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Discussion Starter #1
I received the ad for Bass Pro Shops Black Friday sale and they have a Masterbuilt 30" electric smoker in there for $179. That's $150 off the normal price. I read some reviews and the old one was very poor, but the updated model for 2012 seemed to fix those issues. So then I read a bit more on some Bradley models and those seemed to get better reviews all the way around. But they also cost 4-500 dollars.

So my question here is 2 fold as I will not use this much.

1. Does anyone use an electric smoker? What brand? Recommendations?

2. Is it worth spending more money on one that is not on sale for very occasional use?

Here is a link to the one that will be on sale for $179 over Thanksgiving.
Masterbuilt 30" Electric Smokehouse with Viewing Window | Bass Pro Shops

Thanks!
 

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:munch:
 

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I prefer to use real smoke from a real fire. I don't cook with gas or electric, but a real fire using wood or lump charcoal. The taste is sooo much better.:fed: Just my .000002 cents


BTW, I did have several friends who used electric smokers in Alaska to smoke their yearly catch of salmon. I'm not a fish fan at all, but their final product was usually very good.



Contradictory enough for ya?:laugh: Sorry, but I wouldn't own one...:unknown:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The reason it appeals to me right now is the ability to set it and forget it. No need to regulate the temps or watch for a fire. I know its the easy way out but with young kids and a busy life, it sounds semi fun and easy. I could be wrong.
 

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Like I said, I know lots of people who are very successful with them. It might be right up your alley.
 

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I have this one. I like it for chicken, sausage, or things with shorter smoking times. On things with longer required times like butts, or briskets I usually have to add 30-40% of the time that I calculate by weight for a non electric smoker. After the long(er) smoke time it still is just ok, not great.

I smoke with coals, propane and electricity and I prefer them in that order. I'm not saying don't buy it, but while it is convenient, it does take more overall time in my experience.
 

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I was facing the same decision earlier this year. I also needed a "grill" at the same time. I had a Brinkman charcoal smoker/grill. I was never pleased with it. As you mentioned, regulating temps for smoking was a lost cause. I was looking at komodo grills (a la Big Green Egg). I ended up going extreme. I followed my father's lead and bought a Traeger. I have the Lil' Tex Elite. Barbecue (BBQ) Grills & Smokers | Traeger Wood Pellet Grills To me, it is a great compromise. The heat source is 100% wood. Even grilling is on wood. Smoking is great because I can maintain a consistent temperature for many hours without adding any fuel or manually adjusting anything. The catch, unfortunately is the price. The only secret I can offer there is that they do roadshows at Costco. My local Costco has had 2 roadshows this year.

I will also add, I have had a couple issues with mine. I have called Traeger several times for support. Their support model is amazing. They are available 7 days a week. They have been quick to address my issues. And apparently you can even call the tech line for cooking help.

As I said, this is not a $177 smoker. But, I have to admit, I still can't get over the wood smoke smell. I have cooked bacon on it. I have not ruined anything yet.

Lee
 

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Works great

I have the 30" without window. Never had any problems other than starting in cold weather which is fixed by using a hair dryer for a minute or so. Does brisket, chicken, turkey and Boston butt great. Ribs only so so. Easy to use. Adding wood is a breeze. A friend has the window model which gets smoked up and is useless to see through. If you can save money forget the window. Smoked turkey is tender and flavor full. Inject some seasoning and any flavor you like. Easy to control the amount of smoke. Too much adds a lot of creasote and can make you sick. Less of a problem with this unit. Buy it and enjoy. Add a remote meat thermometer to insure internal temp and get high quality meat. I've got 300 hours on mine and no problems. Not bad for $130
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have researched all the ideas from here and took in everyone opinion. Thanks for everything!

I have a hard time since this started with a simple, hey thats cheap and would be fun thing and could easily turn into a 800 dollar adventure.

I am unsure of whats going to happen, but i am leaning twords cheap and seeing if I like it and how much I use it. If I have little invested, it might give me a better idea on what I want next, if anything.
 

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I have researched all the ideas from here and took in everyone opinion. Thanks for everything!

I have a hard time since this started with a simple, hey thats cheap and would be fun thing and could easily turn into a 800 dollar adventure.

I am unsure of whats going to happen, but i am leaning twords cheap and seeing if I like it and how much I use it. If I have little invested, it might give me a better idea on what I want next, if anything.
Good luck Brian. I will add one more thought to your plan. I took your approach the first time. I bought the Brinkmann Charcoal fired smoker for only $30! I never managed to make anything on that smoker that was worth doing a second time. It does not sounds like you are going that cheap. If it is too much work, you are not likely to stick with it unless you are really devoted to the art.

Lee
 

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I have researched all the ideas from here and took in everyone opinion. Thanks for everything!

I have a hard time since this started with a simple, hey thats cheap and would be fun thing and could easily turn into a 800 dollar adventure.

I am unsure of whats going to happen, but i am leaning twords cheap and seeing if I like it and how much I use it. If I have little invested, it might give me a better idea on what I want next, if anything.
That's why I started using our gas grill. Not only that, I don't have two pieces of equipment sittin on the deck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So, long story very short, I ended up with the 40" Masterbuilt stainless smoker. It was on sale for a bit over $200 and I bit. I seasoned it last weekend and smoked boneless skinless chicken at 275 for 2 hours. It was great and moist. I was surprised it was so good considering.

I will say that its a pain in the butt as it needs to be cleaned up a lot after use and I am not down with the smell in my barn. But the food is great!

This Saturday, the plan is smoked chicken, salmon, and maybe try the pork shoulder the Jason did.
 
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