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Which Electric Smoker for Small Gatherings?

Count Porcula

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First of all, thanks for the forum. I just registered. Hope to be an asset.

A buddy of mine just got a Masterbuilt smoker. He sent some pictures of his first ribs and chicken, and they look great. He says there is a nice smoke ring, and the smoker is easy to use.

It made me consider getting an electric smoker. I started years ago with a bullet smoker, and then I built the Hoginator, which was a Char-Broil grill with two heating elements and an external smoke box I made from a propane tank. I don't know if I want the aggravation of building a new box. It would be nice to have something which is easy to use and keep clean, yet which smokes meat perfectly. I like spare ribs, Boston butt, and whole chickens.

Before I spring for a Masterbuilt, is there something else I should consider? I don't want to make hundreds of pounds of smoked meat, and I don't want a huge smoker. Anything that will hold several racks of ribs or a turducken will do fine.
 

Count Porcula

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Sorry if I asked a stupid or repetitive question. Since posting, I've found a lot of information here. I'm thinking maybe I should spring for a Smokin-It #2 and get it over with.
 

Winterrider

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Sorry if I asked a stupid or repetitive question. Since posting, I've found a lot of information here. I'm thinking maybe I should spring for a Smokin-It #2 and get it over with.
Lot of Masterbuilt users on here. They work much better with a few of the modifications. If i was to purchase another electric it would be the smokin-it. Probably the PID model #3
 

JC in GB

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I have a master built electric and a Stump's gravity fed charcoal smoker.

I like the charcoal smoker far better.

An insulated cabinet is great to have in cold climates.

Love your screen name. :emoji_laughing: :emoji_stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
JC :emoji_cat:
 

poacherjoe

Meat Mopper
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Joined Nov 7, 2019
I started out with a little chief smoker and moved up to the SmokinTex 1460 with no regrets. I did spent some money on an Auber PID controller for more precise temps when making sausage. Be careful you will probably start gaining weight because of how good everything tastes. lol
 

Count Porcula

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I don't want to get fat(ter) if I can help it. I think a smoker might help me low-carb from time to time. I have friends who always want me to cook for them. An electric smoker would make that easier.

I haven't smoked anything in at least four years. It will be nice to use my rub recipe again and get better food than the local joints offer.
 

JC in GB

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I have heard nothing but good things about the Smokin it units. Can't wait to see some pics of your cooks with it.
 

Count Porcula

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The new smoker is supposed to be here Thursday. I am going to pick up some spare ribs and make sure I'm stocked up on rub ingredients so I'll be ready.

I'm a spare rib guy. Not a fan of baby backs. And I kind of like the membrane, so I leave it on.

Are there any speed bumps the manufacturer doesn't talk about?

I'd like to set this thing up with a timer so it doesn't keep running forever if something happens to me. Wondering if anyone else does this, and what products they would recommend.

I see there is a digital temperature controller available. Worth it, or annoying toy that breaks after 6 months?
 

Count Porcula

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I was too impatient to wait to smoke early in the day. I threw some ribs in the smoker at 6:30 p.m., and they were done by 10:30. Someone asked for a photo, so here I am.

First of all, this thing is a joy to use. It does everything for me. The smoke is nice; not black or sooty. It holds a temperature very well, although it's higher than the knob indicates.

Now for the food. I grabbed some spare ribs, added a rub, and put in some of the hickory Smokin-It provided with the machine. It has been years since the last time I did this, so I made a mistake. I piled the rub on too heavily. I usually use chipotle powder, and today all I had was cayenne, so the ribs were hotter than they should have been. I also used more wood than I needed, so I got too much smoke over 4 hours. The ribs came out dark. I don't really blame myself for misgauging the amount of wood needed, since I have never used this particular smoker before.

The picture will not impress anyone, but I am very happy with the results. Flawed though the ribs are, the problems are easy to fix, and this experience shows me this smoker can do great work once I get it together.

In spite of the problems, the ribs utterly stomped on anything you can buy around here, and I live in a good barbecue area. Even with too much smoke and too much rub, they were wonderful. They were tender and juicy, and they were loaded with flavor. I thought I would only eat a couple for quality control purposes, but I ate nearly half a rack. I can only imagine how good they would have been had I known what I was doing.

I'm not bragging on myself. I'm sure everyone here knows that even highly regarded restaurants generally don't make really great ribs. It's weird that restaurants don't do better, considering how easy it is.

I can't find bulk spices around here, so I went to Amazon and ordered mustard, cumin, and chipotle powder for the future. Next time I fire this thing up, I should be able to do better.

Thanks for the help.
 

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poacherjoe

Meat Mopper
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Joined Nov 7, 2019
You are going to have a good time with your new smoker! I love the fact that it doesn't need the constant attention for adding wood and it's amazing that 2 to 4 ounces of wood chunks seasons the meat . The PID controller makes for a more precise temperature and this comes in handy when cooking summer sausage and bologna. Make sure you don't procrastinate and leave the dirty racks in the unit. Clean them after every use and spray a light coating of vegetable oil on them for protection.
 

JC in GB

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I was too impatient to wait to smoke early in the day. I threw some ribs in the smoker at 6:30 p.m., and they were done by 10:30. Someone asked for a photo, so here I am.

First of all, this thing is a joy to use. It does everything for me. The smoke is nice; not black or sooty. It holds a temperature very well, although it's higher than the knob indicates.

Now for the food. I grabbed some spare ribs, added a rub, and put in some of the hickory Smokin-It provided with the machine. It has been years since the last time I did this, so I made a mistake. I piled the rub on too heavily. I usually use chipotle powder, and today all I had was cayenne, so the ribs were hotter than they should have been. I also used more wood than I needed, so I got too much smoke over 4 hours. The ribs came out dark. I don't really blame myself for misgauging the amount of wood needed, since I have never used this particular smoker before.

The picture will not impress anyone, but I am very happy with the results. Flawed though the ribs are, the problems are easy to fix, and this experience shows me this smoker can do great work once I get it together.

In spite of the problems, the ribs utterly stomped on anything you can buy around here, and I live in a good barbecue area. Even with too much smoke and too much rub, they were wonderful. They were tender and juicy, and they were loaded with flavor. I thought I would only eat a couple for quality control purposes, but I ate nearly half a rack. I can only imagine how good they would have been had I known what I was doing.

I'm not bragging on myself. I'm sure everyone here knows that even highly regarded restaurants generally don't make really great ribs. It's weird that restaurants don't do better, considering how easy it is.

I can't find bulk spices around here, so I went to Amazon and ordered mustard, cumin, and chipotle powder for the future. Next time I fire this thing up, I should be able to do better.

Thanks for the help.
Very nice. Those Smoke-it units look like some really fine pits.

If you haven't yet, give Jeff's Original rub a try. I love it on pork. Jeff's Texas rub is great on beef or just as an all around seasoning. It works great on fried potatoes.

Jeff's BBQ sauce recipe is top notch as well. I use it often.

JC :emoji_cat:
 

uncle eddie

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I have been looking at replacing my second MES40 unit with the Smoking-it I do prefer Model 3 digital...keep posting please.

I do have a couple of questions...How was clean-up? How long will a single pan of chunks smoke?
 

poacherjoe

Meat Mopper
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245
Joined Nov 7, 2019
Uncle Eddie : Ebay has a # 3 for sale in Ohio and it comes with the stainless steel cart ! Hell of a deal if you are close enough. Check it out.
 

tallbm

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Joined Dec 30, 2016
I was too impatient to wait to smoke early in the day. I threw some ribs in the smoker at 6:30 p.m., and they were done by 10:30. Someone asked for a photo, so here I am.

First of all, this thing is a joy to use. It does everything for me. The smoke is nice; not black or sooty. It holds a temperature very well, although it's higher than the knob indicates.

Now for the food. I grabbed some spare ribs, added a rub, and put in some of the hickory Smokin-It provided with the machine. It has been years since the last time I did this, so I made a mistake. I piled the rub on too heavily. I usually use chipotle powder, and today all I had was cayenne, so the ribs were hotter than they should have been. I also used more wood than I needed, so I got too much smoke over 4 hours. The ribs came out dark. I don't really blame myself for misgauging the amount of wood needed, since I have never used this particular smoker before.

The picture will not impress anyone, but I am very happy with the results. Flawed though the ribs are, the problems are easy to fix, and this experience shows me this smoker can do great work once I get it together.

In spite of the problems, the ribs utterly stomped on anything you can buy around here, and I live in a good barbecue area. Even with too much smoke and too much rub, they were wonderful. They were tender and juicy, and they were loaded with flavor. I thought I would only eat a couple for quality control purposes, but I ate nearly half a rack. I can only imagine how good they would have been had I known what I was doing.

I'm not bragging on myself. I'm sure everyone here knows that even highly regarded restaurants generally don't make really great ribs. It's weird that restaurants don't do better, considering how easy it is.

I can't find bulk spices around here, so I went to Amazon and ordered mustard, cumin, and chipotle powder for the future. Next time I fire this thing up, I should be able to do better.

Thanks for the help.
Hi there and welcome!
Those look pretty great to me!

I never do 100% Hickory because it makes everything taste too much like bacon to me. If your smoke flavor is too strong then you can get your hands on some Cherry and blend the Hickory down so you are using a less powerful wood but getting great smoke the whole time.

I use Lumberjack pellets which give 100% of the wood on the label unless they say different on the bag. I find I don't like more than 65% Hickory on anything EXCEPT when I do bacon. Back i do 100% hickory but no more then about 4-5 hours. I much prefer 75% apple 25% Hickory for my bacon too, mmmm such a good bacon flavor since I like my bacon soft. Soft bacon allows you to taste the difference in smoke flavors. Crisby bacon cooks out the differences but you still have great smoke flavor :)

Finally, im not sure what the racks are like but in my MES they are chrome coated so I only smoke with the racks i need to use then throw them in the dish washer. Makes life easy if you can do the same :)
I hope this info helps!
 

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