ProQ Amigo setup help for beginner

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ProQ Amigo setup help for beginner

Post  illarion on Wed May 06, 2009 6:20 pm

Hi there. I'm having some trouble setting up and using my new ProQ Amigo, and I'd be very much obliged if you more knowledgable folks could help out.

First, I'm a little confused as to where to put the water pan. The Amigo has two sets of black brackets which fit it. If I put it on the lower of these, there is very little room between the water pan and the charcoal - making it difficult to add more charcoal, or to add wood chips to the smoke box.

I first tried putting it on the top brackets, but I seemed to have real trouble getting the unit hot enough then - the built in thermometer didn't want to go above 50C.

Second, if I'm just cooking for a few - only needing one grill rack - can I simply leave out the middle part of the Amigo? I would presume this would make it easier to maintain the temperature, and reduce the amount of charcoal needed?

Third, I tried to smoke a 2.5Kg (boneless) pork shoulder joint on the weekend - with little success, it has to be said. Well, it was a pretty nice roast, after 7 hours' smoking, and a further two in the oven @160C, but it had none of the succulence and falls-apart quality I'd been dreaming of. Was this simply a case of not long enough/not hot enough? I went through an entire 5Kg bag of briquettes, and I think the highest I ever saw the thermometer read was 100C - and not for long.

Fourth - how reliable is the built in thermometer? Either it really ISN'T, or else I'm doing something very wrong with my charcoal. I've literally never seen it go over 100C.

I do now have a Maverick remote thermometer on order from the US - I'm hoping this will help.

I realise this is quite a barrage of questions! This BBQ newbie would really appreciate some help Smile

Thanks!

illarion
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Re: ProQ Amigo setup help for beginner

Post  lipsmacking on Wed May 06, 2009 8:56 pm

hello there mate and welcome to the wonderful world of bbq

im not an expert on this but i do use a amigo very often so i hope i ca help.

the water pan does go on the bottom just above the charcoal, which does make it akward to refill but u will get used to it.
i found the best stuff to use is coconut charcoal as it stays hotter for longer and burns hotter as well. so it may be a good idea to get some.

the in built thermometer
if you twist it it will pull out, then boil some water and you can tell if its out as it should read 100c when the water boils you can adjust this by the little knob on the back.

as for the temp controll well its abit tricky as the amigo doesnt have bottom vent and with water i struggle to get mine above 100-140c but to be honest it does cook well at these temps, i recently water smoked a 3kg pork shoulder and it took about 5 hrs, but i have found for the last 1-2hrs take the water pan out and roast it, this way the temp will soar to 300 and the meat will end up lovely.

when i first started i did struggle to have great success so i cooked alot of whole chickens as i found there very forgiving and a great way to test your amigo until you get used to it ( which you will eventually ) and the chicken do turn out very juicy.

your the first person ive left advice for as im reasonably new to it my self but i hope it helps and im sure someone will be along soon with some more helpful advice

all the best and keep q'ing

mat

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Re: ProQ Amigo setup help for beginner

Post  Mack on Wed May 06, 2009 9:02 pm

Thanks Mat,
I wish I had looked here first, as I have just finished typing out a long winded email to explain everything Laughing
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Re: ProQ Amigo setup help for beginner

Post  lipsmacking on Wed May 06, 2009 9:17 pm

Mack wrote:Thanks Mat,
I wish I had looked here first, as I have just finished typing out a long winded email to explain everything Laughing

well im sure you can explain it clearer than me and obviously there are alot of things u already know that im still learning,

thats what i love about this site everyone is willing to help as they have for me so i thought i would try and help back

cheers mack

mat

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Re: ProQ Amigo setup help for beginner

Post  illarion on Wed May 06, 2009 11:12 pm

Mack wrote:Thanks Mat,
I wish I had looked here first, as I have just finished typing out a long winded email to explain everything Laughing

Sorry Ian! I found this site after emailing you. I won't post your email, as it seems like bad netiquette to me - but you could of course Smile Might be useful to others too?

I've subsequently found from this post http://proq.forumotion.com/new-to-smoking-bbq-help-f19/new-to-smoking-needs-help-t453.htm that I had missed putting the grate in the bottom of the charcoal pan, so I guess that can't have helped.

I had a go calibrating the thermometer, and it definitely seemed out - was reading more like 60C than 100.

I'm looking forward to my charcoal starter and Maverick arriving - accurate temp reading seems crucial to success.

Many thanks for the helpful answers Smile

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