Hi - fellow Smoker & new member

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Feb 1, 2007
Bel Air, MD
Hi all,
Just wanted to introduce myself and post a few pictures of my birthday present!

My Cake - designed by my 8 year old son!

My new Smoker - Smokin Tex Pro 1400 (Like a CookShack)

Begin seasoning process with a few Fatties!

Final Seasoning completed today
I am originally from Caledonia, MI - born and raised, not to far from you in Grand Rapids. Was just back home in mid January for my Mom's 60th birthday. We had a great time when there, and Smoked a 18 lb Turkey for her Birthday party on her Holland Grill (yep had to be creative and use some wood chips) - was the talk of the party!
, were in ADA, a stones throw away from Caledonia!! Small world, we also have another member Cheech from Grand Rapids... who knows maybe we'll become the next smoking mecca.. LOL

Again, glad you found us and welcome!!!
Welcome to the party! That looks like quite a smoker. I've seen one of those somewhere (maybe Bass Pro), and, if I recall correctly, I couldn't tell the difference between it and a Cookshack, except for the price.

Tell me about your TEC grill. They look interesting, but I've never cooked on one.

Rumor has it that an ex-employee of CookShack left the company and started a business called Smokin' Tex. He shipped the spec's of the cookshack smoker to China and made a few changes, 1 inch wider & deeper, and changed the heating element from 500 watts to 750 watts. Now there produced in China and shipped back over here. There a bit cheaper than the CookShack and the Heating element is higher wattage - this was my reason for choosing this Smoker over the CookShack and also Bass Pro had them in stock and I could not find a CookShack locally - so the shipping would have killed the deal.

The TEC grills are amazing - you could have NEVER told me that a grill would change how well a steak could come out. Now I am a believer, but you do have to learn how to cook all over again on this type of grill. I can do a 1.5 inch thick Filet Mingon in 4:30 seconds to Med Rare, and you'd swear you were eating at a high end steak joint (think $150 per person for dinner - without drinks). I can also cook a steak to well done (against my better judgement) and it still is juicey because it sears the meat and locks the juices in.

The TEC has 2 burners that have ceramic pads over them with 15,000 small holes in each ceramic pad. When heated up (3 minutes to full temp) the ceramic glows red (like charcoal at its hottest). When fat & liquid drips off the item your cooking it hits the ceramic and instantly vaporizes - actually flavoring the item being cooked in its own smoke!
You know, come to think of it I did cook on a TEC unit several years ago. A buddy had one built into a custom unit. You're talking about the same type of ceramic that you see in gas IR area heaters, right?

I was at Lowe's the other day and they had some TEC grills made by Charbroil. These were totally different. They had a strange SS grate. About 3/4" under the grate was a piece of colored glass. Under that was a really wierd looking burner that ,as best I could tell,the glass sat directly onto. Do you know anything about this system, or does anyone else for that matter?

When I used my buddie's unit, I had a little trouble. I had 2 3 1/2" thick porterhouses. Getting a good sear was no prob, finishing the steaks to med rare was.

CharBroil just bought TEC and now produces there grills, check out http://www.tecinfrared.com/. The Charbroil one you see at Lowes are not "real" TEC grills just cheap copys.

The new configuration, with the glass over the burner, is a thing that TEC devloped years ago and it's for flare up free cooking. I have not personally cooked on this peticular type as of yet. But from my understanding, from other friends that have them, they are great.

The trick for cooking thick steaks on a TEC grill is, burners on high, throw steaks on and time 1 minute (yep, use a timer!), flip steaks and time again for one minute. Then turn burners down to half flame, flip steaks (turning 90 degrees for good cross hatch pattern), close lid for 2 - 3 minutes, flip again, close lid for 2-3 minutes, open lid and check doneness with temp probe or by making small slice. This is a good starting place and you learn from there. The grills even come with a cook book and suggested times for cooking different meats and thicknesses.

Due to the extreme high temps the grill produces, the change in cooking habits need to grill sucessfully, this is why I also kept my old Weber Silver B series gas grill. Depends on what I am cooking as to what grill I use. I do have friends that only own a TEC grill and have adapted there cooking styles with great sucess.
Now on to another side subject. I was reading a thread you posted in about the Chef's Choice knife sharpener Model # 120 or 130. How do you like it? Which model did you get.

I went to a local store here called "The Kitchen Store" and they said that they could not keep the Model 130's in stock and they were on back order with the manufacturer, due in stock in a few weeks.

I just ordered a full 17 piece set of Gourmet/Classic Wusthof Knives (used for 1 year, off eBay) for an unbelivable price. I was considering getting a electric knife sharpener to keep 'em sharp!
I have used just about every type of knife sharpener imaginable (a dull knife is worse than dirt on the top of your beer can), ok, so maybe I'm a little OC.

The 130 is the best one I've ever used. Academy sports has them, and if you want to spend a little more, your local restaurant supply is likely to stock the commercial grade ones. Just be sure to get the one w/ 3 wheels.

I think I will take your advice and get the 130. I am watching a few on eBay, if they go for the right price, I just may have one soon!
You won't regret it if you do. Just make sure and take heed when they tell you to only use the first wheel for knives that either have a very bad edge, or no edge at all. It'll put an edge on a butter knife that you can shave with.

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