BullsEye

Electric Smoker

34 posts in this topic

A buddy of mine is looking for an electric smoker to do sausage, hams, jerky etc. The whole 9 yards. I was wondering if you guys might have some experience with them and if you could recommend a good one. Thanks. :good:

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I have used the Little Chief with great results.

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Depends on how much he wants to spend. I have a big chief that is great for fish and I have done some jerky on it. I have been looking at this one http://smokintex.com/ for meats. It's pricey but the reviews i have read are good. Sportmans Warehouse on Rocklin has the 1500 for around 1300 on sale. I have a friend that swears by the Bradley Smoker http://bradleysmoker.com/ The only draw back is you have to buy their wood biscuits to feed it for the smoke. Good luck in your search and let us know what he ends up getting. Robert

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I have a bradley electric smoke and it's awesome! I have done brisket, sausages, fish, tri-tip everything...mine has pre-heat and timers --- nice wood chip holder. it's great

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I've been using the Little Chief and Big Chief smokers for about 39 years. I mainly smoke fish and I get very good results. I've never attempted to smoke a ham but Luhr-Jensen says you can do it in the smoker. I did smoke a turkey once and it was pretty good. When I was about 13 years old I lived in the south and belonged to the Boy Scouts. We went on a camp out in North Carolina on a Planters Peanut plantation. All of the farmers were black share croppers and were very nice people. In hiking around we came across a short log smokehouse where they all smoked their meats. I went inside and there was a fire pit in the center of a dirt floor and wires hung from the rafters. The smell of that place was pure heaven. The kids didn't see many white kids and were curious about us. I can't remember the reason why but one of the Scouts pulled out some pocket change and the sharecropper kids, some of them in their late teens, gathered around to look. They said they'd never seen a silver coin before. These were some hard working people and very nice to us. A real cheap way to get into smoking is to get an old refrigerator, a hotplate and a frying pan. Make sure the racks are not made of cadmium and you're in business.

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I use propane but I really like the unit. It is a Brinkman. I had it for nearly a year and it has been flawless. I prefer the propane because it gets up to temperature quicker and seems easier to regulate. At least to me it does.

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Lots of good info. I think my buddy wants to spend no more then 300 dollars on a smoker.On the Bradley do you have to use their wood chips? Can you use your own wood if you are out of chips?

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As long as it's a good hardwood but making wood chips without contaminating them with oil like with a chain saw is a lot of work. Wood chips really aren't that expensive. Soft woods like pine has resin in it and will make your food nasty.

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On the Bradley do you have to use their wood chips? Can you use your own wood if you are out of chips?
Pretty sure you must use the wood bisquettes they sell for their smokers. Otherwise it wouldn't have a way to feed the wood in.Make a smoker from an old refrigerator. I used one for years doing shad we caught in the local river. I needed the refrigerator because of the amount of fish caught when the shad runs came through. A good day and I had a hundred fish to smoke. Just used a couple of old pots purchased from Goodwill and and a hotplate with store bought wood chips to produce the smoke. Get a whole saw to punch an air inlet and outlet and I used an old coffee can lid held with one screw to adjust the air in and out. You could add a BBQ type thermometer just stuck through the door to monitor the temperature inside. I used to just put my hand over the top air outlet to tell the temp. It never got hot or you were doing something really wrong. It wasn't scientific and I worked it easily as a kid.

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BBQ's Galore (here in San Jose/Campbell) has a bunch of diff chip flavors (Jack Daniels, Hickory, etc) they sell - "no" you don't have to use Bradley's brand (even though they probably just change the name - )...

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Pretty sure you must use the wood bisquettes they sell for their smokers. Otherwise it wouldn't have a way to feed the wood in.Make a smoker from an old refrigerator. I used one for years doing shad we caught in the local river. I needed the refrigerator because of the amount of fish caught when the shad runs came through. A good day and I had a hundred fish to smoke. Just used a couple of old pots purchased from Goodwill and and a hotplate with store bought wood chips to produce the smoke. Get a whole saw to punch an air inlet and outlet and I used an old coffee can lid held with one screw to adjust the air in and out. You could add a BBQ type thermometer just stuck through the door to monitor the temperature inside. I used to just put my hand over the top air outlet to tell the temp. It never got hot or you were doing something really wrong. It wasn't scientific and I worked it easily as a kid.
Actually you don't have to use theirs...at least I don't. The wood chips fit into the small loader on the side (my model). I soak the chips for a couple hours (just because) and twist the loader open (pulls out on the side) dump a handful and insert loader. Sometimes, depending on what is being cooked/smoked, I will do another load of chips. Depends on your taste. I did however when I first tried it - I over smoked a pheasant -- :smiley-outta-here:

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seems like they changed the design...mine didn't have the bisquette loader...something they must've added over the past two years...they must be doing the "razor" and "razorblade" marketing thing now....

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Yeah Randy that's what I was going on that bisquette loader they added. That way they get to sell you those too.

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Like most...I started with the Little Chief smoker. I the got into shark fishing and moved up to the home made refregerator just like ShooterJohn was discribing. An appliance store has them used. They are trade-ins. It is necessary to get one that has porcellean on the inside not plastic. I used a method.... I called... *smoke roasting*. High heat and heavy smoke for about 5 hours.. High heat was necessary to get the oil out of the shark meat. I would get about 1 and 1/2 quarts of oil from about 100 pounds of blue shark. I would then bag it up....take it to the base and sell it for $2.00 per two pieces about 4x1 inches around. Sold like crazy, because it was very good.Because I no longer shark fish... I have a very inexpensive smoker now. It is a wood cabnet that I use as my *smoke generator* ( a K-Mart hot plate and a cast iron pan) (I buy my Hickory chips from the dallor store)...and then about five feet of 4 inch stove pipe up a vertical incline to a simple cabnet with a 4 inch hole in the bottom to allow the smoke in. This cabnet has 5 racks about 12x18 inches. This is where I place my cheese, beef jerky, almonds, hard boiled eggs. Cheese is done in the winter time because you don't want heat over 75 degrees. It is called *cold smoke*. UUUMMMMMM good.

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I have found that electric smokers don't work well with my electrical system. If you have 15 amp circuits it will draw the entire available on that circuit so you will need a dedicated circuit or will need to make sure no one runs anything else on that circuit.propane on the other hand works great and I can dial it down to whatever temp. I'm looking for.

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I have a Brinkmann electric H20 smoker I picked up at Home Depot a few years ago. It was nice that it would regulate its own temperature but my biggest problem with it was living in SF, you really did need to create an insulating jacket for it to really work -- even in the summer.I do remember calculating the electricity cost of running that thing all day though. With a 1500W heating element, I think it added at least $5 to my bill everytime I used it... not including the wood chips it consumed.-g

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You guys are alot more fancy than I am. I started using the bbq when I lived on my boat and just converted the process on dry land. I have a small weber and I will start about 8 or 9 brickets. I then put the alder chips I buy from one of the local sporting goods stores in a pie pan. Put the lid on, adjust the flue and come back in about 2 hours and start the next batch of charcoal. I have smoked 20 lbs of tuna and bonita at a time.Sure comes out good. Of course I brine it before it goes in the smoker.

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I bought a Cookshack Smokette about 4 years ago and absolutely love it! (in retrospect I should have gone one size larger-kind of like gun safes-lol) Good insulation and thermosat; also uses wood chunks-but not much (2-4 oz are all that's needed for a pork butt.) Remember that the "smoking is actually done within the first couple of hours-after that the meat is just "cooking".Prior to purchasing the Cookshack I also looked at Bradley which had good reviews but required the purchase of their proprietary wood "biscuit" for smoke. would have been my second choice.I also looked at a Smokin'Tex model equivalent to the Cookshack Smokette. It appeared physically identical but upon further web research the insulation and welding was not as good. Turns out it was made in China.Anyway, I went with the American-made Cookshack. :unsure:

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Several years ago, a friend set me up with an attorney who said to me "I understand you need a divorce... well I need a smoker. How about a trade?" So I built him a smoker that he says is the best he's ever used. He smokes 300 pounds of salmon at a time. I guess it was a good deal for both of us!Here are some pictures of it under construction.post-3-1280073641.jpgpost-3-1280073647.jpg

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More details and pictures please I am in the process of designing and building a smoke house. thank you Robert

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Hi Robert,Sorry it took so long to reply, I was in Hawaii. The frame is steel tubing with polyester powder-coat to prevent corrosion. The bottom frame is over-built to allow transporting with a hand truck. The skin is 20 ga. galvanized steel. There are two air inlet controls in line with the flex hose to the heater box, and two outlet controls at the top of the smoker. The heater is made from an electric oven element and thermostatic control. The wood chip bowl is made from an empty refrigerant bottle. The air holes around the bowl are covered by a deflector to force the air down into the chips, and prevent the chips from falling through the holes into the heater box. Good luck with your project,Randy

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In hiking around we came across a short log smokehouse where they all smoked their meats. I went inside and there was a fire pit in the center of a dirt floor and wires hung from the rafters. The smell of that place was pure heaven.
You have brought back childhood memories of how my family smoked meat back in Tn. You are very right about that smell.

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