If you are a smoking purist, you might not like the article that I am about to write but, so be it. This article is about electric smokers, particularly the Smokin It brand of electric smokers. This is currently my go to smoker and in this article I will attempt to tell you why.
First off, I love to cook and I love smoked meats. That being said, there is a huge time commitment involved in smoking your own meat. You can, after all, spend 10 to 12 hours cooking a brisket and 16 to 18 hours cooking a pork butt. This is a lot of time tending a grill. As a father of three, I just do not have that much time. In addition, having done those long cooks with a smoker, I know that by the time the meat is done, often you are whooped. So what is the answer.
The electric smoker.I know you have seen the glass and cheap metal smokers in the store and laughed at them. I am not talking about these. My brand of choice is the Smokin It Smoker. It comes in a variety of sizes for recreational to professional sizes. It features a double wall insulated stainless steel construction, a low mounted electric heating element with a wood box that takes chunks, not those expensive and hard to find pellets. This smoker has allowed me to continue smoking with a busy schedule. I can put a pork butt in at 9PM and have it ready at 3PM the next day with absolutely no tending. Just add your meat, fill your wood box, set your temperature and insert your remote controlled thermometer probe. That is it. Other meats are just as easy. Briskets in 10 -12 hours, smoked chicken in 4 hours with absolutely no grill tending.
The only downside that you have with the electric smoker is the absence of a pink line. This requires oxygen which reacts with the smoke and the meat. Oxygen flow is more limited with the electric smoker but the smoke taste is just the same. The other downside is with smoked chicken. You are just not going to get a crispy skin unless you take it off and grill it a few minutes after you are done smoking it. Other than that, the electric smoker is a dream.
So, in conclusion, if you love to smoke but have given up due to time constraints, think about going electric. Best decision I ever made.