When it comes to looks the Old Smokey Electric Smoker will probably end up at the bottom of the class. It looks like an oversized tin can or a small water tank. Except for a power cord trailing from the back of the unit and a couple of handle bars at the side and one at the top, this is a really plain looking appliance.
This is definitely not the type of kitchen appliance to show off to envious friends. Fortunately for the Old Smokey Electric Smoker, it is a perfect example of the old saying, “Looks can be deceiving”.
Like the Little Chief smoker, the Old Smokey Electric Smoker has also held on to its roots as far as design is concern. The company that produces this smoker has been around for more than 75 years and as you can probably tell from the looks of it, the design of their smokers haven’t changed much.
Some people may look at this as a bad thing but when it comes to smokers we believe that more often than not, it is better not to mess around with a good thing.
The Old Smokey Electric Smoker also shares similarity with the Smoking Tex Pro 1400, one of of picks for Best Overall Electric Smoker. Both smokers rely on tried and tested designs that have remained relatively unchanged over the years. There are no bell and whistles. What you get is a solid performing smoker. However, despite their minimalist designs, both are also the most expensive smokers in their respective categories.
What we like about the Old Smokey Electric Smoker
First of all, we would like to stress that you need to look past the Old Smokey Electric Smoker’s simplistic tin can design and relatively high price to see its true beauty. Although it may not look like much but the Old Smokey Electric Smoker is one of the easiest smoker to use and it is highly recommended for the beginner smoker or a truly lazy one.
One of the things that you may have noticed about the Old Smokey Electric Smoker is that it has no access door for either the water pan or the wood chip pan. In fact, like the Little Chief smoker, it doesn’t even have a water pan. The reason for this is that this smoker uses a fully sealed system to retain both the smoke and moisture in the smoker.
Having a fully sealed system means that no moisture escapes. Any moisture that dehydrates from the smoked meat just condenses under the flat lid and drips right back sealing in all the juices and preventing the meat from drying out. The same goes for the smoke from the wood chips. Only a small load of initial wood chips are needed for hours of smoking as no smoke is lost. Since an electric smoker requires no refilling of fuel, the Old Smokey Electric Smoker is basically a fire and forget cooking appliance that requires almost no tending.
Like the Meco 5030 Electric Smoker, the Old Smokey Electric Smoker also comes with a simple temperature control that allows you to set the smoking temperature. However, unlike the Meco 5030, the variable temperature control dial on the Old Smokey lets you set the temperature according to your cooking time and style. Don’t expect precise temperature control like the higher end electric smoker with fancy thermostat controllers but for a basic electric smoker, it is good enough. The smoker uses a fairly high powered 1250 W heating element that provides more than enough heat for smoking even in cold weather.
The smoker measures 15.5” in diameter and has a height of 29”. It is slightly smaller than the Meco 5030 and it has capacity for about 30 lbs of meat and fish with about 280 square inches of shelf space. Whether you can actually load up 30 lbs inside the smoker really depends on what you are putting inside and how you arrange things around. And because the smoker is constructed like a tin can with a lid on top, there is very little assembly required unlike the multi-segmented Meco 5030.
Last but not least, the simplicity of the Old Smokey Electric Smoker also makes this a highly durable smoker. Less parts means less chances of parts breaking down. The smoker is constructed from aluminized steel which is highly resistant to corrosion plus it can withstand high temperatures. With proper care, this smoker will last for years.
What we didn’t like about the Old Smokey Electric Smoker
Although the Old Smokey Electric Smoker works excellently and produces flavorful smoked meats, we are still going to gripe about the price. For an old design that uses very basic parts and almost no modern technology whatsoever, it is kinda pricey. As it is, many people will forego the Old Smokey Electric Smoker because of its plain design combined with a relatively high price.
The Old Smokey Electric Smoker is a top loader plus its 29″ height body is made out of single piece. This makes the smoker relatively more difficult to clean up compared to the cabinet design of the Little Chief and the segmented design of the Meco 5030. However, the drip pan does prevent too much of an oily mess inside the smoker.
While the Old Smokey Electric Smoker is tightly seal to prevent moisture and smoke loss, it still loses quite a lot of heat to the environment as the walls are not insulated. If you would like to cut down on the electricity consumption, you can add your own insulation blanket to help retain the heat.
If you can look past the simple design and slightly high price tag, the Old Smokey Electric Smoker is a great electric smoker and ideal for the smoking beginner. The design is highly durable and smoking with the Old Smokey Electric Smoker is as simple as loading the wood chips, placed your meats on the tray, turn on the power and walk away.
Cleaning requires more work due to the top loader and single segment design but the inclusion of a drip pan does help a bit.
If you are looking for a simple, small-sized, non-fuss electric smoker that produces smoked meats that can easily rival those that come out from an expensive restaurant, the Old Smokey Electric Smoker is a good candidate.Click Here for Pricing and Reviews on Amazon