Is a 36 is the one for me?

When trying to select the size smoker cooker model that is right for you, you probably have a lot of questions. Some like to email questions, some start conversations on our FaceBook page, others are fine with the video that Ben Lang produced on how to select a smoker cooker. However we’ve had some interesting Q and A in our Lang FORUM that we’d like to share here to show you the excitement and enthusiasm.

Blake initiated this series of posts in our Lang FORUM

started  grilling on a weber kettle a year and a half ago. got a weber smokey mountain about 6 months ago. getting results i am real happy with BUT i think some better equipment will step up my game. i grill but mostly BARBECUE on these units (butts, briskets, ribs). temps in the 240s etc.

friends who have worked with some of the finest chefs in the world tell me my food is really something special (i feel they are being sincere too and not blowing smoke up my butt).  

i like the idea of a 36 because it will come up to temp faster, ill burn less wood (using logs will be new to me) AND the parties i throw at my place are smaller (by design).  less cleanup ya digg?  =-). 36 is in my price range too.

if i ever get the itch to sell barbecue, i’ll just get a bigger lang as a startup business expense. the problem i have is EVERYONE ON THIS SITE (AND OTHER FORUMS) say to pick the right size for you, and get one bigger.

my needs are gonna be for smaller gatherings but i do want a bad MFer (which sounds like i need a lang).

any ideas, thoughts would be appreciated!!!!! am i making sense here?

Ben Lang replied;
…you and your BBQ are headed in the right direction. Buy a 36 for know and cover your immediate  small batch BBQ needs. and then when it’s warranted get yourself a second Lanq BBQ Smoker  ; a 60 mobile for extended family cooking needs.  And Everyone is right about getting the larger size than you need  when it comes to buying an authentic BBQ Smoker. However that sometimes limits your ability to own two. A large batch and a small batch; which is the best of both worlds  most cooks and chefs will agree. Thanks for Looking at Lang and hope to serve you one up soon.


“Thanks man!!!

most of my cooking will be (and is) at the house.  so my needs are definitely small batch, etc.  i also use my grill AT LEAST once a week so i want to burn as little fuel as possible.

i got competition and food cart/food truck dreams too don’t get me wrong, but i think everyone that enjoys the bbq process plays around with that idea.  this is not the grill for that.

one more question, what is the benefit/drawback of a sliding top rack? seems the standing rack would get in the way of the bottom surface grilling area.”

Lang “ The sliding upper rack is used only when you filled up the bottom racks, It shouldn’t even be in the cooker if you don’t need it. That being said, a slide upper rack gives you a little more room up top.

BBQ Bandit aka Klose Back Yard Chef owns a Custom Lang 84 Kitchen and joined the conversation …

Start with any size smoker… and guarantee you will try to find a way to fill it.

Started off with a 48 – four years ago.
Bought a 60 last March.
Wound up with an 84 last fall.

Go with the 48 – and fill it with 12 butts.
Go for a 60 – if you want to tackle a 100 lb hog in the future.

Blake’s reply

Bandit,  that is a pretty convincing argument my man! this is the stuff i’m talking about. i work all this crap out in my head then when you ask someone actually DOING what your thinking about……… and very good evidence appears.  

love all the feedback.  i assume the top rack is the same temp as the bottom (and not used for just warming up sides, etc)?

i guess i have a lot more thinking to do.  i’ll keep yall posted on what i decide.  

money is a factor but not in the long run ya know.   and i do have some dreams about one day selling on the roadside (no restaurant, no rent/overhead =-)

keep the ideas coming people.  i really appreciate all of it =-)

Then Iceman joined in: “ I have a 36 for a reason. I like to smoke every weekend. I am just cooking for me and my family, so it is plenty big. I smoked for my entire extended family for Christmas and had plenty of room. I smoked a few butts, a brisket and a couple slabs of ribs and still had room for more.
One of my best friends has a large batch Lang, either a 60 or 84. He only smokes a couple of times a year, but does large smokes.
I guess it depends on how much you want to cook at once. If you decide to enter competitions, a 36 will do just fine. If you decide to smoke some on the side for income, I’d go with a 60 or 84 or as others have said get two; a 36 for small smokes and a large batch cooker.

You asked about the difference in temp between top and bottom racks. My temp gauges see a 40-50 degree difference

Blake is obviously appreciating all this information and replied immediately saying

iceman you the man.

90% of the time its for me and the fam.  always under 6 people (except for special occasions super bowl, big ppv fight, then the party is always in the 10 people range).  

2 butts, a brisket AND 2 slabs? that is a beautiful thing and will do me and a group JUST FINE Very Happy

i also bust out the grill every weekend.  i cook for the fam and for lunches for the week.  its a tool i REALLY use so i’m chompin at the bit to see what a LANG will do.  

the competition comment was helpful too.  i think it would be fun to every now and again experience that.  glad a 36 will have me covered.

appreciate your feedback iceman! very helpful.  the price is right and the capacity is sounds perfect

And Iceman sums it all up with

Glad I could help! I think you will find this will be one of your best investments you have ever spent your money on.
Not only has this unit made my que so much better, I actually smoke more often and try many more new things. Heck I started smoking pizzas on this thing and they are fannnnnnnntastic!!! Another good thing with the 36 is that it doesn’t take a lot of fuel to get a hot fire to get up to grilling temperatures so you can do hot dogs and hamburgers on this thing. I rarely use my Weber Kettle anymore.
Welcome to the Lang Family…….”

1 thought on “Is a 36 is the one for me?”

  1. Ben, Iceman & BBQ Bandit,

    yall are my boys!!! after seeing the 36 in person, i knew the right decision was made. that is BIG MFer! i have cooked on it every weekend since i got it, my family (and relatives) telling me that the pork shoulder from last weekend was THE BEST PORK THEY HAVE EVER HAD!!!! these people are from the south too. what does “from the south” mean? means we know BBQ and have eaten it all of our lives.

    i have learned in this short time that you have to pay more attention to a stick burner than say a charcoal “set and forget it” kettle or smoker. BUT this thing is like having a race car (lang) where the possibilities are ENDLESS versus having say a go-cart (old kettle/smoker).

    i want to thank all you guys for all of your help and all of your CONTINUED help as i learn more about what wood to use, tips on cooking, etc. i ALWAYS look forward to the weekends (who doesn’t) but with that new cooker?……i plan out what i’m going to cook starting on tuesdays!!!


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