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Electric Water Smoker

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Post Sun Nov 23, 2003 9:40 am
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
Does anyone have any experience with an electric water smoker. Do they create smoke, or is it more of a steaming process with wood flavor. It just doesn't seem like they could come close to a wood smoker, but like everything else, I'm sure they serve a purpose.

Pete

Post Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:54 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
I have a buddy who uses one, and although I have not tried it, he swears by it and produces tasty vittles. I assume its just like and electric skillet. The element heats the wood, wood burns, creates heat/smoke, boils/steams water. SMOKER!
Seems easy enough to me.

But I'm anxious to hear from someone else who actually uses one...
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Post Mon Nov 24, 2003 10:08 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
I use a charcoal water smoker a home. It seems that regardless of wood or electric they would both produce the heat needed to cook. Wood chips/chunks in either provide the smoke. And the water pan provides a moist atmosphere to prevent the meat from drying out more so than steam cooking the meat. Along with the water pan, I also mop the meat every hour or so which results in very flavorful, tender, juicy meat. The electric element will probably allow for greater control over more consistent temperatures with the exception of a power failure.

Enjoy!
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Post Mon Nov 24, 2003 1:40 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
Certainly sounds easy enough. I'm looking forward to it.

Pete

Post Mon Nov 24, 2003 3:02 pm
stripegrill medium
medium

Posts: 104
Location: St. Charles, IL
Hickory Pete,
I know that early on in the summer there was a thread on this. I got one this summer and loved it. I will hopefully be getting a new one as the one I had outside my house was damaged by vandals, along with my Sunbeam gas grill. I am waiting to hear from the insurance how much they will give me to replace it. Hopefully enough for a Weber!

Post Mon Nov 24, 2003 3:52 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
Thanks for the info. Hopefully, I'll have it in the very near future. It's nice to hear all of the positive comments.

Pete

Post Mon Nov 24, 2003 4:54 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Three things that one should never mess with:
a man's car
a man's dog
a man's grill

a man's wife is an optional third :lol:

Stripegrill- sorry for your loss...those bastards...
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Post Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:44 pm
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
I was waiting for some humor from Grand Scale since it is Monday and all!

Post Wed Nov 26, 2003 12:14 pm

Posts: 7
Location: Troy Michigan
I got a Charbroil electric smoker a couple months ago and love it. I made a few simple modifications to it that I highly recommend. The heating element sits above a sheet metal reflector plate and there is a big empty void below it. I bought a coal rack for a small weber kettle and put that in the very bottom of the body (where the coals would be in a charcoal fired smoker) and loaded it up with lots of lava rock. My goal was have something below the reflector plate to store some heat and help stabilize the temp somewhat. The second thing I did was figure out a way to get lots of smoke out of the thing. Most folks use the foil pouch method to hold their soaked wood chips. I found some old metal brackets in the garage that are slightly taller than the heating element and placed those on the reflctor plate. I use a heavy duty pie tin to hold my chips and cover that with foil with a few holes poked in it. Place that on the brackets above the heating element. Place water bowl , racks and lid into position Turn it on and it will be up to temp in about 20-30 minutes and smoke appears within an hour of startup. It will produce lots of smoke for about 2 hours and taper off for the next 2 or so.

I am also experimenting with putting sand in the water bowl instead of water. I read on another board that the water is really more of a temperature stabilzer than anything else. (You can still blacken and dry out meat even with the water bowl never having dried out, I know!) A few tests have showed me that with water my temps max out about 220 degrees. With sand I have been able to hit 275, which is what I was hoping for to do the Thanksgiving turkey.

I'm really pleased with everything that has come off this thing and it is so easy. I think I'll try a coal fired one next summer also, but for convenience this thing is great. Good luck with yours!

Post Wed Nov 26, 2003 10:34 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
jbryant8159,

Thanks for all the information. You bring a lot of interesting ideas. Do you use the smoker during the cold Michigan winter weather? I was just curious, that if the outside temperature is cold, is it possible to maintain the low steady temperature required for smoking? Or is best left for the warmer seasons?

Pete

Post Thu Nov 27, 2003 10:41 am

Posts: 7
Location: Troy Michigan
Hi Hickory Pete. To be honest about winter use I really don't know. I have used it on cool evenings (low 40's) with great success. Lately I have been using it in the garage with the main door open about a foot and the back entry door open. This allows the excess smoke an exit but keeps the drafts down. Right now I have the Thanksgiving turkey on it. Fired it up about 7 A.M. and hit 235 degrees on an oven thermometer I placed on the rack within 35-40 minutes. The dome thermometer dropped a bit when I put the cool bird in at 7:45. Now at 9:30 the dome is up to the point where I believe it should be about 230-240 at rack level. I won't be taking a peek until about 10:15 to see where things stand and to baste a bit. I'll do the same after noon and put in my remote thermometer then to get an idea of when we'll be done. This is my first turkey on the thing and also my first time brining a bird. I'm probably crazy doing this but what the heck, gotta take a gamble every once in a while. Hope my family is forgiving if things go south.

Post Sat Nov 29, 2003 5:11 pm
dc10 raw
raw

Posts: 1
Location: Apple Valley MN
I have been using a electric smoker for about 12 years, thats how I started the smoking game. I now use bothn the electric and the big wood smoker which i use logs. Throw out the idea of using lava rock and use pea gravel which both I and the manufacturs recommend. As far as smoking in the winter I live in Minnesota, enough said about the cold climate, Cabelas outdoor store sells insulation blankets for the small electric and charcoal smokers. Another hint don't use water for moisture, wine, beer or anyother liquid that has flavor. This method also has flavor input towards the meat.
Good Luck, Chris

Post Sat Nov 29, 2003 9:52 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
I sure like the idea of substituting wine, or beer in place of water to add moisterure, and flavor. Thanks for the info..

Pete

Post Sat Nov 29, 2003 10:17 pm
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
I've smoked many a cut of meat using all manner of things in the water pan including, beer, wine, soda, cider and juice. I've not noticed that it adds any significant flavor over the years and neither has my ole lady. JMHO.

Post Sat Nov 29, 2003 10:29 pm
GrillGuy rare
rare

Posts: 22
Location: Midwest
gotta agree with Airfoils on this one. I've always wondered about the benefits of adding other ingredients in the water pan--it's a neat idea, but throwing any of those ingredients in there is a lot more expensive than simply putting water in (not to mention in some cases a waste of good alcohol!), and when i've tried it in the past, i have never been able to taste the difference either. My opinion is you should put the 'good stuff' in whatever mop/baste you're using, since this will have direct contact with the meat,and whatever drips off will go into the pan anyway.

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