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Electric Smoker Purchase Advice

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

I am looking to get an electric smoker for under $1000 US. Anyone have any advice on what to get. I want to get as close to "set it and forget it." as I can. I read for 2 weeks on this forum and my head is spinning. So, whatta you got and are you happy with it? Thanks for looking.


Don't need no teef to eat my beef.

post #2 of 51

I would suggest an MES 40 with an Amazen smoker to go with it save the rest of the money for other goodies

post #3 of 51
Sorry, but I would not recommend a MES 40 to anybody UNLESS it was the old generation. I would seriously consider a pellet smoker....Char Griller has one out for $400 at Lowes and some other outlets with pretty good reviews. I run a Smokin' It Smoker, the #3, which is the larger one. It's real OK for smoking but in hindsight I like the pellet setups as you can go with high heat, some up to 500 degrees for grilling as well or use it as an oven. I know Rec Tec has a very good reputation and is under 1,000. They also offer financing. I can appreciate your comment about 'head spinning' but you are doing your due diligence before shelling out a wad of cash. I like the idea of 'buy once, cry once'...get the best you can and don't go cheap. Use the search bar...type in Rec Tec and/or Char Griller pellet smokers and look for reviews. HTH, Willie
post #4 of 51
Lots better ways to go than MES. Lots if issues with the new ones. I like chef willies idea. A nice pellet eater is a great set and forget and that char griller is a real nice value. You can get others for under a grand too and they the pellet cookers arent limited on temps.
post #5 of 51

go amazon.com check out the smoking tex or the smoking- it..smokers   get as large as you can afford these are really good spinoffs of the smoke shack smokers which are $ pricey this IS    absolutely set it and forget it .. also they use very little wood .. couple chunks each smoke ! i have the smoking-it #1 just for this occasion small stuff and doing other things ... if i want to go big i'll use the 22 inch Kamado which  i feel is the best all around smoker griller  oven even cook a pizza in one .  the kamados are the biggest market for grilling right now < depending on what you want charcoal /electric or pellets 

post #6 of 51
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys...keep it coming. SMOKIN-IT Model #3 is on my list. Oh, I should mention, I have an unlimited supply of wood - many friends in the tree biz.

post #7 of 51
Thread Starter 

Rec-Tec is looking good. It looks like it is pellet only though. Would love a wood chunk option.

post #8 of 51
Thread Starter 

Dang, I'm in the wrong business. You see these prices on some of these smokers? Holy Moley!

post #9 of 51

Smokin-It #3 user here, it's a quality build and I felt like it was the best quality for the price range. It is a set and forget type product. As pointed out by some others if you are looking for more flexibility there are some great pellet smokers that qualify as set and forget as well. Since you are purchasing the pellets they are more $ to use than the Smokin-It type smoker. So a lot of the decision has to come from you and what exactly you want out of the unit.

post #10 of 51

pellet smokers use a lb an hour to produce heat and smoke ?

post #11 of 51
What will you be smoking? BBQ, fish, sausages, cured meats?

Masterbuilt and Bradley stuff is not so great anymore...been there, done that.
Smokin-it smokers are good...I have a #1 and a #4.

post #12 of 51
Thread Starter 

Fish, pork, and ribs. I am leaning towards SMOKIN-IT Model #3. How do you like the SMOKIN-IT?

post #13 of 51
Thread Starter 

SMOKIN-IT Model #3 seems awfully small? nozzleman, is it? Never mind....looks like it will suit my needs.  ;-)

Edited by Big Fish - 5/30/14 at 7:36pm
post #14 of 51
Thread Starter 

Okay, getting ready to pull the trigger on the SMOKIN-IT Model #3. I called and left a message with them. What kind of extras should i get - thermometer, Auber PID, cover....?

post #15 of 51
Not sure why you are considering a PID for a new unit. As far as I know the smokin it is pretty good at temp control with mild fluctuations. The only thing that concerns me about the unit is that it only reaches 250. If you are always going to smoke at 250 or less the smokin it is a solid unit.
post #16 of 51
Thread Starter 

Lol, because I have no clue as to what I'm doing?  ;-)

post #17 of 51
Yeah, bigfish, sometimes theres so much info out there its hard to sort thru it all. The tools that may become real important to you are a good instant read meat probe and a temp and meat monitor like a maverick et733 or similar. Smokin it is great unit but I just like smoking some meats (butts, pork shoulder, brisket) at a higher temp. If you are going to follow the mantra and smoke everything at 225 then you're good to go.
Best of luck.
post #18 of 51
Thread Starter 

I see all these gadgets for cold smoking. What exactly is cold smoking? I apologize for asking a million questions, but I really want to start to go full bore on this smokin' thang and I am getting anxious to get started. My backyard is pretty much it for gatherings year round. I wow them with my cooking and BBQ'ing and I want to master the smoke like youz guyz. Thanks!

post #19 of 51

a maverick   would be a good investment since we all use internal temperature to determine when your meats are done   Jeffs recipes will make you a master of low and slow BBQ .. and my #1 will reach 275 degrees cold smoking is for cheese 

post #20 of 51
In a nutshell, cold smoking is smoking at less than ~85 degrees F.
The reason I asked what you intend to smoke is because if you're smoking stuff that you intend to hang, I highly recommend going with the #4.
As far as the accessories go, a PID is nice but certainly not essential.
They are great in that you can control temps very well, and with a good one you can program steps (different time and temperature profiles throughout the smoke).... that's extremely useful when smoking things like cured sausages.
Some use a PID so that they can bypass the stock controller and smoke at temperatures higher than 250 degrees.
If you're a Facebook member you can get a 5% discount on a Smokin-It smoker by ordering thru Smoin-It's Facebook store. Just "like" Smokin-It on Facebook and click on their social store link.

Here's info on bypassing the stock controller.... http://smokinitforums.com/index.php?topic=1287.0

There's lots of other great content on their forum.


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