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Recommendations for best Meat Smoker ?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by tcouch, Jan 8, 2013.

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  1. tcouch

    tcouch Member

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    Oct 28, 2010
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    I have a smoke vault and I love it. I set the temp where I want it and just add some wood every hour or so. I have smoked Tri Tip, turkey, Boston butt, wicked beans and chickens with it and they all turned out great.

    links:
    http://www.campchef.com/food-smokers/smoke-vaults.html

    great beans:
    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/50945/dutchs-wicked-baked-beans
    beans
     
  2. chuckie68

    chuckie68 Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    Mine is Gas and the same as a Smoke Vault. It is older and called Masterbuilt. Purchased at Bass Pro. It makes great ribs, sausage and whatever else you want to cook. Basically it is an oven that smokes. You can control the temp within about 10 degrees and 1 20 pound tank of propane lasts a year depending on usage. Under $200

    Chuck
     
  3. Bob Merkov

    Bob Merkov Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    124
    I have a Masterbuilt electric I purchased from Bass Pro which has digital controls. So far I'm pretty happy with it.

    Bob M.
     
  4. Beni

    Beni Member

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    Apr 21, 2009
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    453
    I have a master built elecric smoker and love it. I smoke all my sausage including summer, polish, sausage sticks,pheasant,chicken pastrami, venison. I also have char griller dual smoker gas grill with the side addition fire box which I absolutley love. Smoke turkey, pork shoulder,ribs, chicken wings, Any thing u want to smoke. The key is low and slow and have fun with it. Get a quality meat thermometer and use it best safety thing going. Im getting hungry already. Beni
     
  5. deercreek

    deercreek Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Indiana
    You need to hear from a guy on here know as "noknock". He is extremely knowledgable in this area but once you are finished listining to him you will want to go and buy a "McDouble" for a dollar and forget you ask.
     
  6. YOTESLAYER

    YOTESLAYER Member

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    765
    Buy a Treager, they are spendy and for good reason!!!
     
  7. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    10,521
    Location:
    Idaho
    Yoetslayer is right on. I have had a Treager for many years, one of the first they built. All three of my sons have a newer Treager. Cant go wrong, you get what you pay for. I bought a Q75 and would go smaller if I were doing it again since there is just two of us. It has been trouble free for 13 years+. Love my Treager, I tried a Bradley and a couple others before I got smart
     
  8. Kevin Nelson

    Kevin Nelson Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    213
    I sold my Trager and went with a green egg, best one I have used so far. I never could get a good smoke with the trager. I have a nephew that is a dealer for trager and he said the complaint he hears most often is that the dont put the smoke flavor in the meat.
     
  9. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    Feb 12, 2007
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    11,126
    David needs to add a Cooking and Smoking catagory!
     
  10. YOTESLAYER

    YOTESLAYER Member

    Joined:
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    I made pork chops the other day, put them on the treager at 9:30am set it on smoke until 11am then set it at 250 for the last hour. they were thick cut chops and the smoke ring was in about 3/8" on each side of a 1 1/4" thick pork chop. Low and slow, and they are worth it. Greatness takes time. They were tender, juicy and cooked to perfection. We did a pork Loin for Christmas, I use a remote t-stat set it to smoke for 2 hours, turned the temp to 250 and waited for the t-stat to beep at 145 degrees, wrap it in tin foil for about 20 minutes unwrap and cut and serve. We have done about 30 pork loins this way, ive had 2 out of them that didnt turn out how I expected. Why they didnt turn out I have no idea, i guess it just happens sometimes.
     
  11. noknock1

    noknock1 Active Member

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    justbob,

    Deercreek is too kind... He has a medical condition that has rendered his taste buds insensitive to taste... LOL...

    I don't have a gas or electric so that rules out my opinion out for your specifications. But I will throw in my 22cents (adjusted for inflation)..

    I have for a number of years used a basic smoker with a side fire box. After a little experimentation I have learned to control my temp using Kingsford plain charcoal or "cowboy" charcoal within 10 degrees. I smoke year round whether it be snowing, sleet with heavy wind, or in the middle of July when the ambient temperature is 90 degrees. Within a few SMOKES one will figure out real quick the adjustments for the flue damper on the firebox and the "exhaust" flue.

    The adjustments are no more than a half inch for each flue damper intake and flue exhaust (smoke stack flap) for the various extreme smoking conditions as in winter or summer or in between to keep the temp between 225 and 250.

    I use charcoal to start off with and transition to different kinds of woods depending on what I am cooking.

    No doubt that gas and electric will easily maintain a constant temperature, but I prefer a 'natural' fire if you will. IMO, the biggest thing is treatment of the meat. If you brine then you what I am talking about, if you don't brine, then read up on it and use it for poultry, fish, and pork. Injections are great for beef and other meats, I personally don't like extremely heavy rubs as I feel they form a barrier to quickly which keeps the smoke from permeating the meat. You will find plenty of different opinions from mine online...

    Fish needs gentle smoke, alder wood is expensive in Indiana, so unfortunately I usually use other light woods like apple, etc... Regardless of the wood, if it is not the primary fuel source, I like to soak it overnight in a bucket of water, so if you are using oak, or hickory, etc. as a primary fuel source, then no soaking, if I am using charcoal and throwing on CHUNKS, then they are soaked overnight. Probably no good scientific reason for this, but just my way.

    Go low and slow with your smoker even if electric or gas, no more than 250 degrees. I pull my meat out of the fridge a couple hours before smoking to warm up so as to not shock it.

    There are a gazillion opinions as far as recipes etc., for various meats, basically you can't go wrong with low and slow...

    I am partial to an olive oil, apple cider or even apple juice mist in a spray bottle for pork and other meats as well. A nice bark will develop that is delicious! Also our favorite is pulled pork, if you have a food mixer, once you smoke your succulent pork shoulder with an awesome crust, break it up and stick pieces into the food mixer bowl and use the FLAT BEATER on a medium low to medium speed to shred your pork perfectly.

    We enjoy brisket as well and that FOR US is a twelve hour give or take cook process, my fire lasts about 90 minutes so it is sort of big deal when I cook brisket, of course I cook a couple 12 pound turkeys a year and that takes a while as well, I guess my point is that the first few hours I would guess that at a minimum the attention to the grill TIME would be similar, however when it gets to the point that one 'tents foil' or wraps the meat in foil, then the remaining cooking time would obviously be less labor intensive with an electric or gas grill...

    You didn't ask for cooking advice but I threw it in for fun. I can't help you on the electric or gas smoker part, but unless you are dead set on the aforementioned, maybe consider a smoker like this or even one a little bit cheaper...

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html>
    <body>


    Smoker Grill Example...


    </body>
    </html>

    The above is a bit nicer than mine in the fact it is a little 'sturdier' but my current one is six years old and still not rusted that bad...

    I think the flavor on charcoal/wood is better for smoking meat than the primary heat source being gas or electric, but that is just 'nobody's' opinion...
     
  12. ric3677

    ric3677 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,510
    Location:
    Montana
    see below


    [​IMG]


    Greenegg, but not for 500

    Rick in MT
     
  13. noknock1

    noknock1 Active Member

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    Greeneggs are nice, and Rick is correct, you will be hard pressed to get one for under $500.00 and I am confident that my food on my 'half price' smoker tastes just as good... It certainly matches the above picture!
     
  14. ric3677

    ric3677 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Montana
    I won't let you lure me in.......LOL

    Rick in MT
     
  15. noknock1

    noknock1 Active Member

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    Now that is no fun... LOL...
     
  16. JIM SIMS

    JIM SIMS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    152
    I'll 2nd noknocks advise,I too have a offset fire box style smoker

    from New Braunfels.My learning curve was longer but getting

    there was GREAT.The following site has a lot of great refrence

    and recipies Barbecue'n On The Internet

    barbecue@nottingham.com

    Enjoy

    Jim
     
  17. Mapper

    Mapper Member

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    Location:
    SW Michigan
    There is a place in Indiana that makes smoke houses. They are about the size of an out house, but not as tall. I don't know the name, but Ashley is the town, between Ft. Wayne and Angola. I have not yet worked up the courage to stop and ask the price. For you serious smokers, they look pretty good. Don't forget the old Mapper when you get too much smoked meat.
     
  18. gaboy77

    gaboy77 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    I know you asked about gas or electric but I urge you to reconsider using wood/charcoal. I have used offset smokers and they are fine and dandy but one of my friends bought a Weber Smoky Mountain (WSM) and got me to try it. After trying his, I had to have one. I love mine. You preload up to a 20 pound bag of charcoal and start it up. On a full load of charcoal I can smoke for up to 15 hours without adding anything to it. The great thing about the WSM is it holds temperature very well with little fluctuation or adjustment needed. If I want pulled pork for lunch, it put it on before I go to bed and get up and foil it in the morning. I have a remote thermometer that will alarm if the smoker goes out of temperature range but it very rarely goes off. They are 2 sizes an 18.5 inch and a 22.5 inch that are $299 and $399 respectively at Amazon right now. With a rib rack, I can get 3 boston butts and 5 racks of ribs on mine at one time and I have the 22.5 inch. I'm not saying that I couldn't make a little better BBQ with a full sized offset pit but to me the WSM is the perfect compromise for using charcoal/wood with minimal effort. Google WSM and you will see legions of folks that swear by them. Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
  19. arend003

    arend003 Member

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    Sep 29, 2008
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    265
    I love my Lyfe Tyme smoker grill takes a bit to get used to it but it is made to last and works great. HAVE DONE ribs, brisket, blue fish etc on it all came out great.
    Tom
     
  20. APrice

    APrice Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
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    I've had several and my last and best one is a Masterbuilt electric:

    http://www.amazon.com/Masterbuilt-Generation-Electric-Smokehouse-Controller/dp/B003XJGEGY/ref=sr_1_2?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1357743610&sr=1-2&keywords=masterbuilt+electric+smoker

    Unless you are looking to be some internet meat smoking guru, this is the unit for you. You can prepare perfectly smoked meats with very little effort. The digital controls and the temperature probe make it very easy to get good results. Very little mess to clean up and no fooling around with wood or charcoal.

    Hard to beat at $290 to your door.
     
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