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Going Electric

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am not overly impressed with the small off set charcoal burner that I have, to much hassle to run.

I am considering one of the smaller electric powered smokers such as the Brinkmann electric, Old Smokey electric or the Bradley Smokers.

Any helpful comments to send me in the right direction welcome.
post #2 of 15
That's too bad, I remember when you got that unit a couple of months ago. I can't recommend an electric smoker. However, you probably could keep what you have and set a propane burner in your firebox. I don't know if anyone makes a hot enough electric element to put in your firebox. Just thought I'd mention that option if you weren't aware of it. You can find some propane kits by doing a google search for "afterburner." There may be more brands that I'm not aware of.
post #3 of 15
If you can afford it, consider a Cookshack.
I just got a used Smokette for short money.
It's built like a tank.
I also recommend the Masterbuilt electrics.
I had a Bradley and just recently sold it. I wasn't happy with the bisquette system or the higher cost of buying the bisquettes.
I also have a Kamodo for my charcoal smoking needs and 2 MES 40" units.
i find myself moving away from the charcoal unit simply because the electrics do a really great job without muck effort on my part.
Good luck with your choice.
post #4 of 15
Sorry to hear your offset isn't doing the job for ya. You can look on craigslist and probably find several different wattburners that might suit your needs. The Brinkmann is a good unit, but only 1500 watts and no thermostat. If you could find a Char-Broil, which is 1650 watts and has a thermostat, that might be a better choice. Can't vouch for the Old Smokey, or the Bradley as I don't have one. Search the forum for the brand (s) your seeking and see what others have to say about them. Good luck!
post #5 of 15
Don't know about the others. Have you already axed the MES? Love mine.
post #6 of 15
The Cookshacks are excellent electrics. Solid as they come and unlike the MES they don't suffer from poor electrical connections. They are significantly more expensive than the MES. I have a MES since I wasn't sure how much I would use a smoker and didn't want to invest a lot of money to find out. I like the MES and with a little tinkering you can offset the electrical problems they are prone to. Next time around it will be a Cookshack and the newer ones are wider to accommodate full slab of ribs. The older smokette and the model above the smokette still only had 14x14 inch racks. Now they are 14x18.
post #7 of 15
The Home Depot here carries the Brinkman electric for 69.00. If you want a cheap entry level electric that does a really good job... this thing is hard to beat. That's what I got started on and it hooked me. Moved on up to the MES and when it gives it up I'll be looking at a more durable electric to take it's place. For the money each one is great. If your know your going to continue smoking and have the bucks the more expensive electrics are worth the money. The MES even with it's flaws is really hard to beat for the investment. You can catch the 30 inch on sale for $199.00 and Sams and Bass Pro have the 40 inch. Sams price is $299.00. Bass Pro is quite a bit higher. Hope this helps.
post #8 of 15
Get the MES Sam's Club 40" version!

Yes Cookshack makes a heavy duty excellent product that is now wide enough to handle ribs (Most likely changed due to MES 40" taking all the business). Yes has good digital controller and if you buy the elite it has a meat probe to cycle off the cooker when the set temp is reached. But the dang thing is over $1200 plus freight.

Here is the premise I used when purchasing the MES 40".
• Large capacity for home use.
• Stainless Steel
• Low entry cost for what you are getting.
• Lots of user support here at SMF and another smoking forum.

Ok, you now own the MES 40" and it fails, either elements, wiring, or controller die, and it is out of warranty. SMF members have posted their fixes for these problems. Repair is a little bit of work, but nothing real difficult.
Now take it one step further, Upgrade the heating element to a two stage so instead of one element at 750 watts you have two (750w + 250 or 300w). Replace MES controller with new PID either Single or Two stage controller for precise control. If two stage controller is too much then simply use a timer for 2nd stage control.

The MES cabinet is not as heavy as the cookshack, but it is insulated and sturdy enough for years of service if properly cared for.

Thus the $270 price + replacement of components and upgrade will get you in the $400-500 range, but you still saved over $700. That is a lot of meat, and beer.
post #9 of 15
I have the MES 30" and love it! I found it at Lowe's for $199. My mother also has one and loves it. Neither of us have experienced any problems so far. Good luck and happy smoking! This weekend, its a pork butt...
post #10 of 15
I also have the 30" MES and love it & have used it religiously for the past 1 & 1/2 year. Paid $180 for it. Recently, the same unit was on sale @ Cabela's for $149..... I did have to replace an electrical connection terminal, but that was really pretty simple.....With kids & a busy schedule, I don't have time to tend a stick burner or charcoal smoker, but do have my eye on the WSM. The MES is as close to "set it and forget it" as I have seen..... I have a friend that has a Cookshack (I think it is), and it looks like it is really built well, but it does not have an adjustable airflow vent & I have tasted some of his stuff & it almost tastes "oversmoked" or creosotey (NEW WORD?) but that could be operator error, or choice of wood.
post #11 of 15
I have a Cookshack and love it. The temperature control is spot on! I know that when I put it on 225* that sucker is going to stay dialed in at 225* for as long as I'm smoking - no spikes, no drops. When you open the door to spritz meat, it rises back to temp quickly. I had one of the cheaper Brinkman electrics prior to owning a cookshack. It made good food, but the temperature was very hard to control and the lid eventually bent slightly out of shape and was letting the smoke vent too quickly (then again, it was fairly old and I got it used). No experience with the MES, but I know a lot of people really like them too.
post #12 of 15
I have a Brinkman Electric Water smoker. I have had much success with this (as long as the wind is not blowing). I still use it as a back up when the Weber is full.
post #13 of 15
MES from Sam's. 3 year warrantee 39.00. That should take care of the wire concern. Just bring it back.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Friends

Got my mind made up by where I live and the availability. Living in Scotland we don’t have much call for smokers and they are not readily available in the UK.

Most of the units are 110 volts, but as that voltage is used on building sites over here that was not a problem, plenty step down transformers on the net.

Looks like I will be getting a Bradley as it is the only electric smoker that I can find this side of the pond and there is a Bradley agent an hours drive from my retirement cottage. Might splash out and go for a digital unit.

I am not perturbed by the locations limitation as the Bradley was one of the units that I was interested in, and the comments on this site are mostly positive.

So the pucks occasionally jam, but I don’t see any negative comments about anything else, mind set, sorted.

Thanks Chaps
post #15 of 15
Enjoy your new Bradley, it ain't the tool or stove its the cook that turns out great Q.

I should have paid attention to your location, product availability is huge, no need to recommend something you can't buy.
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