Do electric smokers need an exhaust? Can they be used inside?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by charisk, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. charisk

    charisk Newbie

    Hi all! 

    First, please forgive my ignorance! I don't seem able to find the answer for this online which suggests the answer must be obvious but...

    what I'd like to know is can electric smokers be used inside? Would I need an outlet for any smoke remaining at the end of the burn?

    Thanks in advance from Yorkshire UK!!

    PS. I've only ever smoked stuff on a small wood-fired smoker but now I'm looking in to upgrading so I can produce and sell some stuff on a medium scale- I'm thinking a few local delis with a view to expanding if they sell well. Any expertise or advice would be much appreciated! I am only just starting out looking in to this and so could really do with some guidance.

    Cheers guys!
  2. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    Smokers produce carbon dioxide and must be used outdoors only, or a well ventilated commercial kitchen engineered specifically for that purpose.
  3. java

    java Smoking Fanatic

    You would need to exhaust it as the smoldering wood is producing smoke and carbon monoxide, a deadly odorless gas

    I would not risk it in the house.
  4. charisk

    charisk Newbie

    Thanks for the response. Do electric smokers have an exhaust vent? Could I just duct it away through a chimney or doesn't it work like that? Thanks again
  5. java

    java Smoking Fanatic

    I think you could vent through a chimney if your smoker were sealed  well (as in no leaks around the door,  vent, ect)
  6. The upper vent on the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is a standard 3 inch size.  This is an available size for vent pipes.  Some people already use an elbow and short pipe to the exhaust on these smokers to encourage a greater convection flow. I do not know anyone who uses them inside, and vent the smoke outside, but it is possible.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  7. Some electric smokers do and some don't. As of example, some of the MES products have an exhaust vent and some don't. Regardless, your going to have smoke coming out in other places other than the actual exhaust (i.e. poor seal around the door or the intake vent). As java said, unless you get something build or buy a commercial unit that's 100% sealed and then vented outside, I wouldn't smoke indoors. 
  8. Do you mean inside as in your house? I would say thats a bad idea unless you:
    A) love the constant smell of smoked meat permeating the couch cushions and bed linens, or more importantly,
    B) Your spouse or siginifcant other loves the smell of smoked meat permeating the couch cushions and bed linens,

    Venting it is easy from the exhaust, the hard part to control is when you open the door and smoke billows out. Not to mention they could produce deadly gases which you probably don't want enclosed in your house.
  9. charisk

    charisk Newbie

    Ok  gotcha!

    I read that it's safe to use the smoking gun inside. Can anyone confirm this/ explain why that might be? ie. Is it because its just a lower volume of smoke or is it that it's a different sort of combustion and so doesn't produce the same gases?

    Thanks once again!
  10. Are you referencing "The Smoking Gun" from Polyscience? From reading, that device smokes for 5 minutes at a time and it is used to smoked already cooked food. You're not gonna get truly smoked food with a depth of flavor with this. It's almost like tricking someone that something has been smoked. Notice in most of the examples of what you can smoke, there isn't much meat mentioned.

    How about explaining a bit more of what you'd like to smoke? I noticed your looking to smoke things to sell to local deli's? What is your level of desired involvement in the process? Unless you want to spend some $$$ on an actual space that will produce a quality smoked product indoors, you should examine closer what you really want to get out of this and then we could help.
  11. charisk

    charisk Newbie


    Thanks for your response. I am hoping to just smoke mushrooms, salt and pepper. At the moment I am just thinking of doing this on a small scale- to sell at farmers markets and at my local deli's, then hopefully, if they sell well I can think about upscaling and trying to make a serious business out of it.

    The polyscience smoking gun is just an injection of smoke I know- but if I experimented and added a few injections over a long drying period in a dehydrator I wonder if this would impart enough of a smokey flavour. Bearing in mind its veg and not meat, this might be something that could work.

    I'm not looking to sell something that just looks smokey, I'm really keen to develop something that people will really enjoy- I've been eating smoked mushrooms for a long time but I've always prepared them by hot smoking. In order to extend the shelf life drying would be necessary, so I'm keen to see how I could combine the two processes.

    I am not talking about buying a commercial smoker and hiring premises etc. It's not really the feel I'm going for and I don't have the money for that anyway. If I could just give the small scale operation a go, and gain some knowledge and experience then maybe a year or two down the line I can write a business plan and get a loan, but for now I'm just trying to find a way to do this domestically.

    So basically I'm just chucking ideas about hoping to gain some guidance, which seems to be working!
  12. Order an Amazen pellet smoker and get yourself some sort of box - carboard would work, BBQ, filing cabinet, etc and cold smoke outdoors. Its easy and cheap and dopesn't take much space. I've never did or heard of smoking mushrooms (OK I have heard of people smoking mushrooms for other reasons) but I have smoked a lot of salt in my BBQ with the AMNPS before I got a smoker and it worked fantastic.
  13. whatames has it right. An AMNPS would be your best bet. And you just need any kind of enclosure like he's listed. Here's my suggestion. Draw a few sketches of a wooden box with a door and then decide on your dimensions. I don't know where you live, but if there's a Home Depot around, go there and have them make all the cuts for you and just go and assemble. Since your looking to cheap and since we aren't adding heat, a frame of 2x2 and particle board would be fine. This could likely be done for under $30 all together. Or go to craigslist and find something that will suit your purpose in the free sections. An entertainment center with doors would be perfect! I'd look it up for you if your location was listed. 

    You won't have the same worries of spoilage as normal with meat, so you shouldn't have issues with long smokes and then dehydrating.

    Oh and go get an AMNPS.
  14. charisk

    charisk Newbie

    Okie doke, I've got myself a big old wardrobe and because I'd like to try and get the mushrooms smoking and drying at the same time, I'm going to set it up like a dehydrator, with a bulb as the heat source. I am going to get my brother to help me make one of these: which can provide smoke and airation at the same time (hopefully!). I can hopefully knock that all up for less than 50 quid so it's worth testing anyway! Any thoughts on whether this'll work? 


  15. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    It seems that the ones who have not used a handheld smoker don't like them and the ones that have do.

    I have several smokers and smoke generators and the handheld is the most versatile. After all, we rarely smoke to cure any longer, rather we smoke for flavor and a handheld can certainly add flavor and aroma to anything.  And for as little as $40 dollars, how can one go wrong.

    It is true, you don't want to smoke a whole roast with one but, on the other hand, there would be no problem smoking a pile of pulled pork.

    PM me and I would be happy to go into more detail.


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