Friday, September 21, 2012


Size is way compact
About three years ago, after watching way too much of the Food Channel, I decided I desperately needed to be able to smoke meats and, not being willing to tend a wood fire for 10 or 12 hours at a throw, bought myself a propane smoker. It is not a perfect instrument but it's adequate for my needs and I've done a fair amount of smoking over the last few years. Unfortunately, a metal box standing over 4 feet tall and 20 inches deep doesn't travel easily, so when we started thinking about going full-time in the RV I started wondering what my options were to continue woodsmoke barbecuing.

According to Alton Brown, you can use a couple of gigantic flower pots and a hot plate to get the job done but it seemed kind of slapdash and requires a lot of heavy ceramics and a certain amount of luck to get things to fit together properly. Then I came across an item called the Smokin-it model one electric smoker which you can see here:

This baby has a 300 W electric heating element, gets a maximum amount of smoke out of a minimum amount of wood and maintains its temperature automatically, so you can set it and forget it. It weighs under 50 pounds and fits perfectly in the basement cabinets of our Allegro.

A steady wisp of smoke - just what you want.
Here you can see it set up at our campsite at Rifle Gap. We smoked a tri-tip roast that I had put a spice rub on in the morning to season while we drove. The body of the smoker is insulated kind of like a refrigerator (whereas my propane smoker is just sheet metal) so it retains the heat well and seals up tight to hold in the smoke. I have used it a few times at home but this is the first time we took it traveling with us. We carry an extension cord and plugged it into the 120 V outlet on the electrical hookup post and it worked like a charm. It took about 90 min. for the tri-tip to come up to temperature, then I finished it with a few minutes on the grill.  Something like a pork shoulder would take overnight, but it really doesn't require much tending.

The result was more than satisfactory. I love this thing and can't recommend it enough. You probably need to check the dimensions and make sure it will fit in the storage compartments of your rig, but if you want to do woodsmoke barbecue from your motorhome, I think this is the way to go.

Hard at work fixing dinner

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