Help! Portable (enough) Smoker for Tailgating and Home Use

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by oinkdust, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Hey Everyone! First time poster, long time browser.

    I am looking to buy a larger capacity smoker that I can use to cook for my wife's large family as well as to take to football games for tailgating.  It would have to fit in the back of a Toyota Sienna.  I do not want charcoal so that means I need either propane or electric.  I don't care about the debate between the flavors of electric vs. propane.  I just want the best for my situation. [​IMG]

    I am going between the 40" Masterbuilt Electric Smoker or the Masterbuilt Extra Wide Propane Smoker because they are in my price range.

    1.  Can I use the cigarette lighter outlet to power up the electric smoker?

    2.  Will the propane smoker get too hot that I cannot put it back in the van before we go to the game?

    I love the idea of set it and forget it with the electric, but portability is an issue.


    Thanks for all of your ideas!!!
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  2. Power requirements say get a Propane unit unless you carry a generator. 12V and 20A is only 240 Watts from a car Power Point (Cigar Lighter) and well isulated smokers still are 600-800 watts and mine was an astounding 1800. I had issues and just got a propane one and simple. With the water bath even holds 225 exceedingly easily. I love it. 

    True I am only a nube but with now having just started with Electric and now Gas, but, I'd get gas again. If on the high end with well insulated walls I might try electric again as long as it was say only 800 watts. 
  3. Though I prefer charcoal, I think your selection between gas and elec will require gas for the reasons cited above: no power.  Of course, a small generator would solve that.
  4. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Here is my take. If you try and run an electric smoker on a power inverter, you are going too need a BIG one, and they cost several hundred dollars, and drain your battery quick. Here is an example of what I am talking about. In my camper I have 2 deep cycle battery's wired in parallel to double the amps. Using the 2500 watt inverter, I can barely make it threw a weekend running the microwave, coffee pot, radio and or TV. The lights are 12 V so they draw off the battery as well. You loose some of your battery energy to heat running the inverter so you don't get the full reserve capacity of the battery.

    Save yourself some headaches and go with LPG (liquid propane gas). 
  5. Thanks for the suggestions guys!  It definitely looks like the electric is going to be a lot harder than I thought. Now I just need to wait till the extra wide goes on sale at BPS again.

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