When it comes to cookouts, smoking meat is a tried and true method still popular to this day. What’s nice about an electric smoker is that they’re so dead simple to use. ANYONE can produce delicious, tasty dishes with a modern Masterbuilt electric smokehouse.
Unlike older style charcoal smokers, you no longer have to micro-monitor your food with constant manual adjustments to ensure it isn’t over smoked. Newer digital smokers are literally ‘set it and forget it’.
Unless you prefer more traditional bbq techniques, these newer models give you the freedom to set them with the twist of a dial (or the press of a button), walk away, and then return hours later to beautiful, tasty smoked meat!
If you’re just starting out and don’t want to sink too much into smoking, we really recommend the Masterbuilt 20070213 30-Inch Electric Analog Smoker. This Masterbuilt 30 electric smokehouse friendly model offers every feature a serious BBQ master could want at a fraction of the cost compared to other models.
Need something a bit more affordable? Try out the Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch electric digital smoker with a top controller. This model does not offer a window to view the cooking (like some other high-end models). However, its features are still pretty robust and comparable to the 20070213.
If you’re serious about taking your BBQ game to the next level, you need to learn a few things. First, you need to learn how best to use this model.
Second, you really need to know how to properly set up your smokehouse – alternatively, you may want to build your own DIY smokehouse around an electric model (such as a Masterbuilt digital electric smoker).
We have you covered there as well. We’ll show you how to source the parts and even build your own smokehouse. Finally, we’ll give you a trusted recipe so you can get EVERYTHING you need from this page to make your own BBQ.
Most newcomers to smoking just want to dive right in. They spend a couple hundred dollars on a high-end model and in their fevered rush to BBQ perfection, skip some of the most important steps to setting up the perfect smokehouse…
Prepping the smoker
That’s right. Even electric models must be cured. This crucial step ensures you remove any dangerous machine oils, dust, or other manufacturing materials. These items likely coat the rack and surfaces of your smoker (unintentionally) due to the manufacturing/assembly stage.
Essentially, you’ll use standard cooking oil to coat the inside of your new smoker. Turn the machine on around 275 degrees and allow 2 hours to cure.
This process will burn away any of the unseen dust, solvents or other (unseen yet harmful) debris. Following this standardized 2 hours limit, turn the smoker off and open the lid so it can properly cool down.
Sidenote: we recommend cleaning your Masterbuilt while it is still luke-warm. Just wipe it down with towels rather than using harsh chemicals.
Alright. You’re all set and ready to start smoking a beautiful rack of ribs. Keep in mind, the food itself requires a bit of preparation as well.
Digital smokers are incredibly easy to use. Still, you may want to use an affordable food for your first attempt. We recommend chicken or an affordable cut of beef like chuck eye.
Go ahead and marinade the meat with either liquid seasoning or dry rub.
Grill Mates makes an incredible Brown Sugar Bourbon seasoning that we are simply obsessed with! In addition, your choice of wood chips will infuse the meat with very specific flavors. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and try different combos.
Find what works for you!
As previously stated, different wood chips infuse different flavors due to the bark’s composition and burning points. Chips also come in different sizes.
Large wood chips burn slowly thereby releasing smoke (which indirectly cooks the meat) over a long time. Conversely, smaller chips burn quickly smoking the meat in a burst.
Don’t forget! You can also smoke nuts, cheeses, veggies, and so much more. Keep in mind, a milder smoke is preferable.
Next, you need to know how to best use your selected wood chips. Most electric models make this process super simple. Just load the chips into the designated area in your smoker. Most pit masters use a ratio of 4 cups of chips per 5 hours of smoking.
Keep in mind, you smoker will cool as you add more chips. You will have to work around this or purchase an offset smoker (which does not cool the unit down).
This Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker is an effective model (though it isn’t electric).
After choosing a preferred wood chip and setting up your smoker, you may want to ‘take the plunge’ and create a full blown smokehouse. Read on to find out why you should do this and how you can set one up using your own materials (for $100 OR LESS!!).
Now, onto the smokehouse itself. Once you’re up and running with this DIY marvel, you’ll be able to smoke meat rain or shine. As long as the snow isn’t deep enough to cover the door to your smokehouse, you should basically be able to make use of this.
Using your electric smoker is all well and fine. However, a few features put a smokehouse over-the-top. Find out if building a DIY smokehouse is right for you:
So, what sort of delicious recipes can you make with your smokehouse? The recipe below easily serves an entire family and tastes wonderful. Use this easy-to-follow recipe to start out:
I spotted this project from DIY smoker guru ATCNick on the Smoking Meat Forum. We’re going to design an abriged version of this project to fit our Masterbuilt electric smoker.
Keep in mind, this project isn’t for the feint of heart. But, if you’re particularly handy and live in a neighborhood without an HOA, you can own a professional level smokehouse with a few common materials and a week’s worth of work.
First, start with a solid foundation of cinder blocks. You want to form a square comprised of several layers of blocks.
Nick built the body of his smokehouse out of cedar. It’s his preferred wood flavor. Furthermore, cedar’s natural composition will prevent leftover scraps of meat from decomposing and smelling awful during those summer days.
The second stage is to measure out your cedar beams and create a frame similar to a shed. The completed frame sits over top your cinder foundation.
Unlike Nick’s project, we’ll literally be using our electric model inside this cinder block foundation. So, we need to leave a direct hole in the center for the smoke to escape. If you prefer to stick to the original, close up the foundation and design a fire box using brick and mortar. This box connects to the foundation using a smoke tube.
The wooden enclosure sits atop the foundation. Here’s a picture of Nick’s finished smokehouse:
Keep in mind, our version will be slightly modified as it uses an electric smoker in the base of the using rather than a fire pit offset from the enclosure itself. You’ll definitely want to treat the roof slats over the roof to keep it nice and dry during those summer rainstorms.
Follow the advice in this guide and you’ll have the best BBQ on the block! Don’t be surprised when friends, family, and neighbors alike make frequent stops at your place once the smoking starts. A proper electric smoker and Masterbuilt electric smokehouse can completely transform your life for the better.