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jps

ELECTRIC SMOKER

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I have a master built 30. We seem to like it. You can set it and forget it basically. I heard you can get better flavor with wood or gas but this has put out some great eats.

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I've had my 40" masterbuilt digital smoker for 2 years now & really enjoy it. Very simple to use & havent had any issues yet. I like the fact that i can set it at a certain temp & it will stay at that temp for the duration of the cook. I dont know what is involved with reaching a certain temp & maintaining it with propane or wood smokers, so i can't speak to that. I do know that mine does a good job & won't hesitate to get another when the time comes. I did a two loaves of jalopeno & cheddar meatloaf a few weeks ago, but wish it would warm up a bit to get er going again soon. Hankerin for some ribs.

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In the simplest of terms the differences, to me at least, are:

--Charcoal: arguably the best flavor, hardest to regulate temp

--Propane: easy to control temp and can smoke when cold or windy, cannot easily smoke at low temps

--Electric: best for low temp smoking, easy to maintain temps, cannot easily smoke when too cold outside or too windy

--Pellet/Wood/Hyrbrids: no experience with these but those who have them seem to love them...maybe someone will comment?

If you wish to go electric you will be able to smoke anything you want with them from nuts and cheese to fish, pork, beef, and chicken. People seem to like their Masterbuilts. Personally, I use propane as I smoke all year and I like to bring my smoker with on extended camping trips, etc., and propane is easily portable. Nothing like sitting around a camp fire after a morning of fishing and smelling a slow smoked pork loin or whatever you want!

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I've got just a cheap electric. It is insulated. It puts out some really tasty stuff, even in pretty cold temps. Not as cold as today, but get the temps into the 20's again and I'll fire it up.

It is much easier to use and keeps a much more consistant temp than my charcoal smoker.

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electric for 30 years. 100 above to 20 below. smile Not a pro here but we (and guests) love the stuff it smokes. And very easy. Masterbuilt 30 inch now for about 10 years? Goes up to 275. I dont smoke if real cold and windy cuz I dont want to go outside. smile The smoker would probably be fine. When the error light comes on when real cold I just leave it on and it goes off when it starts to heat up.

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Lots of people start out with the Masterbuilt 30" digital. It's probably the easiest/least expensive option of that digital electric type. I would highly recommend going with that if you are getting into smoking. You won't be disappointed.

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One thing to consider....will you be making homemade sausages? I have both electric and propane. The propane cannot get down to 175 degree's needed for smoking sausages, If it is higher than 175 the fat melts out of it onto the floor of the smoker and the sausage will be dry and crumbly.

The propane is not insulated. The electric is.I have put sausage in the electric and gone inside and checked later. It snowed while I was inside and it did not melt off the top of the smoker.

I take the propane to our lake place in the summer to make brisket,ribs,turkey etc.

As I said.....if you are making sausage , electric is the only way to go.

The 2 main brands are Masterbuilt and Bradley. Go with the Masterbuilt. With the Bradley you have to buy their wood pucks. A lot more expensive in the end.

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One thing to consider....will you be making homemade sausages? I have both electric and propane. The propane cannot get down to 175 degree's needed for smoking sausages...

Yes and no... Electric is much easier to smoke with at lower temps and far better suited for things like sausage that you need to smoke at a lower temp so you don't render your fat out. That said, I can smoke at 160-165 with my propane unit by adjusting the vents and leaving the door cracked a touch. That's the lowest I can get consistently, however.

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I had a charcoal smoker that bit the dust and just purchased the masterbuilt 30. I have only used the electric once so far and I like how easy it is. I did some salmon and pork chops - they both turned out really well. The electric is so much easier, the outside temp is not much of a factor and like others mentioned you preheat, add meat and set the timer. Only time to check is to add wood chips. The taste of the charcoal had more smoked flavor but with the electric I noticed the difference with wood chips - mesquite and apple. This was something I did not notice as much with charcoal. They are both fun to use and put out great food. It depends if you want to me more hands on with charcoal or prefer to be lazy.

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Check out the big green egg. It's charcoal and I have no problem setting and forgetting it. It's very easy to regulate temp and you can do anything on it. Electric smokers are cheating!

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I had a relative who had an old steel fridge. Got a 1500 w element and a pid from auber instruments. It's not built nearly as well as it could be. But you can set up to 6 or 7 stages that can be adjusted for temp of smoking chamber, temp of meat,or just plain old time. It's been a champ smoking when it's 0 degrees out. I found a stainless steel industrial warming oven for a good deal so I'll be trying to sell one of them here soon but I like that I can take the element and the p.i.d and put it in my next smoker.

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I had a relative who had an old steel fridge. Got a 1500 w element and a pid from auber instruments. It's not built nearly as well as it could be. But you can set up to 6 or 7 stages that can be adjusted for temp of smoking chamber, temp of meat,or just plain old time. It's been a champ smoking when it's 0 degrees out. I found a stainless steel industrial warming oven for a good deal so I'll be trying to sell one of them here soon but I like that I can take the element and the p.i.d and put it in my next smoker.

This is exactly what I'm doing right now. Old metal-interior fridge, 110 electric replacement/conversion element from the "C" store and an Auber control unit. Labor of love, learning a lot and hopefully it works when I'm done smile. It's costing me a little more than a store-bought model but it will give me a bigger capacity and hopefully expanded capabilities, like easier cold smoking, curing, etc.

Anyway, back to your question, i think if you have a heat control unit on your smoker than electric is the way to go in temp maintenance.

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Let me be the negative commenter here. Bought an electric 30 inch Materbuilt. Used it often for two years. It made awesome everything, chicken, ribs, venison sausage. I was so happy with the unit then came the problem. I noticed during a smoking cycle that the temp went down to 70 when I was smoking sausage. I shut it off and fired it back up. It would work for a while set at 160 then stop heating. Digital readout worked, but the element went cold. It eventually quit working. I did a search and found a web site where many had been complaining of the same problem. One of the complainers tore his apart and shared pictures. Apparently it is fairly common for the wiring to corrode and completely come off. The only fix is to drill out the rivets in the back of the unit, take out the insulation, then re-wire the thing. Most had also complained that Masterbuilt customer service was no help what so ever. I know it does not happen to all, but I was one of the victims. I am going to rip her apart this spring and see if I can fix it. I LOVE SMOKING! If or when I need to buy a new smoker I will personally not buy a Masterbuilt and will definitely buy a more expensive unit. 2c BC

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that stinks but stuff breaks. Mine sits in garage right by the garage door and is probably five years old. I don't take care of it at all and it works all the time. It is basically abused. Wish you had mine so you didn't have this problem. I'm not sure I'd feel like I was a "victim" if mine went on the fritz though but I do understand if you don't feel customer service is providing you and useful information although I assume the warranty isn't two years. Good luck and get back smoking.

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On my 2nd one. After a few years the element went bad on the first one. Ordered a knew one and replaced it. A little tricky but if I can do it anybody can,lol. Friend wanted mine so sold it to him for a good deal and I bought a new one last year. Had a temp probe go bad and they sent a new one no charge. happy so far.

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Let me be the negative commenter here. Bought an electric 30 inch Materbuilt. Used it often for two years. It made awesome everything, chicken, ribs, venison sausage. I was so happy with the unit then came the problem. I noticed during a smoking cycle that the temp went down to 70 when I was smoking sausage. I shut it off and fired it back up. It would work for a while set at 160 then stop heating. Digital readout worked, but the element went cold. It eventually quit working. I did a search and found a web site where many had been complaining of the same problem. One of the complainers tore his apart and shared pictures. Apparently it is fairly common for the wiring to corrode and completely come off. The only fix is to drill out the rivets in the back of the unit, take out the insulation, then re-wire the thing. Most had also complained that Masterbuilt customer service was no help what so ever. I know it does not happen to all, but I was one of the victims. I am going to rip her apart this spring and see if I can fix it. I LOVE SMOKING! If or when I need to buy a new smoker I will personally not buy a Masterbuilt and will definitely buy a more expensive unit. 2c BC

Had the same issue, drill out the rivets, customer service shipped a new element for under $30. Wiring is exposed behind the back pannel. Didn't do anything to the insulation. Took maybe an hour. Good luck. I didn't have any issues with the wiring, but the element burnt out.

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I just did a batch of venison jerky with it. Got a bunch of stainless steel welding rods for hanging my jerky. I would do the fridge again any day. I love the size and room I have in that thing.

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