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Hello from Kent


Grandadfatboy
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Hi everyone,

My name is Ian, I'm 63 and I'm married to Bev, who is most definitely the better half in the relationship. We have always enjoyed entertaining, with many an evening enjoying good food, beer, wine and spirits. BBQ has always been a firm favourite with my wife and I, as well as with our family and friends. I was about to break my virginity and buy a smoker to enhance my BBQ skills, when I became quite seriously ill.

It's taken 3 long years to get well again and I'm now looking to purchase my first smoker. I've been reading and researching and had settled on the WSM 47cm, but just the other morning the Callow bullet smoker came onto my radar, so typing Callow reviews into Google led me to Wade's review on this forum, and having read the review I decided to join the forum. I'm thinking having read Wade's review that I will start off with the Callow as my first smoker, so thank you for that Wade.

It is my intention to start off gently with smaller cuts of meat, gradually building up the smoking times to where both my wife and I happy with the level of smokey taste. Obviously there are many wood species to try, and in various shapes and sizes. 

One bonus in my favour, I have found an excellent butchers within the farm shop we visit weekly. All the meat we have had so far has been excellent, and if they haven't got a particular cut/joint of meat in stock, they will get it for their customers. 

Well that's all from me for now. I will be exploring the forum to expand and add to the little knowledge I have gained thus far. No doubt I will be asking some newbie questions some time in the future, but I do promise to use the search tool.

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Thank you Icefever.

I learnt some interesting things on my first day on the forum, especially regarding the Callow bullet smoker, which I will be ordering over the weekend. The info given by one member in the Callow threads regarding his smoking experiences with that smoker was insightful.

I think I've certainly landed in the right forum.  

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Hi Ian and welcome to the Forum. Where in Kent are you? There are several members from Kent, I am in Woodchurch, not far from Ashford.

The Callow is a good inexpensive way to start smoking and to develop your bullet smoker skills. I know a lot of people who have started with the CAllow and have moved on to larger smokers after a few years - and also others who are happy to continue with the Callow. You mentioned that you were also looking at the WSM 47cm. This is a good smoker but at this price level (~£300-400) you may also want to also look at the ProQ Frontier as they are more flexible when in use.

The Callow has gone through several major design changes since it first came out and the current version has been around for a while now is a good reliable entry level smoker. I have used these on several of my BBQ training courses. There is one small mod that I think you may want to do when you first get it and that is to place small locking washers behind the nuts that hold the air vent covers in place. This simply stops the air vent nuts from working loose with use and needing tightening.
The temperature control is straightforward and it is a good smoker that can easily feed a family. All the BBQ meats cook well in it though you will be limited to the size. Pulled Pork, small briskets, whole joints of beef/posk, legs of lamb and whole and spatchcock chicken will fit easily. Baby back ribs are fine too but you will probable need to cut full racks of ribs in half to get them to fit flat on the cooking grates. This is easily overcome using the most versatile "rib cooking rack" from Ikea. Ikea used to sell these only as "pot lid holders" but since we have been promoting their use for cooking ribs they now market them as "Spare Rib Holder/Lid Holder" :thumb1:

One item that is a must before you start smoking is a twin probe digital thermometer. With this you will be ably to constantly read the temperature inside the cooking chamber as well as the temperature inside the meat. An inexpensive one to start with is the Inkbird IBT-2X. This will cost you around £25

Good luck with your smoking and dont forget that we are here to give advice whenever it is needed.

Cheers, Wade

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1 hour ago, Wade said:

Hi Ian and welcome to the Forum. Where in Kent are you? There are several members from Kent, I am in Woodchurch, not far from Ashford.

The Callow is a good inexpensive way to start smoking and to develop your bullet smoker skills. I know a lot of people who have started with the CAllow and have moved on to larger smokers after a few years - and also others who are happy to continue with the Callow. You mentioned that you were also looking at the WSM 47cm. This is a good smoker but at this price level (~£300-400) you may also want to also look at the ProQ Frontier as they are more flexible when in use.

The Callow has gone through several major design changes since it first came out and the current version has been around for a while now is a good reliable entry level smoker. I have used these on several of my BBQ training courses. There is one small mod that I think you may want to do when you first get it and that is to place small locking washers behind the nuts that hold the air vent covers in place. This simply stops the air vent nuts from working loose with use and needing tightening.
The temperature control is straightforward and it is a good smoker that can easily feed a family. All the BBQ meats cook well in it though you will be limited to the size. Pulled Pork, small briskets, whole joints of beef/posk, legs of lamb and whole and spatchcock chicken will fit easily. Baby back ribs are fine too but you will probable need to cut full racks of ribs in half to get them to fit flat on the cooking grates. This is easily overcome using the most versatile "rib cooking rack" from Ikea. Ikea used to sell these only as "pot lid holders" but since we have been promoting their use for cooking ribs they now market them as "Spare Rib Holder/Lid Holder" :thumb1:

One item that is a must before you start smoking is a twin probe digital thermometer. With this you will be ably to constantly read the temperature inside the cooking chamber as well as the temperature inside the meat. An inexpensive one to start with is the Inkbird IBT-2X. This will cost you around £25

Good luck with your smoking and dont forget that we are here to give advice whenever it is needed.

Cheers, Wade

Wade, what bbq course do you do?

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Thank you for the information Wade, it's very much appreciated.

I'm in Walderslade on the outskirts of Chatham, a couple of minutes from J3 of M2 and Bluebell Hill, so not too far from you.

My wife bought me a 4 channel Bluetooth digital thermometer for my birthday last year, but I've only used it a couple of times. In fact our first test with it was a direct comparison to the one my wife uses for oven cooking. Both read within a degree or two of one another throughout the cook, and both alarms went off within minutes of each other.

From what I read in the Callow thread it seems that some benefit from Lavalock gasket, so I'll make sure to test for leaks. I will perform the modification you suggested as I'm putting the smoker together. 

Looking to keep things simple to start, ribs, chicken portions, spatchcock chicken, lamb shanks, pulled pork etc, which if I get right will win me serious brownie points with my wife and daughter. I already have a small brisket in the freezer ready for a longer cook, but that will be when I've learnt the basics. Talking of learning, what courses do you run Wade? 

 

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