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I've got a FEC500 on the way and I've been told it will ship on the 18th. I've got an event I want to use it to cook for a two days after it gets here. I'm looking for any words of wisdom from experienced users of the 500 or 750. I've got a few questions that the on line manuals didn't refer to.

What type of seasoning needs to be done with this type of unit? I know who to season an offset stick burner but know about this one.

How might cooking times vary versus wood fired smokers?

Any tips on making the unit ready for road trips to comps or catering events? Going to mount this to a trailer and then place a roof above the trailer and leave the sides open.

Any general items that a new owner should be aware of before the first cooking??

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Well, I don't own one (yet) but I've cooked on one quite a few times so I'll give my experiences until someone else jumps in. Unfortunately I just took it back to Stuart when I finished, so can't help with the routine tasks of using it all the time.

Hopefully over time, some of the other 500 owners and you will jump in often.

What type of seasoning needs to be done with this type of unit?

Took a brand new unit and cooked 750 lbs of brisket. No problem. Stainless steel smokers don't "have" to have seasoning to work better, but it's debatable. Key thing between cooks is to remove grease build up, meat dropping off the racks. Want to keep the inside free of buildup in case you run the smoker at hotter temps.

Just fire the smoker up the first time because you want to test it, make sure all the parts work, etc. Don't wait for your first event.


How might cooking times vary versus wood fired smokers?
With the rotisserie, I've found they things cook a little fast. Guess it's the even heat. That's if you set it for the same temp you did in your offset. You have MANY more options now for smoking, don't tie yourself to one temp.


Any tips on making the unit ready for road trips to comps or catering events? Going to mount this to a trailer and then place a roof above the trailer and leave the sides open.

Don't forget to shut the grease valve...hint, hint. It will depend on your trailer and it's shocks/joints as to how stable the unit is and how much abuse it gets. If it's going to get bounced around, you might need to take the racks out. I'd make sure you keep the electronics dry. If it's going to be outside, make sure the roof covers the electronics.


Any general items that a new owner should be aware of before the first cooking??

Can't remember, do you already have a 100? Do a test run, on whatever products your going to sell so you can see how it works in the new unit.

Congrats on the purchase!

Thanks Okie

I don't own any type of Cookshack now. I've got a Kingfisher, combo unit. I love the way a rotiss works and I feel the meat comes out so much more moist. Even more so with a full load of meat.
I wanted to go with a unit which needed less TLC when it came to watching the fire. I have a good friend who has a FEC100 and he spoke very highly of it, and I've been around the Late Night Whiskey Smokers and have seen the quality of their product.
I had been looking at a Jedmaster, but beeing able to cook almost double the meat and only $700 more cost. Then there is no charcoal to mess with, and not having to play with dampers to ge the temp set. Wow it became a simple choice.

I think the FE 500 & 700 actually work a little better, because of the roitisserie and the double/triple fire pots. There will be ash, but very little.

It's a quality unit, make sure to keep plenty of pellets on hand and you'll find it a lot of fun. Friend of mine (invited to the Jack this year) cooks on a Kingfisher, and they're made about 20 mile from my house.

Looking forward to your experiences.


The Kingfisher has been a good cooker for me, but a couple of times I've maxxed out the capacity doing chicken and ribs.

We're wanting to get the 500 in to cook for my mothers birthday party next sunday. And it may cut it really close. Then next weekend there is a KCBS event at Maggie Vally, NC that were taking it to. It may be too soon with a new cooker, but we want to give it a try.

My buddy is want to hook up and hit 6-7 events next year, if we can get our calendars together. He judged at around 30 events over the last two years, and I think he needs to do more cooking and less judging.
I just bought the FEC500 mounted on a trailer. Beautiful unit. I have a contest next weekend. I will let you know how I did. This weekend I am going to fill her up with butts, briskets, chicken, ribs, and corn on the cob. Probably do some garlic bread to go with all the meat. I bought mine from Eddy while he was in Reno for the BBQ cook off filmed for the OLN TV show. It sure has a lot more room than my FEC100. Congratulations on your purchase. You won't be disappointed!!
Hey Love Shack BBQ

I finally got my FEC500. I threw 2 dozen thighs of it to check it out. I set the temp to about 275, and was goin to put it up to a little over 300 after about an hour. But when I checked the temp on the chicken. it was about done. I just sauced it and let it finish. Everyone thought it was the best chicken ever. I used the sauce which came with the cooker, and it was great.

But I wanted to ask about cooking times on other meats with the 500. The chicken seemed to cook faster. How about brisket and butts and ribs.
Hi Randy
I used my FEC500 for the first time at a contest last week. I put two 12 pound briskets, and two 10 pound butts on at 11 PM. At seven in the morning, all the meats were over 210*. I was cooking at 240* all night. I saved the butts, and I only could turn in the brisket point chopped. The flat was toasted. I called Eddy and he told me to cook at the 180* setting during the night. This unit has a large fan which makes it cook faster, like a convection oven. My spare ribs were done in four hours and came out great, so didn't my chicken, which took 1 hour. For catering, this unit will turn out a lot of meat quickly and it still has a great taste. I have to cook more meat before the next contest to dial in my cooking times. I know my FEC100 inside out. But the FEC500 will take a little getting use to for the cooking times are much faster.
Thanks Love Shack,

That's what I thought. I am going to put 3 butts, 2 briskets, and 6 racks of ribs on tommorow.
The guy I bought it from made a good comment, that the units are designed for larger quanities of food. And when there is a smaller load in it will cook quicker. I am going to go with the 180. I know with kitchen ovens with the convection fans, food cookes much qicker. so I can see the same being true with the FEC500's.
I had planned to do a comp last weekend with mine, but i had to order longer forks for my fork lift to set it on my trailer. I guess it's giving me time to finish my roof on the trailer.

Thanks again.
Hey Love Shack,

Did another test cook on friday. Set the temp at the lower temp of 180, but the cooker ran about 170 instead. After 4 hours things really seemed to be going slow, then I bumped it to the next setting. And it ran a constent 240. Things cooked too fast there. Wow 70 degrees swing between setting that is a major difference.

It really seems the unit should have two more temp setting in between. 190 and then 210.

I'm going to try the 170 again and be more patient. But how can food get up to 200 degrees for pork and brisket with the temps that low???

I really would like to get some input from everyone on this.
Ortech Industries in Oregon can burn a chip with a 225 setting if you really need one. It will cost about $50 per controller and you will lose the 180 setting. I have one of my FEC 100's set up that way and it comes in handy when I am cooking a lot of food and don't want to wrap it.

I also have a project to develop a controller that will allow more temp settings than the Traeger controller. I know Cookshack is developing the IQ3/IQ4 but it does way more than I need. We hope to get it figured out this winter in the off season.

Say, can you overload these things? I know the numbering convention is an approximation of the weight it holds, but if I wanted to put 700pounds on a 500, could I? assuming you could fit it all on there, of course! And the 750- could it hold 1000?
I guess I'm asking about the limit before you start overworking motors and mechanisms. (holy cr@p- sometimes I take this engineering thing too far, I think).
After going over things pretty well. The working components are heavy duty. The shaft that everything works off of is massive.
I think the controlling factors will be the sizes of the items your cooking. With 15 trays that give you alot of surface space(ribs and chicken). But the distance between the trays is not alot. If your go to 10 trays then you can get butts and briskets and whole chickens between the trays. Turkeys and maybe hole pigs on the five tray setting. Don't know how wide the pig would be. That would be the controlling factor.

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