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Author Topic: Smokers?  (Read 2193 times)

Offline WapitiTalk1

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Smokers?
« on: October 25, 2017, 09:32:42 PM »
Gonna head up and pick up a new smoker this weekend. My antique big chief has died. What do u cats recommend that will get er done for jerky, fish, "etc"?  Electric, propane, charcoal?  Will something much less than a brazillion dollar traeger serve the purpose at hand? 
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Offline wadu1

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 09:50:41 PM »
Bradley would be my first choice. On the other hand you can rebuild your Jenson. I still run three Little Chiefs, two are getting tired but the parts are easy to get. I can get most of them at Sportco, older burners can be purchased from Jenson in Oregon.
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Offline lamrith

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 12:30:42 PM »
Gonna head up and pick up a new smoker this weekend. My antique big chief has died. What do u cats recommend that will get er done for jerky, fish, "etc"?  Electric, propane, charcoal?  Will something much less than a brazillion dollar traeger serve the purpose at hand? 
Always great to fix what you already have.  Those hooves RJ has I know can get it done.

2 questions to help folks guide you better.
  • Do you plan to start doing other things beyond just jerky and fish?  Those if I recall are both lower temp smokes, <=150*?
  • How heavy of a smoke profile do you like in your jerky, fish etc?

Temps - If you were wanting to consider doing ribs, pulled pork etc, you would want to look into a unit that could get up into the mid 200's or even 300+* consistently and easily.  That is where a classic stick burner, some of the propane smokers and the pellet smokers come in handy.  They can reach those higher temps and higher so they can be used to bake with (Think smoked turkey for Thanksgiving etc).  Electric smokers typically struggle to get higher temps from I have heard.

Smoke profile - Stick, propane and electric can give a stronger smoke profile depending on how you set them.  Pellet smokers are a lighter smoke flavor.  There are some supplemental devices that can be added to a pellet rig to increase smoke, but I do not think they get to the point they rival the max output of the other three.

All the new units regardless of format are getting more expensive of late, so If you were not looking to expand or change anything, just wanting to cook like always, then I would fix the one you have I think you will be net $ ahead.

Offline WapitiTalk1

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 01:45:14 PM »
My Big Chief has actually gone onto that big smoker resting place in the sky earlier this year (via the Rainier refuse/dump site) so its a new smoker vs. a fix er' up mission.  Ya, I'll be interested in smoking some larger meat/foul so it sounds like I'll need something that'll produce higher temps.  Guess I should offer that I'm not interested in a big ol' unit to compete for space on my back deck with my normal grill.  Probably just one of the 40" high jobs are about the size I'm looking at.         
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Offline Russ McDonald

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2017, 02:23:32 PM »
My  :twocents: .  If you looking for not to big a 30" Bradley or Masterbuilt.  I had a Masterbuilt and loved it but the problem was I couldn't do a full rack of ribs.  Now I have a double door Cajun Injector.   So with propane it is really hard to control the temp.  Electric and stick smokers are really good.  Here is my question.  I never clean my smoker and have never done fish.  I would think if you do fish that you would have a fish taste or smell if you did meat like jerkey?
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Offline Jason

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2017, 03:07:52 PM »
I have a Smoke Hollow electric smoker that has been very good to me for about 4yrs now. I would buy another.

Offline lamrith

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 03:26:00 PM »
My  :twocents: .  If you looking for not to big a 30" Bradley or Masterbuilt.  I had a Masterbuilt and loved it but the problem was I couldn't do a full rack of ribs.  Now I have a double door Cajun Injector.   So with propane it is really hard to control the temp.  Electric and stick smokers are really good.  Here is my question.  I never clean my smoker and have never done fish.  I would think if you do fish that you would have a fish taste or smell if you did meat like jerkey?

Great point on the propane Russ!  I recall my propane was a PITA in regards to temp, usually it was going ot be whatever it was going to be that day and adjusting flame/air only made a 50* difference....  My propane also was narrower, so I had to cut racks of ribs down to fit.

As too fish, I do not do a ton of it, done a few smoked salmon.  I did not have a fish smell afterwards.  Way I did it had a dry brine, then sit in open air for a while till petecia (spelling?) formed, then into smoker, so it was pretty sealed up and fresh so did not smell even before cooking.

I think Russ has it nailed Rory, a bradley or masterbuilt will probably serve you very well.  I hear great things about both, I think the bradley uses pucks for fuel/smoke, the masterbuilt uses chunks, chips, pellets??  Worth checking on fuels for both so you have flexibilty and options. 

Since you want to maybe expand horizons, check reviews on whatever you are thinking about and make sure that it can hold 225* (not according to mfg, but by real people in real world).  If you want to do pulled pork or burnt ends like we had @ Elk camp, you will need it to be able to reach and hold 225*, most people will cook ribs around that temp too.

Offline Dbow

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2017, 10:34:07 AM »
I have an Oklahoma Joe's and I love it for cooking and smoking. That said I have to ride herd on the heat, charcoal, and draft. I would like to have one that automatically controls temps. Family loves the briskets, turkeys, ribs and other goodies that come out of that offset smoker.

Offline Blacklab

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2017, 06:14:53 AM »
Never had issues with my propane. Been using GOSM big block 15yrs or so. Electric is easier set and for get. Just make sure you buy enough to grow into not grow out of.   :twocents:
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Offline Russ McDonald

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2017, 08:40:13 AM »
Never had issues with my propane. Been using GOSM big block 15yrs or so. Electric is easier set and for get. Just make sure you buy enough to grow into not grow out of.   :twocents:
Totally agree.  I did exactly that started small and had to go bigger.
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Offline dscubame

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2017, 10:35:27 AM »
Bradley for sure.
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Offline Russ McDonald

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2017, 10:38:32 AM »
Saw a 30" Bradley four sale at Wal-Mart for $168.

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2017, 10:41:41 AM »
I have a cabelas/Camp chef pellet smoker.  It will smoke at 155-158 degrees.  Great jerky and fish and a mean whole chicken.  $ yes but well worth it to us! :tup:
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Offline WapitiTalk1

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2017, 11:53:37 AM »
Ended up grabbing a 40" Masterbuilt Smoker yesterday.  Seems pretty decent and I think it'll do the job(s) at hand.  Burnt it off (seasoned it) today per manufacturer recommendations (3 hours @275, one load of wood chips) and no issues.  Probably gonna really break it in next weekend and make up a batch of jerky.  Thanks for the discussion and recommendations folks!  RJ

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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Smokers?
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2017, 11:55:54 AM »
how do these electric smokers do in the cold?  like zero degrees?

 

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