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dschaef: I have done it both ways. I don't know that it makes a lot of difference one way or the other. You will really like using these smokers in the cold. I have used mine in below 0 weather, and they have run just fine. Set them and forget them. I have several of the remote read thermometers, and it is really nice sitting in the house and knowing what is happening in the smoker. Some of the new ones work with smart phones. I haven't tried them since I am not smart enough for a smart phone.
Originally posted by dschaef:
BTW, I'm located in Wisconsin so the SMO25 is in for a lot of cold weather smoking.

The SM025 will do just fine. I had an SM020, cooked through blizzards, below zero temps, rain, sleet, snow, you name it. Never a hiccup. In the winter it'll just take a little longer to get up to temp.

Welcome to the forum.

Howdy Ed Clay currently residing in Saint Augustine Florida,
I have been makin Barbecue for to long to remember, My first cooker was R2 D2 thought I went big time back in the day when I got a SNPP , I cook for parties and crowds in my Big Jim Lazy Q offset it runs propane , coals or wood, I added a stainless steel tray at the bottom in order to Direct Q. I recently aquired a SM 009 from a friend who is scrapper, I paid all of $25 for it brought it home cleaned it up and it works just fine. It is the older model with the knob not digital but it does a very nice job smoking.

Merry Christmas everyone Smiler
Hi all, joined this forum yesterday after placing our SM025 order in. Live in downtown Indianapolis now. Made in the USA brought me here for an electric smoker. I am new to smoking though I've lived in Kansas City, Durham North Carolina and Austin Texas in the past. Looking forward to finally not depending on someone else for my que! -Alex

PS got a call from FedEx this morning they are delivering tomorrow! Wow! That was fast! Delivery is Jan 12!
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Had never heard of a Cookshack until some friends on a bourbon board started talking about theirs. What a rabbit hole I found myself going down. Stalked Craigslist for a few months and found a good deal on a SM025 and pulled the trigger immediately. When I say it is the best thing I've bought in years, I mean it. Love it. Even got my Dad who is a BGE warhorse on the path to ownership.

If any of you find yourself in the Napa area, please let me know.
Greetings all,
Biggz here... Been smoking stuff for years in everything from my first Little Chief to my latest Traeger and many others in between. I recently treated myself to a new SM025. After seasoning it and doing some reading on the forum, today I am breaking it in with my first smoke of sockeye salmon (it's a Northwest thing). Just now coming to temp (I really like the temp probe program) so it'll be off soon. Next up for this afternoons smoke will be a whole chicken. Looking forward to many years of living in the happy zone of flavors.........
Originally posted by Padrefan98:
Welcome Sherpa. My first cookshack was a SM-025. Still have it but it's currently on loan to my brother. How do you like your ribs so far?

The first batch of ribs was very good, but not the best I've ever had. The second batch, however, was very near the best I've ever had! I suspect the third attempt will be the best I've ever had and I cannot wait!!!!!
Welcome Sherpa. Check out the 101's that appear at the top of the different sections. There is some good information in them. There are some interesting things to learn about your new smoker. The first one is when you are loading your smoker make sure that the little tube that sticks out of the back wall of your smoker. is not in contact with the meat. There are others and if you spend some time reading I think you will find the stories. One of the hardest lessons I had to learn was when the recipe calls for 4 OZ. of wood, try to stick as close as you can to this. These smokers do not need a lot of wood to make good BBQ. Then there is the "Big Bang". You may never experience one, but you need to know about them just in case. My "Big Bang" happened while I had my new 045 filled with 2 turkeys. About 45 minutes into the cook I had the Bang. My wife was in the back of the house and came running out screaming "What the heck was that"? All of the dogs in the neighborhood were going ballistic. I ran out thinking my new smoker was going to be round and there were going to be turkey pieces parts all over my back yard. The smoker was fine, the turkeys were fine but I shut the smoker down just to make sure everything was all right. That brings up another thing you should know. These smokers have a preset startup mode. No matter what temperature you set them to run at, for the first 30 to 45 minutes they are set to run full blast. This is to get the smoke rolling fast. If you shut the smoker down, or the smoker looses power for some reason, when you turn it back on, the smoker will go back into the startup mode. Enjoy your smoker, and welcome to the group.
Welcome to the forum! You'll find lots of exerience, ideas, recipes, disaster reports, success stories, and just plain everyday enjoyment of smoking food here. You'll find experts in smoking fish, brisket, pork, steak, etc., all willing to share (and argue about, and compare) their techniques and flavorings. Some truly unique stuff will have you immediately searching for meat cuts and ingredients you've never heard of. Enjoy!
Thanks to you all for the warm welcome! I've already spent the better part of the day reading through the 101's and preparing to attempt my ALL-TIME FAVORITE (brisket). There is a wealth of information here and thus far, what I've gotten out of it all is to keep a journal, which I've already started.

Now, if I can just understand what in the hell is wrong with my CS thermometer and what the hell it's good for.....? Thank god for my Weber 6741 or I'd be even more lost....
Good afternoon everyone. I have been smoking for about 20 years on a electric water bullet. I have a lot of success with that thing but alas, it died with a couple of racks in that cold, darn metal missile. I have been wanting a smoker I could control a little bit more than not at all. So I did my typical thing and geeked-out on smokers. The SM025 won and I did my first smoke with a whole chicken. Fantastic, everything was as I hoped. Looking forward to my new adventures into proper q...well at least the lazy persons electric style.
Hey everyone,

New to smoking here... bought a "previously loved" Smokette II from a friend who got a larger CS smoker.

I'm in LOVE! I've only had it a month or so and started with a brisket, then a pork shoulder, and a couple pork butts. Everything has been fantastic, I don't know how you can go wrong with these CS smokers.
Originally posted by Wellpark:
Hi All,

I am opening a Smokehouse Bistro in Bonnie Scotland. I have just purchased an FEC 240.

I want to try to create a fusion of Smokey Cue with a nod to the local produce in Scotland. There is an excellent supply of cheeses, lamb, beef and pork. We are also on the coast for salmon and shell fish. Should be fun.

Excellent! Welcome to the family. Hope you enjoy your 240 as much as I enjoy my 100. And if it's not a trade secret, we'd love to see a few smoked Scottish recipes that you come up with. Best of luck in your new endeavor and keep us posted with your progress.

HELLO everyone, my name is Joyce and I am so glad to be a part of this community. I work as a web developer for an online shop that sells quality pet supplies shock collars for dogs, dog crates, and pet bed. Thank you for giving me the privilege to join this forum. I am looking forward to getting new recipes and tips from the aspiring cooks in CS. See you around! 

Last edited by joynhappiness

Phaelon56 is the screen name I've used for the past 20 years in a variety of forums - travel, food/dining/cooking, and coffee/espresso. I'm also a big fan of live and recorded music (most genres except for country and hip-hop) and have a kick-a*s vintage audio system that I spent years putting together.

I am Owen O'Neill - formerly of central NY state, but as of last year a transplant to the Triangle area of NC.  Back in the late 1990's I purchased a cheap ($70) Char-Broil electric bullet style water smoker. It had limited capacity (three full racks of ribs if halved and using rib racks,) didn't perform well if outdoor temps were below 75 degrees, and required replenishing the water bowl at least once during each smoking session (more if it was pork shoulder.)  I started with hickory chips but later used mesquite, then a  combination of the two.  That unit died after ten years of use (4x to 5x times per year,) and I bought another one just like it.  Used that one for 8 years, then gave it to a friend when we moved.

Fast forward to now:  Did lots of research and was finding Masterbuilt, Char-Broil, and other brands in the $200 to $300 price range that looked iffy, in terms of build quality and reliability.  Spotted a used SM025 on Facebook Marketplace, did some research ( I had never heard of the brand.) We settled on $400, including casters and the probe. It needs a light cleaning but is in perfect working order. I've never before cooked a brisket, so I tried one this past weekend. Until I develop a better dry rub of my own, I just use McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning  (try it with ribs - you might be pleasantly surprised.) It was just the flat - about 5 pounds.  Rubbed, wrapped, then refrigerated for 18 hours and left it room temp for several hours before smoking.  I used about 1.5 cups of mixed hickory and apple chips - soaked for several hours prior.   Set smoker to 225 F  and placed brisket on lower rack with fat side up (probably should have done fat side down?)

Expecting roughly 1 hour per pound...  and 4 hours in it was only reading 170 F and had been stuck there for awhile. I did some quick reading online, then decided to pull it out, wrap in foil, and return to smoker with fat side down. Inserted the probe into meat at an angle - through the foil - to ensure that the tip did not come out other side.  45 minutes later, it had budged only 2 degrees. I bumped up temp to 250 F, then at 5.5 hours in I raised it to 275 F.  At 6 hours it finally read 190, and I pulled it (bed time was soon and it was late. ) Waited 30 minutes then opened foil and cut a slice. It was a bit dry for my taste (not bone dry but still...) and had a bit of pink.  Tried eating part of the slice and it was not as tender as a good brisket should be.  To salvage it, I tried the Drunken Brisket recipe (smoke for only 3 hours, remove and char both sides on a grill,  simmer 1.5 hours in a Bacon BBQ sauce, replenish liquids, then simmer an additional 1.5 hours.  I did that but skipped the final 1.5 hour simmer, as this brisket had already smoked for nearly 6 hours.)  

I'm generally a ribs guy, but my wife does not eat pork for religious reasons (former Seventh Day Adventist.)  I used thick cut turkey bacon in the sauce, subbed Sukrin Gold brown sugar (0 calories) for the recommended sugar (and still cut the amount of sugar by 50%,) then simmered it down to a fairly thick consistency. The brisket had cooled been re-wrapped, and sat in the fridge overnight.

Results?  Actually...  fantastic.  It doesn't really need the sauce but the extra simmering in the sauce gave it the texture I was hoping for. It's tender enough to cut with a fork but still holds together nicely when sliced. The sauce has cider vinegar, chili sauce, and molasses as components. It's thick but tangy and only a hint of sweetness (I detest super sweet BBQ sauce.)

I remain puzzled as to why it took so long and came out a bit on the dry side. 

Here is what I am looking at - other ideas appreciated:

1) Calibrate temp of probe (our instant read digital meat thermometer is in  storage until our kitchen remodel is done.)

2) Cook with fat side down.

3) Wrap in foil halfway through instead of closer to the end of the smoke.

4) Set unit to a higher temp - maybe 250 F?


Note:  if the section of above after my intro should be edited out and pasted in as a new thread elsewhere - please say so and I will accommodate. Thanks!

Hello from Kentucky!  We have owned our residential cookshack for over 20 years, love it to pieces, and cook something in it almost every weekend.  It is the very best smoker.  I have made wonderful smoked chicken, ribs, pork roasts, and today I am experimenting with smoking some okra straight out of my garden.  If anyone else has smoked some vegetables, give me some pointers.   I would love to know more about what combinations of seasonings and how much time it takes for them to be done. Today, I decided to wash and dry them, cut them lengthwise, rub olive oil on them, and sprinkle with a mixture of kosher salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper.  Never tried to smoke any vegetable before, but hope it turns out good! Glad to see a couple of ladies on the forum.  So glad we bought a Cookshack, people who try to save money and by smokers from big box stores, find out that they don't last.  Happy Gardener who loves to cook. LNP2

New owner of an older 008 (mfg date 1-25-07).
I am in Spokane Washington area.  I have a MES 30 with mailbox mod that I use for cold smoking cheese and a Smokin-It #3 for hot smokes. Also have a Smokin-Tex 1400 that I use in Mesa AZ when wintering down there.
Been watching Craigslist for a second small smoker to use here in Spokane and found the 008. Intend to use for small batches and maybe with travel trailer while camping.  Picked it up for $225. Pretty good shape except some rust pitting on both sides., inside looks like it wasn't used, not even seasoned.  Should be able to clean up the rust and repaint to bring it back to like new. Guy I got it from said it was his father's and he didn't have time to use it himself.

Doing a seasoning smoke right now.


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  • 008 interior: Interior with seasoning smoke
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Hello everyone at cookshack. We have been smoking chicken, ribs, roasts, veggies, etc. on our residential older model for so many years I can't remember.  It is the best cooker ever, and we love it so much.  Don't buy all that junk out there that doesn't hold up, buy Cookshack and you will love it for a life time like we are. 


Hi everyone!  Chris here from Bellevue, NE.  Have owned Charcoal, Gas and Electric smokers in the past.  A storm about a year ago dropped a huge branch on two gas smokers I had... But fear not!  God had a plan!  I found a used SM260 on craigslist and was able to pick it up for $800!!! Smoking has never been simpler, and everything turns out perfect!

Just lining up our food trailer and equipment as we (brother and I) are going to start a mobile smoke business in the spring.

First problem tho... SM260 started overheating.  Now display quit working.  Any suggestions would be well appreciated!  My SM260 was built in 1999, so it's older.  The conversion kit is over $1,600... so I don't want to go tell my girl that I need to spend twice as much to fix the smoker as what I paid for the smoker.

Anyways... Hi to all.  Hope to pick up some good info from the forum!



Hello from Southern Indiana... Started out 20 years ago on an Oklahoma Joe stick burner. Approx 7 years ago I bought a Traeger pellet grill and absolutely hated that thing. Smoke production and flavor sucked. Probably because I was use to the Oklahoma Joe and authenticity of actual wood vs pellets. Sold the Traeger and bought a pull behind unit called "Mini Beast" made by Custom Pits which I still have now. I really like the custom pits, but firing up this big smoker for small cooks isn't very feasible and its getting harder for me to find the time to babysit it.... On to current model. I just now purchased a Fast Eddy PG500 and so far I really like it. Easy to use, and I no longer need to babysit the smoker. Only complaint is the amount of ash this pellet grill is producing, but I'm working with it to figure out the issues and will make corrections as needed. The PG500 smoke production is great and the flavor is awesome as well. So far I'm really enjoying the PG500... Looking forward to getting to know you guys/gals and seeing what you're all smoking/cooking and to see what new stuff I can learn from you pros.

idahomike posted:

Welcome to the forum Chris.  The first thing I would do is call Cookshack.  The people you talk to are the people that build these smokers, and are very helpful.  If anyone can get you up and running properly, they can. 


Thanks!  Called them today.  I have to say that since they have no "skin in the game" (I bought a used smoker from a private party), I'm really impressed with their customer service!  I don't feel that Bill treated me any different than someone who had just bought a new smoker.  Great Job CS!

I pulled the board out and saw that there was moisture inside.  I dried everything and plugged it back in.  Brought it up to temp and the display started working again (Whew!)... 

I am monitoring the temp using the built in display, an oven thermometer, an oil probe from a turkey fryer through the top hole and also a cheap-o digital meat probe from wally-world.  

Been running for 20 minutes with the following results:
CS Display = 286
Turkey Therm = 300
Wally-World = 320
Oven Therm = 375

I'm confused... 

I won't post anymore about my heat problem here as this is an introduction forum.



Chris:  You have a very large unit.  I don't know if yours has the preprogramed start up cycle to it or not.  My SMO66 has it.  My unit runs at full temp for around 45 minutes.  Depending on how much I have in it, and how cold it is outside, it takes an hour or more for it to finally settle down and stabilize at the set temp.  Even then you will hot spots and cool spots on the different racks and areas in the smoker.  You will also see it pick up temp by 5 to 10 degrees, when it is heating up and then cool down by that much before it heats up again.  This is just the nature of these Smoker Ovens.


Thanks for the reply.  Mine finally overheated tonight after about 40 minutes (running in a closed, but unheated garage).  The smoker beeps at me and display just reads "Over Temp".  I'm going to call Cookshack again tomorrow if I have time.

Concerning hotspots... I saw a video where a guy used some of the pillsbury-type rolls of biscuits.  He put them in his new smoker for a half hour... then looked at the done-ness of them to identify the hot spots.  Way simpler than trial and error!

You can see the video here if you want:


Hiall,S-met from Northern California.

A lil about me:
First, I'm usually here on my phone, so please excuse spelling errors from my fat fingers in a tiny touch-screen.

Secondly, no joke, my first word was bbq. Well probably more like ba ba coo. Apparently I used to run to the back patio door and point to that old grill and repeatedly say it to the probable annoyance to my parents. And nearly 40 years later I still love the bbq.

When to comes to bbq, I am no purist. While I do differentiate grill and bbq, I don't judge on the heat source. Gas, charcoal, electric, pellet, open flame or whatever else, its all good as long as you have a good time. I have a propane grill, old new braunfel off-set stick burner and a little portable propane smoker.  All have there +/-. All have put out a fair share of deliciousness and their share of goof-ups. Just added this week was a SM008, I expected afew hits and misses until I get dialed in, but like I said, I'll have a good time along the way.


Aside from grilling and smoking, I brew beer, make ciders & wines, ferment krauts, pickles, kimchi and other lacto-experimentals and definitely know my way around the kitchen. My only limit is my imagination, and sometimes I let it run unsupervised.


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Hi everyone, 

Yesterday I just picked up a previously well loved sm008. I was relatively unfamiliar with the cookshack brand. I was in the market for an electric smoker and was doing my routine weekly browse. I was hoping to get a gently used MES but someone was retiring this smoker.

A lil about me:
First, I'm usually here on my phone, so please excuse spelling errors from my fat fingers in a tiny touch-screen.

Secondly, no joke, my first word was bbq. Well probably more like ba ba coo. Apparently I used to run to the back patio door and point to that old grill and repeatedly say it to the probable annoyance to my parents. And nearly 40 years later I still love the bbq.

When to comes to bbq, I am no purist. While I do differentiate grill and bbq, I don't judge on the heat source. Gas, charcoal, electric, pellet, open flame or whatever else, its all good as long as you have a good time. I have a propane grill, old new braunfel off-set stick burner. a little portable propane smoker and now a cookshack sm008. All have there +/-. All have put out a fair share of deliciousness and their share of goof-ups.

Aside from grilling and smoking, I brew beer, make ciders & wines, ferment krauts, pickled vegetables, kimchi and other lacto-experimentals and definitely know my way around the kitchen. My only limit is my imagination, and sometimes I let it run unsupervised.

Welcome to the Forum! The CS owners and users here are very willing and able to help with whatever questions or problems you may have. We love to cook bbq, and we love to eat bbq. Lurking in the background (these days) we have some very accomplished competition bbq cooks as well as some experienced professional commercial chefs. If you find the format of the Forum clunky and awkward, welcome to the club.  We can help with that too. Post your cooking adventures and misadventures! Pics always a plus!


S-MET:  Welcome to the forum.  I am on my third Cook shack.  These things take a little bit to get used to.  First off they are very tight, and cook on the moist side.  They are also wood stingy.  2 to 8 ounces of wood will give you good smoke flavor.  You don't need to be rolling smoke through out the cook.  You will get the idea as you go along.


I ordered the SM025 directly thru Cookshack. Karen was very helpful answering a few questions. Previously did my smoking indirectly on my gas grill using a smoker box. Mainly smoking baby backs or chicken legs or wings. Looking forward to some pork butts and beef briskets, whole chickens. Looking forward to the CS smoking experience!

Spartyon:  I would call Cookshack direct.  They are very good about helping out.   You will be talking directly to the people that built your smoker.  They will walk you through how to diagnose what the problem is.  I don't know how long you have had your unit, or how clean it is.  I have been running mine for a long time and need to clean it up again.  There is a little probe that sticks out of the inside back of the smoker.  Every time I have had any problems with temps, I either needed to clean the probe, or I had something to close to it.  

I think Mike is on to something. You either have a probe problem, or a controller problem, or a heater problem . Something is telling the heater to shut down with an actual internal temp that is less than the set temp. Or, all the heat it can put out is not enough. For my AQ, I've never tried to cook as high as 300, so I can't say what my cooker's response to that is. It might be that that's the best it can do if your doors don't seal well and insulation is old. Best call CS.

Hi Jay,

I used to spend a lot of time online browsing the forums and life kind of got out in front of me for awhile, along with a desire to lose some weight, so I haven't used the smoker much.  I love my SM066, but I am going to have to see how well it maintains temp now that the "bomb cyclone" blew it over onto it's face last year and bent  the alignment of the hinges.

BBQ around my area seems to be Famous Dave's or Dicky Betts.  There was one local independent a few years ago but I didn't care for their product.  Apparently not alone in that as they lasted about six months.

Baby backs in the menu for today and gonna throw a pork butt in overnight.

Have a good weekend


Good morning,  I'm Ron from Aurora, Colorado, and I started with a CS SM 045 about 10 years ago before upgrading to an SM066 several years ago.  I probably don't use my smoker anywhere near as often as most customers, but when I do I enjoy it very much.  I'm a 40+ year engineer in the telecom and broadband industry, and in a few years I hope to be doing a lot more Q-ing as every day will be a Saturday.  Lisa and I are empty nester's who enjoy wine, cooking, travel and music.


Hi...   have been with this forum since 2003 but not really getting the hang of this new forum.  Think this is my first post in about 6 years.  Have a model 55 which is built like a tank and has been working without a hitch for the last 15 years.  Do most everything with it including salmon, double smoked bacon, turkey and the usual ribs and brisket.  If you haven't tried it, look for the recipe for "Smokey Joe's".  Very good for serving to groups.  Would like to try a meatloaf but wife says she doesn't want smoke on her meatloaf.  I guess that's ok but maybe I'll do one just for myself some day.

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