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Large electric smoker/ recipes

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First off, not a pro ; just average three time a year smoker... but I am originally from Texas, if that gives me any bonuses, I used a cheap walmart offset with lump coal and hickory/mesquite last
15 years. Seemed to get good results 90% of the time.

I have cooked 4 times now in the new electric "charbroil" digital 30 but now in a state of "fishing" for better; so seeking all advice.
This unit has the chip box and regardless of the brand of chips and the amt (1/3, half , full)... I am getting "smoked" (see what I did there?) with two main obstacles.
1) the meats have been bland.... juicy, but bland. 2) the off taste I originally thought was  large electric smoker taste is really a case of constant degrees of creosote. (ie. stinging bite to tongue and
mouth after each event and some rolling of the stomach. Two days ago I tried more chips AND a tube only to just now come off two days of intense "poisoning" to the stomach and hours of stinging mouth. Whether diff temps set or chip amounts, I have thus far never seen translucent blue smoke, its always white and sometimes billowing. So many websites and youtube vids will ooo ahhh about the juicy factor , but its really hard to find honesty regarding those familiar with "offsets" to say "yeah, the electrics cook the meat decent but offsets or grills will win hands down".

Also, many reviewers will talk about the pellet trays , but again, hard to find them discuss the quality of the smoky flavor they do or dont produce..... just tonight I bought one to experiment and maybe not use the chip box. So please drop some replies to a few of these specific questions here: these are really what I seek mentors advice:
- should I abandon the chip box in this unit? I get a sense there are notorious design issues from net readings.
- do pellets , or finer (non-chip) woods burn better and cleaner in these chip metal box units?
- will the amazeN tray bypass my problems with the chip box and give cleaner smoke AND stronger smoke flavor to the meat?
- are these electric units also negatively impacted by the more items you place on the multiple racks?

hopefully, you pros out there will reserve any judgements; I'm just a guy that wanted less time around the firebox

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I’m not a smoking expert.  And, sorry, I have absolutely no experience with electric smokers.  After reading what you wrote, IDK if I really want to try. Yikes!

I do all my smoking on offset WM smoking barbecue.  I start with charcoal, layer some crushed paper, topped with sprigs/twigs of mesquite, then, light the paper.  The twigs are enough to light the briquettes without using lighter fluid.  My DH can always taste the fluid no matter what. Depending upon what wood I’m using to smoke with, it’s soaked, to enhance the smoke.  If I’m using mesquite, I skip the charcoal and just use mesquite wood.  It grows everywhere here in AZ.


 I hope someone here can answer your questions.  

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