Electric smokers?

I aksed everyone this on the Big Green Egg thread several months ago, but nobody replied. So here it goes again. (Thanks CvM, for bringing up BBQ–one of my favorite things.)

I’m thinking about getting a Cookshack electric smoker. Anybody have any experience with these? I’ve heard you don’t get the pink smoke ring, but other than that, the food is just as good as it is on a “regular” smoker. Any opinions?


(And no, I’m not worried about being a purist, either. If it tastes the same, then it tastes the same. Those who think that it MUST be cooked on charcoal to be “real” BBQ can hack the sack.)

Bump, for 2xMan.

Since you now have experience, you must lend it here.

I have debated getting one for a while, simply because they’re so idiot proof. But I also have a BBQ Guru for my BGE, which regulates the temperature. So getting another grill may just be cause for my wife to divorce me at this point.

Offset smoker with oak my man.

I don’ t think you need an electric smoker if you have a BGE. Just use wood and the temp control. If you want to take your brisket to the next level, go for the offset.

Why would you want an electric while having a superior kamado? Makes no sense.

I’m certainly not an expert. My wife mentioned that her parents asked if I’d like a smoker and she told them she didn’t think so. After many weeks of counseling and reprogramming, she realized the error of her ways and told them that a smoker would be an excellent idea. So they gave me this:


It took me about 5 minutes to get it set up, and an hour or so of running at temperature to burn off the chemicals that I’m sure are now completely gone and in no way are going to give me cancer.

I smoked wings last night because they don’t require brining or marinading to get decent results and they are relatively cheap so if the whole thing was a disaster I’d be out $9. The cabinet temperature was set to 225, but it was about 10 degrees F outside last night, so the actual temp was closer to 200 most times I checked on it. The skin got crispy(but not crunchy/burned) and smoky looking. Lots of caramelly browns on the skin, and some hints of pink on the surface of the meat in spots, so I’m not certain a smoke ring couldn’t be attained in an electric. If it’s really important, use a meat tenderizer with nitrates before smoking, as the ring is just a nitric oxide and carbon monoxide reaction with leftover iron components of some type of blood cells.*

*- shitty science I’m sure

Through 1 use, I have this for pros/cons.

Pros- idiot proof temp/time/smoke control, quick set-up, great flavor and color

Cons- the oven temp can only go to 250 or so. Hockey puck wood biscuits are more expensive than pellets/lumps/chips, it’s an electric appliance, so it can’t just be covered and stored next to my grill on the patio, at least not in MN.

Once I do a pork shoulder, some ribs, some salmon and some cheese, I’ll give more informed opinions.

Thanks. I’d appreciate it. I want to build an outdoor kitchen once my hacksawed retail FA business starts generating millions.

Why an electric instead of the BGE? I don’t really know yet. That’s why I’m still looking for relatively unbiased opinions. Here’s what I think, based on very little evidence.

  1. Electrics are much easier to start. Just plug it in, turn the temperature on, and go play 18 holes. With kamados, there’s still more to it. You have to start the fire, get the temp right, and monitor the temp periodically. Or get a BBQ Guru, which helps, but still has some annoying setup to it.
  2. It’s easier to control the smoke in an electric. If you want a lot of smoke, add a lot of chips. If you want a little smoke, add less chips. It can be somewhat more difficult to figure out how/when to add chips in a kamado.
  3. Some people say that a good electric like a Smokin-It, Smokin Tex, or Cookshack actually produces juicier and smokier meat than a kamado. Hard to imagine, because the BGE is pretty darn good.
  4. Electrics can do larger volume. You can probably cook 3x as much food in one of the bigger electrics than on a large BGE.

Pretty clear-cut kamado advantages are:

  1. More versatile. With the BGE, you can cook a pork butt for 18 hours, then raise the heat and cook a steak at 750*. Can’t do that with an electric.
  2. Kamados can be used year-round, in any weather. Rain or shine, sun or snow–doesn’t matter to the BGE. I’ve heard of people who have to literally shovel their BGE out of a snow drift to use it, but it held the temp perfectly. Electrics have a hard time staying hot in sub-freezing temps.

So if I were to only have one grill, it would definitely be a kamado. But I also have a Weber Spirit (hope to upgrade to a Genesis someday), and maybe get an electric, too.

Somehow I thought this was about vaping…