Electric smoker recommendations!! HELP
I'm in the market for an electric smoker. I've never had a smoker before and it seems electric is the best way to start. My budget would be around $250.
I'm an avid fisherman and would love to predominately smoke fish, although i'm sure ribs would be pretty easy/great to do. My concern is that I read alot of reviews online about not getting the wood to smoke at the lower temperatures that they recommend smoking fish at.
Any help from my fellow hounders would be greatly appreciated.
I have an electric smoker by Centro - I think it is Canadian version of the Masterbuilt .
Make sure you don't let rain get to the control unit. The lowest temperature on mine is 100F which is too hot for cold smoking.
For fish I put them in a cold smoker, near the bottom just above the drip catcher. When you switch it on the element comes on full blast and so you get smoke almost straight away as the chips rest on the element. Before it gets too hot switch it off, open the door and let it cool. Then do it again.
Some people recommend an ice bath in the smoker. It didn't work that well for me. I considered taking the smoke from the outlet vent and feeding it into another box. Never got round to it.
People report reliability issues, but mine's still going...
That's the Masterbuilt alright. The only negative review on that link alludes to a failed connection. This has been it's biggest issue but is really an easy fix. On the newer models an access panel has been placed for easy access to the burner element and it's connections.
Off the OP's original topic but if you want to cold smoke in your smoker Paulustrious there are several cold smoke generators available. Some like the Smoke Daddy uses an air pump to pump smoke into your smoker, grill or card board box. A more passive type of cold smoke generator is the ProQ cold smoke generator and the similar A Maze N Smoker. Here is what I rigged up for my smoker. It's the tin can/soldering iron cold smoke generator enhanced with an air pump that feeds into the bottom of the can. The 3" vent pipe fits the smoker like a glove.
When I cold smoke salmon I place the fish on frozen gel packs and can smoke for several hours without them melting. The fish stays very cold.
In your price range you may want to look at the Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse. It's a good electric for the money. I have a 30" model that is a couple of years old. Do some research on these. They have digital controllers which make using a breeze but they smokers are not without issues as most things. If you want to really move up to a better smoker the Cookshack is an excellent electric that is very well made but will cost you a lot more.