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Verticle gas smoker

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by Lorandrous, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. Lorandrous

    Lorandrous Newbie

    Hi peeps,

    Newly signed up to the forum, but have been keeping eyes on it for a while now.

    Ive got a gas grill (fire moutain 4burner) for convenience that is great for grilling meat and veggies. I have tried a fair few low and slow smokes on there, chicken and big thick pork ribs. mixed results, texture of meat lovely but very little smoke taste, temperature contol has been oa breeze, but lack of smoke is the issue, ive tried chips and chunks. Im blaming it on all the vents underneath and asking it to preform like a smoker when its not.

    Having recenlty been away on jols, there was a verticle gas smoker there a smokey hollow the owner imported over. I tested it out. I tired a few different meats and apart from my timing on some, i was amazed by the results and even managed to get a smoke ring on the rumps i was cooking. Which i was not expecting in the slightest.

    With a bit of trial and error i think i can really get used to one of these.

    Has had much expierance with these things and has anybody got any recommendations for a gas verticle smoker? I keep reading the Masterbuilt ones are very good.

    Just really hard to source over here in the uk. Shipping cost are more than the smoker

    Any ideas or advice on gas smoking is welcome thanks.
     
  2. Winterrider

    Winterrider Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Have a King Kooker that works pretty well. Seems hard to keep an even temp when the wind is blowing. If warm out, "very" hard to keep low enough to smoke @160 or less with propane. It does have a very nice cast iron wood chip box, but smoke tube needed at low temps.
    Purchased MES Elite, much easier to regulate
     
  3. slysmoke

    slysmoke Smoke Blower

    Hi Lorandrous,

    I've had a Smoke Hollow vertical for about 3 years now.
    A few things I did to mine:

    Added gasket to the doors, (It leaked quite a bit), I used this - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CI7A69I/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Tossed the chip pan in favor of a cast iron skillet for using chunks - note the supports for the chip tray were not quite up to the weight of the skillet, luckily I had an elevated cast grate from my grill side burner that fit perfectly.

    Filled the water pan with sand and wrapped in foil.

    Did the needle valve mod. The factory knob has a bit of play, at least mine did. I can dial it in within 5 degrees or so by just tapping the factory knob, but if I want to be overly precise I fine tune it with the needle valve.

    Most of the stuff I've done to the Smoke Hollow are pretty generic and work on pretty much any brand of vertical gasser to help improve their usability.
     
  4. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome to the forum, glad you decided to finally join in the fun. Look up @wade and send him a pm. He should be able to help you out with sourcing smokers and all that goes with it. Wade is friendly and very helpful.

    Chris
     
  5. Lorandrous

    Lorandrous Newbie

    Thanks for your input chaps.

    I did notice smoke leaks around the door whilst using the smokey hollow. Intresting you filled the water pan with sand. So are water pans in smokers generally not really needed?

    Ive kept reading masterbuilt verticle gas smokers are very good.
    just gotta be sure i make the right decision in gas over fun as i would love a stick burner as i have half an oak tree chopped up ready for the woodburning stove, only problem is im the opposite to lazy and constantly want to poke,prod and adjust things. If i had one of these smokers i would not be able resist . Temps would be everywhere. Where as gas doesn’t excite me but smoked juicy meat does

    Oh decisions decisions
     
  6. slysmoke

    slysmoke Smoke Blower

    So water pans are kind of a personal choice. Some folks do fill them with water, and refill them during the smoke due to evaporation.
    Others either don't use them, or fill them with sand in order to add thermal mass to the smoker. The added mass, once up to temp, can help even out dips in temperature from things like opening the door or a passing breeze etc.
     
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Lorandrous. Most people over here in the UK will use charcoal vertical smokers (like the Weber WSM or the ProQ Frontier) but there are a limited number of gas vertical smokers available off-the-shelf. They range greatly in price from the low end Landmann Smokey Mountain (£149) to a mid range Broil King vertical gas smoker (£540)

    Are you specifically looking for a gas smoker? The charcoal vertical smokers will generally give you better flavour and are very easy to control for temperature - you can tie your hands together to stop the urge to poke!. Most competition BBQ teams in the UK will be using at least one WSM or ProQ during competitions. If you are also worried about the speed of the unit heating up then why not look at pellet smokers like the Traeger or GMG. You cannot poke a pellet smoker either so no temptation there :-)
     
  8. wade

    wade Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I totally agree. I use them when cooking low-and-slow as they help to keep the internal temperature stable at around 110 C but when smoking at higher temperatures I either leave the pan empty or use some sand to act as a thermal buffer. With vertical smokers where the fire is directly beneath the food having a baffle plate or thermal buffer is important.
     
  9. Lorandrous

    Lorandrous Newbie

    All taken aboard Wade.

    Think i need to see one of these wsm in action.
    Im a big foodie and Im sure the taste will be superior.
    If theres a big difference taste wise i will give charcoal a go.
    Thanks
     
  10. Lorandrous

    Lorandrous Newbie

    Decided on a weber smokey mountain, too many good reviews to ignore and hundreds of tips tricks and recipes to follow from u folks...Bought a grilleye thermometer brand new off ebay for £20. Happy days. Now just gotta decide 37 or 47 sized wsm? Im leaning towards the 37cm due to it being cheaper to run, lower purchase price and i want to try use this smoker weekly in the summer if i get time. Cant afford to through 30quids worth of meat on it to Just to fill the space. Is this correct to think like this or is it worth having the extra space but still cooking less? Family of 3
     
  11. homeruk

    homeruk Smoke Blower

    cant comment on the 37 and 47 but i had the 57 which used to eat fuel like a jag compaired to the kamado oven, having said that i had some cracking food off it, i would maybe go for the 47 if i went back to one, nice pork going on the top grate and tray of beans on lower grate catching the juices..cant beat it
    if you think they eat fuel try your hands on a large pellet grill like the lousiana lg900 or the likes, its like burining tenners on it with the pelelts it eats..up side is its set temp and walk away
    will you be cooking just meat on it or chucking on beans, spuds, corn, cabbage and all the little side bits as well..47 i would say to be on the safe side
     
  12. Lorandrous

    Lorandrous Newbie

    Haha great reply, burning tenners made me chuckle. I never really gave sides, potatoes or veggies a second thought. Beans catching the juices, I like it.
    Never tried anything other than smoking meat before.
    I feel like im going to be in this for the long game. Which ever one i get first, its only a matter of time before i get the other one if i can persuade the boss:emoji_sunglasses:. may just jump straight in for the 47 and hope for the best , at least ive got the space of needed
     
  13. homeruk

    homeruk Smoke Blower

    IMAG0391.jpg

    gotta have sides on the go..corn, stuffed cabbage and a spanish omelette absorbing all that flavour
     
  14. Lorandrous

    Lorandrous Newbie

    Hi people,

    Smoker arrived! Couldn't decide what size wsm to get (14or18) was waiting all winter hoping for a sale.
    Took on board recommendations for a proQ and found a Napoleon as200k on the living store.uk £214.99 with delivery. Read there the same or or basically rebranded through the same company not quite sure but given high review on amazingribs.cm. But it fit the bill 16inch so was perfect size for me and in the sale delivered to my door...
    Assembley was straight forward. Slot it together and put 3 legs on using 6screws and bolts. Was surprised with the build quality and how flush the doors and vents were and how well the stackers cliped together.
    Not sure on the thermometer holes, look a little on the small side. Hopefully probes will fit through if not might need a little mod or new device. Only thing i can fault was the charcaol basket sits right above a third of the bottom vents and rest on the screws to secure the legs. Simple mod can be done to lift this slightly but just thought it was poor compared to the rest of the unit.

    Read recommendations saying to season it and some saying no need. I understand it will get better with some grease and carbon build up. So for my first few smokes can anyone recommend a little bit of a strategy for this. I.e fast smoked chicken on high no water pan. Or fattier cuts of meat low and slow with waterpan. Never cooked on charcoal like this before so anythink over 3hrs might be a whole new ball game, but hey ho gotta strive for brisket and pork joints one day.

    The fuel im using is Weber Briquettes

    Thanks
     
  15. beowulf

    beowulf Newbie

    Hey Lorandrous. I've never worried about seasoning, those first few cooks will be such a learning curve that you won't even notice any difference (if there even is a difference) between your smoker being seasoned or not.

    By the time you've tried a few different cooks and are getting to know how to work your smoker best, you'll have seasoned it already, so I reckon manually seasoning is a waste of time. Others will have different opinions of course :)

    Have you cooked anything yet? I would recommend a pork shoulder first, my one tip is allow yourself at least an hour and a half longer than you think it might take.
     
  16. Lorandrous

    Lorandrous Newbie

    Yeh i had a play on saturday
    upload_2019-4-17_11-3-20.jpeg Set up the charcoal grate 3/4 full and used minion method. With oak as smoke wood. 2 kettle fulls of boiling water.
    Yep learned a few thing from first cook. Used to many coals in starter as the temp when starter added rocketed, so added some cold water to pan to bring it down. Once i had the temp dialed in around 240F i was amazed how well it held temperature.
    Regards to the cook i had some terrible thin frozen (vacume sealed guessing heavily salted) ribs to chuck on and hope for the best. Had to get them done before game of thrones so only had just under 5 hours. So cooked them at 240f for 2hours and a half. Foiled for an hour in butter and then 1 more hour back on with some more wood added. Chucked a nice thick picanha steak at this point. Had a temp spike when pan ran out of water. (Another lesson learned). Ribs were pretty much awful lol. Dry and sooooo salty and i never added any salt. But the steak was melt in mouth better consitansty and had such a nice smoke taste to it! Proud food moment at the dinner table there lol.
    Need to buy some butcher thick ribs next and go for 6hours 3.2.1 method.
    Shut vents down and was still going strong for another hour so, to my amazement. All in all i loved the experience of it and i cant wait to do much more and experiment. upload_2019-4-17_11-23-35.jpeg upload_2019-4-17_11-26-16.jpeg
     

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