Cookshack or SmokinTex?

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Mar 23, 2013
East Texas
I have narrowed my choices down to a Cookshack or SmokinTex electric smoker.  Shopping on-line and sight unseen is a little difficult with a purchase like this so here I am!  

I believe the 14x18 inch grates/racks are important to me and I want enough "volume" for a large turkey.  I don't see myself doing more then 4 racks of ribs at one time and I plan on using smoke for some "light duty" meat preservation (Jerky and maybe some hams).

I frequent use a Webber kettle grill and Lodge Hibachi (sportsman grill) 

so I have considered an offset smoker or Webber Smokey Mountain 

but, the ease of use for long unattended smokes has me looking for an

electric smoker.  Out in Arizona, I also don't have as much access to 

wood for smoke as I did in Oklahoma and Alabama so, efficient use

of wood chips/chucks is a consideration too.

So, what is the wisdom and recommendations of the RKI's around here?


Welcome Sid,
Smokin Tex is basically a Cookshack clone. And then there is the Smokin It which is another clone that has been getting rave reviews and is a great value. I'd save the cash and get the smokin it model 2 or 3. Actually for the amount you say you want to smoke maybe even the #1 would work for you at $279.
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I agree, I would save the $$ and go with the Smokin-It. You could get their biggest ( #3 ) unit for less than half of what a Tex or Shack would run.

Old Sarge will hopefully weigh in, he has owned and used both and can comment with more authority on the differences. He's also in AZ and can speak to how they perform in the local enviroment. If he does not see this in a day or two PM him and he will be a huge help.

There are really only two benefits to ordering a Cookshack. And that would be the built-it digital controls and the ability to crank up the temp to 300 degrees.  While it is American made, the Smokin-it and SmokinTex are American based businesses selling smokers.

I have yet to use the 300 degree setting. Rarely use 250. 

The Amerique 066 which I own was bought used (off their site) and was still expensive (look at the cost of replacement parts if needed and the warranty has died). The wheels are small and wheeling around over an uneven surface is not difficult, but not smooth either.  It does a fine job, but the racks are smaller than on the Smokin-it 3; the cord was short enough to require the use of an extension cord and I have now installed a new separate electric circuit in the location of my choice. The SmokinTex equivalent was the 1500, roughly the same price, two separate heating elements, and analog controls.  Now that Smokin-it has dual door latches (which it did not have when I went shopping), larger shelves, larger wheels, longer cord, I would choose that over anything else on the market. Digital? Remote thermometer for cooking to temperature. If total digital control were an absolute must, I would pick up an Auber unit. 

All three makes are good solid stainless steel smokers with roughly the same parameters. Take a good look at the warranties, to include the fine print and duration.  Look at the cost of the replacement parts and the accessories.  

Regarding wood:  I typically use a single piece of wood, weighing 2 ounces for an entire smoke (I use a good grips  digital scale and axe split to size/weight). The meat is only going to absorb so much and eventually, the exterior surface seals off the open cells due to the heat.  After a couple of hours, there is no more penetration of smoke. It just sort of settles on the outside.  Too much and you have a very bitter experience. Each of the companies sell wood.  

There are also plenty of on line sources of wood, some even ensure that all the bark is removed.  Here is one such site:

And wood another source:

Good luck with your decision and search.  If it helps, I waffled back and forth before I chose the Cookshack. Joined their respective forums, emailed the companies, talked to them on the phone. I am quite happy with it.  However, if and when I need to replace it, I will go with the Smokin-it. 
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Thanks!  This gives me something to think about.  I really hadn't considered the Smokin-it company but, it looks like they might become my preferred brand.

Also, are there any dealers for any these in Arizona?  It would be nice compare them in person.

No dealers for Smokin-it. You deal with Steve, the owner.  There is the Charcoal Store (on line) that carries SmokinTex and Cookshack.  
sarge rocks with the a BIG help to me early on in my search. Amazon sells the Smokin-it #1 & 2...not the #3 (yet) so there is info and other reviews on their site as well. I searched everywhere for info....found no negative posts on the SI. I'm a very happy #3 owner
With a tear in my eye, I blush!

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