Best smoker. (Electrical)

  • PK100

    I’m the market for an electric smoker.

    Currently I use a PitBoss 820, which works perfectly for the jerky I make. I have started to increase the amount made, therefore need another unit. With a newborn and employment obligations, an electric smoker will work best. Any suggestions are much appreciated !

  • Team Blue

    GalvanAP I suggest a second Pit Boss! I’ve had good luck, but mostly bad luck with masterbuilt. I’d steer clear of them in the future. Some folks like Cookshack but I’ve had nothing but issues with our shop smoker and their support leaves much to be desired.

  • PK100

    That was my first thought, but the reviews on their vertical smokers make me reconsider.

  • Team Orange PK100 Dry Cured Sausage Sous Vide Regular Contributors

    I’ve been very happy with the PK 100.


  • I have an old analog dial Smokin-It #3. It’s similar to CookShack. Much cheaper and it has been very reliable. I cut my snack sticks to length and smoke to 165 degrees. I have other smokers and this is all I use. Nice not having to attend the fire. I also have the cold smoker attachment they make. Quality all the way. I’m seriously thinking of getting the digital #3. They’ve gone up in price since I purchased mine but I would like the higher temp compared to my 250 degrees.

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    GalvanAP GalvanAP It is expensive but I am sure everyone who owns the @PK100 will agree that it is an excellent electric smoker, I love using ours here.

  • PK100

    I purchased a PK100 this year. this unit is build like a commercial unit and is an amazing unit, built to last. My problem is that I am use to gas smokers where my hanging snack sticks turn out perfect (need more tending to maintain temperatures). I have used the PK100 2 times and ruined both 25 lb batches of snack sticks.
    with vents wide open it burnt (dries out completely) the top and bottom 5" of each hanging with leaving the middle raw, yet middle got to 160 degrees. Not knocking the unit, but it is built tight and with quality. Tried all over youtube to get tips but there is nothing on this unit. Afraid to use it more, maybe it’s to tight.


  • i have a PK 100, and although i don’t make snack sticks, i do make a lot of bacon. i try to get the meat up as high as possible and avoid being directly above the electrical hotplate coils. i remove the drip pan. also, i use a cast iron pan on top of the hotplate coils for my smoke via either oak dust or pellets, so i think that this doesn’t allow the direct heat to hit the bacon. i love the ability to move the temperature around with this unit, use smoke or not and control the process. i moved the meat up higher by using 2 2X4’s under one of the racks as high up as possible and then hanging the Walton’s bacon hangers from that shelve.
    i do agree, the PK cooks so gentlely, that it is hard to dry things out. my attempts at making jerky were not as good as using a dehydrator. hope this helps.

  • Masterbuilt

    Willy from Dakota

    Hey guys, Masterbuilts do the same so I use the trays, then the edges get done first. Am thinking the problem is “ no one has a slow speed fan to circulate temperature throughout”. We need a small, low speed air mover. Thanks for letting me chime in. Machonodak

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    mikedef5 Do you have the drip pan installed? I think that might help deflect some of the meat. Also, at smoking temps you shouldn’t have any problems with the snack sticks burning. Can you give us the smoke schedule that you were using? Also, a large water pan plus some automotive sponges (https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/1099/cured-sausage-205-advanced-thermal-processing) will help keep the relative humidity higher and help prevent burning. Let us know as much about your process as possible and we will see if we can help because I’ve done 100s of lb of snack sticks in our PK-100 so it absolutely can work well. let us know and welcome!

  • PK100

    The first batch I had the drip pan in and added a stainless water pan on top of that in the second hour, the 2nd time I had a water pan in on the drip pan for the entire time. Now the water pan was the size of the smoking pan that came with the unit (maybe too small or I need to use a pan not as deep but flatter and wider or size of drip pan?). In order to get 25 lbs hanging in there I cut 19mm casings 41" (which gave me 20" hanging and a 1" flat in the center to hang on my dowels) I figured this when hanging of the top rack brackets centered the sticks fairly well (same distance from the top of smoker and off the drip pan). Both times I ran the smoker outside (not a real windy day). Cook temps were 1 hr at 125, 1 hr at 140, 2 hrs at 155, then raised to 170 until internal was 160. Now I used the lower wattage element at the lower temps and switched to the higher wattage to get to the next temp. I found unit had trouble staying up at higher temps (not sure if using outside affected this) so I left element on higher wattage. I did have to close vents slightly on and off at higher temps to get it to maintain the 155. Both times the top and bottom 5" of the sticks came out like shoe leather and the middle was like bologna. DON’T GET ME WRONG THE UNIT IS A GREAT WELL BUILT UNIT! I just have guys counting on me after hunting season to make summer sausage and snack sticks and I cannot ruin 500 lbs of venison. Unit says I should be able to do 100 lbs of summer sausage, that would make it full from top to bottom. I am using the snack sticks as the trial runs. Gas smoker I have to crack the door an 1/8" to maintain lower temps which make a little more airflow.

  • Team Blue Big Green Egg Traeger Regular Contributors

    All, I had purchased the Pitboss 7 series vertical smoker a little over a year ago. I recently returned it to Cabelas and got my money back due to the multiple issues I had throughout its year of use. I bought a large gravity feed, very well insulated unit and so far I am thoroughly impressed. Unit holds temp very steady and has virtually no waiver throughout the cook. I hooked up my pitmaster IQ to it for added accuracy. Nothing to break down or parts that can go bad. Just good ole fashion charcoal and wood. Very impressed.

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    mikedef5 @PK100 Anyone read anything in his response that seems like a red flag? Smoke schedule seems good which would have been my first thought. What I do is run that first hour as a drying phase. I put no water or smoke with it and I leave top vent open and bottom vent mostly open. Then after that hour, I close both vents most of the way and add smoke and water pan with the sponges (yes, larger pan is pretty much a necessity with those sponges) and then after the next phase I close em all the way. I also don’t ever mess around with the low wattage setting, I don’t pay the electric bills around here (thank god!) so I am not concerned with that and I haven’t had any problems with it over cooking or over drying.

    As for using it outside, I have run it in the dead of winter and while it does take longer to get there it usually maintains its temp once there do to the thick insulation. If you have a thermometer that can reliably measure ambient temps I’d like to see what it is on the top, middle and lowest rack. I wonder if you don’t have an issue with controller or something?

  • PK100

    Jonathon

    Are there any videos on the PK? I would like to take a further look into it.


  • Joe Hell I’ve had success with a Pit Boss Pro Vertical Smoker. Jerky, Pork Shoulder and Baby Back Ribs. The Meat Sticks are awesome. I was able to read the temps 2 miles away when Smoking a pork shoulder. Electronic gadgets continue to amaze me. I’m hoping to pick up a rotesera smoker as the funds allow me to. I like what I see on Waltons site.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Big Green Egg Dry Cured Sausage Regular Contributors

    Jonathon mikedef5 @PK100 My .02¢. Are the sticks fatting out? How close are the sticks hanging together? In my vertical smokers I move my hanging sticks around to lessen the effects of hot spots in the box and I am thinking about adding a fan or two to move the air a bit. My horizontal smoker I do the same with the trays and rotate. It is a bit more putty and tempemental being stick fed and there is a noticable hot spot and no place for a worthwhile tray to add moisture, but it works well with larger cuts of meat and you have a reason to sit around and drink to watch it cook. No experience with the PK100, maybe later this fall when passing through and there is room in the truck.

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