Southern Country Electric Water Smoker 2 in 1at a Glance
This is a smaller barrel type smoker, with two racks that are accessible from the top. While it is very basic, and perfect for a beginner or someone with a small budget, it can produce high quality BBQ.
This is a smaller smoker. It has two racks and you can only access the lower rack by removing the top section. It has a large water pan which also holds your woodchips. Its big enough to cook about 4 racks of ribs (more if you get rib holders) and you can forget about getting a large turkey in this thing.
This is a beginner, low cost electric smoking option. It comes in around $100. Due to the low cost it is lacking many of the features that a larger more expensive smoker will give you.
While this smoker does have limited space it can produce higher quality meats. One nice feature is that it can actually cook at higher temperatures like a normal grill, so if you want to crisp up your ribs and cook sauce in after smoking them you can do it all in one machine.
While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles this Southern Country electric smoker does exactly what its designed to do. While it doesn't have as easy access to what you're cooking if you leave it alone and let it cook you will deliver quality Q.
Its inexpensive, easy to use and great for beginners. If you want something simple without all the bells and whistles this will deliver. It also has the ability to function as an electric grill.
The fact that it is so basic means you will have to watch it more closely than other models. You will need additional equipment like a remote meat thermometer if you want to create the best quality smoked meats.
Who Uses This Smoker
In a short answer, my neighbor, Gary, has one. I didn't even know it was an electric rig until I saw him setting up to cook some ribs the other day, and asked if I could hang out and watch to review it for my site. The only condition was I had to provide the beer, which I was happy to do!
This smoker is very similar in appearance to many of the charcoal fired barrel smokers a lot of people grew up with. It has two racks inside, and a wood chip pan at the bottom below the heating element, and a water pan above it. The only real difference is that the fire pan holds only the wood chips and not a load of charcoal.
- Height: 37"
- Width: 21.5"
- Depth 27"
- Weight 23lb
- Number of cook racks: 2
- Watts: 1500
- Temperature Gauge: Yes
- Built in wood chip box
- Has a built in water pan
Other features: Total of 351" of cooking surface. Can be used as an electric grill.
One nice aspect of this electric smoker is that it sits relatively high up, and because you access it from the top there is no need to place it on any kind of stand. You do need to remove the top rack to get to anything on the lower rack, but if you put everything in at the same time its not much of an issue. Just make sure to put whatever cooks the longest at the lower level.
Gary was making spare ribs (his recipe not mine) and he was doing two racks. I did get to sample one rib, since he was making them for his family dinner, but it was so good I would have loved to have more!
The cook went pretty smoothly, Gary has been using this smoker for a couple years and knows all the tricks to it by now. The temperature control is where the cord meets the heating element at the base of the barrel. It isn't overly accurate according to him, but he has figured out how to get it to temperature. He has also removed the stock thermometer and added a more accurate Char-Broil temperature gauge. To regulate temperature there are sliding doors on the side which control the amount of heat escaping and can also effect the level of smoke (more air, more smoke). He was able to keep it cooking at 225 degrees all afternoon despite polishing off most of my beers and beating me consistently in horseshoes.
Things I don't like:
Overall this is a simple basic rig. While I'd like to see more features that's not going to happen at this price point. Gary told me he did have to repaint it a year ago due to leaving it outdoors all summer with no cover, but that is to be expected. The barrel seems like it is made out of thinner metal, so it isn't the most efficient smoker out there, but it can hold temperature. The included thermostat isn't worth much, so be prepared to add a better quality one yourself.
Here's a short video that looks like a great pork butt getting smoked up in this baby!
A good starter smoker for someone looking to learn on a budget. While it seems like it might be tough to control the temp it can be done, and trust me its a lot easier to do with an electric smoker than it is with charcoal or gas, especially for a beginner! If you are trying smoking for the first time this will be a great rig for you.