electric smoker not what I expected

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by woodworker, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. I am new to smoking sausage but what the heck. I thought an electric smoker was a must in order to keep/control a more constant temp. I have more temp control over my stick burner than this thing problem is I can't hang sausage in it.  Is smoking sausage with an electric smoker supposed to be this much babysitting or is it just me? I didn't want to throw a manufacturer under the bus if indeed it was me.
  2. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What exactly did you buy?
  3. darwin101

    darwin101 Meat Mopper

    After reading several reviews on the mass produced smokers its seems they are either good, junk or need homegrown modifications to work properly.  Very frustrating as I am no closer to picking a unit to purchase.  Search on your model and you might find answers, if you really hate the unit take it back!  Buyers remorse sucks.
  4. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    I don't know of any electrics that have trouble with temp. consistency. Most of the modifications made are to get good smoke production at lower temps. because most are sold as higher temp meat smokers and have trouble keeping the chips hot enough to smolder at lower (140-160) degree temps for jerky or sausage, since the heating element cycle's on and off so often at those temps.
  5. mickey jay

    mickey jay Meat Mopper

    A lot of folks in the sausage forum are using the MES varieties, but also use the A-maze-n products for smoke generation. I'd be interested in if there's a recommended sausage-specific unit out there. I get the homemade pride thing, but I think a lot of us would be interested in an out of the box product.

    Personally, I use a Masterbuilt propane 40inch, and it works ok, but requires a lot of babysitting and is prone to wind blowing out low sausage temp flames, and flare-ups.
  6. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic


    It's hard to respond to your question because you haven't provided any detail. How can anyone say anything about what you're doing or not doing is either right or wrong if you don't provide more information. Same about the electrical smoker you're using. They're all different.

    I made the switch from a stick burner (Klose offset) to electric (Cookshack) 10 years ago. Like anything else, there was a little period of adjustment, but it's been smooth sailing since then. Most of my initial issues were my own doing in that I thought I needed to do more than necessary. Once I learned to truly set it and forget it things were fine.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  7. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I agree with using the AMNPS. I use it for smoking at the lower temps needed for sausage and cold smoking. The chip tray seems to not work well until 170-180.
  8. I bought a Cajun Injector and this is the 4th time I have used it. I did learn to let it run about an hour before I put anything it and that seems to of helped avoid the wide range of temp swings in the beginning of the process. I have my stick burner thermostat dropped thru the vent (always kept wide open) located in the back top corner of the unit and it's dropped to about midway of the chamber to verify temps. It will read anywhere from a -10 degree variance to a +20 degree variance than that of the units readings. The changes really start once the 1/4 cup of soaked chips (added as instructed) start to smoke which is after I reach 130-140. The temps on both the unit and my thermometer will begin to rise 10-20 degrees beyond the setting and there is no fire from the chips. At this time I find myself dropping the programmed temps by 10-15 degrees to avoid overheating. At times I have to open the door to drop the temps then adjust the temp back up where I want it to be after it has begun to decrease. These adjustments happen anywhere from 2-3 times an hour and mainly from the time I reach 130 degrees until I am done cooking at 170 (for snack sticks).  I don't mind keeping an eye on my smokers don't get me wrong but this seems a bit unusual to have to do this much adjusting.
  9. I use a MES30 but it burns 25° hotter than the set temperature. You should check your internal temperature if you haven't already so you don't run the smoker too hot. I like to go no higher than 165° inside the unit. 152° internal temp is the target on most sausage that I make. All smokers are different so the best advise is learn your smoker...[​IMG]
  10. smokerjim

    smokerjim Meat Mopper

    I have a mes30, it also was heating up 30-40 degrees hotter than the read out read,someone here told me to call masterbuilt and they would send me a new control box,which they did no questions asked,they did say if your trying to use it in cold weather i should bring the control box in the house for a couple hours before using it.for some reason the cold will affect it.
  11. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have a MES30 electric and am happy with it.  I also found out about the control box not working if left out in very cold weather [cold enough for freezing].  I left it out one time and was ready to put in some polish, and the thing would not go on.  This was the second time i used it so i could not believe it would go bad that quick.  Called Masterbuilt and they sent me a new on right away.  A friend of mine told me while i was waiting for the new control box that the gell inside the box for the digital can freeze so dont leave it out and bring it in when not in use in cold weather.  Sure enough, i brought it in and the next day plugged it back in just to check and it worked like new.  It will not freeze once you turn it on during the cooking process.  So now i have a spare.  To the poster who uses soaked chips in the chip tray i would say use dry chips in my opinion.  When using wet chips you create steam not smoke.

    You can hang sausage in a electric smoker.  You can get hooks for hanging or you can cut wooden dowels to size and hang your links from them. Thats what i do.   My 30 works well for smaller batches i make.  I'm going to buy me another one so i can get two going when needed.  There is a sale on them here for $150 bucks so i'm down for that.  Reinhard
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  12. weisswurst

    weisswurst Smoke Blower

    I have a masterbuilt electric. Whenever there is wood introduced into a smoker compartment there is a temp control issue.Flare-ups etc.If I am smoke cooking these minor issues are not a problem.When I want to make a good smoked sausage I use a hot plate next to the smoker. My smoking wood goes into tuna cans on hot plate. So that I can continually restore wood.I have a chimney type pipe that goes into the side of smoker thru the wood chute. The smoke stays cool. No flare ups from wood. Drip pans in smoker prevents flare ups from meat dripping.The temp is easy to control.On windy days  I set up a thin plywood wind break. As far as hanging sausage . Not a problem. Especially when I do the cold smoke method, which is the only way I will smoke sausage. So that I cut my baby sitting to a minimum. And I do not cold smoke sausage more than 3or 4 hours unless it is a fairly large salami , Lebanon bologna or summer sausage. If I am doing smoke cooking I use the internal chute for the wood. I place my wood chips in water and replenish thru the chute about every hour or so. During that time the smoker door stays closed Hope this helps.Happy SM Weisswurst
  13. lips

    lips Fire Starter

    Reinhard, what sale are you talking about.  I have been wanting to get the MES 30 but can only find 2nd generation and from all the post I haven't wanted to deal with the issues.  Life is to short and I have enough crap in my life to be worrying about my smoker running correct.  Thanks for any details
  14. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Lips, i missed the sale.  A guy on a outdoor site i post on posted the sale at a local Gander Mt. Stopped there and they told me the sale was over last Sunday.  However here we have a Fleet Farm which will have a sale on these as they did last year around spring.  I got mine for $169.00 when it was on sale.  Keep an eye on the stores around you for sales.  This was not a on-line sale.  Like i said, i'm happy with mine Finaly it looks like we will be getting warming temps [at least next week, in the 30's].  A second smoker is something i need so i will get one and i'm confident sales will be around soon this spring if not sooner.  Reinhard
  15. weisswurst

    weisswurst Smoke Blower

    In regards to soaked chips. I do not put them in a tray with water on the hot plate. I soak them for about 20 min then remove the water and let them  dry out slightly  I do agree that if the chips are water logged that can be a problem. I think damp, not waterlogged chips are less likely to flare up and mellow out the smoke aroma and flavor. Weisswurst
  16. On any smoker, the method for hanging sausages is not rocket science.  You can put in the top rack and tie the sausages underneath the rack.  Use paper clips or string.  Or get some hardwood 3/4 inch dowels, cut to length to fit in smoker, then cut a couple of groves in them, where they will sit on the rack mounts, so as not to roll around.  Then you just hang your sausage on the dowels.
  17. django

    django Newbie

    My friend is giving me one tomorrow. Get it cleaned up and will post the name and some pictures if i can figure it out.
  18. weisswurst

    weisswurst Smoke Blower


     I have used both methods. More often the notched dowell. Either way it works perfectly.Example: if I am making ring bologna , I can easily get 5 rings on one dowell side by side.If I am doing more than five rings or some salami , etc. I drop down the distance needed and hang on another dowell. With my practice of cold smoking getting too close to the smoke source is not a problem.and the digital temp control is great. Masterbuilt , insulated , stainless steel along with my hot plate modification. It will work as you say even without my modification. Happy SM Weisswurst.
  19. django

    django Newbie

    Deal went south )-:

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