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Thread: BBQ Hot Smoker recommendations & tips

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    Senior Member AGTDenton's Avatar
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    Smile BBQ Hot Smoker recommendations & tips

    I experienced my first portion of slow cooked Pork Belly the other day at a restaurant and was instantly hooked!
    It made me want to get a BBQ Hot Smoker to make my own amongst other meats.

    Has anyone got one, if so what recommendations & tips do you have through your cooking experiences?

    There's quite a range out there with various shapes & sizes at various prices.
    I like the idea of an upright one for a smaller footprint. However, there may be better reasons to have a horizontal one.
    I'd prefer to go wood chip based over charcoal. Though I'm betting the charcoal is cheaper and lasts longer?


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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    Re: BBQ Hot Smoker recommendations & tips

    you can cook "low and slow" in a kettle style BBQ - its just a matter of temperature control and more indirect heat. Too much smoke can make the meat bitter - many will only use smoke at strategic points of the cook. I have a few wood chunks I mix in with my charcoal when I'm smoking. Personally I have a Kamado style grill ( like a big green egg - its very versatile but not cheap )

    If you are into DIY , you can build yourself a very high quailty smoker from a 44gl drum - google for an "ugly drum smoker"
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    Studmuffin Flibb's Avatar
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    Re: BBQ Hot Smoker recommendations & tips

    I had a similar experience to you, then headed over to some BBQ forums to read up. Findings were;
    Most horizontal smokers are junk.
    DIY ugly drum smokers (UGS) are seen as being a good route in, and cheap, but you need to source bits, fiddle, etc.
    Webers smokey mountain and ProQ (various models) upright smokers are good entry level but cost £££.
    Cheapest but good starter is a modified Weber kettle BBQ.

    I already had a 57cm weber (ebay £45) so added a couple of bricks, some aluminium foil and used that for a while, had good results. The bricks and waterbath are used to keep the temperature down, you control air flow using the vents and inlet.

    I then picked up another cheap 57cm Weber, added a smokenator https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HS_gyFBbww and a remote thermometer. This has given my best results so far and have slow smoked pork, chicken, lamb and beef for over 6 hours. I use a combination of charcoal and lumps of wood, be careful where you get the wood from you don't want it contaminated with chain oil.

    The great thing about the weber setup is that you can use it as a standard BBQ as well. Build quality is also great, my main one is well over 10 years old and very solid, you can also get replacement parts and upgrades. But I wouldn't buy a new one, look on ebay or gumtree for local pickup, £40-50 is the going rate for a premium, you should be able to pick one up easily this time of year.

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    Re: BBQ Hot Smoker recommendations & tips

    Now is a good time for discounts on BBQ's as well - Flibb is right about the horizontal smokers - you need to modify most of them to get an even cook. I started off with a proQ amigo, which was ok but the temp control wasn't easy ( that and you had to refuel it a lot! )
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    Re: BBQ Hot Smoker recommendations & tips

    Thank you peeps, thats exactly the information I was after!
    Certainly a good project for me and housemate.

    It looks like starting small will come well under the £200-250 budget I had in mind.


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