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Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:02 AM

Electric Smoker review

It arrived! My new Stainless Steel, high speed, low drag SmokinTex electric smoker came in Friday. Contrary to the way I, and dare I say most men, usually proceed I read the instructions, went to the website and read the FAQs before plugging it in.

Saturday I broke it in by smoking it empty as per instructions. It was raining but a 9’ outdoor umbrella kept it safe and dry. At 225f the exterior didn’t even get warm to the touch. Ambient temp was just under 40f and it took 20 minutes to come uo to temperature. I was skeptical about the amount of wood called for, max of 8 oz, thinking that it couldn’t possible provide smoke for four full hours. Well, fool me! At the end of 4 hours it was still generating a gentle plume of smoke every time the heating element came on. I’d guess that it will provide smoke for at least 6 hours and then, because the ventilation so little it should hold the smoke for another few hours.

Come Sunday I put a 4 pound pork loin roast (rubbed with my favorite rub overnight) and plugged my remote read meat thermometer into the pork. Ambient temp was in the low thirties. Set to 225f, closed the door with 8 oz hickory, and left it alone. Talk about care free cooking! Remember, if you’re lookin’ ya’ ain’t cookin’. Four and a half hours later it’s at 140f interior so I take it out.

After resting I get to sample it. Perfection. There was no smoke ring around the outside (have to add a piece of charcoal to the smoke box for that-no difference in flavor it’s for appearance only) but taking a sample from the very center of the roast the smoke flavor was there just as it should be.

I did note that the temp swing was pretty wide as the thermostat raised the temp above the set point then cools below it but that apparently makes no difference. Most ovens fluxuate 20f, the SmokinTex was closer to 45f but because the cooking is so low and slow it all worked out.

I am one happy smokin’ dude!

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Response to flamin lib (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 01:09 PM

1. I want one too. Is "SmokinTex" the manufacturer?

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Response to northoftheborder (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:22 PM

2. SmokinTex is the manufacturer. Home office in Dallas area, made in China.

I bought from a third party:

http://www.ecrater.com/p/14554941/smokin-tex-1400-pro-series-smoker?keywords=smokers

This was the best price on both the smoker and shipping. The smoker arrived within 5 shipping days but the cover still isn't here (8 shipping days). If it doesn't arrive today I'll check in with customer service.

There is a smaller 1100 model for about $350--would make a good table top cooker but needs a sturdy table.

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Response to northoftheborder (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:24 AM

3. There's another thread on the subject

SmokingTex and Cookshack used to be the same company, but they split. SmokingTex is manufactured in China while Cookshack is made in Oklahoma. They are basically the same, but Cookshack is more expensive, most likely because it's made in the USA. There's another brand called Smokin-It, which is similar and probably made overseas as it seems to be the cheapest of the 3.

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Response to flamin lib (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 07:58 PM

4. You've inspired me to finally go ahead and order one

I ordered the smallest model that SmokinTex sells (1100). It should be fine for my purposes.

I found a lot of recipes on the forum section of their web site. Lots of great ideas there.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:11 AM

6. Do you like pistachios? If you do, save the shells. They make a wonderful smoke.

Very subtle flavor for milder cuts like pork loin or poultry or fish.

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Response to TheManInTheMac (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:28 PM

8. I've heard pecan and walnut shells work good as well

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Response to flamin lib (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:08 AM

5. Thanks for the follow up. I'm envious. However, it's just my wife and I the days of cooking

whole pork butts and briskets are behind me. Shame, I have a 30 gallon trashcan full of shredded cherry wood that I cannot possibly use up in my lifetime.

I am surprised you didn't get a smoke ring. Even when I smoked in my converted gas smoker I would get a ring. I wonder if soaking the wood would provide more smolder.

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Response to TheManInTheMac (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:27 PM

7. There are other options for small items.

If you have a gas grill Charbriol has what they call an Infusion cooker that goes on top of the grill grate.

http://www.charbroil.com/infusion-cooker.html

SmokinTex also has a smaller unit that might make a good table top unit. Outside dimensions are only 14x19x20 inches.

https://id34137.securedata.net/smokintex.com/merchantmanager/product_info.php?cPath=2&products_id=51

There's a video at the link. I guess you could use on your stovetop if you don't have a smoke detector.

The smoke ring comes from nitrates in the smoke which comes from charcoal. Wood smokers convert some of the smoking wood to charcoal in the process prepping the coals for long slow cooking, so to get the "bark" I would need to add a bit of charcoal (whole wood or bricket) to the wood box along with the flavoring wood. At least that's what SmokinTex says.

I can now report that it makes great smoked Salmon, chipotle peppers, Cornish hen and turkey. I break the turkey down and smoke the pieces, make stock with the carcass. Overdid the jerky, overnight was just too much!

edit to add:

Smokin-it appears to be virtually identical to SmokinTex and CookShack and is about $100 less than the ST.

http://www.smokin-it.com/category_s/5.htm

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Response to flamin lib (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:36 PM

10. The Smokin-it appeared cheaper, but when I started pricing them at various outlets...

I was able to get the Smokin-Tex 1100 for the same shipped price as the Smokin-it #1 size.

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Response to TheManInTheMac (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:34 PM

9. The smoke ring is created by nitrates

Often with electric smokers and certain types of wood you won't get a smoke ring, but this doesn't mean the meat wasn't smoked well. You can use a small piece of charcoal in the Smokin Tex type smokers if you want the ring.

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