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Discussion Starter #1
Been looking at offset stick burners. Very much considering a Yoder Cheyenne
but also looking at the Old Country Brazo

The Yoder is made in the USA and the Old Country is made in Mexico which obvious makes me lean towards the Yoder.

Not interested in pellet smokers at this time. I like the "hands on" aspect of the stick burner.

What do you got and how do you like it?
 

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We have a Horizon smoker. They are made in Perry, Oklahoma. The company is owned by Roger Davidson, the former VP and brother, to Joe Davidson, of "Oklahoma Joe's" fame, long before the company was sold to the "lets contract them out of cheap foil and have them made in China." Our model is the 20" RD Special, and it is so easy to operate that even my PHD-buddy can make it work. Any piece of wood which will fit into the fire box will work, it drafts very well, and the cook chamber temps can be well-evened by use of the sliding deflector plate.


I have direct experience with two individuals who purchased the Yoder Cheyenne and all of us regretted their buying decision. Sadly, they seem to suffer from design flaws that are not apparent at first blush, as they seem to be about the same as the Horizon of the same size. They do not draft well at all, to the point that Yoder started telling people that they needed to swing (I kid you not) the smoker around as the winds shift, so that the breeze would always be forced into the air intake. Sounds like fun, don't it! Much of the heat and smoke will exit through the upper INTAKE vent. Yoder's slight lowering of the intake vents has not been well received by my observation. Then, Yoder told people that their cookers really needed to be used with Yoder-supplied special kiln-dried (read...expensive) wood. But wait, there's more: they went so far as to say that all fires should anly be built towards the very back of the fire box, and only on the far right hand side, at that. All this in hopes that these cookers might start to perform like they were capable or something.



The major problem seems to be that the entire fire box is just positioned too high in relation to the cook chamber. This makes tending them too much of a chore when compared to a smoker that simply...works. Wet wood, dry wood, breeze from wherever the hell it wants to come from, briquettes or wood (oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the "official" Yoder directive, among others, to very precisely lay out a continual bed of charcoal so the damn things might send enough radiant heat all the way to the food), my friends with the Cheyennes wanted to borrow my Horizon all the time, as it simply works, and well.



We also own a Yoder pellet cooker, a YS640, and are most-impressed with it's design, construction, and ease of use. It's built like a tank and produces delicious foods. We don't hate Yoder but we do think they took a huge swing-and-a-miss with the Cheyenne and then compounded the original error by doubling down with all the crap recommendations concerning "how can I make my Cheyenne work right" questions, that the internet is full of. The Yoder Kingman smoker has a very good reputation but it migh be a bit larger than you are seeking. If I had it to do over again, I would have ordered our Horizon with a 24" cook chamber instead of the 20". This would allow full slabs of spare ribs to be placed crosswise in the cook chamber, increasing how much meat we could cram in there. When we ordered it, 20" inches seemed absolutely huge, but seemed to shrink as more and more people kept showing up around BBQ chow time, of course they bring sides and beer so it all works out. My wife thinks we need to get a much larger smoker.



There are many fine offset smokers out there, I (and a bunch of my friends) just don't think the Cheyenne is one of them.



Good luck with your search!
 

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I have one of those Chinese made Okie Joe Reverse Flow offsets.....did the gasket kit/urethane probe thingy. Actually, pretty happy with baffle plates that came with it (maintained 5-15* across it). To me, though, I kinda lose interest in maintaining fuel after a few hrs. That's entirely on me. It isn't very hard to set up my Weber kettles to maintain 225-250* for 4-5 hrs. Been looking at the Campchef SG pellet grill, to just set and forget situations.....yeah, pure lazy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Roger, Thank you. exactly the info I was looking for posting this thread.

The one thing I like about the OL Country over the Yoder is on the Old Country the outlet or exhaust is even with the cooking grate versus on the Yoder its at the to pf the chamber.

Thanks again.
 

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I made my own out of a 24" x 3/8" wall pipe.

I went on Smokerbuilder.com and used their formula for cook chamber, fire box size, opening from firebox to chamber and stack diameter/length.

Turned out really nice, doesn't take a whole shitload of woo to run, and temp stays even very nicely because of so much mass. I also run the stack into the cook chamber to within about 2 inches of the cook surface and run 2 temp gauges that when the lid is down they are very close to the grate to give a true temp. Having them up in the lid never did make sense to me, I want to know the temp where the meat is at not a foot above it.

My temps don't vary more than about 10 to 15 degrees across the length because of the reverse flow/baffle setup.
 

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I got a Chargriller competition pro offset, it worked pretty good right out of the box but I did a few upgrades anyway, gaskets for the lid & positive latches, insulated the bottom of the cooking chamber to add bulk and help maintain heat, baffle plates for consistent temps across the cooking surface, I've got about $400 bucks in it at this point, it's built pretty solid, I'm happy with it.











 

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I actually own the exact same Old Country model. I bought some tuning plates sold online that work great distributing the heat. I have no complaints, had it about 4 years already. It holds heat pretty well. I've had cheap pits where you can't cook low heat and light smoke but this one will do it, which is great for chicken and ribs.
 

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I went to Academy with a buddy, as he wanted to look at Old Country offsets. They had a whole bunch of them lined up outside, with the most common style being the about 20" diameter X 40"-something long. Upon closer examination, we discovered that two different models looked almost exactly alike, but one was made from really thin metal and one model was made from 1/4" steel pipe...both at the same sales price. He purchased the heavier one and it performs just as one would hope, and it drafts just fine. If memory serves, I believe the two models concerned were the "Brazos" and the "Pecos," but I could have that wrong....they had a lot of smokers with similar sounding names.
 

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I have a OC Brazos and love it. It is the same thing as a Pecos, just heavier steel.
The Pecos is around 200lbs and the Brazos is around 400lbs. Keep that in mind if your going to move it alot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Been doing a lot of research on this and after much reading and youtube watching I'm leaning very heavily towards a Lone Star Grillz smoker

I'm liking the 20x36 a lot.
 

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Have you looked at meadow creek? Just noticed you're from philly area, meadow creek is made in new holland I believe, save on shipping lol
 

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i have an old country pecos from academy. sealed all the doors, and added some 1/4" plates in the main chamber to even out the heat distribution. cooks like a champ but will use some damn fuel.


im going to build a PID temp controller for it this spring
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Last week I ended up ordering the 20x36 Lone Star Grillz I posted above.
Excited about getting it as it is very well reviewed. Not jazzed about the lead-time (8-10 weeks)
3 things I have heard people repeatably say about the Lone Star Grillz is that they are very fuel efficient, temps are very even across the chamber and build quality is superb.
I'll update you all once I get it up and running.
Thanks for input and help.

RogerWilco, thanks again, because of your post regarding the Yoder I did some digging and found that Yoder was probably not a good direction to go.
 

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I'm using a 24x48 no upright on my trailer now. It worked well, but for competition I like to use different woods for different meats. So we got a pit maker vault, but we roll that on to a separate trailer and haul it around. I wanted to put it on my existing trailer, but it won't support the weight. Wanted to add an axle, but it wasn't recommended. Thought about mounting the smaller pit maker safe on there, but I still might be pushing it. Weather I get the 24 or the 20 I'm still going to have a vault or safe mounted on the new trailer with a frame and axles that can support the weight from the get go. So I'll have large capacity capability if I run out of room on the smaller 20 inch offset. I just played around with my 16 horizon ranger which is 16x40 and I can fit two 9 pound briskets on it comfortably, so I think I can put 4 on a 20x60, but it's gonna be close and I'm pretty much limited to 9lbs and under which isn't always going to be available.... I'm trying to justify to myself for going with the smaller size since it's really just for competition and maybe a tailgate at the game...for cook offs I only cook 2 briskets and for a tailgate party 3 usually gets its done when I have other meats like ribs or butts...ill have the vault if I really need to load up for a large reunion or something...cooking at home, I'll still have my other pits for bigger cooks...im having a real hard time letting go of that gator...but, I know you guys are right... I should go with the bigger size... Maybe I can leave room and add a gator grill or something later on.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Forgot about this thread. Been using the LGS 20x36 for a few months now and can not say a single bad thing about it. It's an excellent smoker. Well worth the money.
There is about a 20 degree difference or so between the top and bottom grate(top is hotter) but the temperature across the grates is very even. It burns about 1 split every 45 minutes to an hour. It's just an easy smoker to run.
18# Brisket I did on labor day that was excellent...
 

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Forgot about this thread. Been using the LGS 20x36 for a few months now and can not say a single bad thing about it. It's an excellent smoker. Well worth the money.
There is about a 20 degree difference or so between the top and bottom grate(top is hotter) but the temperature across the grates is very even. It burns about 1 split every 45 minutes to an hour. It's just an easy smoker to run.
18# Brisket I did on labor day that was excellent...
Looks delish.
 
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