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Old 12-04-2005, 07:34 PM   #1
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Gator, Bates, Diamond Plate

I am now looking to purchase a trailer BBQ smoker. Right now I am using a Charbroil Silver Smoker (suffer with it each week). There are a number of good manufactures making some good smokers but being a young kid from PA, price (like to keep the price below $2000) is a big deciding factor. Someday I hope to be selling my BBQ at my dad’s beer store along with competing in some competitions. Right now I am looking at the Gator Budget Smoker, a comparable smoker from Bate Pitts or Diamond Plate 50 series or Fat 50 series. I like to get some feedback from some of you that have had experience with these products.

I heard enough about the good quality of the Gator and Bates smokers but I have not heard much about the quality of the Diamond Plate smokers. Can anyone chime in on his or her review of the quality of the Diamond Plate smoker workmanship? Also I like size of their smoker but does it provide even heat distribution as the traditional offset smokers? I know Gator and Bates use ¼ inch steel but the Diamond Plate smoker uses only 3/16 inch steel. Do you think this make a big difference in heat retention both in the firebox and heating chamber? I also notice that the firebox on the Diamond Plate product is located behind the cooking chamber. Would this make for a better heat exchange than the traditional offset smoker? Also with the smaller pull behind smokers would they tend to be more bouncy on the road? Also most of the traveling will be on hills and winding roads so is one model better handling than others? Lastly a good part of my cooking with this smoker will be only for a few racks of ribs or a couple chickens so would a bigger rig like the Diamond Plate 50 series or Fat 50 be to big to fire up for such a small cooking? Also anyone using the Gator Budget Smoker, approximately how many butts/briskets can this smoker hold at anyone time?

In regards to service before and after the sale I read that Gator does a great job servicing their customers before and after the sale. What has your experience been with Bates and Diamond Plate?

Thanks

Chris
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:46 AM   #2
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I belive you will be fine with any of those makes mentioned
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Old 12-05-2005, 05:42 PM   #3
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I talked to Travis & OkieJay a while back and both told me the metal is thinner on their pits. thus the lighter weight of the pit. looks like a nice pit just thinner metal. look on the smokering forum and find a reply by OkieJay about how he ranked pits and you will find he ranked Gator-Klose-Bates-Lang as the best pits. Having owned a Lang ( very good pit ) if I were to buy a new mobile it would be a Gator. Just my thoughts.
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:53 AM   #4
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I saw in the new KCBS Bullsheet A guy advertising pits and he was in Pa.
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Old 12-09-2005, 08:53 AM   #5
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I decided to go with the gator with a few mods like tuning plates, gas log lighter and pull out cooking grates. I spoke to Chris the other day and he was able to give me quotes on shipping and on the mods I wanted. I decided to go gator because of 3/16 steel and with the gator I know will be happy with it because of Ritch's reputation. I would like to place my order before the new year but I dont know if Ill have the money by then.

Thank for the advice,

Chris
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Old 12-09-2005, 12:04 PM   #6
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Can't go wrong with a Gator.
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Old 12-12-2005, 06:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris1237
I decided to go with the gator with a few mods like tuning plates, gas log lighter and pull out cooking grates. I spoke to Chris the other day and he was able to give me quotes on shipping and on the mods I wanted. I decided to go gator because of 3/16 steel and with the gator I know will be happy with it because of Ritch's reputation. I would like to place my order before the new year but I dont know if Ill have the money by then.

Thank for the advice,

Chris
What model pit did you order???
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Old 12-12-2005, 01:38 PM   #8
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What size pit are you getting? If anything less than a 20x54" I wouldn't get tuning plates...you will be wasting your money. Put that money into another foot or two depending upon the plate prices. I bought 3/8" plates for my 20x54 and it cost me about $60 total. It will allow for more use of the area next to the firebox. Did you happen to look at a Klose? also check some of the boards for a used one. I'm in Ohio and the shipping to Pa. is going to kill you.
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Old 12-12-2005, 01:48 PM   #9
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I plan to get the gator budget mobile and it is 48x24. I looked at klose but his prices are to high for my needs.
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Old 01-10-2006, 04:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris1237
I plan to get the gator budget mobile and it is 48x24. I looked at klose but his prices are to high for my needs.
Did you order yet?
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by The Joker
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris1237
I plan to get the gator budget mobile and it is 48x24. I looked at klose but his prices are to high for my needs.
Did you order yet?
I placed my order right before christmas. I got the budget mobile without the side burner and with tuning plates, pullout shelves, log lighter and full door with a counter weight. I posted a topic announcing the order but I for some reason it is not here anymore. :-k
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:04 PM   #12
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I was wrong about it not being here any more I forgot that I posted it in General Discussion #-o #-o #-o #-o #-o #-o
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:12 PM   #13
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Guess I missed it ~ Thanks, and congrats!!
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