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Hi from the UK

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    Hi from the UK

    Hi all,

    So I am Daniel. I am originally from Sweden, but now reside in the South East of the UK.

    As some of you may know, in Sweden we love a BBQ in the long, warm summers so when the wife and I finally bought a house we needed a Barbecue. We got a Char-Griller Wrangler and as a BBQ it is rather good. Plenty of cooking space and that adjustable coal basket is great. Even the "hold heat rack" isn't too bad and I must admit I really like the cast iron grates.

    We had a few BBQs on it, the usual stuff, burgers, chicken etc. A friend gave me the BBQ Bible (Raichlen's book) and as there were a fair few smoking recipes in there I got curious. One day when we were at Homebase they had the Char Griller Firebox at a massive discount so I picked one up. I smoked quite a lot of simpler things on there and it was very nice. I am especially pleased with the Smoked Salmon which my wife now requests me to make for most holidays and was even praised by my wife's stepmother (much to the amazement of everyone else that we had over). Another year went by and we decided that we needed a BBQ as well. The slightly larger model of the Wrangler (I forget the name) was on offer so I figured move the firebox across, get a big smoker and that will be great. Last summer I did a number of modifications to my Char Griller smoker, I extended the chimney, installed new thermometers at grate level, I put in some gaskets and I figured out a way to flip the cooking chamber firebox to create a baffle. I now have less than 10 degrees C difference between the cooking chambers, but the heat retention is still poor and there is still a fair bit of leaking around the lid. I need to work out how to sort that out with firerope etc. Basically, shorter smokes are fine, but the fire management is quite hefty and I think I would be kidding myself if I think I could do a good Brisket on it.

    I then came across Meatheads book, this forum and an entire article basically saying "stay away from the Char-Grillers!". It is fair enough, it is cheap and therefore far from ideal, but unfortunately we do not have a lot of choice here in the UK, at least not without quadrupling the budget. If anyone has any tips on further improvements I would be very keen to hear them.

    For my next smoker I think I will see if I can find a Barrel Smoker, I have read a lot about the Pit Barrel Cooker and it looks pretty amazing. I know we have the Bristol Drum Smokers here in the UK, but I have struggled to find reviews and people with first hand experience. Again, if anyone has experience and would like to share I would really appreciate that as well!

    My friends often say that I don't do BBQs, I throw dinner parties with BBQ food and "BBQ food should be stacked high and slightly burnt". I am choosing to take that as a compliment, even though I am sure it is not meant to be one.

    My goals is to become better than I am now. The short term would be to actually do a Brisket. I still haven't and I don't think I could with good conscience print that Certificate unless I have done at least 1 Brisket. The plan was to have some friends over early morning and do a whole day thing together this summer. I think we all know how that turned out.

    I am really looking forward to learning more from you all and improve my cooking. If anyone has any tips, suggestions or ideas/experience about the topics I mentioned, please do reach out.

    Stay safe and well out there.

    Welcome to The Pit Daniel. I can't help with what's available in the UK, but you might want to try smoking a chuck roast. It's somewhat similar to a brisket and it's a shorter cook and more forgiving than a brisket. And it's hard to beat smoked beef - at least for me.

    Recipe on the free side.


    Welcome from south Texas! Nice to read your story. It is all about enjoying the journey.


      Welcome to the Pit!
      Yes the PBC is a fine cooker! Some people here have made their own barrel cooker if you search around some to find out how.


        Welcome Daniel from Virginia Beach.


          Welcome from the Land of Enchantment!


            Welcome from Maryland.


              Welcome from Colorado, Daniel ... here's a link to chuck roast information on the "Free Side" of AmazingRibs.com:



              • Tomaron
                Tomaron commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you very much. I guess I am still finding my way around this place.

              Welcome! I started cooking on a cheap off-set smoker as well, and I am open to any discussions you'd like to have about my experiences. I have pretty good equipment now and it's not nearly as difficult to get good BBQ with my current equipment, but I turned out some pretty good stuff on my COS.


                Welcome from Tennessee


                  Welcome from the California Delta.


                    Welcome to the Pit from Dallas, Texas, USA!


                      Hello from NW Oregon, USA


                        Welcome to the Pit from St. Cloud, FL....and your bbq journey has begun!


                          Welcome from Minnesota USA! Enjoy The Pit.



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