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Questions about your use of a smoker

bbqmaker2019

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Joined Nov 15, 2019
Hello !

I’m working with another student on a project to design a firepit/cooking apparatus to use in the backyard. Currently, we’re looking for input from users of similar products, mostly regarding the ease of use and the ergonomics of the process. I thought I’d come by here, because we might want to add a smoker accessory to the whole thing.

Here are some questions you can try to answer, but feel free to tell us more about any opinion of yours towards the ergonomic flaws of your smoker !

When you decide to use your smoker… :

- How much time does it take from starting the smoker to the cleaning up? Which step do you repeat the most often (frequency)?
- What accessories would you say are the most important in the process?
- What are the most common source of frustration in the process?
- Which accessories ou addition to your current setup would fix some of its flaws?
- How often do you thoroughly wash your setup? (removing the ashes, cleaning the grill, etc.)
- Did you or anyone who used your setup had an accessibility issue? (didn’t understand how to use some parts, couldn’t use because of size/handicap/strength limitations, etc.)
- How many and for which purpose would you use drawers/warmer trays if they were included?
- Any cool stuff you’d like to see in the firepit/smoker hybrid of your dream!

Feel free to PM me for questions/suggestions
 

sawhorseray

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Oct 17, 2014
How much time does it take from starting the smoker to the cleaning up? Depends on what's being smoked
Which step do you repeat the most often (frequency)? Adding wood to the firebox
What accessories would you say are the most important in the process? Beer
What are the most common source of frustration in the process? Running out of beer
Which accessories ou addition to your current setup would fix some of its flaws? None, it's perfect
How often do you thoroughly wash your setup? (removing the ashes, cleaning the grill, etc.) After each use
Did you or anyone who used your setup had an accessibility issue? (didn’t understand how to use some parts, couldn’t use because of size/handicap/strength limitations, etc.) A friend touched the firebox, big mistake
How many and for which purpose would you use drawers/warmer trays if they were included? None, plywood table on sawhorses works for me
Any cool stuff you’d like to see in the firepit/smoker hybrid of your dream! A rack of pork ribs

RAY
 

JC in GB

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Sep 28, 2018
- How much time does it take from starting the smoker to the cleaning up? Depends on what is cooked. Typically it takes me about 90 minutes to get my smoker fired up and to temperature. Clean up usually takes me about 5 - 10 minutes.

Which step do you repeat the most often (frequency)? Adding fuel or flavor wood to the smoker
- What accessories would you say are the most important in the process? Heat resistant gloves are a necessity for pulling racks or moving hot food in and out of the smoker. Temperature probes are a necessity for judging meat doneness. A good set of knives is necessary for meat trimming.

- What are the most common source of frustration in the process? Mis-timing your cook is the most frustrating for me. BBQ is done when it is done and I have had cooks end early or run late. Nearly impossible to set a watch to BBQ.

- Which accessories in addition to your current setup would fix some of its flaws? Invent a meat tenderness gauge and you might have something.

- How often do you thoroughly wash your setup? (removing the ashes, cleaning the grill, etc.) I scrape the grates and empty the ash pan every cook. I remove gunk from the smoker floor every third cook.
- Did you or anyone who used your setup had an accessibility issue? (didn’t understand how to use some parts, couldn’t use because of size/handicap/strength limitations, etc.) No one else uses my equipment so I have no data to share.
- How many and for which purpose would you use drawers/warmer trays if they were included? Holding meat that finished early would be great at about half the smoker capacity. Utility drawers are always nice to store temp probes, pit controller etc.
- Any cool stuff you’d like to see in the firepit/smoker hybrid of your dream! I would like a variable burn firebox so I can do smokes at lower temperatures and not have a fully lit firebox. A notched bar near the top of the smoker front to back for hanging sausages or ribs. A fire box igniter. Attach a gas cylinder to the smoker with a burner and igniter in the firebox to ignite charcoal so you don't have to do it manually with a torch or paraffin cube. I believe the larger Ole Hickory pits have this.

Would love to see what you come up with.

JC :emoji_cat:
 

uncle eddie

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
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Joined May 14, 2016
- How much time does it take from starting the smoker to the cleaning up?
Warming up my MES40 takes about 20-30 minutes - THEN - It depends on the smoker temp and the meat...salmon and beer can burgers can be as little as an hour while pulled pork can take as long as 12-18 hours.
- Which step do you repeat the most often (frequency)?
Checking the smoker temp/making sure the smoke is just right - this is one step IMHO
- What accessories would you say are the most important in the process?
An excellent calibrated meat thermometer
- What are the most common source of frustration in the process?
Smoked meats are done when they are done - not when you are trying to serve supper at 5:30. make sure the meat gets done early and then wrap it and rest it.
- Which accessories ou addition to your current setup would fix some of its flaws?
I wish my MES40 would go higher than 275F. 325F would be awesome...but that is why I have a second stick burner/charcoal smoker (for the high heat smokes)
- How often do you thoroughly wash your setup? (removing the ashes, cleaning the grill, etc.)
Grill grates - after each use,
ashes - after each use,
window - never,
change foil wrapped pans with new foil - when they get grimy (every 8 +/- smokes maybe)

- Did you or anyone who used your setup had an accessibility issue? (didn’t understand how to use some parts, couldn’t use because of size/handicap/strength limitations, etc.)
I have really bad hearing (hearing aids) - but I doubt that is what you mean :-)
- How many and for which purpose would you use drawers/warmer trays if they were included?
Wouldn't use them
- Any cool stuff you’d like to see in the firepit/smoker hybrid of your dream!
Free beer and a big screen TV :-)
Seriously though, I love my two smokers and the way they are set up. Can't think of anything to add
 
Last edited:

GaryHibbert

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined Jun 20, 2013
I use a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker--a MES 30, controlled by a PID.
--How much time?? SAME AS UNCLE EDDIE
--Which steps repeated most often? CHECKING COOK CHAMBER TEMP, CHECK MEAT INTERNAL TEMP. MAKING SURE MY SMOKE PELLETS ARE BURNING PROPERLY.
--Most imporant accessories? A MULTI PROBE REMOTE DIGITAL THERMOMETER (MOST FACTORY TEMP PROBES ARE GARBAGE). HANDHELD INSTANT READ THERM. HEAT PROOF GLOVES.
--Most frustrating? HAVING PROBLEMS KEEPING SMOKING PELLETS LIT. THE MEAT IS DONE WHEN THE MEAT IS DONE, SO SUPPER IS NEVER ON TIME
--How often do you clean up after smoke? ASHES ARE N/A. THE GRATES GO INTO THE DISHWASHER THAT NIGHT. GREASE PANS ARE DISCARDED AS REQUIRED. THERM PROBES CLEANED AFTER EACH USE.
--Accessability problems? NONE I'M AN OLD MAN, BUT THAT PROBABLY DOESN'T COUNT. NOBODY BUT ME USES MY MES.
--Drawers and warming trays. I USE THE DRAWERS IN MY STAND TO STORE A WIDE VARITY OF PANS.
--Cool stuff?? A HIGH QUALITY BUILT IN PID. MULTI PROOBE DIGITAL FACTORY THERMS THAT ARE ACCURATE RATHER THAN JUNK.

Be sure to let us know what you come up with.
Gary
--
 

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