Originally Posted by russnettle
Yo - nice to have a little UK corner in here to help with some of the differences in the USA
I recently had a holiday in America and was amazed at the difference in cost and quality (plus general ease of supply) of BBQ's over there.
Just strolling down to the local walmart , I found a weber one touch premium for under £100 - I also found a good solid offset (90kg) for under £200.
Yes - much is very similar between the UK and the US but there are some important differences. A couple of the most important are to remember that the US pint is 20% smaller than the UK pint - so be careful and adapt when following US recipes. The cures we use for bacon over here are also slightly different to the ones used in the US.
Other than that apart from brand names much is the same - although you may have to search for a few things online. One other slight difference is the texture/flavour/available sizes/cuts of some of the meats.
I used to work a lot i the US and so I took advantage of the US pricing and about 15 years ago I imported a couple of pits from there. My first two were a Klose - (manufactured near Houston Tx) and a New Braunfels - both of which cost me as much to ship as they did to buy. I also brought my first 22" Weber back from the US as hand luggage... one of the perks of travelling business class then.
I still have the New Braunfels and it is still in regular use (the one in the background). I now also have a custom built stainless steel offset (foreground) which gets used for larger smokes and for cold smoking. My trusty workhorses though are still my Webers and these are used most weekends
Unfortunately the phrases "good quality offset" and "not wanting to spend too much" are almost mutually exclusive over here. I have found though that there is not a lot that you can't do in the Weber. I usually only fire up the bigger smokers if I need the additional cooking space.
Instead of an offset you may want to consider the WSM or its cheaper equivalent the ProQ Frontier. I have used both and each have slight advantages. The build quality on the WSM is better but then the price is higher. You will also probably find that these are easier to master than the offsets - especially the cheaper ones - and produce equally good results.