Americana Stainless Steel Charcoal Water Smoker Model 5025.2.911 Review
The Americana Stainless Steel Charcoal Water Smoker was designed to be an entry-level smoker that could also cater to more experienced outdoor cooks. The body has a tight-fitting access door, which allows you to reload wood chips, charcoal, and water. The water pan itself can hold up to 5.5 quarts, which should make it through even long smoking sessions.
In the lower portion of the body, there is a removable ash pan which helps with cleanup. It also has heavy-duty legs to provide it with a very stable base.
The lid includes a thermometer. The seal with the body was designed to be a little loose to allow for improved airflow. However, the lid does not have a damper.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The Americana charcoal water smoker uses stainless steel throughout, which gives it an attractive gleam. They paid attention to the legs to make sure they are sturdy. The large water pan and tight-fitting side access door are also nice for longer smoking sessions.
Though there are a few minor quality complaints with this charcoal smoker. The metal of the body is somewhat thin, which makes it sensitive to wind and cold weather.
The lid itself was designed to be loose to allow for more airflow. A better solution would have been to design it to be tight, and then include an adjustable damper in the lid. It’s a shame too, because the access door fits relatively tightly, which is a common complaint with this style of smoker.
Assembly isn’t too hard with this smoker. There aren’t a lot of moving parts to have to contend with. Assuming you have a basic toolbox on hand, you should be able to put the whole thing together in just under half an hour.
On a perfect summer day when the sun is shining and the wind is calm, this little smoker will do pretty much everything you ask it to do. It might be a little undersized for something like a large flat brisket, and a rack of ribs might need to be cut in half to fit the 15.5” diameter grate. Still, it will hold a single Boston butt pork shoulder, or even a “Beer Can Chicken.”
Unfortunately, problems start to happen with it’s cold or windy out. In these conditions, the interior heat and the thin metal of the body struggle to compete with the external conditions. This can lead to below intended cooking temperatures or force you to overload the fire and hope there isn’t a flareup. If you do try to overload it with charcoal or extra wood chips, be mindful of the water pan. If it’s full the fire under it could get so hot that it causes a catastrophic boil-over.
If the forecast is calling for temperatures below say 45 degrees, or there’s a fair amount of wind, you should try to find a way to shelter the Americana smoker. If you happen to have an insulated “Grill Blanket” that is rated to be safe with smokers, you might want to try wrapping it or draping it to help hold more of the heat in.
The thermometer installed on the side of the lid isn’t all that accurate. This might be due to the leaky lid issue, or perhaps the gradual buildup of soot or grease.
If you find that the “Loose Lid” is a little bit too loose for the given conditions, you might want to try wrapping the mouth of the smoker with some heavy-duty aluminum foil. This will help improve the overall seal, while still allowing for modest airflow.
The two chrome-plated grill grate provides you with 351 square inches of cooking space. There is no warming rack.
The access door itself isn’t necessarily a special feature. However, it does seal tightly, which many competitor smokers can’t claim.
The 5.5-quart water pan is exceptionally large for a smoker this size, and ensure adequate steam and moisture throughout even a long smoking session.
Ease to Clean
Americana put a little extra effort into designing this smoker to be easy to clean. The ash pan is removable. The water pan slides out for easy pouring. The temperature lead can gunk up with soot and grime, so give it a quick wipe down to keep it accurate.
Unfortunately, the grill grates are chrome plated, which means they are little on the sticky side. If you lightly grease them before placing the food, it will reduce the amount of burned-on debris it leaves behind. Still, you should expect to put in a little bit of extra elbow grease.
The Americana Stainless Steel Charcoal Water Smoker comes with a one-year warranty. This is pretty much “On Par” with other smokers in this price range. A two-year limited warranty would have been eye-popping.
If you are looking for an affordable entry-level smoker to handle a pork shoulder, chicken, or some ribs, the Americana charcoal water smoker is worth a look. The stainless steel body and lid give it a nice gleam that will look good on your patio. The large water pan ensures that you will have good steam throughout the smoking process, for juicy meat.
There are some foibles in how the lid leaks intentionally, yet it has no dampers. Heat control can also be a serious issue in windy or cold weather.
If you are a barbecue aficionado, then you are likely looking for something a little larger, with more heat control versatility. If you just want to make some smoked meat from time to time without having to break the bank, the Americana might just look attractive on your deck.
- Sleek stainless steel look
- Access door seals tightly
- Large 5.5-quart water pan
- Heavy-duty legs for a stable base
- Thin stainless steel
- Sensitive to the wind and cold
- Grates are a little sticky
- Small cooking chamber