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Smoker help

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 04:48
Well. I know nothing about smoking, but I do know I want the ability to hot smoke AND cold smoke. I`m not building a house. LOL. Looking for something that will do well for both, hopefully semi-automatic. Discs or pellets are most likely fine. Any good suggestions? I want to buy it once. Is there a certain temp that`s used for cold smoking? I assume external weather plays a factor? Let me know. Thanks

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 02:35
by cathouse willy
I do my smoking in a Bradley original smoker. I've added a lot of stuff over time,a pid to get close control of temps,a cold smoke attachment and I house it all in a small rubbermaid plastic shed.I smoke all year round with my setup. There's a lot of small smokers on the market but the Bradley works well for me.

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 02:44
by Kijek
Wait take your time looking at different brands and models.
For Starters go to .......... and Sausage maker.

I've been down a long road of making smokers and buying smokers, so PM me with questions and other brands and venders.

I not say I'm an expert or better then anyone in here, but at least hear what I have to say.

PM me!

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 13:45
Here's my thought so far. I have a TEC infrared grill which is great for cooking a steak outside and it doesn't taste BBQ'd. I also have a small green egg and a Primo that works great for fresh Italian sausage etc. I would like to do some cheeses, Lox cold smoked and I'm not convinced you'll be able to keep the temp down. It's virtually impossible to keep the green egg below 250 for ribs etc without constant monitoring, so I'm really thinking an electric/ external smoker is the way to go. I want the ability to control smoke time. I looked at the Bradley yesterday. I've heard puck jamming is a concern. The larger Masterbuilt looked much more sturdy, the racks were nicer and larger, but it didn't look very well insulated and it didn't look like they had accommodations for a cold smoke option. A lot of people talk about the traeger and green mountain, but I think that's more of a grill/smoker. Will I be in the same boat struggling with a Traeger for what I'm looking for? The minimum temp on the Traeger controller is 250F which concerns me. There's also a guy called Smoke Daddy's that makes the pellet pro within 12 miles from me that I may call today.

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 14:02
by Bob K
To do cold smoking you need the temp to be in the 50-70°f range. Something like the Pro 100 will do that out of the box. . Alternative is get a smoker like the Masterbuilt and us a a plug and play temp controller.

You need a smoker designed to run below 200f not a BBQ smoker

Then you need cold smoke and probably the best way is the amazin tray or tube type pellet burner.

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 14:30
Ok, so here's what I don't understand and Cabella salesmen didn't help any. It looks like on the Bradley, there's the pucks for smoke and a seperate electric heating element for heat. You can set smoke time separately than heat temp. Is that the case on the masterbuilts or does it rely on the pellets for temp? Looks like the green mountain and Traegers rely on the pellets for heat. This is where I'm lost. It also looked like the pellet box for the master built was not easily removable to remote the smoke away from the grill. I'm sure that's the case for the Traegers and the green mountains. Am I missing something here? I would hate to get a grill for super low temps and it not be able to do that.

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 14:48
by Bob K
You are comparing smokers to BBQ units that generate smoke. There is a difference.

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 14:53
Well, I'm learning. LOL. So, I'm looking for a smoker that will also handle cold smoke. Are they also capable of brisket, ribs and chicken @ 200-350F?, or is this going to require 2 different units?

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 15:26
by Bob K
Most smokers only go up to 250f

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 15:35
Good to know. And most smoker grills start at 250 if you're lucky! :)

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 17:59
by jrittvo
Masterbuilt sells an external smoke unit that attaches to the outside of the main unit where the wood chip holder is. It is supposed to sit right against the main unit but I added a few feet of metal flex duct between the two to keep the smoke even cooler. For cold smoking with this setup, I don`t use any heat in the main unit during warm outside weather. Basically, the main unit becomes just an expensive box to hold the meat and receive the smoke in this arrangement. Works well for me except that you need to stick around to add wood pretty often for a longer smoke time.

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 18:47
I think I just found the unit I am getting. I saw the prototype today. They will be shipping end of February. I will post photos when I get back to a pc

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 19:04
by cathouse willy
Lou I've been using my Bradley original for 7 years now and it's been mostly trouble free. The smoke generator has moving parts so it does need maintaining. Bradley has an option that gets the smoke gen off the main cabinet for cold smoking, I cold smoke cheese all year round.Most of the electric smokers out there heat the oven and make smoke with the same element so you'll need something like an "Amazentube" to get smoke without running the main oven heater.Electric smokers have a fairly big temp swing around the set temp which is fine for lots of hot smokes but there are times (smoked sausages) when you need tighter control and for that there's the "PID",Auber instruments makes some really nice plug and play pids and there are lots of diy units on ebay and amazon for less money.
Here is my setup:Bradley original smoker,cold smoke adaptor, and a diy pid,the smoker is wrapped in a hotwater heater blanket for cold weather and all is housed in a small plastic garden shed right off the kitchen door.A word about Bradley, IMO stay away from their Digital and Smart units. They're more expensive and don't get you anymore than some buttons to push and a fancy readout, the original and a pid will do everything you want.
Hope this helps

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 20:36
Here's a prototype of what a company called pellet pro is coming out with end of February.


This is what I'm thinking. The pellet hopper holds 35 pounds of pellets on an auger, but it's the only source of heat with an internal probe that releases the pellets to hold the temp between 160F and 350F. I am considering also drilling an electric coil into this so I can heat without smoke with an Aubern controller. This way I can smoke for a shorter period of time, then only heat.


This is a cold smoke attachment that gets drilled into the side of the box and is induced by a small aerator. You would not use pellets in this. It's good for about 2 hours. They claim is only increases the box by about 2 degrees because the flame is never in the box. This would be for cold smoking. What do you guys think?

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 21:18
by redzed
That unit will work well if you are only smoking ribs, chicken brisket, etc. With the external smoke generator you should be able to smoke at ambient temps but if will want to smoke in the winter you will need to get a separate heat control. And with a separate heat controller you might be able to also hot smoke sausage, where ideally you smoke at 130-140 and only turn up the heat to 160-180 at the very end.