So who cooks on what? The Forums / Groups / BBQ'ers would all lead you to believe that the kamado is the ultimate pit for the backyard pitmaster. The one bit of equipment that we all aspire to owning, we don't know why we are just lead to believe this as a certain brand is very good at giving the YouTube pitmasters one of theirs. There is no doubt that they cook well and that there is certain advantages but not much 'pit mastering' going on if you ask me. We all started on a kettle and they are great, Jack of All Trades but certainly master of none. However I think every Pitmaster needs a kettle in their life alongside whichever other BBQ style they move 'up' to.
For me however there is only one true pit, the only BBQ that you can truly call a pit and that is the Offset Smoker. This style of pit requires a bit of skill to run but boy do you get some fantastic tasting food from it if you get it right. I have my kettle in my own Shack alongside a table top kamado which I think both do a great job depending on what and how you want to cook but my heart yearns for another offset.
I had the Landmann Kentucky offset, I cooked some great food on it but I couldn't stop heat loss and I was singled handedly contributing to Global Warming with the amount of wood it took to cook. Having said that I was determined to cook using wood splits only but even the big pits use a charcoal bed and then wood to add flavour and smoke! It's fair to say that I am looking forward to the Oklahoma Joe Offset Smokers turning up at the shop and I can see me selling one to myself within ten minutes of them arriving.
Why the Oklahoma Joe? Simple really, it is a sensible size for the average UK back garden, it is constructed from 2.5mm steel so will hold the heat and cope with wood splits and pitmasters have won some pretty big competitions using these and at £549 it won't break the bank. The grill size it large enough to cope with big briskets and a few ribs, a chicken, some burgers and a steak or two all at the same time (plus whatever anyone else might want to eat) and to be honest they appeal to me. They need a bit of attention but not too much, they produce fantastic food and I think I can truly call myself a Pit-Master once I have the hang of them.
So will there be one in my own BBQ Shack, oh yes, there will!