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FAQ's

What is the best wood for smoking?

Like most questions about barbecue, the answer depends on whom you ask. In general, hickory is a nationwide favorite. Mesquite has some regional popularity, as does alder, oak, and pecan. If you stick to fruit or nut hardwoods, you can be sure of getting good flavor. 

What kind of pellets should I use with my pellet grill?

Use only 100% food grade wood pellets. They are available in mesquite, hickory, oak and fruitwood 20 lb. bags. You must use approved hardwood barbecue pellets, or your warranty will be voided. Do not use pellets designed for furnaces. The pellets need to remain dry so they will not swell and clog the auger.

Why Not Use Gas or Charcoal to smoke?

Gas and charcoal are great for grilling, where there is plenty of air circulation.  They are not ideal for smoking in an enclosed environment such as a smoker.  Stick to honest-to-goodness real wood chunks or pellets for best results.

What in the World is Cookshack?

We are a company dedicated to the manufacture of electric smoker ovens for genuine pit barbecue and wood smoked foods. A leader in the market for over 50 years, Cookshack's state-of-the-art ovens are distributed worldwide to restaurants, caterers, supermarkets, convenience stores, meat markets ... in fact, to all sorts of retail foodservice operations. 

Do you have a smoker oven for home use?

You bet! We have a complete line of barbecue sauce, spice blends, smoking woods, cookbook, and accessories for better barbecue.

We have a great smoker oven for home use! We have four electric models: The Smokette (SM009-2), Smokette Elite (SM025), SuperSmoker Elite (SM045), and the AmeriQue (SM066).  We have three models that use wood pellets:  The PG500, the PG1000 and the FEC100.

Can you use your residential smoker inside?

We recommend using your smoker in your garage or outside on a driveway or patio.  Even though the smoke is aromatic and delightful outside, it's not so great permeating your drapes. They are great for installing in an outdoor kitchen.

Where are Cookshack smokers and grills made?

They were solidly crafted in the Ponca City, OK in the USA!  We could go to a foreign manufacturer and cheapen up our smokers.  We would certainly save a few bucks.  We make them here because we control materials and quality to give you a well-made smoker.  We believe in supporting the US economy.  Beware of knock-offs!  Other companies have copied our smokers and are having them manufactured in third world countries.  The materials and construction of these machines are not up to Cookshack's high standards.  Customer Service is not up to Cookshack standards, either.  For your protection and peace of mind, buy a Cookshack!

How do you clean the smoker?

If you can load your dishwasher, you can clean this smoker.  Grills and racks go straight in the dishwasher, and the interior of the smoker should be wiped down with paper towels as needed.

When people refer to “plateau” in smoking meats what do they mean?

From SmokingDuffey, our unofficial forum physicist:

A phase change causes the plateauing; the collagen and fat in the meat are changing phase from a solid to a liquid. One must supply energy to accomplish this phase change. While the fat and collagen are absorbing the energy (heat) from the smoker to melt, none is available for raising the temperature of the meat.

It is similar to ice melting. When ice and water are in a glass, the water will remain at 32°F (0°C) until all the ice is melted, then the temperature will increase. The heat goes into melting the ice, not raising the temperature of the water.

Nothing mysterious, just thermodynamics.

Do Cookshack smokers get hot on the outside?

No!  Our smokers do not get hot on the outside, so children and pets are safe.  The heat stays on the inside thanks to the 850° Spin-Glas® insulation sandwiched between the smoker's inner and outer walls in top and sides.

Do I need to soak my wood chunks before using them?

Forget what you have been told about soaking wood before smoking.  With Cookshack smokers, wood chunks need to be put in dry.  Due to the wood chunks size and the low temperature that the smoker is kept at, wood will smolder to provide a smoky atmosphere, but will never ignite, so there is no need to go back and add more.

What sort of pellets should I use with my pellet grill?

It is critical to use only pellets rated for food consumption. Heating pellets are chemically treated, imbued with oil, emitting smoke dangerous for consumption. Pellets should be flavored and clean burning for tasty results.