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Smokeeater here, and as the name suggests, I love smoked foods. The name comes from my occupation though, I'm a career firefighter. Most of my meals here at the firestation come from my cookshack. The boys love it!! The best is when citizens come into the station and we hear them say "smells like somethings on fire" we just say "thats just our supper!" Love the forum, tons of great advice...
FLSmoker - Jon

Broke down and ordered the SM066 last night with a lot of accessories. I'm currently in Alaska getting ready to head back to FL with 200 pounds of fish fillets; halibut, ling cod, yellow eye and salmon all frozen in the hotel freezer. I can't wait to try Mr. T's recipe for the salmon. But I read that it's not recommended for halibut. Does anyone have any good recipes for smoked halibut?

Jon H
Estero, FL
I have 2 guys that deal lumberjack pellets within 15 minutes of me..and from what I read they are the catz meow and thats what I will be burning! I work at a john deere dealership and we deliver a lot of parts to one of the dealers, he runs a rental shop, so I just have to have our delivery driver pick them up. Dirty Herman where in da north were ya?
Last edited by kirb4020
After a year and a half of lurking on this forum, debating which brand of smoker to buy, I finally took the plunge and bought myself an AmeriQue. I'm kicking myself for not buying it while I lived in Oklahoma since the shipping alone to Alaska was over half a grand. Though I'm completely new to this style of smoking, I'm looking forward to getting started and learning from all the experts on here!
Howdy folks. I just found this forum recently but have been debating an electric smoker for about a year now. Last year just after Thanksgiving I had a visit with my dermatologist and we were talking about turkeys. I said I normally fry mine, as I did that year. He mentioned that he had recently acquired a Smokin Tex and smoked his. He went on to praise how easy and effortless it was to get great results. It got me to thinking about smoking again. I hadn't done it for years and it was my method of choice for turkeys but I just grew weary of the constant care and feeding of the old Brinkman charcoal smoker.

I've been researching the electrics for the past year and was looking at either the Smokin Tex or Cookshack. The lower price of the ST almost had me but it seems as though most comments favor the CS even if it is a little more spendy. Well, I just pulled the trigger on an SM025 yesterday. Ordered a seafood grill and some other wood. Can't wait for it to show up so I can give it a shot. Been reading through a lot of the information here and not really sure what I'm going to try first. I do predict that this thing is going to get a lot of use and will be well worth the outlay. I was concerned a bit about the size but in retrospect I really don't see myself doing huge volumes of meat in the thing. Time will tell as they say.
Welcome Mike and welcome to the world of electric smokers and CS

It is important to season your new smoker once you get it and there should be instructions in your manual what Cookshack recommends.

There are many kinds of wood choices for your smoker but I would recommend using only chunks of wood and not chips

There are many people here that will answer questions and if you happen to call Cookshack for support ask for Tony or Bill.

Welcome to the family !
Thanks for the welcome guys. I received my smoker Halloween and seasoned it that night. Got it setup in a cabinet (pic is posted in the Show Us Your Smoker Setup thread) and smoked a couple racks of pork ribs Saturday night. They were a hit with the family and were damn tasty. Easiest job ever cooking something in a smoker. Will be doing a whole chicken Sunday. I really like this thing.
I am Idaho Mike, and as the name implies I am Mike from Nampa, Idaho. I am about 30 miles from the Capital of Boise. I am a retired Firefighter/Advanced EMT. Hobbies include building fishing rods, shooting, and running my 2 Cookshack smokers. I have an older 09, and a 045. I have been on the forum for a fairly long time, but don't write much. I am coming into my smoking season. I will be doing around 50 pounds of smoked cheese, 2 to 3 whole turkeys, 2 turkey breasts, 3 Briskets, Summer Sausage, a prime rib, and a bunch of Salmon. Between this forum, and trial and error I have learned to do fairly well with the Smokers.
Hello, from the DC area; my name is Drew, I'm in the Coast Guard, and I'm currently riding a desk at CG HQ.
Got my Smokette Elite two weeks ago, and so far I've made some ribs, a Boston Butt and currently have a small brisket smoking in it's 10th hour. I am enjoying this little smoker tremendously-I've wanted one for 15 years, or so, and plan on using it quite a bit.
The wife fought me on getting the Smokette...until she ate the pulled pork I made. Since then, she's been super-supportive (go figure). Smiler
Welcome to all the new members. I hope you enjoy your smokers as much as I have over the years. It might be a good time to mention a couple of things about living with these smokers.

I don't know if it holds true with the newer 09 models or not, but do know the 025 and the 045 models have a temp. probe that is about 1" long. It is located on the back wall and protrudes into the smoker. Take care to keep any meat clear of this probe. It is there to measure the temperatures inside the smoker, and if it gets buried inside a brisket (don't ask me how I know), it will be measuring the temp of the meat, and not the smoker.

These units have a preset 30 minute start up cycle. The first 30 minutes they are on, they will run at max. temperature. This is supposed to get the smoker temps up, and get the smoke rolling. Every time you shut the unit down and then restart it, It will go into this start up mode.

Finally there may be a "Big Bang" with these units. I never had it with my old 09, but when I got my 045 just before Thanksgiving, the first thing I smoked in it was the Turkey. I started it Early in the morning, and came in for my first cup of coffee. About 45 minutes into the smoke there was a large explosion, or "Big Bang". Every dog in the neighborhood started barking. My wife came out wanting to know what I had done. I was trying to get out to the smoker with visions of seeing my new smoker blown apart, and covered in turkey pieces parts. The smoker looked fine, and when I opened the door the turkey was fine. I continued the smoke and had a couple of smaller bangs. The next day I put a square on my smoker inside and out, and came way with a new appreciation for the quality of the cook shack smokers. There are a number of theories about what causes the "Big Bang". As a Firefighter, I know it was a "Smoke explosion", or "Back draft". I may have caused this by loading the wood box, believe me when I say that there are times when more isn't better, and in these smokers, it really holds true with the amount of wood you put in them.
Hello all,

I am glad to see that there is a welcome forum to allow us new-bees or new-bbq'ees a way to introduce ourselves and start adding to the conversations.

I recently acquired an older cookshack model 008 (Mfg. 1/2000). I have used it a few times but still haven't figured it all out yet. Although I had success with my first shoulder for pulled pork I am still trying to find the temperature setting and where they are with respect to the primitive temp dial on the oven. Today I fired it up and put some temperature probes in it and loaded it with an old dumbell weight made of steel (10 lbs) to try and see how well the oven performs. So far it's been about 3 hours and I'm not sure if what I am seeing is OK or not. So at 3 hrs the temperature while the dial is turned up as far as it can go is only 229°. I'm going to give it a little longer but I'm wondering if what I am finding is typical. For the record, I'm using 3 probes put through a small potato suspending them off the grates, I have that in the middle of the box and under the potato is the round dumbell with a hole in the center for the bar it would be used with. Under the weight is an aluminum pan out of my toaster oven to catch any dripping potato juices. I also confirmed the temperature reading by opening the door and used an infrared temperature meter. The three readings were within a few degrees of each other so I think I'm right about the temperature.

So, any thoughts about what I am dealing with would be very welcome. I would be interested in knowing more about where I should place the probes and if I am better off without the steel mass.

Little White Dory....
Little White Dory,

Welcome to the forum. One of the first things you should do is find and read the 101's. I have a 09 model that is about the same age as your 08. I would have to go outside, and look but it is snowing and around 13 degrees, so I will have to go by memory. The dial on your 08 should go from 140 degrees to 250 degrees. From what I am understanding, you are trying to figure out the temperature inside this unit. You have your probes in potatoes, and after 3 hours on high they are at 229 degrees. I would say this unit is working perfectly. I fully understand what you are trying to do by adding a heat load to the 08. I may be wrong, but I think the potatoes are working as "heat sinks". You are measuring the internal temperature of the potato, and not the temperature inside the smoker. These units are basically ovens. They will keep the temperature at what ever you set. It doesn't matter if you have the unit full, or empty. They will maintain 250 degrees if that is what you set. The great thing in your email is you have heat probes, and will be able to keep track of internal temps. Take good notes on your cooks, from the rub to the amount of wood, start time, and internal temp., all the way through the cook. You will eventually get a feel for when things will be done. Welcome to the world of "Low and slow" cooking, and "It ain't done until it is done"
Hey Mike, thanks for the quick response. I have read the 101's and they are great. The potato was just a sacrificial probe holder! I pushed the probes all the way though so that they could be suspended above any metal that they could come in contact with so as to try and get the "air" temperature inside the box. Part of my objective was to see if the temp varied much within the space inside the box, top,middle, or bottom.... so far it seems consistent with maybe the exception of right above the wood box/heating element.

I let it go for another hour and gave the potentiometer a few spins to clear any old carbon that may have built up on it. It did go up to 240° and then I called it a day. What I was wondering is whether it was a lag or if the oven may have had a heating element that wasn't up to snuff. I also wasn't sure if the 10 lb mass was what could have kept it from hitting the 250° temperature that the dial max shows (I think your right about the range).

Tomorrow I plan on giving another chunk of pork a run for the money and see how the temps behave. I set it for 225° last time and it did the job but was flying blind without temperature probes so I just crossed my fingers and went with the odds that it was working and reasonably accurate. I guess it was! So, now that hat I have probes any thoughts on where and how to set up one to monitor the internal oven temp? Above, below, left, right side any recommendations on a best placement for the oven temp?

Sorry about the weather you guys are having, we are supposed to get cooler too, but I'm along the shore and the Atlantic does a great job of moderating the temps for us here on Long Island. Do you notice a harder time reaching temperature when it's in the low teens to twenties in Idaho?

Thanks again,
When I first got my 055 (same temp range and dial) I put a probe in it and did the same test while set at 225. The temps went from 185 to 265 several times. Average = 225. And after that I quit even thinking about it.

As many here will say: "Don't over think it... Just go cook something". The results are what count.

I think your smoker is working fine. I guess what I was trying to say is: "These are ovens. You don't need to put the heat sinks in. They will cycle on and off, and go up and down in temp., but it all averages out". I know some of the people have mapped out where the hot and cold spots are in their smoker. Believe me, I have over loaded both my 09, and 045. They cooked fine from top to bottom. I could have moved racks around but never needed to.

I have never had a problem smoking in cold weather. It does take a little longer to get the smoker up to temp., but this just keeps the product in the smoke longer. The big problem I have is trying to cold smoke when it is 100 degrees out.

Go cook something, and stop worrying about it. You have a good smoker that has lots of support both on this forum, and at the factory.
Ok, so you had a swing in temperature; that's why I choose to use the "Heat Sink" as you call it. I choose to use the steel mass to avoid the swing and wanted to see if there was still a swing with a load. I didn't experience any swing in temperature and I believe it may have been because of the mass I used. All in all I would have liked to see it hit 250° and ideally hold it.

Starting at about 4:30 Saturday morning I plan on trying out a new rub and If all goes according to plan I will be pulling my pork by dinner time. As of now the only regret is I am using cherry chips and not chunks. I am sure somewhere here there is feedback on chips vs chunks but I will have to look into it later.

Again, thanks for the suggestions....I will report back Sunday sometime!

Smokin, I am sorry, but I don't know how to start a new thread so that LWD, could see it. he asked if the Cook Shake smokers worked in the cold. I fired up the 045 this afternoon. It was 18 degrees out side. 30 minutes in to the smoke, and it was 149 degrees, 1 hour and the smoker was up to the set 200 degrees, and has maintained this since even though the outside temps are going down. Yea, they work in the COLD.
Howdy all y'all! Smiler I just received my new Amerique today and am in the process of seasoning it now. I've been smoking "Q" for a long time on a Weber bullet and Traeger Texas 075. I sold the Traeger and used the proceeds plus a few extra $ to get my Cookshack.
I have been using a friends old Smokette and have been happy with the stuff I've smoked in it.
Hi everybody! I'm porkporkpork! (kinda sums up my primary reason for smoking). For a living, I manage a team of techie geeks like myself at a company that sells stuff online.

Just like Steppy, I received my new Amerique today - I got a sweet deal on a refurb unit thanks to this very forum's advice to call CS directly and ask about it (you've been helpful already). I just finished seasoning her & rolling her into the garage for the night. Too bad it gets dark so early this time of year, I could have stood & admired her for a while longer, she's so purty.

Been Q'ing for several years now, my MES finally succumbed to the elements. I don't think it was built to last forever, but it was a good little smoker for what I paid & it turned out a lot of tasty ribs, butts, jerky & fish, so no complaints.

I'm looking forward to more pork & beef delectables and trying my hand at fowl & cheese (not at the same time tho). From lurking, this looks like a great bunch of helpful folks, so I'm looking forward to putting the collective knowledge here to great culinary use.

Sorry for the abbreviation. You won't regret your purchase of the AQ. My advice (as posted earlier) is to season it well and then utilize a few well-placed probes in your oven to check where your hotter and cooler spots are before you do any large cooks. Just so you know where to place stuff for your best and most repeatable temperatures. The AQ is a GREAT smoker, just get to know her a little and you'll have the easiest and best Q you've ever done. Temperature maintenance will not be a problem. The internal probe CS gives you is pretty accurate, but it only tells you the doneness of the specific location where you have placed it. As many good cooks here have said, use it as a guide and then check when it gets close by other means, depending on the cut of meat, fish, etc. I have had great luck with my AQ with PBs, ribs, beef plate short ribs (my favorite), salmon, and brisket. Good luck!
Hello all, and thank you for such a great site. I am a self confessed foodie. I smoke, BBQ, and grill. I currently have four different units on the back porch and in my yard no sorry five counting drum cooker. I was introduced to CS by a couple of guys on a fishing site I belong too. I raise a steer and a couple of pigs every year to help feed my addiction and for dinners. Any ways I am ready to take the cook Shack plunge. So I thought what the heck I`ll check my local Craigs List, well whata know up pops a CS 1000, he says he purchased it new 4yrs ago and has used it very little. the pictures look really good except for the lid on the hopper is warped he claims it was done by the heat. My questions are is that normal and if so is there a fix? Also is there a big difference in the 1000 and the new PG 1000 I see advertised. Here is the manufacture date and serial # of the unit. serial is pc1006 date of mfr is 8-17-10. I can share the link to the add if that's permitted or if you guys would like. He is asking 1.275 for the unit which seems like a smoking deal to me any thoughts? And thanks in advance, I look forward being an active part of this group.


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