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Expat in the Big Smoke

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello all


Just wanted to say hello from sunny Londontown.


I am an American expat living and working in London, UK for the past 5 years. I love long walks on the beach, pretty sunsets and grilling meat!


I have recently become obsessed with smoking and am in the process of choosing a smoker to purchase. Obviously since I live in the city my space is limited so I am leaning towards a bullet smoker for the size and capability. The ProQ Excel 20 has caught my eye and I would welcome any suggestions from yourselves should you have any on this matter.


In the meanwhile I have procured a cold smoke generator, also from ProQ and have fashioned myself a smoke house out of cardboard. I prepared a side of trout in a salt/sugar/water brine, soaked it overnight and cured it for an additional several hours in the refrigerator prior to smoking. This also gave me the opportunity to put the final touches on my smokehouse.


So finally I finished the smokehouse and set it up in my backyard area. I fired up the cold smoke generator and loaded it up with the cheese selection (mozzarella, mature cheddar and edam), and hung the fish from a hook. I left the cheese for nearly 3 hours going on the advice of many people suggesting that cheese didn’t need too long otherwise there was a risk of over-smoking. The fish I left smoking overnight and refilled the smoke generator before coming into work today. In total the fish will have been smoking for between 15-18hours. Again, I welcome all suggestions, comments or tips on this as this is my first attempt at smoking (hot or cold) anything!


My experience with the cold smoke generator has been ok. At first it seemed like it was working great, I set it up and headed out to dinner. When I returned it had gone out and 3 hours had passed! I quickly fired it back up and determined that there wasn’t enough airflow in my cardboard smokehouse. So I cut 4 air vents into the smokehouse and it seemed to work much better. I smoked the cheese for another 1.5hrs and took it out, wrapped it up and put it in the fridge just before going to bed for the night. I let the fish smoke through the night and reloaded the generator prior to coming into work today and I plan on taking the fish out as soon as I make it home tonight after work.



For your amusement I will upload a picture of my homemade smokehouse and final products if I am not too embarrassed about the results.



Anyway, that’s me.



post #2 of 11


Welcome to SMF. There are a lot of very friendly & knowledgeable folks here to help you. I urge you to sign up for the free E-course. It will give you the basics, & even if you are an experienced smoker you may learn something new. Then start asking questions. Good luck & glad to have you aboard. Don't forget we all love Qview!   

post #3 of 11


This site has tons of info.

I would suggest you spend some time reading all the different forums and the WIKIs.

Then use the handy dandy search tool for specific interests!!


Have a great day!!!


  Also take the outstanding free E-Course!







post #4 of 11

Welcome to SMF. Like others have suggested, sign up for the 5 day course. As for the smoker selection. It is hard to recommend one since we don't know what is available there.


You can do a search for that unit and read the reviews. Personally, I would look for something with more history and a lot of users to back up their experiences. I looked here and there seems to be only one guy who ever used one and to be honest the review sounds like it came from a company employee.  

post #5 of 11

welcome1.gif I built a cardboard cold smoker this past weekend too. Good luck in your new obsession.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you all, and Scarbelly especially for your frank and very insightful advice.


The trouble with trying to get BBQ kit here in the UK is that there are very few local options. Obviously the majority of the BBQ world exists in the States. There are companies here that stock WSM's and others but because of the cost of importing wind up being very expensive. Obviously the WSM was the first bullet smoker I came across (and was very very highly rated) on my hunt to feed my new addiction however the UK final price was enough to delay any rash decisions.


With that said, my search continues, and now thanks to your advice I will continue to research and explore my options.






post #7 of 11

Welcome to SMF glad you joined us. You can make about any smoker produce a good product it's just a matter of what kind of mods you may have to do to it. I don't eat fish but that sure seems like a long time in the smoke but I really don't know

post #8 of 11


Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
post #9 of 11

Welcome to SMF  I am glad you joint us

You are in the right place the folks here are help full and knowledgeable

Don’t forget the Qview



post #10 of 11

Welcome !!!! Glad to have you here....

post #11 of 11


Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us.

This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

Many of our members have years of experience in smoking meat.  They are more than happy helping Newbies learn the art.

We have members who cure there own Bacon, Hams, Jerky, Snack Sticks, Make Their own Sausage, etc. if you want to learn,
this is the place. 

Don't be afraid to ask questions of them and follow their advice. You won't be sorry, you will be making great Q in no time at all...

Just remember, when curing your own meats follow the instructions included with the cure to the letter, this is not something to experiment with.  

Never use more cure no mater if it is Tender Quick or Cure #1 or Cure #2 than the manufacturer says to use, this can be very dangerous.

Tender Quick and Cure#1 or Cure #2 are not interchangeable, neither Cure #1 interchangeable with Cure #2 or vise versa


Tips For New Members.

  1. Go into your profile and Under Location put where you are.
  2. City & State or Area & State will do. This will help members when answering your questions.
  3. Go to ROLL CALL thread and tell us a little about Yourself (A Name We Can Call You) and Experience & Equipment.
  4. Do Not Post  your other questions and smokes in the Roll Call Forum.
  5. Post your questions and smokes in the Proper Forum, Beef, Pork, Sausage, Electric Smoker, Charcoal Smoker etc.
  6. Use the Wiki Section, many of our members have posted great tutorials and instructional threads so take advantage of them.
  7. When you can't find an answer ask plenty of questions, we have some highly experienced members willing to help you.
  8. When posting about your smokes be sure to post plenty of Qview (Pictures) Our Moto, "No Pics, Didn't Happen".
  9. Get a good Probe Thermometer, Don't Depend on the Built in Thermometer in your Smoker (They are notorious for being off).
  10. A good choice for a remote dual probe thermometer is the Maverick ET-732
  11. Remember, We Always Cook by Temperature and NOT BY TIME...
  12. Sign up for Jeff's 5-Day eCourse.  Click Here
  13. Don't Take Chances, Always Follow USDA Safety Guidelines When Handling Meat.
  14. If you are wanting to get into curing meat, there are many members here more than happy to help and give good advice.

  15. If you are unsure of a procedure ASK, don't ASSUME, It will make your Smoking experience much more pleasant...

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