Hello from Cambridgeshire!

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Hello from Cambridgeshire!

Post  Qpid on Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:32 pm

Hi Folks,

I'm Graham from Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, and I am a smokaholic... Shocked

Or at least I think I will be Embarassed Smile

Just bought the ProQ Excel 20 after reading loads of reviews, watching all the vids on YouTube and around the net - thanks especially to Ian and Feeney for some great ones! Anyway I found a well priced one and took the plunge, it arrived yesterday (minus water bowl and charcoal cage but they - hopefully - will be here on Friday) and once i finish the garden, then I will be doing a first simple test run after seasoning it on Friday ready for a full run on Sat for my daughter's 18th and a family BBQ... No I agree, not much practice time to get used to it!

Unfortunatly we have not had a garden for the past 3 years after building an extention on the house, then spending over a year decorating it the garden had become a jungle or 'natural' as I kept telling the Mrs Laughing Well the time came when none of my excuses to her would wash so it was time to plan a new garden from ermmm ... the ground up... literally!

Patio is now laid (although the cement sealing is partially blown due to the torrential rain we have had here lately), edging stones are in place and solid, the grass is laid and all that remains is for me to level out a raised area and pour on the decorative gravel then as if by magic - A happy wife!! Very Happy

So with a new garden must come a new BBQ especially since my old one (just a cheap and cheerfull charcoal grill thing) has rusted away to nothing Crying or Very sad Hence my weeks of trawling through BBQ and Smoking web sites to end up here... infact I also started here as well Smile

Well 2 days to finish the garden, season the new smoker and do a test run with a beer butt chicken so hopefully all the hours of reading up will pay off! I've already calibrated my unit's thermometer, put the thing together, got myself a probe thermometer as well but after reading about that Maverick model I am tempted as it looks VERY handy!! Still got to get the meat and booze for Sat and have found a fantastic 'old school' butcher in Brampton which is only 30 mins drive away from here.

Still unsure what to smoke, thinking Low and Slow Ribs, 2 whole chickens (one a Beer Butt and the other quite spicy), a lamb loin (or suitable cut) to make into kebabs once finished and maybe some of the stuffed potatos I have seen on Treegje's Post... putting them in the smoker in that order, obviosly the ribs take a lot longer than the rest. The Mrs also wants the standard corn on the Cob, mushrooms and peppers for the kebabs... etc... I can see another stacker unit being my next purchase! lol

Anyway thats me and my story, wish me luck for Sat and I will try to remember to take pics, but please concider that the garden will be full of 18 - 20 year old girls, so dont be suprised if i only get pics upto when i put the meat in... ok that came out wrong... Hopefully the food won't! Laughing

Thanks for reading and hope it wasn't too boring,


Graham. cheers

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Re: Hello from Cambridgeshire!

Post  ThomEmery on Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:02 pm

Welcome to the forum Brother
Do not forget about a picture of that patio area
it sounds great
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Re: Hello from Cambridgeshire!

Post  Qpid on Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:09 pm

I hope it will be once it is finished but it is raining again now and has been for the last 4 hours Sad

At least it is slightly sloped so the water is draining away, fingers crossed for Saturday otherwise it will be a visit to the garden centre for a gazeebo! lol




Pic of patio covered in a Tarp but shows edging
Pic of the patio before grass is laid...

Should take some more before its finished really but just been getting on with it to finish in time lately Rolling Eyes

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Re: Hello from Cambridgeshire!

Post  Treegje on Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:47 pm

Welcome to the forum, We are glad to have you onboard
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Re: Hello from Cambridgeshire!

Post  Qpid on Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:51 pm

Cheers Treegje, cant wait to try your stuffed potato recipe either, I have done almost the same before but just oven cooked never on a Smoker so I want to see the difference Smile

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Re: Hello from Cambridgeshire!

Post  Mack on Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:19 pm

Welcome Graham!

I have just finished packing a Charcoal Basket and Water Pan for you, which should be with yo tomorrow.

Ian
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Re: Hello from Cambridgeshire!

Post  Qpid on Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:36 pm

You are a star!!

Coincidentaly Alyson phoned me whilst i was in the car updating my n00b post on my other thread saying she had just spoken to you about them, I can't believe how excited i am about this whole smoking business, my wife thinks I am adicted already and I havent even tried it yet. Spent most evenings this week (as well as at work!) on the net looking at video's and recipes, tips and tricks, reading posts placed here, just fantastic!

I ended up getting a whole duck, 2 whole chickens and 4 large boned pork leg joints (all on offer) for smoking over the coming weekends so I should get plenty of practice before I attempt some mouth watering ribs Very Happy

Well its just stopped raining here (been at it all day so far) so going to open a beer and start doing the garden, I will let you know as soon as they arrive.

Oh and incase i dont get time tomorrow for seasoning it how long 'should' you season the Excel 20 for before use? Just so I know how early to get up on Saturday morning to season then get straight into cooking the food. Laughing


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Re: Hello from Cambridgeshire!

Post  ThomEmery on Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:04 pm

Spray it down with Pam oil and start cooking
or just put oil on a paper towel and wipe it on
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Re: Hello from Cambridgeshire!

Post  Qpid on Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:21 pm

Just like a wok then but on a much bigger scale? Smile

You probably saw, but Mack posted that he has sent the items and UPS sent an email saying delivery tomorrow so looks like they will be here in time, but if they're here early I will prime / season and might get the chickens cooked afterwards then i am only left with the pork leg, burgers, sausages, steaks and veg so that should be 'easy'... Shocked

It will be a steep learning curve but i am sure it will turn out fine, if it starts going bad then I will just have to consume enough alcohol to sink the Titanic and have fun regardless Laughing

G.

Never heard of Pam oil though, what is it? I was thinking just vegetable oil on a kitchen towel and just burn all that off with its crappy smoke along with the manufacturing oils when the fire is lit but Pam oil is a new one for me Smile

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