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The Best Electric Smokers of 2023 — Reviews and Buying Guide

If you're looking for an affordable, push-button simple to use smoker, you can't go wrong with electric. If you can use your kitchen oven, you can use an electric smoker. Check out some of the best on the market with our reviews and buying guide.

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Last Updated: January 3, 2023

A rack of ribs on top shelf of an electric smoker with a water pan below

If you’re looking for the best electric smoker, you’re in the right place.

The idea of cooking with electricity may be frowned on by charcoal purists. But, the top electric smokers can deliver tender, smoky food with less effort than other types of smokers.

So below, we’re going to look at how electric smokers work, and examine what features to look for when you decide to go shopping for one.

We make recommendations and review some top models in several categories, from largest to most portable, and from most advanced to some of the more affordable ones for those on a budget.

And of course, we name our top pick, because everybody loves a winner!

Electric Smoker Reviews

After extensive research, we consider the following nine products to be the best electric smokers on the market at various price points, to suit different needs and budgets.

We discuss each model’s features and qualities, and what we and previous owners like and dislike, so you’ll be able to make an informed decision on the smoker best suiting your needs.

Best Overall: SmokinTex Pro Series Residential BBQ Electric Smoker Model 1400

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First things first, don’t let the quality of the SmokinTex website fool you — these people know a lot more about making a quality smoker than they do coding. The Model 1400 is a nicely made, easy-to-use smoker. Even if you’ve never smoked before, you’ll find great value in this mid-size unit.

Just like many of the pricier models out there, the Model 1400 is made of insulated, double-walled stainless steel. This construction style keeps the heat inside where it belongs, allowing the 700-watt heating element to function efficiently no matter the exterior temperature.

The manufacturer claims customers from Alaska have told them it works just as well up there in the winter as it does the summer.

It’s a compact unit and won’t take up much space in your yard. The footprint is 17.5 inches by 21 inches, and it stands just 29 inches high. (SmokinTex sells an optional cart to raise it another 22 inches off the ground.) Maximum capacity is 38 pounds of food, which is nothing to sniff at.

Inside the cook box, you’ll find three stainless steel cooking racks. There are five shelving positions, so you have plenty of options for how you arrange your shelves to suit your needs. Extra shelves are sold separately, so you could go up to five racks at a time.

A single dial at the top of the unit controls your temperature, with a range of 100 to 250°F. That’s a lower top-end than some smokers we’ve seen, but it’s ample for most smoking jobs – including cold smoking with the optional baffle (sold separately).

Smokin Tex 1400 electric smoker being used to cold smoke cheeses

There’s no temperature display or option to connect a meat probe, so you need to provide your own digital smoker probe thermometer.

Also, the overall build quality is not on par with the high-end models in this category; some of the materials are thinner, by and large. But, the build quality is excellent, and the price point is far lower, so the value is absolutely on point with the SmokinTex Model 1400.

Pros

  • 5 rack positions for increased versatility
  • Easy to dial in the temperature
  • Double-wall construction and insulation for enhanced heat retention
  • Budget-friendly price compared to some in this category

Cons

  • Non-programmable controller
  • Smoke vent is not shielded from the elements

We like this smoker for providing a high-value experience for a modest price. The SmokinTex Model 1400 is well suited to beginner, casual, and price-conscious backyard chefs, and is our pick for the electric smoker that is best suited to most people.

Best High-End: Cookshack SM066 AmeriQue Electric Smoker

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Cookshack SM066 AmeriQue Electric Smoker Oven

Thanks to a spot-on combination of features, superior build quality and materials, and of course performance, the Cookshack SM06 AmeriQue Electric Smoker is a can’t-miss purchase for anyone after a premium electric smoker. You’ll reap the rewards of your investment over and over for years to come.

In the name, the capital Q is there to tell you it’s pronounced “Ameri-Cue” — so you can skip the bad French accent. And we’re here to tell you this could be the very best electric smoker we’ve come across. If you’ve ever worried that going electric would be a compromise, you need to read this review.

Behind the unprepossessing exterior of the SM066, there lies an extremely well-engineered smoker.

Standing 40 inches tall (to the top of the digital controller and including the four castors) and occupying a 20.5-inch by 19.5-inch footprint, it holds up to 50 pounds of food.

Inside are four 14 by 18-inch nickel-plated grills for a combined 1,008 square inches of cooking space. The rack heights are not adjustable, but you can remove them as needed for extra clearance.

The 1000 watt heating element can be set from 140 to 300°F with the digital controller. You can also set a timer and target temperature, and they’ve included a single meat temperature probe to monitor your cook.

One fabulous feature of the digital controller is the auto-hold capability; when your meat reaches the target you’ve set, the temperature drops to 140°F. This will keep it warm inside for up to 6 hours, so no more panicking if you missed the timer.

It will hold that temperature nicely (or any temperature), too, thanks to the superior double-walled stainless steel construction and Spin-Glas Insulation. In fact, it keeps the heat inside so well that you can put your hand on the outside safely while cooking. Combine this with the door latch, and you’ve got a child-friendly smoker — perfect for family events.

Clean-up is simple, thanks to a removable stainless steel drip pan underneath the cooker. And a stainless tent over the wood box should prevent drippings from ending up on your wood.

The wood box slides out easily to load and reload with chunks. You won’t reload often, though; fuel consumption is advertised as a stingy 1 ounce per 10 pounds of meat.

Pros

  • Double walls and insulation for excellent heat retention
  • Auto-hold feature to keep cooked food warm
  • Programmable digital controller
  • Meat probe included
  • Child-safe with latching door and cool exterior

Cons

  • Only supports one meat probe
  • Steeply priced

If the SM066 seems a little large for your needs, Cookshack offers two similar but smaller models.

The SM045 Supersmoker offers most of the same features, including the meat probe and double-wall construction, in a smaller size. You’ll enjoy 756 square inches of cooking space divided over three racks and a capacity of 35 pounds. However, you give up the temperature feature.

Smaller again is the SM025 Smokette Elite, featuring two racks combining for 504 square inches, with a 25-pound capacity. Once again, a meat probe is included, and the construction is precisely the same quality as the big units.

Budget Pick: Masterbuilt MB20071117 30-Inch Electric Digital Smoker

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Known for an extensive, varied, and respected product range in this niche, you cannot discuss electric smokers without mentioning Masterbuilt. It’s the product on which they built their brand, so naturally, they appear high in our list of the top-rated electric smokers.

This Masterbuilt digital electric smoker is one of their older models, available in three colors — black, silver, and stainless steel — and is a classic and bestselling favorite of many. It’s a good smoker for beginners.

If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

This is a 30” tall, powder-coated steel vertical cabinet style backyard smoker that won’t take up much space in your yard while providing delicious smoked treats with its easy cooking process.

It has an 800-watt heating element to power the cooking chamber with its 730 square inches of cooking space spread over four chrome-plated cooking racks.

Two photos of Masterbuilt electric smoker during cooking ribs and spatchcock chicken

It can reach internal temperatures between 100 and 275 F, the perfect range for all kinds of smoking, from delicate fish and vegetables at the low-end to briskets and ribs at the higher end.

There’s a dual-purpose removable pan that slips inside, acting as both a water pan to add moisture to the cook and as a drip to collect fats as they fall.

Zoomed in shot of the water and drip pans in bottom of an electric smoker

This drip tray makes it easy to clean. Pull it out and soap it down. If you’ve ever used a smoker without a pan to collect drippings, you know how grim it can be as it accumulates over time and how hard it can be to clean once it’s baked on!

On the top of this unit, you find a damper to help you regulate airflow for increased or reduced smokiness of your food, and a push button control panel with an easy-to-read, lit, digital LED display.

Overhead view of Masterbuilt electric smoker with vent open

This display shows cooking temperatures and times set with the digital control panel pushbuttons. With both programmable temperature control and cooking time, it’s simple to operate with no learning curve.

Wood chips can be conveniently added through a side loader during your cook, you don’t have to open the door to add more smoke, losing heat, and you avoid all the issues of: “if you’re lookin’, you ain’t cookin!”

Wood chips being placed into the side of an electric smoker

Overall, this Masterbuilt electric smoker has a great mix of build quality, effective cooking process, ease of use, and all at a great price point. Yes, better models exist if you’re willing to pay the premium price, and there’s some in this guide, but you cannot go wrong with this product for a balance of greatness and price.

You can see below this smoker when I bought it new some 18 months ago, followed by how it looks today after a fair bit of use…and it still works as good as new!

When new:  Me and my new Masterbuilt electric smoker

After a solid 18 months of use:

My well used Masterbuilt 30 electric smoker, at about 18 months old

All in all, the quality, ease of use and price point earns it our top pick for the best cheap electric smoker for the money.

Pros

  • Well-built from durable materials. Will stand up to the rigors of being permanently outdoors.
  • Build quality means it’s well insulated for efficient heat retention.
  • Adjustable-top vent allows control of smoke levels and flavor.
  • Easy to use 24-hour timer and digital programmable temperature control panel.
  • Adjustable rack system makes for flexible cooking options and makes it easy to clean.

Cons

  • Lack of a meat thermometer probe, which many models do have these days, (Though there are many affordable 3rd party wireless meat thermometers available .)
  • 800W heating element not the most powerful on the market, so can take a while to heat up. However, it’s more than sufficient for successful cooking.
  • At 90-days, a longer warranty would be good.

For an in-depth study of this model, please see our full review of the Masterbuilt 30 digital smoker.

Best High Capacity: Bradley Smoker Digital 6-Rack Electric Smoker

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Bradley is a famous name in the barbecue industry, and this digital electric smoker is the largest, and one of the pricier ones, in this review.

This 17” W x 14” D x 39” H, 60-pound smoker has a powdered epoxy steel exterior and a polished stainless steel interior.

Six removable chrome plated smoking racks make up the 780 square inches of cooking space.

This model features separate burners for smoking and oven; 125 and 500 watts each. Combined they are capable of generating cooking temperatures up to 280 °F.

It features a digital control panel to manage temperature control and the amount of smoke. A pellet feeder attaches to the side of the smoker for feeding the right amount of fuel, and an alarm sounds if the feeder jams. Once the jam is cleared, power has to be reset.

It’s easy to assemble and use. You need only insert the cooking racks and connect the smoke generator.

Wood pellets burn for 20 minutes on average, but with the automatic feeder, this unit is capable of generating smoke for up to 8 hours. The manufacturer recommends a 20-minute preheat time.

One of the best electric smokers if you’re looking for huge cooking capacity above all else. But you’d be better off with a different pick if you will not be cooking large quantities of food because some of the other smokers in this list have better heating elements, comparably simple set it and forget it controls and would be better options for you.

The many cons have easy remedies, so there’s little to put you off buying this if capacity is what you need, making this our pick for the best large electric smoker.

Pros

  • The sheer size of this unit means it can cook for a huge crowd.
  • 6 cooking racks provide incredibly flexible cooking options. There isn’t a cut you can’t fit inside this smoker — except maybe whole animals!
  • Easy to operate, with push-button start, stop, timer and temperature control settings. It couldn’t be simpler.
  • Bradley provides 9 different flavor woods for their bisquettes. A good variety of flavors.
  • Dishwasher safe racks, drip pan, and bowl.

Cons

  • Heating elements aren’t exactly powerful, particularly for a smoker of this size.
  • Because it’s so tall, a temperature gradient exists from top to bottom with the bottom nearer the heating elements being hotter. Rotating the racks is necessary for a more even cooking experience.
  • Max of 9-hr 40-min timer, so has to be reset for long smokes.

Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker 17202004

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Char-Broil’s ‘Deluxe’ front controller electric smoker is a desirable looking, well-built stainless steel electric smoker with many features making the smoking process as easy and hands-free as possible.

This is a straightforward, easy-to-use smoker, with many thoughtful features to make smoking a breeze. From setting up (it’s pre-assembled), through use (it’s plug n play), and at the end of it all, cleaning (removable grates, water tray, and drip pan), this barbecue is simplicity at it’s finest.

At a shade over 50 lbs in weight, and 18.1” W x 16.5” D x 32.5” H, it stands just shy of 3 feet. It’s a medium-sized unit, with 4x chrome plated cooking grates offering a respectable 725 square inches of grate area and cooking space.

If that’s not sufficient, there is a larger model with all the same specs and features but with a whopping 1000 sq in of cooking surface area.

Onto some of the features and tech:

This smoker has an integrated digital controller on top, providing push-button control of temperature and time, and an easy-to-read LED display.

It has an integrated thermometer meat probe to monitor meat’s internal temperature that tells you scientifically when your cook is finished. No guessing by look and feel. But that’s not all…

It comes with a remote control, allowing you to see the pit and meat temperatures remotely and provide a means to change temperature, set a timer, and turn the unit on and off. This means you can monitor and control your cook while sitting enjoying time with guests instead of having to keep tending to the smoker.

To round of the feature set, it has a glass door for you to see what’s going on with your cook without opening the door. It has wheels for portability, a large wood chip box providing up to 8 hours of smoke, and a removable water tray and drip pans for easy cleaning.

All in all, this is an excellent bit of kit.

Pros

  • Large and flexible cooking space can accommodate any traditional cut of meat.
  • Easy to use, intuitive digital controller makes setting cooks up a breeze.
  • Integrated meat thermometer probe saves on buying one 3rd party!
  • Remote monitoring and control mean you get to spend more time with guests.
  • Larger than average wood chip box compared to most, provides up to 8 hours of smoke without a top-up.
  • Desirable, dual-tone black and stainless steel look with a glass door. Not many smokers look this pleasing.

Cons

  • It’s not wholly waterproof, so you need to place it undercover in the rain.
  • Some have complained about a limited range for the remote control, particularly if inside and the signal must go through walls. However, the unit is maneuverable, so you can move it to the closest window, and it’ll be good from there.

Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker

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I’ll admit I’m a stainless-steel snob. I love that clean, surgical look and in my experience, it’s durable, and stainless steel cookware is known for its ability to turn out flavorful food without the need for a lot of water or oil.

So naturally, this 100-percent 18-gauge SS Model 2 smoker immediately had my attention. I’ll try to be objective here.

This 114-pound 24 x 30 x 22 inches behemoth glides on four 3-inch rubber caster wheels and comes fully assembled. A hanger on the back of the unit provides a neat way to store the 12-foot power cord when not in use. A handle on either side offers a convenient grip when moving the unit.

It’s the only smoker in this review with a double-latch closure on the door. While some intrepid owners report adding extra latches or replacing the existing one on some other models, the Model 2 has solid latches ensuring the door closes tightly, leading to an enhanced smoking experience.

The four SS cooking racks hold up to 35 pounds of food on a 841 sq. In cooking surface.

The 800-watt heating element manages a temperature range of 100 to 250 °F, while fiberglass insulation holds in heat and keeps the exterior from heating up.

If this sounds like more than a casual smoker would need, the Model 2 is certified for professional restaurant use. And it’s one of the few models in this review to have a drip pan underneath the unit.

The weight, material, design, and cost show this is a model for those who are serious about smoking.

You can pack a whole of meat to smoke in this tidy little unit. It’s intuitive and straightforward to use, and with build materials and construction made to last. What’s not to like?

Pros

  • It has a relatively large capacity for such a small footprint.
  • Easy start-up and operation.
  • 100% stainless steel construction.
  • No gaskets to wear out and need replacing.
  • An extra-long power cord — which many competing products fail at!
  • Configurable shelf positions, so you can cook food of varying heights
  • Dishwasher safe, removable water and drip pans making cleaning simple.
  • 3-year warranty — the longest of any model in this list.
  • Finally, being certified for pro restaurant use makes this the top pick for commercial use.

Cons

  • You could argue thermostat is placed too close to the heating element, instead of up near where the food is.
  • We prefer digital controls to analog, but this does keep the cost down and means fewer things can break or go wrong.
  • It’s very low to the ground without purchasing a cart as an accessory. All the bending down can be a pain. Literally.

You can learn more about this compact unit in our smokin-it model 2 review.

What to Consider When Buying

An electric smoker being seasoned, with smoke coming out the top

Electric smokers are known for their simplicity and ability to produce quality smoked meat without any steep learning curve, being a huge selling point for the beginner smoker. Never considered to be the best type of smoker, they are doubtless effective and easy.

But being easy-to-use doesn’t mean they should be featureless. There are qualities making some models stand out against the crowd and worthy of increased recommendation.

This buying guide should help you better make sense of which model is right for you, by focusing on the importance of various features you can find when buying. Let’s take a look.

The Most Important Factor is Size and Capacity

Many models are tall, but not so wide. However, you don’t stack meat up on end to smoke it, you lay it flat. So when looking at different models, make sure if they’re wide enough for you to place in the foods you intend to smoke.

Will you be smoking ribs? They’re a good 16 inches wide. How about a full packer brisket? They can be a good 18 to 24 inches.

Make sure the model you choose can hold something of this size. A minimum 16 inches wide is what you need to smoke ribs, chickens, turkeys and everything but brisket. Though you can separate brisket into the point and flat, then smoke it in 2 halves.

Performance and Effectiveness

Many factors determine performance, but the key one is power. Power determines how long it takes to get up to temperature, how long the smoker can sustain it, and how much food can be handled at one time.

Wattage ranges between 500 and 1500 watts, with the best electric smokers being 800 watts as it’s the sweet spot and best compromise between capable, yet not power-hungry and costly to run.

Be aware that the lower the wattage, the longer a unit will take to come up to temp before you can cook. You should be willing to accept 30 to 45 minutes to come up to temp. This is the norm and a standard many aim for.

Ease of Use, Features and Provided Instructions

Loading wood chips through the side of a Masterbuilt electric smoker
Look for features that add to ease of use. After all, that’s what electric smokers are all about!

Features and clear instructions on use can impact any product’s usefulness, especially if the smoker has to be assembled. Clear wording and pictures are a must. But comprehensive instructions aren’t a deal-breaker with many resources to be found online, but it is a consideration for some people.

Other important information can include using automated or easy to access wood chip feeders, replenishing water; electrical capacity; use of vents; and setting digital timer, temperature, and smoke-level settings.

People look toward electric smokers for their ease of use. They want plug n play, set and forget it functionality that produces wonderfully smoky flavored foods. Therefore, ease of use should be a determining factor in the buying journey.

Temperature Stability

Many electric smokers come with temperature probes, and some have wireless thermostats enabling you to monitor the temp on your smartphone. These are great features to know your cooker’s temp and monitor the temperature of your food, ensuring everything goes smoothly until your desired cooks’ doneness’ is achieved.

Depending on the construction, be aware that the following can impact the stability of the temperature:

  • Power rating (watts) — ability to reach and sustain a temperature; how long it takes to recover from a temperature drop caused by opening the door.
  • External temperatures — especially dependent on the density of metal the smoker is made from. Judge it by overall weight.
  • Type of insulation — governs how well internal temps are held and protection from outside weather conditions (wind, rain, ambient temperature changes, etc.)
  • Seal integrity of doors — and window, if one is present.

With many cheaper models, users complain of the inability to hold a good smoking temperature of 225 to 250 F once the weather hits freezing or lower. So pay attention to design features aimed at temperature stability.

Ease of Cleaning

How hard (or easy) to clean your equipment is important because it can affect a product’s longevity and the enjoyment you get from it. Especially dealing with water, components can rust if not seasoned and cleaned after use.

And realistically, if you know you’ll be a long time scrubbing, scraping, and wiping, your smoker isn’t going to get the use it otherwise might.

So look for easy to clean products…and keep in mind that some on this list have dishwasher friendly components. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Drip and Water Pan Quality

Zoomed in shot of the water and drip pans in bottom of an electric smoker

Water pans can seem a simple thing, but those provided with some smokers can be remarkably inadequate.

Some cooks will purchase a roasting pan or use disposable aluminum baking pans to capture drippings and be deeper to reduce the number of times water has to be added.

However, the smokers featured in this guide have done a great job with their water and drip pans. Made to fit, easy access and cleaning, you shouldn’t have to let this factor into your decisions.

Does Portability Matter to You?

This may not be a concern if you decide to dedicate a spot in the yard or patio for your smoker. If not, you’ll want to be able to move it from storage to cooking spot with ease (which can vary depending on weather and yard logistics).

Look for sturdy handles for picking up the smoker or, even better, hefty wheels to provide maneuverability without heavy lifting.

Build Materials, Durability, and Longevity

The materials used in the construction can dictate how well it can hold an optimal temperature and overall durability.

Commonly, the materials used for the body are:

  • Powdered steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum

Stainless steel and Aluminum have better rust-resistance and should last a lot longer.

The grates that hold your food can be:

  • Chrome plated
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless steel racks

Stainless steel racks will have the best longevity, but it comes at a pretty price. Chrome-plated are more common as they’re easy to clean and long-lasting enough to be a good balance of cost and longevity.

When it comes to durability and longevity, how long an item lasts is a sensible consideration when spending a few hundred dollars.

The warranty period can give a general idea of how long you can expect to enjoy your smoker. If a brand stands by their product with a longer warranty, that’s a good sign. You can read existing owners reviews on Amazon and other retailers sites to see what previous owners say about longevity.

Warranty

This may matter a lot or a little, depending on how many things can go wrong with your smoker. Automated wood chip feeders, rheostats — the more and relatively complicated the parts, the more things can break or go wrong.

Some manufacturers will go beyond the standard one-year warranty. Some may offer extendable contracts which you may consider worthwhile based on how much you invested and how often you will use your new cooker.

FAQs

How do Electric Smokers Work?

You can pretty much equate them to your kitchen oven.

Whereas many smokers burn solid fuel or gas, and have their temperature controlled by intake and exhaust vents that control airflow, electric smokers simply have an electronically controlled, electric heating element.

On the outside, you have a controller on which you set the desired temperature. On the inside in the base sits the heating element, which heats up until turning off as the desired cooking temperature is reached.

This is all done electronically, with no input required from the cook. No fires to manage, no vents to control. Though there are usually one or two vents, they are purely to allow smoke to flow, not to control temperature.

Once an electric smoker reaches the desired cooking temp, it’s a simple case of turning on the heating element if the temperature drops and turning it off when it’s back to temp. As I said, exactly like your kitchen oven!

To generate smoke, sitting on top of the heating element will be a wood chip tray. The wood chips get heated by the element until they smolder and produce smoke. The wood chips do not burn with a flame, they smolder. They aren’t to provide heat, they are for adding smoke only.


How do Electric Smokers Compare to Gas and Charcoal Smokers?

They differ quite wildly, but there are some good reasons to buy an electric smoker.

They have a lot more technology compared to basic charcoal or gas models. This is both a benefit and a disadvantage.

The technology makes them by far the easiest of all types to use, but it means more that can break and go wrong. A charcoal grill may last for decades. An electric smoker will last only a few years with consistent use or at least need parts replacing.

When it comes to the food produced, which is best is a personal thing. Most people will say you cannot beat the flavor from cooking with charcoal. But it does come with more learning to do, and more managing of the cooker to produce food. You can learn about the differences in our guide to electric vs charcoal smokers, and in the following guide can pick up some electric smoker tips.

If you want a low maintenance and push-button easy operation, go electric. If you want max flavor, go charcoal.

And where do gas smokers fit in? Somewhere in the middle.

They tend to produce a similar end product to electric without being tethered to an electricity line, though you have to make sure you have a ready gas supply. Check out electric vs gas smokers for a comparison between them.


Is a Pellet Smoker Better than an Electric Smoker? Aren’t they Similar?

Although both require electricity to run, they are different beasts and produce food with different flavor profiles.

In an electric smoker, the heat is produced with electricity, and wood chips are there only to provide smoke for added flavor.

In a pellet smoker, the electricity is there only to ignite the wood pellets. The burning wood pellets flame provides both the heat to cook with and the smoke for flavor.

This results in the smoky flavor from a pellet grill being stronger and more defined.

They are entirely different types of cookers. You can learn more in our guide to pellet smokers.


How Does an Electric Smoker Produce Smoke With no Flames?

We don’t want a roaring flame from our wood during smoking, we want a gentle smolder. The smoldering produces smoke. If fully alight, almost no smoke is generated from properly dried, burning wood with a flame.

In an electric smoker, a wood chip tray sits at the cooking chamber’s bottom, just above the heating element. This tray gets hot enough to cause the wood chips to smolder, but not to fully combust and produce a flame. And hence smoke is created.


How Much Wood Chips Do They Burn Through? Does this Get Expensive?

I cannot put an exact figure on this as it will vary, but it’s less than you might think or fear.

The wood chips are to provide smoke only, they aren’t for providing heat. You only need a handful or two at the start of the cook to provide smoke for anything from 1 to 6 hours, depending on the model of smoker you have, the heat you cook at, and the capacity of the wood chip tray.

Also, once food exceeds 145 degrees Fahrenheit, it stops taking on smoke, so you do not use wood chips for the entire cook, only at the start.

Learn more in our article looking at wood chips and electric smokers.


How Hot do Electric Smokers Get?

Most only get up to about 275 F at the high-end, though some can go as high as 350 F.

Generally speaking, they work between 200F and 275 F for most models. Hot enough for low n slow smoking, which is the purpose they are made for.


Can You Use an Electric Smoker Indoors?

No. It is a smoker, and you do not want and cannot have one in your house! It will choke you out.

OK, that’s a bit simplistic. You could install a commercial-style extractor to remove the smoke generated, but this will be a huge expense and a significant addition to your kitchen.

Or I guess you could use it inside without adding any wood chips so it makes no smoke? But then, why get such a smoker? It will be like your typical kitchen oven.

So no, don’t use it inside. It’s for outdoor use only.


Do You Need to Season a New Electric Smoker?

You do, yes. All new smokers should be seasoned before first use, to burn off oils and contaminants from the manufacturing process.

You will find that all manufacturers have instructions on this written in their manuals. And we have a guide which you can find here: How to season an electric smoker.


Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to be said for electric smokers! They produce tender, smoky goodness without a lot of fuss or effort. Ultimate simplicity.

Of the 9 products reviewed in this list, and snobbery aside, the Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Digital Smoker is our top choice.

It’s sturdy, simple to use, has a wealth of useful design features, is well-insulated, easy to clean, and is backed up with great customer support. And it looks impressive.

Perhaps you’ll find another model more suited to your taste, but the Masterbuilt is an investment worth making for us.

What’s your experience with electric smokers? Do you have anything to add to the above, or a question or two you’d like answered? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section and will answer every one!

Here’s to years of electrically powered, smoky flavor and goodness!

I'm a self-proclaimed BBQ nut, and the founder and chief editor here at Food Fire Friends.

I love cooking outdoors over live fire and smoke whatever the weather, using various grills, smokers, and wood-fired ovens to produce epic food. My goal with this site is to help as many people as possible enjoy and be good at doing the same.

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13 Comments

  1. Avatar for Rob Carrey Rob Carrey says:

    I bought Masterbuilt 30 from this list and after seeing it recommended in others. The one annoyance I get is that smoke lasts about an hour, so I have to continue to recharge with chips. Otherwise, yes, it’s fantastic!

    1. Avatar for Mark Jenner Mark Jenner says:

      Hi Rob,

      Sorry to hear you’re frustrated. It’s a common complaint, actually. Not limited to the Masterbuilt range, but for many electric smokers. The majority of people replace the chip tray, or buy a 3rd party smokebox to solve the problem.

      I not long ago discussed the very issue you’ve raised in my article: How often to add wood chips to an electric smoker. Please head over to that article and check out the AMAZE-N smoke tray, it will solve your issues.

  2. Avatar for Toney Rose Toney Rose says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me to decide.

    1. Avatar for Mark Jenner Mark Jenner says:

      No worries! Which did you choose?

  3. Avatar for James brown James brown says:

    I need the best electric smoker, so can anyone here help me?

    1. Avatar for Mark Jenner Mark Jenner says:

      Hi James,

      They are listed in the article above. 🙂

  4. I don’t know about the other brands but Masterbuilt is garbage. I smoke meats a few times a week Masterbuilt smokers last 3 – 6 months before they break.

    1. Mark Jenner says:

      Mine is still going strong, and I’ve not had any issues. It’s only 4 months old or so now, and I’ve not used it often though, so time will tell.

      Something to keep in mind though, something I learned from many years working in manufacturing:

      With any popular product with many, many sales, there’s always going to be a few problems and failures, regardless of your quality control practices. That’s with ANY product! From a smartphone, to a sewing machine, an electric drill to a CCTV camera: If you sell enough, a small number will have issues.

      And the nature of the beast is that the people who have had issues are mostly the only ones to be highly vocal and shout about it on social media and in forums.

      If two companies each have a 1% failure rate, and company A sells 5,000 units, and company B sells 100,000 units, it will look like company B has huge issues because they have 1,000 people with issues, company A has 50 people with issues, so there are going to be more people on social and in forums complaining about company B.

  5. Avatar for Gary Kauf Gary Kauf says:

    Need more suggestions to buy the best electric grill. Can you please suggest the chosen one?

    1. Mark Jenner says:

      Hi Gary,

      Smoker or grill? If a smoker, then the suggestions and advice are above. If a grill, do you mean a flat top griddle type, or a George Foreman type of grill?

  6. Hi Hope You are good!

    I am looking to buy the best electric smoker for brisket, can you please suggest a good smoker for me?

    1. Mark Jenner says:

      Hi John,

      They are listed in the article above. Just be mindful of the ‘width’ of the smoker, to make sure it can accommodate a full brisket, and then you’re good to go.

  7. Thank you for giving these products a fair review. It’s refreshing not to notice a bias toward a product just because you’re a representative for it.