‘Smokehouse’ electric smoker fail!

A friend of the site and sometimes tester of various rubs that we get sent for review loaned us his ‘Smokehouse’ electric smoker for a few days so I could do a proper review of it. After smoking some many delicious meats this summer, I was ecstatic to get my hands on an electric smoker that so many have talked up.

It was suggested that I smoke a pork butt for 8 or more hours for my inaugural run. As it would turn out, it is a good thing that I didn’t take that advice. I happened to have some pork ribs and steaks (chops) on hand and decided to some them. The ‘Smokehouse’ smoker is very simple and straight forward to use. A proper review will follow soon.
So why was this cook a fail? There are two reasons really and both are my fault. I made two mistakes, one of which I suspect many first time electric smoker users make. My first and probably biggest mistake. I put to much wood in the smoker. Actually, I put to much hickory in the smoke box. The taste from all that hickory wouldn’t have been as intense had I been cooking a larger piece of meat, but all those little pieces where completely permeated with intense hickory flavor. I found that an electric smoker, or at least the ‘Smokehouse’, produces more smoke and flavor from a piece of wood. I suspect that this is because the wood never actually burns so none of the wood is converted to flame.
My second mistake was just lack of thinking through what I was actually doing. I cut the top off of an aluminum can, filled it with water, and placed it on the bottom of the smoker. Then I set the smoker to 300 degrees and went on my marry way, soon to be enjoying the delicious aroma of hickory smoke and cooking meat. Did you catch my mistake? If you didn’t don’t fret too much, I wouldn’t have either. If you did, I suspect you are reading this with the voice of experience in your head. It turns out that at some temperature below 300 degrees the paint/ink on the outside of an aluminum can begins to burn or evaporate. Yeah, that’s not going to enhance the flavor of your meat. A couple of my taste testers, including myself, that detected a ‘chemical’ aftertaste. I am glad that the FDA requires non-toxic chemical to be used on those cans because I didn’t discover what happened to the can until after most of the meat was gone.
That’s right as intense as the hickory flavor was we still didn’t waste any meat, well not much any way. I actually had a couple taste testers that liked the flavor. I am guessing they are not ‘Super Tasters’. In short, the fail was not the fault of ‘Smokehouse’ or their smoker. While I did get a chance to do some more testing, remember a review is on the way, I did not get a chance to smoke any large pieces of meat before the owner of the ‘Smokehouse’ started going through withdrawals and I had to return it. We hope to get our hands on another ‘Smokehouse’ smoker soon and more exhaustive testing.
Get out and grill!

One comment to ‘Smokehouse’ electric smoker fail!

  • Smokehouse Smoker Success!  says:

    […] you read about our Smokehouse smoker fail, you now know a few things not to do with an electric smoker. Having learned those lessons […]