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Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by old sarge, Feb 2, 2013.
Who owns a SmokinTex smoker and what are your thoughts on performance and value?
I received a gift certificate for christmas and figured I would order a nice small smokintex mainly because of space reasons. I also smoke a lot while I am working from home, and I like to set it up before work, and not have to constantly monitor temps like I do with gas.
So far, the two biggest things that I am really having a problem with are: too much moisture and a weird taste in everything I smoke.
I make a lot of smoked kolbassi (kielbasa) and I find that I can not get it to dry out fast enough (or at all unless the door is open). This is quite frustrating. Sausage won't take any smoke if the casing is wet.
Second, for some reason (maybe the moisture), everything I smoke, regardless of wood type used all has a weird smoke flavor to it. At first I thought it was the seasoning blocks that were provided. I scrubbed the smoker clean and started over. Very next thing I smoked, same odd flavor.
So far, I am going to give my overall rating a thumbs down. I am going to try the jerky dryer attachment next and see if that helps any.
I am currently smoking a 10 pound batch of kolbassi and pulled it out of the smokin tex and put it in my gas smoker because of all the moisture, and once again smelling that weird smoke smell. One of my thoughts is the same smoke circulates inside the smoker too much.
I am on my second smomin tex smoker. I used the first for 7 years, then a friend offered to buy it from me and I seized the opportunity to go bigger!
I've not smoked much (any) sausage. But I can speak to the smoke and flavor.
How much wood are you using? I wouldn't use more than a couple of ounces. And don't ever clean the smoker. I use foil on the bottom, and on my smoke boxes. I change out the foil every 3 smokes or so. That is the only "cleaning" I do. I get smoke flavor even with no wood.
I would also recommend you joining the smokin tex forum! I'm positive that several ppl smoke sausage and can offer stellar advice. C'mon over, we are family
I second oldbbqdude's recommendation to head on over to the smokin tex forum and join. There is certainly nothing wrong with belonging to more than one forum, and joining a brand specific forum can pay off in dividends. And you can always double post if you like. I am sure you will find some folks over there who use their smokin tex for sausage.
Also, I have yet to clean my smoker. I have brushed off some rough areas/graininess, but that is all. I think I am way past the patina stage.
I mostly use 2 ounces of wood, sometimes only 1, and on a very rare occasion, 3 ounces. I actually weigh the chunks and use a hatchet to split into 1 and 2 ounce pieces. I am also a fan of hickory, and the wood is pretty dry. The smoke is sort of wispy white, no heavier than that from a cigarette (bad comparison, I know).
The smoke does certainly circulate within the chamber. Because these type smokers are fairly tight, you don't get the drafting that would expel the air rapidly. Which is one very good reason to go light on the wood.
Also, because they are so tight, they retain moisture contained in the meat and the finished product is generally moist.
Thanks oldbbqdude and old sarge for the opinions. I am primarily a sausage and multi step smoked meat and sausage maker. My original smoking experience is in a huge industrial smoker in the family slaughterhouse (using a wood fire). I went from that to a big built outdoor (POW hut) fired with a wood fire at the end of a trench, then large gas smokers, now this little electric one. All that being said, all of these require big differences in operation. Especially this almost unvented electric smoke box.
I had to clean the smoker out because it was coated with creosote and simply running the smoker with no wood was making the smoker smoke, and of course with bitter results. You don't want that.
Sausage is a whole different animal than how you'd smoke a chicken, turkey, pork butt etc. So with all that said, I'm going to modify this smoker to flow smoke better and expel more of the moisture (with the jerky dryer).
P.S. Sarge, in the beginning I was using too much wood, and with further testing I was able to mellow it, but still I am not happy with the results, and I like my gas smoker much better. Again though, I am going to keep trying the smokintex and see if I can make it work for my needs. I won't be risking 15 pound batches of kolbassi in it until I get it dialed in though!
I received my jerky dryer attachment. I did not do any of the mods yet. I made a batch of jerky, 1/8" sliced and smoked for about 2 hours, then dried for 6 more in the smoker. I ran the dryer the entire time. Turned out great. 130-135 degrees the whole time.
I am going to try a batch of sausage with the dryer running before I mod the smoker.
I got my ST as a gift two years ago and I am very happy with the way the smoked food turns out. My issue is with the thermostat that comes with the unit. In the beginning it worked fine but just recently it will not get any higher that 235 deg. and will actually drop down to 190/195 deg. This is the swing in temp that I get when it is set to 250 and using the Maverick ET-732. My food still comes out great it just takes a lot longer to smoke it. I have checked on the internet with other forums and some others have the same issue. They call support and they tell them to recalibrate it and that is pretty much a all day deal. Some even go to the extent of replacing the stock thermostat with a digital one. And then there are some that call support and get a new stock one. I think I have to call support and see what they tell me.
After having mine a year and a half or so now, I am reasonably happy with it. I've come to the conclusion it just isn't designed for the thing I smoke the most, sausage. But with the jerky drier and another hole in the bottom, its working out well enough. The key for sausage is definitely the jerky drier.
I've smoked probably 100 pounds of various sausage in it since I posted last in April.
I still don't feel like I can get enough smoke on kielbasa and smokies (hot dogs) but eh, what am I going to do? I am absolutely limited by space, so this is pretty much my only choice. When I don't have a space issue any longer, I am definitely going back to having both a gas and I'll keep the ST for jerky, chicken breast, cold smoking (fish and cheese) and when I just need a set and forget it smoking day. It really does a good job with those.
I too am having that 230 degree limit problem lately. I really do use mine a lot. Maybe something in that thermostat wears out. It is really a pain for turkey, as I can't get it to cook it through. The temp started actually decreasing because the outside started forming a barrier. Have to finish it in the oven.
I'm actually making jerky in mine right now.
Got ST1400 for Christmas. I thought it was pretty decent deal free shipping, extra rack and drip pan. I used it for first time Super Bowl Sunday and 8-10 times since. I like it very well, it does a great job and uses very little wood. I have seen post about to much smoke and/or not enough draft, I have found 2-3 oz. wood is all it takes any more then that and you get the acid rain inside the box, weigh your wood every time.
I have done 20 lbs. of cheese, Pork loins, Chix wings a couple of times, 10 lbs of awesome cheese burgers, a couple of steaks, and just last weekend experimented with whole body fresh trout. The fish was fresh caught had no time or anything to brine with so, salt and pepper over mesquite because it was the only wood I had with me. I was afraid it was going to be very strong smoke but everyone loved it. Ordering AMNPS tonight to make doing cheese easier. When I did my cheese even with ice inside and -10 deg outside I really had to watch the heat and with it being -10 outside, it sucked running in and out to vent the heat. ST does have a cold smoke plate but I think the AMNPS well be the easier way to go.
I have a brisket in my SmokinTex right now, driving my neighbors crazy
Great success, Ida Tater!
Sounds great. I have 12 lb brisket and 19 lb butt in the freezer to do in near future, cabin season has started for us officially. Can't get any jalapenos for the last 2 weeks was planning ABTs this weekend but I guess not going to happen.
I have a smokin-it model 2 (same dimensions, all stainless, great construction, affordable replacement parts) and it's significantly cheaper. I absolutely love it.
The Smokin-it 2 is a very popular smoker, and is easy on the budget. Has some great features.