25 May Pro Q Excel 20 Elite Smoker
PROQ offer 3 Bullet style smokers each are 3 in 1, this will become evident later.
The Excel 20 is their largest Model.
Nowadays PROQ’s are the BBQ’s of choice for many people including some of the best competition teams in Europe.
Having been a PROQ owner and user for some time now, its fair to say that this was quite a simple review to write. However to give the fairest view, I must begin at the start.
The PROQ Excel 20 Elite range is built of a thicker grade of steel then the standard series which is the first thing you’ll notice when putting the unit together. It actually feels stronger and more robust and because of that increased thickness it’s going to hold temps better, which as all low and slow cooks know is key.
All the fittings and fixings have all been upgraded to high grade stainless steel, there is a new handle on the lid in bright red.
Some of the other new features include the red silicone coating on the side handles that lock into place about 10mm from the stacker so as to prevent them from heating up and burning your hands. There’s also the red silicone grommets (thermometer access eyelets) on each stacker which can accommodate all kinds of different thermometer shapes and sizes, so there’s no need to go poke them through the door or vents anymore.
Aesthetics are important to many, and to be honest, it’s a good looking piece of kit, keep it clean and it will always impress.
Functionality and Performance,
The doors on each stacker make it easy to access the porcelain covered water pan or the charcoal basket which is important when you want to add more wood or charcoal without having to disassemble the unit which would lose all the heat, smoke and momentum, although, and its only a little gripe, if you have not filled with enough fuel at the start, the doors are still a little small, maybe a custom chute would help?
With 3 vents on the bottom of the unit combined with the water pan make it simple to maintain temps for a long time, making it perfect for low and slow cooks.
There isn’t much the PROQ can’t do. Each stacker has its own grill so you have 2 big levels of cooking (both levels could easily accommodate a whole brisket) and if you want, you can buy more stackers separately increasing your capacity again and again. Alternatively you can remove a stacker for a more compact cook or remove them all together and use the unit like a kettle which also makes it a really handy size for picnics or the beach.
If you are partial to the odd ‘reverse sear’ I can’t think of a better unit for it. You simply have the stackers and the water pan in position while smoking and then when you reach the desired internal temp you just remove the stackers and place the grill right on top of the charcoal basket and sear away! It doesn’t get much easier.
The units come with 4 metal hooks which can be hung from the rail inside the lid making it great for whole fish, legs of lamb, chicken etc.
As for the new accessories, PROQ have designed some really cool ones that are available to buy separately.
There is a new stainless steel chimney starter with the same red handles you’ll find on the lids of the Elite range.
There is also a new rib rack which can double as a roasting basket simply by flipping it over.
Waterproof covers are also an easy way to keep your BBQ in pristine condition.
I personally love the Pro Q, of course there are some minor things I would improve or add, but as a premium product and a major brand at the price point they have, it’s a hard product to beat all round.