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Could i ask for some advice..  I currently have a Weber kettle that I use as a grill and Im happy with in that role, I'd now like to get into the world of low and slow with a dedicated smoker but I stuck on what type to get, let alone what brand.  A bullet, and Egg, an offset? I've not a clue! 

Other info that maybe salient is most of the time I'll be cooking for 2, 3 or 4  people, occasionally maybe 8 or so. and I was thinking of a budget of £500 but this could be flexible,  "Cheap becomes expensive" is a saying i believe in.

cheers

Martin

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cheers.. anything that starts with a bottle opener in the "standard setup" is certainly on my wavelength.

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Good time to go to garden centres to see what they have left.....wsm I got at half price a few tears ago.  Just sitting there on a sale pallet. 

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12 hours ago, martin_b said:

Could i ask for some advice..  I currently have a Weber kettle that I use as a grill and Im happy with in that role, I'd now like to get into the world of low and slow with a dedicated smoker but I stuck on what type to get, let alone what brand.  A bullet, and Egg, an offset? I've not a clue! 

Other info that maybe salient is most of the time I'll be cooking for 2, 3 or 4  people, occasionally maybe 8 or so. and I was thinking of a budget of £500 but this could be flexible,  "Cheap becomes expensive" is a saying i believe in.

cheers

Martin

£500 is a good budget and many options open to you. I can only speak for the ProQ (I have the Frontier model) Mine is coming up to 3 years old now and it works as well as the day I bought it, all still original parts including charcoal basket,  like you most of my cooking is for 2-3 people and it is very generous in size for that amount of people. But i can cook quite comfortably for 8+ people when needed with the step up grill, easily can do 10kg of pork shoulder on the 2 levels or 8 racks of ribs, or say 5 fatties and dutch oven full of pit beans for instance.

Has loads of accessories, with it, I have the pizza stone, plancha, cold smoker, step up grill, shellfish basket and thinking of investing in an extra stacker as the dutch oven cooking alongside other foods is my thing this summer. Not sure how well the temperature will regulate with the extra stacker though. if too much variation, i can always swap the stackers round during the cook though.

The model up from mine is the Excel, it is overkill for just a couple of people, but if you do cook regularly for more than 4 people it would probably be a better option than the frontier in the long run.

They updated the ProQ in 2018, so make sure if you do decide to get one, you are getting the newer version that has porcelain enamelled exterior for better heat retention and also the doors are better sealed as well. The best way to tell them apart is the 2018 model has red handles on the doors on the stacker and the older model has metal only handles on it.

As I say there are many options out there for your budget, but just some info on the Proq from a user if you are looking it, as you say.

 

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The Bristol drum smoker is a good example . However if your not bothered about the paint finish. And handy you can build the same thing using the same kit ( big poppas) . 

I haven’t got a wsm or proq but the guys in the forum swear by them . And my friends ones I’ve seen in action 

For me I have a diy UDS . But mainly cook for 3/4 people so have bought a pit barrel cooker which is on sale now for £200 

its a smaller drum and you can set and forget once you buy a good quality fuel 

at £500 budget you will be spoilt for choice . And each of us have their preference. But in reality we all would love to have all of the above posters setups including our own . 

One thing that influenced my decision was what do I normally cook . Ribs and chickens mainly and smaller joints of meat . So the hanging style of the PBC suits me ( It has a grill grate option too conventionally smoke  . )

 

Edited by Raptor72
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If you want to hang and smoke yes is uds. Lots of options depending. Versatility is the thing. 

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Thanks for this, I was looking at the ProQ earlier this morning it does seem to fit the bill.  It’s also has a couple of features I’m not sure I’ll  use often but are certainly nice to have.  The fact it splits for storage in the shed, and that I could just have the bottom unit and use it as a grill on overnight fishing trips.

The Frontier size looks about right add in a good wireless thermometer, and I'm still well under budget.

 

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Meant to add, don't rely on the thermometer and get a decent wireless/bluetooth one for the ProQ. If you fish and eat what you've caught by the bank? the shellfish basket is a good way of cooking them along with hanging hooks, when you get home. if you intend using the bottom part for a grill/bbq they also have introduced a Flip n grate that attaches to the 2018 version charcoal basket, to cook your meat and fish and if and when I buy the newer basket in the future, for my older model, I will definitely look to add one of these also.

https://www.macsbbq.com/accessories/portable-grills/flip-n-grate

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21 minutes ago, Raptor72 said:

i saw that and was going to post it in my reply, but although the description says 2018 model it shows the 2016 model in the picture. I would definitely confirm which one it is they are selling you first.  As most shops seem to be discounting the 2016 to this price but the 2018 is about £40 more, which I would personally pay that over the 2016 model

If it is the new model at this price at souschef, then definitely the best value out there at the moment for it.

Most noticeable difference of the 2 models are the door handles, lid handle and vents have the red silicon heat covers on them

2018 model

Frontier-Front-On-IMG_8420_detail.jpg

 

2016 model

 

proq-frontier-elite1_720x.jpg?v=15349481

Edited by sotv
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if you decide to go for the Proq Frontier 2018 model found this @ Hotsmoked with a cold smoker set and a bag of dust and chips use code MP10 at checkout brings it down to £283.50

If you just want the smoker only £264.60 with the same code. For just under £20 extra the cold smoker pack is good value as the cold smoker on its own is £35 imho, if you would use it.

Smoker only

Cold Smoker Set

The code should work on anything in the store as well, like cover for it etc

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thanks for this, I'm already covered for cold smokers, I've got the small and the big ProQ already..  though i might try pellets soon as an experiment.

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On 1/29/2019 at 8:31 AM, martin_b said:

Thanks for this, I was looking at the ProQ earlier this morning it does seem to fit the bill.  It’s also has a couple of features I’m not sure I’ll  use often but are certainly nice to have.  The fact it splits for storage in the shed, and that I could just have the bottom unit and use it as a grill on overnight fishing trips.

The Frontier size looks about right add in a good wireless thermometer, and I'm still well under budget.

The ProQ Frontier is a good size smoker for most size families and I use one in my BBQ cookery courses. The Excel is a big beast and unless you are catering for the hoards on a regular basis will probably be too large. I currently use the 2016 model and it is great, but the 2018 model has some nicer finishes on the handles and vents and would be worth paying the little extra.

The main advantage of it splitting is that you can get to whatever is cooking on the bottom rack without having to go through the top rack.

A good digital thermometer is essential. The lid thermometers on all of my various smokers are too inaccurate to rely on.

You can use your ProQ cold smoke generators in the base and the Frontier will become an excellent cold smoker.

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The Elite as discussed would probably be to big, but a good offer on a clearance price has just appeared on Hotsmoked they are selling the 2016 model for £295 delivered with the MP10 code brings it down to £265.50 roughly the same price as a 2018 frontier version.

Elite model

 

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