Need help choosing a smoker bbq

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by tx-joe-jerky, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. tx-joe-jerky

    tx-joe-jerky Newbie

    Hi guys

    I'm looking to buy a new bbq smoker from amazon. Trouble is after reading all the reviews i'm unsure weather they will be much good.

    There are only a few on amazon but people seem to say they are no good for smoking meat. But I dont know if they have just assembled it incorrectly or weather they are useless..

    As an example there is a landman 11094

    Available here http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00...smoker+bbq&dpPl=1&dpID=41EPepwnbSL&ref=plSrch

    But there seems to be many similar ones with the same pictures. I assume they are either cheap copies or exactly the same item but rebranded..

    This one looks identical to the landman but its much cheaper http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00...smoker+bbq&dpPl=1&dpID=51vtkfNH4qL&ref=plSrch

    Then there's this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00...smoker+bbq&dpPl=1&dpID=41mdG5IquoL&ref=plSrch

    Which is similar. But what's best?
    I was wondering what you guys here thought?

    I plan to smoke jerky mainly and for use as a regular bbq with a little bit of smoking. I'm happy to pay between £50 and £150

    Any suggestions would really help :)

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
  2. osprey2

    osprey2 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Hi and welcome to the UK corner of the Smoking Meat universe.

    I would go for a webber looking at what you want to do. I have something similar and can bbq/grill and low and slow pulled pork ribs etc

    Have a quick stop in here and tell us a bit about yourself

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
  3. Hello.  Great to have you posting again.  All of those will need modification to work well.  Give us a bit more info.  Volumes of jerky.  Is this personal use or are you planning to start a business?  How often will the smoker be used for other than jerky?  How many folks would you normally smoke/BBQ/grill for?  We may be able to offer a cheaper alternative OR your choices may not be suitable at all.  Keep Smokin!

    Danny
     
  4. tx-joe-jerky

    tx-joe-jerky Newbie

    Hi

    This is just for personal use, I love jerky and plan to make it just for myself but i would like to make a fair amount each time. It will probably be just a whole regular roasting joint each time (forgive me i forget roughly how big they are)..

    when barbecuing it would usually be about 5 to 10 people. I've just brought a house and was going to buy a new bbq and i thought it might be good to get one to smoke my jerky in too. I have built something that i've managed to smoke my jerky in but something proper would be good and not as ugly so the wife does not moan :)

    i had a quick look at webber bbqs as dave suggested, i see alot of kettle bbqs, i'm not sure if thats what you meant dave?. Can these be used for smoking?

    thanks guys :)
     
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Joe - Welcome to the group. Where are you from?

    Having looked at the models you were considering and hearing the numbers you expect to be cooking for then I agree with Osprey. The Weber 57 cm kettle would probably be very suitable from what you have said. Do not think that because it is a kettle that it cannot do pretty much anything that the inexpensive offset smokers that you were looking at can do. You are very likely to find that the temperature control in the Weber will be much easier and you will get a more consistent cooking chamber temperature. 

    I have both offsets and Weber kettles and for my social BBQ I use the Weber Kettles almost exclusively. They are good for both direct and indirect cooking, are great for things like pulled pork, ribs, brisket, roast joints, chicken, sausage, burgers etc. I use my offsets more for cold smoking these days or for cooking in quantity.

    I have not tried Jerky in the Weber though as I usually cure mine and then simply air dry it.

    Below are some of the common meats being cooked on the Webers. For many years I have also smoked my Christmas turkey whole in a Weber too.

    Just a suggestion - while you are trying to decide on the type of smoker, consider investing in a good dual probe digital thermometer (e.g. Maverick ET-732/733) as this is almost as important as the smoker itself.



     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
  6. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    You could consider an Ugly Drum Smoker[​IMG]
     
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Since you want to make jerky primarily and also smoke other things I would recommend an electric or propane smoker. When I make jerky I keep it in the smoker the entire process and so not move it into a dehydrator. The process I use requires a smoker that will hold lower consistent temps for long periods of time. In order to dry the jerky and not render fat you really need to keep the temp below 170f-180f. Currently I use my Smokey Mountain wide body propane smoker that has been modified with a needle valve so I can do this. It still requires a fair amount of baby sitting especially if the wind is blowing.

    I plan on building an electric smoker with a PID controller so I can program the steps. I start my jerky or sausage with the smoker temp set at 120f for the first hour and no smoke. This drys the surface of the meat. Then I add smoke and ramp the temp of the smoker up ten degrees every hour until I hit 170f. As for the jerky I continue to cook/dry it until I get the texture I want.
    This could be done in a charcoal or wood smoker but you'd have to babysit the thing continuously.
     
  8. tx-joe-jerky

    tx-joe-jerky Newbie

    Hi

    I'm from the Isle of Wight. Trapped on a little island but it is nice.

    Wade you have a lot of bbq's there :) the weber 57 does look like a good bbq and it looks like I can pick the premium one up for about £159ish which is perfect really. I didn't realise the kettle bbq's could do smoking Thanks for your help much appreciated.

    Have you any tips on using it for smoking? :)

    I usually smoke my jerky for 20min-40mins then I put it In a dehydrator. Do you think it matters about the temp during the 20mins or so of smoking? I'm not really trying to dry it at that point just giving it flavour and save the drying for dehydrator. As long as it's not too hot?

    The propane smokers look great too just a little bit out of my budget for now, maybe something to look into for the future. Dirtsailer Does it make much difference in flavour doing it your way? My jerky making hadn't come out that fantastic but I'm determined to get it right. I think it's more an issue with the recipe on my end..
     
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As far as flavor goes it probably doesn't make much difference. I can say though that you probably will want to get at least a good hour or two of smoke. I run the AMNTS tube smoker when I do jerky and I get 4-6 hours of total smoke on the meat, which I don't think is overkill. You definitely do not want your smoker to go over 180f (82c). If you do you will risk rendering whatever fat is in the meat. I finish my jerky in my smoker because I can and I don't have room to store a dehydrator and I should also mention that I am oppose to adding liquid or powdered smoke!

    Here's a thread I just did recently with 3 good recipes. The Thai style is my favorite of the bunch. Go figure the simplest one with the fewest ingredients is the best!

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/227772/london-broil-we-aint-gonna-let-spoil
     
  10. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  11. Hello.  I would go for the 57cm. original kettle.  A little cheaper.  I asked Wade before I bought mine about the premium.  His advice was not worth the extra money.  Know that I have the original I totally agree.  If you have questions about using it for smoking; just start a thread and folks will come along to offer PLENTY of advice.  IF you ONLY want to smoke some meat for 20-30 minutes for jerky, you can do that with the cheap ASDA small knockoff kettle.  That you can buy for about £20.  Would work fine for that.  There is a lot of info out there.  Do some reading and start some threads and ask questions before your purchase.  That way you will be more informed and have more of an idea what you want to do with the smoker.  More than one way to skin a cat!  [​IMG]   Keep Smokin!

    Danny
     
  12. tx-joe-jerky

    tx-joe-jerky Newbie

    I have been here for a whole but I've not been doing much, I got a little disheartened by my jerky making. I've just decided to try again.

    Some of the meat smoking you guys do here looks pretty tasty, I might try doing a bit more than just jerky..

    My only concern I guess with buying the kettle is can I keep the heat low enough during the smoking. I don't want the meat to cook which is why I originally started looking at the ones with the side box.

    With the only difference I see between the weber original and the premium is the bit sticking out of the bottom. What's that all about then? :)
     
  13. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's the problem we find with New Members, they try one or two things then get disheartened.

    A lot of Memebers with tell people to start of with Chicken Legs and build up, they say this for a reason. Cheap cuts of meat to practice with while you learn how to control your smoker.

    Wade is your man for Weber's
     
  14. ewanm77

    ewanm77 Smoke Blower

    I got a Webber last year for my first proper smoker and its really easy to use once you get used to it. I ran mine a few times without any food on it to figure out the temps
     
  15. Hello.  We can help show you how to do what ever .  Post a thread and ask what you want to know.  There is a VAST knowledge out there.  If I have to I will drive up and help you out.  Different smokers.  Different techniques.  I don't mean this to sound ugly, but you are struggling Mate!  You are disheartened.   ABOUT ready to call it quits!  Start another thread and start asking questions! This thread is about the smoker.  Start another about making jerky. Allow us help you.  We are here for ya.  Give us a chance.  There are techniques out there you have not read about yet.  We only want to help.  Keep Smokin!

    Danny
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
  16. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    The Weber will be fine.  An offset will give you a larger cooking area but you will have to dig a bit deeper in your pockets to get something decent.
     
  17. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  18. tx-joe-jerky

    tx-joe-jerky Newbie

    Danny your completely right. I need to buy a bbq for simple burgers, the weber original sounds good enough to start with and i do want to try smoking some meat.

    When it comes to the jerky i do need help. I will come back with some questions :) i will get there!

    cheers
     
  19. tx-joe-jerky

    tx-joe-jerky Newbie

    Cool thanks wade, makes sense. Thats what dirtsailer meant, I get it now
     
  20. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Joe forgot the welcome earlier so Welcome to our little corner of Smokey heaven

    | know its not as exciting but I used a homemade cold smoke generator tube on the meat for a couple of hours then transferred to the kitchen oven set on the lowest setting with the door propped open with a ball of tin foil to let out the moisture out and it did a canny job. Now I have a GMG Daniel Boone I am going to do some on it and see how it improves it.

    Just to get your confidence levels up have you tried Ground beef Jerky?
     

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