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Recommendation on Electric Smokers

Poll Results: Which beginning electric smoker should I get?

Poll expired: Dec 1, 2013 This is a multiple choice poll
  • 75% of voters (6)
    1. Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker with Remote Control
  • 37% of voters (3)
    2. Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker (no remote)
  • 0% of voters (0)
    3. Masterbuilt Electric Analog Smoker
  • 0% of voters (0)
    4. Master Forge 31.9-in 800-Watt Electric Vertical Smoker (Digital) by Lowe's
  • 0% of voters (0)
    5. Master Forge 27.9-in 1500-Watt Matte Black Electric Vertical Smoker (Analog) by Lowe's
  • 0% of voters (0)
    6. Old Smokey Electric Vertical Smoker
  • 12% of voters (1)
    7. Brinkmann Electric Gourmet Smoker
  • 0% of voters (0)
    8. Brinkmann Smoke 'N Grill Charcoal Smoker and buy the Electric Converter
  • 12% of voters (1)
    9. Char-Broil Big Easy 2-in-1 Electric Smoker
  • 0% of voters (0)
    10. Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker
  • 12% of voters (1)
    11. Any Bradley Smoker (but you can only use the bisquettes and not any other wood chips or chunks)
  • 0% of voters (0)
    12. Buy a regular grill and buy a cold smoking unit.
8 Total Votes  
post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

As a beginning smoker, I am thinking about choosing among these electric smokers:

 

1. Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker with Remote Control

 

3. Masterbuilt Electric Analog Smoker

(I think these can carry the cold smoker unit by Masterbuilt, it says for digital smokers but I'm not sure if it can be used for their analog models)

4. Master Forge 31.9-in 800-Watt Electric Vertical Smoker (Digital)

5. Master Forge 27.9-in 1500-Watt Matte Black Electric Vertical Smoker (Analog)

6. Old Smokey Electric Vertical Smoker

(I wonder if I can cold smoke in these models)

7. Brinkmann Electric Gourmet Smoker (some say good beginner model)

8. Brinkmann Smoke 'N Grill Charcoal Smoker with Electric Converter (Can be used this way for either electric or charcoal smoking in case electricity goes out ([ex. when my town had the Ice Storm on Christmas Day 1998 or when tornadoes spawned from Hurricane Rita came through my town-one missed my house by two blocks-in September 1995 [one month after Hurricane Katrina] and we lost electricity for 4 days-had to keep food in my sister's house which has a generator)

(Both 7 and 8 can be used for grilling as well).

9. Char-Broil Big Easy 2-in-1 Electric Smoker 

10. Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker

 

I'm also wondering about the Bradley Smokers. I like their design, but living 70 miles away from the nearest Bradley dealer (Jackson, MS), its costs (between $400 and $500) plus the exclusive use of their bisquettes ($16-$18 for a 48 pack depending on the wood to $33-$48 for a 120 count pack), this may be out of the question. However, Home Depot has the Bradley Cold Smoke Generator for $136. I'll probably go with either a Masterbuilt, Brinkmann, or just buy a regular grill (and use regular wood chips and/or chunks), or get a Smoke Gun or the Bradley Cold Smoke Generator for the grill.

 

Any comments or suggestions are welcome.


Edited by Jaybird1103 - 9/18/13 at 1:35am
post #2 of 15

I have the 1st generation MES40. it works great for me. I use it for both cold and hot smoking. I bought a AMNPS to make smoke. You can set it and walk away. The only thing I don't like about it is it will only go to 275°.

Happy smoken.

David

post #3 of 15

I also have a MES 40 (1st gen) with window and I recently added an AMNPS. ........ Both work GREAT for me 

post #4 of 15

I think that any of the MES tend to be a good value. Take that "heating element burns out" with a grain of salt. People tend not to post and say "My heating element did not burn out today. Works great." I suspect most units are just fine. When things go bad. people like a place to vent.

 

Another choice would be the Brinkman Smok-N-Grill Electric. Owned mine for years. It's an absolute tank. You should be able to get it for under $100. Two drawbacks (which is why I got the front-loading MES) it's a top loader and it has one temperature: Off and On. It has a 2000 watt element which lasts forever and is easy to replace (for under $30). I still keep it around for long 225^ cooks like whole turkey and pulled pork shoulder. One final thing, While my MES and it's electronics has to be kept in the garage when not in use, my Brinkman just hangs out on the patio in all weather, no plastic cover. It's one tough grill that does one thing well for a very low investment.

 

Phil

post #5 of 15

I think that any of the MES tend to be a good value. Take that "heating element burns out" with a grain of salt. People tend not to post and say "My heating element did not burn out today. Works great." I suspect most units are just fine. When things go bad. people like a place to vent.

 

Another choice would be the Brinkman Smok-N-Grill Electric. Owned mine for years. It's an absolute tank. You should be able to get it for under $100. Two drawbacks (which is why I got the front-loading MES) it's a top loader and it has one temperature: Off and On. It has a 2000 watt element which lasts forever and is easy to replace (for under $30). I still keep it around for long 225^ cooks like whole turkey and pulled pork shoulder. One final thing, While my MES and it's electronics has to be kept in the garage when not in use, my Brinkman just hangs out on the patio in all weather, no plastic cover. It's one tough grill that does one thing well for a very low investment.

 

Phil

post #6 of 15
What is the difference between the mes 40 new and old generation? I'm getting one or the other but don't know the difference!!
post #7 of 15

Get the MES40 Model # 20070311 all Stainless Steel Gen 1. Academy Sports and Amazon are the only two places I can find that carry them for $365 to $375 respectively. The Gen 2 has been nothing but trouble for most of the people that have bought them and only the Door is Stainless with a black box...JJ

post #8 of 15
Does the gen 1 have the chip box on the side I want to do the mailbox method?
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kettleQ View Post

Does the gen 1 have the chip box on the side I want to do the mailbox method?

 

Yes it does. The 40 has plenty of room next to the chip box and coil so the AMNPS fits there perfectly. I am not quite sure what benefit the Mailbox Mod gives the MES 40. With the AMNPS inside there is sufficient air to run it, pellets only raise the inside temp by 25*F and if a lower temp is needed the dust raises the temp by only about 5*F. I would br interested in hearing about the benefit of the Mailbox if anyone wants to explain 'cause maybe I am missing out on something I should take advantage of...JJ

post #10 of 15
Thank you JJ. For 177.00 amazon has a 30" 20070910 what's your feeling about it?
post #11 of 15

What's the difference between the MES 40 and the MES 40 Elite?

post #12 of 15

Unless the size and money is a huge consideration. I would highly recommend a MES40 vice a MES30. I got a MES30 thinking that it had so much more room that my old electric. It does, it did, and now I want a 40. Seriously if you have the room to place it, the money to buy it, I wouldn't even consider the MES30, the MES40 is all you should consider from Masterbuilt

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kettleQ View Post

Thank you JJ. For 177.00 amazon has a 30" 20070910 what's your feeling about it?

 

There are quite a few 0910's out there. They are an older version of the one I suggested, before the Bells and Whistles were added. As far as I know the only major problem with that unit is the connections to the Coil are cheap and frequently burn up after a dozen or so uses. Many of the older models had the rear panel riveted on making access to fix the burned wiring a PITA. However, at some point Masterbuilt started screwing the back panel on,I just can't remember if that was the 0910 that it started with. Others folks may be able to help here...

 

 When I joined SMF and was trying to decide which smoker to get on my small budget, I was given great advice from Bearcarver and a few others..." Whatever size Smoker you think is right for your family...Go ONE size larger! " How true it is. I was looking at the MES30 20070411, the 30" version of the one I suggested, and determined it was plenty big enough for my family of 5. After lots of research and correspondence with Bear I bought the MES40 0311 and soon after family an friends got a taste of my Q, I was being asked to smoke stuff for others Picnics and events. The 40 is now frequently filled with an amount of meat that would never fit the 30. A rack of Ribs or whole Packer Brisket fits in the 40 but have to be cut in half to fit the 30. So the 0910 or the 0411(All stainless 30" with remote) are both good but if you can swing the extra $$$ get the MES40 0311...JJ

 

BTW...Don't forget to save a few dollars to get the AMNPS Pellet Smoke Generator. It is a MUST HAVE, for true set it and forget it with the MES...http://www.amazenproducts.com

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post

There are quite a few 0910's out there. They are an older version of the one I suggested, before the Bells and Whistles were added. As far as I know the only major problem with that unit is the connections to the Coil are cheap and frequently burn up after a dozen or so uses. Many of the older models had the rear panel riveted on making access to fix the burned wiring a PITA. However, at some point Masterbuilt started screwing the back panel on,I just can't remember if that was the 0910 that it started with. Others folks may be able to help here...

 When I joined SMF and was trying to decide which smoker to get on my small budget, I was given great advice from Bearcarver and a few others..." Whatever size Smoker you think is right for your family...Go ONE size larger! " How true it is. I was looking at the MES30 20070411, the 30" version of the one I suggested, and determined it was plenty big enough for my family of 5. After lots of research and correspondence with Bear I bought the MES40 0311 and soon after family an friends got a taste of my Q, I was being asked to smoke stuff for others Picnics and events. The 40 is now frequently filled with an amount of meat that would never fit the 30. A rack of Ribs or whole Packer Brisket fits in the 40 but have to be cut in half to fit the 30. So the 0910 or the 0411(All stainless 30" with remote) are both good but if you can swing the extra $$$ get the MES40 0311...JJ

BTW...Don't forget to save a few dollars to get the AMNPS Pellet Smoke Generator. It is a MUST HAVE, for true set it and forget it with the MES...http://www.amazenproducts.com
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post

There are quite a few 0910's out there. They are an older version of the one I suggested, before the Bells and Whistles were added. As far as I know the only major problem with that unit is the connections to the Coil are cheap and frequently burn up after a dozen or so uses. Many of the older models had the rear panel riveted on making access to fix the burned wiring a PITA. However, at some point Masterbuilt started screwing the back panel on,I just can't remember if that was the 0910 that it started with. Others folks may be able to help here...

 When I joined SMF and was trying to decide which smoker to get on my small budget, I was given great advice from Bearcarver and a few others..." Whatever size Smoker you think is right for your family...Go ONE size larger! " How true it is. I was looking at the MES30 20070411, the 30" version of the one I suggested, and determined it was plenty big enough for my family of 5. After lots of research and correspondence with Bear I bought the MES40 0311 and soon after family an friends got a taste of my Q, I was being asked to smoke stuff for others Picnics and events. The 40 is now frequently filled with an amount of meat that would never fit the 30. A rack of Ribs or whole Packer Brisket fits in the 40 but have to be cut in half to fit the 30. So the 0910 or the 0411(All stainless 30" with remote) are both good but if you can swing the extra $$$ get the MES40 0311...JJ

BTW...Don't forget to save a few dollars to get the AMNPS Pellet Smoke Generator. It is a MUST HAVE, for true set it and forget it with the MES...http://www.amazenproducts.com

Thank you so much for the great advise!! DECISION made I'm going with the MES40 0311!!
post #15 of 15

Best of luck with it...JJ

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