Confused Newbie - What should I buy?!

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by gobsheen, May 8, 2013.

  1. Hi everyone!

    Here's probably the start of a million questions.......maybe I'll be able to answer one some day!

    I have a simple home made stainless smoker. Basically a box with a drip tray and food shelf. Smoked some salmon....really nice but it's a bit of a pain to get to the chips etc. I really need something better.

    What I know I want:

    - Pretty much sure I want an electric set up to avoid having to master charcoal on long cook times.
    - Having said that I like the option of being able to remove the electric bits and use some charcoal sometimes. This isn't absolutely necessary though.
    - I don't want to be restricted to any pre-formed bisquettes (right spelling?!)
    - I plan to try both hot and cold smoking. I could keep my current smoker for cold smoking but would rather sell it.
    - I want to be able to smoke larger items as well as small i.e. joints, briskets, full sides of salmon etc. No whole hogs though!
    - I don't want to spend a fortune but not planning to buy junk either. I want it to last. I'll be an occasional smoker really but that might increase!

    The big question is.........what smoker to get?! Importantly, I'm in Scotland so I can't access the same range available in the US and Canada.

    I've seen smokers like this.
    It's just a single skin, not stainless, with a simple electric element. Not sure if it's a good buy or not. Any thoughts?

    Any steer on this or any smoker is welcome!
  2. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not sure if available overseas although they are made in China....the Smokin It line of smokers seems to be OK with me.....built like tanks and eazy to use.
  3. The Smokin It smokers look great but I can't find them in the UK. Now I want one!
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    My fear is that the same would be true of many of the electric smokers we would recommend.  Masterbuilt, Smokin' Tex, Cookshack and Smokin-It, among others, all make good electric smokers of varying degrees of quaility and cost, but I have no idea how available they are in the UK.

    I would think you could order any of these and have them shipped to you, but the shipping charges might be very steep.

  5. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Doesn't the UK use 220-240 Volt AC mains? I've read that somewhere but don't know where. If you are considering a smoker made for the US market, it would be designed for 120-130 VAC mains. Converting power might affect a smoker's performance. I'm not an electrician or EE, but perhaps someone who knows more than I do will join in. I just wanted to raise the possibility of an issue.
  6. michief

    michief Smoke Blower

    I thought I read on here recently that Bradley has UK and Europe distribution. I love my digital 6 rack and use it several times a week because it is so easy and reliable.
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looking at the picture it looks tiny... I would not consider it myself unless I wanted to smoke small fish. I think it is a case of you get what you pay for.

    If you want a cheap smoker then you could go for a Brinkman, however It would be worth paying a little extra and go for a  WSM. Although  it is designed for charcoal you can use an electrical element. The WSM will certainly do the larger pieces of meat that you are after and will allow you to develop your smoking skills further than the others.
  8. Hi,
    Yeah, we like plenty of volts over here! 230v

    I'm not looking specifically for an American smoker, just general advice on what to look for. Maybe there are some other UK based smokers on here?
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Gobsheen, evening and welcome to the forum......    I really like the smoker....  simple design... smoke chamber below the heat.... regulated heating element... double wall on the lager unit....  and the cold smoker is a knock-off of the AMNS smoker designed and built and sold by Todd, one of our valued members....    I would get the larger smoker just for the room... electric element and the cold smoker....  That smoker looks perfect for smoking sausage, cheese, bacon, all around a very good looking smoker and I particularly like some of the design features...

    I figure the dimensions (US) are 8" d x 15" w x 45" tall.... for the larger unit....   The smoker has excellent venting... a good looking door set up...     Well, there's my $1.50 of an opinion...  Have fun finding a smoker....      Dave

    As far as chips go, any cabinet shop has lots of dust for smoking....  be sure to use hardwood dust....  no treated dust either...   
    Last edited: May 8, 2013

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