First Smoker

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by texasdude, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. texasdude

    texasdude Newbie

    Hiya everyone.  I've got my first house, and now I need my first smoker.  I'm willing to spend up to $300 on it, and Sam's Club is selling the 40" MES for $299.00

    My problem is that I'm a pretty picky eater, and everyone tells me not to buy an electric smoker.  But I want an insulated box with temperature control so I can do an overnight slow smoke.

    Can you tell me what I need to do to the MES so I can get the same flavor and smoke ring as a gas, pellet or charcoal smoker?  I'm fairly handy but I'm trying to avoid buying a gas smoker, converting it to natural gas, installing a gas oven temperature controller on it, and figuring out how to insulate it.

    I've successfully smoked at 190 degrees with charcoal before, and it was tasty, but it was a hassle.  My intention is to regularly smoke with pecan.

    Thanks for you help.  Keep cool and smoke on!
  2. Hello TexasDude and welcome to the fun.  I don't have electric but many folks here have that smoker and seem happy with it.  From what they say a smoke ring doesn't happen but the taste seems to be there.  They produce some good looking food.  Many good folk here with a load of experience that they are more than willing to share.  If you have specific questions just start a thread and someone with experience will be along soon to offer advice.  Spend some time doing some research on the forums, tons of advice and recipes already available there.  The trial and error method works well.  We will try to help you keep the errors to a minimum since we already made them for you.  We look forward to your contributions.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  3. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    That's a good price for the 40. Some folks have had great luck with that model, others (like me) not so much. When they're working right they are a nice unit with good capacity. Two things you should consider to make it a true set and forget....... an AMAZN pellet tray for extended smoke generation. And another temp monitor to be sure you have good meat and smoke chamber temps. The mes burns thru chips and even chunks pretty quickly and the temp controllers are sometimes off by quite a bit. I had the older generation for about 3 years and it was great. I bought the new one in december and it was bad out of the box. Replaced that and got one where the controller was all over the place. Waited 3 months for replacement controller and it worked ok until last weekend where I found that the unit wouldn't heat past about 215. Now they want to send me another new unit. Thats four in about 7 months with about 3 months of cook time. Consider a Smokin It unit also. It may interest you as a good electric smoker. Best of luck.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  4. fringe10

    fringe10 Newbie

    Well so I'm new to smoking and jumped in two feet with out any info. I ended up with electric, smokey mountain series 30" by landmann, two drawer unit. Am I in the right place to get ideas info !? I've used it twice now once trout ummm good and once whitebass not tasted yet just today. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Name is James from Toledo Ohio
  5. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit

    I have both electric and a stick burner and they are both good.  The stick burner does produce the prized smoke ring but I don't think it adds to the taste.  And it requires tending.  With the electric, I don't get the smoke ring, but it requires no tending. As for taste, I honestly cannot tell the difference. There are those who will say that there is a difference and I will not disagree.  But I will say that the ease with which I can smoke using the electric and only a couple ounces of wood for an entire smoke far outweighs any subjective opinion in taste and appearance of the final product.

    One area I need to mention is that with the stick burner, I kept the temp between 275 and 300 degrees ( that is adding a lot of charcoal and wood to keep it there) because I did not know any better. Meat came out nicely 'tanned', nicely smoked.  With the electric, I smoke at 225, and the appearance is somewhat different.  At the lower temp, the fat on ribs is not 100% rendered out. But as I said above, the taste is, for me, indistinguishable from that produced in the stick burner. 

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