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Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by mitsuruss, Aug 10, 2010.
Sounds good. Steve will send a new probe under warranty if he is informed of the problem.
I have a Model 2 Smokin-It smoker, and my buddy just got the Model 3. I absolutely love this thing. It is very reasonably priced, and Steve will stand behind his product!! He is always willing to answer any questions you may have regarding your smoker. I bought this because I wanted something easy to use, and am new to smoking.
I hope this helps.
Steve was supposed to send a replacement smoker last Tuesday. Gave me a tracking number, but looks like the unit did not ship out!
There was also an issue with the door getting jammed on the drip rail and would not open. So that is why he was replacing it.Even though it did not ship and he did not get back with me. When i spoke on the phone with him, it seems that these models do NOT maintain temperature at all. In fact, they are analog, which is partly the reason, but the issue is mine never went above 180 degrees after 4 hours...Steve responded with that the cold meat will bring the heat of the unit down... I still do not get it.... the temp should reach your setting and light should not go off when the unit is set to 225 and its sitting at 180.
The steel is well built, but for $900+ with all accessories and shipping this thing is proving to be a bad investment. Maybe I will get a masterbuilt for $700 less free shipping on amazon or jump to the cookshack with digital controls which will control the heat better.
Put a lot of time into this, the research, the price of meat, etc... just a let down.
I am just a customer of Smokin-It, but I have to say I am sorry to hear your bad experience. I have a Model 2 and absolutely love this thing. Steve was so great about getting my smoker to me in just a few days. Yes, putting cold meat in the smoker does take longer for the smoker to heat up, but it generally will get to its designated temp within 20 minutes. I have talked to many other customers about their experiences and they have all been very satisfied. I know that al it takes is one bad experience and that can ruin your impression, but I just did not have that same experience at all. I am sure if you called Steve back and told him your displeasure , he would make every attempt to make this right. I hope you have a better experience.
Analog controls will never ever be dead on accurate. They will typically rise above the set temperature, and shut down, than at some predetermined low temperature, fire back up. This fluctuation can differ from machine to machine, in spite of a manufacturer or designer writing specs for the probe/controller combination. My Cookshack, wildly more expensive, is digital. It clicks constantly, every 5 to 10 seconds, maintaining the set temperature; normally it swings high by 1 or 2 degrees and drops low by a similar amount. But I paid dearly for that "convenience".
The folks at SmokinTex, and those on it's forum, will acknowledge that swings of 15 or 20 or more degrees above/below the set temp is normal. Those smokers are analog as well.
Steve will take care of you; you and others are his business. He is right about the meat absorbing the BTUs. That is how the food cooks. Cold food sitting between the probe and the heating element will act as a heat sink, absorbing the heat as it rises until there is an equilibrium established. Having cold meat above the probe compounds the issue as cold tends to fall or sink.
There is also the propensity for people opening the unit to check on progress, constantly, and this also affects the temperature. I know I did, checking on the wood, checking the progress of the cook, being just plain curious. Digital or not, I honestly thought I had a bad digital control unit. On a 4 hour smoke, I opened that smoker every 115 or 20 minutes. Me being anal. I complained and Cookshack told me once I start the unit, leave it alone till the food is done either by time or temp. Good advice.
As I said on page 30 there are a couple of things you could do to check, and I believe I mentioned I have used a second probe at times and noticed a difference. I get anal every once in awhile, then relax and just let the smoker do its work.
You said you did 6 ribs, so I assume you meant 6 racks, judging from your comment you were not pleased with the results. Too much smoke? Not enough smoke? Too tough? Not much to go on if you are looking for some help.
The door getting hung up on the drip rail is a simple fix; Steve is sending a replacement according to your comment above. That should also solve your temp issue.
The owners of the model 3 at Smokin-it can probably offer some great advice. If you haven't joined that forum you may want to do so.
Old Sarge. Thank you very much for your explanation to Longevity. You clearly explained the cold meat cooking and heating variances. I do use a Maverick 732 and keep my grill temp probe towards the top of the smoke outlet. There is a bracket that clips onto the hole opening, and I do sometime see a variance of 15-20 degrees from the dial setting, but overall, the average is very close.
Regarding the Smokin-It, being I have a Model 2, it is a smaller unit, but still cooks very consistently. I looked at Cookshack and Smokin Tex, but felt I got better quality for my buck, as well as great service from Smokin-It and am now a lifelong dedicated customer. I have convinced two of my buddies to get Model 3's as well.
I think I have seen you over on the Smokin-IT forum . I really have not seen any negative comments about Smokin-It customers. They just build a solid electric smoker.
I try to provide some sort of balance to what can become an emotional issue when someone plunks down some hard earned money and is discouraged, disappointed and or disillusioned. As for other sites I do frequent smoking-it, lets talk bbq, and occasionally cookshack.
Thanks for the reply guys! I am sure Steve is a nice guy and all, but in my situation it was not as pleasant. The replacement model he stated would ship did not until one week later after I checked tracking and notified Steve that it was not delivered. After the replacement arrived, which did not have the door jam issue, the wheels would not go in all the way on one side forcing the smoker to sit on a tilt.
The wrench that comes with them is so cheap that it stripped three times, first with my original smoker, the replacement smoker, and the replacement wrench Steve sent out.
Heating element still is as before, jumps from 180-220 ----- The temperature control on the thing sucks and your cooking times are WAY longer. Ribs and Chicken would take much longer to cook making it unpredictable for people to come over for a BBQ. Worse some racks would be done at 4-5 hours and others would take 7-8 hours depending on position.
In the end, because I had a tilted smoker, and had so many problems with the original door issue, lack of temperature, and lack of temp control, and the issue with the second one again, shipping delay, Steve offered a full refund, which I am going to take him up on. My neighbor wanted to get the unit at a discount and Steve refused.
I am now eyeing a cookshack (digital temp contro) or Yoder. I like that they also go up to 300 degrees as smoking in the smokin it #3 produced rubber skin on a chicken.
Long story short, save your money and buy a cookshack or a different smoker as messing with the smokin it produced terrible results that required too much attention vs the set and forget advertising. Whatever you do, DO NOT get an analog one, which is my opinion. I wanted to like it and it looked well built but its performance sucks and it has little power.
Happy Smokin, i will update all on the cookshack or yoder.
I totally respect your opinion and wish you the best with your new purchase. I still stand behind Smokin-It as I have not had any of the problems you refer too. My buddy bought a Smokin-It 3 and absolutely loves it.
Yes, there is a heat variance, and it is analog. I know that I have had times where my smoker didn't get the ribs done when I expected, but I just go by the 'it is done when it is done' mentality. Using an internal temp probe (Maverick 732) also is a great hep.
I certainly understand this does not always work when cooking for guests.
I really am curious to how the CookShack or Yoder will work out for you.
Well, at least Steve is willing to refund your money, which tells me that he is at least willing to compromise. I just really like my smoker and I guess each of us has our own opinion on this issue, but I am still a pretty big fan of the Smokin-It brand. That being said, if I had the same experience as you, I would probably ask for a refund as well. I just have had a whole different experience is all.
Again, please keep us informed on your purchase decision, as we can still talk about smoking techniques and recipes......which is what is all about at the end of the day
I agree with mnguy, I love my #3. It's analog, it varies...so does every other smoker and oven for that matter.
I have a wrench and know how to use it...the cheap-o one that came in the caster bag kit is junk, get a real one. As far as variable times...I haven't seen it, so your speculation is just that. These perform differently once loaded...too bad you didn't give it a try. This is by far the best built smoker for the money out there.
I have made many awesome meals...no regrets and have sold others on the Smokin' it's...is there a referral program?
Good luck on the cook shack, let us know how it works!
There are a lot of #3 fans there and when I first got it I was pumped as well. I bought some books spent countless hours on forums and youtube. The thing looks great. My temp never went well. I have bought two maverick temp wireless controls a black and white one so i can see 3 different meat temps and the inside temp.
My inside temp stayed so low that it just would not go well when food was not done. What was funny is it really averaged to different time period and got me frustrated. I had one rack of ribs done on time, the other not done. If i was cooking for just the wife and I, then there would be no issue her having to wait an extra hour or two, but cooking for guest of 10 was a disaster last time as a BBQ started at 3 was served at 11 30... Guests arrived at 9pm Friday night,
Anyway, I am not bashing anyone here. Just my experience. So much time was spent on research - I felt i should post an honest review. The units issue in my opinion is the ANALOG heat control - if you can spring a few more bucks getting a DIGITAL one from cookshack or another company is the way to go. Otherwise, I bet a $177 masterbuilt on amazon would produce better results in terms of timing and temp control as I believe it is digital.
I am still looking and talking with Cookshack and Yoder. Will update you guys soon! Also looking at Traeger now as its a good price point well compared to the $850 i spent on the #3 with shipping and accessories. If the #3 works for you guys, that is well and I am happy for ya. Did not work for me, and seeing temp hover around 180-190 all the time was not a THRILL when you set it to 245. There is no way my mavericks both of them were defective.
I had about 8 cooks on two units and both machines had terrible temp control for me. I could not find a wrench that slim on Amazon or locally so i gave up trying to tighten it all the way. The tilt looked funny, but I did not care as much as having quality food for guests. From my experience I would go with a digital control any day over an analog one. I really could not get temp output over 190 for a long period even with charcoal inside on 7 of the 8 cooks. Maybe it was windy - anyway, that is my experience. A person spending $500-900 on something they will plan to use a lot should hear it.
I give Steve credit for the refund. After that experience, he was the one that offered it. He seemed more concerned that I pack it well vs really anything else. When i could not remove the wheels from the units because of the stripped wrenches and there being no space for a normal wrench to go in, he seemed a bit cold.
I will for sure update you on my purchase and post some photos. I really got into smokin lately and it has taken over my life. Which is something I hope passes. I am tired of watching BBQ on youtube mentally. LOL
My smokin it 1 is used only for the last hour of cooking now. As someone noted before, times are extremely unpredictable. I have been embarrassed on 2 occasions when the week before took a totally different amount of time.
Another problem i have is an over smoked flavor unless i put like 3 chips in instead of a chunk. I have tried foil over the wood but it seems to work the same as if i didnt foil it.
I get a light smoke flavor if i just smoke my food for one hour after cooking in the oven, roaster, or something else. When i go for a long bark, i get dry, oversmoked food. I find it easier to use the oven for the 3 and 2 of the ribs then 1 for the smoker itself.
I have a smokin it #2 and love it. Got in back in January and have been smoking something every weekend. Solid design and tight seal - have not had a bad meal yet.
Here is a temp graph of my #3...
Consistent, yes... Repeatable, yes. Completely flat, no... this is analog, so is your oven in your kitchen...but it'll roast anything.
Had my Smoking It Model 2 for about a year Well Built, works great. Have learned to even smoke salmon Would recommend highly only wish I had gotten Model 3 for a little more room!
Yeah. Mine is more an oversmoke issue than consistency with heat. I think my heat gets different temps because of different size loads and drip pans. Either way I still love it.
On another topic, I wiped down the top of my smoker exterior with a Clorox wipe because of raw meat spilled on it. The wipe completely screwed my stainless steel.
1. Is there any coming back from this tragedy to get my stainless steel back to normal?
2. What do you use to clean the exterior?
Not sure how "screwed" the finish is, or what you meant by that other than lost its shine. You might try Bon Ami cleanser, works well with no bleaching agents. Or try Bar Keepers Friend. And use a fine, not coarse scrubby pad. Try a back and forth motion with the grain of the steel. Some 000 or 0000 steel wool might also work well, again, with the grain, not against or circular. Good luck.
Don't use steel wool on stainless, I'll imbed ferrous steel into the stainless and will continuously rust. Use bar keepers friend with a damp wash cloth, or a white scotch brite pad (not the green, it'll scratch).