Future BBQ Directions

Any general items, polls
Sjcampbell
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Location: Armidale, NSW, Australia

Future BBQ Directions

Post by Sjcampbell » Tue May 26, 2015 2:55 pm

An appeal to the collective wisdom.

Currently I have a 6 burner gasser with attached Smokai plumbed to the house LPG bottles. I am looking at getting an alternative, especially for the low and slow. Most of the time I'm cooking for the bride and I but sometimes up to 12 if the family are around with the grandkids. I want to get the smokey flavour I remember as a kid. I also became addicted to American BBQ on a trip to the states several years ago. I've built wood burners before but have limited experience with charcoal, but I can learn!

One small problem is I have chronic rheumatoid arthritis so getting up in the middle of the night to check on things is not an option. Sometimes just getting up Is not an option :( Also small handles and weighty lids are not an option along with lots of bending or kneeling to fiddle with vents. ( didn't say it was going to be easy :D )

The BBQ area is enclosed on three sides so wind is not a problem although the temp out there will often be 0C at dinner time over winter and could get down to -10C overnight.

I have spoken to the local BBQ shop and they said that in a cold climate a Kamado is the only alternative at a $1000 plus price tag. However I have seen articles on people in the U.S. using webers in the snow.

I don't have a huge budget (around the $500 mark) and was thinking a Weber or an Akorn. The ability to add a rotisserie at a later date would be great although not essential as the gasser has one. The gas or electric smokers look good but I wonder whether they'd get a nice smoke ring on a pork shoulder. I can't seem to get it in the hooded gas BBQ. So what is the feelings of the group.

Cheers
Steve
Cheers
Steve

Jackaroo 6 burner gasser, Dragon Kamado,
QMaster Junior and Maverick 735


Keeper
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Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by Keeper » Tue May 26, 2015 3:13 pm

A steel kamado should do what you want and be cheaper and lighter than a ceramic one. There is also a smaller ceramic kamado at BBQ Galore (Kamado Joe Junior) that would have a lighter lid and fit your price range $499 this month (May 2015).

The Akorn (Bunnings around $300 on clearance) and Dragon (BBQ Galore $299 for May 2015) are steel but you'd be best going to look at and play with one to make sure you can open and close it and operate it as effectively as you want. The Akorn has a three wheeled trolley wiht on caster wheel so it's easier to move around than the dragon. The dragon has two wheels on one side and needs to be lifted on the opposite side to move it. The Akorn's are getting a little thin in Bunnings stores so depending on where you live you may have trouble finding one.

Good Luck.
A bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory

Davo
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Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by Davo » Tue May 26, 2015 6:53 pm

2 words..."Weber Performer"

Ok it will cost a bit more than $500, at about $700 but it'd be worth the effort. They are basically a Weber Kettle built into a sturdy steel frame setting it up considerably higher than the 3 legged kettles.
It also has a good sized work table next to the kettle for easy sliding food on and off the grill.
You can do low n slow, roast and grill with a little learned technique.
By using heat beads or lump charcoal you can get great results by using many different smoking wood chunks or chips.

Weber kettles will also cook in cold weather but fuel use may be a fair bit higher.

A new Weber kettle with the traditional 3 legs will cost you a lot less than $500 and will cook for the amount of people you mentioned.
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FirePlay
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Location: Perth, WA

Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by FirePlay » Tue May 26, 2015 7:03 pm

I have both a Performer and have recently bought a Dragon Kamado, which just cooked the best pizza I have ever cooked on the weekend.

The Performer has been great to me but is now relegated to charcoal starting and "overflow" duties. The insulation of the Kamado means it gets a lot hotter when required and also uses a lot less fuel for the same result - important to me as I cook a lot and don't like paying Perth charcoal prices! The reduction in airflow equals a more moist result. And it's only $300 right now from BBQs Galore... lid opening is no issue for me but YMMV - it's spring loaded and lightweight. Vent access is simple and easy. If emptying the ash tray is difficult you could always use a vacuum cleaner through the top.

All I can say is that you can have my Performer for $300 if you want it! I'm keeping the Dragon...
Last edited by FirePlay on Tue May 26, 2015 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gumb

Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by Gumb » Tue May 26, 2015 7:03 pm

One word....kamado

Card Shark
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Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by Card Shark » Tue May 26, 2015 7:21 pm

2nd hand kamado and a cheap stoker. All set.

Narmnaleg
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Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by Narmnaleg » Tue May 26, 2015 7:33 pm

One more vote for a kamado. The Akorn or Dragon will be well within budget. Should you ever have problems opening the lid (it shouldn't be too heavy as they are not ceramic) you could use a pulley system:

Sjcampbell
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 10:40 am
Location: Armidale, NSW, Australia

Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by Sjcampbell » Tue May 26, 2015 9:46 pm

Can I get a confirmation that an Akorn cooking surface is 18 inch diameter please. Chris said it was and then I found a spec which said 13 inches. But there were lots of other typos on the page so the specs could be wrong and I have no reason to doubt Chris :)

Cheers
Steve
Cheers
Steve

Jackaroo 6 burner gasser, Dragon Kamado,
QMaster Junior and Maverick 735

Davo
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Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by Davo » Tue May 26, 2015 9:50 pm

Hmmmmm looks like I'm outvoted here.....ok ok...if ya need me I'll over here sitting in the corner :oops: :lol:
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Card Shark
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Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by Card Shark » Tue May 26, 2015 10:18 pm

:D

Keeper
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Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by Keeper » Tue May 26, 2015 10:23 pm

Sjcampbell wrote:Can I get a confirmation that an Akorn cooking surface is 18 inch diameter please. Chris said it was and then I found a spec which said 13 inches. But there were lots of other typos on the page so the specs could be wrong and I have no reason to doubt Chris :)

Cheers
Steve
I just measured my Akorn and it's 500mm or 19 3/4 inches
A bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory

Gumb

Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by Gumb » Tue May 26, 2015 10:42 pm

Sjcampbell wrote:Can I get a confirmation that an Akorn cooking surface is 18 inch diameter please. Chris said it was and then I found a spec which said 13 inches. But there were lots of other typos on the page so the specs could be wrong and I have no reason to doubt Chris :)

Cheers
Steve
It's plenty big enough for what you need and there isn't one member one here who isn't happy with their Dragon or Akorn.

Commander Cody
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Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by Commander Cody » Wed May 27, 2015 2:16 am

forget the kamado...................

that lump of ceramics is over rated. and will really give your cronics curry.

i believe the way to go for you is...............a WSM........ it has proven to me that set and forget is so good...........and when you trust in your cave man skills all nighters are a breeze.

i gave my kamado away..........too much stuffing around trying to invent ways to deflect and do indirect. the cooking surface is way too small if you wanna do a decent cook-up. and you have to buy a lot of extras to get it up to where the WSM is.

and yes the WSM is good in the cold and snow ( although to this day i have not experianced the thrill of it....maybe this year )............you see the cold is not your real problem............it is the wind.

have a look at this site............ http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/ .........and then i double dare you not to be impressed with this wonderous low and slow marvel maker.

it was and still is my go to...........even when i had the old timer..........and it gives better flavour than the pellet pooper. the only toy i love more is my LANG, but such a waste for a cook for 2 or 4 people.

so there ya go.............WSM or proQ.........better than ceramics........... hands down.

kevin
....up in smoke.....that's where my money goes.....

Davo
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Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by Davo » Wed May 27, 2015 6:34 am

+1 to Commander Cody who has just about used every type of bbq avail here and then some....but at least a weber kettle would be great to learn on.

Unless u want to pay 2 grand for a big komado, the smaller ones have little real estate on the grill.

Cheers

Davo
Moderator/ Admin

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Gumb

Re: Future BBQ Directions

Post by Gumb » Wed May 27, 2015 8:20 am

Kev, I am recommending the Akorn or Dragon....not a ceramic kamado which would be too heavy for him. And for the price, there isn't a better option in my opinion. I can't comment on the WSM, I've never used one but understand your passion. :)


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