Anyone can learn to barbeque but it takes something different entirely if you want to get the richest flavor from your meat. Smokers, however, can be tricky. Some require gas canisters to work, can be bulky, expensive, and hard to get rid of when you’re done.
Enter the electric smoker. These products have minimal barriers to entry, are far more affordable, and deliver comparable results to their more expensive brethren. We’ve scoured the market to find the best electric smokers on the market and we’ve listed them below.
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The 13 Best Electric Smokers For 2019
|Type||Electric Smoker||Element Rating|
|Best Budget Smoker||Masterbuilt 20078616||1650W|
|Smokehouse Products Little Chief||250W|
|Best Mid-Range Smoker||Smoke Hollow 30162EW||1500W|
|Char-Broil Simple Smoker||750W|
|Old Smokey Electric Smoker||1250W|
|Best Premium Smoker||Masterbuilt 20078715||800W|
|Bradley Smoker BTDS108P||500W|
|Best Large Capacity Smoker||Masterbuilt 20070115||1200W|
|Editor’s Pick||Southern Country Smokers 2 in 1||1500W|
Now, before we jump right into our product reviews, let’s take a second to talk about electric smokers. What are they? How do they work? What do the specifications mean? This will not only help you choose one, but it’ll also help you understand your new purchase which is better in the long run.
One of the first specs any electric smoker lists is its wattage. So what does this really mean? Well, the higher the wattage, the higher the temperature that can be maintained. Essentially, smokers with a low wattage are better for smoking things for longer. This is the same thing that you do with a slow cooker – the longer it cooks, the more tender the meat.
On the other hand, if a smoker has a high wattage, it’ll likely get the job done much faster. After all, how many times a year do you want to slow smoke meat? These products are better for people who want to smoke a lot of food in a short amount of time.
Capacity is another area most people don’t consider. Some manufacturers intentionally obscure the internal volume of their smokers, instead citing the smoker’s dimensions. Don’t be fooled by this. If possible, open the smoker up, take a look inside, and try to estimate how much food you could fit in.
Of course, the larger the smoker, the more expensive it’ll be. Consider how much room you actually need: would a smaller model work just as well? Can you really justify paying an extra hundred or so dollars for a larger product? If so, go for it, by all means. If not, you might be better suited to a different model.
Best Budget Electric Smokers
Without further ado, let’s move right on to our reviews. We’ll begin by looking at the electric smokers that offer a lot, yet come with nice, affordable price tags. These products might be the least expensive on our list but in many ways, they’re every bit as good as our premium picks.
We’re going to open with the Masterbuilt 20078616. This is a smoker that costs around $80 and boasts a 1650W heating element. Going on sheer heating potential alone, this is actually the most powerful smoker we’ve included, but that’s not all it has going for it.
This smoker is nice and compact, standing just 31.5” tall. Inside, you’ll find two trays that provide a combined cooking surface 395 square inches in size. The lid even features a temperature sensor – considering this model goes as high as 400°, that’s a simple yet welcome addition.
Let’s say you like this model but aren’t sure if it’ll handle what you have in mind. Put it this way: the 20078616 can fit a 12lb piece of meat, but that’s pushing it. For this model, we’d recommend slicing the meat up first in order to save a little space. This also speeds up the cooking time, so it’s win-win.
This smoker is designed with ease of use in mind. The racks are dishwasher safe and the wood tray can be easily pulled out and cleaned. If you’re looking to get into meat smoking, there are few products as affordable or versatile as the Masterbuilt 20078616.
Next up, we have the Little Chief from Smokehouse Products. Interestingly for a product that costs almost $100, it has just a 250W heating element. The real questions are: how does this impact the smoking process, and will it prevent you from using it to its full potential?
Well, there’s no getting around it. This isn’t a fancy smoker with all the latest tech. It is, however, a nice, simple product that gets the job done, albeit a little slower than some of its rivals. Believe it or not, though, this simplicity can actually benefit you in other ways.
If you’re looking for a no-fuss smoker, this is it. It’s easily cleaned, and the tray can actually be put in the dishwasher if you like. Plus, it comes with a bag of wood chips and a handy booklet that tells you how long to cook each kind of meat for.
Really, this is intended for people who want to do other things whilst smoking meat. Just turn it on, let it get up to the right temperature, and come back in a few hours (taking care to make sure it’s safe, of course). No mess, no stress, what more could you want?
You can even mow the lawn in your house whilst smoking meat. Doesn’t have a push lawn mower yet? Well, we list the best push lawn mower available that you can buy now.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the Masterbuilt 20073716. Say what you like about this company’s naming scheme, they know how to build a smoker. This model has a 1400W heating element and costs just under $100 – not bad for all the features it offers.
First of all, this smoker allows you to choose from one of three heat settings. This lets you get the perfect heat and time for your meat, and believe us, it’ll show in the finished product. However, there are additional benefits to this model that isn’t immediately obvious.
Take the foldable legs, for instance. When coupled with this smoker’s compact size, the 200073716 becomes the ultimate portable smoker. That means wherever you are, as long as you have electricity, you can make that jerky that you’re so proud of. That’s not half bad, given the price.
All things considered, this model probably won’t satisfy people who want to smoke food regularly. That said, if you’re interested in the process, or if you want to smoke things while camping, there are few that can match this product in terms of versatility. In short, for less than $100, this is one of the best around.
Best Mid-Range Smokers
Now let’s increase the price range slightly. These mid-range smokers offer a little extra for your money, whether it’s a more powerful element or simply a higher capacity. There’s one thing you can be sure of, though: all the products below are well worth the price.
Let’s examine the Smoke Hollow 30162EW. This smoker is the second most powerful in our list and costs around $150. However, the real strength of this model is in its storage capacity. Put it this way: unless you run a smoking business, you’re not going to be running out of space anytime soon.
There are three grid shelves on the inside plus a viewing window so you can see how the process is going. Too slow? No worries, you can use the temperature control on the front to speed the process up a little. This control can also be removed if for some reason you didn’t want it.
The 30162EW is constructed with double walls to ensure that your food remains at the correct temperature over extended periods of time. Further, the door shuts with a latch to prevent it from accidentally opening when you’re not around. That’s pretty good, right? Well, it gets better.
When you’re done, the whole unit can be easily cleaned thanks to its porcelain water and wood trays. That means less of the boring downtime and maintenance, more good old-fashioned meat smoking. It’s difficult to complain about that, especially for the price.
Let’s move on to the Char-Broil Simple smoker. This one retails for just under $190 and although it has a fairly low element wattage at 750W, it’s still powerful enough to take care of any casual smoking you might want to do. Further, there are a few extra features designed to make your life easier.
First of all, it comes with an app for your cell phone or tablet. This allows you to monitor or change the temperature and cook time from wherever you are. You just have to put the temperature probe into the center of your meat before leaving it. Then, you’re free to go watch the game safe in the knowledge that everything will be alright.
Let’s not forget that this smoker is highly portable. It stands a little over two feet tall, uses a standard outlet, and even has two carry handles. Let’s say you want to go camping. This thing will let you smoke the fish you catch while you’re away from camp. Sounds pretty great, right?
In short, this model gives you the freedom to smoke food wherever you are, whenever you want. As long as you have a cell phone that supports the app, you’re golden. It can, of course, be used without one, but even a $20 Android phone will let you unlock this smoker’s full potential.
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Lastly, in this category, we have the Old Smokey Electric Smoker. This model costs just under $130 and boasts an incredibly simple design that helps make this one of the easiest smokers for beginners to use. Also, because there’s a flat top, any juices drip back down into the food, enhancing the flavor.
There’s a temperature control you can use to perfectly tailor the settings to the food you want smoked. Because the element has a rating of 1250W, you can choose to either cook it as quickly as possible or just go low and slow for that perfect smoke. So what else is good about this model?
It’s about as portable as they come.
Despite its 29” height, this product only weighs about 25 pounds. This makes it easy to throw in the back of the truck and take with you. Consider the fact that this smoker costs less than $130 and it’s obvious why it’s so popular.
Top-Rated Premium Electric Smokers
If you have a little extra wiggle room in your budget, you might be tempted to buy a premium smoker. On the other hand. There are many models out there that are just grossly overpriced. We’ve filtered through them and found three that are worth every cent.
Take the Masterbuilt 20078715, for example. This is an unassuming product with a fairly boring design and a price of around $200. What’s far more exciting, however, is the freedom it gives you to cook what you want, when you want. Let’s go into a little more detail, shall we?
It has a total cooking space of 721 square inches, spread out over four internal racks. The dial on top allows you to choose a temperature between 100-275°F so you have room to experiment. Better yet, the drip tray is front accessible and can be easily taken out and cleaned without opening the door.
This model takes cues from the Char-Broil smoker but removes the need for a smartphone. Instead, all current cooking metrics are displayed on the remote control’s LCD screen. No WiFi, no problem – you’re free to use this regardless of location or signal strength.
Other than the high price, there really aren’t any downsides to this smoker. Admittedly, it’s pretty heavy at around 50 pounds, but to be fair, this isn’t the kind of product you’ll want to move around a lot. If you don’t plan on taking it away from home, the 20078715 is an excellent choice.
Moving on to the next product, we have the Bradley Smoker BTDS76P. This one retails for just under $400, but believe us when we say it’s worth it. This is a smoker that has it all: ample storage space, power, and the versatility to cook anything for as long as you’d like.
Now, it only has a 500W heating element. You might think that this means it’s underpowered for the price, but it actually means that few smokers can slow cook as well as this one. There’s one more huge change in this model that isn’t in any of the others though.
Usually, you’ll have to add wood chips to your smoker. This can be messy, though. Instead, this model stacks wooden disks, feeding them in automatically as needed.
Its digital controller allows you to set a timer, limit the temperature, and control the oven independently. That’s an incredible level of versatility, not often seen in electric smokers.
Let’s be honest, not many people will be able to afford a smoker like this. Those that can, however, will find it does everything you could have hoped for and more. With four racks and a highly advanced electronic controller, there simply aren’t many other products that can compete.
Finally, let’s look at the Masterbuilt 20077116. This one costs around $350 and has one immediately obvious difference to the others we’ve seen. It comes with removable legs that add 10” to its height for easier access and less bending down. We’re surprised that more products haven’t adopted this tactic, but what else is good?
This smoker has four racks and Masterbuilt claim you can smoke up to 80lbs of food in one go. That’s incredible, but there are other advantages too. For instance, this model comes with carving gloves and a recipe book so even if you’ve never smoked anything before, you’ll be ready to go almost immediately.
This model uses an 800W heating element to maintain a temperature of up to 275°. The inside is made of easy-clean metal and the drip tray can be pulled out without opening the door, which is great. There’s even a remote control that allows you to change settings from all the way across the yard.
Best Large Capacity Smoker
Let’s get straight to the point here. If you don’t care about extra features but want to cook a lot of food, you’re going to want a high-capacity electric smoker. Below, we’ve listed the largest, best value smokers for your money.
Masterbuilt have had a lot of spots on our list and for good reason. The 20070115 is a huge, 40” electrical smoker with a combined cooking surface of 975 square inches inside. Better yet, you can add more wood via the side vent without having to lose any heat or smoke.
The heating element is rated at 1200W. This allows it to provide consistent heating of up to 275°F for as long as you’d like. Okay, that’s great but what else does this model bring to the table? Well, how about advanced connectivity options?
The 20070115 come with Bluetooth functionality built-in. There’s no app required, no need to charge your cell phone – just pick up the remote, pair with the smoker, and you’re good to go. There’s also an internal meat temperature probe and the racks are all chrome-coated for easier cleaning.
All things considered, this is one of the best smokers around. It’s a little more expensive, sure, but it offers a capacity unmatched by any of the lower-cost models. Further, it has all the latest tech built-in so you can do other things while making the best tasting ribs in the world.
The Char-Broil Deluxe is a digital electric smoker that costs around $200. It has a 750W element and 725 square inches of space. So, now that we’ve mentioned the specifications, let’s talk a little about why this product comes so highly recommended and what makes it so great.
For a start, the walls are double insulated so that absolutely no heat or smoke can escape. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a locking latch on the door. Let’s not forget that this is one of the most stylish smokers on the market. Its stainless steel and glass aesthetic really is a cut above the rest.
It comes with a removable temperature probe, which is nice to see. This, coupled with the metal inner trays, makes the Deluxe one of the easiest smokers to clean. It’s not exciting, but it is a large part of the process and the less time spent cleaning, the better, right?
In short, if you’re looking for a large, easily maintainable smoker that doesn’t push the budget too much, the Char-Broil Deluxe might be just what you need. Its digital timer takes the work out of cooking so you’re free to experiment to your heart’s content.
Our last high-capacity pick is another Bradley smoker. This time, though, it’s the BTDS108P. This is a real titan of a product – it has six racks, the advanced wood-feeding system we saw earlier, and a 500W element to ensure that offers up to eight hours of smoking in a single session. Now, that’s not bad, but there’s more.
It has a very slightly higher maximum temperature than most of the others we’ve seen (280°ׄ instead of 275), an insulated interior, and a year’s warranty coverage. Considering this smoker costs around $400, it’s good to know that your investment will be well protected.
Really, Bradley is known for making smokers that allow you to experiment with different wood types, temperatures, and durations. Combine that with a frankly huge amount of storage space and you have the recipe (pun intended) for an excellent, versatile product.
We’ve seen some exceptional smokers so far, but now it’s time to reveal the one we felt provided the best value and performance for the money. It’s a smaller model, designed for camping, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in potential. Meet the Southern Country Smokers 2 in 1.
This model costs around $160 and offers 351 square inches of cooking space. It comes with built-in temperature control, a 1500W element, and an extra-large water pan to help it generate even more smoke. Plus, since the design is so simple, it’s very easy to get to grips with.
Speaking of which, this model has wooden handles and doors so you don’t accidentally burn yourself. We know when you smell what’s inside, you’re going to be hurrying but this feature can make sure you stay safe when doing so.
What we really liked about this product was its versatility. It’s designed for beginners but still offers more advanced features so that experienced users can reap the rewards. For these reasons, the Smokers 2 in 1 wins our editor’s pick.
Now that you’ve read the best electric smoker, take time read our guide about the best screw gun. You might want to buy one for yourself. Read it here!
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Dean is a freelance copy-editor from Utah, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. His garden is a place to relax after a stressful day of work, have a beer and play in the pool with his girls.