Smoking in confined spaces

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by uptownmike, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. uptownmike

    uptownmike Newbie


    I'm looking to start smoking my own meats.  I live in Chicago in a twelve unit condo.  I have a porch out back with electricity.  I'm trying to determine the best smoker for a smaller area that won't be a nuisance to my neighbors.  I don't know where to start.

    Are electric smokers "evil"?  Do they go against the ethos of smoking?  Do they consistently render a sub-standard product?  With my set up, I have to make space a consideration, but don't want to sacrifice size to the point where I can't smoke a decent sized brisket.  Plus, since I'm a newb, I need it to be as user-friendly as possible.  I can do propane if necessary, but electric would be more convenient.

    Please help.  Thanks.
  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Look at the MES 30.... Get one of them and an AMAZEN smoke tool..  


    This site has tons of info.

    I would suggest you spend some time reading all the different forums and the WIKIs.

    Then use the handy dandy search tool for specific interests!!

    Take the awesome free E-Course!!!

    Have a great day!!!

          Make bacon the easy way!!
  3. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    X2 on the MES they are a great little unit and put out great Que
  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yes electric is evil.    But there are many very happy watt burners on this forum.  I think that will be your best option.  No open flame, easily controllable amount of smoke.

    You really can't use a wood burner in confined spaces plus I would imagine firewood is pretty expensive in your neighborhood so either gas or electric are your options.  Look seriously at FPNMF's suggestions, I think he is giving you very good advice.

    Welcome to the forum, keep in touch with what you decide

  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    X3 on the MES
  6. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    X4 0n the MES But i would go w/ the 40". seen to many folks over the last few years get the 30" and w/in a month start saying they wished they had gotten the 40".
  7. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    X5 i got a MES 30' i will go for the 40'
  8. I'm real happy with the Bradley digital electric smoker I have. I only use it for Salmon, Jerky, Pepperoni stix and sausages.I cooked a pork butt in it once and did not like it so I use my ceramic grill for steaks, butts and that sort of stuff. 
  9. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree on the MES - it is set it and forget it easy as well
  10. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Electric is not evil at all. I have a charcoal UDS and a electric UDS both and my electric puts out great Q. I'm in the same boat as you and have to use a electric. The MES is a great smoker especially when you get a AMNS and now you can cold smoke or hot smoke. Some helpful links are in my signature. 
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  11. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks like the MES is the clear winner of the opinion poll.  I have no experience with that one. My brother has a Smokin Tex. It's a small (about the size of a dorm fridge, maybe a little bigger) insulated stainless steel box with a dial on top. That's pretty much it. It's well insulated and he's had a lot of success with it. You load the wood chips, set the temp and come back when your food's done. I tihnk it was in the $400-$500 range. On the lower end of the scale, the $75ish Brinkmann Gourmet Electric is a vertical drum style, with no temp selector. At least the old ones didn't have one. I had one years ago, and at the time knew nothing about smoking and tried to use it as a grill. Disappointed, I gave it away after one attempt. However, knowing what I now know, I think one might get pretty good results with it for a minimal investment. Also, if you're feeling primitive, you can take out the element and use charcoal.

    First and foremost, I'd check with your condo board to see what is and isn't allowed. Don't want to plunk down cash for a smoker only to find out you can't use it.

    Good luck!!
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I filled in the blanks in Red.

  13. little smokey

    little smokey Smoking Fanatic

    I have the Brinkmann Gourmet Electric and have just started smoking and love the thing.  I t has plenty of room in fact I am getting brackets and another grill to pop in there for when I am doing chicken wings or any other chicken parts.  Ribs have been awesome and just did my first two fatties and they rocked.  I love this thing and almost got a MES 30 but decided to save the money for NOW.
  14. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    MES is a great option and there are other electric smokers that will suit your needs.


    Evil Owner of (3) Mes 40's!
  15. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Thanks to ..................... I have named my electric UDS ! [​IMG]  [​IMG]  [​IMG]

  16. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    You evil blancher! [​IMG]  You should give it a try first. [​IMG]

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