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How much does it cost to run your electric smoker?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am weighing the pros and cons of electric smokers. I really want to build a UDS but I also want to be able to smoke jerky and sausage in lower temps than a UDS can provide. I'm just wondering what does it cost to run your electric smokers (mainly the MES). Cabela's has the 30" MESs on sale for $130 and I'm thinking about picking one up. I plan on smoking every weekend or so. How much of a spike should I see in my monthly electric bill? This might be a stupid question, just wondering though.
post #2 of 17
I was told by my power company if I smoked 6 hours a day in 30 days my cost was 10.00, awful damned cheap.
post #3 of 17
Well, let's see. The heating element in mine is 800 Watts. So say for an 8 hour smoke that's 800 x 8 = 6400 Watt-Hours or 6.4 Kilowatt-hours. The average price in Oregon for residential electricity (Oct '09) is 8.95 cents per KWH, so 6.4 x 8.95 = 57.28 cents.

Now, that's assuming that the heating element is running continuously for 8 hours (which it won't), and not factoring in the draw from the control box (which is pretty small compared to the element).

So... I'd say it pretty darn cheap to run it all day.

However if you live someplace with ridiculously high electrical rates, like say hawaii (26.45 cents/KWH), it's a lot more expensive. But even then it's still under $2 for an 8 hour smoke.
post #4 of 17
Watt Rating For Unit = 800 Watts
Hours Per Day = 8
Electric Rate = $.10/KWh(Kilowatt Hour) Estimated Rate

800 Watts x 8 Hours a day/1000 = 6.4 KWh

6.4KWh x $.10(Kwh Rate) = $.64 Per 8 Hour Run

I don't think you can run Propane this cheap.

You could still build a UDS and find a hotplate to heat it at low temps, like making jerky.

Good Luck!


No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies guys! Turns out the MES I was looking at on Cabela's site is back ordered like 7-8 weeks!! Thinking about picking up one of the new 30" MES with the window or possibly making my own smoke house with an electric element. I like the idea of the hot plate for the UDS too.
post #6 of 17
Had me cornfused for a bit, but the answer is correct.
post #7 of 17
I have an MES too-based on these figures one rib dinner (place just down the road) would pay for a month of power!
post #8 of 17
My Royal Oak smoker has a 1500 watt element and I saw the electric bill climb a whole $5 or with 4 different smokes (weekends). Great ROI for someone wanting to justify the cost of an electric!
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Got one more question, how are the MES, and other electrics, in cold weather? That was the big plus of the UDS to me was that it can run a constant 225-250 in cold weather with little to no babysitting.
post #10 of 17
some of the mes's (including mine) have problems starting up in low temps (say under 45 or so). But usually just taking the control box inside for a little bit will get it going ok.

I've used mine in temps down into the teens and once it's up to temp it seems to hold it just fine.
post #11 of 17
Cabela's has the 30" MESs on sale for $130

I'm wondering where that is at? I just looked online and they were $199. I'm really disaapointed in Cabelas. Drove 2 hrs to get a smoker on sale just to find out they were out of stock.
post #12 of 17
I ran my MES at 7* acouple weeks ago, and 20* last weekend with no problems keeping temps.


No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #13 of 17
Most MES owners have no problem running at temps 35º and below. Some have have even smoked at around Zeroº

Since you now know the money you would have spent in fuel for propane smoker vs the MES is significant, you might as well buy the 40" MES. You really won't be sorry, the extra room allows you to lay whole racks of ribs out, instead of cut, the extra capacity will come in handy when you want to smoke a variety of items at the same time, or if you are smoking a lot for a big party.

The 30" is a fine smoker, but I always felt when considering size, it was sort of like when I bought my plazma tv, and a boat, I would always want bigger. So go big, no regrets...
post #14 of 17
The analog electric is on sale for $129.99.
post #15 of 17

Hey all im new to smoking, and was wondering if you guys prefer propane gas smoker or Electric smoker? Which is cheaper to run? Im interested in the

Masterbuilt Cookmaster Electric Smoker or the propane one.


But im unsure about which would be best or which would be cost friendly? Any advice would help dearly thanks!

post #16 of 17

I have an MES40 and to tell you the truth, I haven't noticed big increase in my electric bill but I wasn't closely watching it either.

post #17 of 17

Even though this is an older thread you can take the calculations for electric and sub in your current kph and cost / kilowatt and derive your figure for the electric.  I now have a 6'x3'x3' smokehouse powered by a 35,000 btu burner and will last me about 3 - 10 hr smokes on 1 reg tank of propane (about 15lbs in a 20lb tank), about 54 cubic ft of space; interpolate that into your sq footage of your Masterbuilt for comparison.

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