The best electric smokers don’t need much wood to provide a good flavor. For even the largest smoker, no more than four ounces of wood is needed. When it comes to convenience, the best smokers beat all other methods of cooking. As you read through our electric smoker reviews, keep in mind that we have carefully selected the best rated electric smokers to make it easier for you to find the perfect smoker for you.
How Much Does an Electric Smoker Cost?
The top electric smokers are all within the same price range. For the most part, you need to expect to pay about $100 for a decent-quality smoker. Close to the $200 range, you’ll get better components and more control. Mostly, the more expensive units offer more space and digital controls to give you accurate readings. They also tend to use a higher-wattage heating unit, which can help you get a better overall cook.
When you get into the range of the top rated smokers, you’ll get a thermostat instead of a rheostat, which is essentially what a stove or hotplate uses. On the lower end of the price range, you’re typically limited to low, medium and high temperature settings. Since this doesn’t provide exact control over your cooking, it’s best to spend a little more for a thermostat controlled unit. Thermostat-based units are more expensive, but they give you better control over your cooking experience.
Most Recommended Brand?
Masterbuilt is the name you’ll hear thrown around clubs and events dedicated to smokers. This company offers some truly exceptional smokers that make other brands step up their game. When it comes to getting the best possible smoking experience, this company offers a range of products that produce consistent and reliable results every time. Thermostats are used in all of their high-end products, and they use the best components to ensure a long life.
When it comes to finding smokers that are as attractive as they are functional, Smoke Hollow holds the lead. These smokers are unique, and they have a rustic feel that will make you think you’re roughing it at your cabin with nothing more than a roaring fire to prepare your dinner. While these smokers are exceptionally beautiful, they are also highly effective and produce good results in a consistent fashion.
The other option for you to consider is Char-Broil. While Masterbuilt tends to have the best smokers, the Char-Broil brand will give you a solid smoker that is effective. They may not have the same build quality as the Masterbuilt or Smoke Hollow brand, but they do provide good and affordable options for people who don’t want to blow their budget.
1. Masterbuilt: 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker
Our top pick for you is the Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Digital Smoker. This unit comes with everything you need to create magnificent dishes at home. You’ll have perfectly cooked meat and a highly enjoyable aroma to savor as you wait patiently for your food to be prepared. When it comes to durable and effective smokers, you can’t get much better than this unit for its utility and design. It has plenty of room for even the largest meals and it is suitable for all experience levels. Simply put, it’s the best option for virtually any budget.
Starting with 730 square feet of cooking space, you’ll be able to fit your entire dinner in this cooker. A large amount of space makes it easy for the smoke to fill the unit and gives you a rich flavor without drying out your meat. One of the issues with smaller units is that the meat can quickly dry out since there isn’t enough room to allow the food to marinate in the smoke and allow for free travel of smoke and air. This is the largest capacity unit we reviewed, and it’s suitable for any task. This unit virtually assures that you’ll get a flavorful and incredible end-result.
A digital temperature control and timer makes it easy to watch your food and make sure it’s cooking at the right temperature. The thermostat makes it easy to control your temperatures from 100 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. While the 100 degrees Fahrenheit option may seem low, it’s the perfect temperature to warm your food until you’re ready to serve your dinner. The even control of temperature ensures that you get an outstanding meal, and the meat will be cooked thoroughly as long as you let it sit for the right amount of time. The 800-watt element is designed to give you the right amount of heat without overdoing it.
There is no window on this unit, which is essential to ensuring that most of the heat stays inside the unit and doesn’t escape. It also makes it possible to create a better internal environment and prevent too much smoke from escaping. If you need a unit that’s capable of feeding large crowds, this option will fit the perfect amount of food. You can even add juice, vinegar and other liquids to the water pan to ensure that the right amount of moisture and flavor gets inside your meat. This will help ensure that your meat doesn’t end up getting too dry. If you want a milder flavor, you can use the air damper to lessen the amount of smoke inside the unit.
The removable drip tray also makes it easy to clean up when you’re done with your cooking. Overall, this is one of the best units available, and it offers all of the much-needed features to ensure you get a quality cook. As this unit doesn’t cost much more than the other options, we think it’s one of the best possible values out there.
- With 730 square feet of cooking space, you can cook most anything.
- The digital temperature and timer controls offer great convenience.
- Uses a thermostat to control the cooking from 100 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Comes with a side-loading option for wood chips.
- The drip pan and top air pan are removable for cleaning.
- It’s a large smoker that may offer too much room for most people.
- Doesn’t include a front window to watch your food cook, but this also prevents losing heat.
2. Smoke Hollow: 6142E 26-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control
Smoke Hollow understands that it’s not the square footage, but the dimensions of the interior of the unit that matter. The unit is perfectly proportioned to give you the best possible electric smoker experience. The 26-inch tall unit makes it easy to place your food inside the unit and allow plenty of airflow around your food. At 14 inches wide, you’ll be able to place even the largest dishes inside. The 12-inch deep unit also makes it possible to fit your most common dishes inside and feed a small army when it’s all ready. On the outside, it’s about 35.5 inches tall, 19 inches wide and 16.5 inches deep. This is crucial since the outside dimensions will determine the stability of the unit.
While the design is superb, you also can’t go wrong with the heating element and the method used to heat up your food. There is a 1500-watt heating element that is designed with a completely adjustable temperature control. The unit offers two chrome-plated cooking grids, and you’ll be able to adjust these grids according to your needs. Bring them higher or lower to ensure that your food is placed at the perfect level for getting the ultimate flavor and texture from your smoke. Since the unit is highly diverse, you’ll be able to cook a range of dishes inside the smoker.
One feature that isn’t found too often is the addition of a porcelain coated water pan and a porcelain coated chip tray. This makes it easier to clean up, and it will help ensure that the trays don’t erode over time and start to affect the flavor of your food. You’ll be able to add your preferred wood to the chip tray so that you can get the perfect taste in your smoker. Since this smoker is so well-designed, you should lean on the conservative side when placing your chips. This smoker doesn’t need much to get going, and if you add too many chips, it may produce smoke that is too strong.
Some electric smokers won’t get hot enough for you to be able to use soaked chips. With this unit, it’s a good idea to soak your chips in water for at least 30 minutes before using the unit. This will produce better quality smoke, and you can also marinate your chips in different liquids to get a custom taste and flavor. People will wonder what your secret is for making such great food, but you don’t have to tell them what you’re using to bring out the flavor of those smoked chips. With this unit, soaking the chips is really a requirement since the wood will burn too fast without.
This unit is very easy to clean, and you won’t have to worry about any messy lava rocks or other troublesome components that make it hard to clean. It’s also got a rustic design, and it will likely serve as a great conversation starter when you proudly display it in your backyard.
- Great-looking design makes this an attractive option for many people.
- Comes with a 1500-watt heating element for exceptional heat levels.
- Offers a full-range heat indicator to get accurate control of your smoking.
- The door handle uses a cool touch technology to make it safer for you to use.
- The water and chip pan are both porcelain-coated for better durability.
- The unit works best when you soak the chips for 30 minutes, which could cause problems for beginners.
- The heating element may be too hot, and it tends to cook food in three-quarters the time of most other smokers.
3. Char-Broil: Standard Digital Electric Smoker
Char-Broil is well-known for its smoking units, and this option is no exception to their high level of quality. Starting with a massive interior, you’ll be able to cook enough food for everyone when you get this unit. The unit is designed with premium components, and there are several options available for you to customize your cooking experience. When you try out this smoker for the first time, you won’t believe how affordable it was. Using this smoker is like getting restaurant-quality smoked meat that is cooked consistently and perfectly every time. For the best cook around, this smoker offers exceptional results.
One of the nice features of this unit is the 8.5-cup high-capacity grease tray. Not all units will offer a grease tray of this size. This makes it easy to clean up after you’re done with your smoking session, and you can prevent complicated cleanup procedures since the grease tray is completely removable. It can be accessed from the lower bottom of the unit, and you’ll be able to simply pull the tray out and clean it off with your preferred cleaner. You’ll be amazed at how effective the tray actually is at catching all of the grease from your meals.
The unit also offers a warming feature for when you’re done cooking. If you have a few hours left to go before dinner, you can keep the food inside the unit at the perfect temperature for serving. You won’t have to worry about overcooking or drying out your meat since the temperature is designed to keep the food warm without actually cooking the food any further. A warming feature also allows the internal temperature of the food to stabilize, and the remaining smoke in the unit will continue to flavor your food until it’s ready for your guests.
The lid uses a large locking latch that is designed to keep the smoke and heat inside the unit. While it’s not uncommon to see some smoke escape from the sides of a smoker, you don’t want to lose too much of the smoke. The latch helps prevent any flavor from getting lost. Additionally, you’ll be able to place the unit far away from any structures thanks to the large 78-inch power cord. Since an extension cord could end up reducing the effectiveness of the unit, the fact that it is designed to be used with the long extension cord makes this a good bonus.
Enjoy smoky, juicy perfection with the ability to easily monitor the heat and other elements with a simple control panel. All of the control for how your food turns out is in your hands, and this unit makes it easy to get the perfect temperature so that you can relax and let the smoker do all of the work for you. Should you need to add more water, just slide out the water pan, add more water and you’re good to go for another few hours. The simple design and quality features make this an exceptional unit.
- 725 square inches of space makes this smoker an ideal option for large meals.
- There is a removable food thermometer so you know when your food is at the right temperature.
- A double-wall construction gives you good insulation and heat retention.
- The control panel is easy to use, and the illuminated blue LED light offers a cool effect.
- Extremely tight seal is possible with the latching lid.
- The unit has a very commercial-looking design and you’ll feel like you’re in a restaurant.
- While the grease trap is easy to remove, it is positioned in a place that can be heard to reach.
4. Char-Broil: Vertical Electric Smoker
If you want one of the best electric smokers for the money that bridges the line between affordability and functionality, this is one of the best options available for you. It offers a decent-sized interior with 505 square inches to cook your food. While it doesn’t provide the kind of space as some of the more expensive smokers, you should be able to cook most of your foods confidently in this smoker. It also has plenty of options to customize your cooking experience.
For starters, this unit uses a double-wall construction just like the more expensive units on our list. While it won’t offer the same kind of airflow as the larger units, you will still be able to enjoy a well-smoked roast, jerky or brisket. This unit is designed t be compact, so that can be a prominent selling point for those who are low on space. You’ll also get a chrome-plated handle that is designed to stay relatively cool throughout the cooking process. The double-wall construction also helps to keep the outside cooler than a single-wall unit would permit.
The temperature gauge is mounted on the lid, which makes it really easy to check the current temperature of the unit. You’ll also enjoy standard options like a wood chip and water pan to get all your cooking elements in line. The wood chip pan is well-proportioned, but you won’t be able to get as much wood in there as you might with one of the larger units. Still, this unit will provide a suitable cook for your smaller dishes. It’s also designed well, and it should last you a long time.
The stability of this unit is solid. It uses the same basic premise of the larger units, but it’s realized on a slightly smaller scale. The four legs jut out from the sides of the base, and they help to provide a stabilizing platform that will keep the unit upright. The cord is also plenty long to ensure that you can place the smoker far enough away from your house to avoid an accident. For the best possible cooking experience, you’ll want to make sure you keep the water pan filled with water. It’s a good idea to check every two hours to make sure you have enough water to keep the moisture level high.
When it comes to the healing element, you will enjoy a 1500-watt variable temperature element. This is crucial to ensuring that you get the right level of heat for your tasks. The system also offers the option to get a perfect temperature using the thermostat. You should be able to reach temperatures of about 230 degrees Fahrenheit fairly quickly thanks to the smaller design. While the small design does make it possible to heat the unit up quickly, it also means that changes in temperature will register fairly quickly. Open the door too long while its cooking and you could lose a great deal of your heat. With a larger unit, the changes in temperature will be less noticeable.
- 505 square inches of cooking space so you can cook most medium-sized meals.
- The unit offers a double-wall insulation to help keep heat inside.
- A wood chip and water pan are included for extra convenience.
- The temperature gauge is conveniently located on the lid of the unit.
- Offers a sturdy design that stands up well to bumping and won’t tip over.
- The smoker gets pretty hot underneath, and you should be wary of placing it on surfaces that could melt.
- The heating element isn’t hot enough to dry soaked wood chips, so make sure you only use dry wood chips.
- Only offers a high, medium and hot setting.
5. Masterbuilt: 20070210 30-Inch Black Electric Analog Smoker
If you want a good electric smoker, and you’re willing to pay just a little bit more than the last Char-Broil smoker we reviewed, you can get yourself a Masterbuilt 20070210 unit. This 30-inch smoker offers all of the features you need to get an excellent cook every time. You’ll benefit from 548 square inches of cooking space and three chrome-plated racks. The system also uses a 1500-watt heating element in much the same manner as the Char-Broil option. However, this unit seems to operate a bit more efficiently, and it maintains its temperature better.
The unit makes use of dual-wall insulation, and you’ll be able to enjoy an effectively smoked dinner with little effort. Thanks to the high-quality of the Masterbuilt units, you’ll get a better and more practical design than the Char-Broil units. This model is able to get up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can effectively keep your dinner warm at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the water tray filled, and you won’t lose any of your moisture as you prepare the rest of your food items for dinner.
The temperature gauge is located directly in the door on the front of the unit. It offers an easy to read dial, and you’ll be able to adjust the temperature easily by using the thermostat on the unit. One of the great things about this unit is the front-loading wood chips tray. This tray makes it possible to easily change out the wood or add more to change the level of smoke during the cook. You’ll also be able to add water easily since the water tray is also located in the front of the unit.
This unit will make slow smoking so easy, you might even feel guilty about how little work you’re actually doing. It’s much safer and easier than grilling, and you can get delicious meals without having to use a lot of heavy sauces or carefully control the heat on the grill to avoid overdrying. This unit essentially takes care of everything for you so you can sit back and wait for dinner to be served. The top range of this unit can get into the 400-degree range, but you’ll typically want to use a lower overall setting for slow cooking.
One of the best features of this unit is how easy it is to assemble. The brilliance is in the simple design. Once you have this unit shipped to your house, you can easily get it set up and ready to go in less than 30 minutes. The unit is also fairly light, so you should have no problem moving it into location or moving it back against your house or in a shed after it cools down and is no longer in use. For a smoker that is designed with premium components and will last you a lifetime, this unit is a remarkably good value. You can’t go wrong with the Masterbuilt brand for exquisite taste, juicy meat and perfectly smoked food.
- Highly affordable and still uses a thermostat heating system.
- Uses dual wall insulation to keep heat inside.
- The unit offers 548 square inches of cooking space, which is a decent amount of room.
- Uses a 1500-watt heating element to control the temperature more easily.
- The temperature gauge is fitted right on the door.
- It’s a smaller cooker, but it offers plenty of high-quality features to get the job done.
- The cooker is designed to use a front-loading wood chip tray, which can make it harder to add chips during cooking.
Electric Smoker – Buyer’s Guide
The best electric smoker should meet certain criteria to ensure you’re getting a good deal on your purchase. One important consideration is the type of fuel that’s used. In non-electric smokers, you need to use wood and charcoal. With an electric smoker, you’re not using wood or charcoal to fuel the fire. For this reason, you only need to add these components to flavor the smoke. If you find an electric smoker that needs wood or charcoal, pass it up for another option.
The top electric smokers are going to be fairly large for two main reasons. The first reason is that an electric smoker must have enough area to allow enough airflow around your food. This ensures your food is cooked evenly and thoroughly. The second reason is that a large smoker generally has more distance between the wood chips and charcoal. This is important because if you put these components too close to the food, it won’t provide a true smoked flavor.
As previously mentioned, the best electric smokers make use of a thermostat to control the temperature. Low-quality units will use a rheostat. For the most accurate readings, you need a thermostat and an exact temperature dial to control the temperature of your cook. Without this, you won’t have the same level of control. The rheostat only provides you with an approximate temperature, and it becomes too easy to burn your meat with this type of unit.
Finally, you should choose a smoker that has more than one tray or rack for your food. This makes it easier to cook an entire meal. It also makes it possible to adjust the location of the food for a more effective cook. When you have the option, choose an electric smoker that uses grills and not trays. This gives a better overall cooking experience. Choosing an electric smoker that has an open top will also lead to disappointment.
Benefits of Using an Electric Smoker
When you check out electric smoker reviews, you’ll find that Masterbuilt units offer some of the simplest designs. This makes them incredibly easy to use. There is no need to fiddle with lighter fluid or get out your matches to start your smoke session. Simply plug in your unit and turn it on, and you’ll be ready to start cooking your food in no time. While a thermometer can help you check the internal temperature to make sure your food gets hot enough, it’s pretty difficult to accidentally undercook your food.
A smoker is a bit like a crockpot in some ways. Since it has a set it and forget it approach and since the food cooks for so long, it’s very unlikely that you’ll experience any issues with undercooked food. The best rated electric smokers will include a gauge on the outside so that you can see the temperature inside. Provided the temperature stays above 165 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours, it’s virtually impossible to make a mistake with your meet.
Since the energy source in the top electric smokers is completely neutral, your meat won’t get flavored by the heating source. Instead, you can use any manner of chips or charcoal to get just the right flavor. If you want a completely pure wood flavor, that’s possible since you won’t have to use any propane or other fuel sources to cook your food. There is no messy charcoal ash to clean, the temperature is digitally controlled and electric energy is clean and safe to use.
Safety and Maintenance Tips for Electric Smokers
A smoker is a great way to enjoy delicious home-cooked food with little effort, but you do need to take certain precautions when using your smoker. While most of these tips seem like common sense, it’s crucial to take them seriously to avoid injury, damage to property or damage to your smoker. Follow these common sense tips and you’ll be able to enjoy your smoker safely. Smokers are generally not intended for commercial use, so you should only use one of these units for family gatherings. A smoker is not suitable for large-scale production.
While the best electric smokers do have built-in safeguards and are designed to prevent most dangerous situations, there are still some safety tips you should observe. Electric smokers should only be used outdoors. All units emit some level of smoke, and it can cause a hazardous condition if you don’t use the smoker outside in a well-ventilated area. The heat that comes off a smoker can warm up any structures around the unit. This can make it more likely for a structure to catch fire and ignite. Because of this, it’s best to place your smoker away from other structures in a safe area.
It’s also important to use the unit in an area that doesn’t have any overhangs. These overhangs may get hot, and in some instances, they could catch fire. The smoker also needs to be on a level surface. You should never place your smoker on a table. Unless the smoker is designed for pellets, you should only use wood chips. Additionally, avoid the use of any glass, plastic or ceramic cookware inside the smoker. If you need to use an extension cord, make sure you use one that is marked with a “W”, uses a three-pronged plug and is intended for use outdoors.
The racks should not be covered in aluminum foil. This prevents the transfer of heat and can destroy your smoker. Make sure you also cover the smoker when it isn’t in use and don’t use it when it’s raining outside. Never leave the smoker unattended while in use, and it’s a good idea to keep the unit 10 feet away from any structure. Electric smokers are much safer than gas smokers, but you should still be aware of any potential safety issues.
If you have kids, it’s not a bad idea to put the smoker in a fenced off area to prevent accidents from kids falling into the smoker or accidentally touching it while it’s in operation. The outside of an electric smoker does get extremely hot, and it can cause serious burns if you’re not careful.
An electric smoker can make your parties extremely popular. As you prepare for summer, it’s a good way to make lots of food ready in little time. The best electric smoker will help you accomplish your goals in a safe and efficient manner. Carefully consider how large of a smoker you’re actually going to need. Since you won’t be using the smoker every day, it’s okay to go larger than you think you need. Most people regret not getting a smoker that they can put an entire ham or roast in, and few people regret getting a large smoker.
Since the best electric smokers will give you a clean cooking experience, it’s important for you to be able to choose the kind of wood or charcoal that you add to the unit. Not all systems will allow the use of charcoal so if that’s important to you, make sure you check to ensure you’re getting what you want. Check through our electric smoker reviews to find the top rated electric smokers for your situation, and relax while your food practically prepares itself.
Select a smoker from one of our carefully chosen items, and you can rest easy knowing that you got one of the top electric smokers for your money.