By: Max Good
The Old Smokey Electric Smoker is a drum shaped smoker that’s been around since 1953. It is made from aluminized steel and comes with two cooking racks and a water pan. It has a 1250 watt heating element with an inexpensive thermostatic controller. The controller doesn’t have specific numeric temperature settings like a digital controller, but can be dialed from Off to High and any point in between. The simple thermostat monitors the cook box and regulates power to the heating element. For example, when set to “MED”, the controller is designed to maintain a temperature range associated with that dial position. Digital thermostatic controllers on some modern cheapo electrics are prone to failure even within a short period of time. Used in conjunction with a digital thermometer, Old Smokey’s simple system can be dialed to a specific temperature and should provide years of dependable service.
They also make three similar charcoal grills. Below is an old advertisment for a charcoal model.
Like many electric smokers, it is very well insulated to compensate for the lack of heating capacity. A water pan is included, but the manufacturer doesn’t recommend filling it. It is intended to be used as a drip pan to capture excess moisture expelled from meats in this air tight cooker. It’s great for creating steamed meats, not so good for bark. As Meathead observes, “Electrics excel at fish and things like smoked peppers, sausage, nuts, and cheese. The bad news is that I think the flavor is inferior to charcoal or gas for most other BBQ recipes such as pork ribs, pulled pork, turkey, and beef brisket.” Read our article on electric smokers to learn more.
This is an old fashioned, very basic design. The aluminized metal construction should be more durable than the ubiquitous El Cheapo Bullets of today and you can’t beat the price. We haven’t tested Old Smokey yet. There’s something here to love, but is it just nostalgia? People who own them like them a lot.
Old Smokey Products Company has been at the same location in Houston, TX under different names and owners, manufacturing different metal products from stove pipes to lard cans to smokers since 1923. Today they make charcoal and electric smokers and related products and accessories.
Published On: 3/30/2013 Last Modified: 3/2/2021
These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.
A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs
Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.
We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
Click here for our review on this unique smoker
Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.
GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.
This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.
The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.