Masterbuilt Electict Smoker from Sams Club is 299 and will do just about everything. You can get the 30 inch version for around 200 and it is good for chicken but you may have trouble getting a whole turkey in there. Look at the electric smoker section and see how many member here use them. I have 4 smokers and use all of them through out the year if I need an easy smoker that day I use my MES of UDS but if kids are around always my MES. It uses very little electricity and when used properly it put out great smokes.
Thanks! I went ahead and bought the MES 30". I got it for $170 on Amazon. Hopefully, this will be a good introductory smoker for me. Thanks for your feedback. I'm sure I'll be back soon with more questions. Wait--I have one right now. I was going to contact an apple orchard to get some wood. Does the wood need to be chipped up in small pieces, or cut in slices? How does that part work? I'm trying to remember what my father used to do.
Okay, so I've got my Masterbuilt Electric Smoker and I've preseasoned it. I just put two chickens in to cook, with a combination of apple and hickory chips. I had a question about the vent on the top. It's not mentioned in the manual (that I can find.) Does it need to be opened at all?
The only time you need to close the vent on your MES is when preheating. Also, It will cook great poultry but it doesn't get hot enough to crisp up the skin. It usually comes of the smoker a little rubbery. All you need to do is throw it on a good hot grill for a few min. or run it under the broiler in the oven to crisp it up.
What we do with the limp skin from the smoker is to peel it off and then use it as a flavoring in a crockpot of beans, e.g. black eyed peas. Wrap it in cheese cloth to be able to lift it out easily when done. I do the same thing when I make my smoked chicken and pepperoni gumbo.
Well, oops! I left it closed the entire time. I was trying to cook it on high heat, per a recipe that I found online. It was great--very crispy skin--very smokey flavor. I set it at 275, had the vent closed. It ran around 264.