Electric Smoker Advice

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jknickerwhoa, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. jknickerwhoa

    jknickerwhoa Newbie


    I'm new to smoking and I'm looking to purchase an electric smoker. Right now, I'm considering the Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse - , this Smoke Hollow - , or a Traeger BBQ075 that I found on Craigslist for $250 (quite a bit cheaper than retail). 

    I'm hoping for some advice on what would be a good choice for starting out. The Masterbuilt seems to be more insulated than the others, and I have a friend with one that seems to have good luck with it. My concern is that it only heats to 275F, which might not be hot enough for some foods. The Smoke Hollow looks to go quite a bit hotter than the Masterbuilt, but I've seen several reviews that state it doesn't do so well at lower temperatures (below 300F or so). The Traeger looks like a great buy for the price, but I don't know much about using pellets instead of chips. I also don't know the temperature range of Traeger, or if it is worth grabbing a used one due to some issues I have seen (in reviews) as far as how long they last.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!
  2. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    No matter which you choose, unless you want to spend your time sitting right in front of it baby sitting the temps. & trying to get smoke a lower temps. you had better figure the cost of a Maverick remote therm., an amazin smoker, duct pipe and a mail box in the equation!
  3. radioguy

    radioguy Smoking Fanatic

    I have that Smoke Hollow not a good deal @ $199 imho. Bought mine end of season $111. Day one I put on a
    mailbox mod. It has an electric frypan controller and requires periodic attention. I plan on doing a PID controller when it burns out. If you are looking for a set and forget type I wouldn't recommend. The MES seems to have better temp control and is a popular one around SMF.

    SB is right mailbox, AMNPS, and Maverick is the way to go.

  4. jknickerwhoa

    jknickerwhoa Newbie

    Thanks guys. I ended up getting the MES and I'll be making some jerky tonight (I sliced and cured it last night). It has a built in meat probe, but I'll probably get a remote thermometer as well. I'm assuming I should be looking at the 'tube' shaped amazin? I'm not sure I understand what the mailbox and duct would be for, I'm still pretty new to this, so any details on this would be awesome.

  5. radioguy

    radioguy Smoking Fanatic

    Mailbox mod works to keep pellets burning by supplying path for combustion air supply. Some guys have problems keeping things burning when pellet tray is put inside smoker.

    If you do you'll also have to shield pellet tray from food drippings. I prefer the tray type AMNPS and use pellets only. Also it is great for cold smoking.

  6. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    Just type mailbox mod. in the search box above. All kinds of info. Reason being most of the masterbuilt smokers are terrible at making smoke. They are more like elec. ovens. The mailbox mod. is because depending which model smoker you buy in can be a real chore to keep the Amaz. smoker smoking. The mod. seems to take care of that problem. Most seem to prefer the rectangular Amaz. either for dust or pellets, your choice.
  7. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If you got the mes generation 2 (left side exhaust vent and front top controller) I strongly suggest you get a maverick et series therm to monitor your temps. The controllers on the masterbuilts are notorious for meat and chamber temps being way off sometimes. Also, the airflow is so restricted in the gen 2 that the smoke generators are almost impossible to keep lit.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  8. jknickerwhoa

    jknickerwhoa Newbie

    I do have the second gen MES, and I had trouble getting smoke under 200 degrees. As soon as I bumped it up over 200, it started smoking like crazy. The jerky came out great, but I definitely didn't get much smoke at lower temps... I'll check in to the mailbox mod/amnps.

    Thanks for the input guys!

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