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Pros and cons of electric (also electric vs charcoal what's the difference?) - Page 2

post #21 of 38

If you are slightly handy you could build one of these and have a way better smoker for less money than what you are looking at getting.http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/groups/show/16/u-d-s-ugly-drum-smoker I have had mine for a few years and it is really awesome. fairly ugly but a great smoker.

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post #22 of 38

I bought my MES 30 for the same reason: a cheap smoker to learn on and to see if I liked having a smoker. Turns out that smoking is a fun and flavorful as I hoped it would be. And I'm most likely going to have the MES as my only smoker until it goes bust and it's too old to justify spending the money to fix it.

post #23 of 38

The 'ol 55 smoker!

lookin good there Tomberjet.

post #24 of 38

Royce,

 

The Hark Tri-Fire you mention is nearly identical to the Brinkmann Smoke-N-Pit pro that I used for years (1995-2012). The Hark looks to be a little more robust. That smoker turned out a lot of good food.  My only complaint was that it required periodic tending to add wood/charcoal to maintain the temperature.  Also, I had to rotate meat so that which was closest to the fire box would not finish earlier than the rest.  Typically, when I added wood I would move the meat around at the same time, about every 45 to 60 minutes. Pretty much fool proof.  And as a grill, it could hold a ton of food. A real nice set-up. I still have it.

 

I switched to electric (Cookshack) in 2012 for convenience.  Add wood once at the start of the smoke, lock the door and never have to check it till the food is finished. The ultimate in convenience. And for a long overnight smoke such as a butt which can take 10 or more hours, it is truly convenient.

 

Electrics are well insulated.  The Hark and my Brinkmann are just steel. No insulation.  I don't believe you can go wrong with the Hark except from a convenience stand point. For electrics, besides the Masterbuilt already mentioned, there is also the Smokin-it, the SmokinTex, and the Cookshack line. Shipping would be prohibitive though.

 

The electric smokers shown in the link look very similar to smokers available in the US.   Good luck.

 

Dave

 

http://www.myshopping.com.au/PT--220_BBQ_and_Grill_Hark__fs_44256_e__

post #25 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by old sarge View Post

Royce,

The Hark Tri-Fire you mention is nearly identical to the Brinkmann Smoke-N-Pit pro that I used for years (1995-2012). The Hark looks to be a little more robust. That smoker turned out a lot of good food.  My only complaint was that it required periodic tending to add wood/charcoal to maintain the temperature.  Also, I had to rotate meat so that which was closest to the fire box would not finish earlier than the rest.  Typically, when I added wood I would move the meat around at the same time, about every 45 to 60 minutes. Pretty much fool proof.  And as a grill, it could hold a ton of food. A real nice set-up. I still have it.

I switched to electric (Cookshack) in 2012 for convenience.  Add wood once at the start of the smoke, lock the door and never have to check it till the food is finished. The ultimate in convenience. And for a long overnight smoke such as a butt which can take 10 or more hours, it is truly convenient.

Electrics are well insulated.  The Hark and my Brinkmann are just steel. No insulation.  I don't believe you can go wrong with the Hark except from a convenience stand point. For electrics, besides the Masterbuilt already mentioned, there is also the Smokin-it, the SmokinTex, and the Cookshack line. Shipping would be prohibitive though.

The electric smokers shown in the link look very similar to smokers available in the US.   Good luck.

Dave

http://www.myshopping.com.au/PT--220_BBQ_and_Grill_Hark__fs_44256_e__

Old sarge, in terms of cooking quality what's the flavour difference and quality of the cook between the two? As I feel that charcoal would have to be more flavoursom and an all round better cook then an electric smoker?
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefrog View Post

I have had a MES and a Bradley electric smoker. Gave them both away and got a Vision Kamado style lump charcoal smoker andLOVE IT!


I agree with you on this.  Even though we don't have a Kamado, but a Big Green Egg, we love it because of the simplicity of ownership.  We have a Weber gas grill for quick meals. Purchasing another electrical appliance was just not a good choice for us.

post #27 of 38

Aside from the convenience of an electric, there was a subtle difference in flavor and appearance, apart from the smoke ring, soI have to give a nod to the offset.  Very subtle.  I use a very simple rub of garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, black pepper, and brown sugar. Same rub I have used for 30+ years. So I know it is not the rub. There is a difference in burning wood to generate heat and smoke and an electric element generating heat and causing wood to smolder and smoke. For me, adapting to the difference was the result of my first electric smoke:  baby back ribs. I have no regrets.


Edited by old sarge - 1/5/15 at 10:10pm
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by old sarge View Post
 

Aside from the convenience of an electric, there was a subtle difference in flavor and appearance, apart from the smoke ring, soI have to give a nod to the offset.  Very subtle.  I use a very simple rub of garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper, and brown sugar. Same rub I have used for 30+ years. So I know it is not the rub. There is a difference in burning wood to generate heat and smoke and an electric element generating heat and causing wood to smolder and smoke. For me, adapting to the difference was the result of my first electric smoke:  baby back ribs. I have no regrets.


I'm not putting down offsets at all. As I've written many times, they're out of my budget. So, if I can pay less than $200 for a decent electric smoker and the taste and appearance differences between it and a smoker costing hundreds of dollars more is subtle (no smoke ring from an electric smoker using wood pellets) than that's a compromise I'm willing to make. When I bought my MES, I knew I wouldn't be Myron Mixon smoking away in my background. But what I do produce tastes really, really good, and I've tried various rubs and sauces. It's not only the equipment that determines how good the Q is; it's mostly the person using that equipment who determines the quality. Sarge, you're an example of this. You were used to BBQing on more expensive offsets but after you bought a CS electric smoker you successfully adapted to that.


Edited by daRicksta - 1/3/15 at 1:45am
post #29 of 38

Morning Rick!  My offset was an after season floor display at K-Mart. Marked down from some outrageous high price to $99.00. Brinkmann.  That was in 1995.  Since discontinued.

 

 http://bbq.about.com/od/smokerreviews/gr/aapr110904b.htm

 

Here is their current offering:

 

http://bbq.about.com/od/smokerreviews/gr/Brinkmann-Smoken-Pit-810-3045-s.htm

 

As the article mentions, it's weight was reduced, thinner steel, and now made offshore. 

 

Got a lot of good food off that bargain. 

post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by old sarge View Post
 

Morning Rick!  My offset was an after season floor display at K-Mart. Marked down from some outrageous high price to $99.00. Brinkmann.  That was in 1995.  Since discontinued.

 

 http://bbq.about.com/od/smokerreviews/gr/aapr110904b.htm

 

Here is their current offering:

 

http://bbq.about.com/od/smokerreviews/gr/Brinkmann-Smoken-Pit-810-3045-s.htm

 

As the article mentions, it's weight was reduced, thinner steel, and now made offshore. 

 

Got a lot of good food off that bargain. 


"Gone is the heavy metal construction and in its place is a thin, lightweight offset smoker that is difficult to control...' Exactly why I won't buy these cheapies, which also describes the Char-Griller, Sarge. My MES 30 Gen 1 is what it is and works very well for what it is, an inexpensive cabinet smoker made offshore. I don't care if it has problems coming up to its set point in 30 degree or less weather because I'm never out there smoking in the cold.

 

You did indeed get a bargain. In 1995 I was living in Northern California and could've bought one of these and stuck it out on my deck. Too bad I didn't get into smoking until 2012...

post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by perthSmoker View Post

I don't intend on owning the smoker for ever, just long enough to learn the basics of meat smoking and to justify an upgrade/custom build with the missus, as getting my way is through her stomach ;) but I can see the heat retention would be an issue, I've also seen another brand called Hark and the model is Tri fire, for $699 it's constructed from 2.5mm steel. what would be a good thickness to look for in the construction of the smoke chamber? but this model, so far I can only see one supplier and he is in the eastern states of Australia so it might be pricey to ship the smoker over.


I don't know the best steel thickness for smokers (and for us in the US it would be in inches and not millimeters) but that info can be Googled. I know that many of the Chinese-made smokers are too thin if you're looking for something that will compare to the pro rigs. Have no idea how thick the steel is on Chinese-made Smokin-It smokers but many guys here seem to like them.

 

My wife also let me buy my MES 30 as a trial smoker to see if I liked smoking. Reality is that it's most likely the only smoker I'll ever own unless it breaks down someday and is too expensive to fix. I primarily smoke in warm weather so thick smoker walls isn't a concern for me.

post #32 of 38

Hey Perth Smoker, the CharGriller I brought from Bunnings is a heavy constructed job and if you want I can measure the thickness of the steel.

The little sucker weighed a heap when it was in its original packing.

 

Cheers from D.U.

post #33 of 38

I would not take anything for my electric Rec Tec.  I do not fight smoking temps the Rec Tec holds and maintains it's temp and the battle for good smoked food it all about temps.

 

Richard

post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by daRicksta View Post
 


I don't know the best steel thickness for smokers (and for us in the US it would be in inches and not millimeters) but that info can be Googled. I know that many of the Chinese-made smokers are too thin if you're looking for something that will compare to the pro rigs. Have no idea how thick the steel is on Chinese-made Smokin-It smokers but many guys here seem to like them.

 

My wife also let me buy my MES 30 as a trial smoker to see if I liked smoking. Reality is that it's most likely the only smoker I'll ever own unless it breaks down someday and is too expensive to fix. I primarily smoke in warm weather so thick smoker walls isn't a concern for me.


Steel in the states is measured in gauge. I might think it is elsewhere too..

post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by timberjet View Post
 


Steel in the states is measured in gauge. I might think it is elsewhere too..


Blame SMF. I saw a thread from 2010 where a guy who wanted to build his own reverse flow smoker with a firebox and wanted to know how thick the steel walls should be, 1/4" or 3/16". Here's the thread:

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/99401/steel-thickness-on-firebox

 

I don't know much about this stuff. I've only heard about wire being measured in gauge.

post #36 of 38

:th_violent5:Hahahaha...... Just fooling with you.

post #37 of 38

According to Yoder, their products are made of new 3/16 or 1/4 inch  steel pipe and plate.  Question 4.

 

 

http://www.yodersmokers.com/wood-frequently-asked-questions.html

post #38 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilch View Post

Hey Perth Smoker, the CharGriller I brought from Bunnings is a heavy constructed job and if you want I can measure the thickness of the steel.
The little sucker weighed a heap when it was in its original packing.

Cheers from D.U.

Hey mate, yeah if you could measure the wall thickness that would be good so I can hint to the missus as my birthdays coming up ;)
If it's no good then I may hint towards the hark tri fire
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