Looking to get an electric smoker for cold smoking

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by freakynorm, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. I already have a homemade UDS I use for hot smoking but have wanted to get an electric smoker for cold smoking and making jerky and smoked fish, etc.

    I am looking for something easy, no mussing and fussing, something that does't require a bunch of mods to get it up to snuff, something that can get up and go right out of the box. I am a beginner to doing cold smoking and want something that isn't akin to a science experiment to try and get it to do what I need.

    I was thinking of spending $500 max including any accessories that might be needed. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  3. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    If you're sure that's all you are ever going to do pick one of these that suits your budget, you can't go wrong. But if you ever decide you want to get into hot smoking you'll have to upgrade.

  4. I agree with the 1st generation MES 40 and a AMNPS. You will have money left for any other toys you might want or for some meat. You can also cold smoke in your UDS. I have both a UDS and a MES 40 I have done cheese bacon and other cold smokes in both.

    Cheese in the MES

    Bacon in the MES

    Bacon in the MES

    Bacon in the UDS

    Cheese in the UDS

    Cold smoke in the UDS

    Divorced AMNPS box for the UDS

    Smoke entering the UDS

    My UDS with divorced AMNPS box.

    Happy smoken.

  5. Thanks for the suggestions. How do I know which generation the MES is when I am looking online? 
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The latest generation has the flush mounted Controller up front and the model # ends in 12. The 20070311 has a pyramid shaped controller in the back on top.

    Second Generation...Not so good...


    First generation...Good...

  7. dave from mesa

    dave from mesa Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Gen1 has the controller on top at the back. Gen2 has the controller at the front near the door.

    Good luck in your choice and happy smoken.


    Damn too slow again.

    Good going Chef J
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  8. link

    link Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Good question. How do you know if it is a First Gen? I am looking at this on CL as it is $100 - Masterbuilt 30" electric smoker model #20070910 is this a good deal? Too small?
  9. They just dropped the price of the first gen 30" by $30 which is making it very attractive to me right now. That would leave me with enough money to add on the cold smoker attachment and some other goodies.
  10. I pulled the trigger and got the 30" 1st gen with no window for $129 with free shipping. Merry xmas to me!
  11. Congratulations! I would take a look at the AMNPS instead of the cold smoke attachment.

    Happy smoken.

  12. What would the main benefit be going AMNPS vs the specific cold smoker attachment? Do these enclosed units have enough air and flow to keep the AMNPS without modding or drilling extra holes?
  13. The AMNPS was first designed for the MES. You don't have to do any mods. The AMNPS is about a third of the price. For what you save you can buy a Thermometer or pellets or more meat.

    Happy smoken.

  14. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You kidding me? A MES 30 Gen 1 for $129? I wasn't as patient so 2.5 years ago I bought mine (without the window) on Amazon for $189. Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. It's one great smoker and you got a great deal.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  15. toejam

    toejam Newbie

    Great deal, since I just pulled the plug on Amazon at $159.30. It's seasoning outside right now.
  16. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have the MES30 and 40 first generation and the AMP's as well as the Masterbuilt cold smoker attachment.

    I got my MES 40 with the cold smoke attachment direct from Masterbuilt both at a substantial discount. I really like them.

    The MES40 operates a bit different than the MES30. The cold smoker attachment is most diffinatley diffrent.

    I have (with regulation of the vent), gotten 18 hours of smoke with the AMPs but I think its advertized for 12. Where as the Masterbuilt is 4 to 6 hours. I won't bore you with temps because I have the pellet tray vice the dust which is preferred for straight cold smokes.

    AMP's puts out sizably less smoke and lasts longer, the masterbuilt is auxillary smoker on steroids!

    BUT when cold smoking unless really cold outside, 4 hours is all I am going to "cold' smoke at one sitting. Did I mention where I live we can go years without any freezing weather at all? The AMPs (pellet) does require heat in the box to draw a draft, or will go out, or you must do a modification to the box. That is why the dust is the preferred method.

    Both aux smokers will require some tweaking to be useful. I have not used the masterbuilt with the MES30, That would be a load of smoke. I have used both my AMPs and the Master so far on sausages and andouille, been too warm to do bacon yet.

    Mine both cost the same basically, both will require a bit of a learning curve but about equal, the AMP or dust tube uses pellets/dust easily obtainable from Amazin in multiple flavors where the Masterbuilt uses chips (or in my case pecan shells) readily available anywhere but normally with a limited variety. Both folks have great customer service.

    IF you have anything specific about the masterbuilt cold smoker, I'd be glad to try and help. The AMPs, well there are plenty of folks here more knowldgeable but I can try. Its not brain surgery, I mean the old tin can sit works fine too. LOL
  17. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Quote: The AMPs (pellet) does require heat in the box to draw a draft, or will go out, or you must do a modification to the box. That is why the dust is the preferred method.

    Hey Foam, This is the first I have seen this. I have Cold Smoked Bacon, MES off, in the summer and had no issue making smoke for 10+ hours. Have you had issues making bacon in hotter weather? The Salt and Cure should more than keep your meat safe. I have never had an issue in any air temp. Just curious...JJ
  18. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Just wondering where you found it for that price??
  19. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have only had some concerns with chicken sausage. But like all else, I believe in cleaniness and being careful. It would kill me to make something and cause illness or grief to another. Foam's rule of thumb, clorox is for the win!

    Here we are lucky to get a week or two of weather cold enough for me to even want to turn a furnace on. So cold (warm) smoking its 4 to 6 max, then back in the reefer till down to 37 again. Many years it doens't get cold enough to even kill off the bugs and mosquitos.

    I might stretch my rules some times, but only when doing for my own consumption. And I would never chance here saying I did it and some one then taking it as ok to try it also. Its like my raw smoked andouille I love so much. I know it will always be frozen till it is cooked, its cured, but I would never suggest it to another. I just try really hard to insure everything I suggest is 100% by the book and the good folks at the FDA are with smiles on their face.

    Untill lately I used the MES30 and the AMP's to "warm" smoke. Cold smoking was out of the question unless I got one of the dust tubes. No heat, no draft, no draft , no air, no air, no smoke. It was Ok because I was learning. I do prefer the "Warm smoke" or "Bearcarver" method. BUT you had better be comfortable with your unit to do it and maintain those low temps for any long period.  Folks here sure helpped alot with my education, which I appreciate and hope to pass on to others, safely.

    Back to the question, yes. If there is no heat in the either of my boxes, since not modified, a wide open vent and a slightly disengaged reloader tube will not furnish enough air for mine.

    There simply is not enough circulation and my pellets will slowly smolder out. Just as when trying to use chips at the same time as the AMPs, there isn't enough air either. Maybe I just have tempermental boxes and don't play well with others...LOL

    I love my MES, but the suction is only 3 tiny little holes in the reload tube and I keep my MES closed

    My AMPs needs a good circulation. Heck mine will only burn half the time when everything is right and I have it on the two bar rack on the bottom.

    I finially started using a rack on top pf the fire box which was directly in the middle of the air flow from the reloader inlet to the vent on top. Then I have had no problems.

    Its just a learning curve, you have to learn what works best in your smoker, then figure out why so you can do it again. And thats terrible because then you just have to smoke more to figure it out. </insert big grin here>

    I have a couple a sides frozen in the garage because its only December, its supposedly getting in the 80's tomorrow. If you believe weathermen. Childhood memories, Christmas carroled more in cut offs and t-shirts than in a jacket.

    Don't get me wrong I use the AMPs a bunch, and look forward to mastering the Masterbuilt cold smoker too! Everything has a place and a purpose.

    Freaky, please except my appoligies for the hijack. Just a suggestion, you might check Masterbuilt for their in house deals on units and acessories also.

    Household smokers - There are more here, these just get all the usage here lately,  <right to left> Old "Redi-Smok" analog smoker (with charcoal on top), MES30, Masterbuilt Cold Smoke attachment, MES 40, Medium sized pipe pit. There is most definately an AMPs here, probably inside a smoker. LOL.. this is the electric section......

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  20. Hijack away. I need to learn as much as possible before I get started. Any suggestions on instructions/techniques for cold smoking/warm smoking? I see a lot of people making stuff on here but would like step by step info and extra details.

    I checked the Masterbuilt website, they don't seem to sell stuff direct, unless I am looking at the wrong site or something.

    I don't feel like paying extra for a stand. Will any solid structure work as a stand/riser for this unit? Does the bottom not get hot enough to melt stuff, etc?
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014

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