After reading reviews on all the different smokers im more confused now then when I started. seems like for every 5 star there are two 1 star ratings on the same smoker. What I am looking for is a smoker that can be used outside, maintain temp when its 30 or 80 outside, get to temp in a reasonable amount of time, use wood or pellets preferably auto feed, cold smoke, or up to 270 degrees. (basically what they should do) don't care if its gas or electric. needs to be at least 40" for ribs and briskets. Im getting this for a friend who wants to step up to some better equipment. We both do a lot of smoked salmon and Tuna. I built my smoker and can maintain temp within a couple degrees from 100 to 250 which is really nice for a consistent product . He's not to mechanically inclined and I have no time to help him . probably willing to spend 1500.00 if need be but never apposed to saving some money. Sorry for being long winded, THANK YOU SO MUCH
What to buy?????
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Many electrics peak out at 250 degrees; some go higher. Check out the following smokers:
Smokin-it, SmokinTex, Cookshack, Masterbuilt Generation 1. There are others but this will get you started. As for ratings, read the posts on these smokers via the search feature at the top of the page. You can also visit the website for each smoker. While Masterbuilt uses chips (or sawdust or pellets with an after marker device, the other 3 are designed to use wood chunks but can use chips with a chip screen.
There is a hybrid LP smoker called the Cajun Express. Very fast cook/smoke times. See the link.
If you google pellet grill, a whole new world opens up. Find a brand that is attractive, then search for it here on SMF using the aforementioned search feature.
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Agree with Sarge, except the Masterbuilt (wouldn't take a free one). I own the Smokin-It #2 and LOVE it!!! Cookshack is what my brother owns and it is a great unit as well.
I tossed in the MB GEN 1 since it seems pretty reliable, is relatively inexpensive, and can be seen first hand in many stores. A lot of folks don't want to take the leap of faith and order something sight unseen unless it has Amazon stars associated with it.