Offsets - imports

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by russnettle, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. russnettle

    russnettle Newbie

    Yo - nice to have a little UK corner in here to help with some of the differences in the USA

    I recently had a holiday in America and was amazed at the difference in cost and quality (plus general ease of supply) of BBQ's over there.

    Just strolling down to the local walmart , I found a weber one touch premium for under £100 - I also found a good solid offset (90kg) for  under £200. 

    I started out with a Landman COS and had some great results , but as the unit had such a small firebox and was so thin, heat control, just needed too much babysitting. I upgraded to a proQ excel which I love, however part of me would love another offset ( easier to get to higher temps + running a hot and fast cook as well as a low and slow etc + I just want another offset)

    Just wondered if anyone had any luck finding any decent reasonably priced offsets in the UK  - or , know of  a cheap way to import from America ? (wishful thinking i know)
  2. Hello.  There are many offsets available now here in the U.K..  It just depends on what you want to pay.  There are the cheap Brinkman offsets.  With some modification and care they work well and last quite a few years.  If you want the best you can get then custom built is the way to go.  Let us know if we can help.  Keep Smokin!

  3. russnettle

    russnettle Newbie

    Thanks Danny, 

    I actually just gave away my old Landmann, so not looking for another thin metal offset, I would Ideally like something like an Oklahoma Joe

    ( nice and sturdy but not too expensive (wife will probably kill me heh heh)

    I actually just missed out on an old sturdy brinkman (10 year old 90kg model)  that needed a little attention (something I would quite fancy doing - nothing too serious though)

    Typical story, wanting something quality but not wanting to spend too much, ha ha
  4. osprey2

    osprey2 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Have a look as you like your Pro Q HERE
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Russ
    Yes - much is very similar between the UK and the US but there are some important differences. A couple of the most important are to remember that the US pint is 20% smaller than the UK pint - so be careful and adapt when following US recipes. The cures we use for bacon over here are also slightly different to the ones used in the US.

    Other than that apart from brand names much is the same - although you may have to search for a few things online. One other slight difference is the texture/flavour/available sizes/cuts of some of the meats.

    I used to work a lot i the US and so I took advantage of the US pricing and about 15 years ago I imported a couple of pits from there. My first two were a Klose - (manufactured near Houston Tx) and a New Braunfels - both of which cost me as much to ship as they did to buy. I also brought my first 22" Weber back from the US as hand luggage... one of the perks of travelling business class then.

    I still have the New Braunfels and it is still in regular use (the one in the background). I now also have a custom built stainless steel offset (foreground) which gets used for larger smokes and for cold smoking. My trusty workhorses though are still my Webers and these are used most weekends

    Unfortunately the phrases "good quality offset" and "not wanting to spend too much" are almost mutually exclusive over here. I have found though that there is not a lot that you can't do in the Weber. I usually only fire up the bigger smokers if I need the additional cooking space.

    Instead of an offset you may want to consider the WSM or its cheaper equivalent the ProQ Frontier. I have used both and each have slight advantages. The build quality on the WSM is better but then the price is higher. You will also probably find that these are easier to master than the offsets - especially the cheaper ones - and produce equally good results.
  6. russnettle

    russnettle Newbie

    Thanks Wade - thats an awesome collection you haver there. 

    I actually already have a Pro Q Excel and a  Weber 1 touch premium and am extremely happy with both - I looked at WSM's  when I was upgrading from my Landmann and thought they looked really nice, however the ProQ sold me on the stacker point of view, If I am doing a small smoke I can just use one stacker and still have the benefits of the water tray and vertical smoker.

    I still yearn for a nice offset  - probably because I cut my teeth with one - and also because If I am throwing a BBQ I tend to use the Weber for direct grilling and have the ProQ for brisket and shoulders ( Plus ABT's and Ribs with the 3rd stacker) but I prefer to cook my brisket and shoulders at 225 and my ribs 275 so the offset would be handy also for this. I have also found that the pro q is difficult to keep at higher temps if I was cooking a turkey etc again the offset would probably be easier to maintain for this.

    I guess I will have to keep my eye out on ebay for a restoration job or bite the bullet and cough up for one of the German models (Smoky Fun's look awesome)
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes the stacking capability of the ProQ is one of its advantages. Where it lets itself down though was the quality of the door catches and the door seals. After a few uses I found that the door seal was not quite as good as it needed to be. This could be overcome with some stove sealing strip though.
  8. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Russ
  9. russnettle

    russnettle Newbie

    Yeah I had some initial issues with one of the doors leaking a little (the other 2 were fine) I used some high temp silicon  - I have seen so many WSM vs Excel threads I found it difficult to choose initially am really happy with the Pro Q though am sure I would have been equally happy with the WSM
  10. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Hiya Russnettle.

    I Import from the US, and we bring things in by the pallet load, the freight charges are ridiculous, so to make it worthwhile you would need to bring in a container load, purely because of the size and weight of the BBQ's.  I have just done a quick calculation for you using the freight company I use and you are looking at £900 to import a single pallet of BBQ's, which is maybe 10 - 15 BBQ's going on the size of the box that my Brinkmann came in.  You then have import tax to pay @20% of the retail value of the product to pay HMRC beforte they will release your order, then you have freight costs from the port of entry to your door ( about £60 - £70).  You will also have the same pick up costs in the US, unless the mfrs gives you free shipping to the exit port.  Unfortunately because a BBQ is such a large item you are paying for the empty space.   

    I have a Brinkmann special edition that I bought from Costso a couple of years ago, it's still going strong and is a great smoker.  I think I paid about £200 for it.  I have seen them is Costco this year, but not sure if they have any remaining.

    Sorry for being the bearer of bad news

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  11. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I did recently looked at shipping in a single Smoke EZ from the US however although the cost in the US for the item was $200, the shipping and tax were an additional $500

    When I imported my New Braunfels and my Klose a few years ago the shipping costs for both were higher than their original purchase prices.
  12. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I know its crazy,  If you bring  your stock in by sea freight that works out a bit cheaper, but it's cheaper to let the big boys bring the stuff in and then buy directly from them.


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