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Old 10-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #1
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Electric Smokers

Pardon me for having 2 thread on the different kind of smokers out there, but I`m ready to buy next spring and I`d like some opinions.
First I was leaning towards a WSM smoker, but I`m kinda liking these "set it and forget it" electric smokers I`ve been seeing lately.
Wondering if the taste from an electric smoker can be as good as from a WSM smoker.
Electric seems to be the cheaper choice in the long run with no charcoal to buy for fuel.
I`m in a colder part of the country so an electric smoker here would need to be double insulated for use in the winter time.
What are some good choices on electric smokers in the $400 to $550 price range?
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:29 PM   #2
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The best case scenario for charcoal is to pick a brand which stinks up the goods the least amount. For the amount of cash mentioned a person could either make a downstroke on a Cook Shack or Smoke n Tex..or most likely find a used one for about that amount. The Smoke n Tex my previously mentioned pal uses runs about $1,500 new seems like he said..but he bought it from another pal who tends to be scammy and a greedy goose retail robber baron. Make you chunk rocks at the nasty charcoal contaminated stuff. Pure wood smoke flavor..yum yum.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:11 PM   #3
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Wondering if the taste from an electric smoker can be as good as from a WSM smoker.
NO!
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:21 PM   #4
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The learning curve on a WSM is real low and holds temps really well. Once you get it figured out is is basically a set it and forget smoker as well.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:10 PM   #5
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The learning curve on a WSM is real low and holds temps really well. Once you get it figured out is is basically a set it and forget smoker as well.
Ditto!
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:50 AM   #6
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Really "Set It and Forget It" that sounds like that food cooker thingy from Ronco!

Seriously to set it and forget it takes all the fun out of smoking food. Thats when I have a good time out in the garage kicking back hanging out with my brothers, friends, and others. That is one of the best parts about smoking, and cooking outdoors, well to me anyway. By the way I did read the other post about the charcoal and the price of it and all, but you have to think that you are using electricity as a fuel for the smoker that BW is talking about and that also cost money. But you will have to choose for yourself what the best course is for you, don't let anyone sway YOUR choice. Choose in your best interest, all that we can do is offer advice.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:18 AM   #7
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The learning curve on a WSM is real low and holds temps really well. Once you get it figured out is is basically a set it and forget smoker as well.
I understand that tending to a smoker is half the fun, but doing, say a brisket may take 12 to 13 hours. No set it and forget it there with a WSM. During that long of a cook, I'll be needing to add lit coals a couple different times.
But I do want the best flavor I can get, so if charcoal smokers taste better, then I "ll just have to babysit the smoker if I have to.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:47 AM   #8
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I understand that tending to a smoker is half the fun, but doing, say a brisket may take 12 to 13 hours. No set it and forget it there with a WSM. During that long of a cook, I'll be needing to add lit coals a couple different times.
But I do want the best flavor I can get, so if charcoal smokers taste better, then I "ll just have to babysit the smoker if I have to.
I've had a WSM for several years, and rarely have to add coals for a 12-hour cook. No, it's not really set it and forget it, but it comes close. If you know somebody with a WSM, see if they'll let you borrow it to try cooking a couple of pork butts. That will give you a much better picture of the experience than you'll get by reading all the responses here. Plus, you'll have a bunch of great pulled pork to eat while you're deciding which smoker you want.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:54 AM   #9
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I will never understand why people want to do "marathon" cooks, although 12 hours isn't that unusual or even that bad.

Once you get the WSM "dialed in" it really is pretty close to set-it-and-forget-it, even for 12 hours or so. If you use good lump charcoal and the "minion method", you can go that long except in the coldest and windy-est weather. Setting up a wind screen in windy weather helps greatly. Think...downwind from a fence, your house, a table turned on its side, etc, etc. ...

You really do want the WSM. The size is up to you and your budget!

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:55 AM   #10
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I've had a WSM for several years, and rarely have to add coals for a 12-hour cook. No, it's not really set it and forget it, but it comes close. If you know somebody with a WSM, see if they'll let you borrow it to try cooking a couple of pork butts. That will give you a much better picture of the experience than you'll get by reading all the responses here. Plus, you'll have a bunch of great pulled pork to eat while you're deciding which smoker you want.
Yeah, what he said...

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Old 10-08-2012, 04:15 PM   #11
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The only flavor produced by charcoal is crappy flavor. Electricity has a much better flavor and aroma...or at least its less offensive..which as Joe Ames always say was the key in cooking. He often say concerning cooking contests..It aint often the best which wins but rather the least offensive. Made sense to me.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:13 PM   #12
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Depends on the charcoal, I don't think that my charcoal gives off a bad taste, or smell, started fluid on the other hand, that is just nasty.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:27 PM   #13
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Depends on the charcoal, I don't think that my charcoal gives off a bad taste, or smell, started fluid on the other hand, that is just nasty.
Only thing available to me withing 30 miles is Kingsford Blue. But I`ve learnerd it has alot of clay and other inert things. I`m willing to buy charcoal online to get the good stuff. But I`ve never tasted starter fuel evem though I use it all the time. I need to start buying the parrifin cubes. Or just use my chimminey.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bigwheel View Post
The only flavor produced by charcoal is crappy flavor. Electricity has a much better flavor and aroma...or at least its less offensive..which as Joe Ames always say was the key in cooking. He often say concerning cooking contests..It aint often the best which wins but rather the least offensive. Made sense to me.
Huh? Flavor and aroma from electricity???

You cooking in the indoor oven again? How do ya smoke food with electricity? I think you've been sitting in that chair with the electric wrist bands again...

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Old 10-08-2012, 10:02 PM   #15
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Thats all I use is Kingsford Blue. There is nothing wrong with it. Think you maybe over-thinking somethings. Charcoal fluid has a slight orange flavor to it. If you are sing charcoal you should think about getting a chimney to start your charcoal.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:49 PM   #16
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If you want an electric smoker I'd go with the Smokin' Tex. It's insulated, the flavor you get is from real wood smoke and it is easy to use. I have one that was given to me and in fact I just used it yesterday to cold smoke some soft shell crabs. I'll post something on that cook. It will be under the title "Cold Smoked and Fried Soft Shell Crab Poboy".

It's posted under the General(non barbecue)Discussion topic.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:18 AM   #17
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Well the way the Brinkmann works..is it has a heating element which looks like come from an electric oven....and it lays in the firepan on top of lava rocks..and whatever wood flavor a person might want is laid on the lava rocks. Viola. Now the nice electrics such as Tragenators Smoke n Tex has little chip holding gizmos which are loaded up and slid over the protruding heating elements. Choice of running one or two elements on the one I saw. Works good..just have to use chips. The brinkmann can use chunks..chips..small tree branches..double handfuls of pee can shell etc.

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Huh? Flavor and aroma from electricity???

You cooking in the indoor oven again? How do ya smoke food with electricity? I think you've been sitting in that chair with the electric wrist bands again...

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Old 10-10-2012, 10:17 AM   #18
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The only flavor produced by charcoal is crappy flavor. Electricity has a much better flavor and aroma...or at least its less offensive..which as Joe Ames always say was the key in cooking. He often say concerning cooking contests..It aint often the best which wins but rather the least offensive. Made sense to me.
Everytime I smell my outlet plug I can't smell anything .
Maybee you guys have smoke flavored electricity in Texas
I'm cooking 2- 19 lb briskets now and had to add charcoal 1 time (it got down to 35* last night).

BW just havin fun
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:44 AM   #19
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Well when you smelling that electric plug be sure and see if smells like anthracite coal or anything like that. Sounds good on the brisket. Making me want to electrocute one..lol.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:08 PM   #20
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Yes, since MI Smoke and live about 15 miles from each other I can tell you it was cold and rainy last night......
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