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Mr. Heater Big Buddy vs. Cooker

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I'm sure this has been talked about before but I need some suggestions. I am looking at purchasing a Big Buddy Heater. I have always had good luck with a cooker style Mr. Heater. The only downside is the hot burner being so close to the portable fabric(ie. door). Have not burned a hole yet but am waiting for that day. Does the backside of the Big Buddy heater get hot like the cooker. I am guessing not? Also, is the Big Buddy capable of sitting in a pool of water created by the heat? With my cooker there is always a 1/8-1/4 inch of water pooled up. I am kind of particular with my equipment and I do no want a Big Buddy heater that will malfunction or rust from sitting in a little water. If you know of some other posts comparing the two let me know. Otherwise give me your opinions. Have all the kinks been worked out of the Big Buddy heater other than the element blowing out in wind?

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The back side of the buddy heater you can actually back it up and even have it touching the walls of your house. and then you can also put your gloves or whatever behind the handle on the top of the heater without it burning anything, the heat is directed pretty well forward. If you search big buddy heater im sure you will pull up some posts about it, latest is having the hose filter (personally i dont think its a big deal, but some have had problems) and the actual piolet light is up off the floor i would think about 3-4 inches so i would THINK that having water pooled up underneith wouldnt be a problem unless you go for a swim. in that case i think the heater is the least of your worries.

Hope this helps smile

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on the top under the blue bar over on the right hand side it says search with an arrow, click on it and a search prompt comes up.

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Heater Cookers are notorious for burning tarps, Buddy's are less prone to do this. Buddy's have low oxygen sensors so they have a greater safety threshold built into them.

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The heater/cooker have also been known to warm up the flooring of some suitcases to the point of it deforming. It's kind of neat to see it turn choppy ice into a nice clean clear solid ice.

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I have both. The cookers can be more dangerous, but I think they heat better. I've burned the tip of an icerod before after pulling up a fish. If I use the heater cooker, I always put it in a 5-gallon bucket to add a little more safety.

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so haad,

What do you mean you put it in a five gallon bucket. Do you use the five gallon bucket for transportation? Do you use it on top of a five gallon bucket, when heating?

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No problems with putting it on top of a little water. Most of the key components are more than high enough so you don't have to worry.

If your shack is that warm where you are getting large puddles, I would think you are heating the shack too warm (unless you fish in shorts and a t-shirt wink I tend to only keep it warm enough to be comfortable with just my bibs+sweatshirt and no gloves. Nice thing about the buddy is it has a couple different heat settings, and the fan you can turn off/on to adjust for the conditions.

One key drawback to the Buddy heaters is that they don't work well out doors. Basically only useful for inside shack. Any sort of breeze and you will have trouble lighting/keeping lit the pilot light. They are also much bulkier/heavier then the cooker/sunflower models. I have both buddies (smaller one for the one man shack), I am considering picking up a cooker as a back up to the big buddy for when I go on longer trips when it is cold out.

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I use to have a Buddy heater but sold it for the Cooker and don't regret it. It is nice to be able to cook those delicious hot dogs out on the ice. The remedy I cam up with for not burning the tarp/floor with a Cooker is to make a L mounting plate out of plywood pieces and mount it to it with some nails so you can take the Cooker off and flip it for cooking.

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I have both, I always keep the cooker in the sled just in case I need extra heat or the buddy doesnt work.

I really like the big buddy heater in my opinion it puts off more than enough heat and its nice not to have the windows open for oxygen. It will go out if there is a breeze though, they dont work well out doors.

They cooker is a fail safe unit, I have seen some pritty rusty and banged up units before and they always light up, that why I never leave with out it. I always know you will have a source of heat then.

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Riverfish, I run my cooker on 1-pound propane tanks. I put a propane foot on the bottom of the propane tank of course, and then put the tank/foot/cooker all inside of a 5-gallon bucket. The top of the cooker still sits inside of the bucket, so it isn't so exposed. What's nice is that you can then put the bucket a lot closer to the canvas and not worry about burning it with the direct flames of the cooker. And yes, I will also transport it that way to allow it to cool down, too. But it doesn't take long with the cookers though.

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I'll have to look at mine again, because I'm confused.

The only way I can get it to fit at all in a 5 gallon bucket is to take the 1lb tank off and force the heater in sideways.

So you are burning it inside the bucket facing up and out?

Sorry my thought bubble is cloudy today smile

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I have both, and I use my buddy heater 99% of the time. I bought the cooker style first, but it malfunctioned and now it's more of a flame thrower than a heater. I don't know what's wrong with it, but when they work, they are great. What I like about my buddy though is that it is adjustable. I have also had my buddy heater make the pool of water, and no ill effects have come to it. It kind of has like round tubes that keep the main body of the heater up and out of the water and snow. I love it.

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Darren, my thought bubble is cloudy every day!

I just have it burning facing up.

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my grandpa is a manufactures rep for a bunch of companies one of which is mr. heater so we have both heaters and they both have drawbacks and advantages, in our opinion the original buddy is a piece of garbage, hard to light, once lit it doesn't stay lit long and it doesn't heat up a voyager enough to even take ur coat off but it was very convient and easy to pack in the sled.

the cooker is a great dependaple heater, puts out lots of heat, lights easy and puts up with abuse but the thing is crazy hot all over, you have to shut it off 5-10 minutes before you leave so it is cool enough to put away. and i have found that if you run a hose from a 20lb tank to the heater the hoses are usually so stiff that you can't put the heater were you want it cause the hose won't bend.

i personly run a standard sunflower on the top of a 20lb tank, you don't run out of gas and you can put it anywere with out having to worry about that stiff hose for the cooker but it is very bulky and you have to wait awhile for it to cool, next time my grandpa gets a big buddy demo heater i will have to give it a try.

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I run the sun flower style Mr. Heater on a 5lb.

My mind bubble is pretty cloudy at the end of the night, but I am still running on all 8 cylinders grin

IMO that is the only way to fly during ice time.

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My cooker would melt a bucket LOL I made a few adjustments to mine and eliminated the cheesy 3 position temp settings to an infinate valve I can adjust to taking the edge off to roasting in -20 temps in my 3 man Eskimo. Rough guess I can adjust from 1500-20,000, tweak the regulator a little I might get a little more. Been running like this for 20 years on that cooker and replaced the screens 4 years ago and a thermocouple once.

To reduce ponding I either turn the cooker to heat up or raise the front a little by placing the metal scoop under the front of the frame. I also run a ceiling fan to help circulate the heat and reduce condensation and frosting.

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so haad,

I am with dtro, how do you fit your cooker/heater with 1pound tank in a 5 gallon bucket. Are we talking about the same heater.

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the mr. heater I have would also not fit in a gal bucket?? I like the buddys alot because they are easy to use and have good heat adjustments for most occasions. The cookers are great but unless its cold out they can throw out way more heat than I ever need. The cooker also burns through the gs much faster

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Sorry for the confusion guys. My bad. I've had my "cooker" for about 15 years, so I forgot the name. This is the style of cooker that I was talking about.

GNS-48249.jpg

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I have that style cooker as well. I usually drill into the ice and set it in the whole. That way I don't have to worry about it tipping over.

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i have that style as well. but i use it to cook my brats. use the big buddy to heat. nice not worrying about burning everything that gets too close.

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