better than masterbuilt? please?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by susieqz, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    everyone here loves masterbuilt. everyone here does all sorts of modifications to make it work better.

    screw that. i'm not a mechanic.

    i want something better. i found better for $1800.

    i need an electric chunk burner that holds constant heat n cold smokes n smokes well under 200 degrees. i don't care about heat over 225.

    does  anybody know of a smoker that's better? i can pay a couple hundred more than masterbuilt to get a quality machine. i can't pay $1800.

    there must be something midway, but i haven't found it.

    no need to convince me masterbuilt is good. i believe what you guys wrote. i just want options.
  2. A mes out of the box works fine. Yes you can make it better. No you don't have to. Take a look in the electric smoker section. Spend the day reading reviews. Since I don't own any of the other electrics I won't try to tell you anything about them. Look at the Bradly and the Cook Shack just to name a couple. More money does not always mean better.

    Happy smoken.

  3. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    thanks, dave.

    i have been reading reviews. i haven't found this info. that's why i started this thread.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  4. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've got a Smokin' It #3 and like it fine for about $500. It's a Cookshack clone for about 1/3 the price, built like a tank. I understand they now come with PID's for super accurate temp control. I also have a pellet smoker that I like, Char Griller from Lowes for about $450...half the price of a Traeger and bigger. Good luck hunting....Willie
  5. The best thing I ever did was get the $59.99 cold smoker kit for my MES. I don't even use wood inside anymore even when hot smoking. I find that if I am hot smoking something like pork tenderloins at 225, the wood just burns up real fast and the smoke is too white. And running a cold smoke, even with ice is a pain burning wood inside. I just use the cold smoker, load it up and let it burn a bit before hooking up the duct. That way, it has a chance to get a good smoke going that's not so white. The other day I lit up three briquettes in my gas BBQ and then chucked them in the tray at the bottom of the MES cold smoker and put the wood on top. I didn't even use the element. I got a nice blue smoke after about 15 minutes and it lasted several hours.

    This way I can control the smoke the way I want, don't have to load wood so often and when hot smoking, I can just adjust the main unit to the desired temperature without putting any wood inside. Works great.
    gr8dane777 likes this.
  6. I smoke under 200*F all the time with my WSM. I can also crank it up to 325-350*F for brisket and poultry. ...and everything in between.

    Here is some bacon and jerky smoked below 100*F then, when the jerky was complete, I ramped up the heat slowly to finish the bacon. Something I've been told a WSM cannot do. (BTW: Yes it can! ...and without a temp controller.)

    ...and here are some snack sticks and summer sausage:

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  7. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    thanks guys. i'll look at every one of them.
  8. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    Smesh, I just did my fist smoke with my masterbuilt cold smoker a couple of days ago. I used pellets, shut the element off after it got going and cracked the ash drawer about 3/8 inch. Got nice TBS for almost 3 hours and the pellets were gone.
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Before commenting I'd ask about your other pits/cookers. If the smoker is to be your first, I would have to think about weber. Why because its possible to grill, BBQ and smoke in one unit. If money is tight and you know someone handy,  you should look into the tamale pot mini conversion. Small light portable and large enough to cook for a single family.
  10. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    see, red, that's what everyone on this side does. they say masterbuilt is great, then spend all their time fixing or modifying them til they work like they should right out of the box. that's insane.

    foam, i have a pellet smoker. it won't give me the low temps i want. anyway, i love the ease of electric starting but i wanna burn wood chunks. gotta be better than pellets.

    charcoal is too hard for me. the ease of pellets is my speed, but i want top results.

    for me, that means constant temps n smoke with the ability to low temp smoke for long periods.

    for example, i'm doing a ham dave's way, but i can't get near the temps he uses. the best i can do is 180. the pellet smoker really is made for 225 n up to 400. i sure don't need those temps.

    i know most people here want quick results, but i prefer to smoke for days.

    i ordered that amns smoke tray to try cold smoking but that's a temporary fix.
  11. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    I can't say for sure but I think you are going to have a problem finding the perfect electric smoker that will cold smoke and hot smoke right out of the box. Even the guys using cook shacks, smoken-it, bradley's, and MES have to add some type of cold smoke generation. I have used the AMNPS in my MES but even that generates heat. If the perfect electric smoker for 500.00 or less exists that will cold and hot smoke I would probably buy one too.
  12. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    well, thanks red. i'll keep looking.

    looks like units that run around $2000 can do that but i can't spend that much.
  13. gathumper

    gathumper Newbie

    I can't spend 2k either, but I'm curious what unit you to which you are referring?
  14. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    cookshack amerique @ $1800. if i was rich, i'd get this.
  15. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Before you drive yourself nuts I truly believe that the amazn pellet smoke tube will get you great smoke flavor in that traeger. I use one in my traeger texas elite and lots of others do the same with their pellet eaters. And if you want to do true cold smoking add a smoke daddy smoke generator. Drill one hole for the smoke daddy to attach to the traeger and the generator will be external to the smoke chamber so very little added heat. And use GOOD QUALITY pellets, traegers pellets have very little flavor. If you are going to jump into the MES electric field be advised that the new generation MES is just starting to hit stores now. They've made some design changes that may fix some if the issues you mention with the current mes models. And I have always used small chunks in my mes chip loader. Better smoke flavor and a longer smoke time. If you are going to get an mes this new model may be the way to go. Best advice I can give from a guy who has smoked in pits, offset stick burners, pellet cookers, and MES electric. Best of luck.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  16. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    thanks gee. i just ordered the amazin tray thingie. hopefully that will do as well as the tube. yes?

    yeah, i found out about trager pellets. i bot more expensive ones n cheaper ones. all were better than trager.

    have you a fav pellet?
  17. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Because of the convection fan in the pellet cookers, the tube works much better than the tray. More smoke and longer lasting. I've tried both. For me it adds the perfect amount of smoke flavor. As far as pellets....BBQ Delite.
    Back to electrics, if the Amerique makes you hot, look into the Smokin It model 4. Great size and its controlled with an Auber PID. Rock solid and reliable temp control. About 6 hundred less than cookshack so still not cheap but a great alternative.
  18. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    super info, gee. thanks. looking at modle 4 right now
  19. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Regarding the Amerique:  The digital is built in and ready to go; temp is 140 to 300.  On the SI4, Auber is included, is not built in, temp is 140 to 250. The SI site has plenty of info for incorporating the Auber  giving you the option of digital or analog by way of a selection switch.  In other words, if one controller goes out, you have a back-up. For the other SI smokers, the Auber is a separation option.  Also visit SI's Facebook page, find the social store and purchase there for 5% off. For Cookshack, once the smoker is in the cart, you can select PayPal and pay over 6 months with no interest. Of course you can always back out without purchasing. For SI, in the cart, you can select shipping options depending upon how fast you want it.  Again, you can back out.
  20. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    wow, sarge, i'm impressed.

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