Cookshacks are the gold standard for electric smokers. The Smokette Elite has a 750 watt 7 amp heating element lets you cook up to 300°F. Set the time and temp for cooking with its digital timer/thermostat and use the digital probe to determine when the meat is done. Impressively solid, it is stainless steel and very well insulated so it does not get very hot on the outside. Outside dimensions are 20.5" wide x 19.5" deep x 31.75" high and it weighs 87 pounds. It comes with only two 14" x 18" nickel-plated cooking shelves and they say it has a 20-25 pound capacity. With rib racks they claim you can fit 9 baby backs and six St. Louis cut slabs in. Wheels make it easy to move. The optional storage cart/stand (above right) is a good idea. You can also buy a cover, more racks, a seafood rack, jerkey rods, and a baffle that helps if you want to cold smoke. Comes with 5 pounds BBQ smoking wood, a small cookbook and operator's manual.
One minor caveat. Just one niggling complaint: The chimney is a hole with a collar right in the middle of the top, making it hard to use as a work surface. It also allows rain and snow in. But the biggest problem with its location is that, under hard to duplicate conditions, occasionally, rarely, gray goopy condensation can drip on your meat. The Cookshack people know about it, and they say it can be avoided by drying the surface of the meat before cooking, drying the interior walls, and keeping the chimney hole clean. Some users rig a simple aluminum catch pan under the chimney that clips into the hole. Still, we're baffled as to why they have not moved the chimney closer to the rear or on the side. Grrrrrr.
Cooked On It
We have hands-on experience testing this product. We have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners and other reliable sources.
Cookshack is a second generation family owned business started in the early 1960's by Gene and Judy Ellis of Ponca City, OK. Ellis was an inventor and entrepreneur who loved barbecue. They began selling sauces and spice blends then branched out into hardware. Cookshack now manufactures a wide variety of pellet and electric smokers for restaurants, professional competitors, and back-yard barbecue enthusiasts. In 2004 Cookshack began a relationship with Fast Eddy Maurin, winner of numerous Grand Championships on the competitive BBQ circuit. Together they produced Fast Eddy's innovative pellet smoker designs which were greeted with enthusiasm and have become some of Cookshack's most popular smokers.
All their well-built machines are made in the US and come with 2-year limited warranties. The company is universally respected for customer care and their online open forum is extremely informative and helpful. Owners absolutely positively love their Cookshacks.