Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
still learning, but so far so good
on April 5, 2012
After wanting to get a smoker and reading tons of reviews on Amazon, I decided to give the Old Smokey Electric Smokers a shot. I've used it 3 times since I got it, and while I still have a lot to learn about the best way to use this thing, I've been pleased with the delicious results. The one thing I struggle with, is that this thing is a FAST cooker. The instructions direct you to cook everything at HIGH, but I dont think that's the way to go. When you read the BBQ and smoker cook books, it's all about low and slow. Optimal smoking temp seems to be 225-250 range, and to expect 1.5 hrs of smoking time per pound of meat. The Old Smokey has no problem hitting that temp (will get to 300+ no problem)and higher, and holding temps, but it cooks a lot faster. My take is that becuase it's a sealed system, more than a true smoker, and the moisture from the meat is trapped in the unit, which is great at keeping the meat moist, but it's almost like the meat is smoked AND steamed. I've done some racks of babybacks, they were super tender and had delicious smoked flavor. I did a 5.5 lb brisket. I overcooked it some, but it was still very moist and delicious. When I took it off smoker, I double wrapped in foil, then a towel, then put in in a small cooler to rest for 2 hours. It was still piping hot and tender when I served it. Last week I did a 7 lb pork butt for some pulled pork. Same thing...the cook books say it should smoke for 10-12 hours. Mine was DONE in 4 to 5 hours, with temp set at medium whichis about 250. Again, it was very moist and tender. As another reviewer mentioned, because of the trapped moisture, you dont get true smoke/BBQ 'bark' or a visible smoke ring. That's dissappointing, but what isnt dissappointing is the taste. It's pretty hard to screw anything up. I strongly suggest you buy the Old Smokey 2 inch themometer, and they will install it for you. You really need that to control the temp inside the unit. Also will need a good meat thermometer so you can tell when things are done by temp. So bottom line is, it's good company to deal with, and product arrived in great packaging. It's super easy to use, but watch those cooking times. It is a set it and forget it kind of cooker. Uses only a hand full of wood chips for a long smoking experience, 5 hours or more. Which by then, the meat has absorbed about all the smokiness you can expect. If you want the whole authentic BBQ smoke ring and bark and the likes, keep looking. If you want delicious smoked food, this is the way to go. This weekend - smoked turkey breast. Wish me luck!