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Which electric smoker should I get-choosing between Charbroil, Brinkmann, Bradley, Old Smokey, Academy Sports

Poll Results: Which electric smoker should I choose for a birthday or Christmas Gift?

Poll expired: Dec 20, 2014  
  • 0% (0)
    1. Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoke 'N Grill
  • 0% (0)
    2. Brinkmann Smoke 'N Grill with Additional Electric Converter Kit
  • 0% (0)
    3. CharBroil 14201677 Electric Smoker
  • 0% (0)
    4. Old Smokey Electric Smoker
  • 0% (0)
    5. Academy Sports Electric Smoker
  • 0% (0)
    6. Bradley's new Compact 2 rack Smoker
 
post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I want to get an electric smoker that costs between $100 and $200 and I am trying to choose between these models:

1. Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoke 'N Grill (has no temperature control, keeps one temperature). uses lava rocks

2. Brinkmann Smoke 'N Grill with Additional Electric Converter Kit (Original has thermostat) (same as #1)

(Note: I do have a more detailed thermometer which I have purchased that has the temperature numbers that I can use in place of the WARM/IDEAL/HOT one Brinkmann has)

3. CharBroil 14201677 Electric Smoker (has analog temperature control), has vents

4. Old Smokey Electric Smoker  (formerly known as Redi-Smok)-has analog temperature control, no vent but uses grease absorbent granules

5. Academy Sports Electric Smoker-same as #1 but has detailed temperature gauge and vent unlike Brinkmann-it costs $79.95 and if you go to http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/outdoor-gourmet-electric-water-smoker/pid-779911?color=Green&N=578824977&Ntt=smokers&Ntk=All  , you will see it. 

6. Bradley's new Compact 2 rack Smoker that drops pucks, however, it only uses pucks made by Bradley (or any other company, if available) instead of the wood chips or sticks that the other five can use. Here are the links from Bradley: http://www.north-america.bradleysmoker.com/product/2-rack-compact-smoker/  and Bass Pro Shops: http://www.basspro.com/Bradley-Smoker-2-Rack-Electric-Smoker/product/1404091336283/

 

I know if you BBQ food in an electric smoker you can't really get the bark or the smoke ring that BBQ food gives you in a charcoal smoker, but I'm tired of either having the coals go out, or being singed by the fire which has caused my family, 


Edited by Jaybird1103 - 11/1/14 at 3:41am
post #2 of 9
I would sharply but respectfully disagree with your father and sis. I wouldn't worry about size. I would be more focused on what you are wanting to achieve with the purchase, at least in terms of longevity and things like sausage making and cold smoking. Perhaps focus on the quality of a smoker.

You will want and need bigger than you think IMHO. You can smoke small batches in a large smoker but you can't do larger smoke in a small unit.

Oh, BTW, while a smoke ring will be elusive in an electric don't let anyone tell you you won't gar bark. I get stellar bark I my Smokin-it #2. Absolute bark nirvana.
post #3 of 9

Jaybird, You have done your own homework. Your description of each model is enough to not buy any of them. tbrtt has  has made valid points about the size and future size requirements. The smoke-it #1 is sort of small but will smoke 22lb of food. The #2 is a little bigger than the MES 30. They are quality stainless smokers that are well insulated. Remember especialy in smokers as in most things you get what you pay for.

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jted View Post
 

Jaybird, You have done your own homework. Your description of each model is enough to not buy any of them. tbrtt has  has made valid points about the size and future size requirements. The smoke-it #1 is sort of small but will smoke 22lb of food. The #2 is a little bigger than the MES 30. They are quality stainless smokers that are well insulated. Remember especially in smokers as in most things you get what you pay for.

jted layed some sage comments there. Obviously you know your budget but if you are looking at $200+ you should just go to about the $300 range and be done with it. The Smokin-It smokers are the most affordable of the revered Cookshack clones. These are built like a tank to pass along to another generation. You can add things like a PID and an AMNPS as you grow into it and then your options for smoking become limitless: Sausages, smoked cheese, jerky, etc. The also have relatively small sizes, or it would appear to the untrained eye that they are not that big, but actually hold a nice amount of meet. They are also efficient so having the #2 or #3 and just popping a yard bird in there is not going to waste any more resources that if you did it in a small one. Negligible electrical and wood resources. Lots of folks here have them and there is a Smokin-It group.

 

About that bark thing:

 

 

 

post #5 of 9
Visit the smokin-it Facebook page. There is a 5% discount on SI smokers.
post #6 of 9

Everyone above is absolutely right. If you can afford the stainless electric ones then I'd say go with them. I couldn't and have the MES30 Gen #1 and I couldn't be happier. I can smoke (cold/warm/hot) almost 15 lbs of sausage in a single go. I've yet to do the more staple smokes of shoulder or brisket, but whatever I've done in there comes out amazing. And for the price of $169 with free shipping on Amazon brand new, you just can't beat the product you get for the price.

post #7 of 9

I'm a SI #3 guy and agree it's top notch for me. I get a good smoke ring as well and can do sausages etc at lower temps. I've added a Char Griller pellet smoker to my arsenal at around 450 bucks and to me it's becoming a favorite smoking tool as the best of both Worlds. Avoid a MES at all costs....just my opinion, of course. I'm a 'buy once...cry once' kind of guy.....after a few months you'll never remember or miss the xtra bucks spent for a quality unit

 

 

 

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybird1103 View Post
 

I want to get an electric smoker and I thought about getting a electric Masterbuilt smoker, but my 82 year old Korean War DAV father and my sister thought that even the smallest Masterbuilt smoker was too big for a three person household, so I would like to know which smoker you would recommend for my house:

1. Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoke 'N Grill (has no temperature control, keeps one temperature). uses lava rocks

2. Brinkmann Smoke 'N Grill with Additional Electric Converter Kit (Original has thermostat) (same as #1)

(Note: I do have a more detailed thermometer which I have purchased that has the temperature numbers that I can use in place of the WARM/IDEAL/HOT one Brinkmann has)

3. CharBroil 14201677 Electric Smoker (has analog temperature control), has vents

4. Old Smokey Electric Smoker  (formerly known as Redi-Smok)-has analog temperature control, no vent but uses grease absorbent granules

5. Academy Sports Electric Smoker-same as #1 but has detailed temperature gauge and vent unlike Brinkmann-it costs $79.95 and if you go to http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/outdoor-gourmet-electric-water-smoker/pid-779911?color=Green&N=578824977&Ntt=smokers&Ntk=All  , you will see it. 

6. Bradley's new Compact 2 rack Smoker that drops pucks, however, it only uses pucks made by Bradley (or any other company, if available) instead of the wood chips or sticks that the other five can use. Here are the links from Bradley: http://www.north-america.bradleysmoker.com/product/2-rack-compact-smoker/  and Bass Pro Shops: http://www.basspro.com/Bradley-Smoker-2-Rack-Electric-Smoker/product/1404091336283/

 

I know if you BBQ food in an electric smoker you can't really get the bark or the smoke ring that BBQ food gives you in a charcoal smoker, but I'm tired of either having the coals go out, or being singed by the fire which has caused my family, 


Jaybird, now that my daughter is on her own I typically cook for three of us. I own the Masterbuilt 20070910 30-inch electric digital smoker http://www.amazon.com/Masterbuilt-20070910-30-Inch-Electric-Controller/dp/B00104WRCY/ref=sr_1_1?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1414792440&sr=1-1&keywords=masterbuilt+electric+smoker. which for the size and money is a fullblown smoker with a timer and a temp controller. It uses wood chips or wood pellets. It has four racks but I typically use just one or two at a time unless I'm smoking meat for a special occasion. It's the most popular smoker at its price point in this forum and I think for Masterbuilt. This smoker was never intended to compete with the more expensive smokers described in this thread; it was designed to be a darned good starter smoker at a great price. But, IF this ever wears out I might buy the 40-inch version just for the larger cooking space.

 

When you buy a smoker, you want to choose a manufacturer who offers great customer service, which is Masterbuilt. You can easily reach them by phone and one of their tech guys is a member here: MBTechguy. If you have a question or a problem you can private message him and he'll respond. I've owned my MES for over 2 years and have had great fun with it and great barbecue from it.


Edited by daRicksta - 10/31/14 at 3:24pm
post #9 of 9

I'm pretty much in agreement with the need for good customer service.  But more important than that, much more important, is quality and reliability. Be it a smoker or Shopsmith, the thing needs to work the way it was designed and built, and do so reliably.  No doubt the GEN 1 is a good unit with a reliable track record. But the GEN 2 apparently has difficulties. Maybe MBTechguy could address this disparity between the two.

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