Just dropping in from Somerset UK
Been grilling on a combination of Weber kettle, Weber Q120, Go Anywhere charcoal and a 5 burner gas and god knows how many other bbqs over the last 15-20 years also built my own Tandoor oven a couple of years ago.
Did a couple of the Weber day courses a few years back (Thrill of the grill part 1 & 2) and now looking into venturing into smoking a bit more in depth than I have been doing on the Weber so I will be pestering people for some advice. I'm doing the (River cottage smoking and curing course in a couple of weeks time, hoping that will give me a bit more knowledge on traditional cold smoking.
I spent my younger years in catering, started working in a pub at 14, then to a 4 star hotel then went on to study Btec national diploma in hotel and catering operations and spent 14 or so years before I'd had enough of long hours and poor pay, then I was an auditor in the hotel and licensed trade for 7 years, pay was much better but hours ended up worse than catering, now got a nice desk job.
Anyway I'm just trying to decide on what type of smoker to get, due to time constraints I'm looking for almost a set and forget smoker that I don't have to continually tend to so I can get on with other stuff (chores etc) and I was almost sold on the idea of a Bradley 4 shelf until I came across the GMG DB wood pellet grill, I will be looking to do both hot and cold smoking of the usual ribs, pork, brisket, chicken etc and cold smoking my own bacon, salmon and haddock etc, so any advice greatfully received in helping me with my decision.
The GMG pellet smokers are good. I have a Davy Crockett and Brian (Kiska) has the DB. They are pretty much fit-and-forget but can really only be used for hot smoking. Some people do not think that they produce sufficient smoke flavour (thy burn the pellets very efficiently) however I have been pleased with the results from my DC. I use my Cookshack FEC-120 more these days though but it works in a very similar way.
If you go for the DB then you will need to get a separate cold smoker. Other wood/charcoal burning offset smokers can be used for both hot and cold however out of the box they do need regular tending to maintain constant temperature. Many can be fitted with automatic temperature controllers though which will take away most of the need for manual temperature management.
The size of your cold smoker will really depend on the amount that you are hoping to smoke. I started out cold smoking in my Weber Kettle then moved to an offset and now I have a fridge conversion. It is not rocket science - you just need a way of generating cool smoke and passing it continually over the food for several hours. Some on here have used a cardboard box and a couple of weeks ago Jamie and Jimmy (Channel 4) showed something similar.
There are a number of different smoke generators. Some which passively burn sawdust (ProQ) and others which burn pellets (AMNPS) and some use an air pump and the venturi effect to burn wood/pellets in a cylinder (Smoke Daddy). I have used all three types and I find the AMNPS gives me the best results when cold smoking.
Personally I am not a great fan of the Bradley Smoker as it uses proprietary disks to provide the smoke and when you add the optional cold smoking adaptor is works out quite expensive to buy and also to run (everything is relative though). It will, however do both hot and cold smoking and a lot of people do use them.
Can you give us a little more information about what you are expecting to hot and cold smoke. Frequency and quantity will indicate which solution is the most appropriate for you.