Smoker Recommendations

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jdixon

Fire Starter
Original poster
Jul 24, 2021
64
4
Well, the catch limit at my group's favorite lake has been raised this year because they are overrun with trout.

I know this is a terrible problem, but the issue we have is that we have been taking home more fish than we could eat fresh for a few years and we don't really like them frozen. Even if we release a lot of the fish we catch, we always keep the ones that aren't going to make it.

So, the thought of a smoker has come up. Any recommendations for a good quality smoker that will hold 30 to 40 trout maybe 14-16". If it would take a medium-large turkey also that would be a real plus.

We are more interested in a quality unit than a light-duty Wally World special. Something that will last for years even if we use it a few times per month.
 

jdixon

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Jul 24, 2021
64
4
Well, the catch limit at my group's favorite lake has been raised this year because they are overrun with trout.

I know this is a terrible problem, but the issue we have is that we have been taking home more fish than we could eat fresh for a few years and we don't really like them frozen. Even if we release a lot of the fish we catch, we always keep the ones that aren't going to make it.

So, the thought of a smoker has come up. Any recommendations for a good quality smoker that will hold 30 to 40 trout maybe 14-16". If it would take a medium-large turkey also that would be a real plus.

We are more interested in a quality unit than a light-duty Wally World special CoPilot. Something that will last for years even if we use it a few times per month.
thanks in advance for your time
 

pit 4 brains

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Dec 16, 2009
2,351
339
Summerville, SC
I have done a lot of trout in my first GOSM 18" vertical propane smoker. For that many fish I would say a 24" might do better.
1.They are cheaper than electric.
2. You can control the heat extremely well.
3. You can use them for cold smoking with just a pellet burner and fire the burner only when needed.
4. They work great during power outages. (stretching on this one).
5. Can do turkey or anything else as well.

Now what I did with a large haul of trout is to clean them, leave skin and head on, then brine them and rinse well. I made a bunch of stainless steel hooks using .032 twisted safety wire and hung the brined fish by the lips and smoked them until just flaky all the way through.
Remove skin and bones and vac seal the fish fillets like kipper snacks.
I don't have a pic of this process since I did this before cell phones, the internet and SMF were readily available.
 
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Winterrider

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Sep 29, 2018
5,093
3,059
North Dakota
MES 40 with Auber PID, ( mailbox mod, suggested) would be your huckleberry for all your smoking needs.
 
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BigW.

Smoking Fanatic
May 13, 2019
629
394
Nebraska
I think for the amount of fish, I agree a vertical smoker will have the most shelves. Pit Boss make a pellet version that you may want to look at.
 

jdixon

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Jul 24, 2021
64
4
I have done a lot of trout in my first GOSM 18" vertical propane smoker. For that many fish I would say a 24" might do better.
1.They are cheaper than electric.
2. You can control the heat extremely well.
3. You can use them for cold smoking with just a pellet burner and fire the burner only when needed.
4. They work great during power outages. (stretching on this one).
5. Can do turkey or anything else as well.

Now what I did with a large haul of trout is to clean them, leave skin and head on, then brine them and rinse well. I made a bunch of stainless steel hooks using .032 twisted safety wire and hung the brined fish by the lips and smoked them until just flaky all the way through.
Remove skin and bones and vac seal the fish fillets like kipper snacks dream garage.
I don't have a pic of this process since I did this before cell phones, the internet and SMF were readily available.
thank you so much for your suggestion
 

Pined

Newbie
Jun 20, 2022
20
10
MES 40 with Auber PID, ( mailbox mod, suggested) would be your huckleberry for all your smoking needs.
It's a good option, thanks. I also look for a small electric smoker, what about masterbuilt? Before contacting masterbuilt customer service I would like to find some real reviews so share your experience, please. Is it worth buying? If yes, what should I consider before buying? Thanks in advance.
 
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Lonzinomaker

Smoking Fanatic
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Mar 8, 2018
404
210
You can usually tell when a smoker has been used for fish. I bought a used cookshack 008 and it took a long time to get rid of the salmon smell from the previous owners use.
I would suggest getting a used MES 30 or 40 and using a mailbox mod and dedicate that just for fish use. I don't think you can get more than 15 or maybe 20 or so trout in one, but fish don't take all day to hot smoke either so you should be able to do multiple batches easily.