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richlevy 09-09-2013 10:58 PM

Cooking with an electric smoker
A co-worker gave me an electric smoker.

I am reading some negative reviews about how this unit can not get up to the minimum 225 degree temperature.

Can anyone give me advice on using an electric water smoker?

Pete Zicato 09-10-2013 07:31 AM

I would try it with an oven thermometer and see what temp it'll hold. You can try sealing in areas that leak heat. You can also reduce or not use water in the pan.

chrisinhouston 09-10-2013 10:07 AM

Not sure but I have a Master Forge propane smoker that I am currently using for an oven outdoors while our kitchen is torn apart. I can get it up to 425 or so and it holds both high and low temps pretty well once it is warmed up and adjusted correctly.

Make sure you have some vent intake at the bottom and the top vent open just a bit to let some heat circulate and escape. That works for me.

BigV 09-12-2013 01:02 PM

Where are you measuring the temperature? Are you using your own thermometer or some built in unit? How long are you waiting for it to get up to temp? You're using it outdoors, of course, is it in a windy area? Shade? Those can soak the heat away from your smoker, just as they do for your body when you're feeling hot.

You don't actually *need* 225 degrees to have great smoked foods come out of your smoker, you can use lower temps, assuming it gets hot enough to make the wood smoke, saturate the food with smoke then finish cooking it inside.

Also, I have a wood fired unit that is just that shape, and I use a long rope of twisted up tinfoil as a crushable gasket around the top of the can/lid to act as a barrier to smoke and heat escaping. The water bowl doesn't limit the maximum temp of the smoker, it just keeps the inside environment moist, which you want; you should keep using it.

You might consider a wireless thermometer that reads the temp inside the meat inside the smoker, closed, and relays that info to your reader. That would give you another temp reading. It is worthwhile making an effort to calibrate your thermometer. The ones installed on the lids are hard to remove and test by using boiling water.

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