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Planning to go electric - hog coming in the fall

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have been using charcoal water smokers for years - mainly for turkeys and chicken - and want to go electric so I can get more creative.   I am looking at the MES line and may add the A-maze-n pellet system once I get going.


I am using this forum to learn from those who know best so I can avoid making rookie mistakes.


I am also raising a hog at a friends farm that should be ready for slaughter in the fall.   I am going to have a LOT of pork to smoke and am looking forward to it.




Escondido, CA

post #2 of 10
Hi Tom! welcome1.gif to SMF!!! We're happy you found us! You've come to the right place, we have over 50,000 members who just love to share their experience and over 900,000 posts describing it!

The search bar at the top can be your best friend when you are trying to find answers to your questions but you can still ask too if you want!

Would you do us a favor and add your location to your profile, it helps others to know where you are when they offer advice, Thanks!

You might want to check out Jeff's Free 5 day E-Course, it will teach you all the basics plus a whole lot more!
post #3 of 10

Welcome to the forums, Tom!  Glad you've joined us.  You've found a great place to learn and share ideas on our favorite pastimes...grilling, smoking, and curing great food!  There are lots of friendly and knowledgeable folks here who really enjoy helping one another.  Just ask any time you need help and you'll get plenty!


post #4 of 10

Welcome to the SMF Family...Whole Hog is great, every part can be made into something. I even use the Bones to make PHO, Wonton Soup or Pork Stock. The Head makes great Head Cheese...sounds terrible but is so tasty made right. And though you may not have heard of it or had it, Scrapple, boiling down anything you are not crazy about eating then grinding and cooking again with Cornmeal, makes a great Breakfast treat. There are many Recipes around here and if there is something you can't find with a search, Post it and we will answer any question...JJ

post #5 of 10

I don't know how much or for how many you cook. I will give you my opinion since I have recently purchased an MES. I like it. I got it specifically to replace and old electric I bought for city boy usage. Seems apts in cities and even homes in gated communities have laws now in some areas as to making smoke. I know, city folks, go figure, its like a sweet perfume on the wind.


I have old pipe pits, I love them too, but they are not set up as smokers. But I can BBQ plenty.


Back to smokers, I like my MES, Its almost foolproof. They don't even make a dummies book for MES operation.


Some I have read had problems with temperature calibration, mine was perfect.


I really have not seen a down side yet. I just received my A-MAZ-N smoke generator, make sure you have a blow torch to light it. I just ordered a little butane hand held. But using the smoker's chip tray and loader gave me as much smoke as my old electric did and it has great temp. control so far. Where ever I have set it, it just sits and maintains, never surpassing a 10 degree change, normal running about 5. Its a smoker, and as a very smart person on the boards says, its all about patience.


I have smoked, chuck roast, chicken, spare ribs, brisket, Totally awesome beans and turkey so far. I have not done a butt yet, but we live too close to Texas. Big on beef and tomato BBQ sauce. Besides the market has not had a butt sale since I got it. LOL


I am not saying its better than the rest, only saying its worth what I spent and currently I am very happy with it and the results.


I will make a suggestion, not knowing your smoking expertise, include in your set up the price for a Maverick remote thermometer. Its a sound investment especially until you get comfortable with what ever smoker you chose.


If you entertain or have parties, I would suggest the 40. If its just a regular family you may enjoy a 30.


So that's a Smoke generator, butane torch, and a remote thermometer. AND...... start looking for a 2 to 3 foot sturdy box to set it upon.


I would give mine 5 stars. I wish now it was a 40, but that is not the smokers problem.


Great folks here, just read and use the search engine, its a pleasure then to eat what you mess up.




Forgot ya better add one more item, a camera..... LOL

post #6 of 10

  Electric is a whole other can of worms. However. once you have it down. it will all be second nature.



post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies.   One of the things that I want to try is home cured bacon.   I see some of the recipes on the site and it looks pretty straight forward.  I just have to convince the wife to allow me to put a big bucket in the garage fridge for a couple of weeks!   Looks like I am going to need a slicer too - gonna keep my eye on craigslist!

post #8 of 10

Check with your local Seafood Market. Fish come in Plastic Tubs with snap on lids similar to Tupperware. They usually throw them out. They hold bellies nicely, are stackable and take up no more space than a pan of Lasagna...JJ

post #9 of 10

welcome1.gifto SMF!  We are so glad you joined us! 


If you didn't read the "Terms of Service" notes.....please do.  There are a few things that everyone should know about those pesky little rules before plunging into the forums. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/terms-of-service


If you need any help roaming around the forums....just holler!  Happy to help out!



post #10 of 10

Hello and welcome to SMF! I have an MES 40 and really enjoy the ease of use. Just gotta make sure you have a good thermometer so you can check the "set temp" to the "chamber temp". Mine is the Old Gen and the temps are off anywhere from 5-25 degrees. Paired with an AMAZEN smoker, you are in business! I've done butts, briskets, bacon (cold smoked), sausage, jerky etc. I make bacon quite frequently and the method of curing, IMHO, is a matter of preference. I don't have a lot of fridge space, so I choose to dry cure, which eliminates the need for a bucket! I also only cold smoke my bacon, so I'm not "cooking" it twice. 


Again, glad to have you with us!

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