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Old Smokey Electric Smoker Review

Old Smokey Electric Smoker Review

Learning to smoke meat can be a daunting prospect. With long cooking times, the need for precise temperature control, and so many philosophies for how to get the best cook, you may feel completely overwhelmed as a beginner. On top of all that, the cuts of meat that are typically smoked are usually enormous, and so it seems as though smoking is something that should be left for huge parties of people, not for a small family gathering.

Of course, where there is a will, there is a way. For the casual barbecuer, the Old Smokey Electric Smoker is an appealing, entry-level option. This no-frills model can be used in just about any residential setting, and it features roughly 225 square inches of cooking space -- just enough for a family of four. Better yet, this option in uncomplicated, and so most beginners should have no trouble getting the hang of barbecuing with this smoker.


BarbecueLogic Rating:

Pros

  • This model is incredibly lightweight, meaning that you can consider bringing this smoker along on trips.
  • The flat top of the smoker allows for the even dispersal of the condensation, so that all your meat stays equally as moist.
  • This model is electric, which means that most people will be able to use it on their own patio, even if they live in a condo or in an area with strict fire restrictions.

Cons

  • You may have to experiment with the lid to control the amount of smoke in the unit.
  • You will need to buy a thermometer so that you can properly gauge the internal temperature.
  • Finish may start to bubble and peel relatively early on

Old Smokey Electric Smoker Key Features

This Smoker is Electric: This means that you can cook in just about any residential setting, including those that have strict fire regulations. Electricity and wood chips are also much less expensive than charcoal or gas, which means that running this smoker can cost much less than its non-electric counterparts.

Smoker has a Simple Design: In fact, simplicity is one of the major benefits of this smoker, as the lack of gadgets and whistles makes this model easy to use. In this way, most beginners will be able to get the hang of using this smoker, especially if they follow the extensive guides available from Old Smokey's website.

The smoker features a completely closed system for an absolute "set it and forget it" barbecue: The principle of this unique system is that you should have absolutely no reason to open the smoker once you get started. Unlike other smokers, the design of this smoker is such that all of the smoke that is generated by the wood chips remains inside the cylinder. Since none of this smoke escapes, there is no reason to add more wood chips. More importantly, this closed lid traps in all of the heat, helping you to maintain the best temperature range for your cook. Not only that, it traps in all of the moisture, thereby giving you an extremely moist product. All in all, this system is supposed to maintain itself for the duration of the cook so that all you have to do is set it once.


Old Smokey Electric Smoker Detailed Review

Design and Build Quality - 3.5/5

In spite of being made almost entirely from steel, the Old Smokey Electric Smoker is incredibly lightweight, coming in at only 23 pounds. It has an extremely classic, no frills design that can be appealing for a lot of barbecuers. Essentially, the smoker is just a barrel with a 1,250 watt heating element at the bottom and two racks for putting your food. The unique closure, an entirely flat lid, is meant to not only trap in smoke but to evenly distribute the condensation across both of the racks as it builds up.

Unfortunately, there are several flaws with the design of this smoker. Like its competitors, the smoker can be prone to rust because it is made from steel. However, the system to lock moisture inside means that the metal body is exposed to much more moisture than its competitors, and so it will likely rust much more quickly than another model in a different brand.

Furthermore, the thin metal offers little protection for you as you are cooking, so you must be extra careful to not burn yourself with this smoker. You may also find that it is easy to dent the body if you move it around frequently, but as this option is better for living at-home, you probably won't have too many issues with denting the sides.

Finally, there are several screws for holding the two cooking racks on the interior of the smoker that will most likely get in your way when you need to reach down into the smoker to add more wood chips or to clean out ash after the cook. You will want to pay attention when you are pulling your arm out of the smoker's body, as it is very easy to snag your shirt sleeve (or worse, your arm!) on these pieces.

Ease of Assembly - 4.5/5

This Old Smokey Electric Smoker has an uncomplicated assembly procedure. It comes with only ten parts and some hardware to screw these parts together, so it is possible to put everything together if you are alone. The instruction guide is rather basic, however, and it does not include a picture guide.

Ease of Use - 4.5/5

To make up for all its design flaws, this Old Smokey smoker is incredibly painless to use. You will simply plug the smoker in and set the temperature on the dial to start. However, there are only three heat settings (low, medium and high), and no thermometer is included. This means that you will need to set up your own internal thermometer from a third party so that you can guarantee that you are cooking at the right temperature. 

Quality of the Cook - 4/5

For a moist barbecue without a crust, this smoker does a great job. The closed system of the appliance allows for thorough, indirectly cooked barbecue with a distinct smokey flavor. This is especially useful for cooking at high temperatures to make things like chicken.

However, you will not be able to get a nice crust on your barbecue if you use this smoker. This is because the crust comes from direct heating in a somewhat dry chamber -- both of which this closed-system smoker cannot provide. You will probably also want to watch out for cooking things that need a very particular temperature like brisket, as you cannot easily control the internal temperature with the closed system.

Ease of Cleanup - 3.5/5

Cleanup can be somewhat difficult for this smoker, especially compared to other smokers that have doors to access the ash or trays to gather the debris. There are two ways to thoroughly clean the interior of this model: spray the interior with a pressurized water hose, or heat vinegar and lemon in the wood chip box with the lid closed for a couple of hours and then scrape out the grease with a wire brush. In any case, cleanup is especially important with this smoker because of its tendency to rust.

Again, you'll want to watch out for the screws holding up the racks on the interior. They tend to get in the way when you are cleaning, and you can scrape your arm very badly if you aren't paying close enough of attention.

Price - 4/5

Coming in at the lower end of the price range and having a very oversimplified design, this smoker does not have a lot to offer as far as the price per value is concerned. In this case, paying the low price means paying for a product that has several key flaws. These flaws include the thin metal body that can be easily dented and the safety hazard presented by several screws on the interior of the metal chamber.

Nonetheless, as long as you pay attention to how you use it, the Old Smokey Electric Smoker can be a good option for people who do not want to become experts and just need a smoker that will get the job done at a reasonable price. Despite its flaws, it is easy to use, and it can be used in just about any residential setting because it is electric.



How Does it Compare?

Let's take a look at some of the Old Smokey Electric Smoker's competition:

Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker

A simple design that cranks out awesome barbecue, the Smokey Mountain has the quality and warranty you expect from Weber in an affordable package. 

Check out our review here

Bradley Smokers Original Smoker

​The Bradley Original Smoker is a great option for those living in an apartment or condo with fire restrictions or those that want a simple and automated smoking process.

Check out our review here

Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker

​For those on a smaller budget looking for a very simple smoker, the Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker may be right for you.

Check out our review here

Masterbuilt 30" Vertical Propane Smoker

For those looking to cook for a large group of people and like the ease of cooking with propane, the Masterbuilt 30" Vertical Propane Smoker may be right for you.

Check out our review here

Masterbuilt 40" Digital Electric Smoker

For those who want a show-stopper piece that can cook enough food for a huge party, the Masterbuilt 40 Digital Electric Smoker might be a good option for you.

Check out our review here

Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker

For those who want to smoke without much of the work as well as for people who want to delve into the practice of cold smoking, this is a great smoker.

Check out our review here

Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker

An alternative to the Masterbuilt 40 Digital Electric Smoker, the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker also offers a ton of cooking space along with a remote control for simple hands-off smoking.

Check out our review here

About the Author David Johnson

Hi there, I'm David and I'm the creator and editor of this site. I have been grilling and smoking for the past 7 years and my goal is to share my knowledge and experience with you.

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