In terms of setup, this product is quite impressive. You can get all parts assembled within 30 minutes and start to cook right away. The job of assembling this smoker will involve attaching the heating element, handles, legs, and racks. Screws and nuts required for this are packed and sent separately in a cover. If you are confused about using the appropriate screws in the setup, then refer to the instructions manual. It goes through all the information in an easy understandable way. You would need a screwdriver that is commonly used for fasteners. In addition for screwing the 10mm nuts you will need a wrench.
The item comes well packaged without any damage. The smoker is shipped inside a separate box containing Styrofoam bits and cardboard filler for safety. The truth is that the material used inside creates a lot of garbage at home if not properly disposed. However, it is worth to have it in the way it is packed and sent. It ensures that the smoker remains in good shape throughout the shipping process and delivery.
When seen from outside the smoker appears very compact. But in real it has the internal capacity that you would expect from this type of smoker. There are 3 internal racks, one of which is fixed and the others are adjustable. You could add few more shelves if you need as there is enough space between the racks. On the racks you can keep whole chickens, medium sized turkey, and slabs of beef.
Surprisingly the weight of the unit is low. It can be carried by a person by holding its handles on the both sides. It is supposed to weigh around 40 to 50 pounds as per the construction and dimension. Bu it is only half the weigh calculated. Perhaps it would be heavy when you have food inside the smoker. If it’s heavy to carry carry remove the racks and wood chip tray from inside. It will be more lighter then.
The documentation of this smoker says that it takes in 12.5 amps of current. So you need to ensure that you have the right circuitry while plugging the smoker for several hours. And don’t overload by using too many electrical equipment at once along with the smoker. The smoker might intentionally shut off without your notice. Rest of the setup is easy. When you fire the smoker for the first time, you are recommended to keep it on for 20 t0 30 minutes without adding any food inside. Wipe the smoker and do the best you can to remove the flavors and smells of manufacturing process.
To get a temperature of about 300F you need keep the smoker on for about 20 minutes. When it is heated up add the wood chips and water. Give the smoker around 8 minutes to get the smoke rolling from the chips. You will see the smoke coming out of the port and it can exit from anywhere else. By the time when you see a steady stream of smoke coming out insert the meat into it. At this time it is better to stand back a little to avoid taking smoke into your face. After you get the unit to 300F dial the control down and stabilize it to 220 to 230F or the temperature at which you want to cook the recipe. The exact control button to press this would be the “M” for medium on the dial.
Remember that the cold meat will suck up significant amount of heat at first. Based on the starting temperature and size, you need to set the smoker in right state using the dial. At first press the HIGH button to get the temperature at high level to balance the cold meat. Then eventually you have to decrease it and make it stable. After this run the smoker at this temperature during the entire cooking process.
The drip pan at the bottom is flat. There are no curvatures or channels to direct the fat into the drip pan.