Smoked meats taste too delicious, especially when you’re eating out on the patio with your family or having a party in your yard, isn’t it?
Of course, it can be difficult to smoke the meat and the cleanup can be bothersome, but these aren’t an issue when you have a “good” electric smoker to cook with. They’re very easy to use, to clean and they have automated features.
But finding that perfect electric smoker isn’t that easy. So, I researched for many hours, considered a lot of users opinion and then created this list of top 10 best electric smokers of 2018.
- Best Electric Smokers Review
- 1. Masterbuilt 20075315 40-Inch Front Controller [The Best]
- 2. Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load (Best Budget Electric Smoker)
- 3. Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker (Best Premium)
- 4. Masterbuilt 20073716 (Best Portable Electric Smoker)
- 5. Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker
- 6. Masterbuilt 20078715 30-Inch Electric Digital Smoker Front Controller
- 7. Smoke Hollow 26142E Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control
- 8. Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker
- 9. Smokehouse Products Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker
- 10. Masterbuilt 20070210 30-Inch Black Analog Electric Smoker
- Final Verdict
- Electric Smoker Buying Guide & Tips
- Electric Smoker Using Guide & Tips
Best Electric Smokers Review
1. Masterbuilt 20075315 40-Inch Front Controller [The Best]
Its 975 square inches of cooking space inside will let you smoke a fair amount of meat. You can do 2 whole turkeys or even 12 whole chickens. It has space for 48 sausages, 24 burgers, or even 4 racks of ribs. That space includes 4 smoking racks that are coated with chrome.
On the side, it has a wood hip loading system designed to work so you won’t have to open the smoker door and set the heat out.
This comes with a digital panel in front, just above the transparent front door that lets you look in without having to open the door as well.
It also has a remote control unit so you won’t have to hang about near it to know the temperature and timer settings. Inside, the thermostat temperature control is integrated so the smoking process is consistent and even.
This smoker measures 40 inches tall, with length and width measurements of 25 and 20.1 inches. It weighs a hefty 73 pounds, but 2 people should be able to carry it from one spot to another. It has handles on the side so portability isn’t a serious issue.
You can set the digital control to adjust the heating temperature, and for that, it has a 1,200-watt heating element.
It also has a front access drip pan along with an internal light so the inside is always easy to see. The heat won’t escape not just because you won’t have to open the door frequently, but also because of the full foam insulation.
- This can use 2 AAA batteries, so it’s great for camping and for the beach.
- It can cook a hefty amount of meat at one time.
- It’s extremely easy to use, and the racks are even adjustable.
- There’s a remote unit.
- The durability is terrific.
- You can also see inside without a problem.
- It’s easy to clean.
- It is somewhat heavy.
- There aren’t any wheels.
- It sits a bit low to the ground, so tall guys may want to use a stand for it.
This Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Electric Smoker is one well-built smoker, and it works every time.
It’s so easy to use that people can’t help but enjoy using their Masterbuilt even more frequently than they used to. What’s more, the proof is in the pudding—the smoked meats you’ll get from this Masterbuilt smoker are downright delicious, and that’s the main reason why most people love this electric smoker so much.
This is the best electric smoker ever made till now, thousands of peoples positive opinion about this smoker is the proof of that.
2. Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load (Best Budget Electric Smoker)
For them, I have the Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker and its 2-digit price tag, and everything’s alright with the world. And it’s UL, CUL, and CSA listed, pretty awesome! It’s the best budget electric smoker and it’s best for a beginner too.
The Little Chief measures 24.5 inches tall, with length and width dimensions of 11.5 inches. That’s small enough to carry around easily, but it’s still large enough to cook 25 pounds of meat or fish at one time.
There’s no assembly needed when you first get it, so you can start with it right away. There’s even a nice 1.75-pound bag of Smokehouse natural wood chips to go with the recipe booklets and manual.
It’s easy enough to use, with grills that load up front like an oven. Cleanup is also not a problem, as the drip pan is even dishwasher safe. The 250-watt heating element can reach up to 165 degrees F, while it has 4 racks to place your food.
This is quite a durable little model, as it’s made of tough aluminum while the grills are plated with chrome. It even has a 2-year warranty.
- It doesn’t occupy a lot of space.
- It’s easy to carry.
- It’s simple to use.
- It can accommodate a lot of meat with 4 racks.
- There’s no assembly required.
- It can last for a long while.
- It’s very affordable.
- It’s best for slow cooking as the heat doesn’t go past 165 degrees F.
- You can’t really adjust the temperature.
- For large parties, its capacity may not be enough.
This is best for small gatherings and family cookouts, but it sure is an uncomplicated little electric smoker. Just plug it in and you’re all set for some slow cooking, and it’s great that even the wood chips are already included.
As it’s simple in its construction, there’s not much that can go wrong with it so it can last for a very long time. It’s also blessedly affordable, even though its quality isn’t cheap at all.
3. Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker (Best Premium)
Now, this large brute of an electric smoker isn’t one of those things at all. This smoker measures 24 inches tall, while the casters add another 3.75 inches. It also measures 17.25 inches long and 21.5 inches wide.
It weighs a hefty 86 pounds, and that’s because it’s made with 100% 18-gauge 201 stainless steel. Don’t worry about moving it from place to place, as it has casters at the bottom. It also has handles on the sides top move it and carries it around. This smoker is NSF Certified.
This can accommodate up to 35 pounds of meat, as the inside measures 20 x 15 x 15 inches. Its features include 4 grilling racks made with a removable drip pan under the smoker, and a rheostat to set the temperature from 100 to 250 degrees F. It comes with the new 800-watt replaceable heating element, which also comes with the LED indicator light. It’s also insulated with fiberglass so the heat stays inside and you don’t have heat loss.
This has been certified by the NSF was safe for use in a restaurant, and it’s quite easy to use with the double latch door system.
You’ll even get a sample of hickory wood so you can start right away. The cord is nicely long at 12 feet, so you don’t have to keep it too near an electrical socket. When you’re done, you can use the hangers on the back panel of the smoker for the electrical cord.
- This is one tough smoker so you will enjoy it for years.
- It has a caster and handles.
- The fiberglass insulation prevents heat loss.
- It can cook up to 35 pounds of meat.
- The electrical cord is very long.
- It’s a bit on the heavy side, so carrying it from a trunk will require 2 strong adults.
- It’s a premium model with a premium price tag.
If you need one that’s tough enough for use even in a restaurant, then this Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker is what you really need. It will last for many years, while it offers variable-temperature cooking without heat loss and easy portability. It’s truly high quality, so the price is definitely worth the investment.
4. Masterbuilt 20073716 (Best Portable Electric Smoker)
It comes with a 2-digit price tag, along with a compact design that makes it easy for you to bring it for trips and parties across town.
It’s also easy to move it around from one spot to another during a backyard party. It only weighs 21.6 pounds, and it has handles on the side to deal with the 23 x 16 x 23 dimensions. You don’t even need rollers underneath it. Instead, it has steel legs that fold in and out when you want to move or store it.
In front, there’s a temperature gauge that’s easy to read. Using this is quite simple, as you can just set it low, medium, or high heat.
Inside, it has 2 chrome-coated racks to put in even a whole turkey and it has 1,400 watts for your heating element. Underneath, it also has a removable wood chip tray along with a water pan.
If you’re going to a tailgating party or a small backyard gathering, this is the perfect little smoker you can take along. It’s perfect for camping too, as long as you have electrical power on tap. It’s truly a marvel of compact smoking power, at a very affordable price.
- It’s very affordable.
- You can easily bring it along to anywhere.
- The heating element is powerful.
- You have settings to choose from.
- You actually get quite a lot of space inside.
- For whole turkeys, you may have to cut up the meat if you want to use the 2 racks.
- It’s not ideal for a huge party.
- You can’t look inside without opening the door.
You don’t need to spend a lot for an electric smoker when you’re just cooking for a small gathering or for your family. You certainly don’t need a huge bulky electric smoker either, especially on trips.
This smoker is portable and affordable, and it’s easy to use too. It can also cook a surprisingly large amount of meat inside. This Masterbuilt 20073716 smoker can be a great investment even for those who already have a large electric smoker.
5. Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker
At first glance, this smoker looks like a vault, as it’s made from 18-gauge stainless steel. It’s a very durable smoker indeed, and it’s also certified for use in restaurants.
When you get this, just about everything else has been already assembled. You just need to attach the four 3-inch casters so you can transport this more easily during your party. It comes with a smoke box, 3 stainless steel grilling racks, a drip pan underneath and a rheostat for temperature control.
You can set the temperature anywhere from 100 to 250 degrees F, and for that, it also has a 400-watt heating element with an LED indicator light.
This measures 20.4 x 19 x 15 inches on the outside, while the casters add another 3.75 inches to the height. It’s really no trouble to lift and move around with two people, as it only weighs 60 pounds.
On the inside, the measurements are 17.25 x 13.5 x 12.5 inches. That’s enough to hold up to 22 pounds of meat at one time.
The overall quality of this model is quite evident. You don’t make a mess with this, and using it is simple. It’s basically a smoker with a plug and a knob that you set.
You can add several accessories from Masterbuilt, such as a wood chip liner so you can small chips, a seafood tray with a finer mesh, and a wireless temperature gauge so you can check the meat temperature without opening the door.
- It’s not difficult to transport.
- It’s extremely easy to use.
- You can prepare quite an amount of meat at one time.
- There’s no problem with the assembly.
- It’s very durable.
- The overall quality is fantastic.
- It’s not really all that cheap.
- A single person may find it hard to carry.
- You need to buy accessories to make it more useful.
Yes, it’s a bit on the pricey side, and you still have to buy a few accessories to really make it worth your while. But then it’s easy to use and it won’t break down on you for a long time even if you use it weekly. The Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker works every single time, and you won’t have to nurse it all night long.
6. Masterbuilt 20078715 30-Inch Electric Digital Smoker Front Controller
The 30-inch version is quite large, with a cooking space of 721 square inches. It has enough space to smoke 2 whole turkeys or 12 whole chickens. You can also cook 24 hamburgers, 48 sausages, or 4 racks of ribs. To accommodate all that meat, it has 4 large cooking racks. It also has a wood chip loader along with a removable drip pan.
To cook all that meat, this smoker has a heating element that can go up to 800 watts. You can cook your meat at temperatures ranging from 100 to 275 degrees F.
It has monitors for the internal temperature and the temperature of the meat, along with a timer and an internal light. It also has thermostat temperature control. The controls are digital, so everything’s neat and easy to use.
It doesn’t weigh all that much at 65.7 pounds, so to people (or a beefy guy) can load it up and down from a car. It does have wheels mounted on it along with a handle in the rear, so moving it from place to place isn’t really a problem.
This doesn’t really require much of an assembly when you first get it, so using it at once isn’t a problem. Masterbuilt offers replacement parts if any part of it goes wrong, but it does hold up rather well to regular use.
- It’s easy to use.
- You can cook a lot of meat at once.
- The meat thermometer is very accurate.
- You have a wide range of temperature settings.
- It’s easy to transport.
- Replacement parts are easily available.
- It can get messy.
- You can look inside to see the state of the food.
- The wood chip loader doesn’t hold much.
You’ll find worse electric smokers that actually cost a lot more than this. It’s so easy to use, and the price is fantastic as well. It’s even easy to clean. Basically, it’s a fantastic deal. It may not be easy to bring along on your own, but then everything else about it makes up for its weight.
7. Smoke Hollow 26142E Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control
It has enough space inside for 1.3 cubic feet of cooking capacity. It has 2 cooking grids to work with, and they’re both chrome-plated, so they’re easier to clean. These grids can be adjusted to various heights to accommodate the different meats you put in.
The internal heating element here is impressively powerful at 1,500 watts. The temperature control can be adjusted to your liking so that you can set it anywhere from 175F to even 325 degrees F.
It has the usual wood chip and water pan included, and they’re both made from porcelain. But the heat indicator is the real beauty here. It works so well that it’s pretty much of commercial quality.
The door comes with a latch system, and it has a “cool touch” feature so you won’t burn yourself when you’ll open it.
The sides also feature handles, as it can easily be transported from one spot to another. Even a single strong guy (or gal) can carry this, as it weighs just 34.3 pounds.
It’s very well made, and this steel quality is fully welded for durability. It works perfectly, it’s quite compact, and it doesn’t cost a lot.
- It’s very portable.
- It’s affordable too.
- The heat indicator is quite accurate.
- The temperature range goes from 175 to 325 degrees F.
- It has legs so you don’t have to break your back to use it.
- The grid heights can be adjusted.
- Since it’s a compact unit, it doesn’t really feed a huge party.
- The front door isn’t transparent.
If you’re in need of a good compact electric smoker, you can do worse than this one. Yes, the lack of transparency in the door is annoying, but the heat you have here can cook stuff very quickly indeed. It’s simply an affordable functional electric smoker, and the no-fuss design of the Smoke Hollow 26142E can be a real relief.
8. Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker
It looks simple, as in front it has a temperature gauge to tell you how hot it is inside the smoker. It has a large door handle too, so you can check things out inside. At the bottom, it has 4 long angled legs to set it securely on the ground, while it also spares your back from too much bending.
To complete the look, it has handles on the sides and a drip container underneath. It has a wood chip pan as well as an ash pan.
This offers up to 505 square inches of the cooking surface inside. Here it has 3 chrome-plated cooking grates, and they’re adjustable so you can put in various meats such as whole chickens.
The smoker has a double-walled design to really enhance the insulation so that you can make sure the heat is staying put to cook your meat evenly. It also features a powerful 1,500-watt heating element.
This is quite affordable, and for its price it sure is good. It’s not too big so portability isn’t an issue, yet it’s big enough to feed a large group of friends. It holds its temperature very well, and the dial offers low, medium, and high settings. Put in some tinfoil at the bottom, and cleanup is a breeze.
- It’s easy to assemble.
- It’s quite portable.
- It still cooks a fairly large amount of meat.
- The heating element is very powerful.
- The handle is large and chrome-plated.
- It sits tall.
- It’s very affordable.
- You can’t see inside.
- There are some reports of rather cantankerous parts, so quality control may not be consistent for all models.
- You have to open the door to add more wood chips.
Hopefully, you get a model that works (like what I got), though judging from the other customer reviews this isn’t a universal occurrence. If you do get a good model, then you have one that’s convenient to use and whose temperature settings are very accurate and very consistent.
Even the cleanup isn’t a problem too. You may wish for a transparent door, however, and a longer cord would have been nice as well.
9. Smokehouse Products Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker
However, it does offer a very large cooking surface, as it has 5 cooking grills inside. You will need to cut up your meat properly before you put them in, but then there’s not much else to do afterward but wait.
The heating element is non-adjustable, and it’s permanently set at 165 degrees. That’s the temperature setting for slow cooking and smoking.
Upon getting this, you just need to plug it in and you’re all set. There’s no assembly required for it. It’s also very durable, as it’s made from embossed aluminum. That makes it both strong and lightweight. It even has a 1.75-pound bag of wood chips to go along with your recipe booklet, so you can start right away.
The chrome-plated grills slide in and out easily, so if you do have while chickens to cook then you can remove some of the grills. The drip pan is removable as well, and it’s also dishwasher-safe. It’s meant for long-term use, and it even comes with a 2-year warranty.
Annoyingly, the handles aren’t exactly well designed. You may need to wrap them with duct tape so you don’t burn your fingers.
- It’s quite affordable.
- It’s very portable.
- You have 5 grills inside.
- The whole thing is extremely durable, and there’s a 2-year warranty.
- You don’t have settings to fiddle with, and it’s extremely easy to use.
- There’s only a single temperature setting.
- It takes a long time to cook the food.
- The handles can burn your fingers.
- It’s actually a bit on the small side.
- It can get dented during delivery.
When you accept the fact that slow cooking goes hand in hand with smoked meats, then this is a perfect option for you and your family. It only has one setting, but you can cook lots of burgers and sausages inside with the 5 grills.
This smoker is extremely easy to use and quite portable too. Add the reasonable price, and it’s a reasonable choice. If the Little Chief is too small for you, then the Big Chief is the logical alternative.
10. Masterbuilt 20070210 30-Inch Black Analog Electric Smoker
Inside, it has 3 chrome-coated racks to work with, as they offer a total of 548 square inches of cooking surface. The heat is evenly spread inside with the double-wall insulation, while outside the door there’s a temperature gauge to inform you how hot things are inside.
It has a removable water and drip pan, while the tray for the wood chips loads at the front. This may be an “analog” model with no digital panels, but who really needs them anyway?
You can still turn the dial so you can adjust the temperature anywhere from 100 to 400 degrees F. The built-in thermometer makes sure that you cook your meat at just the right temperature so you don’t overcook your meals.
Here’s one annoying design flaw though: the electrical cord is just 6 feet long. That’s just not only inconvenient, but the manual also warns that the unit should be 10 feet away from any wall. So yes, you will need an extension cord.
- Even though it’s analog, it’s easy to use.
- You have plenty of cooking surfaces with 3 racks.
- The temperature range is huge.
- The heat inside is spread evenly.
- Cleanup isn’t a problem.
- The price is very attractive as well.
- The analog features can seem a bit too “basic”.
- The electric cord is too short.
- The front door isn’t transparent.
This is a traditional design for an electric smoker, so it doesn’t have the new-fangled features in newer models. On the other hand, it’s easy to use and it’s quite reliable. Once you understand its limitations and experiment on how to use it properly, you’ll be very pleased with the results.
You would do well to pick any of these electric smokers on my list. Though of course, the particular model you should choose must suit your specific needs. It should be able to smoke the amount of meat you need for your party.
But if you really want my recommendation, then I have one thing to say: Try Masterbuilt. This brand offers consistently good results with lots of convenient features like transparent doors. At the same time, the prices are more than reasonable.
It’s not surprising that this is one of the most popular brands in the electric smoker industry. They just make electric smokers with great features and fantastic-tasting food at the end, while you don’t bankrupt yourself getting one of these nifty devices.
You can try the Masterbuilt 20075315 40-Inch Front Controller Smoker, I’m sure that you’ll be looking forward to smoked meats every weekend.
Electric Smoker Buying Guide & Tips
Buying an electric smoker is never easy. It is something you need to plan in advance.
When you’re on a mission of buying an electric smoker, you have plenty of options. Each smoker is different in quality, functionality, reviews, ratings and the results they produce. So, you have to take the time to clearly determine your needs before start looking for an electric smoker. You also have to make sure that it fits your budget.
Ultimately be sure to get the electric smoker that fits your needs best. Here are all the factors that you should know to make the right decision while shopping for an electric smoker for your needs.
The best electric smokers on the market come with temperature control features such as a rheostat. It’s a must-have feature when you’re looking to buy an electric smoker. I recommend you to buy an electric smoker that comes with a rheostat. A rheostat usually comes in the form of a digital display or a simple knob. This will give you the complete control of the internal temperature of the smoker.
When you are buying a new electric smoker, you need to understand its heat structure. The heating structure is based on how heat is distributed within the smokers temperature chamber. Most of the professionals will use a heat flow comes down and sidewards, which allows cooking meals at a faster rate.
More heat sources can mean shorter cooking times, but it can also mean overcooked meat. Take your decision very carefully. When you’re going to buy the fish smoker or electric meat smoker, I will suggest you buy the smoker which has an upward heat flow that is generated from below the heating furnace.
Various brands smokers have various kind of trays and layers installed within them. If you search on the market, some smokers are vertical and some are horizontal. Also, Some smoker will have stainless steel racks, while others have chrome-plated racks.
The orientation of the racks doesn’t make much of a difference. It mostly depends on the meat shape that you will be cooking. When choosing a smoker, choose one which has thick grids which are also straight. If you want to take the maximum taste of smoky meat or fish, then go for hollow grids. Smokers that have box-shaped layers in their cooking chamber are not good for smoking food at all. If you find a famous electric smoker cookbook, you will find that they also recommended the smokers with hollow grids, mostly with thick, straight, long bars.
Most people don’t think about the power of smoker, but it is extremely important. Your selected smoker should be powerful enough to do what you need. Electrical smoker power generally measured in watts. They have an average wattage of between 500-800 watts. This wattage is more than enough for most users though it is considered pretty low.
If you need a more powerful smoker, then look for a smoker that offers up to 1500 watts of pure power. Get a smoker that utilizes infrared technology if you think a particular smoker might not have enough power.
Size & Cooking Space
Electric smokers come in various shapes and sizes. At the time of choosing a unit, ensure that it’s big enough for the amount of food that you’re going to be preparing. Check the capacity of smoker before buying it. You don’t want a compact smoker if you’re preparing meals for a big number of people at once. Again you don’t want a huge smoker if you only need to prepare your personal meals regularly. I suggest you buy a unit with a larger capacity if you have enough space as it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You can choose between a 4 or 6 rack electric smoker, depending on for how much people you would usually grill for. It will be better to get a smoker that has removal racks, It will give you more cooking space. There are only 2-3 racks available on lower end smokers. Most electric smokers have 700 square inches of cooking space, but if you need more, then you can go for a bigger one.
The caveats are the small ventilation systems in the combustion chamber of the smoker to let the heat and smoke escape the chamber. It’s an important part of your electric smoker and the caveats must be of high quality. It helps maintain a stable internal temperature of your smoker and ensures that your meats won’t char or burn. It also ensures that the meat is cooked steadily and consistently.
Addition of Woodchips or Charcoal
When you are purchasing an electric smoker, you want to make sure that the smoker includes a tray or compartment where you can burn coal or wood chips as well. Having this option can help you get a more traditional and smokier BBQ flavor.
Analog vs Digital
An electric smoker can be bought in both digital and analog styles. Analog smokers have an adjustable thermostat dial to set the temperature to a certain level. And digital smokers have a digital screen with push buttons to set the smoker to a specific temperature. Some smoker has meat probe thermometer that allows you to set your smoker to a specific internal meat temperature.
Electric smoker with analog controls may be cheaper. But smokers with digital controls are very easier to handle. Top smoker brands such as Masterbuilt offer blue LED displays. It can be viewed even in direct sunlight.
It is almost impossible to know the effectiveness of the products of the newer brand. The traditional brand will provide the trusted products that likely meet the common demands. But why? Because you can see the reviews from the customer about their products. So, choose one from the reputable brands. I will discuss the brands of the electric smoker in brief later.
Get electric smokers that have easily removable racks. When your, a sufficiently large and conveniently placed grease tray is essential for easy cleanup. The good cleanability of smokers means maintenance will be less often.
A serious cook will always want a smoker that can do much more than just smoke. If you’re a serious cook, then you want your smoker to be versatile enough to also grill and roast if that’s what you choose to do. You will be happy to hear that, some electric smokers includes separate areas for roasting and grilling. It allows you to sear your chicken or roast a whole turkey. You don’t have to invest in additional equipment when you have a versatile smoker. It allows you to prepare your favorite dishes in multiple ways.
You should check the type of materials used to build the smoker before checking the price or features. Stainless still is able to handle high heat very well. It ensures that the temperature is always steady. It’s also very durable and easy to clean. But when it comes to the outside of the smoker, you will find a lot use corrosion-resistant aluminized steel or embossed aluminum.
Unit performance is extremely very important. If the unit doesn’t perform well, then you’re not going to get a good result. Extra insulation, water pans, rheostats, drip pans, thermostats, and vents are the features that enhance the performance of the unit. A smoker must have excellent temperature control for best performance, I have talked about temperature control above.
If the smoker has the remote control feature, it gives you the ability to control your cooker without having to hover over it all day. You can easily adjust the temperature, check the temperature, turn on the light and so much more. Thus, a remote control gives you a great deal of flexibility and freedom.
Full Foam Insulation & Meat Probe
Electric smokers with full foam insulation ensure that the heat stays inside and doesn’t leak out, heat the user operated components and create an unwitting injury.
Higher end smoker models should have at least one meat probe built in. It helps to increase the reach of the meat thermometer.
Metal Door vs Glass
A user who knows how to use a smoker surely understand the importance of regularly checking the condition of foods. If the smoker has glass doors, the user doesn’t have to open the smoker to check the food status. Generally, Glass doors are available on higher-end models of smokers that have multiple racks for cooking. On the other hand, lower end products tend to have metal doors which have to be opened to check on the food. Actually, when you’re smoking at night, you may need to use a flashlight to see the foodstuffs in detail. However, it’s not a major issue.
There are plenty of smokers that are extremely affordable. An affordable smoker is one that constructed well but the product doesn’t include all the features of a top of the line electric smoker. A cheap unit is made using cheap material that breaks down and erodes very quickly. They also don’t last a very long time. While cheap smoker may save your money upfront, in future you will find yourself spending a big number of dollars on repairs. So, I suggest you find a smoker that offers the features you need instead of looking for the cheapest product.
The electric smoker is going to animate your kitchen for a long time. So, while purchasing your electric smoker, try to buy one that matches the rest of your kitchen appliance.
Most people don’t use the electric smoker on a regular basis. they usually use it during the weekends or when they have guests over and they want to surprise them with special food. Portability is extremely important. If the weight is less then 50 pounds, you will be able to pick it at another location.
If the unit has wheels, you can easily roll it at any location where you want it to be. If you want to take your smoker with you on camping trips, then you will need a smaller smoker that weighs around 12 pounds. This will make it very easy to move in and out of your vehicle.
Do the electric smoker come with any accessories? Yes. they come with some accessories. They will basically include a timer, a water pan, a drip tray, a wood loading tray, four wire racks and a thermometer. Some electric smokers still have the wheels, a biscuit pan, a remote control or a removal generator. When you are purchasing a smoker, keep these accessories in your mind.
Some electric smokers can cost higher than $1,000. On the other hand, lower end smokers can cost as little as $100. If you’re looking for a simple electric smoker for your close friends and family, then get ready to shell out between $200 and $500. On the contrary, if your family is very large, then a semi-commercial electric smoker costing $500-$600 would be an ideal choice. But if you’re going to set up a professional business, then go for a best quality commercial smoker.
Budget vs Quality
It’s very important to buy a smoker that cooks your meat well, but you don’t want to go spend a fortune to get the high-quality smoker you need. When you are on a fixed budget, you need to find the best quality electric smoker for a price that you can afford. There are plenty of decently priced smokers units on the market. You just need to find out which will be best for your needs.
Ease of Use
Most people look for something that is the simplest, especially when it comes to cooking appliance. If you want to buy a smoker that is very easy to use, then you need to consider the smoke amount you’d like to. It’s a good idea to choose smoker with wheels.
When you have found out a smoker that fits your needs most, you are not yet done completely. Before purchasing, See what other customers say about the product. You can visit some reputable sites such as Amazon and read the customers review of our product. Truly to say, reviews of the customer are enough to help you make the right decision.
If the product gets positive reviews, that means the product is acceptable amongst the customers. I would recommend you to buy a product that has been rated highly.
The warranty period is usually the same for most electric smoker models. Warranty is important, there will be always a possibility that your smoker can have an issue. If your smoker has a warranty, you won’t have to worry about that.
Top 5 Best Electric Smoker Brands
Now you know the factors that you should consider when buying an electric smoker. Let’s quickly cover the top 5 brands of electric smokers. These brands tend to provide the best features at a great price. You have to compare these brands based on quality features and price to find the best one for your needs.
Masterbuilt is without a doubt one of the most popular brands that make great electric smokers for all types of customers. They are considered as a premium brand of electric smoker. Masterbuilt has been in existence for over 4 decades. The products of Masterbuilt has been widely admired among customers throughout this time.
Quality construction, consistent performance, and ease of use are the three main hallmarks of this brand. Their products are manufactured, recommended and tested by professionals.
Masterbuilt doesn’t only make smokers, they also have a host of other cooking products which includes cookbooks. They are highly preferred over other brands for their specialization in kitchen products.
Price range varies when it comes to different brands. You will notice that brands such as Masterbuilt will be more expensive than other brands such as Bradley or Char-Boil.
Bradley is another popular smokers brands who got their start back in the 1970’s. They are one of the top rated and highly reputable brands. They were some of the first to give users full control over the time and the temperature of the unit.
The story of this brand is pretty cool from a historical perspective. It is said that the founder of Bradley made a deal with a master smoker to teach him how to smoke salmon in exchange for fishing lessons. Thus the story begins.
Bradley Digital 6-Rack Smoker is one of the great electric smokers manufactured by Bradley. This awesome smoker has 6 distinct racks, outdoing other brands for its innovativeness.
Smokehouse is a US-base popular brand of electric smokers with the specialty in kitchenware. They serve customers at a multi-national level. Their electric smokers are usually great for outdoor use. They focused on ensuring the quality of products more than anything else.
The smokers of the Smokehouse brand are usually front-loaded and have at least four racks. The model Smokehouse Products Big Chief Front Load Smoker is one of the outstanding product of smokehouse. Models like this are designed with outstanding qualities. For example, it features 2 side handles for easier transport, installation, and assembly.
Nowadays, Smokehouse sells a complete line of electric smokers- as well as other products which include BBQ Pellets, Gas smokers, Brines & mixes, Woodchips & chunks and Jerky & sausage supplies.
Char-Broil is a privately held manufacturer of outdoor grills, smokers, gas and related accessories. It is a subsidiary of W.C Bradley company.
When the company first started, they did cotton business. Later, the company brand out into other industries such as textiles, farm equipment, BBQ grills and fishing gear. The Tru-infrared Technology has made the company highly known. It can be found in all of their smokers and grills.
Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker and Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smokers are the two most popular models of this brand. The Char-Broil vertical electric smoker model gets the good review from most of the users.
Smokin-It is probably one of the most innovative brands there is on the market nowadays. This brand is certified by NSF and serves customers with its high-quality products. It is a brand with a number of electric smoker models.
The brands that are stated above are the best selling and popular brands of electric smokers. I’m suggesting you to consider the specialty of a brand to find the best brand.
Electric Smoker Using Guide & Tips
Electric Smoker VS Gas Smoker: Which Is Better?
Cooking With electric smokers and gas smokers have been in practice for a long time. These form of cooking techniques have become highly accepted because of the technical development.
Electric and gas smokers are great cooking methods and they have many similarities. The process of generating heat is the major difference between them.
It’s very important to have a complete understanding of both the positive and negative sites of both smokers. In this point, I will compare the two smokers and analyze their pros and cons. I hope, this point will help you to make the right decision.
The gas smoker is also called propane smoker. It is designed to allow the smoking of heat in a controlled environment. It is powered by natural gas or propane as the primary source of heat. Heating element generates the heat. And it is used to produce smoke that is essential for smoking.
Let’s start talking about the plus point of the gas smoker. Gas smoker gives you the opportunity to achieve the maximum temperature that is ideal for any protein you’re smoking. Gas smoker is small in size that allows portability. It saves your valuable time by cooking very fast especially at the time of your traveling. You can use it anywhere and at any time even if there is no connection of electricity. They are comparatively cheaper than the electric smoker.
Let’s discuss the minus point of the gas smoker. Gas smokers will require much attention and it will require you to be always there regulating the smoking process. As they are smaller in size, their smoking or cooking capacity is limited too. If you want to get much out of this smoker, then you need to have mastery of knowledge of its operating system. Most of the gas smokers are not as insulated as electric smokers. Gas smoker also lacks some latest important features.
Electric smokers are relatively a new type of smoker. They use electricity, rather than fuel gas. That means, the smoker can’t be used where electricity isn’t available.
Electrical smoker is very easy to use. You just need to plug the smoker, set the temperature and start cooking. They provide ample cooking space for a wide range of foods.
Electric smokers are relatively expensive when compared to a gas smoker. They also produce lower quality smoked food compared to a gas smoker. Electric smoker cook at a relatively slower rate and temperature range of electric smoker is narrow compared to a gas smoker.
Difference Between Gas and Electric Smoker
To make the right choice, the first important thing is to consider your needs and then think of a smoker with more features and benefits. Read on to discover more
Electric smokers are more convenient compared to a gas smoker. They are easier to use too. Electric smoker has digital LED displays and integrated food meat thermometer.
Electric smoker uses electricity as the main heat source and gas smokers use propane or natural gas as the main heat source.
Gas smokers are relatively low tech. You will need to have a basic knowledge and understanding of how a gas smoker works to use it effectively. When you’re using it, you have to take into count the outside temperature and proper use of vents. On the other hand, an electric smoker is easy to use. It has digital displays and some of them have apps that connect to the electric smoker wirelessly to your mobile enabling control when you’re out of the home.
A lot of electric smokers have 4 racks with ample smoking space. They have a bigger area around them and it is in an enclosed form. On the contrary, the gas smoker has a smaller table top area and it often remains open.
Electric smoker generally begins from $200 to $400. Although, you can get a higher or lower price range. But when it comes to the gas smoker, it begins from $150.
Electric smokers have lower temperature ranges compared to gas smokers. On the contrary, gas smoker allows you to experience the maximum smoking temperatures.
The choice depends on your specific needs, convenience, and financial position. If you need a smoker that smokes faster than an electric smoker will be better for you. Electric smokers are good for both the process and the results of the end. But gas smokers are not good for the process. They are only good for the end results. That’s why electric smoker is generally better than a gas smoker.
Charcoal Smoker vs Electric Smoker
People have been using the Electric and Charcoal smoker for many years. But which is better debate goes on among foodies. To find out the better smoker, you have to consider the features of both smokers.
Charcoal smoker is recognized for high-quality smoking. It’s comparatively cheaper than a gas smoker.
Differences Between Charcoal Smoker and Electric Smoker
Fuel Source- The fuel source and your temperature goals are the two main factors to consider when you’re going to select an electric smoker for you. Lower ends electric smoker will not get temperatures higher than 200 degrees, Higher end electric smokers also don’t get higher than 325 to 350 degrees. This makes it a cool smoker or dehydrator. On the other hand, Charcoal smokers have a much more variant temperature spectrum. But it also requires the knowledge of how to build and maintain the heat source.
Convenience- Charcoal smoker requires closer attention than an electric smoker. Electric smoker has grown popular because of their ease of use and convenience and due to its ease of use.
Quality of Food: Smoked meat that is done by using a charcoal smoker is very tasty compared to meat smoked in an electric smoker.
Size- Heating element of electric smokers requires less room than wood and coals do. on the other hand, charcoal smokers require enough room for a hefty set of coals.
Cleaning- electric smoker don’t produce real ash or coil. That’s why, the cleanup process is easier, stress-free and faster for an electric smoker.
Smoking Space- An electric smoker fits in the indoors and outdoors well. On the other hand, if you select Charcoal smoker, then be sure to limit your smoking sessions to the outdoors. But Bradley electric smoker is restricted to the outdoors. After all, there are a quite a number of electric models are for both spaces.
Which is Better?
I focused mainly on food quality, safety, cost, versatility, smoking space and convenience and found out that, Charcoal smoker scored highly only in the area of cost efficiency and food quality. On the other hand, electric smoker takes the lead in the field of safety, convenience, smoking space, versatility, and cleaning.
Electric smokers are good for non-gamblers and Charcoal smokers are for perfectionists of meat smoking. You have to find out that what you will be smoking in the long run.
If you’re sure that you’re going to smoke meat, then Charcoal isn’t a bad choice. But if you’re not sure, then electric smoker should be your ultimate choice. If you’re looking for convenience, safety, and speed, then you can confidently select the electric smoker.
Advantages Of Using An Electric Smoker
When you’re using an electric smoker, you don’t have to depend on flames to generate smoke. Because the electric smokers only use coils to produce heat, which is advantageous in many ways compared to traditional smokers. You need enough experience to use a standard smoker. You need to know how much wood to add, how long to smoke ingredient when to adjust the heat etc. On the contrary, electric smokers don’t require any experience. That’s why they are great for beginners.
You may find that you don’t need to use the instruction of smoker before you start smoking. Along with being extremely easy to use, there are a lot of advantages associated using an electric smoker.
No Hassle To Make Fire: When you’re using an electric smoker, you don’t have to hassle around for making fire. It’s the first benefit of the electric smoker. You just need to plug in the unit and you’re ready to smoke. They are very convenient and have some advantages over other types of smokers. Be sure to revise these advantages before you decide to buy a smoker.
Ease Of use: No doubt, this is one of the biggest advantages you can get from an electric smoker. Electric smokers are the easiest to use. You just need to set things up and then forget it! Switch on the smoker, adjust the time and temperature to the required level and get back to your business forgetting it. It will smoke your food properly and when it’s done, the smoker shut itself off! Thus, life has become very easier with this smart technology.
On the other hand, traditional smokers take longer to smoke your meat. You need to control air flow, set up the flame and also have to ensure that all your units are at the right temperature. But electric smokers don’t give you such pain as traditional smokers. That’s why they are the easiest to use.
Low Cost: Do you think electric smokers are very expensive to run? If the answer is yes, then you’re living in the past. They are some of the most cost-effective smoking appliances on the market nowadays.
But when you use traditional smokers, it’s really very expensive. You constantly need to buy wood or charcoal. In the long run, the cost of electric smokers is very less as they don’t need a constant refill of wood or charcoal. The electric smoker is free from this problem. You just need a steady power source and you are ready to go. They don’t draw much power. Never mislead by the idea that electric smokers draw a lot of power.
Convenience: when you use a traditional smoker, it usually needs a lot of babysitting. You need to maintain airflow, temperature, and the flame. But when you use an electric smoker, it doesn’t demand much time and effort. You just need to plug it in and let it run. If you’re a busy person who doesn’t have the time to constantly check the unit all day, then you can go for a good electric smoker available on the market.
Saves Time: While using a traditional smoker, you need constant monitoring and longer hours of cooking. But with a higher end electric smoker, you can control the entire smoking process with an RF remote control. You can switch on and off, control internal light, control time etc by using remote controls. Thus, electric smokers save your time.
Easy To Control The Temperature: Easy temperature controlling system is one of the biggest advantages of using an electric smoker. You just need to set the unit to the temperature that you want, and the unit will maintain it throughout the cooking process.
On the other hand, while you’re using a charcoal smoker, it’s quite hard to maintain and control the temperature. But the electric smokers have thermostats and temperature control mechanisms. That’s why its very easy to maintain and control the desired temperature than charcoal or wood smokers that require constant monitoring to maintain the desired temperature.
Timers: Modern Electric smokers come with built-in timers. After you have set the timer, the unit shuts off itself automatically, which means you can set the timer and forget it! You don’t need to constantly open the door and check the cooking progress. Some electric smokers come with digital timers and others come with a 24-hour timer. Thus, the built-in timers of electric unit let you smoke for the right amount of time.
cooking speed: For some users, regulating the cooking speed is very important. when you’re using an electric smoker, then you’re the one who is controlling the cooking speed. Other commercial smokers tend to force the heat from top to bottom. But electric smokers force the heat from the bottom up and it is usually a slower process. But it’s also true that slow-smoking offers much better cooking results than smoking meat at higher temperatures.
Versatile Cooking Options: Electric units are excellent for smoking a large range of food items such as turkey, beef etc. They can also cook sausage, nuts, and cheese. So, an electric smoker is ideal for you if you’re a vegetarian.
No experience Necessary: You don’t need the experience to use an electric smoker. That’s why the unit is great for newbies. On the contrary, you need enough experience to use a standard smoker. The operating method is so easy that you may don’t need to use the using instructions before you start smoking.
Harmful Emission: Conventional smokers using charcoal produce harmful carbon monoxide. On the other hand, the electric unit doesn’t release such harmful emissions and they are enough safer to use. This factor is especially important for you if you have kids or pets in your home.
wood Choices: Some people think that electric smokers only use electric power. This electric unit comes with a tray that lets you use any kind of wood that you want. The heat from the unit is high enough to burn those chips to make enough smoke. Some smokers even come with alerts that inform you when the unit needs more wood.
No Messes: If you have used other types of smoker before, you know that cleaning up after the smoking process is not easy. Those traditional units generate a lot of charred wood and ashes that you need to empty. But when you’re using an electric smoker, those remail inside an easy to empty tray on the button.
work with Most Outlets: Electric unit uses the power provided by an outlet to smoke your foods. But when you’re using a propane smoker, you need a big propane tank with sufficient gas to power the unit. Wood smoker also requires a lot of wood pellets. On the contrary, you can use an electric smoker anywhere by using a standard grounded outlet.
Functional in wind and cold weather: Unlike Charcoal based unit, electric smokers can be used in colder and windy areas. They are well insulated. That’s why they don’t let the heat produced in the chamber pass away.
Can Be Used Indoor: Unlike charcoal based smokers, electric smokers can be used inside in a kitchen or on the balcony easily. Because they don’t release emissions. But don’t afraid, they will produce just the right amount of smoke to flavor your food.
Safety: When it comes to safety, electric smokers are the safest ones. Traditional smokers depend on fire for producing smoke, and the fire needs to leave on for a long time. If something knocks over the smoker, the fire can spread. But when you’re using an electric smoker, you don’t have to worry about safety.
You probably need an electric smoker, if you have kids or pets in your house. Most of the best smokers are shockproof, they are wired and insulated very well. It makes sure that there is no current on the smoker’s body, even if it’s wet. Most features of electric smokers are automated. You just need to set the temperature and place your meat on the smoker and leave it! The possibility of occurring danger is extremely low.
So, the advantages are more than obvious. If you want to cook and smoke meat with top quality smokers, don’t hesitate to select the electric smoker. Though, the electric unit might be more expensive than others.
Disadvantages of Electric Smoker
Complicated Components: Electric smokers are quite complex than traditional smoker when it comes to their components. Charcoal based traditional smoker is just a piece of metal. There is nothing inside of them that can break. On the other hand, electric smokers have a lot of working parts in them. They have automated timers, thermostats and heaters that can malfunction.
The manufacturers make the electric components in such a way that can be easily replaced. But it takes some time to figure out how the process works.
Low Temperature: Cooking food with an inexpensive electric smoker takes a little longer time. This happens because the cheaper smokers can’t always achieve the extreme temperatures that traditional smokers can. TYou have to be very patient while smoking with cheaper electric smokers. If you use a cheap electric smoker, you might need to wait for a longer to fully cook your meat.
Non-Traditional: Many people believe that tending to their smoker is amusing when they are smoking meat. They want to spend their time actually monitoring the whole smoking process. For these kinds of people, a “set it and forget it” system isn’t suitable. They feel that they are cheating when electric gadgets take care of the units temperature and smoke production.
If you want to overlook your smoker to make sure that it’s running, then electric smokers probably aren’t for you. But, if you feel comfortable with the automated features of electric smokers, then you should go for an electric smoker.
Limited Cooking capacity: If you want to cook enough food or feed a big family for a part, electric units might not be your best choice. Electric smokers typically rank among the smallest capacity cookers in the world of BBQ. If you desire ease of use and more capacity, then look for electronic wood fired pellet smokers.
I hope that you’ve found this best electric smokers review and buying guide helpful. If you still have any question, just ask me in the comment section, I’ll reply to you asap.