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Old 09-03-2007, 09:00 PM   #1
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ISO Electric Smoker Recommendations

OK, I want to play too. I've been toying with the idea of adding a piece of equipment I can smoke with. I considered a Weber kettle charcoal grill or a Weber Smokey Mountain. Now I'm thinking of an electric smoker to compliment my gas grill.

I like the idea of electric as it should maintain a constant temperature without a lot of attention. I have little patience for diddling with charcoal, dampers, etc.

With the electric smoker, I can add wood chips as needed to get the smoke flavor and sustain a steady 225F (or whatever) until I run out of electricity.

So here's the question:

Does anyone know anything about electric smokers and can you recommend one?

Here's a selection of Electric Smokers


Thanks,

Andy
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:51 PM   #2
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Andy,

I've never owned an electric model in my life. The only thing I can offer is to buy one with a thermostat. Some models I've heard about were just "plug and go"
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:57 PM   #3
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Bob, I'm too much of a control freak to ever have one without a thermometer and a thermostat. Thanks.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:58 PM   #4
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I know it's not what you're asking, but go for the charcoal.

While I'm sure there are some decent electric smokers out there the charcoal ones are just so much more versitile. I used an ECB with the electric retrofit for about 4 years before switching to charcoal and wish I did so much earlier. I use the charcoal one about 10 to 20x more than I did the electric and haven't even thought about breaking out the ECB since I switched. In fact, I gave it away!

It looks to me that the WSM is probably the best value in charcoal smokers.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:59 PM   #5
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I had an electric smoker and loved, loved, loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Call me a cheater, I don't care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You just toss in some soaked wood CHUNKS, not chips. The chips do not give off enough flavor and burn up too quickly. Mine was a Brinkman - let me go look for the one I had. I asked Santa for a charcoal/wood smoker and Santa threw away my electric smoker
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
Andy,

I've never owned an electric model in my life. The only thing I can offer is to buy one with a thermostat. Some models I've heard about were just "plug and go"
A note here - the plug and go are designed to stay at around 250 degrees. Mine had a high, medium, low setting I do believe.

I'm still looking for the model I had. I bought it at Lowe's Hardware I think and it was around $80-some dollars. It was a good investment to see how far I would go with this whole smoking thing. I would still love it if I had it.

It was similar to this but it didn't have the door. You had to remove the lid and racks to add more water or wood. It wasn't a big deal either way.
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Old 09-04-2007, 08:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf View Post
It was similar to this
That's the ubiquitus ECB - usually charcoal powered. I had one very very similar to the your link but about 25 years old so a slightly different version.

No temp control was the biggest rub as well as thin steel walls. I built an insulating "hut" for the thing once out of home insulation boards so I'd be able to smoke a turkey for thanksgiving several years ago - luckily the deck didn't catch on fire.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:37 PM   #8
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How much are you looking to spend? For the money, the meco is probably the best unit on that page you listed. Itís got a High, medium, and Low setting as well as sliding doors for access to the water and wood areas. Itís got two racks, and nickel plated cooking grids with a porcelain coated water pan.

Iíve seen several complaints regarding the Brinkmanís heating elements burning out pre-maturely.

If you want a real over-the-top unit at a better price than those listed on that page, try a MasterBuilt Electric Smokehouse. Tons of room, and itís digitally controlled (what a trip). A good price too, but kind of over-kill unless youíre smoking large quantities at once. Iíve never tried their electric models, but I have a charcoal water smoker by MasterBuilt and love it. Very good quality.
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