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Old 11-10-2011, 06:56 PM   #1
Brian in Maine
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Default Gas or electric smoker recomendations

I may soon be living where I can't use my WSMs, and I am considering getting a gas, or electric smoker. I would like to spend about $500, and I think something insulated would be a good idea, as I am in Maine.
I haven't had any food cooked on either one of these types, and am wondering if I will be so disappointed that I would be wasting my money buying one. Thanks for your input.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:00 PM   #2
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well, for $500, you're not going to find anything that's insulated. but for about $200, i'd definitely consider a Masterbuilt GS40. you can add your own modifications like fireplace rope to seal the door a bit better. it is a propane assist unit that has worked awesomely (i know that's not a real word) for me!
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:50 PM   #3
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My first smoker was a masterbuilt 30" electric and while it was easy to use it didn't put out that much smoker. Then I bought a Great Outdoors Smokey Mountain gasser. They have different sizes. Since it had a larger smoke box I could use chunks instead of chips and it gave the smoke flavor and ring I was looking for and could hold a decent amount of food. Didn't have to cut rib racks in half like the masterbuilt.
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian in Maine View Post
I may soon be living where I can't use my WSMs, and I am considering getting a gas, or electric smoker. I would like to spend about $500, and I think something insulated would be a good idea, as I am in Maine.
I haven't had any food cooked on either one of these types, and am wondering if I will be so disappointed that I would be wasting my money buying one. Thanks for your input.
I started with a Camp Chef 24" propane smoker (which I still have and use for holding temperatures or re-heating foiled items) which was a nice starter unit with a solid cast iron burner. Although it wasn't fully insulated it did regulate temperatures well.

It would work well on an apartment balcany or patio.

These are available from Bass Pro Shops and maybe Cabella's
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:33 PM   #5
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I had a GOSM gas smoker that was the first cooker that got me into low n' slow. I was on the fence between a WSM and it, but my kids were younger and into sports and I had little free time to devote to the flame, and since a few guys at work had them we had our own little support group.
It worked fine for me, it came with a video and it said right off that foil is your friend! Had to scramble for propane a couple times during cooks, but having an extra tank solved that. I figured that a 20lb/5gal. tank would get @ 25-30 hours of smoking time. I used the cast iron chip box and Lazarri Chips or Luhr Jensen sawdust. I found the SMF site and it was dedicated to the GOSM and has a lot of mods that I wish I'd found sooner, but I'd moved on. I've seen them at WalMart for as low as $149.

Since you asked about both gas and electric, I also have a Cookshack Smokette 008 that I picked up used for $300- I doubt you can get one with your target budget in mind and there are others like Bradley or Masterbuilt that will fill the bill and probably cook more meat, but it got me thinking about Mainely Dave and his Cookshack!
http://www.lamaine.com/bbq/index.html
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:13 PM   #6
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I used a smoke vault 18" propane and had alot of good Q of it. Still have, i did install a needle valve for finer control in the winter. My little brother got a pair of Bradley smoker electric and there pretty set and forget. Both have worked in our winters some times need to wrap a wool blanket around them to help :) So should do fine in Maine

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Old 11-10-2011, 09:27 PM   #7
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http://www.basspro.com/Masterbuilt-4...10202045/39590try this.

or this. http://www.basspro.com/Masterbuilt-4...10202045/39590
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:47 PM   #8
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or this...(this is the one i was talking about):
http://www.basspro.com/Masterbuilt-E...SSSELL_PRODUCT

it's extra wide, so no bending, cutting of racks of ribs or briskets!
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:41 PM   #9
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I have both like the gas one better, but i haven't use them in years
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:48 PM   #10
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I started with a GOSM. With a few simple mods it made (And still does make) very good tasting food. Currently I only use it as a chamber for cold smoking but I may fire it up again this winter.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:36 PM   #11
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I love my great smokey mountain here in Iowa. Get the big block.

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Old 11-11-2011, 10:39 PM   #12
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I like the stainless, insulated Masterbuilt electric. i like the capability that it will produce smoke at a lot lower temps then most other smokers. great for sausage/snack stix etc. Downside is, it will struggle to get over 260 and if i'm doing a whole turkey, I like to do it at at least 300.

I started out and still have a GOSM propane. Puts out some good cue but is uninsulated and will fluctuate somewhat with wind or varying external temperatures like in winter/fall etc.

I really like my WSM charcoal smoker but if you are in market for electric/propane., i'd go for the masterbuilt.

my 2 cents
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:16 AM   #13
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my first smoker, and still in use, is a Bradly electric, it is insulated. ~$400 on amazon or other sites. Bradly has an excellent forum also.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:43 AM   #14
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You will definitely want insulated in Maine
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:30 AM   #15
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I love my great smokey mountain here in Iowa. Get the big block.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ndingMethod=rr
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