2020’S Best Electric Smoker Reviews & Buying Guide

Smoking food is a long-standing tradition shared across the USA. That said, even for the pros, it takes years of tending to your barbecue pit to get the temperature and smoke just right.

A tender, juicy smoked brisket needs a lot of TLC — and an electric smoker can provide this. TLC just as well as a gas or charcoal smoker. Armed with one of the best electric smokers, your job will be that much easier.

If you’ve been searching online for the best electric smoker reviews, look no further. We know that between traditional charcoal smokers and electric smokers, all the options can make buying a smoker can be intimidating. This is why our electric smokers guide has everything you need to help you choose the right model.

Take a look at the 10 top picks for the best electric smokers of 2020, then scroll below for in-depth electric smoker reviews for further details on smoker features and pricing.

We’re rating our top 13 picks based on: 
Construction Quality, Ease of Use, Ability to Control the Temperature & Smoking Consistency, Cooking Space, Cost Affordability
and Cleaning & Maintenance.


In A Hurry? 

The Test Winner After 38 Hours of Research:
editor's pick
Product image of 30'' MASTERBUILT 20070910

Why is it the better electric smoker?

  • Consistent temperature and smoke
  • Affordable
  • Takes up little space

98/100
our score


13

Researched sources

729

REviews considered

38

hours researching

12

products compared

Last Updated: January 10, 2020

By William Clay: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding the best electric smokers available for those who are interested in making a perfectly smoked meat. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best electric smoker currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

13 BEST ELECTRIC SMOKER REVIEWS

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller

Key Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions: 20 x 17 x 33.5 inches
  • Weight: 45.86 lbs
  • Temperature Range: 100 - 275 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heating Element: 800 watts
  • 730 Square Inches of Cooking Space
  • 4 Chrome-plated Smoking Racks
  • 24 Hour Digital Timer
  • Interior Insulation

Overview

Taking into account the criteria listed above, the most important being temperature and smoking consistency, the 30'' Masterbuilt 20070910 is the clear choice for this year’s top pick overall. Whether it’s a whole turkey, jerk sausage, 12-pound brisket, fish, or vegetables, the 30” delivers smoky flavor with amazing efficiency.

Equipped with its powerful 800 watt heating element, digital controls, quality construction, and 730 square inches of cooking space, Masterbuilt has once again delivered a premium product that is well worth the investment and has a reasonable price. 

Construction Quality

Its powder-coated steel exterior and insulated interior give the 30” Masterbuilt its sturdy appearance and high durability. The black finish will hide stains and nicks well, and the powder-coated finish ensures protection against the elements, as well as wear and tear.

Some minor assembly is required out of the box such as the legs, handles, and inserting the removable smoking racks. The solid steel smoker door is 100% foam-sealed and includes an adjustable latch that can be tightened as the sealing wears down over time. 

Ease of Use

No more messy charcoal or potentially dangerous propane canisters hanging around! The Masterbuilt 30” inch is a very easy, straightforward set it up and plug it in type of smoker. Once you complete the minor assembly, this beauty is ready to be used.

After you assemble and preseason the smoker, you simply plug it in, control the internal temperature and load your meats! 

Masterbuilt Assembly And Preseasoning

A side-loading cylindrical wood tray slides easily in and out so you can add wood chips safely. Due to its high efficiency, a cup is all you need to generate a smoking wood fire that burns clean for at least 4 hours. 

Temperature Control And Smoking Consistency

Tired of babysitting your smoker to make sure you don’t overcook your meat? The most important feature of any electric smoker is its range of temperatures and smoking consistency, and the 30” Masterbuilt succeeds at both admirably, thanks to its well-engineered design.

The insulated cooking chamber retains heat well even in sub-zero temperatures. At high temperatures, you’ll find the exterior is still cool enough to touch.

Mounted on the top of the smoker is a digital push-button control panel that is simple to operate. The control panel includes a 24-hour digital timer and an auto shut-off function so you can program your smoker and walk away. That’s right, with this smart model, you can set it and forget it!

The Masterbuilt 30” has a temperature range of 100 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, which is well suited to smoking meat. A side-loading pellet feeder supplies the fuel to the burn pot, and the heating element is 800 watts which allows it to heat up rapidly to reach the optimal temperature. There’s a lot to love about the quality construction of the unit, including its sealed door.

a smoker with smoked meats inside

Cooking Space

4 chrome-plated cooking racks and 730 square feet of cooking space provides you with plenty of room to serve as many as 30 people. Use the removable racks to smoke different types of dishes at once, or remove racks to accommodate large cuts of beef, pork, or a whole turkey.

Cleaning & Maintenance

You won’t find any innovative cleaning features on the Masterbuilt 30” but it really doesn’t need any. A removable drip tray catches the fatty juices running out of your smoked meat, reducing the occurrence of flare-ups inside the smoker. It also prevents further mess inside the smoker.

To clean the Masterbuilt 30” you can simply remove the chrome-plated racks can be and rinse them clean with warm water and dishwashing soap. 

Ash from the wood chips collects in the burn pot, which you can simply remove and dump. A handheld vacuum is also a good idea to ensure residue doesn’t wind up in your food and impacting its taste.

Affordability

Masterbuilt is known for its reliable and cost-effective products, and this model is no exception. The reasonable price of this smoker will make it possible to stay within your budget, without sacrificing quality. 

It cooks meat effectively but just doesn’t have the same fancy gadgets and capabilities like Bluetooth technology that other units have. Even so, it still has a blue LED display that makes it simple to read temperature settings to effectively monitor your smoking meat.

Drawbacks But Not Dealbreakers

One improvement to the Masterbuilt 30” electric smoker would be an add on of a viewing window on the door. This would make it much easier to keep an eye on the progress of your smoked meat a little better, without having to open the door, which reduces the smoker’s efficiency.

There are no internal meat probes included either, so you’ll need to purchase your own quality meat thermometer. Check out these reviews of the best meat thermometers for the best deal.

Full Review: Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Electric Digital Smoker


Pros:

  • Durable powder-coated steel construction and insulation retains heat well
  • The heating element is 800 watts, which results in quick heating
  • Push-button digital control can be programmed for set it and forget it smoking
  • Removable racks and water tray for easy cleaning and maintenance
  • Budget friendly
  • Insulated cooking chamber

Cons:

  • Smoker door does not have a viewing window for monitoring when you smoke meat
  • No meat thermometer included for checking meat readiness
Product image of Masterbuilt MB20073519 MES 130P Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker, Black

Key Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions: 19.9 x 20.7 x 33.5 inches
  • Weight: 61.8 lbs
  • Bluetooth Smart Control Features
  • 4 Chrome-Coated Smoking Racks
  • Built-in Meat Thermometer
  • Wood Chip Tray
  • Removable Drip Tray


While we stand by our #1 rating of the Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, if you are looking for an electric smoker with advanced smart features like Bluetooth connection capabilities, the Masterbuilt 30’ Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker may be the better choice for you. 

In addition to being technologically advanced, this smoker is also practical. It comes with plenty of cooking space. Specifically, the unit has enough room to cook 4 racks of ribs, 4 pork butts, 6 chickens or 2 turkeys. This makes it the ideal choice for your next barbecue. 

With it’s Bluetooth technology and built in meat thermometer, this model makes it possible to monitor your cooking process while still socializing and relaxing. Its Bluetooth smart features allow you to control cooking temperature, monitor meat temperatures from its digital display panel, and power the unit on and off. 

The convenience doesn’t even end there! You can add wood chips without even having to open the unit’s door thanks to its side wood chip loading feature. If you are looking into buying a new age barbecue with snazzy digital features, consider this advanced model.

Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 725 Square Inch

Key Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 18.1 x 32.5 inches
  • Weight: 50.2 lbs
  • 725 Square Inches of Cooking Space
  •  4 Removable Cooking Grates
  • LED Display Panel
  • Large Capacity Wood Tray
  • Internal Meat Probe (Built-in meat thermometer)
  • Internal insulation
  • Removable Temperature Gauge & Drip Tray


Overview

Okay, we’re just going to put it out there. This is one good looking son of a barbecue smoker. And the price is right too. If you’re just starting out and want to test the water first, then this electric smoker is the right choice for you.

You can tick all the boxes with this nifty backyard smoker. Char-Broil is one of the biggest barbecue manufacturers, allowing them to be competitive with their pricing. Let’s get down to the grease and gristle.

Construction Quality

Like the top pick, the Masterbuilt 30”, the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker is 100% insulated. An added bonus is the double-walled steel construction of the cooking chamber, which retains heat well even in cold temperatures. 

Another feature that contributes to its amazing smoking quality is the smoker door, which is seal-tight. A large steel latch clamps the door firmly shut while your food is cooking, and an air damper serves as an intake to provide the necessary oxygen for clean, wood-burning fire in the burn pot. 

Ease of Use

Everything about the Char-Broil Deluxe electric smoker is easy. It’s easy to assemble, and simple to move around and to use. There’s no fidgeting or fussing. It’s got an integrated meat probe that allows you to cook your meat to your preferred temperature, and if you’re not around when it’s done, it shuts down the cooker AND keeps the food warm.

You’ll also appreciate the large capacity wood tray. Filled to capacity, you can get up to 7 hours of cooking time, significantly longer than other top brands of electric smokers.

Temperature Control And Smoking Consistency

The Char-Broil Deluxe electric smoker has a maximum temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit, which is great for a low and slow cooking process. You can also cold smoke with the lowest setting at 100°F.

If, however, you want hot and fast, with temperatures up at 290-325 degrees Fahrenheit, then this isn’t for you. It gives off a moderate amount of smoke, so once again if you like your chops well and truly smoked then you need to look at another model or be prepared to add extra smoke tubes and / or wood chips.

You’ll find that the removal temperature gauge is a very handy feature, allowing you more mobility while your meat cooks. Once you program your timer and set the desired temperature, you can remotely monitor the internal temperature and adjust as needed.

cooking ribs in char broil electric smoker

Cooking Space

Even though this unit is big on cooking space, all 725 square inches, with removable trays, the Char-Broil Deluxe electric smoker fits beautifully in areas where space might be limited, like patios, balconies or rooftop terraces. The cooking chamber can accommodate a lot of food at once. According to one Amazon user, you could easily “...smoke two good-sized pork butts, 6-8 slabs of baby back, and 3-4 slabs of spare ribs.”

Cleaning & Maintenance

When it comes to cleaning your Char-Broil Deluxe electric smoker, you’ll need to clean several components - the viewing glass on the smoker door, the water pan and smokebox, as well as the bottom tray. That being said, it’s no more difficult to clean than the overall top pick in our review, the Masterbuilt 30”.

With its high capacity grease tray located under the smoky, grease removal is pretty hassle-free. Once again the pros definitely outweigh the cons, and we would recommend this as a serious contender.

Drawbacks But Not Dealbreakers

So, as good as the Char-Broil is for smoking, there are a few quicks that hold it back from being in the #1 spot. The LED display is excellent for reading under poorly lit or night time conditions but can be difficult to read in bright natural daylight.

Particularly frustrating are the connectivity issues with the Char-Broil Deluxe’s remote device. Whether it’s a design flaw or a local service issue can be hard to pinpoint, and defeats the purpose of having a remote!

Lastly, the viewing window on the front door which does get hot to the touch. If you have young children or pets, be sure to keep them at a safe distance.

Overall, when it comes to an electric smoker, Char-Broil is a brand you can’t go wrong with. Its products are extremely well priced and maintain a consistent temperature for that delicious smoky wood-fired flavor. The add on of an internal meat thermometer and removable temperature gauge gives you more freedom than the Masterbuilt, but a failed connection quickly renders the device useless.

Full Review: CHAR-BROIL Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker 

Pros:

  • Removable temperature gauge offers more freedom while cooking
  • Sensitive meat probe provides accurate readings for remote monitoring
  • Competitively priced with other similar quality electric smokers 
  • Spacious cooking chamber is 100% sealed and double-walled for efficient heat retention
  • Budget friendly
  • High capacity grease tray

Cons:

  • 90 day warranty - (probably because of the low price)
Bradley Smoker BTDS108P 990223 Bradley Digital 6 Rack Smoker, 11.50 L x 33 H x 15 W, Silver

Key Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions: 11.5 x 15 x 33 inches
  • Weight: 60.5 lbs
  • Heating Element: 500 watts
  •  Maximum Temperature: 280 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • 858 Square Inches of Cooking Space
  • 6 Removable Cooking Grates & Removable Drip Tray
  • Digital LED display
  • Auto thermostat


Overview

Do you smoke large quantities of food regularly? Well, this next electric smoker is a beast! The Bradley Digital 6-Rack Smoker has a massive 858 square inches of cooking space and 6 removable racks for smoking everything from brisket to apple-cobbler!

Construction Quality

Aesthetically, this is one good looking electric smoker! You just gotta love the sleek stainless steel exterior on the Bradley 6-Rack, which makes any outdoor kitchen look more elegant and professional.

The cooking chamber is made entirely of high-grade steel, sealed and coated in epoxy for better heat retention and durability. Like the Masterbuilt 30 and 40-inch, the Bradley Digital 6-Rack is well insulated, maintaining the temperature with a steady supply of smoke.

As with any smoker, be sure to pre-season your Bradley electric smoker before you start smoking, to burn off any residue left by the manufacturer.

Ease of Use

Straightforward and easy to assemble, the Bradley 6 has a simple, hassle-free design. The wire racks are removable and slide neatly into place. The feature that makes this smoker stands out, however, is its system that feeds wood bisquettes into the unit at set times. The unit runs on wood bisquettes, which ensures that the smoker gives off an authentic flavor.

Temperature Control And Smoking Consistency

Whether you’re a beginner or an ol’ pro, the Bradley 6-Rack electric smoker allows you to control the temperature, the cooking time and the smoke. This makes for an overall customizable cooking process.

There are 2 heating elements, not one, and each can be separately controlled. Upgrades to each over the Bradley Original have been made to improve the control center on each. You set the temperature, time, and smoke level with the LED digital display panel. 

An auto thermostat inside the Bradley 6 electric smoker constantly monitors the cabinet’s internal temperature and smoke levels, adjusting as needed. And if you forget to turn it off, the unit will do it for you, thanks to an auto-off feature — another addition over the original smoker Bradley produced.

It really is a case of ‘ready, set, smoke’. 

Cooking Space

When we looked at the Bradley 6-rack smoker in terms of space, we liked the four adjustable racks and the 858 square inches of cooking space. Although it has a smaller cooking area than the Char-Broil Deluxe or the Masterbuilt 30” inch, it’s still large enough to accommodate large quantities of racks of ribs, roasts, or large cuts of beef.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Cleaning the Bradley 6 Rack is super easy thanks to the removable wire racks, drip trays and stainless steel interior. There’s also an ash removal tray which the Masterbuilt and Char-Broil electric smokers don’t include. 

Drawbacks But Not Dealbreakers

Where it loses a point or two, for us, is its lack of portability. The unit doesn’t have wheels, making it hard to move around. Also, it’s marketed as an outdoor smoker but there are a few people who’ve commented on it not being able to withstand strong winds, which affects the temperature’s stability.

Lastly, the generator, which comes as an accessory, makes this unit look a little cumbersome.

Of course, this is just our opinion and, because we’re comparing and reviewing smokers, we like the more streamlined models. All in all, we’d happily use this electric smoker again.

Full Review: Bradley Digital 6-RACK Smoker 

Pros:

  • Stainless steel construction is attractive, highly durable and rust resistant
  • Fairly easy to clean compared to charcoal or gas grills
  • User-friendly digital display panel and internal temperature gauge provide better heat control
  • 12 Month Warranty
  • Well insulated

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have wheels, lacks portability
  • External weather conditions can affect temperature consistency
  • Requires you add wood chips from Bradley, which come with a high price
Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Smoker with Viewing Window and RF Remote Control, 40-Inch

Key Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions: 19.53 x 24.96 x 40.16 inches
  • Weight: 72.97 lbs
  • Heating Element: 500 watts
  •  925 Square Inches of Cooking Space 
  • 4 Chrome plated Cooking Racks
  • Digital LED Control Panel and RF Remote Control Device
  • Side-loading Wood Chip Tray
  • Full Size Glass Viewing Window

Overview

Once again, Masterbuilt makes it on our list of the best electric smokers with their upgraded 40”, a larger version of the amazing 30” inch Masterbuilt reviewed previously as our top pick overall.

Dollar for dollar, the Masterbuilt 40” inch outperforms a lot of other brands of electric smokers in the same price range, but its lower cost doesn't mean they’ve cut corners. The 40” inch Masterbuilt electric smoker also exceeds expectations with its 24-month warranty, which very few of the other models offer.

Construction

Every part, from the bolts and screws to the chrome-plated cooking racks says quality and care.

Double-walled insulation, high-grade powder-coated metal, and a seal-tight metal door give the 40” Masterbuilt amazing resistance to wear and tear inside and out.

The stainless steel exterior is not only attractive but highly durable and rust-resistant. With regular cleaning, your Masterbuilt electric smoker will look as good as it performs for years to come.

Ease of Use

You’ll find the 40” Masterbuilt does require more work to assemble than the 30 inch. The digital display panel is located on the top directly along the front, making it easy to access. It also has a bright blue LED display screen for easily reading temperature night or day, and simple, easy-to-follow instructions are printed on the panel.

A key improvement over the Masterbuilt 30” inch is the add on of a handy push-button RF remote control device as well. This simple but oh so clever accessory allows you hands-free control from a distance of up to 100 feet, which means you can turn the smoker on or off from the comfort of your living room, and change the temperature.

It also scores points for its compact size and the fact it has wheels, making it easy to move and store once your barbecue is over.

Additional smoker features include a warmer and an optional cold smoke plate which can be bought separately.

Temperature And Smoke Consistency

Next up is how well a unit maintains its heat and if it produces consistent smoke. And once again we have to give the Masterbuilt 40” inch a big thumbs up.

It seals shut tightly, and it’s insulated, meaning it maintains its temperature throughout. Not only does it produce consistent smoke, but the double insulation also ensures none escapes, resulting in an extra smoky flavor.

With regards to the smoke consistency, the 40” Masterbuilt is one heck of a smoker, requiring a mere half a cup of wood chips for 4- 7 hours of smoking time. 

Cleaning And Maintenance

One of the advantages of an electric smoker is the minimal cleanup and maintenance required. Grease management systems are typically pretty straightforward and the 40” Masterbuilt system is really no different. This smoker was one of the easiest to clean, thanks to the redesigned drip tray and the non-stick racks. There’s a drain hole at the bottom of the unit and the drip tray goes under. 

Product image of temperature features on electric smoker Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Smoker with Viewing Window and RF Remote Control, 40-Inch

Cooking Space

We’ve mentioned that it’s compact and easy to store but what we haven’t mentioned is the 975-square inches of actual cooking space plus the four removable racks. Considering the size and the price, we think that that’s a whole lot of space, which once again makes this model an excellent choice.

Drawbacks But Not Deal Breakers

We’ve given you all the reasons to consider adding this particular smoker to your arsenal of appliances but let’s be honest, among all the pros, there has to be a con or two.

The Masterbuilt 40 inch is no different. Consider these cons that are drawbacks, but not dealbreakers:

  1. You have to replace the AAA batteries in the device every now and then. If there’s an issue with the remote control you’ll have to get a new one from the manufacturer, which means no sofa-barbecuing until it’s replaced.

  2. For those who aren’t into DIY, there is some assembly required. Not so much a con, but worth a mention.

  3. Admittedly the glass window is really just for aesthetic purposes. There’s so much condensation on it that you really can’t see anything.

  1. The digital thermometer is inaccurate but the temperature controls are incredibly accurate.

We have no idea how the ‘master builders’ got it right, but this beauty delivers like a high-end smoker, from ease of use and cleaning, space, maintaining its temperature and smoke, to the taste it delivers and the price.

Full Review: MASTERBUILT 20075315 Electric Smoker

Pros:

  • Well built, with double insulated walls and durable stainless steel exterior
  • Remote control provides hands-free experience
  • Large 925 sq inch cooking area with 4 smoking racks is ample room for 40+ guests
  • Reliable temperature control
  • Wheels make it easy to move around

Cons:

  • Viewing window can leak heat and condensation makes visibility very poor
  • Some assembly required
  • Inaccurate digital thermometer
  • Remote control is battery operated
Product image of Best DYNA-GLO DGU732BDE-D 30" DIGITAL ELECTRIC SMOKER

Key Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions: 19.4 x 19 x 32.5 inches
  • Weight: 62.2 lbs
  • Temperature Range: Reaches 275 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heating Element: 800 watts
  • 732 Square Inches of Cooking Space 
  • 4 Chrome plated Cooking Racks
  • 1 x Meat Probe
  • Side-loading Wood Chip Tray

Overview

Ever heard of Dyna Glo? Dyna Glo hasn’t been around for as long as Pit Boss, Traeger, or Masterbuilt, for instance, but they’re often cited in electric smoker reviews as an economic alternative to premium grade smokers.

Even if you’re a meat-smoking addict, you may not want to spend a small fortune on an electric smoker. For considerably less than the top picks listed in this review, however, the Dyna Glo 30” Digital Electric Smoker is an excellent bargain. 

Construction Quality

A lot of users have found the Dyna Glo 30” electric smoker to be slightly better construction quality than leading brands like the Masterbuilt 30-inch. They both have a similar, insulated, double-wall firebox for retaining heat but the Dyna Glo has a sleeker exterior. 

Ease of Use

Once you’ve assembled and pre-seasoned your Dyna Glo 30” electric smoker, it’s really a case of plug it in, set your temperature, and start smoking! The slender digital control panel is extremely straightforward, with push-button controls for setting the time and monitoring the temperature.

An internal meat thermometer is also included to help monitor the internal temperature & ensure you don’t overcook or undercook your Thanksgiving turkey or costly cuts of juicy rib-eye.

A side-loading wood chip tray slides easily in and out for keeping heat in and safely adding fuel when needed. With a fully loaded tray, you’ll have enough fuel for your cooking process — specifically, up to 7 hours of smoking or cooking time.

Temperature Control And Smoking Consistency

Low and slow is the way to go with the Dyna Glo 30” inch. More powerful than some of the earlier picks in this best electric smokers review, the Dyna Glo 30-inch’s powerful burner is 800 watts and holds up even in cold temperatures. The temperature range reaches a maximum of 275 degrees Fahrenheit, sufficient for smoking but not much else.

While the Dyna Glo doesn’t have a digital control for adjusting smoke levels, there is a damper on the top. You simply adjust the damper according to your preference, which gives you some added control over the smokiness of your racks of ribs, sausages, beef, and poultry. 
Product image of temperature settings on DYNA-GLO DGU732BDE-D 30" DIGITAL ELECTRIC SMOKER

Cooking Space

Think of the Dyna Glo electric smoker as moderately sized. There are 4 cooking racks for a combined 732 square inches of cooking space. That’s more space than the average gas or charcoal grill, and the separate racks allow you to smoke a variety of dishes or a large supply of smoked meats at once.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Thanks to the removable water tray and racks, the Dyna Glo 30” inch can be cleaned fairly easily. There’s also a removable grease drip tray that prevents flare-ups inside the smoker’s cabinet. This tray is dishwasher safe but can also be washed by hand with water.

Drawbacks But Not Dealbreakers

OK, so now that you know the good, let’s look at the bad and the ugly about the Dyna Glo 30’-inch. Despite its comparatively low price point, there are some quality control issues that simply can't be ignored.

First, the door is not completely sealed so some smoke leaks out more than with other units. Users have also reported the heating element that lights the wood chips warps and starts to sag after a few uses. Unfortunately, you can’t order a replacement heating element for the Dyna Glo 30” electric smoker, so if it does get damaged, you’re stuck with a useless electric smoker.

As with most wood-fired electric smokers, digital or not, external factors like temperature and wind can affect the consistency and heat of your smoker. The Dyna Glo, however, performs reliably well even in cold temperatures. 


Pros:

  • Economic price is very competitive
  • Durable construction quality retains heat over several hours
  • Easy to clean features such as removable racks, grease drip tray, and water bowl
  • Straightforward digital display control panel

Cons:

  • Users have reported problems with defective heating element
  • Leaks more smoke than the top brands
  • Can take more than 30 minutes to reach optimum smoking temperature depending on external factors
Product image of Best Pit Boss Grills 77221 2.2 Digital Smoker

Key Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions: 21.5 x 23 x 41 inches
  • Weight: 58 lbs
  • Heating Element: 1650 watts
  • 3 Porcelain-coated Cooking Racks
  • 532 Square Inches of Cooking Space 


Overview

Whether your backyard patio is large enough for 50 people, or a cozy space for you and your family to enjoy smoked racks of ribs on a lazy, relaxing weekend, the Pit Boss 2.2 Digital Smoker has enough heating power to smoke, roast, grill or bake your favorite barbeque recipes in its cabinet. 

Large enough to serve up to 18 people, with locking castor wheels for portability, the Pit Boss 2.2 Digital Smoker’s streamlined design and high smoking temperatures make it the top pick for the best backyard electric smoker.

Construction Quality

You can’t beat double walled blanket insulation when it comes to building a quality electric smoker, and the Pit Boss design doesn’t disappoint in this regard. The seal-tight door keeps heat and smoke in for as long as you need to. 

The Pit Boss uses a 1650 watt wraparound heating element that is 2x more powerful than any of the quality electric smokers reviewed previously. With a temperature range of 100°F to 400°F, you can smoke, grill, or bake a variety of meats, vegetables, cheese, and fruit, giving you more versatility. This unit is probably the best electric smoker for your backyard. 

Ease of Use

Not only does the Pit Boss look good on the outside, but it’s also fairly easy to use. There’s not much assembly involved, and all the screws and bolts are neatly packaged. With the 6 inch legs attached, the elevated stand makes loading and unloading the Pit easier than other units lower to the ground. 

Getting that smoky wood flavor can only be done with natural wood, and you’ll find the Pit Boss design gives you easy access for wood chip loading. The oversized front-loading wood chip tray slides out, with enough capacity for 2 hours of interrupted smoke. 

A large viewing window lets you keep an eye on the progress of your sausages, fish, pizza, or racks of ribs. This electric smoker also includes a programmable internal meat thermometer that integrates with the digital control panel, allowing you to easily monitor the progress when you smoke meat. 

Moving and storing the Pit Boss is also made easy thanks to the locking castor wheels. 

Temperature Control And Smoking Consistency

As for digital control, the Pit Boss can be monitored and operated remotely using the Pit Boss app, which is available on both Google Play and the App Store. Push-button digital control panel with LED read-out for cabinet temperature and meat thermometer. The digital control panel is not quite as straightforward as we’d like, but the user manual does provide the much-needed directions.

Product image of Pit Boss Grills 77221 2.2 Digital Smoker drip tray

Cooking Space

At 593 total square inches of cooking space, the 3 cooking racks included with the Pit Boss work out to the equivalent of your average gas barbeque. In other words, there’s enough space to serve 12 - 18 burgers, or three 12 lbs briskets. If you plan on smoking meat for more than 20 people on a regular basis, you’re better off with a commercial electric smoker or something larger like the Bradley 6-rack digital electric smoker mentioned previously.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Cleaning an electric smoker is never fun, but it can be less painful. The Pit Boss scores high points here, with its removable/adjustable racks. With warm water and dishwashing soap, grease and food debris slide easily off the porcelain-coated racks and water tray. 

And, thanks to its elevated stand, cleaning the Pit Boss’ interior cooking chamber is also easier on your back, particularly for those who may suffer from lower back pain.

Drawbacks But Not Dealbreakers

For all its many great features, the Pit Boss doesn’t quite measure up when it comes to smoking consistency and control does not produce adequate smoke.

Pros:

  • Powerful 1650 watt heating element with a wraparound design for temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Easy to use and clean thanks to removable parts and elevated stand
  • Competitively priced for its size and features
  • Convenient front loading
  • Large capacity wood chip tray provides fuel for 2 hours of cooking time
  • Locking castor grills
  • Easy moving and storing

Cons:

  • Digital control panel isn’t as user-friendly as other models in this review
  • Requires close monitoring to maintain a consistent smoking temperature
  • Users report quality issues with a defective heating element
Cookshack Electric Smoker Oven Model SM009-2


Key Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions: 33.5 x 23.2 x 22.8 inches
  • Weight: 76 lbs
  • Heating Element: 500 watts
  • Temperature Range: 140-250 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • 3 Nickel Plated Grills 
  • 588 Square Inches of Cooking Space

Overview

The name alone should tell you this electric smoker is the real deal. At first glance, it looks like a safe that can be used to store your most valuable possessions. But if you look a bit closer you will see this small machine is much more than that; it’s the best oven style electric smoker on the market.

Made in America, this small but powerful smoker was constructed using welded, double-walled, heavy-gauge stainless steel. That’s about as tough as it gets. Even the hardware is heavy-duty, which means this smoker was built to last.

Take a look at the inside cabinet and you will be just as impressed as you are with the outside. Thanks to Spin Glass insulation the heat will always be in the right place at the right time which means your meat will be prepared perfectly every time. 

Construction Quality

There are few quality electric smoker units that are as durable as the Cookshack Model #1. In fact, you’ll find users who have passed their 20-year-old Cookshack on to the next generation. that’s value for your money!

Stainless steel inside and out, this is one straightforward, classic oven design that’s built to last. The heavy-duty construction is enhanced by the rust-resistant stainless steel finish. Mounted on 4 castor wheels, the Cookshack is also surprisingly easy to maneuver and is compact in design to save space in your backyard or your camper.

Ease of Use

Experienced chefs will find the Cookshack Model #1 refreshingly simple to use, compared to digital electric smokers with Wifi capabilities, for example. Since there’s no digital control panel, no Wifi or app to download, the Cookshack is much simpler in its use of technology. You simply set the temperature and fill the wood chip tray. 

For easy access, a stainless steel cook box has been placed at the bottom of the smoker to store wood chips. Just pull it out, add wood chips and the smoker will be ready to start smoking.

Temperature Control And Smoking Consistency

A 500-watt heating element gives the Cookshack Model #1 a smoking temperature range of 140 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The Cookshack Smokette Elite Electric Smoker Oven can smoke at temperatures up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

You use the top-mounted dial control to set the temperature, and fill the wood chip box to capacity, enough for 7 - 8 hours of cooking time. The LED control panel will show you the cabinet temperature inside the box as well as the temperature of the meat when the included commercial quality probe is inserted.

Thanks to its efficient design the Cookshack Model #1 holds heat and moisture extremely well and generates smoke at roughly 125 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s low enough for you to smoke salmon steaks to perfection over several hours. Beef, fish, poultry or pork, your meat comes out with deep smoke rings and moist to the bone.

Cooking Space

Fit 3 racks of ribs or a large 18 lbs whole turkey, the Cookshack Model #1 gives you enough room to do either. With 588 square inches of cooking space, the Cookshack Smokette isn’t huge and is certainly not an ideal choice for large groups of people.

Still, there are 3 racks, which allows you to smoke different types of meat separately. Once your meat is done place it on the optional storage cart and serve to all your guests.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Simple dishwashing soap and warm water is all you need to clean the Cookshack Smokette after you’ve used it. 

Drawbacks But Not Dealbreakers

If you want an electric smoker with bells and whistles, the Cookshack Model #1 isn’t it. As mentioned earlier, it doesn’t include a meat probe, or smart digital features such as Bluetooth, WiFi, or a programmable timer. That said you can always use an external meat thermometer and timer — you know, like the old times. 

Low and slow with careful monitoring is the best way to use the Cookshack Smokette. Take your time, enjoy the process, and you’ll enjoy perfectly smoked dishes for years to come.

Full Review: COOKSHACK SM009-2 SMOKETTE Electric Oven

Pros:

  • 500 watt heating element generates reliable consistent temperature for smoking
  • Retains heat and moisture exceptionally well
  • Compact oven-style design can fit in most backyards or on an RV camper easily
  • Durable stainless steel construction lasts for years
  • Castor wheels for portability
  • Spin glass insulation

Cons:

  • Considerably more costly than digital electric smokers with more features
  • No meat probe or timer included
  • Modest cooking area for the price
Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker

Key Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 17.2 x 13.5 inches
  • Weight: 58.8 lbs
  • Heating Element: 400 watts
  • 3 Adjustable Cooking Racks 
  • 18-gauge Stainless Steel 

Overview

The Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker is the perfect smoker for anyone who loves catering for people whether they be family or friends. Made in the USA, Smokin-It LLC makes some of the best electric smokers for commercial use and the Smokin-It Model #1 is a perfect example. 

When it comes to durability this smoker is built to last. It features an 18-gauge non-magnetic stainless steel frame which is the same material used on smokers used in restaurants.

Compact design and excellent heat consistency also give the Smokin-It Model #1 key advantages over other units with a lower price. NSF Certified for restaurant use, you’ll find this oven-style smoker won’t break your bank account, and delivers that smoky flavor you love. This unit is the commercial electric smoker your business has been looking for.

Construction Quality

Outstanding craftsmanship is obvious in the design materials of these smokers. Instead of sheet metal, the Smokin-It Model is built with heavy-duty 18 gauge steel. The cooking chamber is sealed and insulated to retain heat as well as moisture for the perfect balance of smokiness and tenderness in your meat. 

Ease of Use

The Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker is easy to use and easy to maintain. If you are looking for hassle-free smoking that is exactly what you will get with this smoker. And since it’s not a traditional gas smoker you never have to worry about the flavor being ruined due to unwanted contaminants.The smokebox is simple to operate and removable. There are also convenient side handles and 4 heavy-duty castor wheels so you can move it easily in or out of place, around a corner, or onto your RV camper. 

Even if the thermostat, heating element or the control knob happen to break, these parts are easily replaced if necessary. 

Temperature Control And Smoking Consistency

When it comes to smoking meat or vegetables, the Smokin-It Model #1 produces sufficient smoke to flavor foods. A built-in rheostat for precision control cooking, and once you set your temperature, the Smokin-It Model #1 pretty much does the rest. Heat and moisture are sealed in once the latch on the smoker door is clamped shut. You won’t find crevices or spaces where heat and smoke leak it, making it highly efficient as well.
Product image of smokin it electric smoker

Cooking Space

Although the Smokin-It Model #1 is compact, it may not be large enough to handle a busy restaurant. The cooking chamber has a 22 lbs meat capacity, which is large enough for two 12 lbs briskets, for instance.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Thanks to its simple oven-style design and stainless steel construction, both the exterior and interior are incredibly easy to clean. Rust resistant and highly durable, you can enjoy the Smokin-It model #1 for years and it will still look just as good as it cooks.

Drawbacks But Not Dealbreakers

Our only wish is that this electric smoker was bigger! The Smokin-It Model #1 isn’t the most convenient or easy to use smoker, but it delivers outstanding smoky flavor. The 400 watt heating element isn’t powerful enough for baking but just enough for smoking low and slow over several hours.

Pros:

  • Highly durable 18 gauge stainless steel construction and quality build
  • NSF approved, commercial grade quality at a competitive price
  • Compact design can fit in a small kitchen
  • 2 Year warranty on parts
  • Castor wheels make it portable
  • Insulated interior

Cons:

  • No meat probes included
  • Does not have any digital features for remote monitoring
  • 400 watt element is not as powerful as other electric smokers
  • Cooking area may not be large enough for a busy restaurant
Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker

Key Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions: 20.7 x 33.5 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 49.5 lbs
  • Temperature Range: 100 - 275 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heating Element: 1,200 watts
  • 544Square Inches of Cooking Space
  • 3 Chrome-plated Cooking Grates
  • Digital LED control panel

Overview

Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift? An industry leader since 1948, Char-Broil electric smokers are recognized for their premium quality and affordability. The Analog Electric Smoker takes away all the digital enhancements of modern smokers, leaving a more conventional, analog design that is surprisingly reliable. 

Racks of ribs, brisket, salmon or steak, this model can cook it all. Your dad will quickly become addicted to the hassle-free smoking power of the Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker, the best analog electric smoker on the market. 

Construction Quality

Built to grill and smoke meat, the Char-Broil Analog has a double-wall insulated cooking chamber to house the powerful 1200 heating element. You can tell that the Analog Electric Smoker is made of quality sheet metal that’s sturdy and weather-proof, but a smoker cover would provide better protection against rain and moisture.

Dual exhaust ports provide ventilation for the smoke and dual latches on the heavy-duty insulated door seal in smoke until your meat is flavored through and through. A door-mounted temperature gauge displays the internal temperature of the cooking chamber so you can adjust the controller as needed.

Ease of Use

You’ll really appreciate the Analog Smoker’s front-access water tray, grease cup and wood chip tray, a design perk that makes using this smoker so easy. The removable trays and grease cup are conveniently located directly above the heating element and the lowest rack. 

There are actually 2 grease boxes, so you really don’t have to babysit your pork ribs or chicken the whole time. Once you load the wood chip tray and your water, you can close the door and sit back until your meat is done!

Temperature Control And Smoking Consistency

The Charbroil Analog Smoker uses a 1200 watt electric heating element to fire the wood chips that flavor and cook your meat. Setting the temperature is easy with the dial on the digital LED control panel. With a temperature range between 100 - 300 degrees Fahrenheit, the Analog Smoker takes about 20 -30 minutes to reach optimal smoking temperature. 

If you’re used to charcoal, gas or propane grills, you might be expecting to see your meat cooked over a hot open flame. The Char-Broil Analog Smoker, however, doesn’t produce a roaring flame even at peak temperature. Instead, the solid construction and engineering retain heat and moisture so well that you don’t need a lot of smoke to infuse foods with that natural wood flavor. 

Dual ventilation allows the wood chips to smoulder steadily as your meat is cooked through. Moisture is absorbed by the meat as the water in the water tray evaporates, so there’s no need to soak your wood chips in water to keep foods from drying out.

Product image of char-broil analog electric smoker individual parts; racks, drip trays

Cooking Space

Serving burgers or hot dogs for the fourth of July? Why not both? The Char Broil Analog Smoker is perfect for small groups of people and large family gatherings.

544 square inches of cooking space is about the average size of your typical backyard barbeque. Spread out over 3 racks, however, the Analog Smoker allows you to use the space more efficiently. You can smoke rib racks, cuts of veal, and a roast, or remove racks to accommodate a whole chicken. 

Cleaning & Maintenance

The unit’s chrome-plated cooking grates and dishwasher safe removable components such as the aluminum water tray and grease cups make for fairly hassle-free cleanup. You can access the grease tray without opening the smoker door, but the water tray and wood chip tray are on the inner front of the smoker.

Drawbacks But Not Dealbreakers

While the grease cup can be accessed externally, wood chip loading can only be done by opening the smoker door. This, of course, allows valuable heat and smoke to escape and causes fluctuations in your cooking temperature that can be difficult to stabilize.

Pros:

  • Straightforward and easy to use analog design
  • Set it and forget it style smoking
  • Durable construction
  • Lower price than electric smokers with similar features
  • Front-access water tray

Cons:

  • No internal meat probe or timer
  • Must open the smoker door to reload wood chips
  • Can’t monitor food remotely
Masterbuilt MB20073716 Patio-2-Portable Electric Smoker, Black

Key Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions15.94 x 23.62 x 23.31 inches
  • Weight: 21.81 lbs
  • Heating Element: 1,400 watts
  • 2 Chrome-coated Smoking Racks
  • Built-in Temperature Gauge
  • Analog Temperature Control (Easy dial temperature settings)
  • Folding Legs

Overview

At a camping ground, backyard patio, RV or yacht, a portable electric smoker means you can enjoy your favorite smoked dishes at home and away. The portable MES 20B weighs just over 20 lbs and is compact enough to go wherever you go. Analog controls mean you need a bit more experience to harness its amazing smoking capability, but you’ll really enjoy the learning curve.

Smoking at home or on-the-go has never been easier with the MES 20B. Choose from various temperature levels, set the analog control, and this electric smoker handles the rest. Even though there is no internal meat probe, you can always invest in a meat thermometer. 

The compact design and folding legs of the unit make transport and storage easy. Master the art of smoking with Masterbuilt.

Construction Quality

As is typical of the Masterbuilt brand, the MES 20B electric smoker is built to endure wear and tear, as well as external weather conditions. Assembling the portable MES is thanks to the clear instructions and packaging. At just over 20 lbs, you won’t have to break your back to get it out of the box, but you’ll be impressed at the quality and sturdiness of the parts.

The double-wall cooking chamber is made of heavy gauge metal and it’s insulation helps it to retain heat while remaining fairly cool to the touch on the outside. 

The 2 chrome-plated racks are removable and sturdy enough to hold heavy cuts of meat such as pork butts or a whole chicken without warping. Ventilation shafts on the back of the smoker provide the necessary exhaust while the locking door and seal-tight design keeps smoke and moisture circulating at just the right level to produce a wood-fired taste.

Best of all are the foldable metal legs and external handles. They are well-constructed, easy to attach and 

Ease of Use

If you’re new to smoking meat, you’ll quickly learn that it’s both an art and a science. That being said, the Masterbuilt MES 20B is an incredibly straightforward electric smoker to use because of its analog controller. You simply turn the dial to set the temperature, and the door-mounted temperature gauge displays the internal temperature.

The wood tray accommodates a handful of wood chips at a time, and the water tray is also smaller than what you’d find in a full-size unit.

Temperature Control And Smoking Consistency

It really doesn’t get much more direct or straightforward than the MES 20B when it comes to temperature control. The analog dial controls the 1400 watt heating element, reaching as high as 300 degrees Fahrenheit. 

With quality 100% natural wood chips (no bark), and easy to use temperature settings, the MES 20B can easily generate a steady smouldering heat within 30 minutes, depending on external weather.

Product image of Masterbuilt MB20073716 Patio-2-Portable Electric Smoker, Black staged outside

Cooking Space

Since the ME 20SB is so light and portable by comparison to a vertical electric smoker, there isn’t a ton of cooking space, but it’s still large enough for a family gathering. Spread across the 2 chrome plated racks, you can smoke up to 4 chickens, or 2 racks of ribs. Take out the top rack and you could smoke a whole turkey.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Another advantage of being smaller than your average smoker is that the MES 20B takes less time and effort to clean than other electric smoker units. Regular cleaning with a simple solution of warm water and dishwashing soap or homemade cleaning solution is all it takes to keep you MES 20B in top shape.

The grease tray prevents flare ups and food debris from settling on the floor of the smoker. Remove the 2 racks, the water tray and grease tray to wipe and clean the walls of the cooking chamber. 

Drawbacks But Not Dealbreakers

The ME2S 20B is not a ‘set it and forget it’ type of electric smoker. If you plan on using the MES 20B portable smoker for more than 2 hours at a time, you’ll need to monitor your food and fuel supply.

 Due to its compact size, the wood tray and water tray capacity are more limited. They require refilling more frequently and if your fuel runs low and the temperature drops midway through your brisket, you’ll have no way of knowing because there are no programmable functions such as a timer.

There’s also no way to monitor your food because there’s no internal meat thermometer or viewing glass on the smoker door.

Pros:

  • Compact design stores easily, with foldable legs and exterior handles for portability
  • Straightforward analog controller
  • Durable metal construction retains heat well

Cons:

  • Limited cooking space due to its compact size and portability
  • No digital functions, meat probe or programmable timer included (you'd need a meat thermometer)
  • You can’t monitor your food unless you open the smoker door
  • Limited wood tray and water tray capacity
Old Smokey Electric Smoker

Key Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 15.5 x 29 inches
  • Weight: 24 lbs

Overview

In a departure from modern electric smokers, the Old Smokey Electric Smoker offers a cost-effective alternative for those on a budget. Suitable for cooking or smoking a whole turkey, chicken, brisket, pork, seafood or wild game, Old Smokey has been around for years. With a tried and true design that combines a tall stock pot and a built in heating element, Old Smokey is perfect for chefs who prefer a more hands-on cooking experience.

Construction Quality

Very little assembly is required to start using Old Smokey. The thin metal pot is deep and holds heat well once the lid is sealed. Even the drip pan is heavy duty! Very little smoke escapes, which means you can use it in your backyard without smoking the entire neighbourhood.

Ease of Use

Old Smokey has a flat top, so condensation gathers and drips back onto food as delicious, savory juices for optimal taste. No need to wet the wood chips for moisture! Once you fill the wood tray and set it over the heating element, the lack of ventilation keeps all the smoke and moisture sealed in for your poultry, pork, fish or beef to absorb.

Temperature Control And Smoking Consistency

Old Smokey utilizes a heat thermostat that reaches a maximum of 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Since there’s no ventilation, it heats and cooks much faster than a typical electric smoker. You only need a hand full of wood chips for 5 hours of smoking, making Old Smokey one of the most efficient smokers out there. 

Because it seals in the heat so well, there’s no need for a water tray. Any moisture generated by the heat gets trapped inside and absorbed by your food, along with the aroma and flavor of natural wood. 

Cooking Space

Due to its pot design, Old Smokey isn’t as versatile as other smokers when it comes to space. That said, the cooking space is enough to smoke up to 4 chickens at one time.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Once you remove and wash the cooking racks, cleaning this electric smoker is pretty easy. You’ll need a long-handle brush, however, to reach deep into the pot.

Drawbacks But Not Dealbreakers

One drawback to Old Smokey is that there’s no easy way to add wood chips. A bottom access door or slide-out tray would be useful. Cleaning under the electric smoker’s heating element is particularly awkward. Even though it’s removable, who wants to detach the element every time you clean it? The exterior can also get extremely hot to the touch, which could be a concern for those with small children or pets.

Pros:

  • Seals in smoke and moisture for a variety of savory, smoked recipes
  • Budget friendly
  • Replaceable heating element
  • Lightweight and portable
  • No need for water tray
  • Thermostat reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit

Cons:

  • Can be awkward to clean the interior
  • No convenient access for adding wood chips while cooking
  • Exterior is extremely hot
Product image of Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker

Key Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions: 11.5 x 11.5 x 24.5 in
  • Weight: 12.16 lbs
  • Heating Element: 250 watts
  • Easy-slide chrome-plated grills

Overview

There’s a lot to love about the Little Chief Front Load Smoker from the long-time leading electric smoker brand, Smokehouse. One of the smaller models on the market, this electric smoker is your answer to portable smoking. The unit comes with 4 chrome-plated grills.

Construction Quality

The Little Chief is made with a 250-watt heating element and an embossed aluminum body for durability. Unfortunately, although aluminum makes the product lightweight, it’s not particularly good at maintaining temperature. In fact, it tends to use more energy to provide heat, which can hike your energy bills if you’re not careful.

That said, the electric smoker does boast other structural advantages. It is designed for outdoor use with vents for proper dehydration and doesn’t require assembly. The easy-slide grills make for easy wood chip loading and unloading.

Ease of Use

This electric smoker loads from the top with easy-slide racks that are easy to insert. The unit turns on with a single flip and comes stoked with hickory wood chips. It automatically sets itself to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, which is adequate for most smoking needs. Due to the small stature of the electric smoker, it is also easy to store and bring around.

Temperature Control And Smoking Consistency

This electric smoker comes with a 250-watt heating element that makes it useful for specifically smoking — not so much other cooking needs. The temperature is non-adjustable, it will reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit and no higher. While these simple temperature settings are ideal for beginners, they may not suit those who want the power to control the temperature of their smoker while cooking.

Product image of Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker parts; wood chips, racks

Cooking Space

This electric smoker offers 4 grills for cooking foods. The unit is designed to cook fish, pork, poultry, beef and other meats — specifically, up to 25 or 50 lbs of meat at a time.

Cleaning & Maintenance

When you use this unit, clean up is easy thanks to the electric smoker’s dishwasher safe drip tray. 

Drawbacks But Not Dealbreakers

This no-frills electric smoker is an ideal choice for beginners. It’s a budget-friendly solution for slow cooking meats but lacks a lot of the extra features other quality electric smokers come with. For this reason, with this smoker, you are limited to smoking meat at a slow pace. You can’t really use it for other cooking needs, as you can’t adjust the temperature to any higher than 165 degrees.

Pros:

  • No assembly required
  • Smoker comes with UL and CUL certifications for safety
  • 2-year warranty
  • Durable construction by a great manufacturer

Cons:

  • Cannot control the temperature
  • Can't be used as a cooker

ELECTRIC SMOKER BUYING GUIDE

When it comes to buying an electric smoker you have plenty of options. Each smoker on the market is different in functionality, quality, warranty, features and the results they produce — it’s up to you to find out what qualities will best suit your needs. 

Not only do you want to make sure the smoker meets your unique needs, but you also want to make sure it fits your budget. That’s why it’s so important before you begin your research to consider what the best electric smoker for you will look like — and how it will operate: 

image of a smoker smoking turkey

The Advantages of an Electric Smoker

1. It’s Easy to Use

Traditional smokers require a lot to get going. First you have to ignite the flame, then you have to make sure the airflow is properly regulated, and last but not least you have to make sure the temperature is just right [1].

With an electric smoker, all you have to do is plug it in and go. Once you set the temperature, the smoker will do the rest. This is significantly easier to use than a charcoal smoker. Armed with one of the best electric smokers on the market, you will be able to make a variety of quality smoked recipes, regardless of your level of experience [2].

2. It’s Safe to Use

With a traditional smoker, you need real fire to produce the smoke. In most cases, you will need to leave the fire on for hours at a time.

If you have children or pets this can be very dangerous as they may potentially knock the unit over which could cause the fire to quickly spread. With an electric smoker, however, there are no open flames. This means that they are a lot safer to use around children or pets.

3. It is Cost-Effective

With a traditional smoker, you will need to invest in wood chips to ensure the flame can keep going. If you are cooking for several hours having to constantly add more wood can start to get expensive.

An electric smoker uses wood to provide flavor more than smokiness. As a result, they tend to be highly efficient in their use of wood chips, often requiring only a handful or 1 cup of wood chips for every 4 - 5 hours of smoking. Being that they don’t use much power you don’t have to worry about it making your electricity bill go up too high.

4. It’s Convenient

When using a traditional charcoal smoker, you have to sit around and watch it. Most users call it babysitting.

Not only do you have to monitor the temperature, but you also have to make sure the flame doesn’t go out and that the airflow is where it needs to be.

The best electric smoker, on the other hand, won’t require this much work. You can literally plug it in and let it run on its own - set it and forget it. There is no need for you to sit there and watch it all day.

5. It’s Easier to Clean

The reality is that when you use a charcoal smoker, ash from the charcoal gets everywhere and can be hard to clean off of cooking utensils. An electric smoker, on the other hand, is no fuss and easy to maintain. Removable and dishwasher safe parts like racks, wood chip trays and water trays make it easy to clean your smoker part by part, instead of trying to squeeze in awkwardly to clean your unit.

6. It Heats Fast

Whereas a charcoal grill can take hours to heat up to a desired temperature, a good electric smoker will preheat within a maximum of 45 minutes. This makes the cooking process faster and easier — especially when entertaining a large group of people.

A particularly fast electric smoker will be able to reach a desired temperature within 20 minutes, whereas an average smoker takes about 45 minutes to reach a desired temperature.


image of electric smoker cooking chicken

Choosing Your Electric Smoker


Now that we know a little bit more about these electric products and why they are better than traditional smokers, here are the elements you’ll want to consider before buying an electric smoker:

1. What is the electric smoker made of?

Before buying an electric smoker, you should consider how it was built. Check to see what type of construction materials were used to build it. The materials used will determine how durable the unit is.

Most of the products we reviewed were made using stainless steel which is one of the best materials to construct a smoker with [3]. Especially when it comes to the interior of the unit.

Stainless steel is able to handle high heat extremely well which ensures the temperature is always steady. It is also durable and very easy to keep clean.

When it comes to the outside of the unit, you will find a lot are made of embossed aluminum or corrosion-resistant aluminized steel [4]. This is because most smokers are kept outside and it is very important the exterior is just as durable as the interior.

Speaking of the interior, you will also want to ensure that the interior of your electric smoker is well insulated. Proper insulation makes for even and efficient cooking.

2. What is the best size of cooking area for a smoker?

The cooking area is the amount of space you have to prepare your amazing dishes. Generally speaking, smokers are products designed to be used outdoors. Because of this, a lot of them come with large cooking areas by default.

Ideally, you want a unit that has a ton of rack space. Four racks will give you up to 700 square inches of cooking space. Large cookers can handle up to 50 lbs of meat at one time. This, of course, is perfect if you will be entertaining a lot of guests on a regular basis.

If, however, you aren’t one who plans on cooking for a larger group of people or hosting your next family gathering, there is no need to have a large cooking area. The key is to get a smoker that has a cooking area that meets your individual needs.

3. What is the best sized electric smoker? 

 
For most people, using their electric smoker is not something they do on a regular basis. They usually only pull it out during the weekends or when they have guests over and they want to entertain them with delicious food.

Because of this, portability is extremely important when buying an electric smoker. The weight of the smoker is what will ultimately determine if it is portable. If its less than 50 lbs you should be able to pick it up and move it to a new location.

For all other situations, you should opt for a unit that has wheels. This way you can easily roll it to where you want it to be.

If you are someone who wants to take your smoker with you on camping, the best electric smoker for you will be a smaller unit that weighs around 20 - 25 lbs. This makes it easy to move in and out of your vehicle.

4. Are the positive reviews on the electric smoker?

This may sound a little too simple, but one of the easiest ways to determine what smoker to buy and which ones to stay away from is to read reviews.

Most consumers are very honest when they leave feedback. While we did our best to provide thorough electric smoker reviews, review the best electric smokers, it wouldn’t hurt to do some of your own research to see what real-life customers have to say about a particular unit.

5. Does the model come with a well placed wood chip tray?

A wood chip tray is what gives an electric smoker it's magic — after all, it's the wood chips that provide meat with that smokey taste. That said, wood chips need to be added consistently and efficiently to maintain the flavor and cooking process.

When buying your model, consider where the smoker’s wood chip tray is location. You want the wood chip tray to be located somewhere easy to get to so that you can easily add wood chips as needed.

6. How can you clean the electric smoker?

Is this electric smoker going to be hard to clean? Keep your eye out for smokers with easy to wash parts like removable cooking grates and dishwasher safe drip trays.

7. Does the electric smoker come with removable trays?

Removable trays make cleaning an electric smoker significantly easier on a user. From water drip trays to grease trays to wood chip trays, these parts accumulate dirt and need to be cleaned regularly. If these trays aren’t removable, cleaning your smoker will be a big challenge — when it doesn’t have to be.

8. How does the model perform?

The performance of a unit is extremely important. If the unit doesn’t perform well, you will not get the end result you are after.

A major element that impacts an electric smoker’s performance is how long it takes them to heat up. No one wants to have to wait 60 minutes for their smoker to reach a desired temperature. This has everything to do with a unit’s heating element and the temperature it can reach. Some additional features that enhance performance include water pans, vents, extra insulation, rheostats, doors, drip pans and thermostats.

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For maximum performance, a smoker must have excellent temperature control which is something we will talk about in the next section.

9. Does the smoker have remote control features?

Electric smoker remote controls give you the power to control your cooker without having to hover over it all day. With this device, you can adjust the temperature, turn on the internal light, check the temperature of the meat, and so much more.

A remote control will give you a great deal of freedom and flexibility as you will be able to keep tabs on everything with the click of a few buttons.

Product image of bluetooth features on Masterbuilt MB20073519 MES 130P Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker

10. Does it have bluetooth controls?

Even more advanced than remote control features are Smart Bluetooth features that can allow a user to control temperature, monitor temperature and power a unit and on off. These bluetooth capabilities are not only convenient, but provide users with the ability to multitask and monitor temperatures to ensure precision cooking. 

11. Does it come with a glass window?

A glass window screen makes it easy to monitor food from a distance. Without a glass screen, however, you won’t be able to check in on your racks of ribs without opening the unit’s door. While it may seem like an aesthetic luxury, a glass screen is actually essential for an electric smoker.

12. Is it the best electric smoker for the cost? 

When it boils down to it, the electric smoker you invest in will depend on how much you can afford to spend. Luckily there are a ton of really great smokers that will fit within your budget. When it comes to price please know there is a huge difference between affordable and plain old cheap.

An affordable unit is one that is constructed well but doesn’t include all the features of a top of the line smoker.It’s still effective, just not as versatile as a more expensive model. A cheap electric smoker, on the other hand, is made using cheap materials that quickly erode and break down.

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality to stay within your budget. Cheap models usually don’t last very long. And while they may save you money upfront, in the long run, you will find yourself spending hundreds of dollars on replacement parts and repairs.

So instead of looking for the cheapest possible price, choose a model that offers the features you want and meet your budget. It makes a huge difference when you take this approach.

The Best Electric Smokers By Brand


When researching brands before buying an electric smoker, focus on the ones that specialize in the features you deem important. Brands that focus exclusively on kitchenware are more likely to produce quality electric smokers.

You will also find that different popular brands will vary in price point. For example, premium brands such as Masterbuilt will be more expensive than brands such as Char-Broil or Bradley. Below are the best electric smoker brands that deliver top-notch features at an excellent price. Choose wisely: 

1. Masterbuilt

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller

TOP PRODUCT: Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker

ABOUT MASTERBUILT: Masterbuilt is without a doubt one of the best electric smoker brands. They are considered a premium brand that delivers top of the line features. In 1998 the company expanded globally and has been a force in the industry ever since.

Not only does Masterbuilt manufacture amazing smokers, but they also have a host of other cooking products including cookbooks.

READ MORE: Reviews of Best Masterbuilt Electric Smokers

2. Char-Broil

Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 725 Square Inch

TOP PRODUCT: Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 725 Square Inch

ABOUT CHAR-BROIL: W.C Bradley, the company that owns the Char-Broil brand, has been around since 1885 [7]. When the company first started it was a cotton business. It would later brand out into other industries such as farm equipment, textiles, fishing gear and yes, barbecue grills.

In 1949 the first Char-Broil grill hit the market and the brand has been a hit ever since. The company is most popular for its Tru-Infrared Technology, which can be found in all of the brand’s products from barbecue grills to smokers.

Read More: Reviews of the Best Char-Broil Electric Smokers

3. Smokehouse

Product image of Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker


TOP PICK: Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker

ABOUT SMOKEHOUSE: Smokehouse is a popular brand that focuses mainly on kitchenware products. The quality electric smokers they build are usually great for outdoor use. Their smokers are usually front-loaded and have a least 4 racks. Smokehouse smokers are great for individuals who cook a variety of different meats.

4. Smokin-It

Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker


TOP PICK: Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker

This brand is probably one of the most innovative brands there is on the market today. They are NSF certified and have customers all over the world [8]. One thing that makes them stand out is their willingness to insulate the entire body of their smokers.

Not only does this ensure minimal heat loss, but it also improves the smoking rate for a better overall cooking experience.

READ MORE: Reviews of the Best Smokin-It Electric Smokers

5. Bradley

TOP PICK: Bradley BTDD108P 990223 Digital 6 Rack Smoker

ABOUT BRADLEY: Bradley smokers got their start back in the 1970’s. It is said that the founder of the brand offered to teach a master smoker how to fish if he agreed to teach him how to smoke salmon. Then, as they say, the rest is history.

After learning how to smoke salmon, he went on to create Bradley electric smokers that have since become popular for their excellent temperature controls and how easy they are to use. Bradley smokers were some of the first to give users complete control over the time and temperature of the unit.

READ MORE: Reviews of the Best Bradley Electric Smokers

About Your Electric Smoker


If you use your electric smoker on a regular basis you will notice your electric bill increases a small bit every month. Quality electric smokers also require a high level of care. If you don’t properly take care of them they are more likely to become damaged and stop working altogether.

Additionally, some of the more advanced models require special training in order to use them the right way. If you aren’t a professional chef the additional training may be a waste of time and in some cases a waste of money.

Even with these minor drawbacks, the pros of using an electric smoker easily outweigh the cons. Yes, there are some limitations, but most people would still prefer an electric smoker over a traditional charcoal smoker.

The Best Electric Smoker: To Sum It All Up...

Having a high-quality electric smoker on hand is a great way to ensure the quality of your food is always top-notch.

Every smoker we have reviewed is effective, efficient and will keep you within budget. Read over each one to determine which one has the smoker features you need. And remember, there is a big difference between affordable and cheap.

A quality electric smoker can also save you a great deal of time by making your job easier — this is especially true for restaurant owners and professional chefs. This is why we assessed products based on their cooking time, temperature control, make, affordability and more. It’s important for us that we gage all the essential elements that make a good electric smoker.

Electric smokers are good for chefs and homeowners alike, as it can help take anyone’s cooking to a whole new level of deliciousness. We rounded up the best electric smoker reviews to help you choose the right model for your cooking needs.

References

[1] How To Control Air In A Wood Burning Stove (SFGate.com)
[2] Smoked Food Recipes (AllRecipes.com)
[3] What Are The Advantages of Stainless Steel? (Quora)
[4] Aluminized Steel Vs Stainless Steel (Study.com)
[5] Temperature Controllers (Omron Industrial Automation)
[6] Are There Any Advantages To An Infrared Grill? (Consumer Reports)
[7] W.C. Bradley Co. (LinkedIn)
[8] What Is NSF Certification? (NSF International)


This post was last updated on July 27th, 2020 at 08:26 am

About the Author William Clay

William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.

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