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Shopping for a good quality elec smoker.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I need some honest feedback and suggestions from everyone on this subject. First a little info about myself.

I've been smoking for a few years now using a chargriller and master forge charcoal smokers. I've used all kinds of charcoal and wood but continue to struggle with temperature control. Honestly, I think it's mostly just me as I'm not as patient as one should be with this stuff. Plus, I'm really starting to like the idea of a set it and forget it simplicity of an electric smoker. We (my woman and I) camp a lot in the summer so whatever Santa buys me (I hear I've been a good boy this year) has to be of good quality and hopefully semi easy to pack up in the camper or truck to take along on camping trips. I have looked at, and been impressed by, the Bradley digital and Masterbuilt digital units. I am interested in hearing about others as well. A 4 rack unit should work fine as I'm not always cooking for a big crowd. I would also like to keep the price below $400. I am looking forward to hearing what everyone has to recommend on this subject.
post #2 of 6

I have a MES40 1st generation with a AMNPS and it works fine for me. If you go with a MES look for a 1st generation.

Happy smoken.


post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I believe all I can buy locally is a first gen. What's wrong with the 2nd gen. I like the stainless finish of the second gen better.

Also what is AMNPS?
post #4 of 6
Look at Smokin-it. All stainless in and out; analog only. Easily converted to digital via Auber. More expensive than Masterbuilt but less than Smokintex and Cookshack. All are solid performers.
post #5 of 6
I have the MES 40, Gen1, and I love it. With the AMNPS and a Maverick wireless thermo it's a great setup. That said, I would not recomend it for camping trips and the like. It doesn't have the worlds best reputation for being rugged and troublefree. A lot of problems are reported with wire connections and the digital controllers. Dragging it around and tossing it the back of a truck is just asking for trouble. It's really rare that I would recommend against the MES, but this is that exception.

I think you should lean toward a more basic unit, possibly with analog controls. It would be a bit more rugged and portable. You can still make use of a Maverick wireless thermometer to make smoking food easy and near foolproof.
post #6 of 6

Second the Sarges recommendation of a Smokin IT...the small one is affordable depending on the size you need, of course. The large one ran me about 500. Built like a tank, all SS, great casters and heavy duty grates. I do not recommend a MES, UNLESS Gen1. Seeing them up close at a Home Depot or such, they look cheesy...IMO ONLY, and tend to fail quickly. I'd also recommend checking out some pellet smokers....I'm really liking my Char Griller for around 400 bucks....best of both Worlds to me....Willie

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