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Old 09-29-2015, 04:30 PM
browningv308 browningv308 is offline
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Default electric v/s propane smoker {long}



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Hey all, Iv'e been saving up and it's finally time to get a smoker, around here I have a Sams Club, Lowes, Home Depot and a Gander Mtn. all have different brands of smokers in stock anywhere from $200-$500 I saved up the $500 but am not spending that much on something I may or may not use that much.
I'd like to be able to smoke everything from fish to ribs to cheese. I like to { set it and forget it} once I get the hang of using it. The idea is to fill it up, turn it on, then go to work, come home eat.
I realize being a prepper I shouldn't be dependent on electricity being on for shtf. but who knows when that time gets here so till it happens it doesn't matter.
Question is, which should I get, propane or electric? The only decision I have made is to get one with a window so I can see whats going on inside without opening it up. I have read reviews and between the 2 types there are pro's and con's. How hard is it to regulate temps between the 2? Automatic smoke tablet drop in or a pot full of chips? Glass front or solid front? Would one last longer than the other? If I used it all day several days a week would I spend more on propane or electricity { propane refill for me is $30.00}? What kind of run time would I get out of a 30# tank? Can I just set it and forget it, or do I need to be around while it's running? And last if electric, digital or analog is there even a difference?
I try to spend my money carefully and try to research everything before buying by reading reviews and asking questions from those with 1st hand experience but, I don't know anyone with a smoker, and who knows who really writes those online reviews.
For the record years ago I had a charcoal smoker and burnt everything to a crisp due to not being able to regulate the temp.
Thanks for your help
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:33 PM
browningv308 browningv308 is offline
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One more thing Can I vacuum seal smoked meat and refreeze it? How long will it last in the freezer? Does smoked meat even need to be refrigerated or froze.
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by browningv308 View Post
Question is, which should I get, propane or electric?
OK, we've had an electric (Cabala's), a propane (Master Forge) and a pellet smoker (Englander).

I would never have another electric smoker again.

Propane works well, but you have to feed it.

Pellet is a no-brainer...

None of them are good for a SHTF situation.

Rancher
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:00 PM
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I have city-slickers smoker myself. Its a Fast Eddies PG-500 and its about as simple as a crock pot. No more hovering over the stick burner all day/night maintaining temps!
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:14 PM
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I have a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) 30" with the window. It is easy to use and does a great job. I set it up, turn it on and go to bed. Next day the meat is ready. ?It doesn't get easier than that. I seldom use the front window. I don't know if it's worth the extra dollars. It has a remote control so I can turn on/off and adjust the temp remotely. I hardly ever use this. I have never had and/or used a propane smoker so I cannot comment. With the electric you will NOT get as good of a smoke as a wood pit smoker. But I also don't have to tend it nearly as much as with wood. Watch for sales and you can get $50 off of normal retail price on them.
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Old 09-30-2015, 03:40 PM
browningv308 browningv308 is offline
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Quote:
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OK, we've had an electric (Cabala's), a propane (Master Forge) and a pellet smoker (Englander).

I would never have another electric smoker again.

Propane works well, but you have to feed it.

Pellet is a no-brainer...

None of them are good for a SHTF situation.

Rancher
How do you regulate the temps with pellet, I asumme it's like the charcoal I had?
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Old 09-30-2015, 04:42 PM
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How do you regulate the temps with pellet, I asumme it's like the charcoal I had?
It's automatic, electronic.

Feeds pellets to keep the temp at what you set it on.

Like I said it's a no-brainer.

Rancher
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Old 10-01-2015, 02:21 AM
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Get (or build) a real smoker that just uses wood (some people use charcoal with wood). They are relatively cheap to buy, and even cheaper to make. The Weber Smokey Mountain is even popular on the competition BBQ circuit. When there's no electricity or propane, you'll thank me.

And yes, smoked foods require refrigeration, unless you've dehydrated in the process, like making jerky for example.
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Old 10-02-2015, 12:32 PM
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electric v/s propane smoker NEITHER

Maybe good for hobby like patio, deck & back yard smoking, if that's the way you roll.

No electricity, no propane, no smoking.

The normal store bought patio sized smokers will smoke a few pounds of whatever per load. How long will a "few pounds" of smoked "whatever" last you or a family - generally not long, unless tightly rationed.

Reality is, in a multi-season, a year or longer survival situation, you want a wood fired smoke house, the bigger the better. I understand a "smoke house" isn't practical unless you have the room/land to situate/build one. So, that option leaves many SOL.

But, if you have the land to build one on, a walk in sized smoke house is toilet flush simple to design/build & isn't expansive if you use 2nd hand or salvaged materials.

Our BOL smoke/shed is 8X12 feet, with a tapering roof 10 ft on the high end, tapering to 8 ft on the low end, all built of metal, with a compacted gravel floor (is shoveled out & replace every couple years), and fired by an off-set exterior drafting 55G drum stove.

We can effectively smoke about 250 to 300 lbs of hung meat / jerky / ham / sausage / fish per load & run in it. Had I to build it over again, I would have built it bigger yet. Butcher a steer or 2, a hog or 2, an elk or 2, or deer or 3 & make jerky, bacon, hams, sausage, or harvest and attempt to smoke a pick up truck load of fish.

You will find you need a large volume of hanging / smoking space to efficiently / effectively smoke a few months or winter supply of smoked "whatever" for a small family, or larger group.
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:26 AM
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I recommend the Akorn komado grill. Can be had at Lowes for half the OP's budget.

It makes smoking meats easy an enjoyable because the results are so good. No need to purchase and stock pile biscuits, pellets, chips whatever.

My Akorn grill smokes meat and grills meat. It took me from frustrated to being asked to cook for parties. There are also website for komado cooking that you can look at before deciding.
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:07 AM
Fire/hunting guy Fire/hunting guy is offline
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I have an electric smoker made by Masterbuilt. I bought mine before they started making the window model, thats the only thing i wish i had. Other than that, I absolutely love it. It makes the best meals. Meat is very tender, ive had tons of compliments on my smoked mac and cheese, and it couldn't be easier to operate. I tried making deer jerky with it, it didnt turn out so good, so i bought this attachment, Amazon.com : Masterbuilt 20070112 Cold Smoking... cover
Amazon.com : Masterbuilt 20070112 Cold Smoking...
It is great to have and really improves the flavor.

Bottom line, get one, you will not regret it.

ohh, also, just for fun and practice and to see if I could do it, i used my Inverter and an rv battery i had and was able to make a meal, without power.
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:17 AM
Fire/hunting guy Fire/hunting guy is offline
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