Hello from Guildford

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jan 10, 2014
Guildford - UK
Hi there UK smokers,

I'm Andy, and just joined the group to say hello and introduce myself.

New to this smoking game, but keen to learn.

I'm having a problem deciding which smoker to buy at the moment -

my only preference is for a charcoal burner, rather than gas or electric.
Hi Andy. Great to have you on board. Quite local to me too.

The type of smoker will really depend on what you are planning to do, how much you intend to smoke at a time and of course your budget. I am guessing from your introduction that you are looking to do ribs, brisket, pork etc. If this is only going to be on an odd occasion then you can smoke reasonably successfully in a large Weber kettle BBQ however if you are planning on taking things further then you cannot go far wrong with something like a Weber Smokey Mountain. ProQ do a similar bullet smoker that is less expensive but you lose out on build quality though. Alternatively you could make your own from an oil drum - commonly called a UDS - Ugly Drum Smoker. There are many threads on here with photos that will show you how others have built theirs. There are electric and pellet smokers available however if you want an off-the-shelf charcoal smoker then the ones mentioned above are readily available online.

If you have the space in your yard go for the larger size if you can. You will be surprised how much space a brisket takes when it cooks. Also I would avoid the cheap offset B&Q style smokers that are becoming more popular as it can be quite difficult to get a managed even temperature in the cooking chamber. 

While you are looking to get the smoker put a little money aside for a digital thermometer - The Mavericks are great. These take all of the guesswork out of your cooking.


Hi Wade,

I tried replying to this last night but admin stole my reply lol

Thanks for the info - I'm leaning heavily towards the WRM 18inch, or maybe something secondhand.

Thanks for the heads-up on the Maverick thermometers - anything specific?

The one most people on here recommend (and I have several too so I guess I am one of them) is the Maverick ET732. This is a dual probe thermometer that will not only tell you the temperature of the meat but also the internal temperature of the smoker. It has a radio linked display that works over a phenomenal distance and is by far the best thermometer I have tried. They may not look cheap but they are worth every penny. When I am not using them in the smoker I use them in the kitchen oven too.
Hello Andy.  WELCOME.  Wow, a smoker can be a personal choice.  Wade has you pretty much covered here.  If I may offer my humble advice:  If you are going charcoal you may be limited to when you can smoke because of the Great British weather ( unless you have a covered area to get under ).  I also agree with Wade about the cheap offsets but, If you have some DIY skills there are modifications that help to improve temp control with these.  TEMP CONTROL IS THE KEY TO SMOKING FOODS!  An offset can be a thing of beauty but even with mods, it isn't the easiest smoker to use.  Takes some experience.  I also agree that the Maverick is a MUST for new folks.  Also if you have some skills and time the UDS is cheap to build and a really good smoker.  If you want to really get crazy look in to the fridge build forum.  Totally sealed, insulated smoker that rain will not affect ( much ).  I would say that if you are leaning toward the WSM ( good unit ) go with the bigger 22.5.  Once you get going you will soon find the 18.5 may not be big enough.  Go bigger from the start and only buy 1.  If you are thinking secondhand, let us know what you are looking at so we can offer advice.  Many folks like Wade in our group with loads of experience.  We will be happy to to add our 2p.  Would be a shame to try and save £40-£50 only to find you bought a piece of cr** and you still need to buy a decent smoker.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

I have just ordered a couple of the new Maverick ET-733 thermometers which should be here in a week or so - shipping from the US. From the clips on YouTube they look as if they may be a bit fiddly to use but I will let you know. One of the great things about the older ET-732 is its simplicity.
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Hi Andy, I see there is a WSM on fleabay at the moment, it's new but not boxed and is pick up only from Cambridge area. There is a fair bit of interest in it so it could go for big bucks but might be worth watching ?

Thanks for that Graeme - I keep an eye on it.

I have some friends in North Norfolk, so I could give them a surprise visit if I won it!

Lots of interest and reserve not met yet.....
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