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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 09-14-2019, 04:45 PM   #16
rwalters
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Originally Posted by LYU370 View Post
Unless you load up the wood basket, you'll be fine. I tried that once. Only once, I mean there is this giant wood basket, why wouldn't I fill it up? It's a trap, don't fall for it.


But you stick by your statement that the flavor profile is lighter than pellets? That would be a deal breaker as I don’t want lighter than pellets. Sorry for questions ad-nauseum... just would hate to regret a purchase like this.
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:54 PM   #17
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No, pellets have a lighter smoke profile. It just seems that to me with the electrics the smoke is more on the surface rather than penetrating further into the meat. I would have no problem eating Q off of a Cookshack electric. I loved my SM020. The 160 was built for restaurants. If you watch some of the Bar Rescue episodes that feature BBQ, all of them are Cookshack electric smokers.
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Old 09-14-2019, 05:01 PM   #18
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I guess what I'm trying to say is that as with any smoker, you have to find the sweet spot. You'll look at recipes, smoke your ribs at temp X for a certain amount of time. No, you need to find what temp your cooker runs at best. My SM020 liked 250-275, that's where I got the best smoke profile, that's where I ran it.

Also, not sure about the big ones, but the smaller ones only go up to 300. I always finished the chicken on the grill. Not a good chicken cooker.
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Old 09-14-2019, 05:25 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by LYU370 View Post
I guess what I'm trying to say is that as with any smoker, you have to find the sweet spot. You'll look at recipes, smoke your ribs at temp X for a certain amount of time. No, you need to find what temp your cooker runs at best. My SM020 liked 250-275, that's where I got the best smoke profile, that's where I ran it.

Also, not sure about the big ones, but the smaller ones only go up to 300. I always finished the chicken on the grill. Not a good chicken cooker.


What about evenness of temps from top grate to bottom grate... was there much of a variance?
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:18 PM   #20
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Would love to hear your thoughts/opinions if you’ve used an electric smoker or had food from one... :)
I have two Masterbuilt's. A MES30, and an older MES40 I was given.
Neither hold a candle to what you were looking at. And it appeared you had come to a conclusion.

I bought the MES30, tried smoking some Salmon in it, and set upon modifying the heck out of it. I want my Salmon smoked, not cooked.
Now... it is a proper smoker. But a basic heated box, with a "Mailbox Mod" for a pellet tray and 8 feet of aluminum dryer vent tube to condense out any creosote and tars inherent in the smoke, and to cool it.
When I'm cold smoking Salmon or Cured Bacon, I can observe a 2 degree rise between ambient and my smokers internal temperature with no heat added.
An electric smoker is capable of that close of control. But not with the OEM control. I use an external digital control. I will usually set a temperature I want to target, and my control starts at 1° below set point, off at set point.
The drift allows the smokers internal temperature to continue to drop ~4°, and to coast up ~2° above set point.
This was with an ambient of 68° the times I was graphing it.

I use to always build my own smokers. But never gave a lot of thought to the control of it. Just a hot plate, or an element from an electric range wired to a cord and let her run. A #10 can, or an old cast iron frying pan as a chip holder and let it smolder away.
When it stopped smoking, I'd add more chips.
I used a Bradley puck pusher for about 12 years, grafted to the side of an old Brinkman barrel type cooker. But Bradley decided their pucks were worth way more than I was willing to pay for ashes.
So I went looking for alternatives. And pellets are a very good alternative. Everybody sells pellets around me. Fill an Amazen Tray with pellets and I get 11 hours of blue smoke without touching it.
If I dissolve the pellets into sawdust, dry that, and use sawdust in the same tray, I get 6 hours of cool smoke.
Apple Pellets dissolved down makes some of the best tasting Apple wood Smoked Bacon our families ever tasted. 15 of us ate 3.5 pounds of my Bacon Christmas day. I kept cookin it until they stopped eating it.

But when I do want to cook and smoke at the same time, I set the temperature, and light up 1,2, or 3 tray rows in the tray. (I usually just fill it regardless, it holds 15 ounces of pellets)
I enjoy the ambiance of the smoke smell after the food is done and eaten.
More often, I will cold or warm smoke meat, then finish cooking it on the grill. My Salmon I like to cure, cold smoke, package with a little dill, and vacuum seal. Then I can Sous Vide it, or fast boil it, and serve with some rice. (I suppose you could fry or grill it if you'd like.)

But that is how I smoke food. And I'll smoke anything. Salt, Butter, Nuts, Cheese, Cream Cheese, anything I think might be improved with a smoke flavoring.
For 50 years I used Hickory. Since converting to Pellets I'm liking Apple Wood.
I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks...
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:24 PM   #21
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What about evenness of temps from top grate to bottom grate... was there much of a variance?
The SM020 had two shelves, back left corner of the bottom shelf ran a little hotter. Otherwise, pretty even.
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:41 PM   #22
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You can check the Cookshack forums. Still quite a few people that frequent it, but it's been pretty quiet since the old moderator left. Smokin Okie, he used to be on here as well. And Cookshack changed the forum software for the worse. Looks more like a blog than a forum. But you'll see a very passionate group of people who love their Cookshack's. Awesome fish smoker BTW.

https://forum.cookshack.com/
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:13 PM   #23
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But you stick by your statement that the flavor profile is lighter than pellets? That would be a deal breaker as I don’t want lighter than pellets. Sorry for questions ad-nauseum... just would hate to regret a purchase like this.
Smoke flavor on Electric Smokers is much more pronounced than Pellets, once my electric smoker is well seasoned I would not use any wood chunks at all for Poultry, the cooker was enough.

If you want to move up in capacity and not give up on flavor/color that are used to in your MAK, look for a used FEC-100. Cookshack sells "used" units that have been on display at a food show or used once in a class for 20% or more off of retail.

Eight, 16 pound Turkeys here!

IMG_0182 by David Miller, on

Nice Smoke Ring on dry rub ribs here.

Dry Rub Rib Sliced 5-19 by David Miller, on Flickr
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:54 AM   #24
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It's a dry heat. Like my electric oven. Just my .02.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:37 AM   #25
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It's a dry heat. Like my electric oven. Just my .02.
Like my back yard....
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:47 AM   #26
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I would look at the pellet pro insulated cabinet personally. Can fit 16 pork butts on that thing
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:54 AM   #27
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I would look at the pellet pro insulated cabinet personally. Can fit 16 pork butts on that thing


I love what I see in the Pellet Pro with the exception of a large temp variance between bottom/top grate. Yes, I could shuffle around... and perhaps this would be a safer/better move than an electric as I already know how much I love pellet cooking. Still thinking... [emoji848]
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:29 AM   #28
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I love what I see in the Pellet Pro with the exception of a large temp variance between bottom/top grate. Yes, I could shuffle around... and perhaps this would be a safer/better move than an electric as I already know how much I love pellet cooking. Still thinking... [emoji848]
No matter what, we all have to "learn" our equipment, and how to run it to suit our end result.

Still thinking is a great thing.

Have you looked at what the successful commercial suppliers are doing and using? Most won't divulge certain aspects to their success. But most do use electric (some gas) to get consistent product. And highly accurate temperature control.
I like looking at what the "Big Boys" are doing, then see how I can size it to my little backyard "kitchen."

IMHO, I do not think adding the variables of wood fired (Including pellets) will get you that kind of consistent result.
I turn a critical eye towards the consistency, or inconsistencies, of pellet manufacturing. And solid wood (stick) can be widely variable.

I think I like my results, but I can be variable, too.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:42 PM   #29
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For what it is worth, I did like the flavor of the electric smoker (Masterbuilt electric smoker) over my other charcoal smokers I’ve tried. I may just not be a charcoal fan lol. Electric smokers definitely put more smoke on the meat than pellet but you don’t get a good bark or smoke ring due to the low amount of combustion gases and the high humidity. It definitely puts out good food though. I do think you will prefer the flavor of pellet. If the pellet pro is not an option then Maybe look for a used cook shack pellet. Even used you should still get a decade or longer of use out of them. They are built to the same quality standards as restaurant smokers that pretty much run non stop.
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:45 PM   #30
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