New electric Smoker

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TEX-X
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New electric Smoker

Post by TEX-X » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:27 am

So i'm in the market for one.... i'm looking at a bradley. Anyone have any suggestions?

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by Greg Jennings » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:58 am

A friend loaned me his Fast Eddy. Works great and is very easy to use.

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by mcbosco » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:02 pm

whats your budget?

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by TEX-X » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:04 pm

well i don't want to be spending more than i'd say 600....

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by mcbosco » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:08 pm

I have a Traeger, I am not sure that's the style or type you want. Its not really electric but the feeder into the fire box is electric so you dont have to do a thing except keep the hopper filled with wood pellets.

I have a Horizon offset smoker that I hardly use anymore because of the Traeger.

http://www.traegergrills.com/

Its a really good unit.

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by Greg Jennings » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:24 pm

Might look at the lower-end Cookshack. I've used on of those as well and was happy with it. Believe it will fit within the budget.

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by lvrgsp » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:46 pm

If it's gotta be electric, I would say try an MES, there great, the Bradley's are nice with a few mods, the wood biscuits are kinda pricey, the Traeger is a great option as well, it's a smoker typer grill, they perform well, but in my opinion they do not get hot enough for me to sear any food but if it's just for smokin then that would do fine.
Greg I am not sure I have ever seen a cookshack around the $600 range. Could be wrong there, just have not seen them....and they are very very nice smokers.
The Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) is a nice product for the price, the one beef with some mes owners is there was not enough smoke flavor, to compensate instead of using wood chips, they use either Traeger pellets or any smoking wood pellet, or sawdust. Sams club carries them for around $300...

Another very good option for an entry level smoker is the Brinkman Gourmet smoker, if you don't mind the Bullett type smokers, which to me work very well....


mcbosco wrote:I have a Traeger, I am not sure that's the style or type you want. Its not really electric but the feeder into the fire box is electric so you dont have to do a thing except keep the hopper filled with wood pellets.

I have a Horizon offset smoker that I hardly use anymore because of the Traeger.

http://www.traegergrills.com/

Its a really good unit.
You have an offset Horizon? That's not the type of smoker I would just have sitting around not using....Woo Weee....Those are nice smokers me man...


Chip

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by mcbosco » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:52 am

i bought the Horizon in a yard sale for $250 how it got to NJ I will never know, it costs $500 just to ship it. i do love it and i use it but the Traeger is just so easy. It lights on its own, fuels itself and is really well made, but it wont sear. I have a infra-red grill for that.

i was a sceptic on the Traeger but the local shop had a demo one day and i wrote a check.

The temp control is pretty accurate as well.

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by Greg Jennings » Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:50 am

Cookshack Smokette Essential or SuperSmoker Essential. If you do things for some bigger things like a church group, the Amerique might be a good choice. Check the BBQ network, Craig's list, etc.

I did a butt in a the Smokette yesterday. Used the Dr. BBQ "Injected and Wrapped Pork Butt" recipe (my take is that book is required reading, btw). I also used all apple juice in the injection instead of 50% apple/50% pineapple. The pineapple seems to make a mushy texture that I don't like as well.

The recipe calls for 275 deg, but the Smokette only goes to 250. I cooked at 250 till it got to 165, then wrapped and turned down to 225 till it got to 195. Yowza, it was good.

Here is a link to the Smokette: http://store.cookshack.com/p-346-smoket ... ntial.aspx $525.00

Here is the Dr. BBQ Book: http://www.amazon.com/Dr-BBQs-Big-Time- ... 0312339798

I'd better quit. My mouth is watering thinking about it and it's only 8:50 AM.
Greg J.

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by mcbosco » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:53 am

pineapple has an enzyme called Papain that just melts protein, its the active ingredient in meat tenderizers..i never use it either for BBQ unless its a glaze

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by TEX-X » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:07 am

i really do like the traegers.... it doesn't have to be absolutely electric. right now i smoke in a barrel pit but it's difficult to maintain a temp under 300 for 12 to 14 hours to cook a brisket... just trying to make it easier since i BBQ every weekend and also cook for my american legion sunday lunch. thanks for the input everyone....

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by mcbosco » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:12 am

if dont want to sear, Traeger is very good, flexible too, smoke, bake etc..good quality machine

i make a great smoked/baked meatloaf in it...yummmm

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by TEX-X » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:16 am

i always have my barrel pit if i want to sear...i'm just looking for a smoker...

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by mcbosco » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:21 am


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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by lvrgsp » Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:40 pm

Mr. Jennings thanks for schooling me Sir.....Had not seen that model before.....and that is definately a good choice to go with for the price Cookshack smokers are good quality.....
TEX-X wrote:i really do like the traegers.... it doesn't have to be absolutely electric. right now i smoke in a barrel pit but it's difficult to maintain a temp under 300 for 12 to 14 hours to cook a brisket... just trying to make it easier since i BBQ every weekend and also cook for my american legion sunday lunch. thanks for the input everyone....
What is the barrel smoker your using now? is it vertical or a horizontal?.....I may be able to help you with some issues if you could give me some details on what you have now....Size....what are you needing for size? That might be a difference maker.....

Here's some pics of my current smoker I just built, I can hold 250-300 degrees for about 8 hours on about 10lbs. of charcoal, with very very little tending to. This smoker cost me under $75 to build.....

Image

MMMM.....That's Ribilicious................
Image

Image

Chip

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by Rob » Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:10 pm

Finally, a topic where I have some experience :D .

I am not a pellet or electric guy but I have buddies that are. Greg is right, cookshacks are great smokers.

I personally started on a Weber Smokey Mountain, then went to a Backwoods Fatboy, and am now working on a custom built vertical smoker of my own. I don't have much to add, other than some words of caution - once the smoke gets in your blood, it is very addictive! Would be happy to talk about anything 'Q related with ya.

Here is a site that has a lot of creative guys and info on DIY smokers, if anyone is interested:
http://www.phpbbserver.com/phpbb/index. ... =smokinjim

Rob

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by lvrgsp » Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:21 pm

I know what ya mean Rob, once you start smoking...it's addicting.....that's a helluva step up from a WSM to a Backwoods....are those gas or charcoal?


Chip

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by TEX-X » Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:56 pm

it's a horizontal....it's not really a barrel, but it is shaped like one and the same size. it's made by kingsford. it can't maintain under 300 for very long...any suggestions would be appreciated....how difficult was it to build?

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by Rob » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:07 pm

They are charcoal. The ball valve in the picture is for air intake. But I don't use it - I prefer the BBQ Guru. It offers the most precise control, and is network compatible :D . I don't currently have the capability, but my new outdoor kitchen will allow me to monitor and adjust my pit temp from my office (or anywhere else with an internet connection). What can I say, I am a hopeless addict.

Couple other nice options, for anyone who is as sick as I am:
http://www.biggreenegg.com/
http://www.stumpssmokersinc.com/
http://www.spicewineironworks.com/index.php?p=smoker


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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by Rob » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:16 pm

TEX-X:

I would definitely suggest you check out:
http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13224

Upright drum smokers are about as easy to build as it comes. You don't even need to know how to weld.

Or you can just buy a WSM (really great value, IMO) and be done with it:
http://www.amazon.com/Weber-721001-Smok ... 883&sr=8-1

Would be happy to give you some things to try on your offset as well (been around a bunch), but I am more of a vertical guy.

Rob

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by kumate » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:23 am

I have a stumps with a digital bbq guru and love it, i also have a weber smokey mountain. The weber smokes just as good and it is amazing how that little smoker smokes and is stingy with the charcoal, plus the support and recipes for it are great. For the money the wsm is hard to beat teams all across the country are winning with them, heck on your budget buy 2 and a thermo pen and your smoking with the best of em

Jerry

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by Rob » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:17 pm

Couldn't agree more with kumate on the WSM. I still use mine at least monthly for smaller cooks. Best BBQ bang for your buck by a long shot IMO. They are truly set-and-forget. By the way, I am planning to build a version of a stumps clone (albeit with a simple charcoal tray rather than the gravity feed) in my outdoor kitchen project. The ones I have seen in action seem really great. I looked at them before I bought the backwoods, but they were just a little over my budget.

Rob

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by mcbosco » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:20 pm

beef ribs tomorrow...the dog gets one raw and we get the rest...any favorite recipes?

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by ohiogsp » Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:58 am

Elecrtic smokers just don't do what a stick or coal smoker will do to the meat. I like a little bigger smoker myself here is some pics of mine. :D One is an offset and the other is not.


Image

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by mcbosco » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:51 am

I wont argue with you on traditional smokers. The Traeger I have can't cook like my Horizon but tending a large shoulder to get it right is sometimes not an option if fact it almost never is...

That is some rig you have there, sweet

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by lvrgsp » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:54 am

TEX-X wrote:it's a horizontal....it's not really a barrel, but it is shaped like one and the same size. it's made by kingsford. it can't maintain under 300 for very long...any suggestions would be appreciated....how difficult was it to build?

Not sure how thick the plate is on that particular model....does it have a side firebox? if it does what are you using for the fuel? Wood or charcoal, both? Are you using the temp guage that came with it? Do you have a lot odf smoke leakage coming from around the lid, and firebox area? A little info in those areas and I can get you some ideas on mods to do that would help quite a bit.....one thing I can definately reccomend and is a must for any smoker is a good accurate thermometer, and do a boiling water test to make sure it is right...even a new one, I've had new ones right out of the package come out off by 20 degrees or so....

As far as my drum smoker, it was very easy to build, the thing with them is you don't have to put a bunch of time or money into them to get off the ground smoking.
My barrel was used for a food grade mineral oil, it had a liner in it, that I had to burn out, so after two big burns and some wire wheel grinding I put a nice slow fire in it and seasoned it well with veg oil....cut the holes for the vents on the bottom and the bolts on top to hold the weber grate and started schmooooooooking......there have been some who will get 12-16 hours on one load of lump x charcoal mix...the big key with the drum smokers is the distance of the fire grate to the cooking grate.....IT MUST BE AT LEAST 24".... what this does is it allows you to maintain a 250-300 degree range for long long times with vey little attending to and basically controlled by the bottom vents, top vents are always open full throttle....this is like cooking over a pit and when the juices from the meat drips down on the coals and wood chunks they burn and creat a flavor that rises up with the smoke it makes for some amazing flavored meat. It does cook a bit faster as you are cooking over the heat but that's where the height comes into play, and the control of the bottom vents, there is never a flare up. I'll end up building a few more of these for multiple smokes if I need it....
Google UGLY DRUM SMOKERS...SEE WHAT YOU GET. PM me if you would like more info on the specifics of my build...


Chip

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by lvrgsp » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:01 pm

Dam Jason....you just moved up in my book brother, those are some nice smokers and could not agree more stick and coal smokers just flavor that meat to my liken alot better...do you do any comps..or just a hobby for ya?
Chip
ohiogsp wrote:Elecrtic smokers just don't do what a stick or coal smoker will do to the meat. I like a little bigger smoker myself here is some pics of mine. :D One is an offset and the other is not.


Image

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Image

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Image

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by MillerClemsonHD » Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:03 pm

I have one of these with a side firebox on it that I use to cook BBQ. Total was around $200 and I can cook 9 6-7lb butts on it. I cook mine at 200-210 for 22hrs and have no problem keeping the temperature that low. Pain is adding charcoal every hour or so, but makes some dang good BBQ.


http://www.chargriller.com/store/produc ... 38b553f459

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by lvrgsp » Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:36 pm

Miller, I also had a chargriller with the side firebox, it was my first attempt at smoking seriously, I wore the "bleep" thing out, had it for about 10 years, and they are a nice unit for the money no doubt. With some minor mods to the chargriller you can hold temps alot longer. There was just to much air leaking around the lid and firebox from the get go to hold consistant temps.....one suggestion for you is if your using the side firebox. I would reccomend using charcoal with wood chunks and using the minion method you'll attain some longer burn times....adding more coal every hour seems like alot of tending to me....I used mine as a grill a ton as well for big family get togethers, you can grill a ton of meat on it at one time. I did save the cast iron grates from it though...man those things have alot of seasoning on em...... :wink:
One quick mod for the chargriller is to use foil around the lid to seal it off more, it will make it a more efficient unit, you can also put a baffle in the main unit to help distribute the heat better, also a flexible metal dryer vent from Lowes or any home improvement store attached to the smokestack inside of the grill reaching down to the grill grate level will help draw the smoke across the food better...basically your just extending the stack inside a little, it will also help hold temps better....I really liked that smoker/grill.................
Just a few suggestions
Chip

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by lvrgsp » Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:59 pm

Here is some pics of my drum I built......I'm gonna guess it took my brother and I about an hour...and 10 beers apiece to build it...thats having all the hardware and post burn.......Sorry I do not have any burn pics of the drum....but a 30 pack of Busch Light a fire hotter than the hubs of heck and a camera phone really is not a good combo for me and the brother...DOH.... :D

Ok this is the fire grate it is a weber 22.5" kettle charcoal grate with a basket made out of expanded metal, the grate sits on top of 3...6 inch black pipe nipples, that way the airflow comes directly underneath the grate for the coals...my theory anyway..

Image


This is the cooking grate I used 3 bolts fastened through the drum to hold the cooking grate, it is a weber 22.5" kettle hinged cooking grate it is exactly 24" above the fire grate, the hinged is for those long cooks I can flip it up and shake the charcoal box to eliminate the ash build up..
Image

This is the drum lid that came with it, if you use it while cooking drill 8...1/2" holes in the top for exhaust. I just use my 22.5" weber kettle lid, it works just fine.
Image

This is the outside of one of the nipples, I grabbed a cap to screw on when I don't need the extra airflow..all together ther are three of these with one of them I attatched a brass ball valve to adjust the airflow a little better yet.

Image

This is the inside of the drum with the food grade liner I had to burn out..

Image

Enjoy,

Chip

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by ohiogsp » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:23 pm

[quote="lvrgsp"]Dam Jason....you just moved up in my book brother, those are some nice smokers and could not agree more stick and coal smokers just flavor that meat to my liken alot better...do you do any comps..or just a hobby for ya?
Chip

I am looking at doing some comps just have to get my permits in line. I have been doing wedding and other parties I just do the meat only. I cook it all wrap it in foil and put into coolers then pull it and chop at the site. It works great. I mostly use the offset for everything now but if I had a huge party I could put 12 briskets on the other one so I keep it around. I use sticks (logs) in the offset and buy truck loads of apple and red oak. I really love smoking and do alot of butts these days.
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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by Greg Jennings » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:13 am

Rob wrote:Finally, a topic where I have some experience :D .

I am not a pellet or electric guy but I have buddies that are. Greg is right, cookshacks are great smokers.

I personally started on a Weber Smokey Mountain, then went to a Backwoods Fatboy, and am now working on a custom built vertical smoker of my own. I don't have much to add, other than some words of caution - once the smoke gets in your blood, it is very addictive! Would be happy to talk about anything 'Q related with ya.

Here is a site that has a lot of creative guys and info on DIY smokers, if anyone is interested:
http://www.phpbbserver.com/phpbb/index. ... =smokinjim

Rob
I cook something in the smoker for family consumption about 2 days a week. About 4 more days, I grill. There is no way I could manage that if I used wood or charcoal.

I grew up BBQing. Granddad was the high potentate of BBQ at the local Masonic lodge. Spent many a night sleeping in a lawn chair cooking down hickory and shoveling coals into the pits.

Nowadays, my lifestyle won't take that. So, while I like the tradition of wood coals, I like eating it better, so I use the electric smoker with wood for flavor (it doesn't absorb any smoke after 140 degrees, anyway) and use gas on the grill.

Greg J.

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by Greg Jennings » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:18 am

BTW, I added a recipe for Brunswick Stew in the Wild Game Recipes forum. It's great with left over BBQ.

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by Greg Jennings » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:25 am

lvrgsp wrote:Mr. Jennings thanks for schooling me Sir.....Had not seen that model before.....and that is definately a good choice to go with for the price Cookshack smokers are good quality.....
No problem Chip. I'm trying to give my bud's back to him and get my own, so I had it in my forebrain.

Try that injected butt recipe. It's a bit heretical to use foil, much less inject, but it sure is good.

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Re: New electric Smoker

Post by Rob » Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:40 pm

I only smoke about 4 or 5 times a month, give or take (more during football season). The gasser gets probably 3 times the work. I must say the BBQ guru makes a big difference in the convenience. There is still the 45 minute start-up time, but it will run steady for at least 6 hours. I am fortunate that I my office is only 7 miles away, so I often come home and fire the meat for supper up in the middle of the day. But I definitely smoke more on the weekends. My buddies and I even entered a couple of local events last year. You may be able to ascertain from our team name (Gettin' Sauced) that we didn't win, but we did have the most fun.

I have had great 'Q all over the country, off of a whole lot of different types of set ups. You can turn out great stuff from an electric, and they sure are convenient from what I've seen. As long as you are smokin' you're on the right path, IMO. And is there any better advice for just about everything in life than "low and slow" 8) ?

Rob

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