Backwoods Smokers The Competitor

Backwoods Smokers The Competitor
Backwoods Smokers The Competitor. Backwoods Smokers

The Bottom Line

For over 20 years, Backwoods Smokers has been making some of the most popular competition smokers around. Several of the most successful teams on the BBQ circuit use one of these and for a few simple reasons. Basically this is a vertical water smoker, making it easy to operate and its efficient use of charcoal makes it inexpensive to run. The 2-inch thick insulation holds in heat giving you easy temperature control.

The large capacity of this unit (you can smoke 8 full briskets) gives you the space you need while still being a relatively portable unit. Mounted on whatever rig you have, this smoker travels perfectly.

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  • Solid, handmade construction
  • Highly insulated construction makes this an efficient smoker
  • Great temperature control
  • Large, adaptive capacity


  • Limited Distribution
  • Base unit has few features other than a basic water smoker


  • 3042 square inches of cooking space
  • Can handle up to 8 briskets, 16-20 boston butts, or 24 racks of St. Louis' ribs
  • Double-wall, insulated construction with 304 stainless steel doors and latches
  • Runs approximately 6 to 10 hours on a full load of 8 to 9 pounds of charcoal
  • Many additional features available (for additional price)
  • 350 pounds for the standard unit

Guide Review - Backwoods Smokers The Competitor

Consider this the improved water smoker.

Built like other vertical water charcoal smokers, the Backwoods Smokers are hand built with thick (2-inch) insulation and lock tight doors so that these smokers hold in the heat and control the airflow to a very precise level. This gives you a powerful smoker that turns out consistently good barbecue.

For more than 20 years, Backwoods Smokers has been building and improving this line of smokers making them especially popular with the competition barbecue teams.

"The Competitor" was built by Backwoods Smokers specifically for competition barbecue. Weighing in at 350 pounds for the basic unit this smoker is much lighter than many of the units used on the BBQ circuit but will still need to be mounted to some kind of trailer. Being a charcoal smoker, this unit requires no external connections, but if you add in the automatic water and convection features that lift it to the highest level of competition you will need some hook ups. These additional features can quickly add an extra $2,000 to the standard price just shy of $3,000. This, of course, makes this smoker a serious investment, but when it comes to competition smokers you can spend much more.

The capacity of this unit is large enough for most any competition (unless you are doing a whole hog for which Backwoods Smokers makes a specific unit). Capable of holding 8 whole briskets, 16 to 20 boston butts, or up to 26 racks of St. Louis ribs this smoker gives you plenty of space. The 8 racks are spaced only 3 inches apart, but you can remove as many as necessary to hold your specific barbecue mix.

The 8 to 9-pound charcoal capacity gives you up to 10 hours of heat and smoke without you needing to tend a fire.

The construction of this smoker is excellent. Each Backwoods Smoker is handmade in the United States and features thick gauges metals, heavy duty latches, handles, hinges and corner accents making this a highly durable smoker. Without electronics or moving parts this smoker is hard to break. If you are interested in competing in barbecue or just making a lot of barbecue this charcoal powered unit is certainly one you should be looking at.

Manufacturer's Site