BBQ for beginners

  • Hi there,


    I am looking to buy a smoker for my husband for his birthday. He loves going to American BBQ places and has always said he'd like to try make his own brisket, ribs, pork etc.


    I'm not even sure where to start! So am looking for recommendations for a good smoker for a beginner. As well as suggestions on pellet vs charcoal. As I said, I'm completely overwhelmed with all the choices and just want to get him something relatively easy to use to start his barbecue journey.


    Many thanks!

  • For American bbq a pellet BBQ is the easiest option. Works pretty much like an oven, but fuelled by pellets. The smoke flavour is milder than a charcoal bbq (some prefer this, some don't) and it requires to be plugged into a power point.

    Check out the gmg Daniel Boone pellet BBQ to get an idea. Or there are a couple of options at Bunnings too (get your pellets elsewhere. You shouldn't pay more than $2.50 per kilo)


    With charcoal, the good old Weber kettle is still the cheapest way in. You can pick up a second hand one for less than a hundred dollars.

    I prefer a kamado myself, and you can check out the Akorn kamado at Bunnings for a fairly low investment, yet good option.


    Lots of info and pics on this site for all those.

    Maximus Pizza Oven | Fire Pit | Cyprus Grill | Big Steel Keg | GMG - Daniel Boone | Weber Genesis |

  • I'm sure there will be some other info offered but I look at it this way.. 3 Options

    Wood

    Pellets

    Charcoal


    Wood fired bbq's are fun but time consuming.

    Pellet bbq's are the easiest and most convenient.

    Charcoal like wood is fun and requires a little skill to begin.


    I don't need (allowed) another bbq but I would definitely (defiantly).. consider the Masterbuilt 560 Gravity charcoal cooker. In my mind you get to have many choices of wood flavour by adding chunks of your choice as you wish or none at all. It's electronically controlled so has the convenience and consistency for heat management but you get to start the fire.


    Good luck with your quest and as Narm said the Akorn Kamado is definitely a great choice.

    Jumbuck 7 burner with hood. Baby Weber kettle. 52" Kettle. Weber Go Anywhere. 5' SS Spit rotisserie. Offset smoker. Akorn Kamado. :) ASMOKE AS500N. Hibachi.:bbq:

  • I have a Kamado and a Pellet BBQ.


    For American style BBQ, ease of use is the Pellet BBQ hands down IMO. I have a GMG Davy Crockett and have had a GMG Daniel Boone previously. Wifi connectable so easy to monitor from a phone whilst away from the grill. Turn grill on, open and connect app and push the start button and away she goes.


    Why i like a pellet grill for American BBQ is you can change temp up and down. Generally with a Kamado it is only increase temp as they are that well insulated it takes forever to get the temp down.


    I have a Kamado (Primo Brand) as my primary BBQ but they are pricey. for a small investment the Akorn is the way to go.


    I initially struggled getting the smoke to be correct on my Kamado but have now mastered it. With a pellet grill its perfect straight away as its all electronically controlled. Need more smoke flavour add a smoke tube.


    Another consideration is how many people he will be cooking for.


    If you have a large family then i would recommend the middle size Pellet grill not the Davy Crockett.


    Most Pellet grill brands are pretty good. My picks are below:


    GMG (Green Mountain Grills)

    Camp Chef.

    Traeger.

    Weber


    The Masterbuilt 560 is a great option as Captain referred to as it is effectively a pellet grill which uses Charcoal as a fuel. If i had my time over again i would have bought one of those.


    Allows for searing (simple grilling) which generally speaking Pellet Grills are not great at, although they are getting better with searing options being provided.


    My advice would be to talk to your Husband and see what he thinks. Give him a budget and send him onto this forum where we all have different styles of smokers. Let him ask the questions everybody on here will provide him with alot of advice and go from there.


    Enjoy the research.

    Enjoy your "Q"
    James


    Primo XL, GMG Davy Crockett, Akorn Jr and Ziggy Portable.


  • It's important to note that just becasue he's a beginner, doesn't mean you buy a cheap smoker to start with. In fact, the cheap smokers are far harder to control becasue generally they lose heat quickly due to cheap construction and don't have decent air flow control.


    At a minimum, for charcoal cooking the Akorn is the way to go. Even better is the ceramic Kamado Joe from BBQs Galore.


    Pellets grils as mentioned above will give the real fire cooking but are set and forget as far as temperature control goes.

    Big Green Egg - aSmoke Grill - Weber Kettle - GMG Davy Crockett - Maximus Pizza Oven - Dragon Hibachi - Ziggy Portable - baby kamado - Cobb BBQ - Converted Gas Bottle Spit - Charbroil Grill2go - Anova sous vide - Digi Q controller

  • What's the budget?


    How many would he be cooking for?


    Is he time poor, like I am with a family and getting kids to sport etc.


    Is this going to potentially be used during the week or is it for a gig on the weekend?



    Traeger - Weber Family Q - Ziggy Twin Burner - Charcoal Grill - Akorn Kamado - Hark Tri Fire - Jumbuck Pizza Oven - Go Anywhere - Asmoke Pellet Grill - Hibachi Grill - Anova Sous Vide x 2

  • Well you now have a wealth of information from some of the crew here to help try & make a decision.....not easy I know....But I feel you have semi answered your question with this quote.

    and just want to get him something relatively easy to use to start his barbecue journey.

    Based on that comment alone I would be recommending either a pellet grill or as some have mentioned here the Masterbuilt 560 if you want to go charcoal.

    For Pellet Grills I would be looking at....

    Z Grills.

    GMG.

    Camp Chef.

    Traeger.

    IMO Z Grills & GMG are going give you the best back up service you will get here.

    Good luck & Welcome to SF&F.

    Ziggy Trpl. ....Z Grill 700E.....Aldi/Masterbuilt & Camp Chef Gassers... Camp Chef cast iron.....Thermoworks Smoke.....ASmoke Grill.300....Masterbuilt 560.

  • I think Asmoke could be added to the list of possible pellet grills. Can't fault their service thus far.

    Big Green Egg - aSmoke Grill - Weber Kettle - GMG Davy Crockett - Maximus Pizza Oven - Dragon Hibachi - Ziggy Portable - baby kamado - Cobb BBQ - Converted Gas Bottle Spit - Charbroil Grill2go - Anova sous vide - Digi Q controller

  • Thanks so much for all the info! After a bit of browsing I'm considering an Asmoke or Z Grill based on size, price point and ease of use. He has cooked with charcoal before so doesn't mind the start up etc of this method but in saying that has only used it on a small open grill when cooking a regular BBQ so a totally different experience.


    This would most likely only be used on weekends, so he would hopefully have the time to put into it. It would mostly be used to Cook for our family and possibly host a few friends probably not more than 15 people.


    Any strong thoughts/things to consider on Asmoke vs Z Grills?


    I would ask him his thoughts but he's terrible at buying things for himself, so a surprise is probably best!


    Thanks again!

  • Any strong thoughts/things to consider on Asmoke vs Z Grills?

    We have members with both brands and have had good reports. No negatives that I'm aware of.

    Either one should serve you well.


    I think getting an extra shelf is a big bonus so look for that option as well.

    Big Green Egg - aSmoke Grill - Weber Kettle - GMG Davy Crockett - Maximus Pizza Oven - Dragon Hibachi - Ziggy Portable - baby kamado - Cobb BBQ - Converted Gas Bottle Spit - Charbroil Grill2go - Anova sous vide - Digi Q controller

  • Both of those will give you a great experience.


    Have a serious look at the Masterbuilt 560 as well though.


    The pellet flavour is not for everybody and somebody wise once told me try some food cooked on a pellet grill before buying one if you can.

    Enjoy your "Q"
    James


    Primo XL, GMG Davy Crockett, Akorn Jr and Ziggy Portable.


  • The Z Grills 700 models have the option or can be purchased with a Full top shelf.(XL model)

    Z Grills 700E-XL Pellet Smoker | Z Grills Australia Store

    700E Top Grill Rack Kit - Z Grills Australia

    Speak to Michael Humpherys if you decide on a Z Grill and mention me for a good deal.

    You will be very hard pressed for better service anywhere IMO.

    Ziggy Trpl. ....Z Grill 700E.....Aldi/Masterbuilt & Camp Chef Gassers... Camp Chef cast iron.....Thermoworks Smoke.....ASmoke Grill.300....Masterbuilt 560.

  • It depends on the budget but having one on a cabinet with storage underneath is a big bonus.

    Big Green Egg - aSmoke Grill - Weber Kettle - GMG Davy Crockett - Maximus Pizza Oven - Dragon Hibachi - Ziggy Portable - baby kamado - Cobb BBQ - Converted Gas Bottle Spit - Charbroil Grill2go - Anova sous vide - Digi Q controller

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