I've seen a lot of posts from owners of older smokers or the 008/009 smokettes that complain of large temperature fluctuations, and usually this is met with responses of "don't worry about it if the meat turns out tasty." Well, this answer isn't good enough for me.
I am a new owner of a SM008- was looking for a SM025 but found a great deal on a stores last SM008 so had to go for it. But now I'm wondering if the extra $$ would be worth it for the electronic temperature control unit vs the mechanical method.
Are there any owners of multiple Cookshack units out there that can give an evaluation of the difference in the BBQ using a smoker with the electronic controller vs the mechanical controller? I would think that there would have to be some difference in quality when one unit holds temperature within +/-10-20 degrees and the other allows fluctuations of +/-40 degrees.
The reason why I've grown concerned with this is because I started thinking about smoking at low temperatures. If you have large temperature fluctuations when cooking a 10lb brisket at 225, how bad are those fluctuations (relative to the desired temperature) going to be when smoking 2 lbs of fish at 200. With something like fish, not only with the fluctuations be more noticeable, but since you are only smoking for a few hours, you have less time for the temperature fluctuations to balance out.
Maybe I'm being too negative. I just keep thinking back to days when I smoked pork on my propane grill with wood chips, and I was able to keep a more constant temperature than the mechanical temp control unit in my SM008 without too much effort.
So let me know guys- do the temp fluctuations on the mechanical controllers cause problems with foods that take shorter cook times. Have you seen a difference in quality of the meat between a controller that kept a very constant temperature (electronic) and one that allowed more fluctuations (mechanical)?