For the perfect barbeque, you need the perfect smoker. And for the perfect smoker, look no further than the electric smoker. Electric smokers offer consistent heat, meaning your meat will be cooked evenly every time.
They’re also easy to use, with many models coming with digital controls that make it simple to set the temperature and timer. And because there’s no charcoal or gas required, electric smokers are a safer option for indoor cooking.
Electric smokers also tend to be more efficient, meaning that they use less electricity and produce less smoke. Finally, electric smokers are better for the environment because they produce less pollution.
How Do Electric Smokers Work?
Electric smokers use electricity to generate heat, which in turn is used to smoke food. The smoker typically consists of a heating element, a wood chip box, and a water pan. To use the smoker, wood chips are placed in the wood chip box and the heating element is turned on.
The heat from the element will cause the wood chips to smoke, and the smoke will be drawn through the food, infusing it with flavor. In addition to generating smoke, electric smokers also help to keep food moist by circulating air around it. As a result, electric smokers are a great way to add flavor to food without drying it out.
What To Look For In An Electric Smoker?
Although most smokers appear to have sufficient space when you glance at their numbers, it is important to consider the width of the smoker. Having a four-racked electric smoker is of no use if you aren’t able to fit a full rack of ribs on them. The smaller 30” models are slightly tricky to deal with although you can always adjust by cutting or folding. In contrast, you can always opt for the 40” models if you wish to cook a full rack of ribs or whole packer briskets.
It is worthwhile to note that the number of racks in a smoker is not an ideal measure of its capacity. A smoker with less capacity can undoubtedly have more racks. In the end, it all comes down to your needs.
Electric smokers offer a plethora of different features to choose from. You may choose to look for a smoker that enables you to access the wood chip tray without any need to open the main door. Make sure you check what kind of meat probes and temperatures are offered which, therefore, allows you to keep a check on meat doneness and internal temperature.
Additionally, you might want to look at the digital control panel and analyze the options that have been offered. Another important feature to look for is Bluetooth or any kind of remote control. Make sure you go through the reviews of models with such features to be assured of their functionality.
The temperature range of the smoker that you choose must be in accordance with the weather conditions of your region. For instance, if you live in a cold weather region, you will need a smoker that is consistent with the heat and offers a high-temperature range.
Typically, the temperature of an electric smoker ranges from 100F-400F. However, if you live in a place that doesn’t experience extreme temperatures, you can simply opt for a regular smoker with a consistent temperature.
Maintaining your electric smoker is nonetheless an exciting task. However, it might turn into a curse if the maintenance takes a lot of time. Almost every electric smoker is easily detachable which allows you to clean and maintain it easily. Additionally, the parts of the smoker must not be made out of such a material that corrodes or rusts easily. For a longer run, opt for an electric smoker that best fits your requirements.
Most electric smokers are not made to be portable. However, if you don’t want to restrict your smoker to your backyard, make sure that not only the smoker is durably made but is also light enough to move around easily. A long power cord and wheels are a necessity if you wish to move your electric smoker a lot. This in turn ensures that you aren’t confined to a particular place when using your electric smoker.
If you don’t wish to spend a lot of money on an electric smoker, it doesn’t imply that your smoker will underperform. There are several budget-friendly options in the market. The affordable electric smokers that are available today are equipped with modern features and have been manufactured using durable materials. For a mid-range smoker, you can look for options that fall in the $200-$300 threshold. If you are looking for Bluetooth features, you’ll have to pay $500 and more.
The 10 Best Electric Smokers In 2022
Best Overall: Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker
The Masterbuilt digital electric smoker is perfect for those who love to cook outdoors. The dimensions of the smoker are 20.47″ W x 19.88″ L x 33.26″ H, and it weighs 45.9 pounds.
The smoker is made from durable stainless steel, and it has four chrome-coated smoking racks that provide plenty of space for your food.
The smoker has a digital control panel that makes it easy to set the temperature (max up to 275ᵒ F) and a timer, and it also has a meat probe that ensures that your food is cooked evenly.
This smoker features a patented side wood chip loading system that allows you to add wood chips without having to open the door and lose heat.
The fully-insulated body retains heat, making it perfect for smoking in any weather. The thermostat-temperature control ensures even consistent smoking.
Best In Value: Char-Broil 17202004 Digital Electric Smoker
This smoker has dimensions of 16.5 x 18.1 x 32.5 inches, making it large enough to accommodate a variety of different meats and cooked items.
Additionally, its 50.2-pound weight ensures that it will stay in place during use. This smoker also includes a generous 750-watt heating element that provides plenty of power for even the longest smoking sessions.
The digital electric smoker also features an advanced digital control panel with a blue LED display that allows users to adjust the temperature and cooking time with ease.
The insulated, double-wall construction helps to retain heat, ensuring that your food is cooked evenly.
Additionally, the removable food thermometer allows you to monitor the internal temperature of the food, ensuring that it is cooked to perfection.
This smoker has a glass door and a large, stainless steel locking latch, making it easy to keep your food fresh and flavourful.
Best In Portability: Smokehouse Big Chief Electric Smoker
The Smokehouse big chief electric smoker can accommodate up to 50 pounds of meat. The unit is made of high-quality wood and stainless steel, and it features a sturdy design.
The smoker has a 17.57-pound weight and 12 x 18 x 24.5-inch dimensions. It also has a large stainless steel interior that is easy to clean.
It uses a 450-watt heating element that automatically controls the smoking chamber temperature.
The process is simple and hassle-free. First, the meat is placed on the racks inside the smoker. Then, the unit is plugged in and turned on, and the temperature is set to 165°.
This smoker is designed with safety in mind, and it comes with UL and CUL certifications.
Best In Versatility: Royal Gourmet SE2801 Electric Smoker
The smoker is made from stainless steel and has 37.1 x 19 x 20.6 inches dimensions. The 1500-watt heating element ensures that the food is cooked evenly and at the right temperature.
The removable digital controller lets you set the temperature and time, so you can smoke the food for as long as you want. The smoker also includes an integrated thermometer that gives a quick check of internal temperature.
Three chrome-coated smoking racks, give you plenty of space to smoke large quantities of food at once. Plus, the unit’s double-wall construction helps to ensure even heat distribution, making it easy to produce perfectly smoked food every time.
It features a latch system that ensures a good seal, and the grease management system helps to keep the interior clean.
This smoker is equipped with two side handles and includes a removable stainless steel water pan and a lidded chip box.
Best Large Space: Cuisinart COS-330 Vertical Electric Smoker
The Cuisinart COS-330 smoker comes with dimensions of 19.88″ L x 17.32″ W x 33.3″ H and a weight of only 59 pounds, this smoker is easy to transport and set up.
Additionally, the 548-square-inch interior provides plenty of space to smoke multiple large cuts of meat. The vertical design of this smoker also helps to evenly distribute heat, ensuring that your food is cooked evenly every time.
This smoker includes three removable stainless steel racks, making it easy to cook multiple items at once. The front door of the smoker features an easy-to-read thermometer, so you can keep an eye on the temperature while the meat is cooking.
It includes a heating coil that provides the 1500-watt heating element able to produce a temperature from 100°F to 400°F easily.
The included removable water bowl and wood chip tray also help to maintain cleaning. It Is also, backed up by 3-year limited warranty.
Best Bluetooth Control: Masterbuilt Bluetooth Electric Smoker
The Masterbuilt electric smoker has dimensions of 18.31 x 19.29 x 34.65 inches and includes 4 chrome-coated smoking racks.
Its digital panel control allows you to monitor and control the temperature, light, and time, as well as power on/off, and cook function buttons from a smart device with Bluetooth.
The smoker has a side-loading wood chip tray for easy access, as well as a removable water bowl.
The built-in meat probe thermometer ensures that your food is cooked to perfection.
Additionally, the interior light illuminates the food in low light, so you can perfectly monitor the cooking process.
Best With Analog: Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
The Char-Broil analog electric smoker has dimensions of 15 x 20.7 x 33.5 inches and a weight of 49.5 pounds, making it a compact option that is easy to transport.
This smoker features 544 square inches of cooking space, making it ideal for large gatherings or family get-togethers.
This smoker also features three shelves, allowing you to smoke multiple items at once. The analog control panel makes it easy to set the temperature.
It also has a door-mounted temperature gauge, so you can easily monitor the temperature of your food while it smokes.
It features double-wall insulated construction for superior heat retention. The smoker also includes a front-access water tray, grease cup, and wood chip tray, all of which are easy to use and clean.
Plus, the smoker’s door is equipped with dual latches to ensure a tight seal.
Best Manual Control: Dyna-Glo 30″ Electric Smoker
The Dyna-Glo 30″ electric has an easy-to-use design. Measuring 23.5 x 18.4 x 35.9 inches and weighing just 46.29 pounds, this smoker is compact enough to fit on most patios or decks.
Inside, there’s plenty of room to smoke meats and vegetables with the 505 square inches of cooking space.
This electric smoker is easy to use, with three adjustable chrome-plated steel cooking grates and a 1500-watt burner providing plenty of cooking power.
The side access wood chip loader is a great feature, as it allows you to easily add wood chips without having to open the door and let heat escape.
The manual-control temperature dial allows you to easily set the temperature without having to fiddle with digital controls.
The stainless temp gauge is a nice touch, as it helps you keep an eye on the internal temperature of the smoker.
Best Stainless Steel: Americana Electric Water Smoker
This smoker has a generous size of 27 x 21.5 x 37 inches, making it large enough to accommodate a variety of different foods.
Additionally, the smoker’s weight of only 23 pounds makes it easy to transport from one location to another.
The electric water smoker also features two chrome-plated grilling racks, giving you plenty of space to cook multiple items at once.
With 351 square inches of cooking space, it’s large enough to accommodate multiple racks of ribs or a whole chicken. The extra-large 5.5-quart water pan is also great for smoking larger cuts of meat.
The vented lid and tight-fitting doors help to keep the smoke inside the smoker, ensuring that your food comes out nice and juicy.
This smoker includes a UL-listed 1500-watt, CUL-listed heating element that provides even heat for consistent results.
Best Double Wall Insulation: Bradley Smoker Digital Electric Smoker
The Bradley Smoker Digital Electric Smoker has dimensions of 34 x 20 x 18 inches and a weight of 25 kilograms.
This smoker also comes with 4 racks that can accommodate a variety of meats and vegetables. It has high-quality insulated double-wall carbon steel construction and stainless steel interior.
It provides a large cooking area of 572 square inches, perfect for smoking a variety of foods. The control panel makes it easy to set the temperature and time, so you can smoke your food to perfection.
Although you can use your electric smoker in the garage, it poses an unnecessary risk. When using an electric smoker, you must keep two things in mind. Firstly, it’s important to have good airflow and ventilation, and secondly, the heat from the grill may cause a fire if you have things like fuels, oils, etc stored in your garage space.
If you still choose to use your smoker in the garage, make sure you take the necessary precautions. Ensure that there is sufficient airflow and make it a point to use a carbon monoxide detector. Additionally, don’t place the smoker inside the garage. Instead, place it just outside where the garage door opens. And lastly, make sure there is nothing within a 2m radius of your electric smoker.
Electric smokers are manufactured in such a manner that they allow the users to cook the meat directly on the racks. However, it is not recommended to do the same. Direct heat and thick smoke for a long stretch of time can cause the discoloration of the cookie sheets and other pieces of cookware.
Both electric smokers and charcoal smokers have their respective set of advantages. The flavors offered by an electric smoker aren’t as deep as the ones offered by a charcoal one.
Additionally, a charcoal smoker can be used to smoke, grill, and even roast, whereas an electric smoker only serves the smoking function. Charcoal smokers, in addition, offer greater popularity as compared to electric ones and are also a budget-friendly option.
However, it should not be ignored that electric smokers are relatively easy to carry and maintain as compared to charcoal smokers. In other words, no babysitting is needed when a person starts operating an electric smoker.
An electric smoker comprises a cooking chamber, grill racks, an electric heating element, a water pan, and the choice of wood to burn in correspondence with the electric heaters. In an electric smoker, the food is heated in a cooking chamber via convection. The smokey flavor of the food is an outcome of the wood burning along with the heaters. The smoking element comes into existence from a wood chip container, which when heated, creates smoke that not only cooks the food but also adds some special flavors to it.
Although there is no set rule that determines the durability of wood chips, they must last for 45 minutes to one hour. This means that when you’re cooking large foods, you’ll need to change the wood chips every one or two hours. In fact, some people choose to add one or two cups of chips on top of the chips that are previously being used.
An electric smoker, although somewhere similar to a toaster oven or an oven, should never be used indoors. One of the major reasons for this is that electric smokers produce carbon monoxide, an invisible killer. To protect yourself and your family from the dangers of this gas, make sure you use the smoker in an outdoor setting.
Furthermore, an electric smoker is a fire hazard that can cause the building of your apartment or your house to catch fire. Lastly, the smoky aromas that are produced by an electric smoker may seep into your furniture, curtains, and carpet, and make the entire cooking experience a whole lot less enjoyable.
It is not necessary to soak wood chips before using them. In fact, if the wood chips are soaked, they can lower the overall temperature when cooking. The soaked wood produces steam and it is only when the water has evaporated that the wood chips will begin to smoke.
If you have just finished cooking, let your electric smoker cool down in the first place. Once it has cooled down, take out the removable parts of your smoker, including a water pan, a dip tray, and racks. Thereafter, wash the removable components using hot soapy water. To clean the inside of the smoker, first dump the ash out of the smoker box.
Then use a plastic scraper and soft-bristle brush to scrape the debris out of your smoker. Remove the grease buildup inside the smoker using a sponge. Once done, make sure you clean the smoker’s glass door using warm soapy water.
Moving on to the outside of the smoker, clean the exteriors of your smoker using a damp cloth. Then use a big wad of paper towels to dry your smoker inside out. Once dried out, put the removable parts back in place.
An electric smoker is undoubtedly becoming an indispensable cooking appliance. A good electric smoker is the one that fits all your requirements perfectly. Accordingly, what may be the ideal option for one can turn out to be an infeasible one for another. With the myriad of choices available, factors ranging from cost to portability must be taken into account before making the right choice for yourself and your respective needs.