Is bigger better?

Horizontal smokers with a side firebox and tuning plates.
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ThinBlue
Wants to build a smoker
Wants to build a smoker
Posts: 21
Joined: September 16th, 2021, 8:15 am

Is bigger better?

Post by ThinBlue » September 17th, 2021, 6:00 pm

Do y'all have any thoughts on efficiency of burn or evenness of temperatures within the CC based on the size of the smoker or dimensions of the CC. For instance would there any difference between a 24x68 CC vs a 30x54.5 CC? Both would equal 120 gallons in volume. Likewise, are there any "standard" expectancies in cooking with a 120gal vs 150gal vs 250gal?

Essentially what I am getting at is that I am at the planning stage for my first offset smoker. I'm a long time WSM user but I'm looking to move on to a stick burner. A 120gal tank would technically provide plenty of cooking area for me but if there is an advantage to going bigger other than just having more cooking area I would be interesting in hearing about it.

Thanks for your input!



Devin&Bobbi
Just Got in trouble for buying tools
Just Got in trouble for buying tools
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Re: Is bigger better?

Post by Devin&Bobbi » September 17th, 2021, 7:29 pm

Personally, my opinion is that within reason the size is far less relevant than the manner in which the pit is built. The pit my wife and I built is a 250 and it cooks very evenly across 85-90% of the grate. We'll be doing a 120 next and we'll probably build it the same way. The Franklin pit is a 120 I believe, so is the new fat stack, the babe from primative pits as well as Sunny Moberg's backyard model and I've read they all cook evenly across 90% of the grate.



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Dirtytires
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Re: Is bigger better?

Post by Dirtytires » September 18th, 2021, 11:18 am

My experience is that a shorter/larger diameter pit will have a more constant temp from side to side than a longer/smaller diameter pit. However, the temp difference from bottom rack to top rack is usually greater in a larger diameter pit. Once you go over 30 inches, a third rack is usually installed so top to bottom temps can be more important than left to right.

So, my advice to to stay out of the extremes of super long and narrow or really fat and short and you should be able to manage the temps to get them into acceptable fluctuation. All pits have a swing and part of being a good pitmaster is being able to take advantage of that.



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