Product Review – Pro Smoke Offset Smoker
ABA Co-Founder, Adam Roberts Road tests the new Pro Smoke offset smoker courtesy of Barbeques Galore.
This past summer, I had the good fortune to be able to road-test the brand new Pro Smoke offset smoker exclusive to Barbeques Galore.
This standard flow offset smoker is manufactured specifically for Barbeques Galore by the folks that make the reputable Hark brand and is certainly one of the most solid entry level offset smokers I’ve seen to date. It looks very similar to the Hark Tri-Fire but the specs suggest that it is the next level up in design and construction.
With the body made from 2.5mm steel and a 3.5mm thick hood, it weighs in at a very solid 102kg.
This smoker is a marked step up from the previous Texas Ranchero model stocked at Barbeques Galore, but it still won’t break the bank and retailing at just under a grand.
This Pro Smoke barbecue is quite versatile with users being able to run charcoal in the firebox for low n slow smoking with the option and the added feature of internal fuel racks in the bottom of the main cooking chamber for direct grilling if desired.
After the initial shock of how many parts there were to set up from the box it comes in, I actually appreciated how much time and effort goes into ‘building’ an offset smoker which I felt I had just completed – only 2 casual beverages later.
At first, I wasn’t quite sure of the best way to set up the baffle plates but I soon worked out that having an even spacing between the plates gave a consistent heat through the chamber. I played around with the baffle plates and was able to create hot and hotter spots in the chamber to cater for multiple cuts of meats which I wanted to cook at slightly different temperatures, at the same time.
I was able to achieve an awesome smoke ring on the meats and a very good bark and I can’t fault the unit for it’s consistent and stable heat during the cook – once I worked out the right amount of fuel to use.
The folks at Barbeques Galore sent me up a bag of Pro Smoke lump charcoal and I already had a couple of bags of briquettes ready to go. I found that filling a regular sized chimney starter with about two thirds briquettes was enough to get a base heat going. Once the briquettes were lit, I simply added a couple of handfuls of lump charcoal to get to my desired temp of around 250F quickly and without any hassles.
This unit doesn’t need a lot of fuel to keep going and I found that a base of briquettes topped up with the lump charcoal was the most efficient and economical way to run the heat. I wouldn’t recommend using timber as even though the unit is solid, it is quite responsive to the smallest of fires and the heavier timber would push the chamber temp way past low n slow smoking temperatures.
When adding smoking woods, smaller 3-4 inch diameter chunks or a handful of smoking chips are the way to go on this unit as the larger the wood pieces, the higher and longer the temperature will spike.
I found that there was enough room in the main cooking chamber for a decent cook up, easily catering for a large brisket, a few racks of pork ribs and even a whole bunch of chicken wings at the same time. One cook-up, I managed to safely fit 12 racks of 3 bone beef ribs for a function I catered and the results were as good as I’ve cooked on any other unit.
This unit would be a great starter or first-timer rig to learn the art of offset smoking for sure.
To find out more about this smoker, visit Barbeques Galore online