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Some advice for a noob in a townhouse? - Page 2

post #21 of 33

Thanks for the info Dave. I was not busting your chops. When I was in the market for an Electric, Smokin-it was a new player and unproven. I can't speak for others but after the ton of research I did, all the reviews labeled the SI as a Chinese knockoff of the American Cook Shack SM-009-2, which the basic design is, so is the ST for that matter.The price of all of them, SI being the lowest, was too high for a box and coil and when adding Shipping to PA put the SI in the same area as the others. At the time I wanted something bigger than the SI-2, no SI-3 yet, and the MES40 with 247 sqin per self vs 210 sqin for the SI and ST, not to mention greater interior height for hanging sausage and being the only Digitally controlled unit, was the best bang for the buck. Especially at $299 plus free shipping. I had the opportunity to use the Smokin Tex at work and it did the job but was nothing special. Going Digital PID was the best move SI could have made and now, having experience with 2 MES40's, would look a lot harder at the SI3D if I was in the market for my first Electric. Smokin-It has now proven itself to be worth the extra investment and more reliable...JJ

post #22 of 33
Chops are fine and I knew you were just looking for my reasoning. Like you when I went electric SI was very limited so I looked as Cookshack and ST. I narrowed it down to the 1500 and the Amerique. Bought the latter since it had digital for roughly the same price as the analog 1500 and a single coil vice two. Later that same year I bought the SI3 when there was a special as a gift for my brother and was very impressed with the build quality. And the rest is history. Happy smoking.
post #23 of 33
Originally Posted by old sarge View Post

Good evening JJ -  


You are right about the back panel and stripping off the label. A lot of folks just do not do proper research.  So here is my take on the better mouse trap:  

The warranty for SI is 3 years versus 2 for ST.  

The SI2 is $399 versus $595.  

For $599, the SI2D comes with an integrated PID, just $4.00 more.  

The shelves on the SI2/2D are 14  1/2 X  14 1/2 inch; the ST 1400 are 14 1/2 inch X 14 1/2 inch (dead even). And yes, ST provides a screen shelf (#5) as part of the package.

Cord length on the SI2/2D is 12 feet; ST 1400 6 feet, less chance of needing a power robbing extension cord.

You have already identified the difference in the heating element and the 2 latches versus single door latch.  

And at $499.00, SI offers the model 3, and even larger smoker, at less than the cost of the model 1400 from ST.  

Shipping is extra on all. So I figure if you can get more for less, then a better mouse trap/smoker is on the market. 


ST has been around a long time and has a good reputation for producing a quality product. And SI is the relative newcomer, 4 or 5 years and counting.  But when it comes down to features and price..................


If I got anything wrong, blame it on old age.



Nailed it, Dave!  Smokin Tex, Smokin-It and Cookshack are all in the same quality level - stainless steel construction, reliability, etc.  I believe SI is the best value for the points Dave made, and also that they have never stopped innovating!  Larger casters than the ST, integrated PID controller designed by Auber (means scientific-grade temp control, +/- 1°), side handles, additional door latches (single latches are a weak point that SI corrected), larger elements.  I had a 700 watt element in my #2 for a year, and upgraded to the current "standard" 800 watt element...WHAT a difference!  100 watts doesn't sound like much, but makes a huge difference in time-to-temp in a smoker that size. 


Bottom line, Gregor - I'd stay away from the Big Box plastic smokers, and buy one that will last you a good long time.  Whether you go SI, ST or CS, you can't go wrong.  But, for the best "bang for the buck," accuracy, and the longest warranty, you absolutely can't beat Smokin-It.  Our member forum is over 2,300 members strong, and is one of - if not the most - active manufacturer forums on the web.  Check it out (link on the Smokin-It homepage), join, and ask lots of questions!  You'll get straight answers from real, satisfied owners.


Attached is a chart that one of our members posted when he was on the same search as you.  It's a good comparison between the 3 stainless commercial-grade MES in there; apples to apples only.  Hope it helps! SmokerComparison.xlsx 13k .xlsx file

post #24 of 33

Thanks Tony.  One tries to be truthful and factual in all things and at all times.  Including BBQ!

post #25 of 33

Looks like the perfect situation for an hand held smoker, cook it inside, smoke it inside. Who would ever know?



post #26 of 33
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Mr T 59874 View Post

Looks like the perfect situation for an hand held smoker, cook it inside, smoke it inside. Who would ever know?



What is a hand held smoker?
post #27 of 33
Thread Starter 

Another noob question...what about unattended operation?


I see pork butts take about 2 hours per pound, is that right?


So a 8 pound butt takes 16 hours?  How's that work?

And one more while I'm at it on the Smokin-it page - what is the difference between the 2d and 3d?

post #28 of 33
Originally Posted by gregor View Post

What is a hand held smoker?


Sometime when you are not on the forum, Google "Hand held smokers". You will find two, an PolyScience Smoking Gun and a Deni. I have a PS but the other looks good also for less money.


post #29 of 33
I have SI 2 and 3. Very little wood, very lite smoke. My number 2 is an original and has never missed a beat. As to mods, they are just not needed. I have smoked salt, cheese, fresh sausage, snack sticks, brisket, ribs and so on. The only extra I bought was the smoking plate. I took the chance on Steve at
Smokin-it when it was new and there few if any reviews and am so glad I did.

I also have a Cameron's stove top smoker. Was actually given to me as a gift and I use it often. Totally sealed, not much smoke smell in the house.

But I would definitely recommend the SI without hesitation. Price was good, quality has been exceptional, set it and forget it (no chip tray to reload).

post #30 of 33
Thread Starter 

Ordered the Smokin-It 2D today.  Hopefully I'll have it for Memorial Day weekend!


Thanks for all the help!

post #31 of 33

gregor - Steve ships quickly so I am sure it will arrive on time.Regarding your question on butts, yes, they do take their time. I have had an 8 lb take 12 hours and another 8 lb take nearly 16. So I start mine late at night, between 10 and midnight and have a good sleep.  Looking for 190 degrees internal. Dave

post #32 of 33
Thread Starter 

Is the smoker something I should feel safe about running unattended?  It wouid be on a wooden deck.


What if I cut the pork butt in half?

post #33 of 33

You can cut in half if you wish. You should get a Remote Therm like a Maverick 732/733 to monitor meat IT and smoker temp from indoors. There are over and under temp alarms that will wake you if the smoker dies or a fire starts (not likely)...JJ

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