Originally Posted by danlondon2015
Hi I'm Dan 39 builder ,,construction worker from London England
I'm new to smoking meat ,I don't own a smoker yet .I'm looking into getting a cheap one in April .I've not done a lot of slow cook on my bbq is only cheap and charcoal, I've done plenty of slow cook 3/4 hours in oven ,ribs I can slow cook very well !
Hi Dan and welcome to the group. I am from Kent and so not far from you.
There are a growing number of fellow UK BBQ/smoking enthusiasts on the forum and we also have the benefit of the vast experience of our friends from the USA and elsewhere. The forum is all about sharing knowledge and experiences and from your introduction I think you will be able to contribute positively right from the start. Although there is a lot of discussion about BBQ hot smoking here there are also a lot of other passions - like cold smoking and sous vide. You will also get a lot of good advice on food safety here. The forum follows the USDA guidelines, however they are very similar in most respects to the UK.
You can cook low and slow on most BBQs that have a cover, though the cheaper ones may need a lot of modifications and constant attention to get the results. A lot of people start with a good quality Kettle BBQ. The Weber 22" (57cm) is ideal to begin with. Working on a similar principle but for smoking larger quantities with easier control you could go to something like the Weber Smoky Mountain (WSM) or ProQ Excel/Elite. These are used a lot at the BBQ competitions and can be used for smoking as well as grilling. Some people new to smoking go straight for the offset smokers as this is what they perceive as being a serious smoker. The important thing is to produce good tasting food so try not to be seduced by style over practicality. The offset smokers are good as you go up in price but the lower end ones can be a real pain to achieve good temperature control.
The principle in the oven and the smoker are the same - although the smoker adds that additional flavour that you are looking for. It is all about temperature control - and that is why the model of smoker you choose initially is important. The secret of temperature control is all about managing air flow over the burning charcoal/briquettes/pellets. With a leaky smoker or one with poor air vents this can be very difficult to achieve. Fuel is also important. For low and slow over 6-7 + hours with minimum maintenance you need to use a good quality briquette.
Once you have your smoker and have mastered the temperature control you will start to use it as an extension of your kitchen. I now cook all my large joints of meat and birds in the smoker. Even our Christmas turkey has been smoked in the Weber for the past 10 years or so.
Let us know your thought as you start to get closer to your smoker purchase decision and we can let you know if we have experiences of using that particular model.
Good luck and don't be afraid to ask questions. The only dumb questions are the ones that don't get asked.