Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by mitsuruss, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The water can be used to help with temperature somewhat.  Some folks will load up a pan with wet sand to absorb and hold heat. Personally, I don't know if it truly works or not.  I also don't know how it affects the heat from the element getting to the food.  And I have never bothered to experiment.  I suppose if one must open a smoker continuously to spritz or baste or poke and jab, the "heat sink" might help temp recovery of the chamber.  And to answer your question, the thermostat does regulate the the cooking temperature.  If cooking a great large shoulder or brisket, use a remote meat thermometer to cook to  your preferred internal temp, and pay no attention to how long it will take.

    The best advice I can give is to follow your own gut feeling:  

    "I'm thinking I'm going to just add the little juice or liquid holder I bought with the smoker and add apple juice. Not sure why, just going to do it :)"

  2. That's exactly what it does. The only time I put liquid (partial to beer or apple juice) in the #3 is when I'm smoking brisket. It is not necessary in my opinion with pork.

    The quality of these smokers is evident in the moisture retention during the cooking process. I've had to adjust to this having used the Weber series for years.

    Enjoy the ribs...
  3. Getting my new smoker seasoned finally! Built my own cord hanger and saved $20. 3 hours and counting till she's done seasoning.
  4. kevin smith

    kevin smith Newbie

    Been reading all ya have been saying about the smokin' it # 2 & #3.  I'm convinced but probably going to wait until after a pending move. I probably won't be doing more than 3-4 racks ribs or a couple of pork shoulders (most) at the same time.  Is a #2 fine for me?

    Thanks.  Enjoyed reading all the comments.

  5. Kevin- do you have friends? Family? Then #3 is what you need! But if there are just to or three of you then 2 is ok! But its a great way to make new friends! I am getting a #3!
  6. Hell a number 1 would be fine for ya!
  7. Just pulled the trigger on a #2. I also emailed them separately and suggested they sign up here. An official voice on this forum would be a good thing for them I think.
  8. smoke happens

    smoke happens Smoking Fanatic

    I was in the same boat, the deciding factor for me was the $100 difference between the two. $100 is well worth the peace of mind knowing that I have the capacity and room to work if I need to do a larger run. What I have done in the past is gone the cheaper route only to regret it in the future, $100 difference is a no brainer to me. Now if it was a $200 or $300 difference, then I would have thought about it a lot harder. For that though, and not knowing what your needs will be in the FUTURE (not just what you do now), I would recommend the #3.
  9. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    At any given time, you can always cook/smoke less in a large unit, but cannot cook/smoke more in a small unit.  It can be difficult to decide without seeing the units side by side first hand.. For the occasional smoke, with only a few people, the #1 may be sufficient and the #2 an insurance policy against a larger get together. They both will hold a lot of food and owners are quite satisfied. The # 3 is the cream of the crop, top of the line and a real bargain at the price.  Just look at the SmokinTex line for a price/size/heating element comparison and you will see what I mean.

    Good luck.
  10. nycg8r

    nycg8r Newbie

    I am not the most mechanical so I'm slightly embarrassed to have to ask but where does the cord hook for the #3 go-can someone take a picture for me please so I know where I am supposed to put it?  Thank you in advance.
  11. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hmmmm, if I recall a pic on the Smokin-It site it was in the upper left corner as you were looking at the front of the unit.
  12. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just catching up on the newer posts from potential owners and frankly, amazed, at how the owner numbers are growing on here. Great advice/comments from Smoke Happens and Old Sarge on posted questions above. Like Smoke Happens I've, in the past, skimped on ordering something and regretted it later on. My 2 cents on this would be invest in the #3 if at all possible. The larger element alone, to me, is worth the extra hundred. The recovery time is so much faster if you do decide to do foiling or spritzing or check the rib rack with a bend test or wanna look at the bark. And, overall, it's heavier gauge stuff inside. Just my opinion, a happy #3 owner who doesn't miss the extra hundred
  13. suya

    suya Fire Starter

    Greetings friends,

    Thought I would drop by and share my experience and key learnings from my maiden voyage on the Model #3. If some of this is redundant, I apologize.

    So, I decided to test drive this thing with three racks of ribs. I know some here are debating as I did as to what size smoker to get. I think it is difficult to really get a perspective on the size of these units based on the pictures on the Smokin-It site. 

    The #3 can simply be described as cavernous. Plenty of space for food to fit comfortably. Sorry I can't speak to the #2 or #1 but if you are considering the #3, this is what you can expect.

    Also note there are five rails available for up to five grills. I have two installed, and the unit comes with four. I bought an extra one so that come summer, I'm ready.

    Notice how big the fire or smoker box is? This is my key learning. One piece of wood in there is going to seem small and lonely. Don't get tempted to put more in than you need!

    I put the approximate equivalent of these three pieces of wood in (it really was two slightly larger pieces, one cherry, one apple. AA battery included for perspective). My next smoke will have significantly less wood! I felt the ribs were too smoky at the end of my smoke.

    Before I started this, I had asked some questions about doing 321 or 221 vs. just putting them in and not foiling them. I had also asked about water pans. I decided to just put then in, at 225 apply barbecue sauce at 3 hours, and take them out at 4 hours. I did not include a water pan but I did fill up the little flavor container with apple juice. Here is my second key learning. If you want fall of the bone moist ribs, you probably want to foil them and possibly add moisture to the foil. If you want ribs with more of the consistency you would find in a barbecue restaurant, where the ribs might come out cut into individual bones, and you actually pick up each bone and can take a bite out of it without it falling off the bone, don't foil. My daughter's first reaction was, "these are pick em up ribs". My next batch will probably not be foiled, but I think I'm going to introduce a water pan to the equation and perhaps go a bit lower in the temperature setting. Note, I did not have an external thermometer handy to gauge or calibrate the smoker so I'm not really sure what the temperature was in it.

    So, after four hours, this is what came out. I initially panicked and thought I had burned them, but realized later, I had over smoked them. Keep in mind, this is a matter of taste because by the end of the meal, we had knocked out almost two racks (two kids and two adults). 

    Other key learnings, this unit is incredible insulated. It was cool to the touch the entire time unlike the MES 40 I used to have where the glass would get hot.

    I hope this is helpful to someone. Thrilled with my purchase and can't wait to go again. By the way, to the person that was asking about the cord hanger, 

  14. Suya, apple wood tends to create a very dark color in general as well, I don't think you went overboard on the wood, I use about the same in my #2.

    I'll be making some ribs today, 2 racks Baby Back and 1 Spare. I'll do some Qview.
    suya likes this.
  15. crvtt

    crvtt Smoke Blower

    How much smoke you like is really personal preference, I probably would have used that much wood in my #1.   It's amazing how little wood these units use though, makes for very inexpensive smoking.  Still can't get over the prices of some of those pre formed wood biscuits and how many people use for just one smoke. 
  16. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I think your "maiden voyage" went pretty much ok. What I have mentioned repeatedly (meat is expensive) is to go light on the wood, even to the point of weighing it and cutting it into 2 ounce pieces.  Once the cooking process is over, if the food lack flavor, dress it up with bbq sauce, and increase the amount of wood on the next smoke.  You will hit the sweet spot.    

    And yes, these units are incredibly well built and insulated.
    suya likes this.
  17. suya

    suya Fire Starter

    LOL Sarge,

    I knew I was using too much wood before I started but there was just something in me that said "that can't possibly be enough" so I added an extra piece. Even the Smokin-It site said a little goes a long way. I also observed that the smoke that was coming out of the smoker was clearly not the thin blue smoke it should have seen. My thick skull needs to see or experience it to believe it. Now I know.

    And for the record, absolutely none of the ribs went to waste :)
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  18. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    I am seriously looking at a model #3. $622 and change delivered is hard to ignore if the quality is there

    If anyone has any negative feelings after using one of these smokers I'd love to hear about it
  19. I have the model 1 and Love it!!!!    They are built like tanks!!!
  20. I love my # 3. Nothing but happy with everything.

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