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Mrs Tweedy - continued from Hello and Welcome


Master of the Pit
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Joined Apr 12, 2013
Diane's original post from http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/151878/hello-and-welcome-to-this-group/20#post_1091226

Hi Wade. Thanks for all the info.

A little more about myself... I am a passionate cook who makes everything from scratch; preserves, bread, icecream, cakes. The only things I buy
 from the supermarket are ingredients. I don't do ding ding meals.

We have an allotment and 10 chickens that live at the bottom of the garden.

I make and sell cakes and preserves on a small scale since I retired. And have earned myself the nicknames of Mad Cake Lady and the Pudding Queen of East London!


 I have always  been a keen bbq fiend, theming the bbqs along the lines of Thai and Chinese but mainly Greek and Turkish.

My son got me thinking about the American style of bbq recently and wanted me to do an American themed bbq for his annual birthday bbq as he loves the pulled pork and ribs.

He has about 30 people over every year for this but I am usually bbqing for up to 10 people.

I went on a cold smoking course in May and have been experimenting a lot since then.

I am interested in cold smoking fish, cheese, veg and I hot smoking fish, chicken and meat, especially whole chicken and duck as I love them.

I think I have got to grips with the brining times and the cold smoking but it is the hot smoking I am still struggling with.

I have had a Napoleon Gourmet Gas grill that can be used on gas or with charcoal trays for years and this year I bought a small Landmann smoker to do smoked chicken and duck breasts.

It has been a hit and miss affair. I find it difficult to regulate the temperature and keep the temperature hot enough. The build up of dust and topping it up with more hot coals is a pain in the bum.

Cold smoking is not a problem as my hubby has built me a lovely wooden cold smoker and I use the ProQ cold smoking gadget.

As I was getting frustrated with the hot smoker I invested in a Peetz electric smoker. The temperature guage is good, and it is sturdy but it is a blinking nightmare getting the smoke dust to start smoking using the pan they supply and putting it on the electric element. If the temperature in the smoker is correct the smoke ignites and goes up in flames. Frustration and foul words everywhere.

I can make it hot smoke with a lot of faffing about by putting the ProQ on a shelf above the heating element and leaving the electric element on low to get the cabinet to temperature. The down side of this is I have less shelf space, I cannot fill the proQ to capacity as it has a tendency to burn across the grids.  

I am now thinking about which way to go now. Do I splash out for a Bradley, which is expensive and expensive for the bisquettes?

Or do I get the Smokai cold smoker and adapt the Peetz smoker to work with that and also  use it with the Napoleon BBQ

Also I don't know anything about the Pro Q frontier, so I will  go online and investigate that.

I am also tempted by the weber as an extra piece of fire power for the big bbq bash. I am not impressed with the landmann smoker I have.

Any thoughts on the smokai would be useful.

I better shut up now, I do have a tendency to ramble.



Master of the Pit
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Joined Apr 12, 2013
Hi Diane

As Danny mentioned, it sounds like you have gained a lot of good experience already. 

Between 10 and 30 people - a good crowd. For that I would tend to go for more than one smoker unless you are intending feeding them all the same food. I sometimes cook for 10-15 and I find that to give menu variety i need multiple smokers on the go. Brisket and ribs are almost always on the menu however, although the ribs are great cooked in a rib rack, the brisket needs a lot of space. If you also intend doing chicken/duck or a pork/beef joint then physical cooking space will probably be the biggest consideration.

I too started with a ProQ smoke generator however I found it a bit hit and miss generating constant smoke and it did not last all night when doing traditional cold smoked salmon. At that time the AMNPS was not available here in the UK and so I made my own. from some perforated stainless steel sheet. The pellets are very reliable and I can get a full 12-14 hours out of a full charge.

I agree with Danny about the Bradley Smoker. I have only personally known one person to have owned one (but have seen many posts from others who have) and the high cost of the pellets for anything other than small volume smoking always seems to be an issue.

I also endorse the value of investing in a good dual probe thermometer if you don't already own one.

Last edited:


Joined Nov 30, 2012
Try a WSM (Don't waste time with anything smaller than a 22.5" if you're cooking for a crowd like we do) for hot smoking.  I've been using one for a couple of years and although it isn't cheap, you get predictable results, easy to control, and the price of your fuel and wood is not dictated by any manufacturer like some of those pellets!! 

If you have any connections in the US, consider buying your WSM from there and shipping it to the UK like I did.  You save plenty of dollars which can in turn be spent on brisket..

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