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Advice on purchasing an electric smoker?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by wahoowad, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,482
    Loc:
    Virginia
    I have a charcoal egg/bullet style smoker, and I love it and it works great, but getting it ready and managing the temp levels usually requires a good half or all day commitment from me. I'm considering getting one of these electric smokers I see in my Cabelas catalog because I think I will be able to smoke more stuff more frequently due to the convenience factor. I'm also considering smoking smaller things like sausages and fish and stuff. Does anybody have any advice about shopping for them in terms of features, etc?

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  2. esuitt

    esuitt New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Messages:
    214
    Loc:
    Delta, Pa (amish country) right on the Mason Dixon
    I wish I could answer your questions. But I can tell you my father in law just got one for Christmas and cooked a rack of ribs in it Christmas eve day, took about 6 hours and they turned out great. Very good taste and falling off the bones.
  3. Renaissance

    Renaissance Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Northeast US
  4. Mcbride

    Mcbride New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    202
    Loc:
    Mcbride BC Canada
    I have a little chief one, but rarely use it, its just too small for my needs.

    So I made my own out of an old fridge.
  5. bioman

    bioman Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    230
    I have a brinkman electric that i use alot and really like it about $70.00 at wal-mart
  6. pyper

    pyper New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    491
    Loc:
    Deep South
    I have a charcoal smoker. I modified it by covering the air inlet and making three adjustable air inlets from sheet aluminum.

    I put a rack in the bottom to give the ash a place to fall.

    I put an adjustable air inlet on the top.

    Now I can fill it with charcoal, light it, and walk away. It will maintain the proper temperature for 8 hours.

    So if you have a hole saw and a pair of tin snips you can make your charcoal smoker work well. It's just like a stove -- all about air control.

    As far as the electrics go, there don't seem to be a lot of options, but I'd look for temperature control.
  7. ROBERT F

    ROBERT F Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    547
    Loc:
    CENTRAL COLORADO
    You cant touch the treager pellet smokers (cause they cook so well and cost SO much)!!! Amazing what those things can do with little or no input from the chef. set the temp, forget about it, rotate here and there, forget about it, then eat!!
  8. MJ151

    MJ151 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Messages:
    23
    Loc:
    Poulsbo, WA
    The little Chief is great for fish, runs about 160 degrees. I have smoke probably 1000 pound of fish in my little chief over the years. I also have 2 Weber Smokey Mountains that I use for meat only, no fish. I can run for 15 hours on one load of charcoal and after about 1.5 hours the heat is running good for the next 8-10 hours with out adjustment. I can do 4 butts in one Weber on one load of charcoal. I have used the Cabela's model they are fine. The only thing I don't like is having to use the "pucks" I prefer to used larger chunks for smoke. Here is a good sight to check out for all kinds of BBQ information. http://virtualweberbullet.com/index.html

    Good Luck

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