Newbie - Excel or Frontier?

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Newbie - Excel or Frontier?

Post  RichardD on Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:14 pm

I've decided that I really want a smoker (partly because an awful lot of "barbequeing" round here is simply grilling al fresco, and mostly because I love smokey flavours).

But which smoker should I choose?

The Excel can do 7 chickens at once, apparently - except that I couldn't get through a single chicken in one sitting. let alone 7, and I just don't have that many friends!

Most of the time it's just me, the wife and two children; frequently one set of grandparents or the other will come round, occasionally both sets at once, but I can't see me needing to cook for more than 8 at once. The Frontier looks big enough for that.

The Frontier is obviously smaller - which is fine for us. But does the Excel have any other advantages that make it worth the extra cost? Is it easier to keep the temperature steady, does it have any other features that are missing on the Frontier, or can I save myself 70 ("save" being a relative term, as any savings just get "reinvested" into other BBQ toys)?

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Re: Newbie - Excel or Frontier?

Post  Mack on Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:16 am

Hi Richard,
Welcome to the forum!
I cook for roughly the same amount of people and you're right the Frontier will do the job, occasionally though, I do need more room, so that's why I use an Excel 20.
Besides being larger, the Excel 20 is also made from heavier material and because of it being that much bigger, is more suited to being used as a portable "kettle" BBQ that you can cook for more people on.

Ian
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Re: Newbie - Excel or Frontier?

Post  Dr_KY on Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:54 am

XL all the way! Why buy twice? Once all your friends start tasting what smoking is all about you will need the extra room.
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Re: Newbie - Excel or Frontier?

Post  RichardD on Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:18 pm

I fear that you were right. But looking on the bright side, I've got enough space in the back of the garage for the Frontier; I'd not have the room for the Excel. I cooked for 7 on Saturday, and there were times when the smoker was a bit cramped (but on the flip side, I cooked way more than anyone could eat), so I think I can manage with the Frontier.

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Re: Newbie - Excel or Frontier?

Post  steveheyes on Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:01 pm

Seriously, go for the E20!

I went through the same decision process, the E20 is much more practical. The heavier guage steel means it's going to last much longer and have space to move things around when you're not at full capacity is a god send. I'm not saying hit yourself up with an extea stacker or anything but I reckon if you buy the Frontier you'll be wishing you'd bought the E20 soon enough.
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Re: Newbie - Excel or Frontier?

Post  RichardD on Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:43 pm

Seriously, you're too late! Smile

Do you remember that glorious summer weather we had a few weeks ago? After those predictions by the Met Office of a long, hot, BBQ summer? And do you remember the sudden change in the weather, when the sun went away to be replaced by unceasing rain? Have a guess what happened the day before the weather changed.

That's right. I bought a Frontier. The day before it arrived, the heavens opened and it's barely stopped since.

So I *have* to manage with the smaller cooker now. Not that it's a problem. I reckon that I can cook for between 6 and 8 people on a Frontier, which as many as I'd *want* to cook for. I'm not saying that the Excel wouldn't have been a better purchase, but I didn't know a month ago how good *proper* BBQ can taste.

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Re: Newbie - Excel or Frontier?

Post  steveheyes on Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:36 pm

Sorry, I didn't read your last post properly, thought you were still deciding. Guess I'm still a bit slow from the weekend's exploits which is a bit worrying since I've been doing spec reviews at work all week, I hope I've been reading them properly Shocked

Well the good thing about a smoker is that it operates equally as well in wind rain or snow (apart from taking a bit more effort to keep hot).

I'm sure you'll enjoy the Frontier.
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