Greetings from Anchorage, Alaska. I'm brand new to the world of smoking, so I'm running around the internet trying to figure things out - stumbled on this site, and decided to jump in.
I received a Sportsman Elite 30" electric smoker for my birthday a few weeks ago (probably as a hint that the wife is getting bored with just burgers on the grill all summer long).
I'm still reading and looking, so I'm not sure I have any specific questions about actual cooking yet... but I do have a quick first question about smoker placement. While I was looking over the instructions and some included recipes, I noticed the following:
1) only use outdoors
2) do not use within 10 feet of anything flammable
3) and don't use in the rain.
hunh... if I actually follow all of those directions to the T, I guess I cannot use my smoker. Their legal department must simply think that not using it at all is the best policy for not having any accidents. With some of these recipes indicating a 12hr cook time, there sure is no way to predict a whole day when it isn't going to rain. And if it IS going to rain, I would want it under a roof of some kind to protect the electronic doodads... but that defeats the "not within 10 feet of something flammable" precaution.
So... how are these things used "in the real world"? I have a small wooden (8x8) deck off my kitchen door where my gas bbq currently sits. It's not sheltered at all, so when it's drizzling out, the cook gets a little wet. I was thinking about just placing this out on the deck next to the grill, and buying a canvas cover for it when not in use. But, what's the "real" way to use it on those not-so-sunny days? It's about to be "rainy season" here in Alaska... which coincides with Silver Salmon season... so I hope to be getting a lot of use out of it.
Thanks for any tips, and I look forward to lots of advice as I cruise through this site.