Hello, I am new to the Cookshack Forum and joined a week ago while I was waiting for my new Cookshack SM025 to arrive from Amazon. The first unit was delivered on the 12th and had a fist size hole in the side of the box. I took pictures, opened the box and discovered a dent in the left side next to the lower door hinge. The dent was actually about 6" lower than the hole in the box, but still thought something had hit the smoker. I promptly returned the unit and received my replacement on the 15th. Great customer service from Amazon, BTW.  However, upon opening this box, I discovered the same dent in the left side next to the lower door hinge. I'm now thinking this is no coincidence that the same dent is in the same place. I then noticed a similar dent on the right side next to the door latch.  At this point, I determined that this is possibly due to poor welding. The stainless steel shell got too hot during the welding process and warped the metal skin. I also noticed blackened marks around the door hinges from the weld. The inside of the door welds also were poorly done. It looked like a high school shop class project. 

Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed.  I just built a custom table, on casters, to keep my Cookshack and be able to move freely around the patio and pool area in our backyard. I also had a brisket marinated and ready to smoke and ended up smoking on my Weber charcoal grill. I read many reviews on the Cookshack and was well pleased with my decision until I saw the unit; actually, both of them. I would think for the price of these that the craftsmanship would be much better. I planned on using this often and showing it off to friends and family. There's no way I'm going to showcase this smoker, the quality is embarrassing.

In conclusion, I am wondering if this is the way all smokers are built and does anyone care about quality anymore? I am currently looking at the Smokin' Tex 1400 and hoping it will not be a disappointment as well.  I would love to hear some feedback as to what other Cookshack or Smokin Tex smoker owners have experienced.

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Bryant - You have let us know of your problem, complete with photos. But you did not mention discussing this with the good folks at Cookshack!  I suggest contacting them regarding your concerns over quality of workmanship. I would also recommend buying direct from CookShack. Like Mountainman and Jay, I have found the folks at CS to be down home pleasant to deal with. 

On another note, I have to state that nothing made by man is going to be 100% perfect 100% of the time.  Also, it may be that the two smokers you received were meant for recycling they were not up to CS quality standards and someone inadvertently packed them for shipping.  Simple human error. Hard to tell.  But don't write them off.  They produce great equipment.

Thank you for your replies gentlemen. I will call Cookshack today to see what they have to say.  I will mention that the SM025 was on sale at Amazon for $649 and after tax was just under $700. I looked again today and it is back to original price of $899. I could not pass up the sale. The 2 smokers delivered were packaged in a Cookshack box and appeared to be direct from the factory. I have a feeling all units are made this way and perhaps I was expecting a little better looking smoker. I'm sure it performs great, but I go for aesthetics too. If I were to have purchased a Masterbuilt or Charbroil for $200 or so, I would expect sub-standard quality.

You have mentioned Cookshack being a great company but I wonder what condition your smokers arrived in? Does the stainless steel shell appear to be warped at the weld points or scorch marks around the hinges? 

Thanks again for your input.

Hi Bryant, I apologize that you are not happy with the finish of the SM025. The "dents" that you are showing in your pictures are caused by the welding process. We plug weld our hinges in place so that we do not have doors that come off units. In my 30 years here at Cookshack we have never replaced a unit that the door came off, I have talked to plenty of our competitors customers who have had that issue. So, while we are aware that cosmetically it is not the best, we want to make sure that our units work properly for years.

Thanks, Stuart

Bryant posted:

Thank you for your replies gentlemen. I will call Cookshack today to see what they have to say.  I will mention that the SM025 was on sale at Amazon for $649 and after tax was just under $700. I looked again today and it is back to original price of $899. I could not pass up the sale. The 2 smokers delivered were packaged in a Cookshack box and appeared to be direct from the factory. I have a feeling all units are made this way and perhaps I was expecting a little better looking smoker. I'm sure it performs great, but I go for aesthetics too. If I were to have purchased a Masterbuilt or Charbroil for $200 or so, I would expect sub-standard quality.

You have mentioned Cookshack being a great company but I wonder what condition your smokers arrived in? Does the stainless steel shell appear to be warped at the weld points or scorch marks around the hinges? 

Thanks again for your input.

Bryant

i purchased my smoker in April 2012. Perfect condition on the exterior. Same on the interior. There was a little heat discoloration where the door panels were welded together but after a couple of smokes you could not see it. Overall my smoker was in first rate condition. 

Again, thank you for your replies and to Stuart from Cookshack. I appreciate your expertise and honesty about your products. Cookshack no doubt has fantastic reviews and I am perhaps a bit picky in appearance. I own a remodeling business and perfection comes with the territory. 

I am new to smoker ownership and wanted the first one to be the best one and to last a long time. I will take all of your comments into consideration.

Thanks again and happy smoking!

Bryant, I certainly understand, for years we have worked to get that bow out of our doors, but in the end we always come back to wanting to make sure the doors will not come off. We are currently looking at some new fasteners that may help, but we always take durability above cosmetic finish.

I hope the smoker gives you many years of great meals if you decide to keep it.

Enjoy!

During my rookie smoking adventure, I had a panic moment when seasoning the smoker.  I had smoke coming out not only from the top ten but the top of the door.  I talked to Stuart on the phone and was schooled in a friendly manner about the doors being more of a compression or pressure seal rather than a gasket, and that this was normal until residue from several smokes filled in the gaps. Also, the smoke had to go over and around the meat so it really did not matter if some seeped through the top of the door; I took that as meaning all was OK.  And it was. I mention this because on this forum as well as a few others I belong to this "leakage" is unexpected and so I pass along my knowledge which I got from Stuart.  If you are already aware of this, please ignore. 

Bryant, stop overthinking it. Put some meat in that thing and turn it on. If anxiety is crushing you over a little dent, wait til' you see the seasoning build-up. You'll be cleaning after every smoke. Handmade has blemishes, it's handmade! I've had mine since 2003, works just the same today. Smokin Tex, Chinese knock-off. No comparison. Aesthetics don't make BBQ taste better! Congrat's on a great purchase!

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