Electric Smokers

Electric Smokers

Postby ericrice » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:47 pm

Planning on getting an electric smoker and have been reading reviews over the last few weeks. Looking at something in the 30lb capacity range. I've seen numerous in the $300 or less range but the reviews are hit or miss with some very poor due to craftsmanship, the ability to accurately hold temps and in some cases unable to generate temps over 220F.

The one from Sausage Maker seems well built but I'm hard pressed to find reviews. I have no problem spending the money if I know it is worth it as it's going for $900. I'm also kicking around the Bradley's.

I would be looking to use it for cold smoking as well as larger quantities of ribs, pork shoulders etc so the ability for cold smoke as well as temps in the low to mid 200's are a must.

Anyone have any suggestions/insight based on personal experience?
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Postby DiggingDogFarm » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:29 pm

I would take a close look at the Smokin-It smokers, the quality is far superior to the Bradleys or Masterbuilts.
Some use the A-Maze-N sawdust smoke generator for cold smoking in the Smokin-It (the pellet smoker won't work without modification.)

http://www.smokin-it.com/

I've seen the Sausage Maker smoker first hand, also well built, but as you noted, much more expensive.

~Martin
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Postby ericrice » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:35 pm

Thanks Martin.

For anyone else who may be looking or be able to use this info in the future...

The one from Sausage Maker is not made to cook anything for consumption out of the smoker (i.e. ribs, brisket) - from their lit and I confirmed with a rep there:
the thermostat has a range of 50-200 but then also states “THE SMOKEHOUSE TEMPERATURE SHOULD NEVER EXCEED 170° F AT ANY TIME WHEN SMOKING MEATS.”

Then looking at the smokin-it it will hit the higher temps but as you stated not for cold smoking and even with the addition of their cold smoking plate.
"This plate is designed to allow you to smoke cheese and other low temperature products with a minimum of heat. The cold smoke plate
is placed above the firebox. Set heat control at level just high enough to produce smoke. We also recommend placing a metal pan load with ice on top of the cold smoke plate to help reduce temperatures inside the smoker."
In this case the additional plate and it seems ice to keep the temps low.

I was partially justifying the purchase based on a unit out of the box I could cold smoke with but also do quantities of ribs, shoulders, etc.
It seems at this point each are good at one but not the other.
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Postby DanMcG » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:22 pm

Hey Eric, my first smoker for sausage was similar to the sausagemakers 20 lb smoker. (Mustang or maverick brand off of ebay)... It was a third of the price of the SausageMakers
I think it said 190°f max temp which was not a problem for sausage but after drilling an air vent in it I was surprised to see mineral wool or maybe fiberglass insulation in the cavity. so going to a higher temp wouldn't be an issue with it.
shop around, I love the sausage maker stuff but price is important to me.
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Postby ericrice » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:06 pm

After much more reading, weighing capacity, price and reviews I ended up getting a smokintex 1400. Once I have it and have used it a few times I'll post my thoughts.
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