I’ve always had a gas BBQ but would love to try slow cooking and maybe even smoking meat. Pulled pork, ribs, slow-cooked lamb, maybe even bacon? But I’m not really sure where to start. Can anyone suggest a cheap way to get into it? Would a cheap kettle barbie be OK? I’ve heard the Kamado chargrillers are amazing, but I’d hate to invest in one and then find it was all a bit too hard. The holidays seem like a good time to try, though.
I don’t know much about smoking but have been getting into slow cooking. The taste is hard to beat. You don’t need to spend a lot on a barbie. But there’s a couple of extra things I’d recommend you get to make life easier. Definitely get a BBQ Starter – basically a cylinder with lots of holes for air circulation which makes it really quick and easy to get your charcoal (or heat beads if you must) nice and hot so you can get cooking quicker. Similarly, grab a Looftlighter, which are a bit like a high-powered hair dryer to get your fire cranking. You don’t want to have your food tasting like lighter fluid.
If you're keen on trying out a charcoal BBQ but don't want to spend big just yet, I'd recommend checking out Gumtree for a cheap, second-hand Weber or similar. That way you can test drive the process first before investing in that Kamado. Summer is the perfect time to give it a crack!
I've never tried smoking meat but have always wanted to check it out. I'd definitely be interested in hearing from anyone who has tried it themselves...
Gumtree, like quite often is the case, is your best friend here.
You don't need anythign fancy to create the best slow cooked/roast/smoked meals. You just need the contraption. The Maoris cook their food underground and look how that turned out - hard to beat a hangi!
Definitely start simple and move up if you have to but the Webers are great and they're versatile.
Slow cookers are amazing! I thought it'd be something I'd buy, use a couple of times, and then put away in the cupboard only to forget and never bother with again. For that reason I bought a cheap $20 one big enough for two and also grabbed a handy power point timer so I could set it during the working day. I absolutely love my slow cooker though! I probably use it at least once a week and sometimes more. It's just so easy, makes evenings after work hassle-free and of course tastes irresistible - I couldn't recommend them more!
I'm with Kermit on Slow Cookers, we wouldn't be without ours, they're brilliant. Large portions of meat can be cooked through, but be fall apart tender & juicy.
That said, for those wanting the smoked flavour & skin crisping, finishing it off on the barbie will lift it to another level.
Regarding the workshoppers with gas barbies, simply remove the grate at the end of the burner array, put foil over the gas ring/burner, & set up some heatbeads or charcoal like Kermit suggested, & place the meat on the grill of another burner furtherest away to cook indirectly. Barbeque outlets sell smoke pellets which will help introduce a beautiful woodfired taste to the meats.
For those wanting to go the whole way, YouTube is your friend. You'll be amazed at how cheaply you can put together a purpose built hot, or cold smoker. I've seen cheap garden sheds & 44 gallon drums being used very successfully.
I have a Char-Griller deluxe that I bought from Bunnings that was the cheapest offset smoker setup I could find. You have to purchase the side fire box separately but the whole lot was under $300 I think. They are a U.S. Brand so there is heaps of information about them on the net and are a fantastic way to get into smoking.
I only did a couple of mods to mine and have had excellent results every time I use it.
The last cook was a pork shoulder and a rolled brisket slow cooked for about 10 hours and they did not last long when they hit the table!!
A friend of mine has a Kamodo and the results are superb but they are expensive. They are easier to use as you get better burn time out of your charcoal so you don't have to watch them as much as the Char-Griller.
I don't know if there is anywhere else you can get a cheaper offset smoker but perhaps a Google search might be a good start. If not check out Char-Griller deluxe and start smoking!!
If you have any other questions let me know
JP-Finlay, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, & your pic is so drool inducing. My keyboard's not happy about it at all, so I'll rush this post through while I