work. 😔

        • hoovarmin
          hoovarmin commented
          Editing a comment
          Santamarina you have been planted here by the MCS devils to provoke my lust for a stick burner.

        #10
        I went “custom” on mine.

        https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...get-ripped-off

        Above is my journey 😀 Have you considered a local welder (if you can find it in your area)?

        I lucked out and found an amazing welder an hour north of me. I guess the custom smoker build could’ve gone bad for me, but I visited him in person and talked with him at length. I walked away confident he knew exactly what I was looking for and could get the job done.
        Last edited by scottranda; October 2, 2020, 06:59 AM.

        Comment


        • scottranda
          scottranda commented
          Editing a comment
          Here is my finished product (the offset I had custom made) https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...ly-stickburner

        • CaptainMike
          CaptainMike commented
          Editing a comment
          I remember that post, magnificent contraption! I can weld a bit and thought about taking the Henrik approach, but I just don't have that skill level. I'm sure I could find someone locally to fabricate one for me, but it would take a lot of R&D that folks like LSG have already done and have proven products. There's a cost that goes with that for sure, but I've learned the hard way that sometimes you can't beat a man at his own trade (think drywall and roofing!)

        • scottranda
          scottranda commented
          Editing a comment
          Fair points!! Haha!!

        #11
        Gotta git out th door an head to work, but I'll weigh in with some my thoughts an experience later today, Cap'n.

        Have a great Friday, Mike!

        Comment


        • CaptainMike
          CaptainMike commented
          Editing a comment
          Looking forward to your comments, Brother.

        #12
        This may bring out a few, "It's not a stick burner, it uses electricity" comments, but if it is cooking with wood you seek the KBQ is an option to consider. It manages the temperature for you, all you have to do is add wood. It's made of stainless steel, so no flaking paint, rust, or seasoning. It is nowhere near the weight of the offsets, so it's easy to put away or take somewhere. Another feature is the fire isn't locked in a box out of sight, it's on top front and centre for all to see and puts on a show.

        However it lacks the cool factor. it isn't some giant beast that generates a touch of envy in any man who lays eyes on it. Rather is a shiny box with a small footprint that will leave such men unimpressed, until it's lit and the food is served. There isn't the necessity of mastering temperature and smoke control, so you won't have much to brag about. But I'm old and beyond the need to impress. It's easy to use and produces perfect results every time.

        And it's about half your budget. You could also get a Watchman stove. I don't own one presently but would like to have one, grilling with live wood fire. And you'd have enough to get an Engelbrecht Santa Maria grill which looks like a lot of fun.

        https://kbq.us/

        https://thewatchmanstove.com/

        https://grillsandcookers.com/collect...raten-campfire

        Head on over to the 'KBQ has landed' thread and see some of the stuff Ernest puts out.

        Comment


        • ComfortablyNumb
          ComfortablyNumb commented
          Editing a comment
          So how much work involved? The tending of the firebox requires two things. One is keeping it filled with wood. Wood at the bottom turns into coals, the wood at the top is the future coal bed. So it is important to keep the box filled. The other thing is fluffing the coal bed. You want the coals to be covering the holes in the bottom of the firebox. A poker is included, which conveniently stores in a hole in the firebox, to push/knock down coals for that purpose.

        • ComfortablyNumb
          ComfortablyNumb commented
          Editing a comment
          Another thing is it is ambidextrous. You can load wood from the left side just as easy as from the right, You can just as easily load wood from behind it, and the front is doable, you would just have to reach over the control box. And there is no need for a side table, in fact a side table would be a hindrance to adding wood. A table is best placed across from the front as the cook box is built much like the oven in your house.

        • ComfortablyNumb
          ComfortablyNumb commented
          Editing a comment
          Which brings up another great feature. You don't have to lift food off the grate, the grates slide out and the food can be moved on the grate. The box is sized so a standard hotel pan can be slid in. This catches the grease and makes clean up easier. As for cleaning, you just hose it down. If it is bad, you can spray oven cleaner on it and then hose it down. The only thing that can't get wet is the control box. So that has to be cleaned with a damp rag and an old toothbrush.

        #13
        I purchased a Gator Pit almost this time last year for about $2500 shipped. I can't think of a single complaint, and I went pretty basic on it. Think I only upgraded the tires. I did go from a 20" to 24" diameter and am glad that I did. I looked at Lang, Jambo, Gator, Lonestar, Yoder, JJ, Peoria, Shirley a whole slew of them really. They all looked great. I have a grill over the firebox that I've only used a few times, mostly because it is easier to grill on my Akorn. Great for searing a prime rib or something after a smoke though.

        If I could do it over again, I would maybe give a longer look to a vertical smoker, just because 6 feet long is pretty sizable in my garage. The warmers also look pretty cool, but I couldn't justify the additional price. Enjoy the hunt, I think I was well over a year doing research.

        I guess my only advice is order as early as you can. My pit took 6 months to build. I was all set to buy a Shirley, but the wait list was about 36 months when I was ready to order. If I had to guess an average, it be 12 weeks maybe. Think I was told 12 weeks, but obviously that was not correct in my case.

        Comment


        • CaptainMike
          CaptainMike commented
          Editing a comment
          They have a serious lineup!

        • Beefchop
          Beefchop commented
          Editing a comment
          This is my pick.

        #14
        CaptainMike I don't have any of the commercially built pits you are looking at - a lot of them would be great - but do want to point out that living where you do, the farther these heavy monsters have to ship, the higher the freight charge. To get to the Great State of Jefferson from elsewhere in the US will likely be hundreds of dollars - maybe $500-600 even. Ask for a shipping estimate from any of these offset manufactures, and factor that into your budget.

        Comment


        • CaptainMike
          CaptainMike commented
          Editing a comment
          And a side trip to the Morris place!!

        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          Which Morris Place lol?
          (I'd put both on my itinerary. )
          Last edited by Mr. Bones; October 2, 2020, 06:23 PM. Reason: >?<

        • CaptainMike
          CaptainMike commented
          Editing a comment
          Dang right, Mr. Bones

        #15
        I'm a +1 on the Lonestar. Shipping cost is unfortunate, if my memory serves me the shipping alone was $600. More locally you could look at "California Custom Smokers"...I have no experience with them.

        KAT Smokers are in Modesto, look like decent quality.

        I went through the 12 or so builders/options and ended on Lonestar and couldn't be happier.

        Comment


        • CaptainMike
          CaptainMike commented
          Editing a comment
          In your signature you say you have a KBQ as well, how does it compare to your LSG?

        • JakeT
          JakeT commented
          Editing a comment
          CaptainMike it's hard to compare. I still love and use the KBQ...but a true offset smoker has a flavor that can't be replicated. I think the KBQ "cleans" the smoke too much sometimes. If I had to choose one or the other...I'd go with the LSG all day...it's more fun and more fire. Plus I enjoy the challenge the offset presents. The KBQ has become my portable smoker, especially camping or company events.

        • CaptainMike
          CaptainMike commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the feedback Jake. I gotta say, there are a lot of great choices out there, but the LSG just seems to offer a few more accessories and options that is pushing it over the top.

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