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Why do I want an electric smoker?? tell me your stories.....on the fence

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jstanford, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. jstanford

    jstanford Fire Starter

    I have a few smokers, got a propane smoker a little while ago and although I have had my issues with it, I know the potential is looking good. Electric smokers have always caught my attention, and like the propane model, up until recently I have been scared to purchase on because of the unknown....How do they work, how good do they work, how could something electric make a smoked pork butt??? I guess I am asking for some stories of what brought you to the decision to go electric, how has it been so far, what pluses and minuses have you ran into, and finally....Should I even mess with it being that I am somewhat wet behind the ears when it comes to this smoking thing. [​IMG]
  2. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  3. reichl

    reichl Meat Mopper

    It's a matter of preference.  When I first started smoking I had a MES and now I own a 18.5" WSM.  I think the MES worked better then the WSM for salmon and is great for smoking jerkey because you can control the temp very easily and add the exact amount of smoke you want.  I do however think that the WSM has better flavor when it comes to smoking ribs, brisket, butts and is way better at smoking poultry (The MES has a maximum temp of 275 which has not been high enough to crisp the skin in my experience).  It's like comparing steaks grilled over a charcoal fire and over a propane fire, the charcoal fired food will just taste better everytime.

    I am in no way trying to put down the MES.  I loved the food that came off of it and so did everyone else.  But, if I had to choose between my WSM and my MES, I would choose my WSM.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  4. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    I used to have a charcoal smoker -- the basic entry brinkman shaped like R2D2.  I did like it, but it was difficult to get a controlled temperature.  It eventually rusted out, and I stopped smoking anything for a long time. 

    When I decided to get a new smoker about five years ago, I read a lot and listened to what some friends had to say.  The thing that pushed me to the MES I got was the thermostat control on temperature.  I have been very happy with the results whenever I've smoked anything.

    Think of the factors that matter most to you -- and then compare how the different types of smokers stack up on those factors.  Each person will have their own priority of factors.
  5. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I have had the ecb ,An  old heavy new braunfuls coal / wood burner and now have the MES 40".

     the mes is probably the easiest to use out of any smoker out there.

     If  thick smoke rings and heavy bark or something you strive for go w/ something that burns coals.

     You won't get those w/ the mes.

     But for great tender juicy meat w/ a great smoked flavor ,you can't beat it.

     it's about as close to set it and forget it you can get.
  6. I started out smoking on a weber kettle, then a cheapy bullet, then bought a new braunsfeld with a side firebox that I used for 10 years...this past spring I upgraded to a Lang patio that I wouldnt trade for anything unless it was a bigger lang or the equivalent....why do I want a MES, the lang isnt practical for smoking sausage...so looks like I will be buying one this coming spring...unless I find something that is user friendly and works better than the MES....open to suggestions.
  7. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Electric's are almost set it and forget it smoking. I use electric all the time for sausage, but for butt and ribs where I want a smoke ring and bark I use my stick/coal burner.
  8. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I have a SmokinTex 1400 which is very similar to CookShack and MES

    My only complaint is it does not go past 250 and sometimes I want to go higher for something like a turkey

    The rest of the time I just set it and wait for the temp alarm to go off. No basting or spritzing just smoking
  9. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    This would be a good reason to start with something like the MES 40", they are easy to use and they make great Que...

    I started out using an ECB in 1984 and now that I am old and disabled welcome the ease of using the MES...  With the MES you use wood chips to create smoke, or like many of us here you get an A-MAZE-N-SMOKER and use it to burn sawdust ... Also with the A-MAZE-N-SMOKER you gain the ability to cold smoke...

    Sam's Club sells the MES 40" for $299.00 and you can get the 3 yr extended warranty for an additional $39.00.
  10. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I love my MES.  I think it makes the best pulled pork out of my three smokers.  Sure my UDS is great and my big oilfield smoker is good too but my MES is almost fool proof.  I cold cook for just me and my wife or for 25 people with it as well as.  I prefer ribs and chicken in my UDS but everything else in my MES.
  11. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    I'm a UDS guy but had to convert to  a watt burner recently and so far so good. If you learn your smoker you will pump out some fine food. Whatever you choose someone on here will help you out.
  12. rstr hunter

    rstr hunter Smoking Fanatic

    I have a Chargriller charcoal smoker and a MES electric smoker.  I started with the CG and it makes great product, in fact I wouldn't want to do a pork butt or a brisket on anything but charcoal as I like the smoke ring.  The MES I got this Jan with some winnings from Vegas and liked that I could smoke even in the dead of winter here in South Dakota (something that really isn't very practical with the CG).  I have done chicken, ribs, turkeys, peppersticks, salmon, and bacon with the MES (although the bacon wasn't a recommended deal, however have the Amazin Smoker on order to fix this) with good results.  Like that it's a set it and forget it and my wife doesn't mind checking this as opposed to the charcoal smoker.  While I think the charcoal is better regardless, it's amazing how often we end up using the MES versus the CG just due to convenience.  Hope this helps.   
  13. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When I purchased the MES I wanted to upgrade from using my Weber Kettle for smoking, just sooooo much work to use the kettle for smoking.  In addition my job at the time was very draining, so Sunday family BBQs had to be simple, thus I was looking for simplicity, convenience, and a good cooker capable of smoking for 5 or 40.  I narrowed it down to the WSM and the MES, both are fantastic backyard smokers.  But I chose the MES because I didn't have to worry about fuel, it was almost set n forget, and based on the reviews here at SMF especially ronp and others I went with the MES.  Within a few day I was turning our great Q for not just our family but for some 20-30 people parties.  I have owned the MES for 2.5 years without any problems.  Even if it did have the wiring issue it is a simple repair, in fact all the components can easily be replaced keeping the MES in service for many years.

    No I have more time and if I buy another smoker it will be a 22" Weber Smokey Mountain.  Why?  Because it is a great cooker, winning BBQ competitions almost every weekend, In fact the team that won KCBS team of the year used WSMs.  It is hard to turn your back on that kind of heritage for a backyard BBQ pit.