Generic question about electric smokers. Olease let me know if you agree.

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by rob sicc, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I have been researching electric smokers.  I wonder if there is any difference in taste between an electric smoker and a stick smoker.  However, I have created this thread for a different question.

    If an electric smoker is running and no source of smoke is used, isn't the Electric smoke then just a dehydrator or can't the electric smokers run with out smoke fuel being loaded in it?  

    Please let me know if anyone agrees with this statement.
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    An electric smoker without smoke is an oven not a dehydrator. They use similar elements and controls as an oven the only difference is the ability to add smoke. 
  3. Well alot of people use the AMPS Pellet smoker in an electric smoker for smoke generation so yes an electric smoker can be basically an outdoor crock pot or far as the taste solid fuel VS electric i cant comment because i haven't used both i personally am a big fan of charcoal for different reasons: portability... i can basically take my WSM where ever i please I dont think that can be done with an electric... i also really like not having any electrical parts...IMO its less likely to tear up. one last thing i use alot of outdoor cooking equipment that use charcoal Dutch Ovens small portable charcoal grill and a bigger charcoal grill (cheapos that still work for now) not to mention i like the taste of grilling on charcoal 
  4. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    OK, but if I can run the temp at 160 - 180  do you think I will get the same effect as a dehydrator.
  5. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    The portability is definitely clear that the WSM is better.  I'd rather not bring my generator with me camping to smoke,  The electric smoker will be basically for jerky at home so I don't need to worry about portability.  My goal is really to get as much surface space as I can so I can smoke as much jerky as possible at one time. 
  6. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    No. A dehydrator runs at 120-140 with a large volume of air constantly moving across the food to pull the moisture out of it. Even if you run your smoker in that temp range, you will not get the air moving across like in a dehydrator. Electric smokers move a small amount of air through the chimney effect (hot air rising). At low temps the air draw through an electric smoker gets pretty low. When I am running at 120 I can hold my hand right over the exhaust and barely feel any air coming out of it. 
  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If I did a lot of camping in campgrounds (which I do zero camping) the WSM would be my choice. From what I've read for portable charcoal smokers the WSM is the best there is. However, I chose to buy a MES 30 Gen 1 as my first smoker because I didn't want to have to deal with charcoal and it was cheap price for a quality smoker. I love my Weber One Touch Silver but I wanted a steady heat source for a smoker I'd be using for hours at a time so I chose an electric smoker. Like many guys here I use wood pellets in an AMNPS for the smoke source.
  8. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Rob Sicc - Two companies offer a jerky dryer for their smokers:  Smokin-it and SmokinTex.  Basically it is a small enclosed fan that draws air up through the smoker from the drain hole through the top vent rather than by convection.  By all accounts on their respective sites, it is successful.  I would think that any small fan suitably enclosed with a filter system to keep the motor and fan clean and set over the smoker's vent would work.  Here are links:

    Regarding taste:  In many years of smoking with wood and charcoal, I had never over-smoked anything.  Not ever.  However, with my Cookshack, I totally ruined a butt once. I used far too much wood:  12 ounces of hickory chunks.  You get a tasteless pink smoking with a wood smoker and none with an electric.  With no sauce, I would say no difference in flavor of the finished product.  But it has been some years since I used the old smoker so if there was a difference I have long since forgotten about it.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
  9. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    It looks like fate has made the decision for me.  I found the Cajun Injector double wide solid door (no glass) for $279.  Floor model.  I am waiting for them to call me back with shipping costs.  I think I'm going with that one.  I have so many ideas for projects.  i can't wait to get it..  Plus if I can fit all of my jerky in it, the convenience will give me a full even back to do something else.  

    I will be crossing my fingers that shipping won't be ridiculous.
  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Glad you found a smoker you will be happy with.

    Just a thought here. Most homemade jerky (ducks and cringes as he says this) uses liquid flavor to achieve that smoke taste. Mt Pop always just used a dehydrator as I did until lately. If you want good jerky remember 3 things. First use a little cure to cover your backside. Next a light smoke, maybe 2 hours is usually best, long smokes leave your jerky tasting like an ashtray. Lastly never judge the taste of a cured smoked meat for 2 to 7 days AFTER its completed longer is better. IT tastes awful the next day, I have thrown away more delicious cured smoked meats than I care to guesstimate due to impatience. Keep those three things in mind and you'll be more happy with your results.

    Good luck with your smoker, your jerky, but mostly with your patience.

    Remember to take pictures AND take notes.
  11. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Thank you for the remarks.  I used liquid smoke years ago and never really liked the taste.  I'm sure you will agree, jerky smoked on a real smoker taste tremendously better than using Liquid smoke.  I tried smoking it last year when I started smoking in general.  My friends and family loved it so I will never use liquid smoke in my jerky ever again (Never Say Never!)

    I normally dehydrate then smoke for 10 -20 minutes depending how hot the smoker is.  Now with the new smoker I think I will try to complete the process start to finish in the electric smoker.  2 hours is about what I thought it would take.  I will start looking at 1 1/2 hours, though I know the more I open the longer it will take.  There will be a learning curve which I will have to figure out fast.  I sell my jerky at a local farmers market.  I don't want to chase away customers by changing the flavor.  

    So if i wait 2-7 days after smoking it will change the flavor?  That sounds right.  It will mellow the smoke taste, right?

    Thanks for your comments.
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


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