on February 17, 2010
Note: to those concerned with rear wheels, the same model comes without rear wheels under the "Masterbuilt" brand. I was told by a local sporting goods store that "Cajun Injector" bought out Masterbuilt and that they are the same smoker. I was pleased that for the price of $199 at the sporting good store it included the wheels. Here in SD it is 20-25 Degrees, the machine is able to reach the target temp (250 for ribs). I feel that under the harsh weather conditions that this out performs expectations. If your new to smoking check out the book "Backyard BBQ: The Art of Smokology", which is very informative.
on December 18, 2009
This is a fine smoker for the money. Just don't try to contact customer service for fast help. The help number in the owner's manual is wrong it should be 800-299-9082. But even without any help from them it is still a good smoker.
on April 23, 2012
I have had this smoker myself for one year. When is has worked, it works great. The flavor and the ease of use is impecable, even in the cold of winter it smokes like a champ. That being said, I had an issue with mine on the biggest day to smoke, Thankgiving. I went to smoke the turkey and the smoker went cold. I then noted it was reading the temperature in the smoke at 320 degrees...thus turning the heating element off since i had it set at 225. Obviously with a cold smoker, the temperature/thermostat was off. I spent a good hour atteming to clean and take appart to no avail to see if i could get it to turn on. Interestingly, I noted as i bumped electronic display pannel as i fumbled around trying to get the thing to work, the temperature would flucuate from 130 to 330 in one tap. The element would refire and heat, but shortly thereafter click off as the thermostat would read 270-320 with a cold smoker. I did get ahold of customer service...finding out that there was only a 90 day warrently. After talking with them for some time, the did send me a new electrical pannel. A month later i got the part, and for fun i tried the machine before i dissassembled it, and walah, it worked again, so i saved the electrical panel for another day. I have used is again several times with no problem. So, I agree, Longevity is a concern, and customer service was a pain to get a hold of, but they resolved it amicably.
The reason I still rate this as good, My father-in-law has one that is about 6 months older than mine, and he has used it twice as many times as mine for up to 12 hours at a time smoking brisket and other meats and has not had a lick of trouble. I like his and that is why i bought mine. We even bought the brother-in-law one and he has had no issues. Finally, my uncle has a fancier stainless model he bought at a national wholesale warehouse store and has had no issues for the year he has had it. So look around at the various models and brands. If you plan to use the machine regularly, might recommend a better rated model. but if you catch a good sale on this and will use is occasionally, may be worth the try.
Update over year later: customer service sent me the replacement part. When I went to put it in, I retested the machine before I tore into it, and it worked again. I went through this thanksgiving without a hitch, and hadgreat smoked turkey. I raise my review to 4 stars for customers service and the overall ease of the smoker.And as far the other 4 smokers in the family, they still work great, oldest at 4 years service.
August 2015 update: I have not had any failure since the incident 6 months after i bought it. I have had several instances after about 30 minutes heating up that it gives me an error message, and i have to pull the cord, but then it resets and works without a problem. I have keep an eye out for this every time i use it, but havn't had this message in over a year, noting also that placement of the meat probe may have to do with it. Either way, easy to use machine, the oldest one my father in law has has never had a problem, and the 4 others are working like a charm. Great product overall
on November 22, 2012
I have three different smokers. All have replaceable heating elements EXCEPT the most expensive which is a Cajun Injector Smoker. It is ridiculous to have to throw the entire smoker away when the heating element goes out. I would discourage anyone from purchasing this brand of smoker for this single reason. The rest of the smoker is great, but worthless without the heating element. I have looked for substitute element to no avail.
on May 10, 2015
I'm usually pretty good about reading reviews and carefully reading what other people have learned. But not this time. Other people had said this unit failed after a couple of uses or during the initial set up. For some unknown reason my judgment was lacking and I was attacked by an impulse purchase. BIG MISTAKE, I should have listened to the reviews. They are there for a reason.
But I do wanna say this is one GOOD LOOKING smoker. It was well thought out and I like the way wood chips are added to it. The side drawer just makes it easy. The unit itself looks great and the panel just looks great. If it only worked. I used it four times and it failed. During my fourth use, the panel went out and no heat, meaning no smoke.
That's it. It was dead.
But you know what? If it has tires or electronics, I know you're gonna have problems with it. So I sent a note off to the company and guess what? That's right. Crickets. Nothing. Zip, nada. In looking around the internet, I learned that I now have a VERY EXPENSIVE metal box.
So on top of all the other complaints that I've read, here is mine. If you're going to dump something like this on the public, you should at least have an outlet for parts, you know.Or, it should last more than four uses, unless you want to be known as the tampon of the smoker industry. You know, use once, then get rid of it because it's all messed up and there is nothing else you can do with it. I know that analogy is pretty gross, but that's the way I feel about this smoker and the customer service.
Here's something else to think about. When a company says their customer service is second to none, think about it. There is NONE. Then here is us, right next to none. I would guess that means us and none is about the same.
So pay attention to the other reviews. Cheaply made electronic components that fail after a short time use.
on April 15, 2012
First off, this is a dandy machine if you don't expect any longevity or customer service. I bought my first one, was thrilled with it for 2 months. I even showed my unit to my Father In Law, he bought one too. Did everything as advertised, then the electronic component went south. Looked everywhere, found out they don't offer that module as a part.
So...I bought another one. Again, worked great the first 6 times I used it. Then it quit heating. The heating element quit. So, "ha ha", says I, after I found out they don't offer that part either (I had to get that info third party, C I's customer service never bothered to return my calls or emails), I "kit bashed" my old smoker that I saved, and used its heater element.
Worked great 3 times. I guess the smoker was angry that I forced it to work, because on the third time, the heater failed, and then the electronic controller blacked out.
I have experienced some sorry products before, but never as sorry as this product. Rest assured I will never buy another one, unless someone wants to sell a few of them cheap for the parts that I need. Hope beats eternal in this human breast that someday Cajun Injector will wake up and offer reasonable key replacement parts, or fix their problem with sorry OEM parts. In the meantime, I have both units stored in my garage as reminders to me and others to never buy Cajun Injectors again. And my Father in Law? His went out after 4 uses, and seeing all the problems I had with mine, he took it out to his ranch dump and shot it with a 12 gauge. After recommending this smoker to him in the first place, I avoid going out with him to his dump.
on April 10, 2011
I have used this 5 times so far, all with great success. In fact cooking riblets right now
Pretty much 99.9% assembled, all I had to do was put the back handle on.
First the positives.
1. Temp is right on, I tested it with another thermometer and both read the same. The meat probe also is very accurate.
2. Good size.
3. Side chute for adding chips is very handy, don't have to keep opening the door
4. Outside doesn't get super hot, very well insulated
5. Bradley jerky trays fit in here which is very nice
Now the cons
1. Chips do not burn a long time, have to add more about every 20 minutes or so
2. Side chute although convenient is pretty tricky to get used to at first, alot of my chips were ending up on the ground.
3. I wish the temp would go up higher, only for when I cook chicken (I finish them on the grill to crisp up the skin)
Update One year later. May 2012
The smoker is still going strong. I use it on a weekly basis almost and have had no problems at all.
The side chute spring cover did end up breaking, but that was my fault. Easy solution is to put a large ball of foil in it.
Of every smoker I have ever owned this is by far my favorite. More than paid off for itself in time and convenience.
I own 3 smokers, propane, lil chief and this one. By far this is my favorite for ease of use. I highly recommend this unit. From what I hear it is the same as the masterbuilt. Only addition to this is a product called the amazn smoker that I will be putting with it next week.
on July 12, 2015
received it loved the look but set it up got meat in it and wood chips couldn't wait to see how it worked and within 10 minutes the entire electric unit stopped working we thought it blew a fuse or that we had to reset our plug but NOPE THE ENTIRE ELECTRIC PANEL JUST WENT OUT AND STOPPED WORKING ALL TOGETHER CANT EVEN TURN IT ON AT ALL ITS LIKE IT JUST DIED AFTER WE TURNED IT ON SENDING IT BACK TODAY THE DAY WE OPENED IT. SAD SAD SAD POOR QUALITY AND WORKMANSHIP SEARCHING FOR ANOTHER SMOKER
on November 1, 2015
It worked great for me. I didn't use it but about 10 times and the heating element quit. I can't see how to try to fix it. I would like to buy another similar one that has capabilities to repair. I see here that there is not use calling the support on the Cajun because it is not possible to replace the heating element..
on March 28, 2012
A great unit if you want to spend alot of money for something that only works a few times. The heating element broke after using it about six times. I emailed customer service and never got a response. After googling the unit I got the real customer service phone number. (The number in the owners manuel was wrong) At any rate, when I did reach customer service they were no help. They said the unit could not be repaired nor were there any replacement parts. I will never buy any Cajun Injector products again.