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Folks, first of all Merry Christmas. I have recently joined this awesome forum as I am inches away of pulling the trigger on the Amerique. I have a traditional Pit Smoker that no money in the world will have me part with it. However, I purchased it to primarily make Jerky. Yes, it will do awesome Pork Butts, brisket and rib. But, it does take alot of babysitting to make it happen. The Jerky that comes out of my pit is sensational. Cookshack has caught my attendtion because of its reputation, build quality, and ease of use. I guess as I am getting ready to retire after 38 years of Naval service, I am getting lazy. Sorry for the long winded post, but, put simply, can the Amerique produce great hickory smoked Jerky. I am realistic and know that an electric will never replicate a traditional wood burning pit, but I do not want to be too far off the mark. Hopefully, there are a few members that have had the traditional pits and can speak from experience. I have attached a few pics of my ole smoker. Thanx. r/ Roland


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Turbodad, this smoker is awesome. I have had for about 5 years. I primarily burn hickory and recently scored some nice pecan. But, low and slow is the magic and with a smoker like this, you are tending to it every 45 min to hour. While there is nothing better than doing traditional smoking, I would like the option to plug it and forget it. Hoping I get get some good feedback from folks that have used the traditional and the electric smoker. Appreciate your comments.........
Have you tried doing a search on jerky to see what other posts have come up with? I have a Cookshack 040, next size down form the Amerique but have yet to do Jerky with it. One thing that is mentioned alot is that since the Cookshack retains moisture so well, that you have to open the door a couple times during the drying to dump moisture. Can't say for the smoke flavor though, but would guess it is just a matter of how much wood you put into the box to create your smoke. Sorry I cannot be too much more help for you on this. Jer
I did have a stick burner, and every 45 min was the time limit for fuel. Just one stick, but every 45.

I don't have an electric, I have a couple of FEC100's and I have run them 24 hours at a time.

I have done some jerky before in the FEC's, and it turned out great. We just ate it faster than we were making it. That was my brothers thing. I like the BBQ better.

I am sorry that I can not compare my experience to a traditional fire smoker, but...The two batches of approximately 5lbs each of jerky i have made so far have come out great in my opinion. All friends and family loved it and I hope them were not just being kind. I have an sm025 and use 225* open for 2 hours, closed for 1 hour, open for 1 hour closed for 1 hour and then open till it's cool enough for me to pull from the rods. Good luck with your decision, Vicki
Dont think of it as baby sitting. all i have to do is set a timer and open and close a door. there is no tending to a fire. it is so easy and i do it when i am gonna be home any way. i wish i had product to compare because the method i use is only one of many that has been posted on the forum, but happens to come out great. i got lucky and stumbled onto a great method posted by one of the contributors.
bertram there's no down side to purchasing an Amerique. It provides utmost flexibility in terms of ease of use by way of using the probe to monitor temps for some and hold, or the temp read out on the panel. You have various wood options at your fingertips for different smoke profiles and can increase/lower smoke flavor by way of wood volume.

Pull the trigger; you won't regret it.
bertram I have an AmeriQue and regularly slave away over it as I smoke whatever my hearts desire.

I have smoked everything from butter, cheese, jerky, brisket, pork butt, prime rib……… well you get the idea.

I do not spend much time hanging around my smoker.

Overnight smokes are spent sleeping

Daylong smokes are spent running errands

Anything less than 4 hours is spent doing chores around the house.

Wait a minute!!!! Maybe I should go back to a stick burner so I can spend my time lounging around the smoker enjoying adult beverages
Roll Eyes
Thanx all for your candid comments and by the way, Happy New Year. No question, the Amerique meets all my demands. But............I now find myself also looking into the FEC100. Having been a traditional stick burner for so long, I am having to work out my issues with using pellets. I have a ton of pecan and hickory and obviously, with the FEC100, will not be able to use. But, what has really got my attention is that the FEC100 is KCBS approved. When I retire from the Navy in about 8-9 months, I do intend to have fun competing. Too many choices my friends, too many choices.........
One thing to keep in mind, some folks who switch from stickburners to the FEC100 might mention a lighter smoke profile on finished product. Pellet cookers produce a much cleaner smoke with little or no creasote. There are however, a number of ways you can achieve a boost in smoke flavor in the FEC.

That said, a lot of FEC comp cooks score very well, and tend to get better sleep Friday night Smiler As someone who owns both an Amerique and FEC100, I can tell you there's a slight difference in finished product. I wouldn't hestitate to compete (and have) with an FEC but if you enjoy a heavy layer of smoke flavor, it takes a bit of a learning curve to achieve.

I had a stick burner. A Kingfisher rotis, a combo unit. Well I was unable to tell a difference in the smoke flavor, when I made the switch. I was using oak and cherry and apple woods. Well seasoned, in a good clean fire. It produced a good clear smoke. And that is the same kind the FEC will produce.

I have had some good results comp wise with mine. And at comps sleep is a great thing.

Originally posted by Randy E:
I had a stick burner. A Kingfisher rotis, a combo unit. Well I was unable to tell a difference in the smoke flavor, when I made the switch.

I Bought my first Kingfisher Bonanza in 1995 and my second BT Trailer Model in 2008. I could certainly tell the smoke difference between the older one from the newer one with the built in "Tuning Plate" when I bought my FEC there wasn't much difference between the FEC and the New FEC.

The Older Bonanza that was made by Mr. Yoder was a much better smoke maker!
Originally posted by David Qualls:
Originally posted by MaxQ:
There are however, a number of ways you can achieve a boost in smoke flavor in the FEC.

Well Please elaborate on a few of those.

I know about the two stage method and the added wood in a SS cup on the firepot.

Always looking for more smoke & Bark

Have a read through the FE comp forum. There are a lot of tips there to get you started.

Start a new thread there and we'll help out. Bark is a function of rub as much as anything and /or laying more smoke on the end. Tip 1 for better bark? No foil.

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