Is a FEC-100 good for competitions?

Bill, thank you for the information about your friend Wiley’s new book. I went on his restaurant website and will definitely plan on going there on my next trip up to Savannah.
I hope that you and your family had a super fantastic 4th of July holiday.
I have your book that I very much enjoy and will have to look at adding Wiley’s to the list based on your comments and recommendation.
On a side issue I have a question for you that I would very much like to hear your comment(s) on as I very much respect your opinion.

Now I know well that you are a well accomplished BBQ competitor. I am also aware that you are an avid supporter of the Cookshack FEC 100 and is your choice of smokers.
My question is, why do you use the FEC 100 for competition smoking when most of all if not all your cooking is in the “hot and fast ” smoking mode as opposed to a good well built good quality stick burner like maybe Peoria, Myron Mixon, Lang, jambo etc.
I know that the FEC is a fabulous smoker but it was my impression that the real design feature behind this smoker is it’s great ability to do low and slow smoking with the ” set it – forget it” philosophy if you will for the most part. I am trying to understand the FEC’s features/benefits in smoking in the hot and fast method vs. a more traditional good stick burner?
My question to you is because I plan on purchasing a new smoker this year and I was leaning towards the FEC 100 based on the fact that my smoking preference thus far(but may well change) has been the ” Low and Slow” technique. I have been told that there is absolutely no difference in the taste of the food smoked in hot &fast vs. low & slow but then you would know much better then I.
Bill, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Harv

3 thoughts on “Is a FEC-100 good for competitions?

  1. Harv:

    I cook h&f at contests simply because it is easier but not necessarily better. Sometimes getting some sleep and less work at contests wins a contest. More things can go wrong in a low and slow cook especially at a contest and especially in bad weather. But you can actually cook better BBQ l&s IF you know what you are doing (note the “if”).

    The FEC100 does both h&f and l&s pretty good. You’ll get more smoke flavor out of it l&s because the h&f burn is too clean.

    Thanks,
    Bill Anderson
    http://www.bbq-book.com

  2. Bill,
    Thank you for your reply.
    You didn’t mention,however, why you use an FEC 100 for competition smoking that is H&S and not L&S as opposed to using a good quality off set stick burner?
    Given that I will probably change my smoking style to H&S I am trying to understand and appreciate the benefits of purchasing an FEC-100.
    Perhaps my understanding of the real benefits of the FEC was to be able to smoke in the L&S mode and kind of “Set it and Forget it”, get some sleep,
    wake up and you are done so to speak.
    If that is truly not the real benefit than I would appreciate hearing your thoughts.

    Thanks,

    Harv

  3. Harv:

    Yeah… the benefit is it’s ease of use. Most of the time you just set it and forget it. Other’s with stick burners are checking their pit every 15-30 minutes depending on what kind of smoker they have. Smokers like gravity fed Stumps do well at competitions too. It’s a real benefit in bad weather.

    The tradeoff is not as good smoke flavor. Benefits – ease of use and more consistent temps. If you use one at competitions, be sure to have some kind of backup power because power at comps can get pretty bad.

    I plug mine into a 750 watt uninterruptable power supply (UPS). Then backed that up with a generator. It’s a good idea to disconnect the electric starting element and just start manually with a torch or a fire starter cube. The starter uses a lot of power and often trips a 20 amp breaker especially on an older unit where the starter is starting to wear down.

    Thanks,
    Bill Anderson
    http://www.bbq-book.com

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