ProQ Excel Elite Bullet Smoker
Somebody’s got a new toy! One of the CountryWoodSmoke-British BBQ regulars Alex, has just treated himself to a new ProQ Excel Elite Bullet Smoker, and shares his thoughts from his initial cook.
Right then folks, I’m Alex, Chef Patron at http://www.facebook.com/theexmoorbeastro/ and these are my cooking machines…
The one on the left is the Hot Top by www.BBovens.co.uk, it’s a new to market product that we’ve collaborated on to develop a woodfired oven with a solid top hot plate that you can also cook on, happy to say it works a treat.
The one on the right really needs no introduction, its a ProQ Excel 20 Elite from those lovely girls at www.hotsmoked.co.uk
BBQing full steam ahead
You’ll be hearing a fair bit from me in the near future as we’re going to be opening for lunches again soon, this time our lunch menu is ALL about the BBQ!! (so naturally I’m gonna be doing a lot of cooking!)
If you’d like any info on the ovens, recipes, support or just nonsensical banter I’m your man.
Firing up the Excel
Ox Cheek – Sel Gris, Cracked Pepper & Sharps Dubbel Coffee Stout Marinade
Ok, so my only real experience of hot smoking was in an old hot cabinet & chip scuttle combo I lashed together a couple of years ago in which I ended up with some very passable hot smoked pork shoulder, but then the wind blew it thing over breaking the glass doors.
Today was going to be a trial for overnight low and slow, this is going to be important for us as we want to run a BBQ menu for lunches which will cut down on my workload and also provide us with a locally unique product to serve up to our hungry guests…
So after seasoning the ProQ & ceramic dish, I then wrapped the dish in foil and set the fire using the Minion method, I’m going for low maintenance & consistently with this set up, from what I’d heard the ProQ is a quality piece of kit so my expectations were high…
I rolled the cheeks in Sel Gris (unrefined sea salt) & cracked pepper, then marinaded them in Sharps Dubbel Coffee Stout for 30 mins prior to adding to the grill.
But now the pay off… did it work? HELL YEAH, great smoke ring, moist and melt in the mouth, just drops apart on the pull test. First impressions, the ProQ Excel 20 Elite is a great piece of kit… sorry folks, tonight its brisket! (or boston butt, depends which I feel like)
Terracotta ProQ Mod
A tip from Marcus was to add a ceramic plate to the water bowl section of the ProQ Excel 20 Elite.
I read up a little on it and it made perfect sense, essentially adding a large heat brick which stabilises temperature and also extends the holding temperature, perfect for low n’ slow.
A quick trip to the local garden centre and I found the perfect plate, I opted not to go for one that sat down in the pan as I still want to be able to add liquid to the cooking process occasionally, thankfully I remembered to bring along the water bowl and found a large plate that sits in the rim perfectly!
Having been unable to find my power drill, (-10 man points) I had to resort to boring a hole in the center of the plate with a screwdriver, I intend to make several holes but to be honest I only needed one as its just to let air out of the bowl area for this first burn.
I seasoned the whole set up by burning a full basket of lumpwood & briquettes with all vents and doors open, the ProQ ran at 230C (yes I’m using Centigrade, this is British BBQ after all!!) for 3hrs I then broke down the coals and set up for cooking, which I’ll talk about in my following post.
Needless to say the ceramic plate mod works a treat. recommended.
Great first cook Alex, the cheeks looked perfectly cooked. A great bit of kit, I’ll be thinking about upgrading from my ProQ Frontier to one of these at some point I think.
Available on Special at £299 from Hotsmoked until end of March 2015.