Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Plywood / All Wood Cookers

Wooden cookers have always interested me and I do collect articles and pictures of these cookers when ever I can find them. Sometimes, simple is better and most of these cookers are really simple. I have pictures of some good examples of these cookers and will share some of the information I have about them.

This cooker and a few like it were at a BBQ contest in Cairo, Illinois a few years ago and were owned be a group of friends from Paducah, Kentucky. There are two plywood hog cookers on this big trailer and each has a capacity for 3 large hogs so the unit will cook 6 hogs at one time. The gentleman told me that they have about 10 of these big cookers and use them for a big Festival and Hog Cook in Paducah sometime in the Summer.

As far as I could tell, there was just a small amount of metal inside the cooker on the walls and it only went up from the bottom of the cooker about 10" high. They also had about 3" of ash left in the bottom of the box for insulation when they started shoveling in the hot coals.

In the rear of this picture is their very large burn down pit that they use to run all these big cookers. It is home built and all metal and is very large and heavy with a firebox that would probably measure in at about 4 foot wide and maybe 9 foot long. For fuel for these cookers and they do need a bunch, they get slab wood (first cut) from the local sawmills and then burn it down and use the coals to fuel the cookers. The slab wood, was about 10-12" wide, about 2 to 2-1/2" thick and maybe about 8 foot long and most of it was just the bark and it would fit into the large burn down cooker. They used a large wheelbarrow to transport the hot coals around to the cookers.

When this burn down cooker was fired up and had a good head of steam going, it was shooting fire out of the exhaust about 15 foot above the stack!! Was a hellofa thing to see at night! I would imagine that they had loaded up over a ton of wood for the first burn.

These fellows just kept me in "stiches" thru the whole contest and always had at least one of these cookers going at all times and putting out many different and great treats other than the standard bbq stuff and did end up beating me in the contest by a pretty good margin.

I ask one of them if they had ever caught one of these plywood cooker on fire and he said "Oh Ya", we have lost a couple of them!

Here is another interesting and well thought out wood smoker/cooker that I found somewhere on the web.

I call this one a wooden Backwoods Competitor clone as it is about that size.

Looks to be loaded up with some ribs, sausage, and some chicken.

You know, it looks like there is a pan of water in there just like the Backwoods.

I think I would hold out for the upgraded model with the insulation but I am not sure I would want to try any pizza in the cooker.

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