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Hi All, 

I am looking for recommendations on a smoker, would love to have a separate smoke box that feeds into the main grills so I can top up after 2 hours or so without disturbing the food.  

Have looked at the attached but have seen a few reviews that it leaks, budget is around £300.00

https://www.planetbarbecue.co.uk/callow-offset-charcoal-bbq-smoker-with-side-fire-box-c2x24909570

Thanks, 

 

Murphy. 

 

 

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Hi Murphy & welcome...

Have you read the thread about the Landmann Kentucky???  it seems that this price range for offset smokers do (sometimes) need TLC and a mod or two.  What is it about an offset??  what do you want too cook,  using a bullet smoker there's no need to "disturb" if you need to top up fuel, and if you start off with enough fuel in the basket should see you finish a cook?.

Ice.

 

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I did have a look at the bullet style but they seemed fragile...

I'd like to be able to cook for myself and the partner once a week but occasionally be able to use it at a party say 5-6 times a year where I'd feed a good 10 people.

Usual items, brisket, ribs, chicken and sausage, would like to learn American competition style! Is it worth moving out of the £300 category if you get more bang for buck so to speak?

 

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Hi @Murphy, I've only ever used a bullet smoker but I would recommend one such as WSM or the PROQ for the same reasons as @Icefever said but also you can remove the mid section and use as a kettle style if you are cooking for smaller numbers. An offset requires more maintenance but the bullet is better for set it and forget it. Both have their merits and depends what mind of cooling you fancy doing. I think either way you'll have a great time. 🙂 

Even though it's often just me and my Mrs i'm cooking for I usually cook enough to do a couple days with some left over to freeze in my 22"/57cm WSM

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Murphy said:

be able to use it at a party say 5-6 times a year where I'd feed a good 10 people.

The Proq Frontier can handle that, they quote.." Easily catering for up to 12 hungry people,"  another big thing to take into consideration is size, I have an offset and believe me they do take up a lot more room than a bullet. You ask about uping your money,   £300 will buy a top market bullet.

 

5 hours ago, hoogl said:

Even though it's often just me and my Mrs i'm cooking for I usually cook enough to do a couple days with some left over to freeze

Ditto as well with.. @hoogl   I'm cooking ribs today, and they will do for tomorrow as well.

 

Ice.

Edited by Icefever
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I use both offset and bullet smokers and to be honest the offset smokers designed for home use are more style than substance. As has been mentioned above they usually need some tweaks out of the box, they tend to be harder to maintain a steady temperature over long periods and there is usually a significant heat gradient within the cooking chamber. The large catering size offsets are a different matter - but would almost certainly be too large for you.

I am a KCBS BBQ judge and so attend many BBQ cooking events. The smokers that you will see there in abundance are the bullet smokers and you will almost never see a small offset.

The ProQ and Weber Smoky Mountain are probably the most versatile smokers that you can buy and they come in a couple of sizes. From what you describe the ProQ Frontier Elite is the best size for you - however it does cost ~£300. The WSMs are even more expensive - but you are paying for the Weber name.

Another option is the Callow Premium Charcoal BBQ Smoker Grill. This is an entry level smoker at ~£100 but it cooks well and is very controllable. It can be a little limiting on space though when cooking for larger groups.

The main advantage of a bullet smoker is its versatility. It can be used to hot roast, hot smoke, cold smoke and grill. A good combination for any home BBQ is a bullet smoker for the Low and slow and a kettle BBQ for grilling.

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Posted (edited)

Fully agree with you Wade

As an aside I got my WSM at half price in the late autumn at garden centre, so it is worth targeting when to go buy

Edited by Justin
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Alright guys I think I'm convinced will look at getting the ProQ Frontier elite. 

Any recommendations on where you get your wood chunks from? I'm based in Solihull / West Midlands? 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Murphy said:

Any recommendations on where you get your wood chunks from?

Well done Murphy :thumb1:  I've just had a box of mixed from one of the forum sponsors..Smokewood Shack...I went for the 5 x 1.5kg nets of different woods.

https://www.smokewoodshack.com/product-page/5-x-1-5-kg-bags-of-chunks

James is great with any Q's you may have he even rang me to check on my address for delivery.

Any problems give me a shout we're down in Warwick.

 

Ice.

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54 minutes ago, Murphy said:

Alright guys I think I'm convinced will look at getting the ProQ Frontier elite. 

Just thought if you do decide on a ProQ go straight to Proq  @Mack https://www.macsbbq.com/

If they have one in stock it'll only take a couple of days for delivery..

Ice.

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If free next Saturday, maybe worth popping down to the Woodsmoke weekend, annual event organised on here. It is been held at Billing Aquadrome just off the M1 in Northampton, just over an hour away from Solihull. I am sure there will be many bullet smokers and grills in use on that day and may give you an idea of size, ease of use and value for money based on your budget and needs? and get any questions answered, you might have about them. Details here If not, all your questions would be answered on here. Always best to see things working and not often you get a chance to see different models all in once place on the go.

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1 minute ago, sotv said:

if free next Saturday, maybe worth popping down to the Woodsmoke weekend,

 

Good thinking Steve, I wish I'd have had the chance 4 years ago,  I may not have gone for the offset after all...😄

 

Ice.

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Legit got excited when I saw the date for your festival, then realised the Mrs has already organised a trip to fecking Wiltshire...... 

Put my name down for 2020 though, its only round the corner from Birmingham and they're dog friendly! 

 

Thank you for the warm welcomes and the recommendations, really appreciated. 

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Can only go my experience, but like you I live in a household of 2, but cook for family a few times a year and have found the ProQ Frontier Elite more than suitable for my needs. Last weekend cooked for 20+ people and did a near 5kg,  piece of Pork shoulder on it and a full goat shoulder at the same time (if cooking 2 different types of meat, worth getting the step up grill for it, to avoid contamination as you can get a foil tray underneath the step up, to stop the drippings falling on the different meat below) iyswim. Easy to clean the grills after use as well

Did a couple of racks of  ribs on Monday for the 2 of us and will do a couple of  whole sea bass for both of us on the plancha the weekend. 

Plenty of other accessories as well for it to provide different cooking techniques on the ProQ range as well. Definitely works better with good quality charcoal, than the Supermarket and DIY store bought cheap stuff you can buy.

 

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51 minutes ago, sotv said:

will do a couple of  whole sea bass for both of us on the plancha

I'm wondering about this 10% code that Ian has posted,  if to buy a plancha??? or not as we love our fish (sea Bass) will take a look.

 

Ice.

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Happy to bring mine along next weekend, not planning to use it, but if you want a play with it on your Frontier on Friday night, you are more than welcome, to help you decide? Also worth looking at the FlipnGrate for fish and burgers etc for it. Just to  make the decision a little harder for you. 😀

 

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