Best Electric Smoker Buyer Guide and Reviews
If you are a meat enthusiast, you have likely become very familiar with grilling. But as tasty as grilling can be, it’s time to expand both your pallet and your capabilities as a cook. As summer begins to approach, there is no better time to consider getting the best electric smoker.
This guide can help you choose and be sure to make your backyard the go-to spot for friends and family in the coming months.
Top Four Best Electric Smoker: Comparison Table
Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
The coolest feature of this smoker is it came with a remote control that allows you to monitor the temperature of your meats
Masterbuilt 20070411 Controller Electric Smoker
The smoker features two cooking grids and three temperature settings.
Smoke Hollow Model 30162E Electric Smoker
It features a large window on the front door, which allows you to see the progress of your slow-cook.
Bradley Smoker BS611 Original Electric Smoker
This best electric smoker features six racks and measures nearly three-feet high.
Review of the Top Four Best Electric Smoker
Although there are many options available, we consider these to be the best four electric smokers on the market today.
For the beginner smoker, the Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker with Top Controller model is the ideal brand for affordability, durability, and brand reputation.
The smoker features a 4.2-star review on Amazon, with others reviewing it nearly 4,500 times.
The coolest feature of this smoker, in our mind, was the fact that it came with a remote control that allows you to monitor the temperature of your meats and the time remaining.
With the remote control, you can put the meat in and then watch your favorite sporting event on the couch inside, without having to get up every hour.
Masterbuilt says that those of all experience levels can use the smoker. The only downside to this smoker is that it does not contain a window.
In our mind, this is not a deal-breaker, especially when considering the other perks it has to offer. But for some, it may be. Nearly two-thirds of the 4,000 reviews featured five-star ratings.
This model is a bit cheaper than the Masterbuilt model, but you’ll sacrifice some bells and whistles as a result. The smoker features two cooking grids and three temperature settings.
Although you may not be able to smoke your meats at the precise temperature that you’d like, you should still be able to get it within a range that is close enough to leave you satisfied.
This electric smoker features a 4.2-star rating on Amazon, with purchasers reviewing it over 150 times. Of those reviews, 55% gave the unit a five-star rating.
One of the features we liked about the Smoke Hollow smoker was that it featured a magnetic door-latching system.
This is a feature that we found went a long way toward ensuring the smoker door stayed shuts, and the internal chamber temperature stayed consistent.
The insulation between the door and body can be improved. A customer review stated that it crumbled in the first couple weeks.
The Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker is different from the previous two models because it features a large window on the front door, which allows you to see the progress of your slow-cook.
The unit features an insulated, double-wall, stainless-steel construction to help keep heat trapped inside. Additionally, the smoker has a large locking latch to ensure the door stays shut tightly.
The Char-Broil smoker also features a digital display panel that is easy to read. Furthermore, it comes with a removable temperature that gives you the option to monitor the temperature of your food while it is in the chamber.
The smoker has received a four-star rating on Amazon. Owners have reviewed the product more than 300 times.
It features premium insulated double wall construction to lock in heat and smoke. This hassle free construction makes the smoker up to 10 times more efficient with wood chips compared to the leading electric smoker.
A customer review stated that the upper mount for the door hinge bracket depends on the steel of the outer case for support, and the way they built it the weight of the door can cause the steel to deform outward, which resulted in the door no longer sealing.
The Bradley Digital 6-Rack Electric Smoker is by far the most expensive option we reviewed, but it is also the biggest smoker on our list. The smoker features six racks and measures nearly three-feet high.
If you plan on routinely smoking meats for large gatherings, this may be a good option for you.
The smoker also comes with eight hours of controlled-cool smoking for a unique cooking experience. Also, it comes with a stainless-steel interior that is fully-insulated. It also comes with a digital smoke generator that allows you to set your temperature and timer. It also has a four-star review on Amazon, having been reviewed more than 150 times.
It features separate burners for generating smoke, and for oven heat
Boasts a Digital Smoke Generator which lets your smoker do all the work. Just set your oven temperature, oven timer, and smoke timer, and you are set!
A customer review stated that the down side is the temperature. The 500 watt heating element seems a little under powered for the big box and the smoker itself took hours and hours to come up to temperature.
The Best Electric Smoker: How We Chose Our Ratings
When reviewing the best electric smoker, we kept in mind how critical these reviews are to you. We’re willing to bet that if you are considering an electric smoker, you are:
- Just beginning to learn how to cook meats and appreciate their flavors
- Shifting from the world of grilling to the world of smoking meats
- Are an experienced meat-smoker who is looking for a quality, convenient device
Regardless your reason, we understand that you deserve the best products. That’s why we continuously seek to deliver reviews that are accurate and unbiased. Not only did we review the products ourselves, but we also spent time browsing online forums and discussions for thoughts from other customers. We also considered the general reputation of the brand, and if they offered any warranties or guarantees.
We are truly confident that following our product recommendations and buying guide below will help you find the best electric smoker. If you already have experiences using one of the products we have listed, please feel free to share with us!
Why Use an Electric Smoker?
If you have never tried smoked meat, you are missing out. Smoking meats is a type of grilling method that allows your meats to cook slowly over indirect heat.
The Benefits of Smoking Meat
Many meat enthusiasts say that smoking their meats has resulted in the most tender cuts they have ever had. Typically, the grillmaster uses more massive cuts of meat in a smoker. These can include:
- Beef Brisket
However, once you have mastered how to use your smoker, you can move on to different types of food and smoke cheeses, vegetables, and even mayonnaise. Using a smoker is a great way to cook meat on the weekend. Experts recommend a smoke-time of 90 minutes for every pound of meat. This will take much longer to cook than if you put the meats on the grill, but we can assure you that the results will be well worth it.
Smoking also allows you to experiment with adding different flavors to your meats. When grilling, you can only use marinades to enhance flavor. Marinades often do not seep into the meat, no matter how long you let them sit. However, when cooking with a smoker, you’ll use wood chips, which come in numerous different flavors, including:
An Electric Smoker is Your Best Option
If you’re ready to begin smoking, you’ll quickly discover that there are some different options available when it comes to selecting the best smoker. You can choose between charcoal smoker, wood smokers, propane smokers, and electric smokers. Each one has its pros and cons.
Of these options, electric smokers are the easiest to use, making them an excellent choice for beginners. Additionally, it is the most economical smoker available. Even though they rely on electricity, they should not run up your electricity bill. The best electric smoker use approximately 800 watts per hour. If you were to operate your smoker every day for a month, your charges would still be low.
Furthermore, electric smokers require the least amount of supervision. Charcoal and propane smokers, for example, need you to check on them every few hours to ensure that the fuel source has not run out. If the fuel source were to run out while you are in the middle of smoking your meat, you'd have to warm the smoker again to reheat the meat. Your meat won’t taste nearly as good as it would have.
However, electric smokers don’t face this problem. Unless you lose electricity in your home, there should be a constant supply of power to your smoker. In fact, you could go about your day as you otherwise would. If you realized that you forgot a side dish or drinks for the barbeque you’re hosting, you can run to the store without having to worry about your meats.
Many of the best electric smoker also come with an internal thermostat and temperature control. This is another feature that makes electric smokers the convenient choice for beginners. The thermometer ensures that the inner chamber of your smoker remains at a consistent temperature, which you choose. If the temperature rises above the desired range, the best electric smoker will self-correct.
Because of this feature, it’s easier for beginning grill masters to control their meats. Charcoal and propane smokers can be far more inconsistent. Your meat could be subject to wild temperature swings if you are entering the world of meat smoking and decide to use a charcoal or propane smoker from the get-go. Electric smokers are also safe because there are no open flames.
Lastly, cleaning up an electric smoker is very easy. Unlike other smoker models, electric smokers produce minimal residue during the cooking process. The best electric smoker is built from stainless steel, which prevents grease and food particles from sticking to the inner surface. Electric smokers can often be cleaned by merely wiping them down with a damp rag.
The Best Electric Smoker: Buyer’s Guide
When buying your first meat smoker, there are some factors that you are going to want to consider.
When choosing the best electric smoker, you’ll likely want to look for a median price. You don’t want to purchase a smoker that’s too cheap, as you’ll find yourself very dissatisfied with its performance and the taste of the meats. Cheaper smoker models also may not come with features like temperature regulation.
However, you also do not want to buy a model that is too expensive. While electric smokers are perfect for those new to the world of smoking, you may find that you want to upgrade to a charcoal, wood, or propane smoker. If you fall in love with your smoker, you’ll see yourself wanting to improve. And if you don’t love your smoker, you’ll have wasted money on a product you won’t use.
A good rule of thumb is to treat your electric smoker just as you would any other kitchen appliance. You should handle the purchase of an electric smoker like you would the purchase of a refrigerator or dishwasher.
Even though beginners best use an electric smoker, you do not want to purchase a product that is going to break down after its first few uses. Furthermore, even if you one day decide that you’d like to upgrade your smoker system, you can still keep the electric smoker as a more convenient option.
If you are hosting a large party and need more meat than usual, you’ll appreciate an electric smoker that still works. Look for electrical smokers that are made of stainless-steel, as they are more likely to withstand the test of time. Additionally, be mindful of the seal. The seal keeps the heat and smoke inside of the chamber, maximizing your device’s efficiency.
When your electric smoker seal does not work correctly, heat will escape the chamber. The time it takes to cook your meat will increase significantly. Also, your device will use more electricity as it tries to maintain the proper temperature. You’re better off investing in a high-quality smoker with a good seal, as opposed to watching your electric bill spike every time you smoke meats.
One of the other main factors you’ll want to decide on before investing in the best electric smoker is the size. You should take time to consider how you will use the product, and where you plan to store it if it is not in use. Also, consider factors like how much meat you will cook at one time. Being realistic about the size of your smoker will help make it easier to make a decision.