Hats off to the clever man or woman who discovered that smoking meat, seafood, and other comestibles make them taste incredible. If you’ve ever eaten ribs, brisket, or even smoked cheese, you know what we mean.
But, it may seem like smoking food is the exclusive domain of restaurants, pitmasters, and weekend warriors with all the time and gear in the world?
If you think that, then prepare to reconsider your position. In this Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker review, we’re going to show you a smoker that is designed to make an authentic wood smoking experience available to all.
No more vents and baffles, no more piles of charcoal and fancy lighters.
In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at this compact smoker, discuss its features, and maybe uncover a few flaws along the way.
At the end, we’ll give our honest opinion, and you’ll know whether or not it’s the smoking solution you need in your life.
- 1 The Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker in a Nutshell
- 2 A Few Words About Smokin-It
- 3 What’s in the Box?
- 4 First Impressions
- 5 Why Do Customers Choose the Smokin-It Model 2 Electric Smoker?
- 6 Specs
- 7 Key Features
- 8 Ease of Use
- 9 Cleaning and Maintenance
- 10 Available Support
- 11 Available Upgrades, Accessories and Attachments
- 12 Warranty Details
- 13 Quick Tips to Get the Best Out of Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker
- 14 What We Like
- 15 What We Don’t Like
- 16 Should You Buy the Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker?
- 17 Other Models Might Suit You If
- 18 Final Thoughts
The Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker in a Nutshell
Looking a lot like a small safe, the Model #2 is a compact smoker capable of smoking about 31 pounds of meat at a time in a controlled, low-temperature environment.
The Model #2 does most of the work itself, with an automated thermostat adjusting the heat as needed.
Wood chunks placed in a small box at the bottom of the smoker are slowly burned by an electric heating element, releasing smoke and heat into the chamber.
Over many hours, meat is gradually cooked and infused with smoky flavor. It’s a delicious alternative to grilling and roasting, and it’s one of the best ways to enjoy meat cooked outdoors.
Let’s dig into why we like it…
A Few Words About Smokin-It
With a slogan that reads, “If it can’t be smoked, you shouldn’t be eating it!”, you know these guys are seriously into smoking. (Although, right now I’m trying to imagine how or why I’d smoke my cereal in the morning, haha.)
Steve and Rebecca Lamier founded Smokin-It in their Michigan garage in 2009. The company expanded from the garage to a barn and then to a warehouse.
Today, they sell smokers for both residential and commercial use across the US, Canada, Europe, and beyond. You won’t find them in any stores, however, so watch for the link to purchase in this review.
What’s in the Box?
- Owner’s manual
- Four 3” casters
- Four 14.5” x 14.5” grilling racks
- Smoke box and drip pan
- Hickory wood samples
It’s a squat little smoker, for sure, but the 100% stainless steel construction makes it look pretty good. Though you’d be forgiven for thinking this was an outdoor bar fridge at a quick glance.
Awesome to see four casters included because you know you’ll be rolling it around. And they’re locking casters, so the rolling only happens when you want it!
Between the casters and the dual door latches the Model #2 looks like it means business, despite its small stature. The riveted lit is an excellent outside indicator of the high-quality construction methods found throughout. Oh, and it looks easy to use, too, what with only one knob on top.
Why Do Customers Choose the Smokin-It Model 2 Electric Smoker?
You just have to look through their forum (more on that later) to see that thousands of people love their Smokin-It smoker.
They choose them because the owners have worked hard to succeed and still have a hands-on approach to the business – no faceless corporation here! Plus, it’s a well-built unit that’s easy to operate. Most importantly, it makes it easy for anyone to enjoy piles of delicious smoked food.
And, they donate to several charities that support dog welfare and wellbeing. How can you not like that?
Plus, as of the time of writing, you get a personal note from the president included in the box. No, it’s not worth anything, but it’s a nice touch and really connects you with the brand.
- Dimensions: (W, D, H): 17” x 20.5” x 28.25” including casters
- Weight: 114 lbs.
- Cord length: 12’
- Portability: Semi-permanent location
- Fuel type: Electric burner / wood chunks
- Power: 800 watts
- Cooking capacity: Approximately 31 pounds of meat
- Pre-heat time: Not required as per manufacturer
- Temp range: 100F – 250F
- Automatic thermostat
- 100% 18-gauge 201 stainless steel
- Gasket-less sealing door
- Twin door latches
- Rubber casters
- Side handles
- Removable shelf supports
The ability to set-it-and-forget-it is one of the most appealing features of the Smokin-It Model #2. You really can just turn the rheostat to the temperature you want and then just walk away.
There’s no need to keep playing with baffles or vents, making it simple to operate and freeing you up to deal with other things. You can even let it smoke overnight.
However, it is always a good idea to use a digital thermometer to monitor what’s happening inside any smoker, any of those from our best smoker thermometer guide will suffice.
If you’ve read up on smokers, you may have come across tales of replacing gaskets and seals. These parts do wear out over time, and sometimes they come subpar from the manufacturer. Smokin-It has done away with these pesky pieces altogether.
The twin door latches hold the door tightly closed, and compression-seals the smoker. You’ll see some smoke seepage early in its life, but that should diminish over time. And you’ll never have to replace gaskets, a fiddly job at the best of times.
Four rubber casters allow you to roll the Smokin-It to the optimal location and back to storage with ease and without excessive jostling and banging. That’s important when your smoker weighs over 100 pounds.
Older versions of the Model #2 lacked side handles, making them awkward to move around. Thankfully, Smokin-It has addressed that issue. The twin, indented side handles simplify maneuvers, and don’t add anything to the width of the smoker.
Ease of Use
If you like easy, you may have found your smoker. There’s literally one knob and one light on top.
The knob functions as the on/off switch, and you dial in your desired temperature with it, too. The light comes on any time the heating element is functioning. So, just turn it on and set the temperature. The rest is automatic.
Well, almost. You do have to load your smoking tray with wood and put it in place. Not exactly a chore, since the tray slides in and out with ease.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Keeping the interior pieces of your Smokin-It Model #2 clean is a breeze: the removable racks, shelves, and drip pan are all dishwasher-safe. Use a damp, warm sponge to give the interior surfaces a light wipe-down and to remove any grease that ends up on the floor of the smoke chamber.
Don’t try and scrape everything right down to showroom floor condition, though. A bit of seasoning helps with flavor and heat retention.
If things get really cruddy inside, mix up a vinegar and water solution in a spray bottle for a deeper clean. Just don’t ever use soap inside your smoker; that’s not a flavor you want on your food!
On the outside, use any stainless steel cleaner to keep your smoker looking good. If rust spots appear, you can buff them off with steel wool. If you always store your smoker in a protected area away from rain and snow, you shouldn’t have much trouble with rust, however.
For general inquiries about your Smokin-It Model 2, you can either phone the company (no toll-free number) or send them an email. They do their best to respond within 24 hours.
For more specific issues, you have a variety of options. You could browse through a small library of PDF manuals and guides, including the Lazy-Q Book, a general guide to smoking for beginners. There’s an FAQ section, but it’s almost entirely about ordering products.
You’ll probably get more value from the forum section on the Smokin-It website. There are thousands of topics with tens of thousands of responses to sift through. Chances are if you have a question about your Model 2, someone has already asked it and received many, many answers.
Away from the corporate site, social media is a great way to follow your favorite brands and to connect with other owners. Smokin-It currently has accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. You can also register at their website to have news and deals emailed directly to you.
All reports indicate that the customer service at Smokin-It is excellent. One person even reported that when he phoned in for support, he actually got the president of the company on the line. When does that ever happen?
The Better Business Bureau rates Smokin-It an A+, and no one has ever lodged a complaint with the BBB against them.
Available Upgrades, Accessories and Attachments
Smokin-It offers a range of add-on products to help you get more enjoyment out of your Model #2. We recommend starting with a cover to protect the electronics and the stainless steel finish from the elements between smoke sessions.
You might also appreciate the cord hanger to help preserve your cord and plug, and keep it neatly out of the way.
Perhaps the best accessory, however, is the stainless steel smoker cart. It’s built specifically to hold your Model #2 smoker, and it raises it up high enough that you won’t have to bend over anymore to operate it and load/unload meat. Plus, it features two side shelves and a bottom shelf for storage and workspace. Total height with the cart is 46 inches.
If you’d prefer some enclosed storage, Smokin-It offers a rolling cabinet that fits under the Model #2. It adds 24 inches to the height, has four 4” casters, and gives you more than 3 cubic feet of weather-resistant storage with a fixed shelf in the middle.
Also available are sausage and jerky hooks, a chip screen to allow the use of wood chips when you’re out of chunks, extra shelving (the Model #2 will take a fifth rack), a veggie rack, rib rack, and more.
Cookshack offers a 3-year warranty on all its products to cover defective workmanship and materials. During the three years, you’re entitled to one free replacement of all the heating elements and controls.
Be aware that the warranty only covers parts and not labor. Replacement parts will be shipped free of charge during the warranty period.
Additionally, if you have any buyer’s remorse, you can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee. This only applies if you haven’t used the smoker, however, so be very sure before you try it.
Quick Tips to Get the Best Out of Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker
- Season your new electric smoker by turning it on, and smoking some wood but without any food inside for a few hours
- Line the drip pan with heavy-duty foil for easy clean-up
- Use only a couple of wood chunks at a time, about 3-4 ounces
- Do not use pellets or chips, unless you have a chip screen
- The temperature may vary during a smoke session by as much as +/-30F – this is normal
- Unit may be used as a warmer or for slow cooking without wood
What We Like
- Large capacity but a small footprint
- Easy start-up
- 100% stainless steel construction
- Easy custom configuration of shelving
- No gaskets to wear out and need replacing
- Dishwasher safe components
- Extra-long power cord
What We Don’t Like
- We prefer digital controls to analog, but they do keep the costs down
- There’s no Wi-Fi, and no temperature probe ports, but if you own a wireless digital thermometer (which you should), those are redundant, anyway
- It’s very low to the ground without the cart, so consider splurging for this useful accessory
- No electricity = no smoke, so no blackout cooking
Should You Buy the Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker?
The combination of user-friendly features, excellent construction, and attractive price point make it easy to recommend this smoker.
If you’ve never smoked before and want to give it a try, or you’re tired of all the work that goes into operating charcoal smokers, it’s more than worth the modest investment.
Other Models Might Suit You If
- You don’t have access to electricity where you want to smoke
- You always smoke for big crowds and need a larger unit
- You always smoke for just a few people and need a smaller unit
That brings us to the end of our Smokin-it Model 2 Electric smoker Review.
Now, there is a line of thinking that says, “bigger is better.” But, the Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker proves a different old adage: “good things come in small packages.”
You can smoke a lot of meat in this tidy unit, it’s simple to use, and it’s built to last. What’s not to like? In our opinion, this is one of the best buys in smokers you’ll find.
Whether this is the first or the hundred-and-first article of ours you’ve read, thanks for making us part of your grilling and smoking journey. If you know others on the same road, be sure and share a link to the article, or the whole site.
And if you have any questions, please do let us know in the comments section below, we love to hear from people and always answer every one.
Until next time, enjoy your outdoor cooking!