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Electric BBQ Smokers?

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malibumike Oct 24, 2006 03:18 PM

For those of you who have experience with Electric BBQ Smokers which one is the best or worst in terms of results. No charcol please as I dont have time to constantly replace the briquets.

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  1. c
    cheryl_h Oct 24, 2006 03:47 PM

    I've only had experience with one, SmokinTex which I recommend highly. It uses wood. A couple of ounces will give you 5-6 hours of smoking. This is their website:

    http://smokintex.com/
    Most of their experience is in commercial smokers but they make two home versions. We have the stainless steel model.

    We've had ours for about 3 years and use it for everything - pork, beef, fish, vegetables. We just smoked 20 lbs of spareribs over the past weekend, all stored in the freezer for feasting over the winter. I also smoked a pound or two of jalapenos for a sauce which we eat with carnitas. I've been planning to smoke almonds and make my own spiced nuts, the recipes sound very simple and we'll use a lot of these over the holidays. We couldn't be more happy with this unit.

    6 Replies
    1. re: cheryl_h
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      FlavoursGal Oct 24, 2006 04:31 PM

      Probably a stupid question, but I assume that, lacking proper ventilation, these smokers must be used outdoors? Please confirm.

      1. re: FlavoursGal
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        cheryl_h Oct 24, 2006 04:42 PM

        Yes, it has to be used outdoors. It weighs around 100 lbs so ours lives on the deck.

        1. re: cheryl_h
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          FlavoursGal Oct 24, 2006 05:00 PM

          Thanks, Cheryl. Have you ever heard of the Cookshack brand of electric smokers? It's a brand I saw recently at a restaurant supply store in Toronto. It looks very similar to the SmokinTex. It definitely piqued my curiosity when I saw it...reading your post may have been the final push I needed.

          1. re: FlavoursGal
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            cheryl_h Oct 24, 2006 05:21 PM

            Yes I have. I think they're very similar to SmokinTex. They have a terrific website with lots of recipes. I use their site a lot to get ideas for cooking times, preparation etc. No experience with their smokers but I've heard good things about them. You should look for bbq message boards - most concentrate on non-electric smokers but you'll find some info and opinions on electrics as well.

            We decided on the SmokinTex partly because it seemed to have a good reputation, particularly in commerical circles, but our main reason was that we got a really good deal on our unit. Someone wanted to sell his and we got the smoker plus every accessory you could wish for at a good price.

        2. re: FlavoursGal
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          highgeargal Sep 20, 2007 06:27 PM

          Hi! I just joined and was reading some of your comments...I want to buy a smoker and was wondering if the meat browns very good or do you need to brown it before it goes in the smoker?

          1. re: highgeargal
            weinstein5 Sep 21, 2007 10:05 AM

            never brown meat before you smoke it - as I see it this will create a layer that will prevent the meat from abosrbing the smoke - the meat gets plenty brownd but not in a seared way - it a nice smoked way -

      2. b
        brightman Oct 24, 2006 08:28 PM

        I have had a Brinkman for a couple years that keeps an even low temp for hours. I have smoked brisket, pork shoulder and chicken with great results. It weighs about 40 pounds and cost $60 at Home Depot.

        1 Reply
        1. re: brightman
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          highgeargal Sep 20, 2007 06:29 PM

          Hi brightman!
          with that propane smoker does it use a regular 20# bottle or one of those small bottles? the flame will get small enough to maintain under 250 degrees?
          thanks

        2. stevuchan Oct 24, 2006 09:00 PM

          Have you thought of a propane smoker? I have one from the great outdoors, (Free Ship Amazon) that work well, large wood bin, last about about 6 hours, depending on temperature. It has turned out to be my fovorite way to smoke.

          Cheers.

          2 Replies
          1. re: stevuchan
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            FlavoursGal Oct 25, 2006 02:53 PM

            I went out yesterday and bought the Cookshack Smokette, the one I'd been eyeing at the restaurant supply store. I haven't used it yet - I'm planning to "break it in/season it" later today. The support for these Cookshack smokers is incredible - they have a great website and an amazing forum. I'm looking forward to telling you about my creations as I make them. I want to do salmon and other fish, eggplant, peppers and other veggies, as well as turkey, chicken, brisket, ribs, etc.

            1. re: FlavoursGal
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              cheryl_h Oct 25, 2006 03:21 PM

              Congratulations! Have fun with your new toy. Last weekend, in addition to the 20lb of spareribs and 1lb of jalapenos we smoked, I also smoked a couple of heads of garlic and 3 eggplants. The garlic and eggplants went into baignan bartha, an Indian dish which usually calls for roasted eggplant. The smokiness raised the dish from good to simply sublime. Tonight is ribs night, I can hardly wait.

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            amoncada Oct 25, 2006 05:03 PM

            I see that you're not interested in the charcoal smokers. Steven Raichlen is the king of everything BBQ like...smokers, grills (he owns over 60 of them), bbq sauces, rubs, cooking technique's, etc. The BIG GREEN EGG smoker/grill/pizza & bread oven was number seven on his top ten list of BBQ smokers and grills. The other smokers and grills on his top ten list cost thousands of dollars.
            Most online BBQ rubs are pretty mediocre...not Steven Raichlen's. Go to his website and order the Lone Star and the Island Spice rub. His rubs are fantastic. I usually make my own but will always buys some of S.Raichlens.

            Just an FYI, natural lump charcoal fired smokers are easy breezy to operate. They're low maintenance. Place some lump charcoal in a cheap chimney with 2 sheets of newspaper and fire it up. The lighting process takes 15 minutes or less and then you're ready to cook. PreSoak some wood chips for extra smoke as well. This combination of natural lump charcoal and wood chips creates unbeatable flavor and even better than restaurant BBQ.

            I too considered buying an electric smoker like the commercial quality Smokin Tex or the Cookshack brand. After much research both on this site and on many BBQ sites I narrowed my search down to two smokers;

            1) BIG GREEN EGG: This is the one I purchased. Just for kicks, check out biggreenegg.com for customer reviews. There is no other smoker out there that has such a fanatical cult-like following. This smoker grill is unbelievable!
            The Big Green Egg is a bread & pizza oven, smoker, grill, and much more, etc. all in one. It can reach temperatures from 200 to 750 degrees and keep it for long smoking.

            2) Weber Bullet also known as the Weber Smokey Mountain or WSM.
            This smoker also has a strong following and is really easy to use. Go to WWW.WIVIOT.COM for Professor Wiviott's 5 step BBQ smokers instructions. This guy is the authority on the WSM and his website has a wealth of information in the world of BBQing.

            1. abf005 Oct 27, 2006 03:51 PM

              Since you asked about electric and I own two, I'll speak to my experiences with them.

              I own both a Cookshack SS09 Smokette and a Masterbuilt. Each has its pluses and minuses, but overall the Cookshack is a more dependable, solid built unit, which is important to me especially given the rough Chicago winters it has to withstand.

              I definitely would buy another Cookshack again, as it has been an awesome electric cooker, my only regret is I bought the smaller one, thinking that since I had two smokers why would I need a bigger one? But if I could sell it (and my wife would probably kill me since I just bought it last fall) I would undoubtedly get the next & newer Cookshack model up called the AmeriQue. BTW: The Smokin’ Tex is supposed to be a good knock off the Cookshack 050 design, and everything is supposed to be pretty close to the same, so you might save a few bucks going with a Tex.

              The Masterbuilt while very cool with that awesome digital controller cooked well, but due to its poor quality it has now died after 2 years of semi-hard use and is sitting on my deck.

              There is this wonderful rib website that rates and speaks about most of the smokers on the market with pros & cons of each: http://amazingribs.com/BBQ_buyers_gui...

              Nothing is better than tossing in a brisket or shoulder/butt at 11 pm at night, getting a full nights rest, and then having kick BBQ for lunch! You simply can’t do that with any fire burner or egg. But since I don’t aspire to be a fire tender and just need want great “Q” without a lot of babysitting involved, an electric is the way to go for me!

              1. f
                FlavoursGal Oct 29, 2006 04:02 AM

                After a few delays due to some problems with my GFI's tripping every time I tried to use my Cookshack smoker, I ended up plugging it into the indoor garage socket, and set it up for use just outside the garage door.

                After running it yesterday with some hardwood for a few hours to season it, I was ready to try it out with some food today. I bought a 4-pound Atlantic salmon fillet (skin on), cut it into 2 2-pound pieces, and glazed it with a mixture of Dijon mustard, dark maple syrup (the industrial grade; the "mapliest"), a bit of cayenne pepper, some ancho chili powder, salt and pepper.

                I put the salmon in the smoker (with the tiniest piece of hickory wood I could find in the box of wood that came with the smoker), set the dial to 200F, and let it go for 1 1/2 hours. I HAVE NEVER TASTED ANYTHING SO DELICIOUS! The salmon was just perfect - incredibly juicy, done just right with just the tiniest bit of red in the center, the right amount of smoke flavour, and great balance from the Dijon and maple syrup.

                If everything I cook in this smoker comes out this well, I just might go into the "home smoking" business!

                1. f
                  FlavoursGal Oct 29, 2006 04:06 AM

                  By the way, I found out the hard way that the best deal on a Cookshack smoker in Canada is to buy directly from Cookshack in Oklahoma. They charge a minimal shipping fee and, with exchange and duty factored in, it comes out to a lot less than I, rather unfortunately, paid at a restaurant supply store in Toronto. Should have done my homework better BEFORE I bought!

                  1. abf005 Oct 29, 2006 02:27 PM

                    Sounds like yet another success story there! Be sure to check out the Cookshack forums and the Smokin' Okie's Barbecue Guides: http://www.cookshack.com/index.php?pr...

                    He also will answer to you directly on the Cookshack forum if have have any questions, but try to read the basics first. If you follow Smokin's advise and you cant go wrong!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: abf005
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                      FlavoursGal Oct 29, 2006 09:37 PM

                      Thanks, abf. The after-sales service that Cookshack provides is wonderful. I've been chatting on the forum, getting advice, etc. People certainly are passionate about their smokin'.

                      1. re: FlavoursGal
                        abf005 Oct 30, 2006 01:36 AM

                        Oh yeah we're passionate alright, almost cultish!! And after a few amazing cookouts you'll be about as high on the product as well.

                        Not sure what part of the world your posting from, but here in Chicagoland real good "Q" is hard to come by, so having a Cookshack gets me though the tough times.

                        I'm also a regular on the CS forum as Gurnee BBQ Dude, but if you need anything give me a holler, I'll try to help.

                        BTW: This summer I placed 4th in a rib cook-off in Libertyville, IL using my CS smokette & a weber. Next year, I think we might take it! If anyone ever gets up to Mickey Finn's annual "Backlot Brewfest" for next year, just look for Bad-2-da-Bone BBQ team, that'll be us.

                        1. re: abf005
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                          FlavoursGal Oct 30, 2006 03:33 AM

                          Hi again, abf! Ya, I can see this becoming a cultish thing. I'm in a part of the world where "Q" is even harder to come by than in the Chicago area - Toronto, to be exact (I'm "Gail in Toronto" on the CS Forum). The only real barbecue I've had is in the Carolinas and Tennessee, en route to Florida. I'd love to try it, in all of its variations, throughout the southern states.

                          Congrats on your 4th place finish in Libertyville! What cut of ribs do you use? Thanks for the offer of help - I'm sure I'll be doing lots of hollering while I learn the ropes.

                          1. re: FlavoursGal
                            abf005 Oct 30, 2006 03:06 PM

                            Just my opinion, but them Texas boys do it better than just about anyone else! Although everyone has a contender or two.

                            If your ever in these areas, my three favorites BBQ places are #1- Earl's in OK City, OK; #2- Rudy's in Round Rock, TX and a few other locations in TX; and #3-Super Smokers in Eureka, MO.

                    2. b
                      barrierislandoutpost Oct 29, 2006 03:22 PM

                      I own a Brinkmann Gourmet electric smoker. I've been very satisfied with it so far. I also own a more traditional charcoal/wood burning smoker. They both work great. It just boils down to the mood I'm in and how much time I have. The electric is convenient in that you don't have to constantly keep the temp regulated. The wood burning smoker requires full attention throughout the cooking time (which can be several hours.) On a cold winter day, there is something to be said about sitting outside with a cold one and making the neighborhood drool with envy!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: barrierislandoutpost
                        abf005 Oct 30, 2006 01:43 AM

                        I had a Brinkmann smoker a few years ago as well, but then moved up to the Materbuilt & the Cookshack. It was a fine starter unit, and gave me many nice meals. The bigest difference is that the CS & MB units cook more moist (due to the airtight seals & the thicker wall insulation) so the food is never dried out.

                        But I hear you on the sitting outside though, I do the same thing to my neighbors all the time!

                      2. x
                        xavier Oct 30, 2006 12:50 PM

                        For $110 I bought a Meco electric smoker and it's awesome. I'm frequently on the roof of my condo smoking up. Advantages: cheap, trashcan water smoker; has a rheostat so you can control the temperature somewhat; most important, it has a sliding hatch that lets you add wood chunks or check the food without removing the lid.

                        That hatch and the rheostat were ESSENTIAL to me and I didn't find the combo on any other inexpensive smoker.

                        I got mine at BBQs Galore, mail order, but they no longer carry it online.

                        http://www.amazon.com/Meco-Model-Electric-Smoker-Grill/dp/B0000CGESO/sr=1-22/qid=1162215973/ref=sr_1_22/102-6309494-6530507?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden

                        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: xavier
                          abf005 Oct 30, 2006 03:15 PM

                          I know there is a conversion kit available for the Weber Smokey Mtn. (WSM) unit that lets you install an electric temp control & element so you get about the same set up as your Gourmet cooker.

                          Might be worth it, since the Brinkman is not as heavy (thin steel walls) as the WSM. And the WSM has spare parts widely available (always a big plus with any Weber product). Shame too since once you move into the 400+ range of Brinkman’s they are built like tanks! I've always wanted a monster Brinkman Cimarron to have out on my deck, but it's starting to look like BBQ U with all the cookers I have out there now!

                          1. re: xavier
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                            Leepa May 12, 2011 04:56 PM

                            I have the Meco smoker, too, and have had good luck with it.

                          2. f
                            FlavoursGal Oct 30, 2006 01:32 PM

                            Hi xavier. My Cookshack Smokette has a rotary dial to select the desired temperature, and works pretty well. The element cycles on and off to control the temperature.

                            As for the need to add wood during the cooking process, this is not necessary with Cookshack ovens. When you start off with a cold oven and cold food (as Cookshack recipes usually recommend), and as little as one ounce of wood, the cooked food has a great smoky flavour. It's actually quite easy to go overboard with the wood and get too much smoke flavour.

                            1. x
                              xavier Oct 30, 2006 08:20 PM

                              I put about a chunk of wood per hour in my Meco. For $110, its great. I would vastly prefer a Cookshack and even be willing to spend the $400-$500. But I live in the top floor of a condo and would have nowhere to store it. I leave most of my Meco on the roof deck, storing only the bottom part -- with the electrical element, ashes and crud -- in an industrial-strength trash bag.

                              1. abf005 Oct 30, 2006 09:22 PM

                                xavier;

                                If I told you that a Cookshack with a vinyl cover (for when not in use) was more than adequate for any weather condition (I live in Chicago, and keep both my smokers outside all year) you throw at it, what would you think?

                                The cookshack unit is made with an 1/16" stainless steel exterior and has 1000 degree insulation sandwiched in between the 1/16" stainless steel seamless interior. So even in the dead of January when it's below 0, the inside cooker is unaffected by outside weather and even doesnt get stressed when brought up to cooking temp. So therefore I cook all year round! Can anyone else say they've smoked turkeys or hams for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years or even Easter when it can be cold as heck outside, regardless of weather?? I know our Toronto gal is gonna have just one more reason to love the CS!

                                This is big issue for both the thin walled smokers and ceramic eggs. The egg would probably crack if you try to start a fire in a cold one that was sitting outside and not at least at 40 degrees, and the thin walled smokers cant hold enough heat to fight off the wind and below zero temps.

                                I bought the smaller 009 unit and it comes with wheels for easy manuverabilty, it also has a storage cab under that works well for the extras like paper towels, wood chunks & extra grates. Like I said, I'd sell it and upgrade to the Amerique....

                                Mine: http://www.cookshack.com/shopping/pgm-more_information.php?id=8&=SID

                                My next one: http://www.cookshack.com/shopping/pgm...

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: abf005
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                                  xavier Oct 31, 2006 12:51 PM

                                  hmm...storing electric smokers OUTSIDE??? really?? hmmmm....

                                  1. re: xavier
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                                    FlavoursGal Oct 31, 2006 01:14 PM

                                    Check out www.cookshack.com, log in to the forums, and you'll see that tons of people keep the oven outside (outdoor use is recommended by the manufacturer because of the exhaust of the smoke), covered when not in use. Naturally, when using outdoors, one must conform to municipal codes and use GFI receptacles.

                                    When used in rain and snow, there must be some sort of covering of the thermostat and the top-mounted air hole. I just tape over the thermostat with duct tape, and I purchased a little brass plumbing part that diverts the smoke out the side of this part, rather than out the top, where rain could enter.

                                    1. re: xavier
                                      c
                                      cheryl_h Oct 31, 2006 01:35 PM

                                      Our electric SmokinTex has lived on our Boston deck for 3 years, through Nor'easters, hurricanes and heat waves. We have a sturdy, fitted cover over it which keeps it dry but other than that, it's completely exposed to the elements.

                                      I'm so pleased to read this thread with all the comments. It seems every time the topic is raised, electric smokers are thoroughly dissed in favor of the charcoal/wood smokers, usually by posters who have no experience with an electric smoker. We smoke our Thanksgiving turkey every year, and regularly smoke chicken, ribs, pulled pork and other bbq delights through the dead of winter. Sometimes we have to clear the snow from around the smoker but after that we can watch it from inside the house. I'll never go back to tending charcoal over bbq.

                                      1. re: cheryl_h
                                        abf005 Oct 31, 2006 02:36 PM

                                        Not to mention a wireless remote temp probe come in pretty handy in the dead of January, when I try to keep running though the snow path at a minimum!!

                                        Damn the purists!! I will say that the wood fired cookers give you a bark on the meat that is superior, especially in an offset as opposed to an electric. The smoke-ring argument is usually next, folks a smoke-ring is purely an aesthetic look and adds no flavor,(cut off a piece of a ring and taste it, no diff huh?) The reason is it is strictly a chemical reaction from the burning of hardwood or charcoal, so if you toss a briquette into your electric you'll get a smoke-ring too, problem solved (but why bother, as its really only dirty smoke). So the real compromise comes down to dedicated babysitting time, amount of wood used and bark.

                                        Since the electric cookers like a Masterbuilt, Bradley, Tex & CS are all tight sealed and stay so moist inside (almost like crock pots), the meat is always tender, but attaining a great bark is a challenge, but I've found by using a touch more raw or brown sugar in my rubs this seems to help.

                                        Still when you get down to BBQ, its the chef and the recipes, and not the cooker that make the difference. I know my own rubs, sauces and techniques have changed very little from cooker to cooker.

                                        One day the damn purists will stop being afraid, as it stands now us electric guys cant compete in KCBS sanctioned events, but when we do have a chance to go head to head we are competitive.

                                    2. re: abf005
                                      m
                                      MattF Jan 1, 2011 11:51 AM

                                      >Can anyone else say they've smoked turkeys or hams for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years or even Easter when it can be cold as heck outside, regardless of weather??

                                      Uh yeah, pretty much any bbq geek has. Christmas 2010: Goose and brisket. New Years Eve (last night) 2 briskets. I've smoked in snow. I've smoked at 10 degrees with strong winds (admittedly difficult). I've smoked in rain. Not lazy q either, all with a slightly mod'd silver smoker.

                                      [Updated, changed "good" to goose]

                                    3. s
                                      saeyedoc Oct 31, 2006 02:39 PM

                                      I had a Meco for several years, very inexpensive (about $100) and worked well. I kept it outside through long Montana winters and it still worked fine when the weather improved.

                                      The opening it has to allow you to add wood while cooking is very convenient, I think the new ones now allow you to add liquid as well.

                                      1. f
                                        FlavoursGal Oct 31, 2006 07:00 PM

                                        As a new Cookshack Smokette owner who researched the Big Green Egg before buying, I'm delighted to be able to put my meat, fish, or veg into the smoker and walk away for up to 12 hours (brisket).

                                        I do enough cooking and tending to food indoors, that this is just the icing on the cake.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: FlavoursGal
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                                          embee Nov 29, 2006 02:28 PM

                                          Further to our exchange bounced off of the Toronto board:

                                          It is a Bradley electric smoker and goes for about $300 at Bass Pro Shop.

                                          Does anyone else out there have experience with these Bradley units? How well do they work? How difficult is it to source the wood briquettes?

                                          1. re: embee
                                            abf005 Nov 30, 2006 02:31 PM

                                            Bradley: overall a very nice unit.
                                            Pros: small dorm fridge style unit, cooks moist, air tight seals and easy to control smoke unit & temp controller.
                                            Cons: uses only Bradley smoker hockey puck style compressed wood pellets which run about $20 a box. Vs a 10 lb bag of chips or chunks for about $5-10. Also lacking is an interior welded seam on where the stainless plates come together, which allows for food/grease/steam to penetrate behind the metal and can cause the unit to smell "campy". I have the same issue with the Masterbuilt on this.

                                            For the money, since they are almost identical in capacity, and size, I would recommend the Masterbuilt (MB) over the Bradley based the wood issue alone, but I also think the temp control unit on the MB is superior as well and its about $50 less than the Bradley. But I do think Bradley makes a more attractive looking unit from an esthetics perspective though.

                                        2. x
                                          xavier Oct 31, 2006 09:57 PM

                                          Wow. Well I'm not replacing my Meco until it breaks, but since I can store outdoors, when I do, I guess it's time for a Cookshack.

                                          1. andreas Nov 30, 2006 11:16 AM

                                            You smoking people are now responsible for a: me salivating uncontrollably and b: me considering ways to justify a $500+ outlay to my wife - just before Christmas. I hope y'all feeling proud of yourself.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: andreas
                                              abf005 Nov 30, 2006 02:19 PM

                                              After you cook her that first s-l-o-w cooked, tender, succulent meal in that new smoker, you both will know it was worth every penny! Merry Christmas!

                                              1. re: andreas
                                                m
                                                MattF Jan 1, 2011 12:05 PM

                                                You don't have to spend 500 bucks to make bbq. This thread is on electrics, but any cheap offset smoker from Lowes or HomeDepot will work fine and (based on my experience) turn out better q (though it's admittedly much more effort).

                                              2. r
                                                RGC1982 Sep 20, 2007 07:49 PM

                                                We used to have a Smokey Joe. It was barrel shaped and had a small door to use when it was time to add more woodl It was less than $50 at Walmart, and it did a fine job as long as it wasn't raining -- that would set off the ground fault interruptors, presumably because you are not supposed to place the smoker in wet grass and plug it in (Duh! Tell that to my DH). It also seemed to take a lot longer to smoke if the temperature was below freezing, and I think this is because the thin walls were no match for the icy wind. But for much of the year, it was really convenient and did a great job.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: RGC1982
                                                  abf005 Nov 11, 2007 07:30 AM

                                                  RGC: I'm confused by your post; the Smoky Joe is a small portable Weber kettle grill that uses charcoal for its heat source, not electric. The only smoker Weber mfg is called the Weber Smokey Mountain, which is a barrel shaped charcoal smoker as well, and cost allot more than $50. Did you add on the conversion kit? Can you please clarify? Thanks!

                                                2. c
                                                  Clinton Nov 15, 2007 01:37 PM

                                                  A little over 20 years ago I bought a Brinkman charcoal smoker which I converted over to electric using an adapter they sold for around $20. I can either use it to either slow smoke with charcoal or use it with the electric plate adapter. Convenience wise, I like the electric adapter which I use along with lava rocks and an aluminum pie pan stoked with wood chips. The only problem is that it burns quite hot if you don't babysit and watch the temperature. Also, it uses a lot of electricity for several hours of cooking. Cheaper to use charcoal since smoking requires low heat at a longer period of time. Smoking a full low of salmon steaks on both grills will take approximately 3 - 4 hours with electricity while with charcoal is double that time. Patience is the key and also a good brine helps.

                                                  15 Replies
                                                  1. re: Clinton
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                                                    teesquare Jan 10, 2011 06:10 PM

                                                    I have 2+ years of hard experience with the Bradleys....will tell you that the only way to buy them - is 2 at a time. Because one of them will ALWAYS be non-functioning.
                                                    Too complex for the money spent. That means that Bradley has made a best effort to meet a price point, and give us the most features for that price point. And, while a noble effort - they fell short on dependability.
                                                    There is not enough space here for me to re-count the number of times I had failures that required me to remove the meat, and finish it on a gas grill.
                                                    Similar recent experiences with Masterbuilt electrics. It is just the designs do not protect the delicate connections, and electronics well enough from moisture. Not rain -MOISTURE. Moisture is generated when you use these in the form of steamy-smoke.
                                                    My vote is for gas, or - if you must go electric, Cookshack, or Smokin Tex. MUCH better dependability records....

                                                    1. re: teesquare
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                                                      rosy canvey Mar 19, 2011 05:38 PM

                                                      The best indoor electric smoker has just come on the market. It is electric countertop, stainless steel and can both hot and cold smoke bbq. It is sold by Hammacher Schlemmer and cooks unbelievably fast with just a few wood chips. You can even add your own infusion. It smokes salmon in about 10 minutes and ribs in about 40 minutes. It is a pressure smoker, so it can also be used as a pressure cooker and steamer. I just cannot believe how awesome this is. Even if you are not that much into smoked food, you will love this the taste of the food is serious gourmet. I was even able to smoke eggs and cold smoke fruit and hard cheeses. This has to be the best............

                                                      1. re: rosy canvey
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                                                        luganrn May 12, 2011 01:48 PM

                                                        I just got the email advertising this smoker and was wondering if anyone had tried it. I was researching it and also found lots of good stuff on a Nordicware version for a lot less that got good reviews by users. It runs anywhere from 60 to 75. It's not a pressure cooker though, but maybe that's not as important to some people. Also it gets its heat either from a grill or stovetop. It's just that $200 is a lot to spend on something you might not use as much. It is intriguing though. If it was MY birthday coming up I'd have this on my list. But hubby's comes up first (in June). Your review is tempting. Do you know of a site where there are more reviews?

                                                        1. re: luganrn
                                                          m
                                                          malibumike May 12, 2011 03:07 PM

                                                          I had just bought one and it was defective, i was able to cut a packer cut brisket and put in a 3.5lb chunck, it pressure cooked but didn't smoke, I checked it out and it smoked once but never again, had to return it and got a credit, did not want to chance another defective unit. I think it is a very good idea but by the time you get in the racks there is not much room for a roast.

                                                        2. re: rosy canvey
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                                                          ferret May 12, 2011 02:41 PM

                                                          That's a pretty tiny volume for a "smoker." I have a hard enough time fitting a brisket in my outdoor smoker. This one looks like you'd have to cut it into 2-lb pieces. I'm sure it's fine for what it is, but smoking is as much about texture as it is about flavor and a pressure cooker just won't give you the same results.

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                                                            luganrn May 12, 2011 03:23 PM

                                                            Are you guys talking about the Hammacher one or the Nordicware? I really don't need a large volume since I might just be cooking for two people at most. That is what intrigued me most about these smaller indoor ones. I have a big Weber smoker outside on the deck but never use it. Anyone want one?

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                                                              malibumike May 13, 2011 03:52 PM

                                                              We were talking about the Hammacher .

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                                                                luganrn May 13, 2011 08:35 PM

                                                                Hmmm. Wonder who the maker is, and if they have it cheaper. Still is intriguing.

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                                                                  rosy canvey May 14, 2011 05:42 AM

                                                                  Got to tell you, we just love this machine. Don't need a huge outside smoker. Cooks so fast and food just tastes great. Use it about once or twice a week, no problems. Also, can cold smoke with it. Sometimes we cook duck, then cold smoke and cut up for salad. A couple of friends purchased, I checked with them and no problems, they love it. Also noticed, it has a special food rack so the fat drops to the bottom of the pot, my wife loves that.

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                                                                    luganrn May 14, 2011 01:00 PM

                                                                    Is there anywhere written who actually makes it?

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                                                                      rosy canvey May 15, 2011 07:50 AM

                                                                      Nope, maybe you have to call Hammacher Schlemmer. It has a name on it; Gourmet Genie. youtube shows it, the first one to click on but the 800 number doesn't work. All I know is, we would not be without it. We cold smoked sea salt, put it on a cheese cloth on the rack. It was really good. The hot smoked ribs are awesome. The recipe book shows spices but it does not come with them, so we had to find our own.

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                                                                        luganrn May 15, 2011 11:56 AM

                                                                        Gourmet Genie, eh? Thanks for your help. It does sound great. Wish it was cheaper though. I can get 7% discount through a rebate site I use, and free shipping if it doesn't already come free. I guess I will have to be happy with that.

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                                                                          Jay M Aug 16, 2011 06:51 PM

                                                                          Wondering if you (anyone?) has tried steaks in this smoker? I'm in a condo and can't bbq but need my BBQ fix at home!!

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                                                                            rosy canvey Aug 24, 2011 02:59 PM

                                                                            Tried steak, tried just about everything. You can smoke with just one small wood chip for a very light bbq flavor, just make sure the wood is touching the heat element in the bottom of the cup. No problems using in an apartment, perfect. Also used as a pressure cooker and steamer. I found out that QVC is selling for $127.00. You can go to qvc.com and go to search and type: pressure smoker. Cooked a couple of filet steaks in it, just great. I saw QVC selling special rubs so I bought a pack. Great taste, better than the supermarket.

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                                                                              nuraman00 Sep 2, 2012 03:09 PM

                                                                              Has anyone tried a whole chicken in the Hammacher Schlemmer? I think the brand is Emson, but I'm not sure. Can you fit a whole chicken on a vertical roaster in it?

                                                                              I called Hammacher Schlemmer, and the customer support representative thinks the 7Q could handle it standing up.

                                                                              But I'd like someone who tried it to confirm.

                                                                              Also, what kind of wood chips does it take? The small pieces, or the sawdust type?

                                                                              If anyone has tried a whole chicken, how many wood chips did you use, and how long did you cook the whole chicken for?

                                                                              http://www.hammacher.com/Product/Defa...

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                                                        landwhale Dec 1, 2011 10:17 PM

                                                        Go for the cookshack smokette elite!
                                                        Digital control,probe w/display and Nickle stainless construction.
                                                        I have had the Weber smokymountain for years.I just got sick of my patio looking like a foundry after BBQ sessions.
                                                        Charcoal is $20 a session with the W.S.M- so the cookshack pays for itself in 50.
                                                        I'm almost there!
                                                        The cookshack is a real work-horse too, as it will make a 40lb pig middle it's bitch.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: landwhale
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                                                          SpringRam Jan 16, 2012 06:13 PM

                                                          The Cookshack stuff is terrific! I have had mine for 11 years now and it is still going strong. Best smoker by far. Pork ribs, pork butt .....Mmmmmm it cannot be beat for ease of use and end results.

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