Which is the best electric smoker...in reason $$$

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by rdefino, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. rdefino

    rdefino Newbie

    I had a masterbuilt 30in that I had for about 2 1/2 years that finally broke. So I would like to get a new one smoker $no more than $350, hopefully a little bigger. I thought of a propane, but I really don't want to baby sit the smoker. I like to set it and forget it.

    I know everyone has their own opinions, but I would like to hear them on what you think is the best electric smoker.


  2. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    Maybe you could use this and salvage your old one?

    Or even if you buy a new one you can use the old one for a cold smoker or modify with a cheap hot plate and have two smokers.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hi Ron.  Most of the electrics out there for less than $350 are likely gonna be pretty similar to the MES in size and quality.  As you might expect, bigger, better rigs cost more.  I've read decent reviews from members who own 2 brands of stainless steel smokers that are clones of the much more expensive Cookshacks:  First are Smokin-It Smokers, but only their smallest model is less than your budget (3 models priced from $290 to $500).  Second is Smokin' Tex, but again, a little more money than your budget (smallest model is around $400). 

    I guess my advice would be that if your budget cap is a hard 350, stick with another MES or similar rig.  I used to cook on an MES and always turned out good food.  But if you could swing it, there are some higher quality smokers available for a little more money.

    Hope this helps...Good luck!

  4. ndkoze

    ndkoze Smoke Blower

    I think it would be worth it to save up for Smokin-It. This would a long-term unit vs. The MES styles that you'll get x number of years out of and have to replace. I have had cheaper smokers (gas & propane) none hold a candle to the Smokin-It which is built like a tank. I have a #3 btw. Good luck with your search.

  6. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    There are a lot of folks with the model 1 and find it meets all their needs.  And it has been holding its own in the frigid weather according to SI.
  7. I would still stay with Masterbuilt to tell you the truth, if you still want a electric smoker. Smokin-It Model #1, #2 & #3 are all very good electric smokers but they are also a lot more expensive than Masterbuilt.
  8. ndkoze

    ndkoze Smoke Blower

    My guess is that since he only got 2 1/2 years out of his MB, he has been there and done that and is ready to move on. I would be. If you want to buy a new smoker every couple of years, go with the MB. But if you want a smoker that last, go with a Smokin-It or one of the similar brands.

    In the end, after you buy 2-3 MBs you could have a SI.

    My 2 cents.
  9. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hate to disagree with the previous poster but I wouldn't own or run a new generation 2 MES if it was given to me.....all kinds of hidden dangers lurk behind that name now. So, I'm a Smokin' It #3 owner and have no regrets with the purchase, going on now a year + ago....I groaned about the S&H charge to me up here in the PNW though...long forgotten now. I recently purchased a Char Griller Pellet Smoker I am quite happy with believing it to be more like a true pit smoker without the hassle of being a total stick burner. Lowes carries them at a modest price of $450 and they are bigger and better built than the Traeger which sells for $800+ or the Green Mountain Grills at $900+. Check it out....might suit the budget and an extended 3 year warranty can be had for a cheap $59 which kicks in after the mfg warranty. I normally am not a extended warranty kind of guy but this thing does have a computer chip for a brain that could/might go sideways some day and I'd want Lowes to repair or replace it. It's a good deal for a well built set it and forget it pellet burner.....HTH, Willie
  10. MB?  Been there done that 1 time.  I can't tell you enough just how disappointed I was in that smoker and I had a GEN 1 MB 30.  Failed me after 5 smokes.  Dad was right......you get what you pay for.  I now own a Smokin-It #2 and I will never look back.  There is a reason they are more expensive.....QUALITY!!!!   I never go out to do a smoke and wonder "will it turn on"?  "Will it produce enough smoke"?  Etc.  Etc. Etc. 

    My brother has had his for 5 years and he uses it constantly.   Also with the Smokin-It models there is no need for "Mods".  Why would you buy a smoker that you needed to cut into and modify just to get it to work correctly?  Just my .02 but save a little more and go with a better more reliable unit.

    Smoking-It #2

    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014

Share This Page