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?
"Excuse me, do you know if these gloves are good for killing a man?"-- Dale Gribble