Safety Question Regarding Electric Smokers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tx smoker, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. The wife and I just moved into a rental house while I build our new home. Well, it's actually a condo we moved in to but has all the amenities of a house, just smaller. The amenities include a very nice covered patio where I set up the grill and my offset smoker. I was politely informed yesterday afternoon that I cannot use either of those on the patio. No propane, no charcoal. This causes a problem. We cook ALL of our meals outside and have high quality units, both the grill and the smoker. I was told that I could roll them off the patio into the yard and would be in compliance. This really isn't an option as the grill weighs 350 pounds and the smoker weighs in at 500 pounds. There's no way I am going to move either of those monsters every day so we can eat :) I decided that I am going to buy an electric smoker to tide me over until I get the new house finished. Academy has what appears to be a pretty nice unit on sale which is probably the one I will buy. I don't want to spend a ton of $$ because I am just going to give it away in a few months so I'm trying to stay in the $300 range.

    My question is this: Do electric smokers get hot enough on the bottom that they need to be set on a non-flamable surface like concrete or steel?

    We are on the first floor so the patio is concrete but I don't want to crawl on my knees every time I need to get into the smoker. I want to set it on something that is elevated and we have a Rubbermaid plastic storage cart that I could use but I don't want to burn down the building. I'll get a metal table if ncessary but am trying to keep expenses to a minimum because this is just temporary.

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!!

    Smokeless in Cedar Park,
  2. Robert

    I have a MES40 i have never touched the bottom while it is on However the sides are not very hot. Warm at best. I think you would be OK.

    Cynder blocks are cheap. You could get 4 of them for about $6.00

    I feel your pain.

    Happy smoken.

  3. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I don't have an electric smoker myself , but I was thinking if you got one of those aluminum oil drip pans that wal mart sells you could lay that on your plastic shelf deal and then set the smoker on the metal pan....I bet that would shield it pretty well.
  4. lazykitty

    lazykitty Fire Starter

    I used cinder blocks when I had my MES
  5. the zil

    the zil Smoke Blower

    I have mine on a little dolly because I wanted some mobility with it. My son made it for me. Afterwards I saw some cheap dollies and carts at Harbor Freight that would have given height and mobility.:grilling_smilie::grilling_smilie:. MES doesn't feel hot to the touch and I even run mine overnight without worry. Share some goodies with the complainers and ill bet you have no more complaints. A full mouth is a quiet mouth.
  6. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      An electric smoker on a covered patio should be fine. Kinda like a space heater as far as bottom heat. HOA's are why I live in the country!

  7. I guess I should be thankful my Condo HOA "allows" electric and propane, only wood/pellet and charcoal are not permitted.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  8. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    $300 is MES 40" range at Sam's Club.   I would go with one of Todd's pellet trays or tubes for the smoke source (just don't mention it has pellets to the HOA as they will freak because it has "pellets").

    If you want to put something non-flamable under the smoker, I would look at one of those round grill mats from Home Depot or Lowes.  They are about 1/4" thick and come in different sizes.  It's a flat mat that is made of a concrete like material with a fiber mix and it looks a lot better than the aluminum water heater pan. I have one under my WSM on my wooden deck.  Price runs from $25 to $50 depending on size you get.

    I would normally provide a link to one of these at a big box store website, but seems that off site links have become such an issue lately, I'm afraid to post that.  Try running a google search for "the original grill pad" and I think you will find them.

    I did find a photo of one already on this site (so it's not an off site link).  They come in different shapes.

    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  9. I have a MES 30 inch Electric; I set mine on 2 foot square patio stone.  They sell covers for both BBQ and smokers, plus they sell a collapsible, easy to set up Gazebos, so doing what these clowns expect of you should be no problem.

    [​IMG]    [​IMG]

    I also have a 6 or 7 foot collapsible, portable table I set up beside my smoker, everything at one point, except the smoker body, is on that table when I smoke anything.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  10. I have an MES 40 and it's in a wood cabinet and has been for well over 3 yrs now. No problems. Didn't want all that bending over!

  11. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Not only have I had my smoking toe stubbed by the associations, but also with some city fire depts. Conroe Texas has a law on the books about no fire burners within X feet of any building structure, Mines electric then I get a note for the Fire Marshal welcoming me to town and enlightening me that the city of Conroe didn't distinguish between an electric and a fire burners, they were all BBQ pits. Its really not that uncommon anymore. I can understand not wanting a drunk college student living below me having a BBQ pit under the eave throwing a wild end of semester party.

    Did you know that the trash truck personnel get "rewards" for turning you in for construction, BBQ pits, animals, pools, watering the yard, etc?

    If you go with the MES, spring for the 40, you'll be much happier even if only for a short time. I have told others go to the Army/Navy store or the second hand furniture store, get a bedside or end table. But oddly enough everyone always finds something better (Metal box, Steel grate etc). Its cheap, and your back will appreciate it.
  12. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    I am more concern about having electrical ground fault protected outlets to plug the unit in.

  13. webowabo

    webowabo Master of the Pit

    Very nifty setup....
  14. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Almost all a moot point... Just read that 2 weeks ago Earth narrowly missed a solar flare that would have zapped electricity to most of the planet..... Scary stuff.   

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