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Need Smoker for Personal & Maybe Startup Business

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm looking at starting up a local smoked meats business.  I've done some initial financial analysis ad it appears Smoked Salmon may be the most profitable (I can source it cheap here in Seattle).  But I also like to smoke ribs, pork butt, and briquette for personal consumption.  I'm also considering doing some jerky as that can be profitable and know that means the smoker has to go down to 130.


I want to risk as little cash as possible initially.  I already know smoking basics and have produced competition-quality ribs with my Napolean Gas Grill.  I want to start with an experimental stage to dial-in my techniques and recipes for the Salmon and Jerky and produce a moderate quantity of samples to hand out to friends and family.


My guess is that an Electric Smoker is the way to go although I do have a Natural Gas hookup on my deck.   SO I need something of decent quality that won't fall apart in a year or two, and is easy to operate and maintain that provides a moderate capacity.  I really don't want to spend more than $300 at first.  If things go well, I'll put more money in and get a higher-end, larger model.  I suppose ideally I should stick with the same manufacturer and design so if I upgrade to a larger model, I don't have to re-tune my recipes?


Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.


post #2 of 5

welcome1.gif    Glad to have you with us!



Sounds like an MES is your answer.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Yes, judging from the reviews on this website and my budget, the Masterbuilt seems like a no-brainer.  The black 30" seems like a great value as I don't need the bells and whistles (RF and window) of the stainless steel versions.  If I wanted to expand for a small business I could just get the 40" stainless steel as the RF monitoring might be beneficial for a higher-production small smoking business?


I suppose if I ever got into much higher capacity I'd be looking at a Cookshack or Southern Pride?  I can't believe the smallest Southern Pride Electric Cooker is a few thousand dollars!  Although a definite step up from the Masterbuilt, doesn't seem like a few thousand step up for what you actually get!


post #4 of 5

If you are going to do large quantities of cold smoking (salmon, cheese, ect.) you might consider building yourself a smoke shed. Basic design is a wood shed with racks/hangers in it and external fire box that uses a long tube/pipe to transfer the heat/smoke to the shed. I would suggest cedar for the shed and you can make it whatever size you need, but size your fire box accordinly. The idea is the hot air and smoke will have time to cool down before it gets to your shed, so you will be able to maintain your low steady heat without ever opening the door.

post #5 of 5

I know it's not what you're looking for now...but I've got a cookshack and absolutely love it...when I expand the business I'll get a larger cookshack and move my current one home ;)


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