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The Smoking and BBQ thread


Oracle
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I'm using a couple of bits of battery powered kit as a plug socket outside was an issue, you can do it all in one though if power is available (though most of the gear has US plugs so will need an adaptor, which is a pain)

I use a bbq guru CyberQ for grill temp control, its a lovely battery powered bit of kit you slap on the air intake and it does the rest

https://www.bbqguru.com/ProductInfo/CompareBBQControls

For the meat I use an iGrill 2 - you just poke a couple of probes into your joint (up to a max of 4) and it tracks the temps via bluetooth back on your phone/tablet, you can even set alarms to warn you when temp is achieved

http://idevicesinc.com/igrill/

All those in the know advise against constantly opening up your lid - this let me leave the thing shut the entire time retaining moisture in the dome and stopping temp flare ups by flooding the coals with air

For anybody interested I also met the chap importing Primo Ceramic bbq's back into the uk - I have his price list in pdf if anybody wants his details - he's not fully setup to advertise yet but has already shifted his first container of gear and has another coming shortly. Primo's aren't cheap but are the rolls royce's of ceramics - I've said before that given the choice again I wouldn't buy anything else

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  • 1 month later...

[Wise words]

Cheers for all the advice. Currently using an iGrill and playing with manual control/adjustment to get the feel of the thing. Have cooked a variety of stuff so far - whole roast chickens to standard BBQ fare.... all comes out so so well compared to a generic gas grill i was using previously. Hunted down some oxford charcoal which was a bit of a faff to get delivered (the delivery co.'s fault, not theirs), which was annoying since i saw it in waitrose at the weekend whilst visiting some relatives!

Next step is to try my two ideal BBQ items - a slow roast pork and then some ribs. Will settle in for a big long cook on a saturday that is free at the end of july to muck about with... any tips/guidance well received...

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good to hear you getting the results you want - none of it is that complicated I've found and once you've got temp control and your basic techniques down its all relatively plain sailing

what are you cooking on bbq-wise ?

for a slow pork you want a shoulder (some butchers here are familiar with the term butt, turner & george online ordering around london is great if you in the area) and ideally the bone is in - skin needs to be off and most of the surface fat trimmed, there is a lot of internal fat that will render during cooking and keep it moist. I tend to keep it simple, little spray of oil to make the surface sticky then generously rub it up on all surfaces, ideally the night before, with whatever you want to put on it, loads of great rub recipes around and you can get the stuff easily in a supermarket spice aisle.

set the grill up indirect, and I always go for 225F for a proper low and slow - its a long process though, a big 4-4.5kg joint can take 18h to get to temp for pulling (smaller joints or higher temps will obviously alter this a lot) - I never foil the meat during cooking but take it off the grill and foil and towel it for an hour to let it rest before pulling. Depending on your grill temp control for such a long time may be a piece of cake or something needing a bit of attention, and refuelling may be necessary (on a ceramic I don't need to). Don't oversmoke either with wood, I do a couple of lumps of fruitwood and you need to find your level you like, you can always add more next time but don't want to ruin your first cook.

stuff freezes like a dream too in baggies - so if you've got the space chuck a couple in, its a perfect midweek microwave lifesaver when you want something delicious in a sandwich.

Ribs I'd point you in the direction of the appropriately named Amazing Ribs site - lots of good advice there, also google 3-2-1 method - just find a good butcher that will sell you nice fat meaty ones as you can load em up with rub and sauce and get some sweet and heat on them !

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cooking on a kamado joe jr, which i've actually found has a decent capacity and is a good space saver (and was a bundle cheaper than a standard/classic)...

think ribs might be my first foray - will check out the 3-2-1 method and Amazing Ribs. do you use a rib rack? can't wait to load 'em up and give 'em a go. Do you go with pork or beef short ribs?

Have mainly been frequenting kamadoguru.com and trying to steal some tips... but thinking my best bet is to crack on by trial and error and learn how to do things myself.

Stupid question - what lighters do you use?

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I've got a joe jr too - lovely bit of kit

the rack is mainly a space saving thing rather than altering the end result - I've seen people stand the ribs on end and roll in a spiral held together with skewers to fit a large amount on a smaller grill space

I've done pork and beef, my personal preference is pork, the beef I posted pics of a few pages back, were very beefy and intense, almost brisket like

lighters i go for anything natural and non chemical, there are nice little bundles of wood things on amazon, or the BGE, Joe or Primo ones are great, most important thing is not to get chemical lighter fluid in the porous ceramic on your Joe. I've also got an electric lighter thing which is like a supercharged hairdryer that lights solely with hot air, to be honest its a bit of a faff and I rarely use it

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I am pretty close to ordering a smoker, likely a ProQ frontier that I hope to be able to use as a BBQ also - anyone got one or similar like the Weber, can you stand the bottom bit on a table without the legs getting hot and causing an issue?

Next question is about thermometers, any recommendations of one that preferably is wireless and works at a long range?

Also, can you get one that you would be able to use to check food cooked in an oven or steak in a pan? (I assume the probe on most needs to be fully in the meat so not ideal for steak?)

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I've got a ProQ and I think it could get away with being on a table, but I wouldn't recommend it. It's not so much the legs, but the whole of it getting quite hot. I wouldn't put it on a table you care about or a plastic one either.

I'd recommend the combo of a ProQ and a cheap-o kettle. I tend to use the cheap one to get the coals going in a chimney with minimum mess (and needing to bend down to pick it up), and then it's free to do a few extra things on as the smoker nears the end.

I got one of these for a thermometer. Does the job well enough for me ... (I've been thinking of looking into one of them things that controls the temperature for you instead though)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004VFF6KO/ref=pe_385721_37038051_pe_217191_31005151_M3T1_dp_1

For steak and oven, just get one of the standard ones you poke in for a second. TK Maxx, there'll be a ton of them going cheap ...but for quick cooking like that I don't tend to bother.

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I've got a ProQ and I think it could get away with being on a table, but I wouldn't recommend it. It's not so much the legs, but the whole of it getting quite hot. I wouldn't put it on a table you care about or a plastic one either.

I'd recommend the combo of a ProQ and a cheap-o kettle. I tend to use the cheap one to get the coals going in a chimney with minimum mess (and needing to bend down to pick it up), and then it's free to do a few extra things on as the smoker nears the end.

I got one of these for a thermometer. Does the job well enough for me ... (I've been thinking of looking into one of them things that controls the temperature for you instead though)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004VFF6KO/ref=pe_385721_37038051_pe_217191_31005151_M3T1_dp_1

For steak and oven, just get one of the standard ones you poke in for a second. TK Maxx, there'll be a ton of them going cheap ...but for quick cooking like that I don't tend to bother.

Cheers, that Maverick come up quite a bit in my reading so looks to be the one to go for - I ordered a thermapen for other tasks!

I wonder if someone has made a stand for the ProQ to raise it up, I'm only thinking about using it on the very odd occasion as i have a gas one for general duties and getting a third bbq may be pushing it...

How do you get on with yours?

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Another recommendation for the Maverick, I've used it quite a bit. Its been my most important tool in getting the my Weber into the right temperature range although I still havent managed to hit the 225f amazing ribs recommends with my success, its always bloody creeping up or stubbornly sticking at 250f. Been good enough so far though.

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How do you get on with yours?

I'm happy with my ProQ. Does the job well, pretty roomy, easy to use and put together... a solid piece of kit. Most generic BBQ stuff will fit inside it too so you can grab stuff in Aldi/Lidl rather than spend a fortune on extras. It's nice to not have a Weber like everyone else too and was a lot cheaper for kit that's just as good.

I really like it, but I'm not so much a fan I go all Amiga vs Atari ST for it ... I'd probably like another good smoker just as much. But bang for buck, it's great.

One problem you might hear about is that the seals around the pieces and doors could be better, but I've had no issues with it despite visibly seeking smoke leaking out of some tiny gaps. I can still keep solid temps. Some recommend putting some silicon sealant on if you have issues, but these are probably the real smoker nuts who want everything perfect. I might give it a go soon, since I've just redecorated the bathroom and have some spare.

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Another recommendation for the Maverick, I've used it quite a bit. Its been my most important tool in getting the my Weber into the right temperature range although I still havent managed to hit the 225f amazing ribs recommends with my success, its always bloody creeping up or stubbornly sticking at 250f. Been good enough so far though.

Have you tried starting it with all the bottom air vents shut? I was keep on getting high temps by having one or some a little bit open like recommended, but the temp still shot up too high. I found having them all shut, a top one open a little to not kill it, allowed me a slower creep up to temp ...and then you slowly open bottom vents to more keep it alive.

But I find this kind of thing is pot luck depending on equipment, weather conditions and when planets are aligned.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got cold feet hitting the order button on the smoker.... I am going to get a weber kettle and try it in that as it gives me the option to use easily as a BBQ and to see how often I will actually smoke.

Hopefully the right decision, smoker can always follow of course!

So with that decision made tips and tricks are most welcome - what charcoal do people use and recommend and any must have tools to make it easier???

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Watch some bbq pit boys vids on youtube - those guys do almost everything on a standard weber and you'll not only be inspired by vast range of what you can cook, you'll learn some rock solid technique.

Main thing to suss is indirect cooking and temp control - taught my mate and he does great longer pulled pork and rib cooks no problem on a weber kettle

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I'll have to look them up too. My main problem is the smoking side, amazingribs strongly suggests not soaking the chips and also says you'll eat through wood like a beaver.

Which then brings you to the problem of having to regularly lift the lid to replenish the wood, which causes problems with the temperature control.

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I've not seen anybody cook solely using wood on a kettle like a weber - I've only seen wood used in an offset smoker with a firebox. Not saying its impossible, just never seen it

In a more standard metal kettle or ceramic kamado you cook with charcoal and use a small amount of wood for additional smoke (good charcoal alone will get you a smoke ring but some wood adds flavour) - biggest mistake people make with smoke wood is going nuts initially. you really don't need much.

before going all in and trying a 12h+ brisket or 8h shoulder with a garden full of expectant people try something smaller to get technique down - a simple pork/beef roasting joint from the supermarket can be elevated into something quite special with some salt & pepper and the same cook time indirect on a bbq you'd give it in the oven

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Should have been more clear, I meant in terms of adding wood to the coals for additional smoke to get extra smokey flavour. I found I add a bit and it smokes ferociously for a good 20 minutes maximum and then dies down.

So I'd need to add more, wouldn't I?

You are right though, with the charcoal I use I still get a smoke ring. Just trying to find more smokey flavour from somewhere. I've also cooked plenty of ribs on the weber for 4-5 hours so my next challenge is definitely a shoulder.

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when you see the grey smoke its an indication of the wood not burning cleanly, apparently you want a barely visible blueish grey smoke for max effect - are you using chips of proper chunks of wood - I found chips pretty useless and use little lumps (weber do a whole range of different types)

try different wood too - the fruit woods are typically lighter and more suited to white meats - but something like Mesquite is far heavier and smokier.

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Going to be hosting the first birthday BBQ in our new place for my upcoming birthday. The theme is BBQT as in an BBQ afternoon tea.

Any suggestions? Thinking scone bun burgers or luthers alongside BBQ explosion and a smoked shoulder or

Ribs

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  • 2 weeks later...

A beginner's adventures in barbecuing! Right, I wanted to get into some BBQ stuff, all this talk of indirect heat, slow cooking and so on intrigued me and I'm sick of the basic burnt burger and sausage BBQ which my friends do and I didn't have the equipment myself to do much differently. So I bought this Landmann 660 as it was just over a hundred quid at the time for some reason:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/garden/dp/B00A36KRWM

Went for that as it fits better where it's living and was cheaper than a Weber, but still offered a lot of cooking space and versatility. Then I thought fuck it, and ended up spending a the difference and more on a cover, a big starter chimney, maverick wireless temp probe, and about three years worth of quality charcoal :facepalm: Wasn't til last night I actually used it as it's all a bit intimidating to be honest, just decided to use the last of my Tesco charcoal briquettes to work out how to use the chimney starter and what sort of heat it gives out. It's a fairly large barbecue so I went for a large sized chimney, which was this one:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00YCQD0KA

Filled it up with my leftover briquettes which barely got halfway up the stack, stuck some paper in the bottom, set it going. Didn't really catch as the paper burned out too quick. Got some more paper and put a little olive oil on it first which helped it burn far longer to start the coals which were ready in about 15 minutes. Why have I not bought one of these before?! Poured them in on the bottom left of the BBQ, put the temp probe towards the right side of the grill, closed the lid and and just left it. It quickly got to around 355F / 180C and just stayed there for quite some time, even after a couple of hours it'd only dropped to about 345F and opening the vents fully got it back up to over 350F again. This was all hotter and longer than expected, there's no particular seal on the drum when closed (there's a half cm gap or smaller around it) but then I didn't think I was using much charcoal, it was just a bag end that I didn't think would even be enough for one use on my shitty ten quid B&Q open grill effort. This is why I now have so much charcoal, I ordered that before doing this.

It was supposed to be just a heat test but I did eventually crack and make a quick foil driptray, chuck on some mango habanero covered chicken thighs which were cooked to 165F in about 35 minutes even after the thing had been going strong all that time. Finished with a sear over the coals (the coal height has three settings but didn't need to move them up to get the skin blackened) and they were lovely, moist and succulent with crispy skin even despite them cooking fairly fast.

So, er, now what?

That seems like a good test for indirect grilling, but heat wise how do I keep it down if I want to cook something slower? Even less charcoal than I was using? Wondering if I should've got a smaller chimney starter if so, not sure I'll ever need to fill this one right up if that's all I need! Wish I'd have tried a water try or two in there to see the effect, does it really make that much difference?
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Do you have vents either side? The picture suggests you do. The trick is to keep the exhaust fully open if you can and then close the end nearer the coals to control how quickly they burn.

I dont know how it'll work on a drum style grill like you've got but that would be my first port of call.

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  • 3 months later...

Had a nice Ginger Pig pork shoulder in for lunch today, was delicious with amazing crackling, also means I've earned a new pit-master badge of honour as was the first time I've got the bbq lit in a blizzard. Weather not a problem for the ceramic grill as once you get it to temp it maintains it without a blip.

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  • 4 months later...

I added a small kamado joe jr to sit alongside my big primo xl. The jr is a nice mini ceramic that heats up very quickly and is oerfect for small cooks.

 

I use most weekends, even for just simple stuff, did pork chops today and will be doing a slow rolled shoulder joint tom for some awesome crackling.

 

 

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20 hours ago, Gotters said:

I added a small kamado joe jr to sit alongside my big primo xl. The jr is a nice mini ceramic that heats up very quickly and is oerfect for small cooks.

 

I use most weekends, even for just simple stuff, did pork chops today and will be doing a slow rolled shoulder joint tom for some awesome crackling.

 

 

 

Very nice, I would love a BGE or similar in the future!

 

I picked up what I hope is a bargain, Weber kettle on a trolly for £65 - its in pretty good nick and have cleaned it up a treat.

 

12986827_10153979762981970_1493614198_o.

 

Will be my learning tool to try out some low and slow BBQ - tempted to fire it up now and burn off the grill and maybe throw something on...

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