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11 Best Rated Electric Smoker – In-Depth Reviews

U nlike grills, which use high heat and cook your food faster, smokers use low heat and require more time to prepare the meat. Food-smoking is an old activity, and people still preserve this tradition for flavoring or conserving food. Even though meat and fish prevail, cheese and vegetables are also among the preferences of many people. In the past, small smokehouses were built for preparing food, and they were placed somewhere near the house, not too close, though, to avoid any possible dangers. These days, things have evolved, and many types of smokers are meant to help you flavor food with ease. Yet, we will only focus on electric smokers, which are considered the best option for many points of view.

Take a look at our evaluation of the top-rated models and see how exactly they can help you flavor foods without too much hassle.

See our selection of pellet grill/smokers and discover a dependable and effortless way to get amazingly flavored grilled meat.


Top 11 Electric Smokers Compared

Photo
Product
Heating Element
Smoking Area
Maximum Temperature
Number of Racks
Temperature Control
Drip Tray/Pan
Warranty
Price

Best Overall
1,200W
858 sq. in.
280F
6
1-year
1,500W
1.7 cu. ft. volume
450F
2
1-year

Editor’s Choice
1,500W
548 sq. in.
400F
3
3-year
800W
725 sq. in.
275F
4
1-year
800W
730 sq. in.
275F
4
1 year

Best for Beginners
800W
540 sq. in.
275F
3
1-year

Best for Cold Weather
800W
730 sq. in.
275F
4
90-day
1,500W
458 sq. in.
300F
3
1-year
400W
N/A
250F
3
3-year
250W
288 sq. in.
165F
4
2-year

Best for Cold Smoking
150W
N/A
275F
4
1-year

Complete your outdoor kitchen with a built-in gas grill and start the party season fully equipped and ready to serve amazing grilled and smoked dishes.



1. Bradley Digital 6-Rack Smoker

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Specifications

  • Smoking Area: 858 sq. in.
  • Max. Temperature: 280°F
  • Heating Element: 1,200W
  • Number of Racks: 6
  • Wood Chip Box:
  • Removable Racks:
  • Drip Tray/Pan:
  • Temperature Control: Built-In Thermostat


What distinguishes this model from the many others is the original digital tech and the way it burns – the wood doesn’t turn into ash, thus preventing a bitter smoke. It is the 6-rack version – there’s also a 4-rack version- of Bradley, and it is suitable for cooking and flavoring more foods.

Design

It is pretty large, so you need more space for it. It is made from stainless steel, hence, it is very tough and rigid. To prevent heat loss, the inside is completely insulated. It comprises 6 shelves that can be detached or adjusted according to your preferences. The unit presents a large display with easy-to-push buttons.

If you cook your food indoors before placing it into the smoker, keep the air free of odors and smoke with a ductless range hood. There’s no need to drill a hole into the wall, so the installation will go smoothly, and you will be enjoying its benefits in no time.

Performance

Having a total capacity of 858 sq. in. and being equipped with a 1,200W element, it makes barbecuing much easier. It comes with an internal thermometer that allows you to set the desired heat intensity for a perfect BBQ.

  • Automatic feed system: for generating a continuous flow of even and clean smoke, the bisquettes are fed automatically every 20 minutes. You can also do this whenever you want with the push of a button.
  • Dual burners: there’s a separate burner for the smoke and oven. You can set the timer of the smoker and the heat intensity and timer of the oven. This makes the unit very versatile as you have plenty of cooking options.
Convenience

The ease of use and advanced technology make it a nice option regardless of your barbecue skills. The cleaning and maintenance are completely hassle-free while the set-up takes very little time, so you can start cooking in no time. There are multiple wood flavors bisquettes you can pick from, like maple, apple, cherry, special blend, oak, and so on. Each of them works with certain foods just to ensure you get the most out of them.

PROS

  • Generous smoking area
  • Has multiple shelves
  • Can easily maintain the desired heat intensity
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • It doesn’t feature a viewing window
  • There is no handle or wheels to move it around


Verdict

It is a dependable unit and can successfully cook a lot of meats in a short time. It supplies a generous smoking area and comes with 6 removable racks to organize your food as you wish. Although you can’t monitor the process through an observing window, and you can’t move it around with ease, this unit is a beast when it comes to preparing delicious meals.


Give your steaks beautiful sear marks with an infrared grill. As the heat is diffused directly into the food, it gets perfectly cooked without getting burnt.



2. Smoke Hollow 30162E

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Specifications

  • Cabinet Capacity: 1.7 cu. ft.
  • Max. Temperature: 450°F
  • Heating Element: 1,500W
  • Number of Racks: 2
  • Wood Chip Box:
  • Removable Racks:
  • Drip Tray/Pan:
  • Temperature Control: Built-In Thermostat


This is a dependable model that will help you prepare a wide array of recipes and not only. It comprises 3 cooking racks, of which two are detachable and one fixed.

Presenting a build with double walls and a magnetic latch to keep the proper heat inside, it is, undoubtedly, one of the most reliable units available. Moreover, you can easily regulate the heat for cooking the meat just as you like.

It presents a cool-touch spring wire door handle for more convenience, and it also comprises a painted-steel wood-chip box and a porcelain-glazed steel water pan. All these, for achieving the best results on every occasion you want to cook for your loved ones.

It is offered at an affordable price, and it’s made to last for many years. As for the warranty, it is covered by a 1-year limited service contract on parts and 90-day on paint.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Powerful heating element
  • Compact design
  • Great price
  • Easy to clean and use

CONS

  • It has no viewing window
  • No wheels


Verdict

It has a packed-in design, so you can place it where you want, but its transportation can be a little bit more difficult as it doesn’t have any wheels. Additionally, the strong heating source can cook your meat fast every time you want.


Cooking and smoking aren’t everything. Knowing how to display the food to make it more appetizing is often the key to a successful family dinner. Check out our selection of electric meat slicers and turn your rough meat chunks into fine slices that can fill the platters.



3. Cuisinart COS-330

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Specifications

  • Smoking Area: 548 sq. in.
  • Max. Temperature: 400°F
  • Heating Element: 1,500W
  • Number of Racks: 3
  • Wood Chip Box:
  • Removable Racks:
  • Drip Tray/Pan: Removable Tray
  • Temperature Control: Built-In Thermostat


Made by a trusted brand in people’s kitchens, it will not disappoint. It is supplied with a 1,500W heating source that can reach a heat level between 100 and 400F.

You are free to select the heat intensity according to your choice. Once you close the door, you don’t need to open it again to check on the food, as it presents an accurate gauge on the door that is linked to a sensor inside. Thus, you will receive all the info without affecting the environment inside.

The interior has 3 chrome shelves, and, like in most cases, they aren’t fixed, so if you are in the mood for flavoring larger cuts of meat, you can do it. The 548 sq. in. cooking zone is sufficiently generous for versatile cooking that can include several types of food simultaneously. Just above the heating source, you will find a tray for the chips and one that needs to be filled with water.

With an unpretentious and elegant design, it will be the ideal addition to your patio. It is compact, so finding a spot for it won’t be that difficult. The lateral handles allow you to reposition it with ease, while the chrome solid spring door handle will ensure that the door remains locked.

PROS

  • Includes 3 removable racks
  • Ample heat range
  • Light and easy to reposition
  • Large exterior gauge to keep an eye on the conditions inside
  • Side feeding mechanism

CONS

  • Small wood bowl
  • Some customers criticized the door seal quality as the smoke may leak


Verdict

Very easy to use and fit together. With a solid build, it is up for heavy jobs, allowing you to test the recipes. Moreover, as the shelves are detachable, it allows you to flavor larger cuts of meat.



4. Char-Broil Deluxe 725 sq.in.

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Specifications

  • Smoking Area: 725 sq. in.
  • Max. Temperature: 275°F
  • Heating Element: 800W
  • Number of Racks: 4
  • Wood Chip Box:
  • Removable Racks:
  • Drip Tray/Pan: Removable Pan
  • Temperature Control: Built-In Thermostat


It features 725 sq. in. of internal cooking zone and 4 shelves that can be easily adjusted or removed for preparing various meals for the entire family.

The transparent door allows you to supervise the operation, while the locking latch secures the door for a more intense flavor. Furthermore, the unit allows you to operate the heat intensity for different recipes and turns off automatically when the food is done.

You will surely value the warming feature that keeps the food warm until you are ready to serve it. The remote is also a great advantage as you can opportunely set the clock and the heat intensity from the distance.

For the best results, you can always use the detachable meat probe to make sure the optimal conditions are attained for the meat to be safe to eat. Additionally, the interior light allows you to use the unit during the day or night. For ease of mind, it comes with a 1-year limited service contract.

PROS

  • Sturdy design
  • The remote allows for easy management
  • Can keep food warm
  • Easy to clean
  • Made to last

CONS

  • The smoke production is not very high
  • It works only with wooden chips or pellets

Verdict

It is made from superior-quality materials, can be operated from the distance, and can flavor a lot of meats without effort. It comes with 4 detachable stands and some pretty innovative features that are meant to ease your work. Last but not least, it is offered at a budget-friendly price.



5. Masterbuilt 20077515

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Specifications

  • Smoking Area: 730 sq. in.
  • Max. Temperature: 275°F
  • Heating Element: 800W
  • Number of Racks: 4
  • Wood Chip Box:
  • Removable Racks:
  • Drip Tray/Pan: Removable Pan
  • Temperature Control: Built-In Thermostat


Masterbuilt has been flavoring food for a long time now, and most users were more than content with the results. This 30” unit is surely no exception, presenting the same dependable design and careful crafting as all the other models. It is fit for large families, especially as it offers four racks that can divide the space and accommodate smaller cuts. Conversely, if your choice is to flavor a whole pork leg, you can detach some of the stands and get the space you need.

Solid Construction

One attribute that should never be neglected when acquiring a unit of this type is insulation. Even if its purpose isn’t to cook the food, it still needs to preserve an optimal heat level that will guarantee the food is flavored in good conditions. Even more important, the smoke needs to remain inside, and, according to most customers, this unit doesn’t present leaks, consequently, there’s no waste of wood chips. Moreover, if used in the winter, it doesn’t lose heat, being able to reach heat levels of 100 to 275F, due to the 800W heating component.

The monitoring window isn’t always offered, so it is a real plus, as you can peak through it and supervise the food through every stage of the process. Moreover, the handle is thick and hardwearing and will help you a lot when pushing the unit on the rear wheels.

Convenient Use

The package comprises a remote that offers access to all of its functions and allows you to operate everything from the distance.

It also comprises other practical features:

  • Accurate thermostat: if you want to try different recipes, it allows you to regulate the heat intensity and be aware, at any point, of the conditions inside.
  • Lateral wood chip filling mechanism: putting wood chips inside is effortlessly due to the well-positioned loader that allows you to fill the box in one move.
  • Detachable tray and racks: all the fat that may be released by the meat will go directly into the drip tray. Furthermore, when you are ready, you can just detach it and clean it easily. The stands are also detachable and non-stick due to the chrome layer.

The service contract is only 3 months, therefore, not the most generous. Nonetheless, most buyers were content with their acquisition, which didn’t require costly repairs even after years of utilization.

PROS

  • Can be controlled remotely
  • Easy to fit together
  • Features full-foam insulation that entraps both the smoke and the heat
  • Can be repositioned with ease as it comes with wheels and a handle
  • Superior crafting

CONS

  • The chip tray is rather small, so you will need to refill it often
  • According to some purchasers, the thermostat is a bit off


Verdict

It features an attractive design with a monitoring window to follow the process. The generous interior allows you to flavor a wide range of foods very fast and efficiently. Additionally, it comes with many innovative attributes, including the meat probe and the lateral chip charging mechanism.



6. Smoke Hollow ES230B

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Specifications

  • Smoking Area: 540 sq. in.
  • Max. Temperature: 275°F
  • Heating Element: 800W
  • Number of Racks: 3
  • Wood Chip Box:
  • Removable Racks:
  • Drip Tray/Pan: Removable Pan
  • Temperature Control: Built-In Thermostat


If you are just discovering the art of food smoking, a unit that doesn’t cost a fortune but is produced by a dependable brand and has all the necessary accessories and attributes to allow you to follow a wide array of basic and medium-difficulty recipes is the right pick. This model is heated by an 800W element and includes three stands that will allow you to make full use of the space, in this case, a surface of 540 sq. ft. The shelves are covered with chrome, which doesn’t only boost resistance but ensures that there will be no sticking.

The body is well-insulated, hence, there won’t be any heat or smoke leaks, while the drip pan that can be detached without effort will keep the base of the unit clean. Moreover, heat control is available with an accurate thermostat, with the peak being 275 F. The digital panel will help you set the right value according to the recipe.

The only disadvantage it presents is the loading mechanism, which is not positioned on the side, so you will need to open the door and feed the chips in the machine. This will lead to heat loss, especially in the winter, but if you move fast, it will quickly get to the optimal heat level again. Conversely, it has a nice plus, namely, the 1-year service assurance.

PROS

  • Inbuilt thermostat to keep an even heat level
  • The body is very well insulated
  • The air damper can be modified to better control the smoke
  • Possibility to adjust the heat level and time
  • Includes a detachable water bowl

CONS

  • The info on the control panel can be challenging to read into sunlight
  • No caster wheels or handles to move it around


Verdict

Spacious and simple to operate, it is just right for an entry-level smoker. It does a great job of holding heat inside, and it is very easy to put together.



7. Masterbuilt 20071117

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Specifications

  • Smoking Area: 730 sq. in.
  • Max. Temperature: 275°F
  • Heating Element: 800W
  • Number of Racks: 4
  • Wood Chip Box:
  • Removable Racks:
  • Drip Tray/Pan: Removable Pan
  • Temperature Contro:l Built-In Thermostat


Roomy and with a solid build, it is a nice fit for large families and even parties. To be more precise, you can use it to flavor 6 whole chickens, 4 pork butts, or 24 burgers.

The 4 stands allow you to organize the food as you like, and you can also detach them to fit larger cuts. The shelves are glazed with chrome, which means they are robust and won’t stick.

The electronic panel is positioned on the top and allows you to set the preferred heat level and the time. Hence, you don’t have to permanently supervise it, so you have the gain of doing something else while it smokes the meat.

The unit has no window, so you can only check the meat by opening the door. This may not be very expedient as heat may be lost. Luckily, you don’t have to open the door to put chips in, as it features an innovative chip stocking mechanism on the side.

To maintain steady smoking, it has an integrated thermostat. Additionally, you can manage the smoke with the help of the air dampener located on the top.

A substantial shortcoming is that you won’t be able to reposition it too easily as it has no wheels or handles. Nonetheless, you can acquire a stand with rollers to facilitate transportation.

PROS

  • Effortless assembly as it doesn’t come in many separate pieces
  • The special mechanism makes chip loading a straightforward job
  • The body is fully isolated to uphold the same heat intensity and smoke
  • The shelves are hardwearing as they are chrome-covered
  • Includes a pan to catch the drip

CONS

  • The digital dial is very hard to read in the sun
  • The paint around the door may flake off with time


Verdict

If you’re on the hunt for a starter model, then this is the ideal one. It is uncomplicated to use yet very versatile. Just set it and let it supply the most delicious meat for you.



8. Royal Gourmet SE2801

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Specifications

  • Smoking Area: 458 sq. in.
  • Max. Temperature: 300°F
  • Heating Element: 1,500W
  • Number of Racks: 3
  • Wood Chip Box:
  • Removable Racks:
  • Drip Tray/Pan: Removable Pan
  • Temperature Control: Built-In Thermostat


This model features double insulation and a special latch door closing system that helps it seal the heat inside, so you will be able to use it in the cold season, especially as its 1,500W heating element can generate a peak temperature of 300F. On the sides, you have two practical handles that will help you to move the unit without too much effort, and you can place it outside confidently as the box material is resistant and won’t get affected by dust or mild humidity.

Inside, you will find 3 racks that are chrome-coated and offer a total surface of 458 sq. in. The great advantage is that you can detach them and use, let’s say, only two if you are smoking large pieces of food. The package includes everything you need to get smoking as soon as you unpack. Thus, you will receive a stainless water pan to help you maintain good humidity inside the box and prevent food drying and a chip box with a lid where you can add your favorite chips. Another element is the grease cup, which gathers all the oils and fats and doesn’t allow them to deposit on the bottom of the box. At the end of the session, you will only need to remove it along with the racks and give them a good wash.

If you would like to smoke different types of food, you can use the included thermostat to adjust the temperature. It will allow you to cook meat and vegetables but also cold smoke cheese and other items. For this unit, the company offers a 1-year service assurance.

PROS

  • The walls are double to provide better insulation
  • Substantial cooking surface
  • Grease cup makes cleaning more convenient
  • Adjustable heat level
  • Latch seal helps keep the heat inside and makes it ideal for cold days

CONS

  • Heating time is rather long
  • You need to open the door to add the chips, and this leads to temporary heat loss


Verdict

Provided with 3 durable racks that offer a great cooking surface and with a powerful 1,500W heating element, this unit offers a good quality-price report. It is easy to install, but you may need to wait a while until the interior warms up. Nonetheless, once it gets to this point, the process will go smoothly, and you will get your food smoked fast due to the practical latch closing system.



9. Smokin-It Model #1

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Specifications

  • Capacity: 22 lbs.
  • Max. Temperature: 250°F
  • Heating Element: 400W
  • Number of Racks: 3
  • Wood Chip Box:
  • Removable Racks:
  • Drip Tray/Pan:
  • Temperature Control: Built-In Thermostat


With the help of this model, you can prepare up to 22 lbs. of meat, allowing you to easily set the desired heat intensity for the best results.

It presents a stainless steel assembly that guarantees its use for an extended period. It comes with 3 shelves, but it has enough room for 4 racks. Moreover, it is insulated with fiberglass, and the heating element presents a LED indicator.

For more convenience, it has built-in power cord hangers to mount the power cord on the back panel. Another interesting thing about this unit is that it’s NSF endorsed for restaurant use, so if you have your own barbeque business, it’s worth giving it a try.

To transport it with ease, it also features four 3-inch diameter rubber casters and two side handles. In what concerns the warranty, it comes with a 3-year limited service contract on parts and workmanship.

PROS

  • Features power cord management
  • Long warranty
  • Features a fiberglass insulation
  • Very well made
  • Easy to use and clean

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Doesn’t come with a water bowl
  • You can’t see the process as there’s no viewing window


Verdict

It is worth considering as it can help you smoke your food very easily and efficiently. It features a durable structure and is covered by a 3-year service contract, which is the longest warranty if we compare it with the other models. Additionally, it is spacious enough to flavor your food and is uncomplicated to use.



10. Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker

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Specifications

  • Smoking Area: 288 sq. in.
  • Max. Temperature: 165°F
  • Heating Element: 250W
  • Number of Racks: 4
  • Wood Chip Box:
  • Removable Racks:
  • Drip Tray/Pan: Removable Pan
  • Temperature Control:


It is 24.5″ tall, 11.5″ wide, and 11.5″ long, and it is made of embossed aluminum. As a result, it is very durable and lightweight – weighs around 12 lbs. With a generous capacity – can handle a peak of 25 lbs. of meat – and 4 detachable grills that are chrome covered, it is ideal for flavoring a wide diversity of foods.

It integrates a 250W heating source and can sustain a constant heat level of 165 F. The wood pan is very easy to access – you don’t have to open the door – so the heat will always stay inside.

The chips produced by the brand are offered in a wide diversity of flavors, so you just have to pick the one you like. For better results, this unit is suitably ventilated to allow smoke to spread uniformly.

It comprises a drip pan that can be washed in the dishwashing machine. You will also receive a bag of wood chips and a recipe booklet. Additionally, it is backed by a 2-year service contract.

PROS

  • Includes 4 stands that can be easily detached
  • You can skip washing the drip pan and place it directly in the dishwashing machine
  • Able to keep the same heat intensity
  • Comes with a bag of wood chips
  • UL and CUL certified

CONS

  • The heat is not adjustable
  • The power cord is rather short
  • The handle gets pretty hot

Verdict

Made by a brand with a long history behind it, it does a great job. It is well-made and presents an accessible operation. Besides, the price is fair, and it includes all the necessary accessories for a quick start.



11. Masterbuilt MB20100112

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Specifications

  • Smoking Area: N/A
  • Heating Element: 275°F
  • Number of Racks: 4
  • Wood Chip Box:
  • Removable Racks:
  • Drip Tray/Pan: Removable Pan
  • Temperature Control: Built-In Thermostat


Some foods cannot be exposed to high heat, otherwise, they may melt or overcook. It is the case with fruits, fish, or cheese. Thus, if you are going to prepare for your loved ones some nicely flavored cheddar, don’t hesitate to add this unit to your Masterbuilt smoker. Its purpose is to supply uniform and continuous smoke while sustaining the heat intensity you’ve selected. To put it short, it slow smokes the food, no matter if you opt for cold or hot smoking. The peak heat level it can reach is 275F, just like most units produced by the brand, and the thermostat will be the one maintaining it even.

With a 540 sq. ft. cooking zone and three shelves offered (detachable), it is a good option for flavoring moderate quantities of food. Plus, if you want to flavor large cuts, you can detach some or all of the shelves and use the space more efficiently. The 150W heating source will provide enough heat to safely cook the items.

The continuous chip feeding process maintains the smoke strong for up to six hours while all the ash that results from the operation is collected in a special tray. The good news is that it is detachable, so you won’t encounter difficulties in emptying and keeping it clean.

PROS

  • Ideal for cold smoking foods
  • Produces a generous amount of smoke for up to 6 hours
  • It works with all digital power-driven smoke generators made by Masterbuilt
  • Very easy to attach with the mounting hook
  • The ashtray can be taken apart for cleaning

CONS

  • The paint inside tends to peel off
  • The chips tend to get stuck in the chip tube

Verdict

It is a great addition to your Masterbuilt electric smoker. It helps you flavor food at low heat intensity and delivers a good level of smoke.



How We Rated the Products


Learning more about how we rated the products will help you better understand these types of smokers and what exactly to look for when buying one for adding a smoky flavor to your dishes. After thorough research, we have managed to choose only the best units that are both popular and efficient, so you can be sure that every model will be a great addition to your home.

  • Heating element: all power-driven smokers employ a heating element that transfers the heat inside, so the more powerful, the faster the process. Most units available have elements that vary between 400 and 1,000 watts or more. For example, a 1400W element can reach a peak of 225 – 230 F in about 20 minutes, being able to sustain it for many hours. Thus, these units heat up pretty fast in comparison to other types, so even if you buy a model that isn’t too powerful, you’ll still be able to cook the food faster.
  • Smoking area: most models for residential use present a cooking zone that ranges between 500 and 800 sq. in. A larger cooking chamber allows you to make meat for more persons, so you can opt for it if you usually organize parties for all your friends. The units that present a generous smoke area are also bigger, so they will occupy more space. As an alternative, if you want to prepare foods only for your family and a few other people, then probably a smaller unit is more appropriate.
  • Maximum temperature: since many recipes require a certain smoking heat level, knowing what is the peak the unit can reach is very important. The main gain of using a plug-in model is that you know right from the start what is the peak heat level it can reach. The top-rated models can easily be set to a peak of up to 225F or even more, allowing you to make most of the recipes.
  • Warranty: any product that is covered by a service contract offers peace of mind, and electric smoke generators make no difference. For this reason, all the products selected come with at least a 90-day service contract in case there are some manufacturing defects. Knowing for sure that the manufacturer stays behind their product is a great relief and advantage at the same time.



Differences Between the Electric and Traditional Smokers

  • Many types of smokers use fire to generate smoke, including charcoal, gas, wood, or pellet units. Instead of fire, a power-driven model uses an electric element that heats up to the desired heat level. Moreover, it comes with a chip box that allows you to add whatever chips you want, the most usual ones being cheddar, cherry, oak plum, alder, hickory, or maple.
  • In comparison to an electric unit, those who use fire require more attention, and the users can’t control the heat as they want. However, traditional units can generate a stronger smoke taste, but it takes more time to reach the proper heat. From this point of view, the electrically powered models are more convenient, as you only have to set the heat level and time and simply forget about them.
  • The traditional units are more portable because they don’t require electricity to function, so they can be used anywhere. Nevertheless, electric units are much safer because they don’t need fire, so you won’t be exposed to all sorts of risks. Therefore, you can leave them unattended and enjoy more time with your loved ones.
  • The fact that you only need to plug them into the socket and set the heat level makes the electrically powered models uncomplicated to use. The user-friendly control panel also makes them straightforward, while those that have a remote are a great investment. At the same time, they are much easier to clean because there are no ashes or other leftovers that may give you a hard time.
  • These units, regardless of their type, are appropriate for both home and professional purposes. Nevertheless, there are some differences between them, especially in what concerns the cooking area. At the same time, they can be also used as warming ovens when not preparing food.


Buying Guide


Before buying an electric smoker you have to take into consideration some aspects. The selection process may sometimes be rather exhausting, especially as there are so many models from which to choose. But fortunately, if you know what exactly to look for, you will be able to make the right choice without too much hassle. So, here is what you need to remember.

  • Consider the durability: this will be a long-lasting investment, so it’s essential to consider the materials used for manufacturing it. In general, durable construction allows you to use the unit for many years and enjoy the same performance. The highest-rated models are made from steel or stainless steel, while the inside is well insulated and rust-resistant.
  • Pay attention to the dimensions: usually, these machines are recommended for outdoor use, so the space will allow you to buy larger units. Nevertheless, knowing the measures of the unit will help you better determine where exactly to place it. This information is very useful, particularly if you have a small backyard and don’t have too much free space.
  • Examine the room it has to offer: one of the most important things is the room provided by the unit. In case you intend to smoke for more people or to smoke more food, then you need to consider a more spacious unit, around 700 sq. in. Nevertheless, if you just want to prepare meals for your family, then a smaller unit is perfect for the job.
  • Take a closer look at the features: every unit comes with certain attributes that are meant to differentiate it from the other ones available. These features also make the product easier to use and allow you to get the most out of your food. Therefore, you should take your time and check the characteristics of the unit to see how exactly it can help you achieve the best results. However, note that some features aren’t that necessary, and they only raise the price of the smoker. After all, you surely don’t want to pay a fortune for something that isn’t helpful.

Frequently Asked Questions



What is the best smoker for beginners?
If this is your first time trying to smoke food, we recommend investing in a model that offers a good balance between quality and price. You will not be doing any complicated recipes, so there’s no need to go for expensive high-end units, but, in time, you may want to upgrade your smoking, so it’s clever to pick a smoker that will allow you to do it. A great option is the Smoke Hollow ES230B, which comes at a reasonable price but has a generous cooking surface and sufficient power to help you smoke multiple food items simultaneously. As it has great insulation, you will be able to use it even in the winter. Plus, the controls are pretty straightforward, so you won’t need to deal with complicated instructions.

Is an electric smoker better than a pellet smoker?
An electric model is surely more convenient as you don’t need to fill a hopper with pellets every once in a while. It offers more temperature options and is usually simpler to clean. As the meat isn’t exposed to the smoke produced by a real fire, the flavor may be a bit less intense. Still, most purchasers were thrilled with the results and the great prices at which these units are sold.

Is it safe to leave an electric smoker unattended?
You can leave it and go do other chores around the house, as these models integrate thermostats and will maintain an even temperature. Moreover, they are tested for safety so the chances that your unit catches on fire are slim. Nonetheless, remember to check on the meat regularly as you don’t want it to be overcooked.

Do electric smokers use a lot of electricity?
They have fairly reasonable consumption rates, with the average unit drawing about 800W per hour. Assuming that you are smoking for about 5 hours every day, you will have 4,000W or 4 kilowatt-hours per day. In a month, this means 120 kilowatt-hour, which is pretty low compared to other appliances in your kitchen.

What is the best temperature to smoke meat?
The secret isn’t to expose the meat to high temperatures but to maintain an even heat level throughout the process. Thus, you should use the thermostat to keep the meat smoking at 225f to 250F. This will ensure that the meat absorbs a delicious smoke flavor but doesn’t overcook.

How do you keep the meat moist when smoking?
The best way to do it is to marinate the meat for an hour or two before placing it in the smoker. The marinade will prevent it from drying and will make it taste even better. Another efficient method is to wrap it in aluminum foil. This will also make the smoke flavor less intense if you prefer it this way.

Are electric smokers healthy?
While smoked meat consumed excessively surely won’t do you any good (studies have shown that there is a link between the food that is exposed to smoke and cancer), it won’t have any harmful effect on your body if you eat it occasionally. And it surely depends on the method. Electric smokers are safer than charcoal models as the meat doesn’t get exposed to the harmful compounds that are released when burning charcoal, and they are also more dependable than grills as the meat doesn’t form a crust of burned fat.

How often do you add chips to an electric smoker?
You will want to keep an eye on your unit and add four cups of chips every 4 to 5 hours, as this is how long it takes for them to be consumed.

Do I need to add water to my electric smoker?
In general, you will need to add water, especially if you want to let the smoker unattended. When it is cold outside, you can pour hot water into the pan to help the unit reach the optimal temperature faster. Conversely, if you are looking to get your food smoked fast, you can skip the water, but you will need to remain next to the smoker and check on the food more often.

Do you put the meat directly on the rack in the electric smoker?
Yes. Most units come with detachable stainless steel grills, so they won’t get affected by moisture. Also, they can be quickly removed and washed after each smoking session, so they remain in good condition for the next time. Conversely, you can use a pan if you want to roast your meat a bit or wrap the meat in aluminum foil to prevent it from drying.



Conclusion

In conclusion, if you wish to get the best-smoked steaks, you’d better invest in a strong smoke generator. The models from above have been tested by thousands of customers and have received many positive reviews. With large smoking areas and smart features, they are the best you can get today. However, your current cooking skills and budget are important factors as well, so you should look for a unit that can match them.

If you haven’t decided yet, a second glance at the following models might help:

Best Overall Electric Smoker: Bradley Digital 6-Rack Smoker

Provided with a 1,200W heating element and supplying a total smoking surface of 858 sq. ft., this beautifully-designed model is ready to flavor high quantities of food. It integrates a drip collector that gathers fat and keeps the process clean, and that can be removed at the end for easy cleaning. With full digital control, there won’t be any need for you to supervise the process, as you can simply set the desired temperature, and the internal thermostat will take care to maintain it constant. Moreover, cleaning is simple with the removable stainless racks, so you won’t need to lose a lot of time with it.

Editor’s Choice: Cuisinart COS-330

A powerful 1,500W model with 3 shelves that supply a total cooking zone of 548 sq. ft., it incorporates a precise thermostat and offers a heat range from 100 to 400F that can be modified and monitored with a little help from the integrated gauge. It is uncomplicated to use, and beginners will love it, as it can rapidly flavor the food for an entire family with just a bit of water and some wood chips.

Best Electric Smoker for Beginners: Smoke Hollow ES230B

It is not one of the most pricy but offers the perfect conditions for flavoring a good quantity of food. The electronic panel allows you to easily control the heat level and time, while the built-in thermostat maintains a steady heat, ensuring consistent flavoring. Furthermore, it is fully insulated, therefore, can be used all year round, even in areas with cold weather. Not to mention that cleaning is a breeze due to the detachable drip pan.

Best Electric Smoker for Cold Weather: Masterbuilt 20071117

Smoking in the cold season can be a challenging task, particularly if you don’t have the proper tool. This model comes with a completely insulated body that can retain heat even if the temperature drops considerably. It presents a lateral wood chip filling mechanism for easy use and features 4 shelves that allow you to flavor a good quantity of food.

Best Electric Smoker for Cold Smoking: Masterbuilt MB20100112

If you are on the hunt for a slow smoker for your cheese or fish, this model is a great choice. In fact, it can reach a peak heat level of 275F, which is ideal for bacon and jerky as well. The continuous wood feed system keeps the smoke strong for up to six hours, a time in which you won’t even have to check on your food. Besides that, it is fitting for all Masterbuilt digital smokers, so if you own one, you shouldn’t hesitate to acquire this little one too.