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Guitarbloke

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  1. Thanks Wade, that seems like some sound advice! I think I know the perfect spot, there's a little decked area to the side of the conservatory where it'll be shielded from the elements on 3 sides - that ought to do the trick!
  2. Haha!! Ok well now I feel pretty silly!! In hindsight that's so obvious! 🙈😂 Thanks Ian!!! 😁👍
  3. That's a great idea - It'll certainly keep things going until I can convince the missus that I 'need' a BBQ shack
  4. Cheers Ice! Yeah, those spring clips can get pretty toasty! I'll drop Ian a line and see if he can help out with the silicon cover Right, well it sounds like a gazebo might be the order of the day - hopefully 'er indoors won't mind me keeping it up the whole year round, as I'm not planning on using the oven ever again!!
  5. So this weekend (Saturday) I had my first run with my shiny new ProQ Frontier. First of all, the thing that surprised me perhaps the most, was how much easier it was to get a stable temperature compared to my gas grill! With the gas bbq I'm constantly back and forth adjusting the dials or popping the lid to lower the temp etc. The ProQ was ridiculously simple - I set up a full basket of Weber briquettes using the minion method, and chucked in a few handfuls of soaked apple wood chips, filled the water pan and let it do its thing. I did struggle to put the full water pan into the Frontier directly over the lit coals, and ended up sloshing a load over the charcoal basket and down into the base of the bbq...🙄 Anyway lol... Temp initially rose slowly to 270F-ish and then gradually dropped and settled at around 230F. I used my Inkbird to monitor temps. I threw on a spatchcocked chicken that I'd marinated the night before and it was done in about 2 hours. Quite literally no babysitting needed! Annoyingly though, I got a nasty burn as the silicon cover on one of the bottom vents split (apparently during the cooking, as it was fine when I built the bbq during the week). When I went to adjust the vent at the end of the cook, my finger ended up gripping bare searing hot metal... Yowwch! 😣 Then today (Sunday), I wasn't planning on cooking as we were out for the day (funnily enough we spent an unplanned hour at a bbq store because they had a Kamado demo going on when we wandered by). However, that put me in the mood for some 'cue, but with most of the day gone there was only time got a quick grill job. So I took the stackers off the Frontier and put the grill right over the basket. Grilled up some salmon fillets, skewered prawns and some nice sausages. It worked a treat! I can't see my Broil King, Landmann or Weber Smokey Joe getting much of a look-in going forwards!! Couple of things I discovered that I need to work on though - I'm never quite sure how much charcoal is enough in the basket. There was loads left after Saturday's cook (I had put in about 3kg of briquettes), so I recycled them for the following day - they were half burned though, is this ok to do? Also, I need to organise myself a little better - my timings are awful and I can never get everything ready at the same time! I'm not sure what to try next, I might get some babybacks this week if next weekend's weather looks promising. Do you guys still cook in the rain? Does it affect temps?
  6. Haha! Yeah it's a great little pub! Small world lol 😁
  7. Apologies for the utterly shameless plug, but I couldn't resist - if you're a fan of live music (70s-80s rock) my band will be playing at The Goat in Berkhamsted on the 20th!
  8. Hmmm.. I don't believe I noticed anything untoward - I'll have a closer inspection of the clasps when I get home tonight though and let you know
  9. Thanks Ian, I'll experiment with both lump and briquettes and see what I prefer. Sounds like briquettes might be easier but we'll see! That's interesting about the pink colouring on the chicken - I didn't know that and would have probably let it keep on cooking!! Will report back once I've done my first cook (most likely this weekend)
  10. Yeah I think that's probably a good idea! I've got 16kg of Weber briquettes sitting in the shed at the moment, so I'll have a first run with those, but I'll pick up some restaurant grade lump from Amazon and use that for the second try and compare them. Is there much of a difference? I think I had read somewhere that lump didn't burn as consistently as briquettes, but I can't recall where I read that now.
  11. That's really handy to know! I'll still go with a dry run anyway as you suggest though - if only to get my temp control technique nailed 😁
  12. Cheers Phil, must admit I'm pretty excited, I've only cooked a couple of times with charcoal in the past (just a few rather sad looking sausages and burgers), so I'm looking forward to the learning curve! I'm currently just reading through every ProQ thread I can lay my hands on. At this rate, I reckon I'll be an expert before I even fire her up! 😂 And you're absolutely right - any BBQ day is fantastic! 😀
  13. Thanks Ice! I think I'm going to start out with something nice and easy as cooking with charcoal is relatively new to me - maybe a chicken or some babybacks 😋 Good idea about the dummy run, it'll be useful for me to learn how to control the temps (and also burn off any gunk from the factory!). I've been reading a lot about something called the 'minion method' which sounds like it might be pretty effective, so I reckon I'll give that a try and keep an eye on temp with the Inkbird while I fiddle with the vents.
  14. Apologies in advance, this post is pic heavy just to show to anyone who might be thinking of getting one of these. So, my ProQ Frontier arrived today. I was supposed to be going out on a work do this evening, but I made an excuse as I was far more interested on getting home to put my new bbq together! 😂 First impressions upon opening the box were that it was incredibly well packaged, plenty of polystyrene and packing cardboard keeping all the parts well separated and protected. The individual stackers, lid, base, grills, basket and pan were also all wrapped and protected in plastic The next thing that struck me was how few pieces there were to put together. Having spent a good 3 hours or so assembling a Landmann in the past, this was a huge relief! In fact there were only 6 pieces and 6 screws to contend with (for attaching the legs) - see photo. Just as well really, since as I explained to @Icefever earlier today, when it comes to doing anything remotely handy, I'm a cross between Frank Spencer and Mr Bean! This is all there was to do! (I left hooks in the picture, so ignore those) The legs were the only fiddly part of the build for me - although that could well be my cack-handedness at play there! Everything else just slotted together as per the clear diagram in the manual. The whole unit feels solid and good quality. I haven't put it outside just yet, on the albeit slim off-chance that it rains (I have a cover on order), so it's residing in the kitchen for now, but I'll give it a go later this week. A few pics below of the unpacking and build. Overall I'm very impressed and haven't even used it yet!
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