Some Questions........

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Some Questions........

Postby Bayou Black Iron » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:37 am

Me and a friend are getting ready to order a Backwoods (either Party or Fatboy) and are looking for some opinions w/ answers to some questions.

We've looked at both and have formed some opinions but are looking for advice from folks who have actual experience with these cookers. Can you offer the "pros and cons" of each. I have a large offset for big cooks but am looking for the convenience that the Backwoods would offer and I may also consider using it at comps (easier in and out than with my big rig). My friend will be using it as a patio cooker but he feeds 20 to 35 people on a fairly regular basis. It looks as though the capacity, of each, is pretty similar, with just a tad more room on the Fatboy. Is the extra room worth contending with the extra weight? We plan on getting the stand and castors (does anyone have pics of these?) but will still, on occasion, be loading it in and out of a pick-up. We live in SE Louisiana so will the extra inch of insulation in the Fatboy offer much more in the way of performance? What is the "sliders" option? How accessible is the fixed water pan, in the Fatboy, for cleaning? We will probably be ordering without the guru (probably will add later)...I have no experience with one but am looking for recommendations.

If we go with the Party, the upgrades (stainless doors, heavy duty grate, deflector plate, stand and castors) are going to bring it pretty much into line with the price of the Fatboy, so the comparative costs aren't the issue.

Any feedback is appreciated.
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Re: Some Questions........

Postby TN_BBQ » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:54 pm

Bayou Black Iron wrote:Me and a friend are getting ready to order a Backwoods (either Party or Fatboy) and are looking for some opinions w/ answers to some questions.

We've looked at both and have formed some opinions but are looking for advice from folks who have actual experience with these cookers. Can you offer the "pros and cons" of each. I have a large offset for big cooks but am looking for the convenience that the Backwoods would offer and I may also consider using it at comps (easier in and out than with my big rig). My friend will be using it as a patio cooker but he feeds 20 to 35 people on a fairly regular basis. It looks as though the capacity, of each, is pretty similar, with just a tad more room on the Fatboy. Is the extra room worth contending with the extra weight? We plan on getting the stand and castors (does anyone have pics of these?) but will still, on occasion, be loading it in and out of a pick-up. We live in SE Louisiana so will the extra inch of insulation in the Fatboy offer much more in the way of performance? What is the "sliders" option? How accessible is the fixed water pan, in the Fatboy, for cleaning? We will probably be ordering without the guru (probably will add later)...I have no experience with one but am looking for recommendations.

If we go with the Party, the upgrades (stainless doors, heavy duty grate, deflector plate, stand and castors) are going to bring it pretty much into line with the price of the Fatboy, so the comparative costs aren't the issue.

Any feedback is appreciated.


Either one of them is plenty big enough for 20 - 35 people.

The fatboy is a more substantial cooker. Briskets & ribs fit in the fatboy easier.

The extra weight of the fatboy means it will hold heat longer. It also means it'll take more to get it fired up (either more fuel or more time). The fatboy firebox is also larger and with the added weight, it'll cook for longer period of time (both the part & fatboy will give you >8 hours of sleep time).

Fatboy on castors and stand looks pretty much like what you'd expect. It's nice to have a smoker that is chest high, but be careful about making it too tall (if it's too top-heavy it could tip over).

With castors, you'll be able to move it on hard surfaces. On soft surfaces (like Louisiana grass) you'll have trouble. Some folks cut a piece of plywood in half and use the 2 pieces to roll the smoker on. Your best bet is to back your truck up to the cooking spot and drop it off.

The best thing to do with a fixed water pan is to line it with foil. The foil will catch most of the grease and make it much easier to clean (but who wants a clean smoker? :D ).

Get the guru.
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Postby Captain-que » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:06 pm

The Guru does make a big difference on the Fatboy. In good weather, with the guru running, heater diverter in place and a cover on the water pan, I could easily go 8 hours before needing water and I once went almost 12 on a single load of coals. (pan loaded very full)
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Postby Bayou Black Iron » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:00 pm

Thanks for the response...we went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Fatboy. We added the extra racks (sliders), stand, castors and heat diverter. We'll pick up a guru after we get over the sticker shock :D

Being told 6 to 8 weeks...already can't wait. I'm looking forward to it...I suspect there's something wrong with Queing and sleeping at the same time but I'll try to get use to it :lol:
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Postby Captain-que » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:05 pm

Congrats! I'm slowly working my way through the lineup and the Fatboy has been my favorite model so far.
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Postby TN_BBQ » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:27 pm

Bayou Black Iron wrote:I suspect there's something wrong with Queing and sleeping at the same time but I'll try to get use to it :lol:

In addition to sleep, you now have time for your other hobbies (golf, fishing, etc.)

Tending a fire at 3AM is way over rated. :D

My basic routine when pulling an all nighter on a BWS is to get the smoker going nice and steady for a few hours. I'll then top everything off (water, coal, etc.). Give it 30 minutes or so to make sure it's still running steady and then call it a night.

Enjoy and welcome to the family.
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