Which smoker is better for my needs?

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bhombhom5

Newbie
Original poster
May 19, 2020
6
5
I'm looking at both an electric smoker (MES 440 OR MES 140) and a pellet smoker (Traeger 575 Pro).

I love to cook and to BBQ but am new to smoking. The appeal of electric to me was that it seemed very easy to control heat and to use (I intended to use the A-maze-n smoker tube). My concern about it of course is how well they work and how long they last. The Traeger, from my research seems to be pretty easy to operate as well, but imparts a bit more smokey flavor. I believe it will be more expensive to buy and pellets would run me more than woodchips.

I initially thought I would be happy with my purchase if I bought the cheaper electric smoker. However, I'd rather something that lasts me for a bit more money, and something that I won't be upset with the final product. I know a proper wood/coal smoker may be better for overall flavor and smoke rings, but I'm trying to make smoking a bit simpler for myself.

I like in an area that has snow at least 6-7 months of the year, and probably averages -4 F in that time, and though I probably would not go outside to smoke things at that temperature I would like to be able to when it's 5 F TO 15 F. Though our summers are warm. I would like to smoke things like brisket (eventually), ribs, wings, and probably cold smoke salmon and cheeses.
 

bhombhom5

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Original poster
Thread starter
May 19, 2020
6
5
I should mention I'm in Canada as well, meaning I don't have all the same options as our southern neighbors.
 

crazymoon

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Aug 24, 2014
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I own a PK 100 insulated smoker which will hold internal temps well in low outside temps. They are expensive and ONLY go to 250 degrees. Mine is six years old and going strong.
 

SecondHandSmoker

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One thing to consider about a dedicated electric smoker versus a pellet grill: You can't grill in an electric smoker. As for the MES440 the extras like the additional grilling element, rotisserie, etc all cost extra $$.
On the other hand, a pellet grill will due double duty as a grill and smoker.
As for the Traeger 575, for that price, you should also be looking at Rec-Tec.
Yes, border duties and taxes can add up, but it is worth a look anyway.
 

bhombhom5

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
May 19, 2020
6
5
One thing to consider about a dedicated electric smoker versus a pellet grill: You can't grill in an electric smoker. As for the MES440 the extras like the additional grilling element, rotisserie, etc all cost extra $$.
On the other hand, a pellet grill will due double duty as a grill and smoker.
As for the Traeger 575, for that price, you should also be looking at Rec-Tec.
Yes, border duties and taxes can add up, but it is worth a look anyway.
I'll have a look at the Rect-Tec, thanks. I'm not worried about the Grilling I have a relatively new Broil King to do my grilling on.
 

SecondHandSmoker

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I'll have a look at the Rect-Tec, thanks. I'm not worried about the Grilling I have a relatively new Broil King to do my grilling on.


In that case, a pellet grill would be over kill.
An MES 140 or 440 would be the better option for smoking purposes.
 

GaryHibbert

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I live in the foothills of Alberta, so I get about the same temps and snow as you. I've had a MES 30 for about 5 years and love it. Whenever I'm home during the winter, I've got the MES fired up and smoking. An inexpensive welding blanket wrapped around it keeps the cook temp up just fine.
I've only had 2 problems with the MES in the last 4 or 5 years I've had it. The main controller died, so I just disconnected it and wired in a PID, which works much better anyway. And right now I'm waiting delivery of a new smoker heat element. Can't blame the MES for that. My fault--I was replacing a wire to the element and broke off the electrical spade connector.
With these 3 mods, the MES really is set and forget.
Gary
 

mike243

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Feb 25, 2018
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You cant cold smoke with any heat in a pellet grill as the temps are around 160 depending on outside temp, the 40" Masterbuilt I own has worked great for probably well over 10 years, it has a wide range of temp settings to about 275, it wont give crispy chicken skin but will give great smoke flavor. with a tube it makes the smoke last a lot longer than the chip tray that comes with the unit.
 

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