Electric Smokers - 101 the Basics Please

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Assistant Cook
Dec 29, 2003
Just bought a new Charbroil Electric smoker---need some instructions
If I put the smoker on the back patio, do I have to wait until outdoor temps are above 50F to use my smoker?
Thought that with electric heating element, I'd be safe to use year round as long as I monitor meat temps closely
Hi bward and welcome to Discuss Cooking.

I have an electric smoker too. I use mine when it's cold outside and the best I remember is it might take a little longer for the meat to come to temperature. One day when it's pretty cold here I'll get a chicken and see what happens. But I'd say it should be OK, just will take longer to come to temperature.
I smoke year round and the only adjustment I make is the cooking time. Now...I am a CHARCOAL/WOOD CHUNK smoker and would assume that the same would be true for electric smokers as well. Perhaps even less of an adjustment would be required as your base heat is so much more constant.
Charbroil Electric Smoker

For the money, this is a great little smoker. Here are some tips that have worked for me.

Use a short heavy duty power cord. When I was unable to to maintain the ideal temperature of between 210 to 230 degress when it was cold or windy, I purchased a foil insulated water heater blanket and cut it to size, using foil tape to seal the edges and a bungee cord to hold it in place. I also made a "hat" for the cover out of the same material. Cost; about ten bucks. ( I now leave the insulation on all the time)
I can now maintain ideal temps without having to set the unit on the high setting. I found a flat stainless steel mesh basket and use it over the heating elements for the wood chips. Works like a charm. Be sure and fill the water pan with hot water and let the meat come to almost room temperature before loading the smoker. And last but not least, be certain to get at least one remote probe type thermometer. I don't find the thermometer in the lid to be very accurate, so I use one remote in the meat and another one to monitor actual air temperature in the smoker. Hope this helps.
What kind of "remote probe type thermometer" do you recommend? My smoker doesn't have a therometer on it at all. Also can I keep my wood soaking in a bucket so it's ready to use or does that do something to the flavor? Thanks so much for the tips.
Remote Thermometer

I have Polders, but noticed that my local Target store had several for sale that were less money. As far as soaking chips goes, I usually soak them for about an hour, it keeps them from flaring up. What type of smoker did you buy, electric or a charcoal wood burner?

Latest posts

Top Bottom