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For those with multiple cookers: how do you choose?

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    I own a kamado vision, charbroil infrared grill, a lodge sportsman hibachi, the camp chef double burner, the camp maid setup, a discada, and enough cast iron to open a small foundry hahaha. I love to cook, and I love being able to prepare food in multiple ways.
    Sometimes it is merely a matter of what I want to use. There are days when I have the time, and instead of using the deep fryer, I would rather fire up a burner and use the discada or the Dutch oven as my deep frier. There have been days when I have opted to cook my soup beans outside over the fire instead of inside. Time is a huge factor, some methods take longer to use then others.
    plus, it’s me carrying all that stuff outside. Lol.


      I think everyone is different and they like different foods prepared different ways. I think its extremely interesting to see how everyone cooks the exact same piece of protein so many different ways and on so many different cookers!!! I think that's part of what brings us to this awesome hobby!!
      For me, it all depends on how many I'm feeding and what protein I'm fixing. A single pork butt....that gets the 26" weber kettle. On the other hand if it's 4 pork butts....then that's the PBC.
      If it's something hot and fast, then I have a choice between the kettle or the gas grill or even the camp chef 3 burner cook top.
      If i'm needing something like beans, mac and cheese or cornbread made with a hint of smoke....then that's when I turn to the propane vertical box smoker.
      Right now I have 5 different types of cookers......yea they can do pretty much the same thing, but they vary in the amount of food I can cook at once.
      For me...I'm looking to add another cooker/smoker/grill to my small arsenal. Maybe a ceramic cooker...or a patio LSG stick burner??? Who knows but it will be something different than what I have now, something that will push me to learn a new way of cooking but also making some good Q!!


        Simple answer. I think of almost every cook and meal as an experiment so....this wonderful site seems to fuel that theory for me! Kettle? BGE? PBC? Weber Genesis Gas? Pellet Grill? No others on order that I can remember right now.
        Last edited by Skip; May 14, 2020, 06:42 AM.


          I like having options. There are flavor differences and differences in how hands on I want to be.

          If I have time and I want the best BBQ I can make, go for the KBQ every time.

          The BGEs are awesome for smoking and grilling. I use the BGEs much more in the winter months. I can use my controllers and stay inside in those cold winter months.

          I also like using the PBC for simple cooks, like ribs or chicken. I can also bring the PBC anywhere and have tons of flexibility with capacity and types of meats you can cook, and cook quickly.

          I am currently looking at adding a Backwoods G2 Chubby. Just for kicks.....and I want more cookers......seems to be a theme around here


          • troymeister
            troymeister commented
            Editing a comment
            Spinaker The colder months for you are like September through June...

          I've always applied this to folks who collect cars. Jerry Seinfeld for instance, has 30 or 40 Porches last I remember hearing. How do you decide which to drive and when? I cannot imagine the need for that. Back to cookers, I choose which to use based first of all on what I'm cooking (ribs? brisket? they love charcoal and/or wood; chicken pieces or burgers? They are mighty tasty with pellets, etc), second on how much babysitting do I have time for (or patience for if it's nasty weather or raining), and if I still can't decide I ask my wife "which cooker should I use for this?" If I'm going camping it's either the PBC or the kettle that goes with us, depending on if there'll be a group of friends at the campground (PBC for capacity) or just us (kettle). I have the same trouble deciding which wood to use.


          • Uncle Bob
            Uncle Bob commented
            Editing a comment
            The old car enthusiast thing is a great comparison, guilty as charged. Fifteen or so years ago we moved to a new neighborhood. One of the neighbor couples came over to get acquainted and upon seeing four old cars in the garage the wife said "Ah, going through your mid-life crisis?". I said, "Well, if having old cars is the criterium then I've been in a constant state of 'mid-life crisis' since I was 16." She looked perplexed.

          I have 22 and 26" Weber kettles, Weber Genesis, PBC and Blackstone. I use the 22 more than any of them. As it's just the two of us I don't usually need more in terms of capacity. However, the 26 is nice when I want to do a rack of Blasphemy ribs. That way I can put them on a bigger rack for better spacing or if I want to smoke a bunch of sausages to freeze for various uses later.

          The gasser is now only used to do quick hot cooks like dogs, veggies, toasting buns etc. Maybe the searing for reverse seared steaks if I don't feel like using a bunch of charcoal for a 4 minute sear.

          If I want smash burgers then the Blackstone is deployed. That also gets used for stir fry and ginormous breakfasts the wife occasionally makes.

          The PBC is rarely used. I only really use it just for fun and something different.

          So ultimately the 22 is my go to whether it's a meatloaf or a long hunk of meat smoke. The others are selected based off cook time and /or capacity.

          However, I may cook on one simply because it may have been a while since I used that cooker. It's weird (maybe not weird for this glorious place), but I don't want any of my cookers to feel left out or neglected for too long.


            I have the Jumbo Joe, 14.5" WSM, Weber Spirit 3 burner, PBC, 26.75" Weber kettle and an OKJ offset. The Joe, WSM and gasser reside in the garage. The gasser hardly ever gets used but when it does I do like it's functionality and even heat distribution. Because they WSM and Joe reside in the garage I'm able to use them during winter - pull them just past the threshold. They are also quite portable and have served me well at tailgates and camping. I really like the set/forget nature of the PBC and now that I have the hinged grate it's nice to throw some potatoes on while a pork butt is hanging and doing its thing. The big kettle is by far the most versatile and if I could only keep one that would be it (I do have the SnS for it). I've had the OKJ for a year and because it's a cheap offset it requires a ton of baby-sitting when in use. I used it a few weeks ago. I threw in a chuck roast and a bunch of other stuff that ranged 1-3 hours to cook. After 3 hours I moved the chuck roast from the OKJ to the Kettle + SnS to finish. As most of you surely know cooking with wood produces a different flavor profile than other fuel sources. I do like that if I remove my make-shift baffle I can throw a couple of steaks close to the firebox and use it as a grill. Thick steaks will get really good sear on both sides sitting close to the firebox by the time they hit medium rare.


              I only need three outdoor cookers: a stickburner smoker, a charcoal grill, and my 36” Blackstone griddle!

              Can’t find a fourth outdoor cooker I need. If anything might qualify it’s the air fryer that gets heavy use with sides for things I cook outside.

              Now I certainly have the desire to upgrade those pieces, but those would replace what I have now, or add to them.


                So, these responses are typical of any hobbyist community Ive been part of. When I was learning about Japanese knives, I hung out at Kitchen Knife Forums. It's probably the premier board for j-knife knowledge in the world, at least in English. There, too, people fell into two broad camps - collectors and those who viewed knives as tools. The latter subdivided, of course. Some are chefs, some are serious home cooks, some are regular home cooks. But the collectors had 20+ knives, many of them duplicates of a given style. They didn't just find a really nice $200 knife, they'd often have gorgeous $1000 knives or they'd have a thin-bladed gyuto for one kind of prep and a thicker knife for another.

                And reading above, we have the same. Not so much collectors, but some of you have way more cookers than you really need. But you enjoy it and can get cookers for specific stuff so... you do. Others of us might have a couple of cookers for broadly different categories, but are less serious. Me, I'm in the latter category. I have a 22" Weber with SNS and can dial it in at about 250F so for now it's fine for smoking. I have a Smokey Joe for quick grilling and...that's it. But then, I read about some of your cooks and am jealous... hmm.
                Last edited by rickgregory; May 14, 2020, 01:44 PM.


                • Mr. Bones
                  Mr. Bones commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Sounds like yer all set up; a person can make nearly everything/anything with th cookers ya have, given some experience, an practice.
                  There's also a reason that they make more than jus one Universal golf club. A reason some of us might have more than one guitfiddle, or amp. Same holds true fer cookers.
                  I likely only have bout 50 kitchen knives, so at least it ain't like my cast iron, which I have kinda an obsession t'wards

                Sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don't.


                • Mr. Bones
                  Mr. Bones commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Might try callin Peter Paul. They can help, though nowadays, it'll most likely be ported over to Hershey's.

                Mine is determined by how much time I have and what flavors I'm looking for. Sometimes it's determined by which grill(s) are clean and ready to go. With more free time right now, the WSCG is getting more use than the pellet grill and the gasser has been fired up once in the last couple months. The OKJ is still isn't in the rotation much yet.


                  I just got a PBC, so currently I've been trying to find excuses to use that one as often as possible. It's hard to justify loading it up with a bunch of charcoal just to make a couple chicken breasts or thighs, so that's when I bust out my gas grill for a quick dinner. Finally, I have a Smoke Vault (in my profile pic, although now I have the bigger version), which I haven't used since I got the PBC, but only because I'm still experimenting with the PBC.

                  I can see using my Smoke Vault again in the near future because it's still kicked out the best brisket I've ever made. It's also nice to not worry about coals dying out for longer cooks (like pork butts).


                    Like you, deciding when to use the WSM vs the BGE could not only be an exercise in futility, but also lead to even more questions/issues. Like, "Why did I choose that one?" Or "Would it have been better on the other?" Or developing a case of paralysis by analysis. I don’t need that drama. LOL

                    As the owner of multiple cookers, I try to avoid too much overlap.

                    My main charcoal grill is the WSCGC. Pretty much everything I could want in a kettle AND it smokes as well as the WSM (better?)...so no need to replace that. Much like your BGE & kettle combo...but in one unit obviously...which can limit what can be done at any given time.

                    My gasser is a 2005 Weber Summit Platinum D6. Six burners, and all the bells & whistles. It’s even capable of doing low & slow...though that does require a bit more work. Super at hot & fast with minimal fuss and the rotisserie is excellent. Perfect for quick cooks, but I’ve done everything on it...including pizza.

                    I have a Dyna Glo XL Premium Dual Chamber. Decent grill, and would seriously overlap a kettle save for the crank charcoal grates. I use it primarily like a Santa Maria grill...which is why I got it. I wanted a SM style grill but with a lid. If I ever decide to splurge and get a proper SM...that one will go. I’ve yet to run out of space on the WSCGC, so I’ve not used it for "overflow." It leaks like a sieve so I can’t imagine smoking on it without some serious mods. But loaded up with red oak and a tri tip...excellent.

                    I also have a 36” griddle. Sure, I could put a griddle on one of the others, but that 4-burner griddle has massive amounts of real estate. Smash burgers or fajitas for a crowd is easy...all while leaving the other grills open for anything else.

                    Finally, I’ve got a Camp Chef Somerset IV stove out there. A perfect companion to the other cookers and far superior to a single side burner like I have on the Summit. Two burners are currently occupied by their Artisan pizza oven and I use an 8.5qt CI Dutch oven for frying. Keeps the mess & smell outside...with more control than I can get on charcoal...and no lid to potentially hinder me, like the side burner of most gassers. Having used it for a while, I can readily recommend an outdoor stove of some sort.

                    So yeah, while I have multiples, they all serve a purpose and tend not to duplicate each other. At least not too much. With my current setup I can pretty much do everything outside should I be so inclined. More often than not, I am.


                      I just realized how I choose. It happened today. I go on marketplace everyday and search "bbq smokers" "charcoal grill". Every once in awhile I get a really good hit. Its how I got my Hasty Bake, Humphreys, WSM 22, Broil King Keg, WSM 18, and my Camp Chef Pellet. I look for clearance sales as well I got a bunch of cookers that way as well.

                      I got all those cookers listed above for less than 1500 over the course of 6 or 7 years. Today I got a hit on a PK Grill for 100 bucks but I lost it. I basically go fishing for platinum and gold medals everyday (it takes 10 seconds) and every once I get a hit but after more than a decade of hunting they add up.

                      The hunt is as fun as the cooking for me and then I get to play with a new toy. Some are great right away some arent. It took me a year to realize that I absolutely love my Hasty Bake, I never would have realized that if I didnt go and find one for 200 bucks. Ill tell you what though, if it ever goes down im playing full price for another one!


                      • CaptainMike
                        CaptainMike commented
                        Editing a comment
                        One of my favorite stories on AR is when you picked up that Hasty Bake. Still makes me chuckle.

                      • tenphases
                        tenphases commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Aww man that was sooo much fun!

                      I had a Napoleon gas grill first then I wanted to start smoking so I bought a Traeger pellet grill, then to cook in cold weather I bought an Akron Kamado egg. The wind blew my Akron egg off the deck and damaged it so I plan to replace it with an new egg. Right now I am looking at a Vision Kamado that I can buy locally. My next toy may be a Santa Maria style grill as I like the idea of cooking over wood but space is a controlling factor.



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