Your Optometrist in Edmonton

Go Back   Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum > Main Category > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-04-2012, 08:47 PM
Jebus Jebus is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 60
Default Smokers: Electric VS Propane VS Charcoal

My Wife mentioned getting a smoker for Father's Day...and I said "Heck Yeah!" But I know nothing about them...so I turn to you AO...please help me out!

It would just be going in the backyard - I suspect I would be making some jerky, doing ribs, brisket, meat...more meat and other meat products on it.

What would a decent smoker for me for a few hundred dollar's be? (Under $400 please) Which is n00b friendly? Ease of use? most economical - read on here those Bradley pucks are pretty pricey.

Thanks for the help!!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-04-2012, 11:00 PM
FallAirFever's Avatar
FallAirFever FallAirFever is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Langdon Ab
Posts: 2,263
Default

I got one a few years ago for fathers day. It's one from Costco. Basically a tin box with a big propane burner in it. I have done ribs, wings, pulled pork, ribs, moose roast, ribs, brisket, garlic sausage... Oh and ribs, did I mention ribs, my family really likes ribs.

It works great for smoking things like pork and chicken. It is difficult to keep the heat low enough to do sausage. The fat cooks out and the sausage is crumbly. An electric one might be better for stuff like that.

Here is what mine looks like with a 25lb batch of garlic sausage ready to go.


I think that bass pro sells a similar type of smoker for around a couple hundred bucks.

Be forwarned smoking is very addictive
__________________
FallAirFever
Spend some time outside today, it will lift you higher
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-05-2012, 04:42 AM
silver silver is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Maidstone Sask
Posts: 1,682
Default

I bought an electric smoker from canadian tire, Centro is the brand. It has a thermostat and I am happy with mine It is in the $200 to 250 range. Its only drawback is that it doesnt do well in cold weather, I put a pot of hot water in the smoker to preheat for a few minutes and it works well.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-05-2012, 04:46 AM
600twin 600twin is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 802
Default

Charcoal
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-05-2012, 04:56 AM
Piker Piker is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 696
Default smokers

Bradley is the way to go. Electric and a whole lot easier to control temp. Have been using mine for years with no problem. Its called an original but there is a digital model more money but even better temp. control The smoking biscuits are a little pricey. Piker
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-05-2012, 05:19 AM
omega50's Avatar
omega50 omega50 is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Calgary SW
Posts: 3,538
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallAirFever View Post
I got one a few years ago for fathers day. It's one from Costco. Basically a tin box with a big propane burner in it. I have done ribs, wings, pulled pork, ribs, moose roast, ribs, brisket, garlic sausage... Oh and ribs, did I mention ribs, my family really likes ribs.

It works great for smoking things like pork and chicken. It is difficult to keep the heat low enough to do sausage. The fat cooks out and the sausage is crumbly. An electric one might be better for stuff like that.

Here is what mine looks like with a 25lb batch of garlic sausage ready to go.


I think that bass pro sells a similar type of smoker for around a couple hundred bucks.

Be forwarned smoking is very addictive
I have the exact same smoker as FallAirFever. It defintely has limitations on smoking at low temps. The low setting is too hot-so I have to feather mine visually between high and off to get a small flame.

Forget cold smoking with this smoker-but I have many many miles on mine with no issues.
If I had it to do over-I would go with a Bradley smoke generator and find a way to devise a small puck press and make my own pucks.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-05-2012, 05:50 AM
nitro nitro is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 38
Default

I have a Bradly,a propane water smoker and a charcoal one.The Bradly is the most noob friendly,and can do the most things.The other 2 are no good for cold smoking,the propane 1 is pretty easy to use as well and don't have to be checking or mopping the meat as often.The charcoal 1 IMHO makes the best meat but its more of a labor of love to keep checking on it filling the charcoal watching the temps mopping the meat etc.That being said the bradly is also the most$$$$$$,the other 2 I spent less that 200 bucks for ,but hoping to upgrade my charcoal 1 this year and the 1 I want is 800 bucks from bass pro.What ever 1 you pick up have fun
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-05-2012, 06:46 AM
silver silver is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Maidstone Sask
Posts: 1,682
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by omega50 View Post
I have the exact same smoker as FallAirFever. It defintely has limitations on smoking at low temps. The low setting is too hot-so I have to feather mine visually between high and off to get a small flame.

Forget cold smoking with this smoker-but I have many many miles on mine with no issues.
If I had it to do over-I would go with a Bradley smoke generator and find a way to devise a small puck press and make my own pucks.
Have you tried an adjustable pressure regulator?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-05-2012, 07:04 AM
omega50's Avatar
omega50 omega50 is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Calgary SW
Posts: 3,538
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver View Post
Have you tried an adjustable pressure regulator?
That may be a viable solution-however the wood chip box is cast iron and holds a lot of residual heat. In order to generate any smoke at a low setting I had to invert the smoker chip rack to allow the box to sit almost directly on the burner.

Even if I could adjust a pressure regulator low enough to not overcook the sausage-then I would have to get a very thin gauge smoker pan to allow the chips to smoulder properly.

With enough time and effort -I could absolutely modify this smoker to optimize the performance- However, I think the OP would be well advised to purchase a unit that requires no such"tweaking"

One positive benefit of the gas burner is a higher volume of drying air-which is handy in the fall and winter with a full load so that it does not condense the sausage moisture and start raining inside the unit as my old electric smoker did.

Also because it is gas- I have no cord-which means that I can position the smoker well away from the house and run it in the summer without having smoke coming in my open windows.

There is a lot about this smoker that I like- but the ability( due to design) to cold smoke is not one of them.

Last edited by omega50; 06-05-2012 at 07:13 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-05-2012, 07:21 AM
Jebus Jebus is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 60
Default

Thanks for all the replies - I think I'll start out easy and go the Bradley route - seems it would be best suited for me - I do like cooking with charcoal - perhaps in the future when I get the hang of it hehe.

Going to browse all the threads for recipe's, tips and tricks you pro's have posted, I guess I should be getting a grinder and attachments to make sausage lol!

Thanks again!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-05-2012, 10:46 AM
FallAirFever's Avatar
FallAirFever FallAirFever is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Langdon Ab
Posts: 2,263
Default

If I had the money and were to do it over again Bradley it the way I would go. That said I am cheap and like to build stuff, so I am going to try my hand at a nice big cold smoker to compliment the one I have.

Check out the Bradley website lots of great info there and here as well:
http://www.lesleycooks.com/sausage/sausage.htm

Let us know what your get and how your smoking adventures go!!
Good Luck!
__________________
FallAirFever
Spend some time outside today, it will lift you higher
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-05-2012, 11:25 AM
Jebus Jebus is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 60
Default

Decided to search kijiji just in the off chance I'd find something for sale, found a Bradley Digital for $300 that was used once, wonder if Ed is a Member here...can't wait to get it and try it out!

Thanks for the info and the links...going to read read read!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-05-2012, 12:42 PM
pseelk's Avatar
pseelk pseelk is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Red Deer
Posts: 2,213
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by omega50 View Post
I have the exact same smoker as FallAirFever. It defintely has limitations on smoking at low temps. The low setting is too hot-so I have to feather mine visually between high and off to get a small flame.

Forget cold smoking with this smoker-but I have many many miles on mine with no issues.
If I had it to do over-I would go with a Bradley smoke generator and find a way to devise a small puck press and make my own pucks.
I have this same one as well,I just wait till its cold outside than is easier to get a lower temp in the smoker.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-05-2012, 01:08 PM
Off in the Bushes's Avatar
Off in the Bushes Off in the Bushes is online now
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Lethbridge
Posts: 895
Default

Get a Kamado Like the Big Green EGG.ribs_on_the_big_green_egg.jpg
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-05-2012, 02:01 PM
FallAirFever's Avatar
FallAirFever FallAirFever is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Langdon Ab
Posts: 2,263
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Off in the Bushes View Post
Get a Kamado Like the Big Green EGG.Attachment 53067
Bah! 3 racks of ribs, what are feeding mice!?! Just kidding those look cool but how much meat could you fit in one of those bad boys?

Next smoker for me needs 25lbs minimum capacity!
__________________
FallAirFever
Spend some time outside today, it will lift you higher
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-05-2012, 02:17 PM
RoguePiper RoguePiper is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Kitscoty, AB
Posts: 54
Default

I've done both charcoal and electric (bradley). I don't think the pucks are a whole lot more expensive. Electric is definitely much easier to do, set it and forget it (until the smell starts then its tough to forget).
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-05-2012, 02:21 PM
Gary K Gary K is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Calgary
Posts: 794
Default

charcoal 100 %

or even better, just wood burning away in a firebox
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-05-2012, 02:42 PM
unclebuck unclebuck is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,255
Default

I have an old 18 cu.ft. stainless(inside & out)milk cooler(given to me) that I have adapted with a controller for heat & time, and a hotplate for the smoker and heat part that I use for large batches of sausage, bacon, & hams. I also have a 6 rack Bradley that we now use more than our Napoleon grill for smaller batches. You can't beat either one of them with a stick, given what you want them to do!!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06-05-2012, 06:11 PM
pikeslayer22 pikeslayer22 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,681
Default

Had bradley and went to the bass pro propane one way bigger and way better....Bradley to small for my liking with the four racks it was lucky to do 4 lbs jerky a time
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 06-12-2013, 12:25 PM
FishingMOM's Avatar
FishingMOM FishingMOM is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 7,810
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 600twin View Post
Charcoal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary K View Post
charcoal 100 %

or even better, just wood burning away in a firebox
Why do you prefer the charcoal smoker?
What are some tips and tricks for using such a smoker?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 06-12-2013, 02:39 PM
Rumtan Rumtan is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,179
Default

I recieved a Costco one this year, it has 5 racks and is electric. Works like a hot-dam. So far I have done halibut salmon arctic char pike and walleye. I have yet to get a complaint from anyone. My advice is to put those little cookie
pans on each rack and then there is very little clean up.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 06-13-2013, 08:48 AM
FishingMOM's Avatar
FishingMOM FishingMOM is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 7,810
Default

Got my new toy - its a charcoal smoker/grill that the previous owner used twice to cook on and once to store dry ice in at halloween as a spooky effect in the yard. Plus it came with 1/2 bag of wood chips.



__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.