What to buy? Advice needed

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What to buy? Advice needed

Postby ChesterChris » 31 May 2016, 21:08

Hi all,

New to the forum and just after a bit of advice. I've read many of the posts on here and done many hours research on the web but still no nearer to actually making a purchase of my first BBQ.

So, a brief bit of background info. The missus and I have just moved in to our first house and the time has come to invest in my first decent BBQ. As you can imagine being our first place money is a little tight, but a good BBQ is something I'm allowing myself as a minor extravagance. So the budget has been negotiated and agreed with the boss of around £150-£200 mark.

So, I've been round all the usual DIY places / garden centres and come across offset smoker style BBQ's. They look like they'd potentially cook a decent amount of food for parties, they'd be fun to use and importantly look great visually. I've watched a number of instructional videos and get a general idea of how they work. I gather the trick is getting them up to tempuature and maintaining that to cook the food. I like the idea of experimenting with different woods for various flavours and learning the skills to cook a really good BBQ.

So the question is, is there any BBQ's I should look at or avoid? Any particular brands to consider? There don't seem to be that many on the UK market but the one that's caught my eye is the Landmann Kentucky Smoker. It falls within budget if I shop around and it looks the part. However, I've read a few posts with people slating it..... So not sure whether this BBQ would be a good first BBQ or not. I see there are many accessories that I'll need pretty much from the off. Namely a charcoal starter and a decent thermometer as the lid ones appear largely pants. A heat management plate also looks to be an important add on. Any advice you can give me would be greatfully appreciated.

Thanks, Chris
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Re: What to buy? Advice needed

Postby Kickback » 01 Jun 2016, 08:52

I was in the same position as you 3 years ago and got a weber kettle. It's brilliant and 2 years later I got another one to be able to cook for larger groups and I've now got a smokey mountain as well. You can do pretty much anything in the kettle including smoking. Loads of people have them so there is plenty of advice and you tube videos of people using your BBQ making it easier to learn more. They also last well and are easy to look after. I think it's better to spend a little more now (if that is possible) to get something that you won't need to replace.

You'll need a chimney starter but I would save your money on the heat management plate for now. You'll probably want a cheap instant read thermometer to check food is cooked but until you start smoking I think a maverick type thermometer is not strictly necessary. If doing low and slow you'll need one but lots can be done just using indirect cooking.

I'm sure there are other brands which are brilliant too but I've been very pleased with the weber kettles.

Enjoy BBQ'ing!


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Re: What to buy? Advice needed

Postby Tiny » 01 Jun 2016, 14:34

Good Afternoon,
I have waxed on this subject often, there is only one answer, buy a Weber kettle for your budget, it will last you years and you will have much fun with it.

Buy a cheap Landmann offset and you will wish you were dead, it will fail to cook anything, it will leak like a sieve, mock your ability to satisfy your significant other sexually, you will tear your hairout, it will rust like a bastard, it will perpetuate the EU in/out debate for another year, you will age prematurely, your money will be wasted and in less than a year you will be taking it to the tip, assuming of course you have not topped yourself, bloody hateful things........

There is a chap on the FB forum who has had his Landmann Tennessee 6 years and is delighted with it, I offer this as balance, but personally I would rather set fire to my pubic hair than buy another.


Buy a Weber Kettle, there is a reason almost all of us have one :)
Cheers
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Re: What to buy? Advice needed

Postby BraaiMeesterWannabe » 01 Jun 2016, 14:48

Webber kettle all the way for your budget...the 57cm one. I have one which I still use when we have a big group to cater for that I bought in 2001. It has always lived outside with no cover and it's still going strong.

If you are new to BBQ then it is a very forgiving piece of kit and as kickback says, you'll be able to master hot and fast and then move onto more complex low and slow type stuff.

You don't need a chimney starter. I have one and it's very useful, but that is a recent addition. All you need to do is pile your coals into a pyramid with the firelighter in the middle and that will do the job just fine. I would spend the budget on the BBQ and add bells and whistles later when you can afford it.

Happy bbq'ing (braaiing)
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Re: What to buy? Advice needed

Postby ChesterChris » 01 Jun 2016, 19:49

Tiny wrote:Buy a cheap Landmann offset and you will wish you were dead, it will fail to cook anything, it will leak like a sieve, mock your ability to satisfy your significant other sexually, you will tear your hairout, it will rust like a bastard, it will perpetuate the EU in/out debate for another year, you will age prematurely, your money will be wasted and in less than a year you will be taking it to the tip, assuming of course you have not topped yourself, bloody hateful things........

There is a chap on the FB forum who has had his Landmann Tennessee 6 years and is delighted with it, I offer this as balance, but personally I would rather set fire to my pubic hair than buy another.


Funniest thing I've read for a while! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ok, so basically buy a Weber kettle. Understood. I've had a little look at their website and watched a few online videos and see I can still dabble with smoking food as well as normal direct grilling. So it does look ideal for a noob like myself. Could have been £200 down the drain and my sexual prowess gone in one tragic and regrerable transaction. Thanks for the tips guys, much appreciated.

Out of interest are all offset BBQ's the same? Basically a massive pain in the hoop because they leak etc or do the more expensive ones hold the heat in better? I believe the Tennessee is a more expensive model so maybe that's the case.... The videos I've seen featuring such BBQ's and token Yank's have been Yoder's. Nowhere in the UK seems to sell these but look popular over the other side of the pond. Are these any better....?

Regardless I'm still getting a Weber now. :)
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Re: What to buy? Advice needed

Postby essexsmoker » 02 Jun 2016, 09:25

Not wishing to muddy the waters too much but you could build a UDS... can be done quit cheap and they smoke great. Built mine for about a ton. Then buy the cheaper 57cm webber kettle for about 130.

Offsets in the US are great things, but they need tending every 20mins or so, cost a fortune in wood, weight about half a ton, and cost thousands. Other than that they are a great investment. Lol. They are more of a romantic idea than a realistic proposition for most people.

You could also buy a pro q, which i believe you can remove the stackers to use as a kettle too.

Hope that's help clarify things. :mrgreen: :oops:


PS, Tiny often has me in stitches.
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Re: What to buy? Advice needed

Postby Tiny » 02 Jun 2016, 10:14

Gents, thanks for the positive feedback I believe that the more expensive models are much better at keeping the heat in, but I have yet to have an satisfactory answer to my gentle but firm probing, matron, question.....

Heat and smoke both rise vertically, so why would you want to try and make them go sideways?

The answer seems to be "because in America they have big offsets, so we should have them" which still doesn't answer my question, In parts of America they marry there cousins and I know the answer "because they are so attractive" was offered by the great Shelbyville Manhattan in answer to the question "why?" but I still think this misses the mark.

Essex makes a valid point wrt UDS but as you seemed to be a chap charmed by the aesthetic beauty of an offset I didn't proffer the rusting oil drum as an excellent if somewhat gnarly alternative.

Think you have shown wisdom, everyone buys a kettle at some point so may as well go early, you can always build the UDS in your garage secretly like a sort of meat related A team episode,

Go well soldier.
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Re: What to buy? Advice needed

Postby essexsmoker » 02 Jun 2016, 13:29

I must admit I'm more of a functional kinda guy. If it looks nice then great, but mostly I just want the job done.

I'm the kinda chap that still wants to run windows 10 in plain grey performance mode like it used to be. Mmmm. God I had windows 10. Anyway, that's a whole other thread and forum really. Lol.
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Re: What to buy? Advice needed

Postby ChesterChris » 05 Jun 2016, 18:13

Ordered the Weber. :D Just waiting for it to be delivered now. Exciting times!

Do like the idea of making my own UDS at some point. Be pretty cool thing to make as a project. Maybe over the winter to give me something to do. But the Weber will do everything I need it to straight out the box. It's been said, all you guys have one so there must be a good reason. Been to purchased all the other bits and pieces today ready for its arrival. Just want to get going now!

Need to decide what to cook on it first. Any suggestions? Burgers/sausages are the usual and obvious easy things to do and that will definitely happen, but I was thinking ribs as they look relatively easy and don't take forever when smoking. Been watching a few people cook them with various meet rubs, look very tasty. Pulled pork is something I want to give a go as well. I'll have to read through some of the other threads to get some ideas. So much choice and so few sunny weekends..... :?

Thanks for all your help guys.
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Re: What to buy? Advice needed

Postby essexsmoker » 08 Jun 2016, 09:41

Ribs is a great starter. Baby backs are easy and quick. Just smoke for an hour or so then foil and in the oven I'd say. Maybe finish on the kettle if you want.
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