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Electric Smoker Question


Joined Jan 29, 2007
Hello All,

How often do you have to check a smoker. For instance, it is outside on my patio away from my house. Can, I load the smoker up and let go while I go to work ? I am smoking a 10# Ham, I will be gone about 8hrs. It will be in the mid 20's tommorow. It is a Brinkman smoker and has a 2 gallon water pan. Thanks



SMF Events Planning Committee
Joined Apr 17, 2006
It all depends on the smoker and the conditions. I've never used an electric, so I can't be much help.......but, ask yourself this. How often do you have to tend it when you are smoking? That's the answer. If it is the first time you have used it and you don't know the answer to that question then you really can't just fire it up and walk away.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 25, 2007
Hi joedoe, I don't think it's a good idea to leave anything that is a potential fire hazard unattended, just my 2cents

david bristol

Joined Jul 22, 2005
We've done turkeys in an Brinkman electric electric smoker in cold weather. We smoked the birds for an hour (we wanted them lightly favored) and finished them in the oven. I think that will apply for anything you're doing in a Brinkman smoker in cold weather--smoke for flavor and finish in the oven. Our turkeys were wonderful by the way.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Nov 22, 2006
I usually dont leave my smoker unattended. I use a true wood burner and wood is all I use and all I will use. But sometimes I have to get a few winks so Ill load up the fire box damper down a little on the intake and smoke stack when I get up Im usually running around 220* on the barrel. But I wouldnt just leave it for that long.

up in smoke

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 12, 2006
I started on an elec. ECB and used to go for 3-4 hours at a time with the smoker in the yard at 240° on a 18"x18" paver. But I could never get the water pan to last 8 hours. That smoker can compromise a ham in 4 hours at 350°. On the other hand in this cold weather, I could never get the smoker over 200° without a shield. Alot can happen in 8 hours.


Legendary Pitmaster
Joined Nov 18, 2006
From a cooks stand point it's never a good idea to the pot unattended.

From a safety stand point it's never a good idea to leave a heat source unattended designed to be tended to.

If it's in concrete or stone enclosure separate from it's suroundings I'd say try it for awhile - other wise I think it's a bad idea.


larry maddock

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 27, 2005
yo joedo,
im glad to meet you...
i m o
i think the brinkman electrics are on "hi" at all times==no heat regulation.

a cured "fresh ham" from butcher needs to go to 165 f internal-- not any less

a store bought ham [its already been cooked] only needs to go to 140 f internal

i am assuming we are talking about a shank or butt ham..[7 to 10 lbs each]
both of these together make a whole ham...

i m o
not addressing safety issuses at all-----
8 full hours at 225 f /250 f will dry out the store bought ham...

i am assuming we are talking about a shank or butt ham..[7 to 10 lbs each]
both of these together make a whole ham...

ive never done a whole ham----[15 to 25 lbs each]


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Dec 19, 2005
I have set my "Wookie" up in the am go to work while my wife is home to keep an eye on it to make sure it does not start anything on fire.

I come home for lunch and add some wood chips

Then when I get home it is pretty much done

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