Do these really work?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by needsmetidaho, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. I have never used an electric smoker. Seems like sacrilege to me. However, I am curious about them. The problem with wood smokers is regulating the temp. it can be quite the challenge and babysitting them can be worse. Especially if the weather is bad outside.

    On these electric smokers, Im thiking that they work like that guy on that Ronco commercial. Set it and forget it

    Is that right? Do they still give that same smoke flavor and a regular wood smoker?

  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    There are a whole lot of MES owners on here who turn out some great BBQ . The flavor will be a little different than a stickburner, but the ease of use more than makes up for the small difference in taste. If you couple them with a AMNPS pellet burner you will get a better flavor, than if you use the factory chip tray & wood chips.
  3. I have an MES and use it regularly and I agree with Al, the flavor is slightly different, I think the MES makes a great smoker\cooker, for doing butts and briskets, chickens, many more things you can think of, and yes pretty much set it and forget it IF you use something like a maverick remote thermo that monitors smoker temp and meat temp.

    I think they work as smokers for sausages and such but, they need a lil more attention and tweaking.

    just my opinion,

    oh and I think they work best with saw dust rather than chunks, but I have never tried pellets
  4. It is kind of like comparing a charcoal grill with a gas grill. Some would claim that burgers and steaks grilled on a charcoal grill are way better than if grilled on a gas grill and would refuse to use a gas grill. Others might think the difference is minor and think that the convenience of a gas grill greatly outweighs any effect on taste. Considering that there are a lot of gas grills sold , convenience seem to be a big deciding factor to many grillers. Probably not so much with smokers, but the same general idea.

    Having said this, my first smoker used charcoal and I found it a pain to use and clean so didn't use it much. After that I got a gas smoker and still found I had to baby-sit it to maintain a constant temperature, especially on windy days.  After getting the MES, I smoke much more often and so enjoy having smoked foods much more often.

    Just my thoughts...
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  5. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    I have a stick burner, and love it.  However, the ease of use for the electric allows for more control, and a minimum of temperature spikes. 

    I also own a MES 40 and AMNPS (which you can get right here) and I'm looking forward to being able to do things that I could not do normally, (i.e. Smoked Salmon, Turkeys, etc.) due to those spikes.

    Your additional benefit is being able to control long smokes or several briskets at once, without having to constantly monitor the temps.

    Overall, no one product will be able to  fit all situations.  Pick the thing you do best, and the get the tools that you need.

    Either way, you will benefit from experience and patience.

    Good luck!
  6. I think one ay I will invest in an electric and try it for myself. Recommendations on a good model to buy? I dont need anything to big.
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    MES 40 with window at Sam's $299.
  8. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just remember when the power goes out, your meal is toast.
  9. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just kick on the generator or throw into the gas oven or the gas grill. It is all good  
  10. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  11. No Sams Clubs up here in Idaho. We had a Sams Club for a while, but it closed up. it couldnt complete with Costco.

    Costco probably has it .
  12. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    I have both as well, and use them both.  Just depends on what kind of mood I am in, and what I am smoking.  I love to do snack sticks and game day buffalo wings on my MES, and the big smokes, like brisket, pork butt, or turkey on my stick burner.

  13. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't quite know why using an electric smoker seem like sacrilege??

    In an electric smoker, electricity is used to generate heat, and sawdust, pellets, chips or chunks are used to produce smoke

    Good BBQ is more dependent on the operator, than the equipment.

    I currently own (3) MES 40's and Pellet Pro Pellet Smoker.

    A WSM may be my next on my list, and a stick burner does not interest me whatsoever.

    Different strokes for different folks!

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  14. Stick Burner!!!!!

    Thats funny. I have never heard it called that before.
  15. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No offense to those who can BBQ on a Stick Burner

    It truly is an ART, but I just don't have the time or the patience to learn

  16. Or..... you can get a nanoq or other blower kit and comtrol your temps quite nicely.  It eliminates the too hot and too cold issues you experience.

    My POS chargriller duo all modded up is running at a perfect 230 right now, with about a foot of snow on the ground and on the north side of the house.

    And with a basket full of charcoal and using the minion method, I dont have to go back out there until she's done.
  17. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     Well, of course. IF you have a generator or gas oven or grill. Could use Charcoal too. I would suspect someone having a gas oven though, would go propane to start with though.
  18. tdwester

    tdwester Fire Starter

    I also live in Boise. The only place I have seen the MES 40 is at Cabelas. I picked up a MES 30 without window for 173 at Lowes. They do work very well and can make some great flavor even when it is in the 20's.
  19.  The MES 40 is a nice piece of equipment. Add the AMNPS and it's even better. You can 

    do great chow on lots of machines, but this is a good combination. The 30 is good also, 

    but you will end up wishing you had more room more than likely.  

    Just my $0.02. 

  20. I've used a Weber SM for about 8 years and love the way it smokes salmon, ribs and turkey. Acquired the 30" version of the MES just before Thanksgiving to provide a less fuss option with built in insulation and found it did a great job on a 16 pound, brined turkey. Cooked a few more things on the MES since then and concluded it really comes down to the wood you use and the way you use it (the MES and the wood). The old addage of "low and Slow" seems to work just fine with the MES. From my perspective the WSM and MES are complimentary and more importantly fun!

    Happy Holidays everyone.

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