By: Max Good
Lang’s 36″ Hybrid Patio Smoker combines their popular 36″ residential smoker with a 30″ charcoal grill. We always give thumbs down to those low cost combo cookers that consist of a gas grill bolted to a cheap offset smoker because each side is poor quality, neither side performs well, and you can get better equipment by purchasing a separate grill and smoker. Not so with Lang’s Hybrid. This is a solid 1/4″ thick pipe with a separation wall welded between the grill and smoke box. You get a full version of Lang’s competition quality, reverse flow residential offset smoker with a 17″ x 17″ firebox on the right and a double rack charcoal grill extension on the left.
Another thing that burns our bacon about those cheapo dual cookers: what do you do when one side dies? Now you have a crumby cooker with a useless piece of junk stuck to it. No worries with Lang. This baby will last for generations. Obviously we’re not comparing apples to apples because Lang costs a lot more. As is often the case, you get what you pay for.
And what you get is a family size competion grade, 1/4″ pit with two 18.5″ x 15″ bottom racks and a 23.5 x 16″ sliding upper rack, Lang claims it will hold 60 to 72 lbs. of meat with room to spare. It has a V-shaped grease pan or trough with 2″ brass gate valve and a 17″ x 17″ firebox. The large charcoal BBQ grill has upper and lower slide out grates. All cooking grates are expanded metal and reinforced with square tubing frames.
The smoker side employs Lang’s signature reverse flow design which some believe provides more even air and heat flow than traditional offsets that have a firebox on one side and chimney on the other. Reverse Flow smokers place the chimney directly above the firebox, so heat travels along the bottom of the cook tank to the opposite side where it flows upward then reverses course and heads back where it came from then out the chimney.
Our MSRP below is for the basic backyard model. An optional warmer box, (shown right), sits on top the firebox. The Hybrid Patio is also offered in a 48″ model that can be trailer mounted.
The Lang family has been in the meat smoking business for generations. In 1988 they began manufacturing and selling smokers. Known for reverse flow designs, (see diagram below), Lang manufactures a wide variety of smokers from 36″ to 108″. A relatively new development for Lang is their Hybrid cookers that have a sealed off charcoal grill on the left side and a traditional smoker with attached firebox on the right.
The baffle in the above diagram is a V-shaped trough or griddle. Drippings hit the griddle and sizzle, sending moisture and flavor into the smoke box. Grease and gunk never goes into the belly of the smoker, but is diverted outside. Primary racks are positioned about an inch above the griddle. Since drippings don’t build up under the racks, they always hit hot metal instead of a pool of gunk and sizzle as the excess moves into the trough and heads out the 2″ brass gate valve.
Owner, Ben Lang, feels this “clean design” is a hallmark of Lang Smokers because it cooks clean and is easy to keep clean. Just scrape the trough and hit it with a water hose when needed, gunk is cleared out through the gate valve and the griddle is ready to sizzle clean again, all without disturbing the firebox. Some owners season the top section of the trough by the firebox and use it as a griddle.
As a youngster, Lang cut his teeth bussing tables and says one way to tell a good restaurant is if the employee’s fingernails are clean and the restrooms spotless: that’s a good indication of what’s going on in the kitchen. “When you make an apparatus that’s hard to clean, people aren’t going to clean it often”, Lang states, “If cooking equipment in the kitchen takes hours to clean thoroughly, the staff may only do it once a week, same with a smoker”.
Lang says many residential customers come to him after struggling with Cheap Offset Smokers from the hardware store. “After a while they realize they need something better and are ready to graduate to Lang”, he smiles adding, “The purchase becomes a legacy to their family providing comradery when cooking and eating for generations”.
We used a Lang 36″ Original Patio Model in our Science of BBQ & Grilling With Meathead video series presented by Kingsford. Click here to see that video series and check out my Virtual Showroom vid below:
Published On: 7/11/2014 Last Modified: 10/10/2021
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