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Is it time for a new smoker?

oldironhead

Fire Starter
48
40
Joined Oct 23, 2015
Looking for some advice:

Quick background: I am leaning to smoke using a Cajun Injector smoker that was my late husband's. I use it probably once a month (more in the summer). He got it December 2013, and I'm pretty sure it's never been cleaned out. 

I clean the pans and racks between smokes, but the unit itself is pretty dang nasty.

I'm not necessarily looking to drop coin for no reason, but I'm starting to think I might should move on to a new unit.

How long does an electric smoker last? I use it on our wooden deck, so electric is a must. Also, I've read other threads about modifications and what-not on certain brands, but I wouldn't want to have to do all that.

My main gripe about this Cajun Injector is that adding the wood chips is a real PITA. It has some spring loaded door that barely holds any chips at all... I pretty much have to cram handfuls of wood chips down the chute with a utensil.

Otherwise, the digital control seems to work fine, the temp probe is relatively accurate.

Anyone have some words of wisdom for me?

TIA!

EDITED TO ADD: If I do get a new smoker, I'm leaning towards a Masterbuilt not for any reason other than this awesome vid

https://masterbuilt.com/cantstopthefeeling/
 
Last edited:

jasper7

Smoking Fanatic
385
31
Joined Mar 14, 2013
I'm a firm believer in the saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it".  If it still produces good food, then keep on smokin'.
 

oldironhead

Fire Starter
48
40
Joined Oct 23, 2015
Well, there is that :) Thanks for the input.... Of course, that requires I clean this one which seems quite daunting. 
 

gearjammer

Master of the Pit
1,473
172
Joined Apr 6, 2015
The sides and top don't need cleaning for the most part.

Just let that be.

The bottom where the crud falls and drips,

yep, some cleaning might be in order.

Make sure it is unplugged before doing any cleaning

Don't get to crazy with it though, no oven cleaner

or stuff like that.

Have fun with all of it.

       Ed
 

redheelerdog

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
2,040
665
Joined Dec 4, 2011
Clean the Cajun if it still heats good and get an AMAZN pellet smoker or tube.

Tons of electric smoker guys use them here with Masterbuilts, including myself.

The AMAZN pellet or tube smokers work great and you won't have to add chips all the time.

Todd that sells the AMAZN smokers is a member on this forum also.

Amazn smokers are here: http://www.amazenproducts.com/

SMF Amazn forum here: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/f/3172/a-maze-n-smokers

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
 

bigfurmn

Meat Mopper
187
79
Joined Feb 25, 2016
Clean the Cajun if it still heats good and get an AMAZN pellet smoker or tube.

Tons of electric smoker guys use them here with Masterbuilts, including myself.

The AMAZN pellet or tube smokers work great and you won't have to add chips all the time.

Todd that sells the AMAZN smokers is a member on this forum also.

Amazn smokers are here: http://www.amazenproducts.com/

SMF Amazn forum here: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/f/3172/a-maze-n-smokers

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

Dead on post. I have the Masterbuilt 40" Bluetooth (I don't use the Bluetooth, have an igrill2). The Amazen tube smoker works great in mine, better then the maze. And yes I start the maze correctly. Now that we covered that I agree with what has been said already. No point in wasting money on something new when what you have works.
 

oldironhead

Fire Starter
48
40
Joined Oct 23, 2015
Thanks all for the help! I'll check out the AMAZN add on. And, yeah GREAT idea on using vinegar!  I know the smoker isn't supposed to be pristine, I just want it to not be quite as repulsive. :)
 

miatawnt2b

Fire Starter
68
28
Joined Dec 30, 2014
I just use easy-off oven cleaner on my masterbuilt. Spray it all over the inside, shut the door, let it sit for about 20 minutes then hit it with a garden hose. Let it air dry for a few days before plugging it back in.
 

oldironhead

Fire Starter
48
40
Joined Oct 23, 2015
Water won't hurt it? If I leave it open for a few days on the deck, the ole Labrador will clean it for me for sure. Ha!
 

old sarge

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,450
356
Joined Nov 26, 2012
Give a look at the line of smokers from Smokin-it.  They are stainless steel throughout.  No painted steel or plastic.  Heavily insulated. You place a couple of wood chunks into the smoker when you put the meat in, turn it on and you are finished. No more wood to add.  Nothing could be simpler.  These are heavy and well built smokers. 3 year warranty.  If you get the digital model, the controller itself has a 1 year warranty and the smoker has 3 years. 
 

oldironhead

Fire Starter
48
40
Joined Oct 23, 2015
Interesting. Thanks for the tip - I read a couple of threads on here where that manufacturer seems to be highly favored. I like simple :)
 

old sarge

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,450
356
Joined Nov 26, 2012
SI is very simple.  Their website has a lot of information.  Very high quality.  They have a facebook page with some videos and youtube also has some user videos. 
 

jeffinn

Smoke Blower
78
63
Joined Nov 7, 2015
The Smokin-it line of smokers are really nice units and the owner is a guy who really stands behind his products. A great product with a great warranty.
I bought the 3D a while ago and absolutely love it!
If you're looking for a new smoker you should definitely consider them.
Have fun!
 

daricksta

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
3,243
175
Joined Apr 27, 2012
 
Looking for some advice:

Quick background: I am leaning to smoke using a Cajun Injector smoker that was my late husband's. I use it probably once a month (more in the summer). He got it December 2013, and I'm pretty sure it's never been cleaned out. 

I clean the pans and racks between smokes, but the unit itself is pretty dang nasty.

I'm not necessarily looking to drop coin for no reason, but I'm starting to think I might should move on to a new unit.

How long does an electric smoker last? I use it on our wooden deck, so electric is a must. Also, I've read other threads about modifications and what-not on certain brands, but I wouldn't want to have to do all that.

My main gripe about this Cajun Injector is that adding the wood chips is a real PITA. It has some spring loaded door that barely holds any chips at all... I pretty much have to cram handfuls of wood chips down the chute with a utensil.

Otherwise, the digital control seems to work fine, the temp probe is relatively accurate.

Anyone have some words of wisdom for me?

TIA!

EDITED TO ADD: If I do get a new smoker, I'm leaning towards a Masterbuilt not for any reason other than this awesome vid

https://masterbuilt.com/cantstopthefeeling/
Seems like your Cajun should have a lot of life left if it was purchased in 2013 and only used about once a month. That's more often that I used my Masterbuilt 30" electric digital smoker. I've had it for over 4 years. It's considered a Generation 1 model since there have been redesigned versions in both 30" and 40" inch sizes since then. I love this smoker and I clean it out either before or after each use. I don't get it sparkling clean because there's no need to overdo it. Just the racks and other removable stuff and caked on food residue or excess carbon or grease build up. You never want a spotlessly clean smoker. You'll never see one at a BBQ restaurant or in competition. You want as much of the original seasoning to remain intact.

I've produced some outstanding smoked meat and cheeses in this thing. But apparently some problems have arisen from possible worn out/corroded electrical connections in the back of the smoker. I've had one of the SMF members, Dr. K, advising me on how to troubleshoot and repair it. It should be a lot cheaper than buying a new smoker.

So, all that being said, if you buy the right MES (Masterbuilt Electric Smoker) because many of the Generation 2 smokers have been problematic. It also depends how much you plan to spend if you decide to go with a new smoker. Overall, the MES is the best smoker in its price ranges. Now, for generating wood smoke there are alternatives to wood chips. IO only use wood pellets in a tray called a an A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker. It's been years since I used wood pellets for the very reasons you described.  I suggest you check out the A-MAZE-N site, https://www.amazenproducts.com/, because the founder and owner, Todd Johnson, probably has a smoker that will work with the Cajun. If you have any questions you can email him through his site and he will personally respond. Todd provides customer service that's second to none.

Almost every meat probe or temp gauge included with inexpensive smokers are unreliable because of their lack of accuracy. I use the Maverick ET-733 because of its rep and rock solid accuracy. It can be a slight pain to set the settings or change them for each smoke but it's a great product. Other guys like the Bluetooth therms that can send readouts and graphs to their smartphones. All depends on what works for you.

Good luck with all of this. SMF is a wonderful forum for learning and getting assistance about smoking techniques and equipment.
 

oldironhead

Fire Starter
48
40
Joined Oct 23, 2015
Thanks for the response and all the thoughtful information. I appreciate everyone's responses and advice. You are right about SMF being a fantastic place for information!

I'll check out the pellet web site. I just see wood chips all over the place (grocery stores even) but not sure I've ever seen wood pellets. I can just plan ahead. :)

I have a BT iGrill Mini that I got for a birthday gift. I compared them during my last smoke and the Cajun probe was surprisingly close. Closer than my Thermoworks Pop which I use when grilling... :)
 

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