Smoker Recommendation?

Brad I

Common Sense Isn't Common Enough
Jun 20, 2015
1,795
2,236
San Fernando Valley
Name
Brad I
Boat
Nope
I need to replace my Meco "Americana" model smoker. It lasted 25 years and served me well, but now needs replacement.

I was going to just buy the same model, but thought that I'd ask here first. Two things that I really liked about it were that it was electric and that it was vertical and so had a small footprint. On the rare occasions when I needed it, customer service was real good too. I want those things in a replacement. I'd also learned its quirks and was comfortable with them.

The biggest deficiancy was that it wasn't great at low temperature smoking and a bigger replacement is ok too.. But being electric and vertical are requirements.

Any recommendations?

TIA
 
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Salmondave22

Newbie
May 21, 2020
43
82
57
Monterey
Name
david brown
Boat
22ft Boston Whaler
Check out smoken-it.com

I have had mine for 2 years and love it. They are a family business in Michigan and have great customer service. I have the model #2
 
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MYNomad

Heading South
Dec 12, 2007
4,098
4,604
Pacific Northwest / West Coast Mexico
Name
Rick
Boat
Yes
The biggest deficiancy was that it wasn't great at low temperature smoking and a bigger replacement is ok too.. But being electric and vertical are requirements.

Any recommendations?

TIA
Pit Boss -- an electric pellet smoker. Well designed and reliable. Exceptionally good at low temperatures. They come in a few different sizes. I have the smallest, which is fine for me. In fact, I have never filled all the racks yet, but I don't smoke large quantities at a time.
 
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calbrewguy

Member
Jul 12, 2006
670
266
69
Costa Mesa
Name
Randy
Boat
None
I have a Master - Built vertical propane. I'd go electric next time. It works good and it was inexpensive. Had a problem with the regulator and they sent me a replacement real quick, no questions asked.
 

mykiss

(Oncorhynchus) mykiss...
Jul 6, 2014
77
35
73
Name
Wallace Mathes
Boat
'95 Proline 210 Sportsman
I need to replace my Meco "Americana" model smoker. It lasted 25 years and served me well, but now needs replacement.

I was going to just buy the same model, but thought that I'd ask here first. Two things that I really liked about it were that it was electric and that it was vertical and so had a small footprint. On the rare occasions when I needed it, customer service was real good too. I want those things in a replacement. I'd also learned its quirks and was comfortable with them.

The biggest deficiancy was that it wasn't great at low temperature smoking and a bigger replacement is ok too.. But being electric and vertical are requirements.

Any recommendations?

TIA
I used a 'Little Chief' smoker for many years to smoke salmon in the Northwest. If you decide to buy one, don't throw away the box it came in. By cutting a flap in just the right location for the chip pan, you can dramatically improve its' performance. In this case, you just lower the cage in and fold down the flaps on top leaving a corner folded just right to allow air flow. Here's a tray frame ready for the smoker:

ready for the smoker.jpg
 
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MYNomad

Heading South
Dec 12, 2007
4,098
4,604
Pacific Northwest / West Coast Mexico
Name
Rick
Boat
Yes
Before my Pit Boss, I had a Bradley. As noted above, a Bradley can do cold smoke as it produces heat and smoke separately -- the electric heating element can be turned off completely, if so desired. The problem with it is it burns pucks of compressed wood. Various flavors (Hickory, Mesquite, Cherry, etc.) are available, but there are three big problems: 1) the pucks are much more expensive per hour of cooking time than the pellets that feed Pit Boss, Traeger and other machines;

2) the pucks aren't actually made from the type of wood that the flavor purports to be. Instead, a flavoring oil is added to the wood to produce the type of smoke you want. In fairness, many pellets are produced the same way -- you have to read the fine print very carefully to confirm you are getting the wood you want and not just some flavored wood (many deceptively describe their product as 100% wood, but that just means they squeezed (or somehow extracted) the juice out of the wood flavor you want and added it to a cheaper wood. In fact, the Traeger pellets are made that way, but there are abundant sources of cooking pellets on Amazon (and elsewhere), so it isn't too hard to find the real deal. On the other hand, I never found a source for the Bradley pucks that was using the desired wood; and

3) The Bradley pucks will swell just enough to jam the feeding mechanism if exposed to moisture (ie, humidity). The pellets will swell too, but my Pit Boss has never jammed (though I have heard stories of Traegers jamming).
 
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JWFogg

Almost A Member
Feb 12, 2008
109
146
Laguna Niguel
Name
John
Boat
No boat
Hey Brad I, I have a cookshack. My first one lasted about fifteen years and still worked. I bought a new one to upgrade to the new temp gauge features. They low temp is 140 and can go up to 300. Very consistent temp. Hardly varies a degree or two once it reaches its temperature.
 
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SouthBayTom

Newbie
Aug 29, 2003
45
9
xxx
Visit site
Name
xxx
Boat
xxx
Got a Green Mountain Grill about 6 months ago.
Very handy Bluetooth capability, uses any pellet of your choice, some say sturdier than a Traeger.
I love it but still trying to master the right smoke flavor.
 
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tbev

Member
Dec 21, 2017
343
121
36
SoCal
Name
tom
Boat
Skipjack 24
Anymore recommendations, I'm not very familiar with any of the current options, I have a 20 year old Webber that needs to be replaced. I want to be able to BBQ and smoke, if I can catch anything this year..
 
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kayakbeast33

Haven't posted enough yet
  • Mar 9, 2012
    540
    215
    buena park CA
    Name
    steven
    Boat
    Almost time
    Anymore recommendations, I'm not very familiar with any of the current options, I have a 20 year old Webber that needs to be replaced. I want to be able to BBQ and smoke, if I can catch anything this year..
    Just picked up a pit boss pro from lowes... it's half pellet smoker half gas grill I love this thing!
     

    Mr. DRE

    Member
  • Sep 23, 2019
    878
    790
    West Hills, CA
    Name
    Andre
    Boat
    Private
    After years of using an old school vertical smoker I finally decided to join the 21st century and bought a Traeger pellet smoker. Lots of pros and cons but bottom line I like it. Its electric so its easy to operate, the temperature holds pretty steady, relatively cheap to run and easy to clean. The smoke is not as deep and intense as a traditional vertical smoker but at my age its nice to set it, check status on my phone periodically and pretty much forget it.
     
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    Mr. DRE

    Member
  • Sep 23, 2019
    878
    790
    West Hills, CA
    Name
    Andre
    Boat
    Private
    Oh, Brad if I remember you are not too far from me so if you want to give it a try let me know. Prep your favorite meat and bring it over, although you will end up taking less meat home than you came with. LOL
     

    Brad I

    Common Sense Isn't Common Enough
    Jun 20, 2015
    1,795
    2,236
    San Fernando Valley
    Name
    Brad I
    Boat
    Nope
    Ironic that this thread had a re-bite today because in a few hours my replacement smoker is supposed to be delivered. I ended up getting the exact model I had before, for several reasons.

    As a vertical smoker, it takes up less room. I don’t like pellets, and as a fruit grower, I save my spring prunings and have plenty of apple, peach, etc. wood to use. I like electric because it’s a real “set it and forget it”. And of course, I’m already familiar with how to use it and have most things pretty well already dialed. Finally, its very affordable; about $120 with delivery from BarBQ Guys.

    Downsides are that it has only two 16" circular racks, so its not great for smoking lots of flat stuff (like fish), but it does hold 2- 20#+ turkeys at the same time. The temperature gauge and settings are not very exact. The cord also isn’t very long so I have to bring out the extension cord each time to use it. Basically, its old fashioned and low tech, but it does a good job of what it does do.
     
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    Larry S

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Nov 20, 2017
    1,154
    497
    64
    California
    Name
    Larry S
    Boat
    Landlover
    Dad had an old refrig. with a hot plate, and some fruitwood chip,s
     
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    Runway1

    Almost A Member
    Nov 18, 2018
    165
    36
    55
    Orange County
    Name
    Runway1
    Boat
    None
    For fish and controlled temps, you need a PID controller. RecTec or equiv. My Rectec 700 ( mentioned by Tunadogster).....frankly......way above some super marketed devices out there. Also - MADE IN USA. Heavy gage materials, good finish, very well priced. Love mine! And the pork and brisket - OH MY!
     
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