When it comes to choosing a smoker the choices can be a little overwhelming.
There are a few different 'types' and hundreds of brands trying to catch your attention. Over the past few years Electric Smokers have become quite popular, mainly thanks to their easy use and stable cooking temperature - however they can be quite expensive.
We put together this buying guide to show you that you can still get a quality machine, even at this budget price.
We put quite a bit of time and effort into deciding on the top 3 Electric Smokers under 200, but the winning decision was unanimous.
Our top pick is the Old Smokey Electric Smoker. We loved that it is super simple to use, but you can great some sweeeeeet dishes with it.
Last Updated: June 2, 2019
By William Clay: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding our choices for propane smokers that cost less than $200. Information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best affordable smokers currently available on the market.
This is one of the simplest electric smokers in the market, making it perfect for beginners.
It doesn’t have many fancy features so you don’t have to worry about sudden electronic fails, display malfunctions, and so on.
The Old Smokey comes with two cooking racks with a capacity of about 15 pounds.
With this sufficiently large space, you will be able to smoke meat for a family gathering or a yard picnic comfortable. Additionally, it allows you to cook any meat you want, from chicken to salmon.
To add to its simplicity, the Old Smokey requires virtually no supervision.
After adjusting the temperature, you are free to go have a beer with your friends and reminisce about the good old days. Nevertheless, it is advisable to check it at least once.
The feature I love about the unit, however, is the adjustable thermostat. This lets you set the cooking temperature and time manually hence control the 'doneness' of your meat. To ensure that your meat will cook consistently, the Old Smokey distributes the heat within it evenly, thanks to its ergonomic design.
With an accurate temperature gauge and easy-to-control temperature, this electric smoker has all the features you will need for a seamless smoking experience.
You don’t have to be an expert to work with it, in a just a few minutes, you will be a pro.
The Landmann comes with a 3-in-1 tray that holds the wood chip box, grease tray, and water pan into one component. It also features a ventilation port at the rear panel for proper smoke and heat release.
If you have a large family and/or you host barbecues often, this smoker will suit you best. Thanks to its three chrome-plated racks, it has about 431 sq. inches of cooking space. With this space, you can prepare enough food for five to ten people.
You will also love that you can smoke different types of meat at the same time, without risking their integrity or taste.
Unlike the others on this list, this one features an independent plug-in temperature controller in addition to the temperature gauge on the front door. The temperature controller allows you to set and maintain the optimum temperature throughout the smoking cycle. The Landmann uses up to 1500 watts of power. While some people may see this as “too much” power, it is actually not that much considering the service it gives.
Weighing a mere 30 pounds, you don’t have to worry about portability with this one. To further enhance this, it is fitted with two side handles so you won’t need any additional help moving it around. It also has adjustable feet so you can level it even on uneven surfaces.
Like the Old Smokey, this unit is also simple to operate and doesn’t come with the complexities seen in much more expensive models.
It is a very compact unit and thanks to its modern design, it easily blends in with other appliances you may have on your porch. Despite its low price, the Char-Broil vertical electric smoker has a couple of great features that place it among the best under $200.
The Char-Broil is the only unit in this guide that comes featuring the vertical design. This comes in handy when you are loading or unloading meat, as you can categorize your meat on the racks with no issues whatsoever.
Its cooking space has a capacity of 504 sq. inches. Though not a lot, you can count on this smoker during your Thanksgiving dinner.
The go-to feature for this unit, however, is its built-in temperature gauge. You will be able to monitor the internal temperature and react very fast if you notice an anomaly.
The Char-Broil has impressive insulation. Its design maintains the optimal inner temperature quite well, as there is zero heat loss. The only way you will lose heat on this smoker is if you open the door.
On top of that, the wood chip compartment on the unit can hold any type of wood chips so you won’t need to look around for a specific type.
What makes electric smokers much more preferable to traditional smokers is their convenience and simplicity.
Even though there are some smoking enthusiasts who love the idea of closely watching the whole process for hours on end, fussing with the smoke levels and adjusting the heat, the main reason as to why most people don’t go for electric smokers is their price as most are priced from $500.
If you are in the market for something a little more expensive then you should check out of Best Electric Smoker 2019 guide here.
But what if there was a way to enjoy these go-to features without having to break the bank? Does expensive mean best quality?
In order to make every penny that you spend count, you have to consider only the highest rated products. We narrowed these down and reviewed them for you. But before that, let us look at a couple of need-to-knows when buying the best electric smoker under $200.
The materials used in making the smoker is an important consideration as they determine its durability.
The best electric smoker will be made from strong and durable materials that can stand the test of time.
By not unnecessarily wasting time on cleaning the smoker, you can take more time preparing the meal.
Besides, if it easy to clean, you will clean it well with every use unlike when it is hectic.
Electric smokers come with varying cooking space sizes, so you have the freedom to pick your ideal one.
While it is advisable to go for the size that best suits your needs, you never know when you might need a larger one. As such, the best electric smoker will have a sufficiently large cooking space.
Compared to their conventional counterparts, electric smokers allow more control.
They, however, have varying degrees of control. The ideal smoker should allow you to adjust and maintain the optimum temperature of the smoker, aided by a thermostat.
It should also have a temperature gauge, and easily adjustable temperature setting if possible.
Since it’s mostly for outdoor use, the electric smoker that you go for should be rugged and durable.
It should be able to withstand all the weather elements, and should not be easily scratched or dented.
Its legs should have an ergonomic design that ensures stability and balance to prevent the unit from stumbling when strong winds blow. Though not necessary, it should have handles on the side for easy transportation.
Even though most electric smokers under $200 are easy to use and operate, there are some that require investing a lot of time in learning how to.
You should go for those that don’t have a lot of complexities and are simple to operate.
Most electric smokers are secure and you are not at risk when using them compared to conventional smokers.
However, since our safety is paramount, check customer reviews if there have been any hazards associated with your smoker of choice. Not to worry though, the items in this guide have been handpicked.
Be sure to check the dimensions of the smoker against your available space before purchasing it.
You certainly don’t want to end up with an enormous appliance outside your home with nowhere to put it. Also, in relation to size, depending on the reason you are buying your smoker and the amount of meat that you plan on smoking in it, you should pick one with the ideal inner size.
If you don’t have time to constantly check the progress of your smoker, then you should go for one that needs little or no supervision.
Besides, isn’t that what made you prefer electric to conventional smokers?
How often do you plan on using your smoker? If the answer is not very often, there are some built for periodic use.
These cannot be used regularly so if you plan on using it from time to time, you should go for one designed specifically for that.
A sturdy unit will not fall apart even after years of continuous use.
As such, when looking for the best electric smoker, you should go for one made from strong, and durable materials, to ensure that it will serve you for a long time to come.
The best electric smokers below $200 discussed above prove that you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to get a convenient, reliable, and high quality service.
You only need to look for the best in the market and since we already did that for you, it is time to get smokin’!
This post was last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 01:35 am
William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.