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Sarah Duffy

Almost there.. stuck between these two...

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Both of these seem to fit the bill and are around our budget. I’m leaning towards the Napoleon as it has more vents. But there seems to be more available reviews of the Proq.

 

Anyone have experience of either or opinions on which would be the better option? 

 

Thanks!

 

https://hotsmoked.co.uk/proq-ranger.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwxILdBRBqEiwAHL2R8wGVtOqLwUcZZ19P0dQJBQF0L0tXENSznXuxOYhL3JxHwvSOZEB9GhoCcN0QAvD_BwE

 

https://www.keengardener.co.uk/napoleon-as200k-3-in-1-charcoal-grill-water-smoker.html?wgu=4007_196673_153730404548_17676f3042&wgexpiry=1552856045&utm_source=Webgains&utm_medium=196673

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I have the ProQ Frontier Elite and has given me good service for 2 summers now whether Hot or cold smoking, it maintains temperature of 225F very well for me and has required no mods and little or no maintenance in that time. The grill plates clean up easily after each cook and the water pan is just starting to show signs of use after all this time. The coals basket at the bottom is still as sturdy and same shape as when bought. (My last brinkman before this buckled and warped after 1 summer)

You are looking at the 2018 model which has one improvement that would really help me with mine, in that they have added cool touch grips for the vents, many a time I have burnt my fingers forgetting how hot they can get when adjusting when it is hot. 

I wouldn't rely on the temperature reader on the lid, way out (as are most inbuilt ones) worth investing in a digital one with probes, I have a Maverick E732 but other ones like inkbird are available as well. much more accurate and if wifi/bluetooth enabled, you can keep the receiver in the house, save having to run out and keep checking the temperature is still 225F or whatever you want it at.

As I say I have the Frontier Elite and although the Ranger would be adequate for just us 2, if you want to cook for more than 4-6 people, you may find the Ranger is short on the space/volume you need and the Frontier can easily cook 3 or 4 x 3kg pork shoulders or 8 to 10 racks of ribs in rib holders.

I have cold smoked sides of salmon joints of bacon and up to 4 kg of cheese at once in mine

I invested in the cover as mine has been kept outside all the time in all weathers and has no rust whatsoever in the 2 years i have owned it..

Can't help with the Napoleon, but if you have any further questions about the ProQ please feel free to ask

 

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p,s, The best accessory I have bought for my Frontier is the step up grill for it. It creates much more cooking area, when needed for £12.99 a real boon https://hotsmoked.co.uk/step-up-grill.html

I am hoping Santa is going to bring me the Plancha for it this xmas which looks a great way to cook breakfast on the Proq and sticking things like a paella pan on to do an outdoor paella, which I have always fancied doing for a group of people as I enjoy cooking it indoors but end up needing 2 burners to boil the stock down on my  cooker Plancha they also do this for the Ranger if you decide to buy it. These don't have to be all bought at once or at all, just showing you how adaptable they can be.

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That’s great, thank you! I’ve just been looking at frontier too (just seen one for 259) and wondering if we should go a little larger. Ranger would be fine for smoking but a struggle if we want to grill aswell. Wanted to stay small so it’s easier to pack for camping trips but then it splits down (another reason I like)

was looking at probes actaully so thanks for the recommendations there!

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The frontier breaks down and fits in my Seat Ibiza boot comfortably. When Grilling I would estimate you could fit 10-12 burgers on it at once, if that helps with some idea of size and capacity

If you were looking at the souschef frontier I would say that is my model and not the updated 2018 mode (look at the hotsmoked 2018 one for the differences). if you are on a budget then the £35 difference is probably not worth it. But you may consider the most up to date one worth the extra investment?

I would drop Hotsmoked an email and ask if they have any current discounts  or codes for first time buyers at the moment (or sign up for newsletter discounts) or check their facebook page I did when I bought mine and they gave me a one off 10% discount code, which would bring the 2018 model almost down to the souschef price. You can only ask..

 

Edited by sotv

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1 minute ago, sotv said:

The frontier breaks down and fits in my Seat Ibiza boot comfortably. When Grilling I would estimate you could fit 10-12 burgers on it at once, if that helps with some idea of size and capacity

If you were looking at the souschef frontier I would say that is my model and not the updated 2018 mode (look at the hotsmoked 2018 one for the differences). if you are on a budget then the £35 difference is probably not worth it. But you may consider the most up to date one worth the extra investment?

I would drop Hotsmoked an email and ask if they have any current discounts at the moment, I did when I bought mine and they gave me a one off 10% discount code, which would bring the 2018 model almost down to the souschef price. you can only ask..

 

Ah yes I see. Thank you. 

 

We have an estate and roof box but also kids! But I can break it down and spread it around when packing if needs be.

 

do you need all the sections to smoke or can you remove one?

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3 minutes ago, Sarah Duffy said:

Ah yes I see. Thank you. 

 

We have an estate and roof box but also kids! But I can break it down and spread it around when packing if needs be.

 

do you need all the sections to smoke or can you remove one?

Personally I have always cooked with both sections even when cooking for just me and the wife, as I prefer cooking on the top section, than over the waterpan, unless I have to, due to quantity being cooked,. But I see know reason why not if you wanted to.

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Hi Sarah. As @sotv mentioned I think that you could find the ProQ Ranger a little on the small side. At 14.5" (37 cm) You will be able to cook reasonable size joints and chickens etc. however it will be too small to smoke a full rack of ribs without cutting them. The Ranger is a similar size to the Callow (which I have used a lot) and I think you may find its size a little limiting if you are planning on doing a lot of smoking and entertaining groups of families and friends.

You posted up a link to to the ProQ Ranger on HotSmoked and it was priced at £249. For an additional £10 SousChef have the ProQ Frontier at £259. The frontier has a 43 cm (17") cooking diameter. I also have a ProQ Frontier and I find those extra 3" make a lot of difference...

I had a chance to see a Napoleon AS200 in use at QFest this year and it looked to be a very well made smoker - a quality build and it performed well. If it is a choice between the Napoleon and the Ranger I would go for the Napoleon as it is less expensive and offers a larger cooking area. My preference though would be to go for the Frontier as I find it an ideal size for most of my smoking needs.

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7 hours ago, sotv said:

Personally I have always cooked with both sections even when cooking for just me and the wife, as I prefer cooking on the top section, than over the waterpan, unless I have to, due to quantity being cooked,. But I see know reason why not if you wanted to.

I agree and I prefer to cook on the top section too. I have rarely cooked using only one section - but you can, and it cooks fine.

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Thanks you both. 

 

I do keep coming back to the Callow! It could be a good tester really. See how we actually use it, how often, what features/size we might need in addition rather than a big spend straight away and finding its not quite right. I’d also prefer two smaller units over one huge one I think. More versatile for our needs that way/easier to transport.

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Realistically... it’s more about making my regular reciepes more interesting and creating more varied meals at home. I use my slow Cooker and oven a lot. I like to experiment and play with foods. Initially, it’s about enhancing what I already cook and expanding on them. Really fancy trying some cold smoking too. 

So on that basis, the Callow would probably suffice for now. If I get into it I would likely have a second unit anyway much like I’ve always had 2 or 3 different bbq units at the same time. It would also leave funds to purchase a thermometer 

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8 hours ago, Sarah Duffy said:

Realistically... it’s more about making my regular reciepes more interesting and creating more varied meals at home. I use my slow Cooker and oven a lot. I like to experiment and play with foods. Initially, it’s about enhancing what I already cook and expanding on them. Really fancy trying some cold smoking too. 

So on that basis, the Callow would probably suffice for now. If I get into it I would likely have a second unit anyway much like I’ve always had 2 or 3 different bbq units at the same time. It would also leave funds to purchase a thermometer 

In that case the Callow may be the most cost-effective solution for you as it will let you hot smoke and cold smoke foods very effectively. If you want to go down that route then let me know as I can let you know how to get 10% off.

Stove glass thermal tape is what you need for the door. It is available as an "accessory" on the Garden Gift Shop store or you can get it directly from Vitcas. You need about 2 metres* of the the self adhesive tape 10mm x 2mm
https://shop.vitcas.com/tape-black-self-adhesive-3.html

* 1 metre will just fit but 2 meters gives you added comfort factor

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10 minutes ago, Wade said:

In that case the Callow may be the most cost-effective solution for you as it will let you hot smoke and cold smoke foods very effectively. If you want to go down that route then let me know as I can let you know how to get 10% off.

Stove glass thermal tape is what you need for the door. It is available as an "accessory" on the Garden Gift Shop store or you can get it directly from Vitcas. You need about 2 metres* of the the self adhesive tape 10mm x 2mm
https://shop.vitcas.com/tape-black-self-adhesive-3.html

* 1 metre will just fit but 2 meters gives you added comfort factor

Thank you! I ordered a callow for £70 and it has the updated thermometer, from garden gift shop. I ordered a roll of self adhesive flat rope stove tape.

It’ll start me off and if I find I’m using regularly then I can upgrade to a medium size for home and use the Callow for travel/additional cooking space if needed.

Have been pondering over probes but may just go for the 6 probe inkbird. Seen a few cheaper alternatives but long use reviews aren’t too great.

I have some gloves. Plenty of coals knocking about to have an initial play.

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And thank you again for the help and advice so far! Super excited to have a play.

Whole chicken, pulled pork, Cuban beef and some cabbage rolls will be the first few tries! 

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6 minutes ago, Justin said:

Inkbird is supposed it .be good. I use thermopro and that is good too.

Thanks. It’s one of those.. I’d rather spend an extra £15 - £20 and it last me years! I see no point in saving a few quid for it to only be reliable for several months or so.

much the reason I was looking at good quality smoker but seems the Callow for £70 felt like a good buy. I’d be less worried about carting it around and damaging too. Once the garden is done and I have my BBQ shack (I’ve dreamed of for years) then I’ll upgrade.

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I’ve got the inkbird 

it’s good ! But not waterproof so I stick mine in a ziplock bag 

I posted up a link to eBay for a cheap price 

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2 minutes ago, Raptor72 said:

I’ve got the inkbird 

it’s good ! But not waterproof so I stick mine in a ziplock bag 

I posted up a link to eBay for a cheap price 

Yes saw that! I’d have liked waterproof but looks like a big price jump so zip lock will suffice! I have an old water proof camera case somewhere and phone bags.. need to dig that out!

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2 hours ago, Sarah Duffy said:

And thank you again for the help and advice so far! Super excited to have a play.

Whole chicken, pulled pork, Cuban beef and some cabbage rolls will be the first few tries! 

Let me know Cuban beef recipe 

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6 minutes ago, Raptor72 said:

Let me know Cuban beef recipe 

Will do! It’s more one for a ropa vieja so I usually marinate the meat, dear and then pop in slow cooker with the veg and tomatoes but I’m thinking it might work well just as a shredded beef in smoker and do the veg on the side 

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Just now, Sarah Duffy said:

Will do! It’s more one for a ropa vieja so I usually marinate the meat, dear and then pop in slow cooker with the veg and tomatoes but I’m thinking it might work well just as a shredded beef in smoker and do the veg on the side 

Although, I can do it in a foil tray then add the veg and sauce part way through 

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