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I am on the research phase for my first smoker as well. This electric one on Amazon is super well reviewed. I am curious what the folks here think.
Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller [link]
My wife got me one of these back in 2017: [link]
I call it my meat filing cabinet or mini fridge because that’s what it looks like. Super easy to use and managing temperature is a piece of cake. I would recommend storing it indoors though when the cold and wintery months are upon you. I had to replace my heating element this year, which was easy enough but waiting two months for the element to ship because they were out of stock was the pits.
Electric smokers are just fine. I had this one for several years. [link]
I made many amazing meals on it. I think they're great for someone just starting out. I've since moved on to a big green egg but I highly recommend these smokers.
I'm not sure why the reviews are poor on that website. I only linked that site because it was the lowest price I could find for that model. Here is the Amazon link: [link]. The reviews are much better there.
Regarding the premium, the ash wiper is great! I keep my kettle covered after it cools. Otherwise, some rain could trickle through the top ventilation holes and create a thick mixture with the ashes still inside of the kettle.
If you season it and keep it covered after it cools, that grill is the best starting place for grilling and learning to smoke utilizing the snake method. Very popular. You can read up more on smoking at amazingribs.com.
When you take off the ash catcher, it is its own container with a handle. I'm not sure where you live, but it's worth a visit to a Lowes, Home Depot, etc. to take a look at one.
Again, many will agree the Weber kettle premium is a great piece of equipment that can grill anything and smoke nearly anything.
I have smoked pork butts on mine, made beer can chicken, smoked ribs, smoked chicken, smoked sausage, and grilled dang near anything I could think of (chicken, steaks, pork steaks, pork loin, brats, burgers, etc.) on mine.
I'd suggest this one: [link]
it's simple and does the job. I've had this exact one for about 2 years now and I've even traveled with it to friend's houses. Make sure you get it without the window but controlled digitally. The window will only let heat escape and it will get completely dirty after the first use and you won't be able to view in very easy.
I have even set this for an over night cook with a brisket. Started it at 8 pm and took it off at 11 am. All i had was a meat probe to check the temp and had an alarm set if the bbq was too low or the meat hit the correct temp.
For a smoker that's electric, I'd go with this Masterbuilt (I'd suggest the one without a window and that is digital). It does the job and works well, also it is insulated so it even works well when it's freezing outside. Comes with drip pan, 4 racks and chip tray holder.
As for a grill, I'd suggest a weber or napoleon, depends on your budget. Or even get a used weber that will last quite a while.
I wholeheartedly agree with this guy ^^
/u/YourFairyGodmother Here's my post from another thread:
Masterbuilt 30-inch Electric Smoker
$177.66 shipped, brand new
Goes up to 275°
Set-and-forget constant temperature for long, slow smokes
Wood chip dispenser
I've used the propane version as well...a few less bells and whistles, but it feels a little more like smoking rather than baking.
Ask your apartment committee if you can do an electric smoker that uses wood chips
I use a wood log smoker and an electric version when I am on the lazy side, and don't want to spend 18 hours checking the temp often. Electric uses wood chips, and you can set temp and time to smoke all types of meat.
As far as a style my family swears on the electric smoker, this is the one I believe my father has now that he loves and uses all the time [link]. It's about the size of a mini-fridge and is super easy ESP for newbies. Though I have no idea if you will be able to find one near you.
I have the 30" Masterbuilt. It's about the size of a small fridge. Everything has been positive for me so far, except the following:
Full rack of ribs won't fit, you'll have to cut them in half.
You have to load wood chips every hour. So you can't just set it and forget it.
It has a timer which is mandatory to be set. If you don't set it long enough, your smoker will turn off before the meats done being cooked.
Max temp is 275F, although it may creep a little higher(about 285) than that.
Edit: If you decide to go with the more expensive model that has the glass window in front - don't. I've been told, many times, it fogs up in 10 minutes and becomes worthless, and it also degrades the insulation(you'll need this in cold weather).
A good place to get info on basic and advance topics /r/BBQ.
If you don't know how to indirect smoke. I recommend for the unsure beginner getting a Masterbuilt electric smoker with a electric gauge that regulates temperature and time. Then you can add wood chips in the built in tray for smoking.
Once you get the basics then you can progress and get a combo wood fire smoker/grill and cook with direct and indirect heat. I use my grill/smoker, but in the beginning I used the electric and my brisket, sausages, chickens, and fish came out perfect. I don't do pork or shellfish now though because of my gout.
By the way you don't need soy in recipes. I'm married to a Japanese and soy sauce aka shoyu as they call it, is basically high in salt/sodium and fermented soybean for flavoring their cooking. They use shoyu for a lot of BBQ out here in Hawaii to make the sauce more to Asian/Pacific islander tastes.
Now i would teach you how to do an Imu, but you need to find lots of volcanic rock smooth down over decades of water erosion in river banks lest they blow up from the heat.
So I pulled the trigger and ordered an electtic smoker off of Amazon. It sounds like it will do t he trick from the reviews. I almost got the analog version because I will most likely be using my maverick thermometer anyways, but I noticed that that version is slightly smaller than the digital one.
I bought this electric Masterbuilt on Amazon Warehouse deals a couple weeks back for $140 and I've been very happy with it. Hard to beat for the ease of use. Holds temp very well. I've done 3 pork butts, a rack of ribs, Italian sausages, and chicken on it.
I bought the Masterbuilt 30" on Amazon and am super pleased. If you don't have the time to keep the heat at the same temp, then get an electric... I like to put it in, let it go for 3 hours (walk away, do yard work, etc) then come back and put some more chips in...
I have a masterbuilt. It is the size of a mini-fridge.
I am a lazy man and so the electric smoker is my jam. Maybe not competition worthy meat... but it is sooo good. My masterbuilt you just set temp with controller (Never worry about temps again)... add meat and water/vinegar to a reservoir. It has a built in meat probe that also displays for you.
Not sure if this is the exact model, but basically this.
This is the one I'm considering right now. [link]
Same price on Amazon
I personally started smoking on a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker ($150 to $180 at a Lowes Home Depot, Wal-Mart). You never have to worry about temps, they seal well, and its cheap to experiment with chips and recipes on. I eventually outgrew it after a couple of years and picked up a Pit Barrel Cooker, knowing more of what I actually wanted and would use. I kept my Masterbuilt and now use it for Jerky and light smokes, like fish and fajita meats...might want to check it out. That Masterbuilt put out some pretty kick-ass shoulders and ribs and it was frustration free for the most part.
This is very similar to what I have....just a few years older: [link] $134.
Also, they make a cold-smoke add on for $50, I plan on picking up for it in the future. [link]
forget those prices, masterbuilt electric 30" smoker with a mailbox add on.
for me, i didnt use a mailbox, but i have 2 terracotta clay pots, one bigger than the other. i have the bigger one on top, so they sit together like a boston shaker
i dont use the mailbox as i didnt want any chemicals from the paint or zinc to get in the food. so i have my smoker elevated, and just an L shape going from the side to right over my clay pots. i dont use any tape or connective stuff. there's like a 2" air gap between top of clay pot and aluminum HVAC tubing into smoker, but it's fine, the smoke/heat just rise up into my smoker.
in the clay pots you can use wood chips or pellets, or whatever. i put some steel scrubber pads in the bottom of the inside of the clay pots to give it more room for air flow. i have the bottom clay pot on a few landscaping bricks to allow good airflow into the bottom of it. my whole setup is less than $250 and it's solid as a rock. i don't need to spend twice that on a trager.
the only problem is you need to allow room for the air to move around inside. it has 4 racks, but at most i've been able to use 3 to make sure good air flow happens. don't let meat on adjacent racks touch, and don't have the meat touch the sides, which would block some air flow.
I haven't read much about indoor smokers. Maybe an electric smoker he can plug into a wall inside? You'll have to research how safe that is and how good they.
Cool. What did you get?
I'm on my 2nd electric smoker. My first was a super cheap/simple brinkmann bullet that survived about 5 years.
I highly recommend getting a remote thermometer like this as well.
The easiest things to make are pork shoulder and salmon. Ribs and brisket are the most difficult in my experience. Chicken is right in the middle...depending on how hot your smoker can get, rendering the skin can require grilling at the end.
It's a fun hobby. I love turning cheap cuts into deliciousness.
It's a very, very basic, low-end model. It's funny, because I've been trying to remember all morning and I can't haha.
It's either the low-end Masterbuilt or the Char-Broil. I just can't remember right now. I'll have to look when I get home for sure.
So, I got an early father's day present...my 2nd smoker. My first served me well for about 5 years. But, it really was limited. The electric element didn't survive this winter, and I "converted" it to charcoal for a couple sessions early this spring. That was too much of a hassle, so I requested my new one as an early father's day gift. It's awesome.
This pork bomb was what I made yesterday. I've got salmon in a brine ready for tonight. And, I picked up some babyback ribs for this coming weekend. It is officially smoking season.
Yep, Masterbuilt electric smoker. Works pretty good, my first smoker of any kind. That is the water pan and wood tray that it came with. [link]
Here's the smoker I have, electric is the way to go. With electric you don't have to watch it as close. I went with the 30 and wish I got the 40 (the 40 is also cheaper now). [link]
Also this - [link]
Did you have to send the other controller back? How did they know that was the problem? Here is what I got.
this just happens to be on sale...half price i think...
Good thought, but I just don't think that would buy me much. The smoker itself ([link]) is a 30 inch, and I'm pretty sure that is 30 inches both in width and "front to back". Even if I only used two of the grills (which would buy me the height I need for the rib rack you link) I'd still not have enough lateral room. Just need a bigger smoker.