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Meat Smoker

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by blackjacknut, Sep 27, 2014.

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  1. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Some of you know that I like to cook. So I'm going to try my hand at smoking meat. So I thought what better place to ask than the folks on VMB. I've been looking on the internet for an Electric Meat Smoker, anyone have any experience with a particular brand. Thanks!
     
  2. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    We're on our 2nd cheapo electric version from Tractor Supply (well, I'm not sure where the first came from as my in-laws bought it, but the replacement when the heat sensor died came from TS and it's the same brand)

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/masterbuilt-electric-black-digital-smoker-30-in

    I don't smoke much or often (and neither do my in-laws, which is why the smoker lives at my house ;-) and this has done fine by me. I like the ease of temp control with the electric and as long as the temp is above 200 it produces good smoke from whatever wood chips I choose (no cold smoke :-( I'll have to try that some other way for my salmon some day....)

    One of my brothers has the Egg and he loves it, but I just would not use it enough for it to be a decent value for me. Some things I'll spend money on - but a smoker isn't one. (and I know the Egg does more than smoke, but I wouldn't use any of the features enough for me to want to buy it, so....)
     
  3. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Thanks, this is one of the ones I was looking at. This is also the cheapest I've seen this model.
     
  4. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    I used to have an electric meat smoker.

    Its basically a very low heat oven where the electric coil gets to a certain temp. you put wood chips in it and it makes a sort os jerky out of whatever you are smoking.

    Something to keep in mind is that it will be super super smokey flavored, almost too smokey to eat so use the least amount of wood chips you can get away with.

    follow the instructions and dont think that you are smarter then the people who built the thing. Thats what I did.
     
  5. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Good advice I will keep this in mind.
     
  6. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    It was the heating element that died on the old one (that lasted ~8 years though). The new version is quite different from the old one. Safety etc.

    As for "smoke" flavor- the wood you choose can make a BIG difference. When I smoke light flavored meats (or fish) I use a lighter wood, usually a fruit or possibly nut. Apple, cherry & pecan are favorites, mainly because I can get my own wood chips on my property from those trees. I only use hickory when I want something heavy. (can't easily/cheaply get mesquite here so I don't use it)

    As for jerky? A smoker should NOT make jerky unless that's your intent. All my smoked meats came out juicy and delicious.....
     
  7. dbldeuce

    dbldeuce Tourist

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    I have the Masterbuilt 40 inch electric. Sams Club has it for 299.00. It smokes very well. Brisket, ribs, tri-tip, sausage, or pork butt. All come out delicious with practice.
    If you want an awesome electric, CookShack makes a great one. But can be pricey.
    If you really want some answers to smokers or smoking in general, The Smoking Meat Forum is where you want to ask.
    There is an answer to any question you could come up with.
     
  8. engicedave

    engicedave VIP Whale

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    Get a simple smoker box at Home Depot, charcoal is fine

    Whatever you're smoking, only do so for an hour or two, otherwise the smoke flavor overwhelms the meat, and all you taste is smoke

    After hour or so, remove, wrap in foil (2x - 3x wrap) and put in oven on like 225-250oF for another hour or so, dependng on what you're smoking, like a brisket can be a 4 hour total time....2 in smoker, 2 in oven

    You can foil wrap and put back in smoker, which is now just a "grill" because no more need for chips, but keeping temp consistent can be tough and electric smokers are less energy efficient than an insulated oven.

    Want a real challenge?
    Google "Bacon Explosion"

    Awesome smoker product
     
  9. ajp

    ajp High-Roller

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    May I recommend you skip an electric and look at a pellet smoker instead
     
  10. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    I will just offer one piece of advice for a smoker - bite the bullet and dump and clean the drip pan within a day or so after use. You do not want to come back to that thing in a month or two, no sir. :vomit:
     
  11. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Hoya,
    How's the clean-up if you're smoking something fatty like chicken leg quarters or a Boston butt?
    Does it have a water pan?
    Thanks,
    Tye
     
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  12. ABQJeff

    ABQJeff Low-Roller

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    If you've never been to this site I highly recommend it. It reviews everything grilling, smoking and barbecue.
    http://amazingribs.com
     
  13. garrman

    garrman Low-Roller

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    +1 for http://amazingribs.com. Great resource for smoking information.

    I have a Bradley Electric Smoker and have been smoking meat for about a year and i'm very happy with the performance and the easy clean up. The Bradley works well. I've cooked everything from brisket, ribs, pork shoulder, meatballs. Also, cold smoking Cheese is pretty great too.
     
  14. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Yes, there is a water pan. I will admit that I almost always smoke inside some sort of pan - I have a high side and a low side (quarter size kitchen sheet) that fit in the cooker and I will put the meat on the metal pan. I have the 2 that have been "sacrificed" to the smoker and are only used with it. That way it's not too messy. I've done fish (trout & salmon) on foil and that works nicely. The salmon I've done a few times and it's great. Trout - just once, was a Christmas present for my mother (I don't like freshwater fish) and it took FOREVER and a very VERY thorough cleaning to get the smell out of the smoker. But no problem with salmon. So I have not done trout again ;-)

    The times where I've done meat right on the racks (the pork butt, venison loin wrapped in bacon, etc) I've made sure there's water in the pan, oiled the racks ahead of time, and cleaned as soon as the unit is cool enough and we haven't had any problems. But chicken & turkey I do in pans. And the turkey gets two pans which works out nicely - legs on the sheet pan, breast in the teeny half roaster and then I even have some juice for stock or gravy if I want. I get some smoke and I get some "oven roasting" action and I'm happy.
     
  15. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    We've done cheese (gouda, inside ceramic ramekins, turned out GREAT) and I've done almonds. The first couple times we did it - was looking to smoke everything we could! Smoked a meatloaf once - I don't even like meatloaf and I think it turned out great:thumbsup: I will say that the one we have does not maintain good smoke below 200 (they're pretty clear about that in the literature if I'm remembering correctly) so when I did the cheese, it was not quite a "cold" smoke - which is why I used a ramekin to contain the meltiness...

    I do get my recipes just googling and using (I'm sure) some of the sites that have been mentioned. But I'm a complete novice at smoking and don't really care to be much more than that - I have fun with it, the food tastes good and doesn't kill me, which is all I want in the end:ssst:
     
  16. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Look at a Weber Smokey Mountain cooker. I had an electric but got rid of it.
     
  17. USCHawks

    USCHawks High-Roller

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    I don't have any experience with electric smokers but I too have a Weber Smokey Mountain and I love it. I bought it earlier this year and haven't used it as much as I'd like but the results have been fantastic.
     
  18. Fligster

    Fligster High-Roller

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    Same here, got the weber for my birthday and love it.
     
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  19. acoluzzi

    acoluzzi Low-Roller

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    Traeger, get one, easy to use and once you get the hang of it you will make the best meat ever. Thank you.
     
  20. LoveDowntownVegas

    LoveDowntownVegas Low-Roller

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    I have a cookshack and love it. http://www.cookshack.com/
    I switched from the wood chunks they sell to wood chips. I soak them in a beverage before smoking and it works well. As others have said, the smoke flavor can be a killer. there's a learning curve to it, but once you figure out 'your' smoker you will love the end results!
     
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