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Recommendations For New Electric Smoker

jayce75

Newbie
15
0
Joined Oct 31, 2017
I've had a Smoke Hollow 26142E for almost 4 years and I discovered yesterday that the heating element no longer works. It seems like if I go to the manufacturer, they want $30 for the heating element and another $30 for a new temperature controller - and it'd take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to arrive. The smoker has held up pretty well but since I have been smoking more over the years I'm thinking about getting a larger smoker that's digital - maybe blutooth - and I'm looking for recommendations. I'd like to spend $200 or less ($250 would be the absolute max) on a new smoker. It doesn't HAVE to have digital, etc. - I just thought it'd be nice if I weighed my options if I decide to just buy a new smoker.

I DO have a Camp Chef SE Pellet Grill that still works pretty well - I haven't changed out the analog dial/controller for the new V2 Controller with the new PID which I thought about doing instead of just buying another smoker. The only reason I'm not just relying on that one (even though it's great) is that longer smokes burn through a lot a pellets - while a dedicated smoker does a better job with the amount of wood chips. I used my Smoke Hollow for smokes longer than say 6 hours and overnight smoking while using the Camp Chef for shorter smokes, grilling etc. It's also nice to have a second smoker in case something happens to one of them.

So please pass on any recommendations! I can drive myself crazy looking at website recommendations, etc. but I'd rather hear from people here. I'm hoping to find and buy something this week! Thanks in advance for the help!
 

poacherjoe

Meat Mopper
162
192
Joined Nov 7, 2019
If you only want to spend 200 dollars then you need to watch Craigslist or Ebay. I got lucky and picked up a barely used SmokinTex 1460 for 450 bucks. They sell new for 1000.00. He was asking 600 and the ad was about a month old and he changed it to best offer. I waited 2 weeks and called him and I was the only one to respond to the add. I saw it was in like new condition so I offered him 450 and he jumped on it. He just needed money period. I didn't want a pellet grill because I would have to continually purchase pellets of different wood flavor. I can get every kind of wood imaginable for free where I live and this smoker only needs a 2 oz chunk of wood to smoke just about everything. Master built seems pretty popular on this site and they are more affordable and they are also more readily available on craigslist So with that said if your not in a hurry start looking and be patient . Good luck
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,326
1,488
Joined Dec 30, 2016
I've had a Smoke Hollow 26142E for almost 4 years and I discovered yesterday that the heating element no longer works. It seems like if I go to the manufacturer, they want $30 for the heating element and another $30 for a new temperature controller - and it'd take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to arrive. The smoker has held up pretty well but since I have been smoking more over the years I'm thinking about getting a larger smoker that's digital - maybe blutooth - and I'm looking for recommendations. I'd like to spend $200 or less ($250 would be the absolute max) on a new smoker. It doesn't HAVE to have digital, etc. - I just thought it'd be nice if I weighed my options if I decide to just buy a new smoker.

I DO have a Camp Chef SE Pellet Grill that still works pretty well - I haven't changed out the analog dial/controller for the new V2 Controller with the new PID which I thought about doing instead of just buying another smoker. The only reason I'm not just relying on that one (even though it's great) is that longer smokes burn through a lot a pellets - while a dedicated smoker does a better job with the amount of wood chips. I used my Smoke Hollow for smokes longer than say 6 hours and overnight smoking while using the Camp Chef for shorter smokes, grilling etc. It's also nice to have a second smoker in case something happens to one of them.

So please pass on any recommendations! I can drive myself crazy looking at website recommendations, etc. but I'd rather hear from people here. I'm hoping to find and buy something this week! Thanks in advance for the help!
Hi there and welcome!

This is going to sound a little funny but bear with me.

For your price range if u found a used Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch (MES40) for like $40-50 on craigslist or facebook, u did a very simple rewire, and bought a $150 Auber PID controller, you would have an electric smoker that performes 10x better then a brand new MES or Smoke Hollow electric smoker!

You would also need to use the A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker tray to generate smoke but all us electric guys do that anyways for perfect smoke up to 12 hours hassle free!!

The simple rewire is simply to unhook 4 wire ends, cut the connectors off and splice to make 2 complete wires... done! At that point the MES cord simply feeds power to the heating element. The Auber PID could controll power on/off to the MES cord to hit and maintain the temperature you tell it to hold. The Auber PID has a temp probe u drop into the MES to measure that temp.

So this is all within your budge and gives you a smoker u can keep running short of a lightning strike and will hold temps within 2-3 degrees of what you want it to be... no temp swings!!!
You can now do bacon, sausage, jerky, and actually hit a temp of 275F where the stock controller may never give u that top temp and will have big temp swings.

I hope this info helps and ask any questions u may have :)
 

jayce75

Newbie
15
0
Joined Oct 31, 2017
Hi there and welcome!

This is going to sound a little funny but bear with me.

For your price range if u found a used Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 40 inch (MES40) for like $40-50 on craigslist or facebook, u did a very simple rewire, and bought a $150 Auber PID controller, you would have an electric smoker that performes 10x better then a brand new MES or Smoke Hollow electric smoker!

You would also need to use the A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker tray to generate smoke but all us electric guys do that anyways for perfect smoke up to 12 hours hassle free!!

The simple rewire is simply to unhook 4 wire ends, cut the connectors off and splice to make 2 complete wires... done! At that point the MES cord simply feeds power to the heating element. The Auber PID could controll power on/off to the MES cord to hit and maintain the temperature you tell it to hold. The Auber PID has a temp probe u drop into the MES to measure that temp.

So this is all within your budge and gives you a smoker u can keep running short of a lightning strike and will hold temps within 2-3 degrees of what you want it to be... no temp swings!!!
You can now do bacon, sausage, jerky, and actually hit a temp of 275F where the stock controller may never give u that top temp and will have big temp swings.

I hope this info helps and ask any questions u may have :)
Interesting!!!! Do you have a link to the Auber PID I would need to do this?
 

Winterrider

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,487
1,121
Joined Sep 29, 2018

Inscrutable

Smoking Fanatic
376
221
Joined Apr 4, 2019
+1 to all this if you can find a used one in decent shape <100.
Adding PID removes the major complaint with all these lower end electrics. It’s on the list to add one to my Pit Boss Series 3 analog
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,326
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Joined Dec 30, 2016
Interesting!!!! Do you have a link to the Auber PID I would need to do this?
Winterrider Winterrider beat me to the punch hahaha :D

That Auber PID will handle any 1400watt or under electric smoker. Be sure to choose the multi-purpose temp probe as the option with it.

Also this post seems to be useful for folks on how to do the simple rewire of an MES smoker. Same concept exists for other electrical smokers but this post has tons of pictures and input specifically for the MES 30 and 40 smokers and various models as Masterbuilt changes things slightly (different color wiring, etc.) but it is all fundamentally the same.

Let me know if you have any questions :)
 

jayce75

Newbie
15
0
Joined Oct 31, 2017
Thanks for all the info guys! I saw a an MES40 on Facebook last night that the person just didn't want to finish assembling for $99 - unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to message her before someone else snagged it.

Question - someone from Smoke Hollow did get back to me and said that they've updated the price on the heating element - now $25 - and that I should be able to still use my current temperature controller. If I go that route would I still be able to use the Auber PID with it?

Here's a link to the temperature controller:

As you can see it's analog. Would this still require wire splicing, etc. since all it does is turn the heating element on whatever setting I have the dial on.?
 

Inscrutable

Smoking Fanatic
376
221
Joined Apr 4, 2019
Yes, IF rotating the ‘control’ to its highest setting keeps it on all the time.

I think it should be pretty much the same for all electrics. You are just taking the existing controller out of the circuit - so if it was plugged straight into the house receptacle, the element heats up full tilt, subject to any safety switch that may be there and left in the circuit. You’re just plugging the smoker into the Auber (and the Auber into the house receptacle) and all the modulation of the heating element is handled by the Auber.
 

jayce75

Newbie
15
0
Joined Oct 31, 2017
Yes, IF rotating the ‘control’ to its highest setting keeps it on all the time.

I think it should be pretty much the same for all electrics. You are just taking the existing controller out of the circuit - so if it was plugged straight into the house receptacle, the element heats up full tilt, subject to any safety switch that may be there and left in the circuit. You’re just plugging the smoker into the Auber (and the Auber into the house receptacle) and all the modulation of the heating element is handled by the Auber.
Great! So I wouldn't have to do any kind of modding/splicing of wiring anywhere?
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,326
1,488
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Great! So I wouldn't have to do any kind of modding/splicing of wiring anywhere?
As Inscrutable Inscrutable mentions, it isn't "mandatory" to rewire anything with your analogue smoker and that cord. You just turn that dial to max.

NOW, with that said. Should your smoker ever hit the temperature threshold that "max" setting manages then the cord's controller will cut off power to the heating element no mater what the PID wants to do.

I did some searching and the last Q&A on the Smoke Hollow FAQ website page says it is made to operate between 225-350F. Your system may play by different rules so know what temperature your cord's built in controller will cut off power. If that cord controller temp is higher than any temperature u will ever punch into the PID then u know the cord will never cut off power while your PID is trying to manage the power and temp in the smoker!

Should the cord ever get stupid with it's thermostat and temp management you can just open that box on the coard and rewire so the wires just skip any thing inside and connect straight to the leads that connect to the metal stabby prong that connects to the smoker hahaha.

Let me know if this makes sense :)
 

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