View Full Version : Smokers...

11-12-2005, 05:34 PM
well, i am going to buy a smoker, and i was wondering which ones worked for you. and are electric any better then the regular ones (if there are any ???). thanks TT

11-12-2005, 05:52 PM
Here is the best deal around on smokers


I smoke a lot of salmon and some other stuff and these rigs work well.

11-13-2005, 01:47 AM
I've used both charcoal and electric smokers . My Big Chief electric smoker is a lot less hassle than charcoal . Mine is a top loader and have no idea why I bought a top loader over a front load model . Probably because that was just what the retailer carried , can't see any real advantages or disadvantages of one over the other .


11-13-2005, 06:06 AM
I to have used both charcoal and electric. While the electric is a little easier to use, not to mention cleaner, I'm a "purest" and prefer cooking over wood and/or charcoal. I think you have the ability to get a better product using wood or charcoal, but you get a more consistant outcome with electric. Another thing you may want to consider, is the amount of time you want to spend babysitting the smoker while it's doing its thing. Wood/charcoal units require almost constant attention (I like this aspect). Electric, on the other hand, requires minimal attention.

Your call, but my votes on charcoal and/or wood.

11-13-2005, 11:17 AM
I like the electric, because it's easy to use and doesn't take constant watching. I also prefer the top loader. Mostly I smoke fish and I like being able to lift out all the racks at once. I do this a lot. After I brine the fish, I wash them off and load them onto the racks. I then let the fish air dry on the racks to form a pellicle. Then it's simple to carry the racks over to the pre-warmed smoker and put them inside for smoking. When the fish are done, I pull out all the racks at once and bring them back in the house. I'm not sure you can do this with a front loader.. Larry

11-13-2005, 02:33 PM
The ONLY way to go!!!!


11-13-2005, 03:26 PM
.so when you say cooking over wood or charcoal, dp meen that if i get an electric, i dont smoke them in chips? sorry i have never used one before :-[

11-13-2005, 06:14 PM
There are 3 ways to smoke fish:

1) charcoal/wood - requires constant tending to keep the temperature right. You light the coals and add chips that have been soaked in water. Flavor is the best. That is when you get it right. Outside temperature and wind makes it tough to keep the temperature consistent. There are also indirect smokers with a separate fire box. These are great for cold smoking fish. But they still require a lot of attention.

2) electric smokers - cheap and easy to use. *The chips go into a pan above a heating element. External temperature and wind is still a problem. They tend to dry fish out unless you get the time and temperature just right. They are great for making hard smoked fish (Indian style).

3) Gas smokers - most come with a water bowl the keeps fish and meat moist and allow temperatures below 200 degrees to be maintained. They are no good for cold smoking but they are clearly the easiest to use. The chips go in a pan above a gas burner. Load the water, chips, and fish. *Walk away and come back in 1.5-4 hr and the job is done.

I have gone through 6 smokers over the years (anybody want to buy a Weber bullet smoker that was used twice? ;D). Getting a Smokey Mountain, the same one recommended by JNE, was a life changing experience.


The only way to go!

11-13-2005, 07:10 PM
That Smokey Mountain smoker looks like one I've seen at Costco last year. Are they the same smoker?.. Larry

11-13-2005, 07:16 PM
Doc, I forgot to ask you. Do you use water when you smoke trout and salmon? I remember the smoked fish you brought to PyramidfestII. It was great! Did you use water with that fish to keep it moist in the smoker? I might just get talked into getting a Smokey Mountain. I admit that the Luhr Jensen has worked well for me, but I can't accurately control the inside temp and sometimes the smoked fish comes out a little drier than I'd like. Thanks.. Larry

11-13-2005, 08:03 PM
Yes, I did use water for that salmon at Pyramidfest. 3 hours at 190 degrees (the lowest I can get with the Smokey Mountain). I used a dry cure and a 10:1 alder to hickory chip mix.

I first saw that unit at Costco but I got mine at Walmart for $120. It was a damaged (dented) unit. Sportsman's Warehouse in Reno has a better constructed unit (can't remember the brand) for $199. It is the same setup as the Smokey Mountain.

11-13-2005, 09:28 PM
Doc, Thanks for the smoker info. Have you ever wished you could run it at a lower temp than 190 degrees? I'm going to look into the Smokey Mountain smokers and see what I can find.

It looks like they make a couple of versions. One has heavy duty metal walls and has a shipping weight of over 80 lbs. Its dimensions are 36Hx16Wx16D, comes with 4 racks and has a shipping wt of over 80lbs. Another seems to have thinner walls. Its dimensions are 34Hx16Wx14D, comes with 3 racks and has a shipping wt of over 50lbs.

Thanks again.. Larry

11-14-2005, 02:10 PM
What do you guys think about the Cabela's 7-1 cooker/smoker. *Anyone have any input about this?

* *


11-14-2005, 02:52 PM
In order to cold smoke meat or fish you need a smoker with a separate fire box. The fancy ones that automatically feed wood pellets seem very nice. But they are very pricey. The simple commercial models (or home made ones) need constant attention of the fire box. This gets very old when you do 18-24 hr smoke jobs. But someday I plan to get or make one of these for making cold smoked salmon or lox.

I like that Cabelas combination smoker. It should produce similar results to the Smokey Mountain. The only reasons why I didn't get that model was the small capacity for smoking fish and the fact that I already had charcoal and gas barbecues.

11-14-2005, 03:17 PM
Thanks as always Doc!
Maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas.

11-14-2005, 10:23 PM
Smokey Mountain gets my vote. I too got mine at Walmart for $120. I like the fact that you can adjust the heat unlike the Big Chief electric smoker and it has electric piezo ignition. I can get mine down to about 160-165 degrees.

11-14-2005, 11:10 PM
I guess Iím the odd man out, I have an electric smoker but I like the charcoal and wood method better. I use a CharGriller with a side firebox and a few modifications. Once I have the fire started and adjusted it will run 5 to 6hr at an even temp before I have to do anything.


Extended the smoke stack down to the grill level, makes the smoke travel down to grill level before going out. It also holds the heat better.

Added a new thermostat at grill level for a more accurate temp reading, I never trust the stock thermostat.

Added baffles just above the chamber opening to disburse the heat evenly across the chamber.

Built a charcoal basked to hold more charcoal. I dump some unlighted charcoal on the bottom and then a full stack of light charcoal on top. This should burn for 5 to 6hrs before you have to reload.

Here's a site that talks about the different grills and methods. They don't talk a lot about smoking salmon but they do talk about smoking meat and the equip. They also recommend the Weber Smokey Mountain.

Click Here (http://www.homebbq.com/duportal/forums/default.asp)

11-18-2005, 06:03 AM
i quit smokin, now i just drink too much... ???

11-18-2005, 06:24 AM
i quit smoking 7 months ago and don't have any plans on going back ;D

11-18-2005, 07:48 AM
Make your own cold smoker its not that hard .Mine is 6'w 4'd x7'tall my fire box is an old airtight stove that will take wood 18x30" and burn all night.Now all I need is the fish to smoke.

11-21-2005, 06:29 AM
The one way to always get perfect smoked fish is to pressure can it after slow/cold smoking in a cheap electric job. The product will also last forever W/O refrigeration, and it never gets dry. You can start with completely dried out-over smoked fish & it will still be moist in the can. Just my $.02, but nobody who has tried my canned "Smoke-A-Nees" have ever failed to scarf every last morsel.

11-24-2005, 08:20 AM
just remember to do it out side....
look at the smoker in the forground...
caught gas fumes on fire....


heres one for you too...
get an old freezer and make a tray in the bottom
and use the racks for fish and drill holes in the top.
it can do alot of fish and you can find these free
almost everywhere....


01-14-2006, 12:11 PM
sorry to bring up old threads, but is this the same smoker as the smokie? just smaller? it looks like a great price, and i have got the cash for it to! http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?dest=9999999997&product_id=3342513&sour ceid=0100000030660805002498
what do you all think?

01-14-2006, 12:36 PM
That's the narrow Smokey Mountain. It is 16" wide. The wide body is 20" wide.

That is a great price.

01-14-2006, 12:39 PM
i think i might have to go to the bank later today and stop by walmart ::).

01-14-2006, 10:46 PM
Smokey Mountains are great. I bought one at Costco for $199.00 Stainless Steel. Trout and other meats smoke up well. Also it fit two 12# Turkeys when my kitchen oven went kapooe.

01-15-2006, 08:02 PM
Buy a Bradley Stainless Steel it's the best, more money but the easilest to use and eliminated watching it all day long.

01-16-2006, 03:12 PM
I think it's the Bradley that uses the wood hockey pucks for fuel. They're probably an ok fuel, but they're expensive fuel and may not always be easy to find. I kinda wrote them off because I didn't want to get saddled with having to use them as fuel.. Larry

01-17-2006, 05:14 PM
I love Smoking!!!!!!!!!
The main thing is to get something you're comfortable with. Some smokers require more attention than others and others are easier to maintain for consitent smoking.
I have a company
(REEVES RUBDOWN/BBQ-RUB@sbcglobal.net...shameless self promotion)
that provides an outstanding dry rub year round.So I
smoke all year in a barrel que set as a smoker using wood and chips. It took me awhile to get use to this style but now it's consitent everytime I light it up.
Good Luck!

01-19-2006, 06:23 PM
i too now use an electric and i love it.very constant heat.and very easy to use.if the right wood is used ,it can produce results very close to wood.and consistently with pretty low maintenence.translation: i can drink lots of beer.kind of forget about the meat.and still get a damn good product. ;D