• Yearling

    Question about the PK100 smoker. Back and forth about buying one but I would like to know a few things from those who actually own one.

    I have two main worries.

    1. Temperature fluctuation. I have a MES40 now and the temps from top to bottom are all over the place, sometimes a 25° spread. That’s just not going to work for me.

    2. Smoke output. For smoking snack sticks or cured sausage at a low temp, I’m curious if that’s even hot enough to burn the sawdust to smoke? If I have to run it at 225 or even higher, that would defeat the purpose of what I want to use it for.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated as this is not a cheap purchase.

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    Just got the pk100 a few weeks ago and still experimenting…but I’ve found that it throws a ton of smoke if you leave the sawdust dry but obviously have to put more in more often. If you wet the sawdust it will last for a 4 hour cook if it’s full but a lot less smoke. I bought a few of the small bags of sawdust from waltons and the 20# box of hickory and that’s a TON of sawdust. I wouldn’t buy that again unless you’re smoking on a daily basis.
    I’ve found it holds temp very well. It has a high and low setting so I start on low with dry sawdust and it does a great job. I know that Jon and Austin use this unit in their test kitchen and love it. You can PM me if you want to talk more.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    armyguy All elelctric smokers have some fluctuation as they work on a “wave” system. They wait until the internal temp gets a certain amount below the set temp and then kick on until it is a certain amount above that set temp. They keep repeating that with the goal being keeping it within a few degrees of the set temp for long periods of time.

    There is some fluctuation from top to bottom but it’s not terrible. I will get a video posted here showing you a Grilleye with ambient probes at top and bottom so you can see what the difference is during heating cycles and hold cycles. the insulation of this unit is great so it balances pretty well depending on how you have your dampers set.

    As for smoke output Austin would probably agree with me that the pk100 puts a better smoke on a product than most commercial smokehouses. As far as flavor and looks go I think it does a better job than the 500 Pro Smoker we use for larger batches. Although, it could be that I am biased as I like our PK100 so much!

    Let me know if there are any other questions you have!

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Parksider Thanks for being willing to talk about this with others, I am sure it is a good thing to get someones opinion who is A0 using it at home instead of their job and B ) doesnt sell them!

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    Jonathon You know I’m not afraid to share my thoughts… armyguy if you want to see some pics I post on my instagram @black_run_bbq if you want to see it in action.

    Been doing boneless chicken breast…trying to eat a little healthier…and using Meat Church’s Deez Nutz spice with pecan sawdust. I do love the small bags, I know 2# doesn’t sound like much but it’s a LOT of sawdust.

  • Yearling

    Well, I have one on the way. I was looking at Walton’s website and I couldn’t find the hanging rods for it? I saw the Diamant smoke sticks but they seem to long.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    armyguy We just use wooden dowels. I can’t remember if it comes with them or not…don’t use the diamant sticks, you could cut them down but you’d get out a lot cheaper with thick wooden dowels!

  • Yearling

    So bring this back up with a few more questions. I’m planning on doing 10lbs of the Walton’s “beer brats” flavored Smoked Sausage sometime in the coming weeks for an Oktoberfest party I’m having at my house. Was going to do these brats, some fresh made soft pretzels, beer cheese in on of those nacho cheese warmer things, and have a few Oktoberfest style homebrews on tap.

    I’ve made one batch so far of the Blue Ribbon sausage on the MES40 and wasn’t super happy with the turnout. They were too dry and I think that’s because I didn’t know about keeping humidity at the time.

    This batch I plan on using the 32mm clear collagen casings instead of the tubed hog casings for ease of use. I’m just going to twist them to the size I want using a ruler on the table, then cut them into individual sausages and lay them on the racks of the PK100. I’m going to use the water bowl method with sponges/cloth that Jon showed in his video to get the humidity up. For some reason, the extra bowl I bought from Walton’s for the PK100 looks way smaller than the bowl Jon used in the video. Did they change the bowl size?

    So two questions,

    1. Do I have to change the racks around throughout the cook to have them cook evenly, top to bottom?

    2. What do you guys think about this thing for helping keep even temps?


  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    armyguy Why don’t you just hang the sausages instead of laying them down? Jon does a video of how to link into 3 link globes. I use that all the time. But if you do lay them down, yes I’d rotate the trays.
    As for the fan, i’d worry about it fanning the sawdust too much and making more heat/fire, end up burning it down. It doesn’t need it from my experience, save the $90 and buy another gadget.
    I cut my own sticks out of hickory tree or my friend used old broom stick, flattened one side so it wouldn’t roll, anything will work. My sticks are now seasoned from being in the smoker, like that you can see the “experience” they have!
    I have always used a foil wrapped brick in my weber smokey mtn water bowl to help even out the temp. also start with hot water, make it whatever temp you’ll be running the smoker at so it doesn’t struggle to heat up water and the meat.
    You could always give them a spritz too, I do that with pork butts so why wouldn’t it work.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    armyguy Yes, the bowl that comes with the PK is for smoker chips, I went and found the biggest metal bowl I could find that would fit in the pk100. The PK is so well insulated that it only has a few degree fluctuation from top to bottom. We just tested it this a few weeks ago with two ambient thermometers and I beleive it was less than 5 degrees from top to bottom with vents open and closed.

    I would worry about drilling through to install that. If you had an eletric that had thinner sheet metal body I’d say go for it but A) I dont think you will need it and B) installation worries me.

    Oh and you shouldn’t NEED to move the racks but it’s a good idea.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Parksider Ahh I didnt even think about it blowing over the sawdust, good point.

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    armyguy Previous owner drilled holes in top and bottom of the side and back. I’ll stick the grill eye pro in next time and see the differences.

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors Green Mountain Grill Masterbuilt

    armyguy When you cooked the Blue Ribbon Brats in the smoker did you add a cure and binder or just made them as a Fresh sausage? If you made them Fresh and then smoked them I’d imagine the reason they were dry was probably more because the fat rendered out instead of low humidity but I’m not certain of that. I have the Masterbuilt 30 and that thing is awesome, never more than a 2-4 degree difference from top to bottom. I do need to cut some sticks to hang sausage from as I usually just lay everything on the racks (that has worked great so far) but I want to see if there’s a noticeable difference in cooking time. I doubt it but I know appearance wise there will be as there won’t be the rack marks.

  • Yearling

    AdamCA Yeah I actually used cure and binder. My MES 40 fluctuates temps like crazy(25+ degrees). I have the PK100 now and I need to do some tests, but it looks like it’s going to work really well.

  • Yearling

    On another note, going to throw a fresh rack of St. Louis on it today. Do you guys use a water pan when doing ribs?

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    armyguy yes definitely! I put a foil wrapped brick in to keep heat even.

  • Does the PK100 handle 25lb batches of snack sticks? Does anyone have pictures of their PK100 loaded with sticks? I’d plan to go with 19mm casings and hang them on wooden dowels. Thanks!

  • Sous Vide Canning PK100 Team Blue Power User Regular Contributors Veteran

    I think if you used small dowels to hang them - Like 1/2 inch. I think you could fit them hanging. Sorry, I do not have a pic, and usually do 12.5 pound batches in my PK100

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    MCURRAN Yeah, it depends a little on the size of your casings and how close you can pack them in there but a 25 lb batch should be doable with minimal fuss. I know I have done them with 21mm and I am almost positive I have done them with 19mm as well.

  • Jonathon Thanks for the reply! I’m thinking this is going to replace my bandera offset that I’ve been using. Managing the temperate vertically in that unit is tough. In my last batch, I had 15 degree differences from the top of the stick to the bottom. They turned out okay, some really good, but some overcooked. I like the smoke flavor from the offset, but I’ll sacrifice that for a more uniform product out of the PK100.

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