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Hello from the UK - Smoking newbie

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

My name is Jon and I live just outside London in the UK.

I have been experimenting with wood chips for a few years using a lidded BBQ and have always had good reports but have finally realised my dream of buying a proper smoker although very few companies here sell them. Having said that I look forward to introducing friends and family to the concept of smoking :)

I took delivery last week of a Char Griller Smokin Pro http://www.chargriller.com/openimage...6.jpg&loaded=1 which i have assembled and seasoned :)

Unfortunately the weather here has been awful for the last week so have been unable to have a go at smoking anything yet, looking through the huge amount of information on the forums it appears that i will need to make some modifications, firstly the aquisition of a decent dual input digital thermometer :) I did also buy a good meat thermometer.

The version I have of the CGSP is distributed by a German company and there are some other slight anomalies between the original and EU version which require further investigation, mainly around balance as the smoker will almost tip over with the charcoal tray open from the firebox which is far from ideal.

I bought with the CGSP a good selection of different wood chips and pellets as i haven't found a source for the types of real wood that are common in the US.

I would be grateful for any basic starter ideas for recipies and other newbie tips :)


post #2 of 12
Hia Jon- I'd start with the 5 day ecourse, and reading thru the coarcoal smoker forum. You guys have apple over there, and any fruit tree really makes good smoking wood. I have really become enamoured with apple with my pork...especially ribs. Here's a thread I did a while back on keeping the smoke thin and blue...which is optimal for smoking foods:


It will help you in the quest of the Thin Blue, and avoid the tarring up of yer meat.

Enjoy, read and ask... we love to help!
post #3 of 12
Welcome Jon. This place is great for learming the right way to smoke. It gets you up and running right away.
post #4 of 12
Welcome to the SMF family. You found the right place to learn. Lots of good folk here with tons of knowledge to share and help you on your journey into the smoke cooking addiction. Hang on tight and enjoy the ride you will be smoking like a pro in no time
post #5 of 12
Welcome JonD to SMF, I also have the CGSP and with the weather you have there you may want to look into some kind of insulating blanket for your smoker it will help on those cold and damp day or nights.
post #6 of 12
welcome aboard jon-it's nice to have yet another from across the pond-heck read through the old posts-and if dare join in chat somtimes-lots to learn and we don't bite to hard.
post #7 of 12
Welcome aboard jon, you found the best place, there is a wealth of information here.
I used to live in Maidstone, Kent before i moved to the U.S. You should be able to get plenty of apple wood easy enough over there. Also check into pear, cherry etc.... I know Kent had plenty of fruit orchards around.

Anyways, enjoy the site, have a good look around. Maybe even check out a U.D.S. A cheap way to get a good smoker.

Good idea for a starter smoke... try making a fatty ........ they are awesome, easy to make, and taste great!!!!!

Just in case you hadn't found this british website yet check this place out.

Note for everyone this side of the pond ..... that chargriller costs around 280.00 gbp. That's just over $500.00
post #8 of 12
Welcome, glad to have ya I hve a brinkman pro smoker wery much like your smoker and i love it...lots of good bbq has graced the racks...you have hit on one of the best sites around . there is so much to learn here read, ask, chat its all here...welcome
post #9 of 12
Welcome Jon! I too have a propane smoker and you just bought the exact model that I am hoping to purchase soon. Although I hate to tell you that it only costs about $200 in the US. Whatever you spent, it will be well worth it when you start cranking out great BBQ. Is BBQ popular in the UK? My mother just took a trip to Ireland and England (also France, but we dont talk about that, LOL). She never said much about the food. She was fascinated by the castles and such. Like everyone has said, ask questions. The people here love to help. The only woods that I know are off limits are the real resinous woods like pine. Other than that, I think you can just experiment. I saw someone not long ago that used lilac wood to smoke with. They said it worked out well. Good luck and be sure to post some pics of your next smoking project.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the welcome :)

It looks like the fatty is the way to go so will head for Costco in the am for the base, think i'm going to try 2 options, 1 just as is and then try rolling a second with garlic, chorizo, chilli flakes and cheese and anything else that springs to mind\jumps out of the cupboard.

A fatty Q, what is the most suitable wood\temp for cooking them, i believe from what i have read i should be looking at an internal temp of 165-170 when done? Whats the most suitable grill location? again from limited reading the centre (center) would be most suitable? I'm planning to wrap in bacon and possibly apply apple juice through the process depending on feedback ;)

Once smoked what would you advise fro reheating\storage, that is if there is any left :)


post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks, will hit up all my co-workers that have fruit trees that need chopping.

Thank you for confirming the fatty as a good option, they look and sound amazing, i REALLY must remember to document everything i put into #2 lol.

For accuracy i'm in Windsor ;)
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi, i'm happy with it but look forward to playing ;)

$200 US makes sense if you look at the volume shipped out there, i paid £250, just under $500 for it but that is a good price in the UK.

I live in Windsor where the Queen lives most of the time in Windsor Castle ;)

BBQ (in the UK perception) is popular in the UK but most is grilling in my understanding, most things cremated on the outside and raw on the inside. I always followed the direct but grill high method, always complaints about how long ot took to cook but always very happy with the uncremated flavoursome food ;)

Enjoy your new toy :)

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