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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 06-26-2010, 07:43 PM   #1
suprfast
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Default Looking for an electric smoker

Now before I get flamed about an electric let me start by saying I have currently two UDS, one weber kettle, and a weber portable. The downfall is I have to sell all the charcoal units because I am attending a state university and my apartment near by will not allow for charcoal. I would rather follow the rules and just change how I smoke then to lose smoking all together or not go to school.

One more thing to note, I have the little red electric brinkmann(first unit I started smoking with) but I really want to know more about the fridge style units(masterbuilt and bradley). What I will not be using are the expensive pucks(I am not sure if the bradley can be used without the puck stack on the side). I am hoping to find some experienced users that have used both, or either so I can get my final decision in order.

Things to help me with
1) Price(not really an issue, I don't mind spending a little more for better quality but I won't spend hundreds more for something silly like the window)
2) size. Real size too, what have you guys crammed into the units, not what the company wants to inflate by saying the cater from a small unit. I am for the most part cooking for 4 people and my wife and kids are small.
3) temps. Does this get hot enough to do poultry? I have done poultry a few times on charcoal and unless you get the heat to 300°+ you have rubber skin, id assume its the same. Do these electrics have the ability to do so?
4) Do the digital dials and temp gauges really work, or are they just for show? If you set it to 250° will it get to that temp or does it fall short.

Thanks for the help guys. Any reviews extra would be great too. I am going to spend the next few hours trying to find more reviews to help me out.

Once a smoker, always a smoker. Food just isn't the same otherwise.

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Unread 06-26-2010, 08:13 PM   #2
Kevin
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I've got one of each. They are real nice to use in the Minnesota winters. If you don't want to buy the Bradley pucks, then that rules out the Bradley. That is what they use.

The Masterbuilt can use any wood chips, you add wood while smoking via the side wood chute, no need to open the door. It's max temp setting is 275* F. The digital thermostat on the Masterbuilt is accurate when compared to a calibrated thermometer placed inside the smoke chamber. I can fit 2 racks of loin back pork ribs per shelf (mine has 4 shelves that are 12" x 14") unless they are extra long. If they, are I cut them in half and am then limited to 1 rack per shelf. You will have plenty of capacity for ribs and pork butts, but I think the shelf may be too small for a packer brisket. I've not tried that as I am really partial to brisket cooked in a stick burner. The accurate temperature control is great for slow smoking jerky or sausage. It turns out great smoked Salmon.

Hope this helps.
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Unread 06-26-2010, 08:16 PM   #3
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I've got the Masterbuilt Digital Smokehouse. It's a great cooker. It has handled anything I have put at it. Jerky, ribs, chicken, sausage. If you look for one, check out QVC. They often have them at a pretty good and with five no interest payments.
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Unread 06-26-2010, 08:21 PM   #4
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I have a masterbuilt for the exact same reason you need one, I think it preforms as advertised and produces excellent Q for the price. I have done a bunch of mods to mine, which by the way Masterbuilt added to the newer models. For the money and ease it does the job.
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Unread 06-26-2010, 08:25 PM   #5
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I too have a masterbuilt and like it really well. Initially bought it for sausage as it will smoke down to 100 degrees. Downside is , like Kevin mentioned, 275 is max. However, I have stuck a accurate thermometer in the vent hole on top and found the temps to vary quite a bit. Their tech service even told me there will be "hot spots' in the smoker and that the digital temp control is "only a guide". I've turned out some good "Q" on it though. I'd opt for the stainless model. Check Cabelas, as they often have them on "sale".
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Unread 06-26-2010, 08:27 PM   #6
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Thank you very much, all of you. Exactly what I was looking for. I live in CA so the COLD is probably not going to be an issue. Looks like I will be looking into masterbuilts. Are there any specific models to choose(one over another) or do they just have specific flavors depending on size?
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Unread 06-26-2010, 08:35 PM   #7
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Boatnut is correct about the hot spots. I forgot that. I rotate the racks top to bottom and turn them 180* every hour or so. I too suggest stainless. My Bradley is stainless steel and still looks new after several years. The Masterbuilt that is not stainless is starting to fade from sunlight.
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Unread 06-26-2010, 08:36 PM   #8
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Have you thought about a Cookshack? They are one of the best electric smokers. Cost more, but well worth it. I have had one for almost 10 years. Just did a great brisket on it today.
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Unread 06-26-2010, 08:40 PM   #9
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Check out Cookshack , high quality.. I have the smo25 , temps go to 300f and holds 25 ibs of meat.... Puts out some decent bbq for a electric cooker and it is set and forget...Check out the Cookshack forums....
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Unread 06-26-2010, 08:44 PM   #10
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And I will be smoking a brisket tomorrow @290* in my Cookshack...
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Unread 06-26-2010, 08:55 PM   #11
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very nice looking but just need something small to get me through college. Once I am done with college and get back to the real world(returning college student) I will be purchasing a nice offset.

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/st...006000_750-6-1

That appears to be a rebadged masterbuilt right?
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Unread 06-26-2010, 09:08 PM   #12
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Yes it does. If you allow the video at the bottom of that page to load it is labeled Masterbuilt.
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Unread 06-26-2010, 09:27 PM   #13
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Wonderful, and that price looks great. Are there mods that will need to be done, or is it decent(for an electric) out of the box?
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Unread 06-26-2010, 09:39 PM   #14
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I have not made any modifications to mine. Check Aquablue's post above. The older versions needed to be modified and the manufacturer listened to their customer base and made changes to the design. All of my posts in this thread sound like I am shilling the Masterbuilt. I'm not. I just happen to like mine.

I also miss My Luhr Jensen Little Chief electric smoker that I just plain wore out. Not the best design in the world, but it sure turned out some fine tasting product.
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Unread 06-26-2010, 09:44 PM   #15
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Thanks Kevin. I understand when a person loves something they talk highly of it. I have read so many reviews of elements or temp panels going out, but I would still buy one. In this world we are more apt to review the negative then to review the positive.

Lowes sounds better
http://www.lowes.com/pd_298004-58355...58_4294937087_
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