Smoking meat is an art. It can be tricky to get the perfect balance of crust, smokiness, and flavor in every bite. But with a little practice, anyone can become a grill master. There are many ways to smoke food – from grilling over charcoal or gas to smoking outdoors using wood chips or logs – but electric smokers offer some distinct benefits that make them worth considering for your next cookout.
Electric smokers give you more control over the temperature range than other types of smokers do which means they’re very easy to use and maintain. Plus, because they’re powered by electricity instead of propane or hardwood logs, most models require no tending throughout cooking time! They also have less odor than other types of smoking methods so it’s easier to enjoy the smell of the grill all day long.
If you love cooking outdoors but don’t want to deal with the hassles that come with traditional grills and smokers, then you’re going to want to check out these 9 best electric smokers that we’ve found for you!
What is an Electric Smoker?
An electric smoker is an outdoor cooking device that runs on electricity rather than charcoal or propane gas like their traditional counterparts.
It’s very different from a stove top smoker, which uses the smoke box (a metal box with holes in it) to conduct heat and smoke up to the food. While stove top smokers are great at infusing food with smoky flavor, they don’t actually cook the meat with heat as its passing through the smoke chamber.
Electric smokers use wood chips, pellets, or even dust as fuel for smoking meats without any flame at all, just hot air pumping out of heating element located under the cooking grate. This allows you to produce real barbecue flavors using less effort than traditional charcoal or gas smokers.
Pros and Cons of Using an Electric Smoker
Electric smokers are great because there is no need for charcoal or lighter fluid! These appliances use electricity-powered metal plates that heat up and smoke the food inside. Here are some pros and cons of using electric smokers:
- There’s no lighter fluid required so it’s less messy
- Easy assembly with simple instructions provided in the manual
- Your choice of different sized grills depending on your needs (you can pack a lot of food in here!)
- You can change the intensity of the smoke by increasing or decreasing the heat
- Can use wood chips, chunks, or just about any other kind of dry smoking substance to add that smoky flavor
- They’re easy to clean and maintain because there are no ash residues from burning wood
- Stock up on electricity because you’ll be using this much more often!
- Usually less expensive than buying charcoal or lighter fluid AND a smoker box every time you want to cook something.
- These smokers produce much less smoke than traditional smokers because it’s closed off from oxygen which keeps oxidation down and preserves flavor. This also prevents carbon monoxide poisoning when cooking indoors.
- The temperature can’t be adjusted as much because it’s done electronically, so you may have to make adjustments throughout the smoking process depending on how intense or light your smoke is.
- These smokers are usually smaller than traditional ones, but there are options for larger sizes if needed.
- Some people say that these aren’t as “smoky” because of the lack of flames and oxygen coming into contact with the meat; however, the electric heat source works well with any wood chips or chunks to produce flavorful food!
- Some do complain about having to purchase specific wood chips at high prices in order to get a good taste when smoking. It’s also difficult sometimes to find good quality pellets or chips in stores.
Top 9 Best Electric Smoker Reviews
#1 Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker
- The Masterbuilt MB20071117 Electric Smoker has the high-quality materials and professional performance to become your best friend on cooking days. The Digital panel controls on/off, temperature, time, so you have full control of how you’re cooking all of your favorite proteins with no guesswork.
- The thermostat makes sure the smoke stays consistent for quality meat. It’s more than just a smoker- it’s an indoor cooker with three heating options – front loading tray unit, side wood chip loader system that takes adding wood chips out of the equation, or just preheat at setting 1, 2 or 3 without adding any pellets!
- Need to throw some more water on? Never fear! Side mounted water pan keeps track of just how much you’re using, and slides out without the fuss. The front lower access door opens with ease for removing food when it’s done cooking, or to add more meat.
- The locking lid ensures that the heat stays inside while keeping the smoke in at all times. All of these features will help you on your way to becoming a professional smoker!
#2 Char-Broil 17202004 Digital Electric Smoker
- Char-Broil 17202004 electric smoker is designed to last, with an insulative double wall construction that gives you extra peace of mind. You’ll have complete control thanks to the roomy stainless steel locking latch which will lock airtight for a smoke-tight seal.
- This product also has two years warranty protection just in case something goes wrong; well bad luck if it does happen because one can never be too safe when cooking up delicious smoked foods!
- The included remote means it’s easy to monitor and control your cook from afar like an expert pit master or chef, free of worry!
- When grilling meaty dishes like steaks or pork chops, don’t fret about running out of space– this smoker offers 725 sq inches of cooking space with heavy duty stainless steel grates.
#3 Smokehouse Products Little Chief Electric Smoker
- Get that great Smokehouse flavor without the actual smoke! The Little Chief Electric Smoker is perfect for those who are traveling or have a smaller property.
- Load up 25 pounds of meat or fish on this device, set it to your preferred low temperature, open the thermometer-controlled door wide to 140°F – 185°F, and you’re ready to go!
- The product includes front loading electric smoker compact enough for minimum space requirements.
- There is quick heat available via an easy-slide chrome plated grilling grate that provides even heating throughout 150 square inches of cooking surface.
- Dishwasher safe drip pan prevents messes after cookout time has ended. If you suffer from allergies caused by traditional wood chip use, this smoker may be just what you need!
- Around the clock cooking is made easy with the Little Chief Electric Smoker.
#4 Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-Inch Electric Smoker
- If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line smoker, then the Smoke Hollow electric smoker is for you. As an upgraded model of our most popular electric smokers, this has many features that make it stand out from its competitors.
- For starters, there’s the 1500-watt heating element; not only does this product give off heat but it gives off power too.
- With adjustable temperature control and 2 chrome plated cooking grids with variable leg heights to cook at your desired height, allon smoking is made easy with this high quality machine!
- Add in full range heat indicator alongside side handles and cool touch spring wire door handle with latch system for added convenience during use–this piece truly has it all without cutting corners or giving up any of the essentials.
- If you’re an experienced smoker or just starting out, this is the perfect piece to get you started!
#5 Bradley BTDS76P 990216 Electric Smoker
- The Bradley BTDS76P 990216 Electric Smoker is a Quick and easy outdoor smoker for all of your entertaining needs.
- Powered by a powerful electric generator, the surface covers 328 square inches with 8 hours of smoke control with digital settings for temperature and time.
- This barbecue smoker has a sleek design that looks lovely in any backyard or on the patio, making it perfect for any family gathering or happy hour!
- Measuring 17 x 14 x 31 inches when not operational you can easily clean this Wood Smoking Box with just soap and water from the sink.
- The outside features rust-resistant trim an beautiful stainless steel inside to keep your food piping hot while it smokes away flavored with Hickory Smoke giving your meal something extra special.
#6 Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker
- The Char-Broil brand is here to present you with the first electric smoker that has an insulated, doubled wall construction for maintaining even temperature.
- With 505 square inches of cooking space on 3 adjustable chrome-plated cooking grates and a 1,500 watt variable temperature heating element, this Char-Broil Electric Vertical Smoker is perfect for any kind of smoking process.
- An innovative feature of the 860°F smoker by Char-Broil is its well thought out design that includes many included accessories like chip trayy water pan, convenient hinged door that removes completely leaving racks exposed for easy access and cleaning, electric ignition switch to control heat output electronically with the touch of a button.
#7 Masterbuilt MB20073519 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker with Broiler, 30 inch
- The best thing about cooking with the Masterbuilt MB20073519 Electric Digital Smoker is convenience. You don’t need to be chained to your smoker for hours at a time, but can instead walk away and continue on with other tasks while it does all the work.
- And thanks to Bluetooth Smart technology, you’re not even restricted to sticking right next to it! The feature allows you-and not just your guests-to control temperature, lighting, monitor meat temperature, and power your smoker on or off via remote app control from up to 150 feet away!
- With four chrome-coated smoking racks designed for durability as well as aesthetics and patent-pending side wood chip loading system that offers easy access without ever opening the door of the smoker itself, the Masterbuilt Digital is truly a joy to behold, with smoking performance that’s equally imposing.
- It also boasts an easy-to-use temperature control system built right in, with an LED lighted analog control knob and digital readout to show you when your desired temperature has been reached.
- And with its compact stature of 20″x21″x33″, this digital wonder is easy to tuck away in a corner or out of sight, whether you’re taking it outside for an evening with friends or enjoying some quality family time together. Take smoking to the next level with the Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker!
#8 Cuisinart COS-330 Smoker, 30″ Electric
- If you’ve got an aspiring grillmaster on your shopping list, go with the Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker. Typical smoking methods are time consuming and messy.
- The Cuisinart takes out all of the guesswork, not to mention the clean up! With 548 square inches inside chrome coated steel cooking space it’s easy for the newbie to use while still being big enough for experienced smokers.
- Cuisinart’s patented plug-in technology allows you to set the temperature for ultimate control over the heat so you may smoke without worrying about burning food or having excess smoke buildup inside your house – it also has a strong heating element which generates temperatures quickly!
- Silent operation ensures that all that wonderful aroma stays in instead of dissipating into thin air before you’re done.
- And with a light weight design made from stainless steel this smoker is as easy to move as it is to store when you’re done beaming at your guest’s faces for hours on end waiting their turn…if they can’t wait.
#9 Cookshack SM009-2 Smokette Electric Smoker Oven
- Cookshack Smokette Electric Smoker Oven is the electric smoker for all your outdoor parties. This easy-to-use smoker provides a fun hands on way to prepare flavorful dishes, that are mouthwatering and delicious.
- Unlike traditional smokers, this one doesn’t require brickettes or building up coals which can be nerve wracking, time consuming, messy and sometimes dangerous if done incorrectly.
- This smoker also has a precise temperature control that provides 250 degrees of heat and an extensive smoke time with just a flip of a switch.
- The premium build of this product allows it excel in quality for longevity, while the stainless steel on both interior and exterior walls ensure resilience from high temperatures, guaranteeing flavor at its finest!
- Colorful lights indicate when the device is lit or on standby so you can see if your healthy meal will be ready soon or needs more time!
- It features auto start and stop functions and an alarm to remind you when it’s done smoking. For cleaning: just wipe it down using a damp cloth!
- Cookshack is known for its diverse range of cookers with unrivaled quality – we know you’ll love this new product as much as we do!
What To Look For When Buying An Electric Smoker?
Smokers can be complicated, space-taking devices that require both care and attention to the process. Electric smokers are on the other hand simple to use, easy to maintain and allow users more time on what they’re good at: smoking up some delicious food!
If you’re looking for an electric smoker but don’t know where to start or you’ve never used one before here’s a list of considerations you should think about before buying so you can get the most out of your purchase while spending less time researching everything there is about them. Keep in mind that this list isn’t set in stone so feel free to skip any consideration if it doesn’t bother you or apply any of them when they’re not listed, just remember that they’ll help you narrow down your search in a near future.
- Electric vs charcoal/wood smokers: This is a matter of personal taste and does not have a clear winner. Charcoal/wood smokers give you more flexibility regarding smoking time and final flavor but can be very messy to use since wood chips have to be added every hour or so. On the other side electric smokers heat up quickly, are easy to maintain even if they don’t reach high temperatures often, don’t require additional work once they’re set up, and deliver constant flavors with minimal effort from the user.
- Smoking capacity: If you live alone or mostly cook for yourself then it doesn’t make much sense to buy a big smoker since you won’t be able to use it as often as you’d want and it would just take up space. If, on the other hand, your friends, family or significant other love smoked food as much as you do then go for a large smoker so everyone can enjoy some delicious smoked meats!
- Budget: Electric smokers are quite cheap compared to traditional smokers but this doesn’t mean that you have to spend money without thinking. Spend some time reading user reviews from different stores and check out the features of every product before buying one since a good electric smoker does not need to break your bank.
- Heat distribution: It’s essential that heat is distributed evenly if you want perfectly cooked meat and you’ll only achieve that if the smoker has a good build and heating elements. Make sure to pay attention to these two factors since they’re essential for even cooking and maintaining high temperatures.
- Ease of use: If you want an electric smoker that works like a charm right out of the box check how set up is, if it’s easy (most are but some aren’t) and if customer support can help you in case something goes wrong. Also make sure that your smoker isn’t too complicated to maintain, features such as digital controls or auto shut down timers are nice but not necessary.
- How much smoke flavor does it give? All smokers need wood chips/pellets every once in a while but most people don’t like having to constantly check up on their meat and open the door of the smoker for this purpose. Also, if your doors are hard to open you’ll find yourself with a mess to clean instead of enjoying some delicious smoked food!
- Cleaning: Make sure that your smoker is easy to clean because no one wants to spend hours scrubbing parts before putting them back together. Also, pay attention if the chip/pellet box needs frequent cleaning since smokers tend to become gross very fast otherwise.
FAQs About Electric Smokers
Q: Why should I buy an electric smoker?
A: Electric smokers are commonly used by people that do not have the time or patience to maintain a fire for long periods of time. The internal temperature is controlled electronically, making it easy to use and efficient.
Q: How does an electric smoker work?
A: An electrical element heats wood chips until they produce smoke. This smoke then travels through the smoker’s chamber and over your food, flavoring it as it cooks. Warm air is blown in from below, cooking the food evenly on all sides. Electric smokers are popular because they require little supervision during cooking; once you’ve selected your desired temperature setting, you can walk away and let your machine do all of the hard work.
Q: I want to smoke meats in my backyard without worrying about whether or not my neighbors can smell it – is this possible?
A: Some people believe that only wood chips from fruit trees can be used to smoke foods without affecting their flavor; however this simply isn’t true. Any kind of wood can be used to smoke food in an electric smoker, so you should have no trouble enjoying your smoked meats outside without worrying about whether or not your neighbors can smell it.
Q: Are there any foods I shouldn’t cook in my electric smoker?
A: When smoking foods, typically meats with a high fat content tend to do better than leaner cuts. It’s generally recommended that you avoid cooking bread and pastries such as croissants and doughnuts because they tend to absorb the smoky flavor rather than imparting it onto your food. You’ll also want to avoid using liquid marinades with most types of electric smokers, as they will create hot spots that could burn the meat instead of smoke it.
Best Electric Smokers are great for any family, they cook food evenly. It’s cheaper than gas or charcoal smokers that will give you the same results. Whether its smoked meats like brisket, ribs and salmon; vegetables like corn, steamed veggies; even fruit like pineapple! Try it with Cheesecake! There’s a huge variety of foods to try in your electric smoker.
To be honest there is no one best electric smoker, but this year I’ve found 9 Best Electric Smokers that are worth buying! If you’re looking to buy an electric smoker click on the link for more information on Amazon. Trust me when I say “You won’t regret buying an electric smoker”.