This post was last updated on April 17th, 2019 at 08:57 pm
There are so many smokers on the market that it can be hard to find the right one for you. After all, Charcoal grills are great for long time BBQ connoisseurs, but those new to the game may want to opt for something a little more straight forward.
That’s where electric smokers come in; they are user-friendly and will make hosting your big BBQ bash as easy as setting a timer. Choose a digital smoker like the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker to help you give your meat that smokey flavour without all those additional steps.
At FireFoodChef, we believe in making cooking meat well easy, which is why we are always on the hunt for efficient, and fairly priced products. If you are looking to make your life easier by investing in a digital electric smoker be sure to check out our buying guide of the top-rated electric smokers.
Digital smokers make it easy to try new awesome recipes and will allow you to simultaneously smoke your meat and enjoy your time when you throw that big backyard BBQ this summer. Electric smokers easy to use, making them the perfect smokers for beginners. We know how important it is to be able to smoke your meat and get the flavour just right without all the extra hassle.
Between its removable food thermometer, glass door and stainless steel, dual tone finish there is a lot to love about the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker. Read our full review to learn more about why we love this smoker so much.
If you’re on the trail for a design-driven smoker that doesn’t put form over function, you’ll fall instantly in love with Char-Broil’s 725 Deluxe. When you glance at this mean machine, you’ll also find it hard to believe it’s priced so attractively.
How does the Deluxe deliver beyond that striking two-tone exterior, though?
You should think closely about your intended use before making your decision. Do you like cooking quickly at super-high temperatures? If so, this model won’t make the best fit. The Deluxe maxes out at 275 °F. If you prefer to cook your meat long and slow, you’ll be in for a treat and taste sensation. If you are looking to get creative with your meat-cooking methods, be sure to check out our tips for smoking your meat.
The Deluxe is built solid with a black and metallic finish. It’s modern without looking over the top in a more traditional yard. Although the glass is durable, heat does tend to radiate so pay close attention to this. The racks are made from the ubiquitous chrome-plated wire, and there’s a stainless-steel latch to keep the smoker sealed. The cabinet is well insulated, so the smoke stays inside. The tempered glass doors let you peek inside to keep your eye on proceedings, which is always valuable.
The display can be tricky to read in the sun, which is something of a design flaw. Let’s face it — you’re highly likely to be using your smoker when it’s hot and sunny! There are seven basic buttons covering everything you need, from time and temperature to the meat probe. You get a pair of direction arrows to help you navigate. The Deluxe model I tested comes with a remote, but the range is sorely limited.
Set-up with smokers can be awkward, but there’s no nonsense to deal with here. You will need to season it once you’ve wheeled it into place. This is a straightforward process. Hit the Power button, then the Temp button. Ratchet the temperature up to 275 °F using the up button. Hit Time and set it for 2 hours. Let the smoker cool down, and you’re ready to roll.
Before normal usage, you’ll need to preheat the Char-Broil. This allows the wood chips to start smoking before you load in your meat. Use the Temp button and the directional arrows until you see PH displayed. A regular pre-heating cycle is roughly 40 minutes so factor this into your prep time. You’ll hear some beeps and see the display flashing once the time’s up.
You can load up enough for a large dinner party with the highly respectable 725 square inch cooking area across the four racks. If this is not quite up to scratch, you can get a larger model of the Deluxe, but we find this to be more than sufficient. To put the size into clear perspective, each rack can accommodate 10 pounds of meat. The only real compromise is with whole racks of ribs where you might need to cut them up to make them fit.
The smoke box is large enough to give you seven hours of use before it needs refilling. These wood chips are heated by the 800-watt element to kick up smoke and create the temperature you need. The box is neatly insulated, and you get a pair of probes. The temperature probe makes sure the box remains at the programmed heat while the meat probe lets you keep abreast of the temperature as it cooks.
The wood chip tray is robust and large enough to load up with enough fuel to leave things unattended while you kick back with some pre-dinner drinks and enjoy catching up with your guests. Once everything is loaded, you’ve got to do little more than wait.
You can set the timer for up to seven hours, and the display flicks between the time and the temperature as your food starts smoking. You’ll hear a series of audible beeps and the time will disappear from the screen once you’re done.
The temperature gauge is removable with the probe inside the box regulating the heating element. This will monitor the food as it’s being cooked. Once the desired temperature is reached, the smoker goes into warming mode.
As with any product, the Char-Broil comes with a few small issues worth highlighting. I’ll never shy away from mentioning the disadvantages in a smoker.
The sticker on the front is enormous and an absolute nightmare to remove. This might seem like a small complaint, but it’s totally inexcusable when easy-peel stickers are commonplace. You might seriously spend more time trying to pick this off than you will setting up the smoker!
Despite the more than serviceable heating element, you will not get as much smoke as you see in some similar units.
Like with many smokers, temperature calibration should be used as a guide since it’s not always precise. Controls are less than ideal, but they’re still easy enough to navigate once you get the hang of them.
You should keep your expectations reasonable considering the price-point, of the Char-Broil Deluxe. None of these minor snags are big enough to ruin the deal, but it’s worthwhile to draw them to your attention.
It’s always best to go into any purchase with your eyes wide open. Now that you see some of the great aspects and disadvantages of this smoker, picking your new toy should be easier. In the end, it’s not bells and whistles that make a smoker effective. It is reliable, stable temperature control.
Having said all that, at FireFoodChef, we stand by the Deluxe as a pocket-friendly smoker that hits the mark. If you’re undecided about smoking and want to try without investing in a ruinously expensive model, you cannot go wrong with this smoker.
William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.