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CookShack electrics

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I currently use a propane unit but am considering building or buying an electric unit.I spent quite a bit of time studying units on line and then went to Cabelas yesterday to look at several units firsthand.They had CookShack,Masterbuilt,Bradley and luhr Jensen for electrics.After much scrutiny I have decided that if I am going to purchase on it would have to be a CookShack.They are pricey also a bit smaller than I would care for.So I have been thinking on building one,I am a fabricator by trade so the fabrication isnt an issue but wiring could be a snag.Any comments pro or con on the CookShack?Thanks,Coz
post #2 of 25
Coz I have a friend who has the Cookshack and loves it. He does not get into it as much as most of us here do but still has not had any issues with it.

If you are a fabricator by trade, I would make something to be exactly what you want it to be but that is just me. I also am a dutchman and cheap as can be so I would make something from scraps.
post #3 of 25

Re: CookShack electrics

I was in Ponca City Okla lasr week (where the cookshack factory is), and decided to stop in for a visit. I was very impressed with their units. One thing in particular that impressed me was how airtight they are.

While they thought of "automatic Q" sounds relaxing and tempting, I'm not sure that an old stickburner like me would be satisfied with the results of an electric or gas cabinet smoker. What do you guys think?

post #4 of 25

Re: CookShack electrics

Well Tim,
You would probably feel guilty at first…but the next time you are doing a brisket at 2:00 am in 25° weather and you are sleeping in bed with your alarm clock set for several hours later, you might change your mind. :roll: I have had some real good results with mine from some real gourmet friends! As long as there is the thin blue smoke. So don’t sell those box smokers short! :lol:
post #5 of 25

Re: CookShack electrics

This is the tempting part!!!

No doubt these units can produce good results. Most Q joints use gas or electric anymore. I think all chains do, but Gates, Arthur Bryants, and most all Q stores that gained fame burning sticks still continue burning sticks, and would probably go out of business if they went to gas or electric. Not that gas or electric is bad, it's just different. I do eat alot of Q that I don't cook, and enjoy most all of it.....well, then there's places like Tony Roma's, and Famous Dave's. These are the guys that give gas and electric a bad name IOHO.

Good luck, and Good Sleep Smokin',
post #6 of 25

Re: CookShack electrics

I guess if ya have the time… the purist in all of us probably feels like the stickburner is the true way, just like when I hunt, all I use is a flintlock smooth rifle/roundball for all my hunting! (kinda evens the odds (I think). Ford vs. Chevy syndrome! wink.gif
post #7 of 25

Re: CookShack electrics

Only difference is I ain't knockin either one. wink.gif
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

Re: CookShack electrics

Time is the problem for me and the thing I read about the cookshack is that the wood last long enuff that when I work up the nerve to try a brisket I can start it and not have to worry about sleeping too long.It turns out that a freind of mine in michigan has one and has nothing but good to say about them.Problem for me is if I bought the affordable smaller unit I still would have to use my propane unit for fish smoking as the small unit is too small.Just cant win.There is hope for some stainless steel insulated cabinets to come my way so I may be building one yet.Just need to figure out the electrics.
post #9 of 25

Re: CookShack electrics

Why is the unit too small? do you have that much fish to smoke, or are you worried that the temps will get too high?
post #10 of 25

Re: CookShack electrics

hello hello,
i luv my electric unit.
its the only real smoker ive had..
ive offset smoke cooked on grills.---its not the same to me..

in thinking about building one for myself---
it would be for cold smoke mainly..
im looking for a old gym or school locker..

do cookshacks-bradley-mastebuilt have a place for air to escape??? or air intake??
i mean so the smoke does not get stale???

do they call the bottom intake a damper and the top outlet a vent??

how can you REALLY cold smoke fermented sausages or cheese with any heat source??

many questions arise in my mind about the perfect

there is a chain of bbq joint in the mid south
called corky's...

the home place is in memphis...
alot of people say its the greatest..

the one in memphis has many WOOD smoking units

corky's has a retaurant in sam's casino in
tunica mississippi,
they electric rotisserie the ribs and chicken..
they sell a lot of ribs.

these are served "memphis dry with sauce on side"
i dont think most folks know the difference.

it might be that their pants pocket has lost of most
of the yearly savings by the time folks eat..
this could cloud the judgement..

i used to deliver food in memphis and tunica.
i ate at the memphis corky's ,,so called headquarters at least 5 times
while i lived in mempho for 5 years.

their was other rib joints i preferred..
willinghams--rendevous-the bbq joint
all these where nice places ..
one where you could take a date for dinner...
i also had a couple of back in the alley "rib tip palaces".
ribtips with either snoot or tripe sandwich is a good lunch while working..

i never ate in tunica because of the rotisserie.

[i liked hollywood and harrahs casinos better]

many styles--many questions.

another question--do you need a water pan???
dont the water have to get hotter than cold smoke temp to do any good???
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 

Re: CookShack electrics

From around mid may thru october,I smoke fish 3-5 times a month and usually fill the smoker I have now 1-2 times each smoke.When we have good weather we can usually catch anywhere from 10-20 salmon per trip.We have quite liberal bag limits unlike our poor brothers in Michigan who fish the same lake.During our club contests the last three years only 1 out of 8 or 9 contest have we wieghed less than 100# of fish which you are only allowed to weigh 10 fish.Most of the guys that fish with me take 1 or 2 fish home and I get the rest.Getting rid of smoked fish is never an issue.Guys usually are waiting for me when I get to work on Mondays,Got Fish?We are blessed with a terrific fishery.The electrics I have looked at CookShack,Masterbuilt Bradley dont use water pans and seem to get a top temp of 250 so I dont think too much heat is an issue. if the pic down loads this would be an average july -september chinook.
post #12 of 25

Re: CookShack electrics

Hey Tim: You posted,
I was in Ponca City Okla lasr week (where the cookshack factory is), and decided to stop in for a visit. I was very impressed with their units. One thing in particular that impressed me was how airtight they are.

Was there a vent anywhere that the smoke could escape?

I vented my Masterbuilt because I thought the things I smoked tasted like the smoke was stale. Cookshack says their wood doesn't burn, just smolders. They use hardly any wood (two-2x2x3 chunks) for an entire smoke. This sounds like the item being smoked sits in the same cloud of smoke the entire time doesn't it?

Any one out there with experience on the Cookshack?
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

Re: CookShack electrics

I am not sure if it is a vent or just a place for your temp probe to go down thru but the cookshack that I looked at had a small hole in the top.My freind in Michigan says his is the best smoker he has used for the flavor.I have had his fish and it didnt seem to have what I would call stale smoke flavor.
post #14 of 25

Re: CookShack electrics

hello hello,
about how much water does your masterbuilt electric smoker
water pan hold??

from unit with no vent ---
to your modified masterbuilt--
did water consumption increase after vented???
post #15 of 25
Run over would be 1-1/2 quarts. I usually put about 2/3 that in it. When done smoking there is about 1/2 inch less than when started. Would say there is no difference in consumption before or after mod.

Am leaning to try no water and use it as a drip pan because it is so wet inside while smokeing. Maybe the meat is enough moisture since it is not vented much. Viewed a CookShack slide show and they did not put water in anything as there was no pan.
Looked like the excess drippings end up in a pan outside and under the unit to me.

And my Masterbuilt needs very little wood also, like the CookShack. Just not sure this is the best approach!
post #16 of 25

Re: CookShack electrics

The cookshack units are airtight-no vent. I asked about cold smoking and as to how to maintain smoke w/o exceeding 100*f. They have what they call a cold smoke baffle which is kinda like a water pan which they recommend that you fill w/ icewater. They described a process which involved exactly how much wood to use, what temp to set at, and how long to smoke. It was obvious that they had made a science out of it. They really seem to know what they're doing.

I guess that's what turns me off about them, it seems like it's all science, and no art. Like I say, Famous Daves uses their units. If you eat @ FD's, you'll get the exact same thing every time @ every store. It's the exact same thing, but I don't think it's anywhere near as good as what I cook.

I suppose real pit masters are hard to come by, and probably expensive to keep. If you had a chain, you probably wouldn't be able to find enough to staff all the stores. Maybe that's why places like Arthur Bryant's, and Gates only have one store, and are famous.

BTW, Cookshack has some really nice color brochures, and some really nice people that could, I'm sure, answer any questions you might have.

Good Luck, and Good Smokin',

Oh, and Coz, When are you takin' me fishing?
post #17 of 25
I assume they also are capable of smoking meats at 225*
It seems to me that conventional wisdom dictates a vent!
Really wonder how they get a good smoke by not venting?
post #18 of 25

Re: CookShack electrics

Hey Chief,
I think they said up to 350*. I've still got their literature, but it's @ the house, and I'm not.

The best I could tell is that their concept is to put all the smoke on the meat early on, then cook it in. I think this works as long as you only put a little smoke on. Cooking on a stick burner, most of the smoke goes on through the unit, their concept seems to be to only put out as much smoke as you want to put on the meat.

I've seen other unvented smokers in operation @ convenient stores and such. they seem to cook well, just not what I like to serve.

Ex-Illini Tim
post #19 of 25
That seems plausible
Kind of like "A little bit will do you"
Sure would preserve the wood supply!

Thanks for the info
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 

Re: CookShack electrics

Dickeydoo,if you are in Wisconsin between may and october I will do my best to get you out on the lake.I try fish at least once a week.If any one gets out this way during the summer i would gladly try to get you out fishing.I dont hunt or do other stuff that interfers with fishing.A lot of our fishing depends on wind direction.West winds bring cold water to our side of the lake which is a very good thing, a year ago we fished close to shore all year.This year at times we had to work a little harder as we had quite a bit of east winds.Part of the deal for me is that if there is better conditions in Kenosha I can drive down there to fish or if Sheboygan has a better bite going we go there.When I went to a bigger boat I stayed small enuff to trailer around the state.
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