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Horizon Owners? Yoder Kingma? Looking for feedback

Discussion in 'BBQ Recipes' started by ckosal, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. ckosal

    ckosal Addicted2hunting4 Premium Member

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    My wife gave me a Smoker for xmas. Well actually it was a picture of a Horizon 20 inch Marshal I had been researching. I presumed that was going to be the one I ordered. Then I did more digging around and came upon the Yoder's and I was just about convinced that was the one I wanted (Loaded Wichita) when I stumbled upon some questions around its design (and a lack of customer service in their reply to the individuals questions/pics, etc.).

    I am now flat out confused. I am thinking about the Horizon Marshal 20 or the Yoder Kingman 24. I hear a lot of guys saying go big if you can, but the 24 is a monster. I do have a big family, but I don't know if I would end up cooking for more than 12.

    Bigger question is just anyone out there own a Horizon and want to speak about them? What about the Yoder Kingman? These are both very big ticket items and I admit I am just afraid to pull the trigger on one until I can get good feedback from real owners/users.
     
  2. ebijack

    ebijack Premium Member

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    I do not have or have I ever cooked on either. But I cook on many different offset smokers. I have a homemade offset I built. The reason most say to get a 24" dia smoker is you will find a 20" is very small. Cooking space for 2-6 people on average. Just because there is grate space, doesn't mean you can fill the grates up and cook. You will find on average a direct flow smoker has a hot spot at the firebox end. Example: the firebox end can be upto 100* hotter than the chimney end. There are tuning plates etc you can add to try to help with that. To me, adding tuning plates really messes up the flow of the smoker. I've tried them on 2 different smokers in a few different ways. Some run a water pan at the firebox end to block some of that high heat. Which helps to even out the heat. Some say the water pan for moisture, me I say b.s. I've cooked both ways many times. There is no difference in the smoked product that I have ever seen. Water vs no water. No matter the smoker.
    IMHO, you can find a much better built used smoker than the Yoder in that price range. A well designed/built smoker is easier to run.
    Just a thought.

    Another note/question. Have you ever ran an offset smoker. Do you know what is involved to use an offset smoker. Acquiring wood, cutting, splitting stacking, drying. Adding splits every 30-45 mins depending on weather conditions etc.
    90% of my smoking is done on the other smokers I have. As they don't require the time commitment of an offset.
    Offsets also (with proper fire management) have a much milder smoke profile than a charcoal smoker. Which surprises most folks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018 at 5:11 AM

  3. ckosal

    ckosal Addicted2hunting4 Premium Member

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    Thanks for your note. I am aware of the Yoder Wichita threads on temp management and have seen the same issue in their smaller unit the Cheyene. And those comments were one of the reasons I put this post in. Trying to gather more information. I haven't seen any negative comments on the Kingman (24 inch). Also mostly positive on the Horizon (other than delivery issues - timeliness). Just trying to see if anyone here has any experience with either. Big price here to regret. I am blessed to have a good job (and wife who gave me a green light to be able to buy one)... but I don't want my money to burn up like the wood.

    On additional note, based on your comments, I think the 24 is right for me (4 kids plus friends over and sounds like 20 will be small).

    On your final pt. I am rookie on off-sets. I use an electric and it is easy to use, but the food/experience is always just a bit lacking. Temp is easy, but I find that everything I cook tastes the same. It is also messy as hell and is a struggle to cook for a family of six. So, I think I am ready for the next step. I like to smoke and tinker. I am hoping my anxiousness to flip my steaks on the grill will translate in to enjoying being able to tinker with the fire box. ha ha. You can help me with where to acquire the wood here in SE Michigan.

    Thanks for the comments. Anyone else out there have comments on the Yoder Kingman or Horizon 24 RD Marshal?
     
  4. ebijack

    ebijack Premium Member

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    Offsets just take more of a commitment of time than other type smokers. I don't plan on ever not having an offset. You can get some good deals on used smokers. They just don't come around everyday.
    Good quality wood can be tough to acquire. And can be expensive. The prices seem to fluctuate quite a bit near me. Best is to be ready when you hear someone is taking down a fruit wood tree or other hardwood. Go help take down/chop up and typically you can take a truck load. And do not get so much wood that by the time you use it all. The wood hasn't lost all of it's moisture. 15-20% moisture is what alot of guys prefer.
    Using overly dry wood, you will burn almost twice as much wood on the same cook. You will learn how much you should stock pile to get you thru a season/year. When I run out early and winter is almost here. I just don't use the offset till spring.
    I do a couple overnight cooks using offsets every year. You go thru alot of wood on those nights. You just have to be ready to feed splits all night.
    You can if not smoking 46 butts or more at once. Smoke for 6 or so hours. Wrap and finish in an oven or roasting pan. Or, keep your electric and use that to finish cooking in (while you sleep) and then hold the meat till serving time.

    You might take a look at these. They go/sell out real fast. But they keep a decent supply coming into the store.
    The Shirley Fab are a top of the line smoker. I have used a few different Shirley's. I would say the easiest offset smoker to run. Some of these have a added coal grate for grilling in the smoke chamber. Close to the price of the Yoder you are looking at.
    http://www.stlbbqstore.com/shirley-fabrication/
     
  5. fels340

    fels340

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    As ebijack noted in the previous post, stick burners are a lot more work. But isn't that part of the fun of BBQ. I have had several different types of smokers(sore spot with my wife) and I can say that even though they are the most work, stick burners turn out the best tasting meat. I've had 2 cheap stick burners that I've gotten rid of and am in the market for a good quality replacement. I don't think you can go wrong with the Horizon or Yoder. My research says both are extremely high quality smokers. They're actually very similar. To me, charcoal smokers (of which I have 2) are almost as much work as a stick burner but the taste of the finished product isn't as good. I have a pellet smoker and this is the easiest. Truly a "set it and forget it" smoker. You have to work to get a more smoky flavor though. Some people who don't like heavily smoked food prefer this.
    But you said you like to tinker and it sounds like you want to enjoy the entire process of smoking meat so I would say the stick burner is for you. You could also look at the Lang which is a reverse flow side burner. Some guys swear by them but I think there is a little bit of a learning curve. There's also a smoker called a Karubeque that is unique but has a passionate following. Honestly, I don't know if you could go wrong with any of these. They're all high quality smokers. That's why they cost so much. Just don't buy a cheesy Char Broil or Char Griller and you'll be happy.
     
  6. ebijack

    ebijack Premium Member

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    IMHO a reverse flow is no harder or easier to run than direct flow. I use/cook on Shirley's and Lang's regularly every year plus some direct flow units. The Shirley and Lang are reverse flow. My home built is direct. My prior store bought offsets were direct flow. Like most, the cheap HD type offset gave me a hard time till I learned the proper how/why.
    Once you learn fire management, size of splits, how often. At how many hours into a cook you need to adjust your splits or add hot coals to be able to maintain a solid bed of hot coals. The maintaining of a bed of hot coals is a must for any stick burner.
    As far as the Karubeque. That has open flames on top of the down draft smoker. You place your small splits into the top of the cooker. You MUST have an open area with nothing that is able to catch on fire. More so than any fire pit. Sparks and burning embers can/will be carried by the wind. They also sit quite low to the ground so some folks place them up on carts. I'll leave it at that. There are folks that love em.
     
  7. ebijack

    ebijack Premium Member

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    I also am able to burn pure wood/splits in my vertical drum. That too gives a slight different flavor profile than the offset. But when you know your smoker/smokers. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone that can tell which cooker was used. The flavor profiles can be that close. When you work for a certain profile.
     
  8. ebijack

    ebijack Premium Member

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    I try to buy a cord at the same time as a close by friend (we split). Typically 2 full cords with delivery is the cheapest. But some of those guys dump/add in crap wood to make up full cords. You have to watch out for that. Below 2 full cords the prices can be stupid high. That buddy bought 1/2 cord before winter to get him thru for his offset.
    If I am really desperate I travel to the other side of jackson when another buddy gets his 6 cords of cherry 2 times a year. But I use more wood each year than one load of my 6ft bed can hold just at home cooking. For an idea/comparison. But I do smoke more than most folks.
     
  9. ckosal

    ckosal Addicted2hunting4 Premium Member

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    I didn't realize tracking down the wood would be that difficult. Maybe I should start trying to track it down before I even order the smoker. I see Home Depot does offer this wood, but it is every expensive.

    My local Ace Hardware has a nice collection of chunk, but not splits. I have some apple on my hunting property, but it is serving a different purpose....

    On smokers, I think I will probably go with the direct off-set. Still trying to determine Yoder 24 Kingman versus the Horizon 24 RD Marshal. I spent another couple of hours last night on that crazy internet thing and found only positive comments on those two specific units (with negative comments about Yoder smaller units/a little on their customer service and Horizon delivering on schedule). So, still perplexed. The customer service feedback on Yoder makes me think i should be leaning hard towards Horizon. But, I admit, as I said above, there are just a few minor things on the Yoder that are really pulling at me. They are minor, but I feel like they are the kind of things that I might find helpful to have/use. The way the upper shelf slides for Yoder, the propane log/starter, etc.

    Getting anxious on pulling the trigger. Knowing it will take a solid 8-12 weeks I want to order by early Feb to have it when the spring arrives. Thanks for replies all.
     
  10. ebijack

    ebijack Premium Member

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    Look on craig'slist. Plenty available. Just look at the prices. Does it include delivery. How long has the wood been seasoned. How close are you to the seller. Most of the split wood won't be split enough for what you are going to use it for. And the size length will average 16". You will also most likely want to split and cut those down for better fire management. You'll probably want around a 12" long split the size of a pop/beer can. I use those chopped off ends for my charcoal smokers.
    If your preference on type of wood like fruitwood vs fruit/hardwood. Prices very also.
    I'm cheap and look for better deals. I just have to be ready when they come up.