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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 09-07-2011, 08:09 AM   #1
scp
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Default Electric smoker

I am new to this site and found it after looking to buy a smoker. Currently use a weber kettle and it wears me out when I smoke a butt..tending the fire for 9 hrs plus.

I ran across electric smokers..Smokin Tex...Cookshack...Bradley.

I know the purist will prolly poo poo these. I like the set it and forget it. But I don't want to invest and find out I can't get the wonderful flavor of a smoked piece of meat.

I am shying away from the Bradley...don't like the idea of the pellets.

Any comments suggestions?

I hope this is the right place to post this question.
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Unread 09-07-2011, 08:34 AM   #2
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You should consider a blower unit for your kettle. I just ordered one and have not recieved it yet. But my understanding is that you can control a kettle with one of these, as well as other cookers. I ordered the Pitmaster IQ because it was cheaper than the other types, although if I had the money I would have liked one of the web-based controllers. The IQ states that it will work with all my cookers, so I pulled the trigger.

Anyways...hey, wouldn't you know it there is a video...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX9Ut...layer_embedded
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Unread 09-07-2011, 08:41 AM   #3
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ya. get a WSM instead. they are pretty much set it and forget it once you learn how to use it. from what i understand electrics arent bad but you wont get the full BBQ effect from them. id go for the WSM or cheaper build a UDS. thats my .02
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Unread 09-07-2011, 08:50 AM   #4
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Hey welcome! This is definitely the right place for your question.

When I first got into smoking I wanted something super easy as I read about how tending a fire can be time consuming and I didn't want to be turned off by smoking initially because it took too much effort. I got the Masterbuilt 30" electric smoker and it was really easy to use. My only issue was it didn't give out enough smoke to get the smoked flavor I was looking for.

So you would get more flavor out of your kettle than most electric smokers. This forum is also great for tips on maybe how to run your kettle more efficiently. I haven't smoked on my kettle before, but there are lots of thread I've read on how to set it up so it runs with little effort.

Now I have a few other recommendations for smokers that are easy to use. Some folks are also against gas smokers, but that is what I got after my electric. It was a Great Outdoors Smokey Mountain (GOSM) that I bought from BassPro. It had a cast iron smoke box and took larger chunks of wood, which is what I think made all the difference. Wood chips just burn out too quickly whether you soak them or not, I found no difference. But the GOSM put out great smoke and being gas was easy to maintain temperatures very well.

The next smoker and probably one that a lot of people will say to get (including me) as an easy alternative to electric is a WSM. I have one and they are great. They do take a tiny bit more setup with charcoal and the water pan, but after learning on here how to run them it produces really good food and can go all night without worrying.

Hope this helps. Definitely ask more questions if you have them and other will have great input too.

But if you are looking for an electric that gives great smoked meat then you may want to look into another option. I've read the cookshacks are pretty good, but they cost a little more and I'd say go the Gas or WSM route.
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Unread 09-07-2011, 09:29 AM   #5
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I have a Cookshack , does a good job for an electric , well built and good quality.
However , I do not get the results like I do on my offset . It is set and forget and it keeps temps within a couple of degrees . I add 3-4 charcoal briquettes to the wood tray , seems to help on the smoke flavor .

I use when a do not have time to tend the offset , turn it on , go to sleep, ready at noon the next day..
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Unread 09-07-2011, 11:19 AM   #6
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I've got a Masterbuilt 40" that I use for sausage, bacon, and cold smoking. I like it for those things. I'.ve used it for pork a couple of times and it does fine - but I miss the extra heat I get in the WMS or my stickburner.

Cookshack is a great choice. I got the MES 40 based on price from Sam's but the CS was on the list. I missed out on a commercial CS a few years ago and have been kicking myself ever since.
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Unread 09-07-2011, 11:44 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone.

The GSOM now has my attention as well. Is it going to give the full smoke flavor like the WSM?

For those with the WSM...are you able to get it set up at night say 10 pm and have go all night with tending the fire. I know it may take some getting use to. Also read they use a lot of charcoal. I recently switched to lump from Kingsford for my kettle and seems to be easier to maintain temps.

I will also look at an attachment for my weber..
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Unread 09-07-2011, 01:46 PM   #8
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I've got a Smokin-it #2 and it does a very good job. Put the meat on at 10pm
and take off the PP at 10-1 the next day.
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Unread 09-07-2011, 01:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scp View Post
Thanks everyone.

The GSOM now has my attention as well. Is it going to give the full smoke flavor like the WSM?

For those with the WSM...are you able to get it set up at night say 10 pm and have go all night with tending the fire. I know it may take some getting use to. Also read they use a lot of charcoal. I recently switched to lump from Kingsford for my kettle and seems to be easier to maintain temps.

I will also look at an attachment for my weber..
I used both (though I did sell my GOSM). I was able to get a lot of smoke into meat with that smoker. Good smoke rings. I will say it probably doesn't smoke as well as a WSM, but would also say it smokes way way better than an electric.

The WSM will in fact run all night without trouble. I will admit it is kind of hard to trust it the first few times when you go to sleep and I would have my remote thermometer next to the bed and wake up every few hours thinking the temp would go down to like 150, but every time I'd look it was right where I set it. It may lose a little bit of temperature. I think the biggest variation I had was smoking a couple butts I had it running at 230 when I went to bet around 11pm. Woke up at 7am and it had dropped to 205, but that really made no difference since I just opened up the vents to get it back up to temp.
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Unread 09-07-2011, 02:14 PM   #10
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I've had a GOSM for 3 years. Great little smoker with 1 exception, you have to keep adding wood chunks every hour to hour and a half. For some reason, that propane heat burns it right up. Do yourself a favor, get the one with a separate wood box and water pan door so you don't lose all your heat when you replenish. Or you can just say screw it and build a UDS like I did.
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Unread 09-07-2011, 04:17 PM   #11
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Little Chief for Salmon and cold smoking cheese, and a Cookshack 008 for when I'm really lazy!
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Unread 09-07-2011, 04:19 PM   #12
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I've had a Bradley for years, getting it for a gift after I was already comfortable with my offset and XL BGE. My wife and kids love, love, love the meat that comes off the Bradley. Me, not so much. I will say that it has a place: The set and forget it nature of electrics is nice. It is hard to keep at the right temp depending on several environmental factors. I think its ideally suited for corn on the cob and vegetables. My wife makes killer smoked potato salad on it. And enough smoke flavor has never been an issue.
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Unread 09-07-2011, 04:32 PM   #13
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I used a Bradley for years and had good results with it. I didn't know any better, learned how to use it, and made good food. However after switching over to a Weber kettle and learning how to use it with charcoal there is no comparison in my opinion. The kettle wins hands down for moist meat, better smoke, and overall quality. My major beef with a Bradley was if you had to rotate racks or open the door for whatever reason it took for ever to bring temp back up. In hind site if I had to do it again I would go with a WSM or equivalent charcoal system. I'm looking REAL hard at the Primo XL oval right now though. Really like the one off versatility of the ceramics. We'll see...
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Unread 09-12-2011, 12:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scp View Post
For those with the WSM...are you able to get it set up at night say 10 pm and have go all night with tending the fire.
I used a Maverick probe for meat and oven. The only time I really need to tend to the fire is when the weather changes (wind, clouds, sun, rain), or daylight changes (day to night).

I don't rely on the temp probe, so I check every hour. The WSM is pretty easy.

You can get a stoker or guru to automate the temp settings. I'm considering this option to get the best smoke+convenience. I don't think this combination can be beat.

The issue I have with an offset is wood log access. I don't have access to hickory logs.
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