Greetings from Mike in Chicago!

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by voripteth, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. voripteth

    voripteth Newbie

    Howdy folks!

    I'm from the Chicago suburbs and despite being in my 50's have never had freshly smoked meat until last week.  A friend prepared chicken breasts and pork chops in a MES.  The chicken was SO amazing that it inspired me to find out more about smokers.  After some internet research I discovered this fine site!  ^_^

    My first attempt at smoked meat was a few years ago using my Weber gas grill and a box of wood chips.  Being quite ignorant I cooked at 400 like usual and the chips instantly turned to ash imparting no flavor to the meat.  I gave up on smoking and tried to use *shudder* liquid smoke instead.  Not quite the same effect.

    I love good food and working to do a bit extra for superior flavor.  I roast my own coffee beans which has forever spoiled me against Starbucks or store bought coffee.  I can easily see smoking going this way as well.  I tend to keep busy so I want a smoker that only needs occasional tending which I've read means electric.  

    Current contenders for consideration:

    Bradley Digital 4- Rack Smoker  - Like the automation, not sure about being locked into chip bricks, expensive

    Masterbuilt 30" Black 20070511  - Inexpensive, tend every 20 minutes, needs add-on for cold smoking

    Vacuum sealers:

    VacMaster - Is double the cost of a 140 over a 110 worth it for home use?

    I'm fine to spend extra money for better quality if it means it will last longer / work better.

    So much to learn!


  2. Hello and welcome to the forum, Great place to learn and share and a bunch of good people. Look through the different forums and threads, maybe that will help you decide.

    Gary S
  3. voripteth

    voripteth Newbie

    Thanks Gary!

    I was expecting to see a Vacuum Seal section under the Preserving Food forum.  Is it somewhere else?
  4. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome from Canada, Voripeth.


    I own a Bradley that I bought when I retired 2 years ago. The upsides are it is easy. You can pretty well set it and forget it. I have done bacon, butts, hams, chickens, salmon, etc.

    The downsides are the heat swings quite a bit around the set temperature but it hasn't bit me yet. The smoking pucks are expensive but you can run an A-MAZE-N Pellet smoker in it and use pellets. I use both for different applications. Also, as with most electric smokers, you aren't going to be doing high heat smokes. It tops out at about 280-300 F on a hot day, less in the winter.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

  5. Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
    About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
    and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
    We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions
    Post it and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is
    because their are so many different ways to make great Q...

    I have a MES  40 and use a AMNPS. It works great for all of my hot and cold smoking. Yes a Vacmaster chamber vac is worth every penny. The up front cost is higher. However the bags are so much cheaper. You can also vacuum bags with liquid or powder in them. You will quickly pay for the machine in bag savings as well as not as much wasted food. You can also reheat in the bag in boiling water.

    Happy smoken.


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