First smoke --- a train wreck.

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First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  Junk Yard Dog on Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:29 pm

Although my pork loins came out excellent, I consider my first smoke on my Frontier less than stellar. I have been an offset smoker for years, but like the idea of paying less attention to the process as I get older. That was my motivation to go with the Pro-Q.

First, I have never seen any instructions or video on how to use the Pro-Q. My first dilemma was where to put the temperature probes. I ended up putting them between the sections, which precluded me from attaching them to each other. I tried the door, but the door "handle" popped off when I tried to turn it.

Secondly, I assume that the water bowl goes on the first grate, so that's where I put it. But, in doing so, it hides the charcoal so you don't know if you need to replenish the heat. I did learn that I should heat the water before I start cooking because it took forever to get up to temp.

If you do need to add more charcoal/wood chips, I guess you have to take off the upper chambers from the low unit, take the water bowl off and the grate ...add the charcoal/wood, then replace them all. On my offset, I can see the wood, and stoke the fire easily. Also, the temperature probes are easy to insert.

I'm not dissing the Pro-Q. I know it's my ignorance, and hopefully, you all can give me some good advice. Like I said, in spite of me, the loins came out great. I had put my favorite rub on them, took them off at an internal temp of 155F (68C), and they were perfect. However, I know I'm not ready to tackle a brisket, which is my meat of choice.
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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  Dr_KY on Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:10 am

Junk Yard Dog wrote:
First, I have never seen any instructions or video on how to use the Pro-Q. My first dilemma was where to put the temperature probes. I ended up putting them between the sections, which precluded me from attaching them to each other. I tried the door, but the door "handle" popped off when I tried to turn it.
If you look to the right of the door there is a hole where the probe go through, it doubles as a fastener that holds the racks on each stacker. I plan on adding additional assess points to mine soon.
Junk Yard Dog wrote:
Secondly, I assume that the water bowl goes on the first grate, so that's where I put it. But, in doing so, it hides the charcoal so you don't know if you need to replenish the heat. I did learn that I should heat the water before I start cooking because it took forever to get up to temp .
The water pan sits on it's own just below the grate on the bottom level. Notice that the clips inside the smoker have two mounts, the bowl sits on the bottom one and the grill on the top.
Junk Yard Dog wrote:
If you do need to add more charcoal/wood chips, I guess you have to take off the upper chambers from the low unit, take the water bowl off and the grate ...add the charcoal/wood, then replace them all. On my offset, I can see the wood, and stoke the fire easily. Also, the temperature probes are easy to insert.

I just open the door to add fuel so I'm a bit lost there with yours.

Junk Yard Dog wrote:
I'm not dissing the Pro-Q. I know it's my ignorance, and hopefully, you all can give me some good advice. Like I said, in spite of me, the loins came out great. I had put my favorite rub on them, took them off at an internal temp of 155F (68C), and they were perfect. However, I know I'm not ready to tackle a brisket, which is my meat of choice.

This thread http://proq.forumotion.com/proq-tips-and-hints-f17/detailed-proq-excel-20-assembly-pics-t234.htm should help you find your way around but if you still have any questions I'll be happy to go grab pictures of mine for you.
Let me know how you get on.
Al
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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  Dr_KY on Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:22 am

You can see the water pan above the coal in this picture.



Probe wire placement/access


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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  Junk Yard Dog on Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:07 am

Dr_KY wrote:
If you look to the right of the door there is a hole where the probe go through, it doubles as a fastener that holds the racks on each stacker. I plan on adding additional assess points to mine soon.
Hmmm. I don't see it. Here is my door.
http://willsononline.com/forum/door.jpg


Dr_KY wrote:The water pan sits on it's own just below the grate on the bottom level. Notice that the clips inside the smoker have two mounts, the bowl sits on the bottom one and the grill on the top.
Got it. But, the pan sits down so low that I can't fill up the basket with charcoal/wood.

Dr_KY wrote:I just open the door to add fuel so I'm a bit lost there with yours.

The door is very small. If I have a chimney of new charcoal, I think I have to take off the upper racks.

Dr_KY wrote:This thread http://proq.forumotion.com/proq-tips-and-hints-f17/detailed-proq-excel-20-assembly-pics-t234.htm should help you find your way around but if you still have any questions I'll be happy to go grab pictures of mine for you.
Let me know how you get on.
Very helpful. Thanks. But I still have the above questions. Thanks for your help.


Gary in Houston Texas
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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  Junk Yard Dog on Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:11 am

Al,

I see you added pictures while I was replying to your post. I hadn't seen them when I replied. I don't believe I have the same openings for a probe as you do (do you have the Frontier model?). Also, my basket sits up high so I can't load up the charcoal like you do.

Are you using the Excel model?
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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  Dr_KY on Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:19 am

Ya Gary I'm on the XL

Sorry man I thought you were using the ProQ 20 too. I have no idea about the probe access but I would suggest you add a few like Novice did here http://proq.forumotion.com/member-s-mods-and-inventions-f16/thermometer-access-t341.htm I'm working on doing the same tomorrow. Novice did this on the Frontier so the instructions are perfect for ya.

I never add a lit chimney I just toss a few chunks in along the way. I think it maintains better temps then if I were to remove a stacker and let all that air in. As for adding water to the pan I use a watering can and pour it through the door also.
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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  Junk Yard Dog on Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:34 am

Thanks, Dr !

I think I bought the wrong model. I will try to find the guitar input sockets from the link that you gave me.

Pilamaya yelo (Lakota Sioux for "thank you").
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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  Dr_KY on Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:40 am

Try Radio Shack or any other music supply store near you. Cool
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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  Mack on Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:52 am

Hi Gary,
Sorry to hear you had some problems with you fist cook, I'll just go through the set up with you...
Base unit - The charcoal basket sits in this section.



1st Stacker unit - this can be prepared while you are waiting for the charcoal to get going, I often will put this section on to the base unit, with the water pan in, while I finish preparing the food, as this ensures that the water is nice and hot when I'm ready to cook.
The water pan rests on the lower, longer part of the "U" shaped bracket, then the grate sits on the shorter top section of the bracket.



2nd Stacker unit - This only has a grate in it, and again this sits on the top section of the bracket.

Lastly the lid goes on - The most important thing to remember is that the vent in the lid should be left fully open whilst cooking.

The doors - The lower door gives access to the charcoal basket and is mainly used for adding chips/ chunks. If you're used to an offset smoker, you will find that you do not need to top up the charcoal as often, as the unit should give you at least 8 hours on a good load of charcoal. If are doing a long cook, the best way to do this is to lock all the sections (above the base unit, 3 pieces {2 x stackers and the lid}) together and lift the unit off carefully and place it to one side, you now have full access to the charcoal basket and can restock it as required.
The top door gives access to the water pan, and if this needs topping up, you can use a watering can or bottle to pour more water in.

The Frontier that you have does not come with probe thermometer eyelets.

Hope this helps to explain how the unit works.

Ian
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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  Dr_KY on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:31 am

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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  Junk Yard Dog on Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:15 pm

Thanks guys. Problem solved !

I was putting the water bowl on the low unit where the basket goes. Embarassed Mack and Dr. Ky, I saw from your picture that it goes on the first rack. Duh !!! That also solves the problem of adding new coals. The basket is now visible through the door.

Hey, what do you expect from a people who don't even know which side of the road to drive on ? Laughing

Thanks again !
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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  Dr_KY on Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:29 pm

Hang on a second I'm American I just pretend to drive on the right side. lol


Glad the info and pictures helped and if there is anything you ever need or want to share just post like a mad-man. Cool
BTW hang out here and share your knowledge, we love food pictures too.
Ain't this place great.
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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  Mack on Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:41 pm

Glad you got it sorted!
Can't wait to see/ hear how it works out for you now.
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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

Post  jenks_24 on Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:52 pm

JYD,

I'm glad you got it sorted. Can't wait for your favorite food to hit the smoker!

And welcome by the way Smile
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Re: First smoke --- a train wreck.

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