Which electric smoker

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by old sarge, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Which electric smoker would you like to own and why?

    Which electric smoker would you least like to own and why?
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
  2. Answers:

    1.  I DO own a Smokin-It #2 and love it.  Don't think I need anything else.  Does the job without fail (well unless I screw something up) and is reliable and a damn fine looking unit.

    2.  As a FORMER owner I would never purchase anything ever again from Masterbuilt.  There is nothing masterful about them.  Now the older GEN 1 units are WAY more reliable then the GEN 2 crap they sell to unsuspecting buyers BUT I had a Gen 1 MB30 and it failed after 5 smokes.  Was tripping the GFI and the controller went out.  I could of called them and had them send me stuff to repair it (really? I have to do my own repairs?) but I chose to just buy a new quality made smoker. 

    Great thread Sarge!!!
  3. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I own a Masterbuilt 30" Gen 1 digital electric smoker. When I decided to buy one this fit my price point. I chose an electric smoker because I didn't want to fool around with propane tanks or charcoal or wood chunks over a 6-10 hour smoke. With the MES, I just plug it in and insert a A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker for the smoke. I never use wood chips anymore; those I save for my Weber charcoal kettle grill. There's a slight learning curve for the MES; the biggest one is figuring out what the actual internal temp is which is why I use a Maverick ET-733. The controller will have the therm swing around the temp set point, but with mine the swing isn't that bad and the Maverick tells me how much the MES display screen is lying to me.

    I love this smoker because we have a small family so I'm not smoking huge hunks of meat. It'll handle 4 racks of ribs, one fair-sized brisket, a bunch of fish or cheeses. I plan to smoke a 4 lb. boneless chuck roast soon and maybe after that a turkey breast I've had for awhile.

    Many guys who smoke larger chunks of meat go for the 40" version. For me, my MES remains the best smoker and the best bargain out there for what I paid. I've had zero problems with mine.

    As for the one I'd like least to own, I don't think about that because I already have the one I wanted.
  4. smoking -it #1 built like a tank ....parts are cheap .....only two...... uses very little wood .. good customer service .. havnt owned any of the (others)
  5. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've had my MES electric digital Gen 1 smoker for over two years now and mine has worked great. I read a lot of product reviews and I've seen that, unfortunately, some customers get lemon products while others get products that work perfectly. As for MB customer service, some guys have written that their units failed and MB sent them a new smoker but that's probably on a case-by-case basis. In my opinion, the MES Gen 1 is THE best smoker on the market for under $200, which was my budgeting cut off.

    I looked at the video of the SI #2 and it looks physically smaller than the MES 30 but from the specs of each the interior of the SI is larger. I noticed that they used their own small round wood chunks although Steve in the video mistakenly referred to them as pellets. I prefer to use pellets and the MES is perfect for the pellet smoker I love and use. But all those SIs look like they're built like trucks and will last for years although both the SI and the MES are made in China. People in some threads claim the SIs are made here but if they were SI would be proudly proclaiming Made In USA on its website. How reliable are the electronics on it? I read that one the cheaper models the controller causes temp swings above the set point similar to what the controller on the MES causes. Is the thermostat temp display accurate?
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  6. Those "round" wood chunks are hickory dowels and it's what they send to season the unit.  I use regular "good" wood chunks in the #2.   You are correct they are made in China (wish they weren't) but My brother has had his 5 years without any issues at all.  I am going on a year with mine and never had an issue either. 

    As with ALL electric smokers there will be swings in temp (remember it IS an oven technically) but once you learn your smoker those swings mean nothing as they will average out in the long run.   My unit is analog so doesn't have a digital readout but then again I set it and forget it.  I don't worry at all about smoker temp but pay all my attention to the meats Inernal Temp.  Always produces better than local BBQ for me and the Fam. 

  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I read a bunch of positive reviews of your smoker so it looks like a great choice and I'm sure you're having a ball with it. And I agree that we home BBQ "pitmasters" can produce BBQ better than many local places. We just had a new place go out of business here after 6 months. Who cares? I'm smoking ribs, brisket, salmon, cheeses, and soon a turkey breast at home.

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