Temperature regulation on smokers

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Temperature regulation on smokers

Postby jonewer » 14 Dec 2015, 20:37

Hi All,

So I have done some smoking on my Weber gas BBQ with varying degrees of success using various methods of generating smoke.

I then went and got one of those dirt cheap smokers from eBay for about £25 and fired it up this weekend - Milk marinaded guinea fowl cooked on CPL Briquettes with a chuck of beech thrown in.

Turned out much better than expected, given the build quality of the BBQ (you can literally warp it a centimeter or so with your thumb and fore-finger, which is just as well as a centimeter or two appears to be the engineering tolerance of the thing. Also, strangely enough the built-in thermometer in the cheap thing is quite accurate, much better than the Weber one... odds...).

So obviously I'm already looking at upgrading to a better new toy, options seem to be a Brinkmann Smoke n' Grill for £75, a Pro Q for £200-300ish, or a Weber Smoky Mountain for about £350.

Whats the difference between these lot? How are the ProQ/WSM worth four times the price of the Brinkmann? Also, how do you regulate your temperatures?

My current el-cheapo thing is open-bottomed with a vent in the top. Can you regulate temperature effectively with the bottom and top vents on the ProQ/WSM?

Thanks!
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Re: Temperature regulation on smokers

Postby essexsmoker » 15 Dec 2015, 10:14

Ahh, the age old question. Air flow control is your friend and either the pro q or wsm do it fairly well. Maybe with some small mods. I have had a nose inside a wsm and the build quality is very good. The lid alone weighed a ton.
I don't have either, but it comes down to personal preference. I belive the pro q is slightly more flexible in terms of using it as a bbq and taking out or adding stackers. Do a forum search and it will come up with dozens of threads with this question.

Research is the way to go. Both are very popular so neither can be bad.

Buy once and buy right is generally the motto on here.
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Re: Temperature regulation on smokers

Postby Tiny » 15 Dec 2015, 18:22

Welcome Sir,
You pose an eternal question which is better fried chicken or Sex? well the answer is of course it depends.....Forget the brinkman that is like having sex with a chunck of fried chicken and thus I discourage you.

The Pro Q is fab, the WSM is also fab, and probably has the edge on build quality. If you are not wowed by good looks most testify they get as good if not better results from an home made Ugly drum smoker which can be built for your brinkmann budget.

So you pays your money and takes your choice, and as with sex and fried chicken both are good so you cant lose.....

But I wouldn't buy any of them, I would buy an GMG Daniel boon.....cos in my learned opine they are simply bestest.

Go well soldier,
Tiny
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Re: Temperature regulation on smokers

Postby jonewer » 16 Dec 2015, 12:28

Thanks for the advice!

So how does one go about building a UDS? Is there a guide/list of places to get the bits from?

Can a complete DIY numpty like yours truly build one?
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Re: Temperature regulation on smokers

Postby Swindon_Ed » 16 Dec 2015, 21:10

jonewer wrote:So how does one go about building a UDS? Is there a guide/list of places to get the bits from?

Can a complete DIY numpty like yours truly build one?


There is a company called Big Poppa Smokers who make a UDS kit which is really good. Gives you everything you need with full instructions. All you have to do is buy a drum, drill it and fit the kit. Here is a video they have made showing how to make it so you can get more of a feel of if you want to start one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuReRs-8pJs
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Re: Temperature regulation on smokers

Postby jonewer » 17 Dec 2015, 10:57

Great, I think I know what I'm getting for my birthday :D

One question though, the UDS doesn't seem to have a water bowl or any kind of baffle.

Wouldn't this make it an ordinary direct heat bbq? How do you go low and slow with them?
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Re: Temperature regulation on smokers

Postby Tiny » 18 Dec 2015, 17:57

The amount of lit coal you put in is minimal, some folk do put an heat deflector plate in but don't think it really matters and remember your meat is 3 - 4 feet above the fire......if you look for Stretchy on here he has a "how I built my UDS" link in his sig block cheers Tiny
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Re: Temperature regulation on smokers

Postby Swindon_Ed » 18 Dec 2015, 20:19

Tiny wrote:The amount of lit coal you put in is minimal, some folk do put an heat deflector plate in but don't think it really matters and remember your meat is 3 - 4 feet above the fire......if you look for Stretchy on here he has a "how I built my UDS" link in his sig block cheers Tiny


Actually using heat deflector makes a huge difference, i just use a cheap pizza pan from Wilko's and put it straight over the fire basket. Using something that has holes in it like a pizza pan for a heat deflector has a couple of benefits, it'll even out the heat across the cooking grate and also allow the meat drippings still hit the coals adding more flavour.

jonewer wrote:How do you go low and slow with them?


starting a small fire and restricting the airflow will allow you to do this, although why cook low and slow? What i mean by this is, i've been using my drum for more hot and fast cooking and getting really good results. Pulled pork or brisket in 5hrs instead of 12hrs, or spare ribs in 2hr instead of 5hrs
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Re: Temperature regulation on smokers

Postby Swindon_Ed » 18 Dec 2015, 20:25

jonewer wrote:Great, I think I know what I'm getting for my birthday


A word of advice, save yourself the hassle and get yourself a brand new un-lined drum. Burning out an old drum with a liner is a real pain in a$$
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Re: Temperature regulation on smokers

Postby aris » 18 Dec 2015, 22:13

What temps do you use with hot and fast - and do you foil?
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