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Vote for Best Electric Smoker

laersmoker

Newbie
10
10
Joined Mar 21, 2016
Hi! I'm looking to get an electric smoker and I'd like to get a vote of what the best one to buy. 

What I'm looking for/reasons I'm going for electric:

1. Smell of charcoal is blowing into my house too much (I've been smoking on my porch - I live in an apartment)

2. Cut the hassle - Right now with a busy schedule, I still want to smoke meat, but not have to be busy with it all day adding coal, etc.

3. Consistency - I'd like to get my smoking down to more of a set thing, and I think charcoal's pretty variant with the weather - I thought electric would be better, but dunno - what do you think?
4. I want something that can hold a lot of meat at once - the more the merrier. 

I've been looking at the Masterbuilt 30" & the 40" as well as Bradley, but don't know what the difference between versions are, and what's best - other companies are also fine, too. What's best? (I don't need it to be bluetooth operated - it won't make a difference to me). 

Thanks!!
 

old sarge

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,285
284
Joined Nov 26, 2012
LAerSmoker 

If you are serious about wanting the best, my totally biased vote goes to the line of smokers from Smokin-it (SI).   I have the SI 3D and cannot ask for more in a smoker.  A super performer.   Feature for feature I just don't believe you can beat the SI. Check them out. You will pay a little more but you get so much more, and no mods needed.  

Dave

I should also mention that the smokers are NSF Certified.
 
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divotmaker

Smoke Blower
104
14
Joined Nov 6, 2013
Any of the Smokin-It line.  Best value in pro-grade smokers, hands down!  And the D models are the ONLY smokers with a built-in PID controller.
 

durangosmoker

Newbie
5
10
Joined Mar 27, 2015
I agree on the suggestion of the Smokin-it smoker.  Built like a tank, well insulated so works in all weather, even really nasty weather (ie below zero temps). Can get analog or digital controllers, and the customer service is superb!
 

idahopz

Smoking Fanatic
818
294
Joined Nov 9, 2015
I can't comment on which is best, but I've a Bradley, and if I could do it over again, I would not get it.

The design is a bit flawed with respect to durability and the power of the heating element. The puck advancer is a great idea, but tends to fail in what I have read online, and my personal experience.  However, because I have one, I baby it, and as long as I don't try to exceed it's capabilities, the cooks turn out just fine. These days my Bradley does only cold smoked cheese, dinner salmon, salmon candy and jerky.  I don't feel like babying it with large cuts like brisket or butt even though the Auber dual probe PID tends to help.  Unfortunately weather conditions too easily overwhelm the 500 watt heating element.
 
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mark4mn

Fire Starter
50
12
Joined Jan 22, 2012
I too vote for the Smokin-it line. I have had my 2 for 5 years and have been unable to wear it out.

I have the analog one. Not as flexible as the D version, but does what I need.

Mark
 

ndkoze

Smoke Blower
111
15
Joined Apr 4, 2011
Another vote for Smokin-It from me. I have had my #3 for close to 3 years and I have no doubt that it will last for 10+ years.

MasterBuilt/Bradley and the like are great starter smokers and you can put out some darn good food in them. But, the quality of the materials is no match for the Smokin-It smokers.

As others have said, they are built like tanks and the 3-year warranty is an awesome advantage.

They are insulated so well, that I have smoked in -20 degree Fahrenheit weather with zero issues.

Good luck with whatever you choose.
 

laersmoker

Newbie
10
10
Joined Mar 21, 2016
Thanks for all the votes.

Smokin-it seems to be winning this poll hands down!

Seeing that I won't need to be smoking in sub-zero weather or anything near it, and I just saw a sale for Masterbuilt, should I still be opting for Smokin-it? Can anyone tell me anything (good or bad) about the Masterbuilts? Do they work alright for large cuts (or large quantities)? I mostly smoke brisket.

Thanks!
 

swthorpe

Newbie
14
10
Joined Jun 26, 2013
Another vote for the Smokin-it smoker!  I have been smoking with the SI #2 for five years and it is still going strong, and that's pretty much every weekend throughout the year.   Love it!
 

rich b

Newbie
8
11
Joined Mar 26, 2015
Gotta cast another vote for Smokin-it.  You will find endless mods for masterbilt and bradley but the smokin-it doesn't need any mods, think about it.  I've owned my #3 for a year now and it is bullet proof, imagine throwing 4 pork butts in at 11PM and a few ounces of wood and turning it on and going to sleep, with no fears or worries.  you never have to add wood and the new #D models include a digital controller that you can program, it simply could not get any easier or worry-free.yes they are more expensive but there's a reason for that, materials and elements are top notch, NSF rated, you get what you pay for!!!!

Good luck!
 

jsmartin

Newbie
1
10
Joined Jan 6, 2016
Another vote for Smokin-It.  I have the #2 and it consistently puts out food that is "the best I've ever had," according to my guests.  Built like a tank and easy to use.  +1 for its user forum, too.  
 

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
17,924
2,430
Joined May 12, 2011
Just to go against the tide...I have 2 MES40's, 4 and 5 years old, model 20070311 all stainless steel with AMNPS just so I can smoke from ambient to 275 for ten hours without touching it. The MES40 is similar in size and function to the SI-3D, SI has a better controller, but the MES is half the price...JJ
 

dr k

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,230
318
Joined Mar 22, 2013
If you can afford the Smokin-it, gofor-it. I couldn't pass up the Mes Gen 1 40" @ $273.00 delivered. I've had it a year with no problems. I've never used the chip tray other than for a couple of briquettes occasionally for a smoke ring. I like the lighter smoke flavor when It's generated outside the product chamber with the Amnps and mailbox mod plus getting combustibles out of the smoker for safer over night smokes. Even with a short connection to the smoker the smoke flavor is lighter and can be easily adjusted by removing the Amnps from the mailbox without opening the smoker or letting it burn longer. I put in a pic of my
 
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mr t 59874

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
2,631
256
Joined Jun 9, 2011
Going to recommend the Cookshack line of smokers. I have two, an SM009-02 and a SM066. Quality built in the USA with exceptional dependability and customer service.

T
 

drains

Newbie
2
10
Joined Nov 8, 2014
Another smokin-it believer here. I've had a #3 for a year now and haven't used my offset since. Simply the best value for the price anywhere for an electric smoker.
 

regular guy

Newbie
17
25
Joined Mar 28, 2015
Time to chime in I suppose! I have a cooking arsenal of grills and smokers to choose from and I love them all BUT.......if I just want to smoke something, I use my Smokin-It #3 more times than not. It's about as easy as falling out of a boat. There is no chip tray, there is no need to reload chips, there is no water pan. It's just load and go. For Butts and Briskets all you need is 5-6 ounces of wood, loaded in a cold smoker when you put your meat on. Close the doors and latch it, turn the dial (analog models) where you want or dial in your temp on the PID (digital model) and off you go. On the digital models, you can program it to cook to whatever internal temp you desire then have it drop temp down to 140° to hold it until you're ready for it! Do THAT on a MES!

I used to believe that electric smokers were not worth a nickel. I did a lot of reading and decided on the SI brand and I have been extremely happy with it. Very well built, solid. It's not like a dorm fridge, it's made to last. MES is cheaper and don't get me wrong, it does work but it's not on the same level as the Smokin-It. Just being honest here. I always tell folks to buy what they can afford and be happy with it!

Smokin-It Brisket is tough to beat ;)

 

laersmoker

Newbie
10
10
Joined Mar 21, 2016
Wow, thank you all for your input - this has been very helpful. Smokin-It has beyond won the vote, and I'll just have to make a final call. I'm well convinced it's worth the money. Thank you!
 

jp61

Master of the Pit
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,883
186
Joined Mar 6, 2011
I vote for the WSM.

AC is very dangerous!


 

dr k

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,230
318
Joined Mar 22, 2013
Time to chime in I suppose! I have a cooking arsenal of grills and smokers to choose from and I love them all BUT.......if I just want to smoke something, I use my Smokin-It #3 more times than not. It's about as easy as falling out of a boat. There is no chip tray, there is no need to reload chips, there is no water pan. It's just load and go. For Butts and Briskets all you need is 5-6 ounces of wood, loaded in a cold smoker when you put your meat on. Close the doors and latch it, turn the dial (analog models) where you want or dial in your temp on the PID (digital model) and off you go. On the digital models, you can program it to cook to whatever internal temp you desire then have it drop temp down to 140° to hold it until you're ready for it! Do THAT on a MES!

I used to believe that electric smokers were not worth a nickel. I did a lot of reading and decided on the SI brand and I have been extremely happy with it. Very well built, solid. It's not like a dorm fridge, it's made to last. MES is cheaper and don't get me wrong, it does work but it's not on the same level as the Smokin-It. Just being honest here. I always tell folks to buy what they can afford and be happy with it!

Smokin-It Brisket is tough to beat ;)

I had to laugh because I still have my 31 year old dorm fridge since 1985. My parents have their original GE fridge that's older than me. It's 55 years old from 1961. Lol They both we're demoted to beer/spare refrigerators a long time ago.
-Kurt
 

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