Best Electric Smokers in 2020 – With Reviews and Buying Guide

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In this article, we’re going to take a look at the best electric smokers on the market in 2020.

Do you love smoked foods but shy away from the very idea of making your own? It can seem like a specialty cooking method, something that requires a lot of time and culinary expertise, not to mention fire management, wood types and quantities, and more.

But it really can be quite simple, especially if you use an electric smoker.

The idea may be frowned on by charcoal purists, but the best electric smokers are capable of delivering tender, smoky food with a lot less time and effort than a gas or charcoal model.

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

We also make recommendations and review some of the top models in several categories, from largest to most portable, 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!

At a Glance: Our Recommended Top Picks

PHOTO PRODUCT PROPERTIES
Our Top Pick
Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller
Our Top Pick
Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller
  • Large 730 square inches of cooking space
  • Top mounted digital controller for easy access
  • Thermostatically controlled tempature and timer
  • Push button ease of use
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Great Value
Smoke Hollow 26142E  26-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control
Great Value
Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control
  • 36.5" x 19" x 16.5" and 1.3 cubic feet of cooking space
  • Two variable height, chrome plated cooking grates
  • Porcelain coated chip and water pans for durability
  • Great mix of performance and price!
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Premium Pick
Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller, 30-Inch
Premium Pick
Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller
  • 730 square inches of cooking surface
  • Easy access drip pan and wood chip loader
  • Internal light and included meat temperature probe
  • Superior build quality
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Best Portable
Masterbuilt MB20073716 Patio-2-Portable Electric Smoker, Black
Best Portable
Masterbuilt MB20073716 Patio-2-Portable Electric Smoker, Black
  • Small and light at 22 lbs
  • Compact, with foldaway legs for travel
  • Despit size, can still hold 4x chickens or 2x racks of ribs
  • Easy to set up, use and clean
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Best Large
Bradley Smoker BTDS108P 990223 Bradley Digital 6 Rack Smoker, 11.50' L x 33' H x 15' W, Silver
Best Large
Bradley Smoker BTDS108P 990223 Bradley Digital 6 Rack Smoker
  • 6 racks for HUGE amount of cooking space
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Fully digitally controlled
  • Removable ash catcher for hassle free cleaning
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Most Advanced
Masterbuilt MB20073519 MES 130P Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker, Black
Most Advanced
Masterbuilt MB20073519 MES 130P Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker
  • Bluetooth control and monitoring from smartphone
  • Built in meat thermometer probe
  • Top monuted digital controller
  • 4 levels of cooking racks
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Recommended
Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 725 Square Inch
Recommended
Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 725 Square Inch
  • 725 sg in cooking surface with 4 adjustable grates
  • Built in meat thermometer probe
  • Integrated and remote monitoring and control
  • Impressive looks and build quality
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Recommended
Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker
Recommended
Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker
  • 505 square inches of cooking space
  • 3 adjustable cast iron cooking grates
  • Double insulated for stable cooking temps
  • Easy clean ash pan and grease cup
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Recommended
Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker
Recommended
Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker
  • Up to 35lbs of meat cooking capacity
  • NSF certified heating element for restaurant use
  • Truly built with durability and longevity in mind
  • 4 casters for ease of moving it around
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Best Electric Smoker Reviews

After extensive research, we consider the following 10 smokers to be the best available on the market at various price points, to suit all uses and budgets.

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

Best All Around Electric Smoker – Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Digital Smoker

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller

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 in our list of the top rated electric smokers.

This Masterbuilt 20070910 is one of their older models, is available in three colors – black, silver, and stainless steel – a classic and still a best selling favorite of many. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

This is a 30″ tall, powder-coated steel vertical cabinet style electric 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 that can power the cabinet shaped cooking chamber with its 730 sq. in. of cooking surface to 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.

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

This display shows cooking temperatures and times that you set with the digital control panel push buttons, with both programmable temperature and cooking time, making it incredibly simple to operate with almost no learning curve.

Wood chips can be conveniently added through a side loader, so you don’t have to open the door to add more smoke…avoiding all the issues of: ‘if you’re lookin’, you ain’t cookin!’

When you open the door, heat escapes and lengthens the cooking time.

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.

This drip pan makes it incredibly easy to clean. Just 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!

Specifications and Important Features

  • Dimensions: 20 x 17 x 33.5 inches
  • Capacity: 730 square inches of cooking space
  • Cooking racks: 4 chrome plated
  • Temperature range: 100 – 275 deg F
  • Weight: 45.86 lbs
  • Build materials: Steel
  • Controller: 24-hour digital timer and controller
  • Digital control panel
  • Water Bowl, drip pan, wood chip loader and grease tray
  • Adjustable screw leg (pre-assembled)
  • Air Vent 
  • 90 day warranty

What We Like

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller

I like that it’s well built, from durable materials, and hence will be able to stand up to the rigors of being permanently outdoors (though I always recommend a cover when not in use, being an electrical item!)

The build quality also means it’s well insulated for efficient heat retention.

I like the adjustable top vent that allows control of the smoke levels in the cooking chamber, and also the very easy to use 24-hour timer and digital programmable temperature control panel, which makes use a breeze.

The adjustable rack system makes for flexible cooking options, as well as making it easy to clean.

What We Don’t Like

The lack of a meat thermometer probe to monitor the internal temperature of meat, and which many models do have these days, can be seen as the loss of a point.

But there are many wireless meat thermometers available for a reasonable price these days, and not including one as standard helps keep the cost down for those who don’t want or need one.

I must say the heating element, at only 800W is not the most powerful on the market, so this unit can take a while to heat up. However, it’s more than sufficient to generate the heat and smoke required for a successful cook, and also helps to keep ongoing energy costs down!

Finally, I feel the warranty should be longer?! At just 90 days, it doesn’t scream ‘we back our products!’ But many people are owners, and the vast majority seem very happy, so it shouldn’t matter.

Is this the Right Model for You?

It is if you want a simple looking but functionally effective smoker that will provide an easy introduction into the world of smoking.

It’s also good if you’re the type who wants to open the box and get cooking right away, with almost nothing to learn, nothing to manage during a cook, almost like a set-it-and-forget-it outdoor oven that adds a delicious smoky flavor.

Being a good medium size smoker, this also suits small families who want the ability to sometimes cook for large crowds. It’s small enough to be efficient for occasional use feeding 2 to 4, but can also be loaded up to feed a crowd of 20+ at a BBQ.

Another model suit you though if you only cook for yourself or as a couple, as then you might be better off with a smaller model that is more energy-efficient. Also, if you’re a technology buff, there are more feature-packed options later in this guide. This is a simple unit, no bells and whistles, but effective.

Finally, if you like to see your food as it cooks, many models come with a glass door which may be more preferable options for you.

Summing Up

This is a great, few frills, effective, ‘does what it says on the tin’ smoker, and it does it well. A great smoker for beginners and seasoned pros alike.

This Masterbuilt electric smoker has a great mix of build quality, effective cooking process, ease of use, and all at a great price point makes this our top pick for the best electric smoker for the money.

Yes, there are better models out there if you are willing to pay the premium price, there’s even some in this guide, but for a balance of greatness and price, you really cannot go wrong with this product.

 

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Note:For a more in-depth study at this model, please see our our full review of the Masterbuilt 30 digital smoker here.

Best Value Electric Smoker – Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-Inch

Smoke Hollow 26142E  26-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control

Compact but functional best describes this steel smoker.

It stands 35.5 x 19 x 16.5 and weighs just under 40 pounds. The 26-inch refers to the height of the cooking space, not the width; this limited interior space may not appeal to some as it may require halving large pieces of meat.

Powered by a very capable 1500 watt heating element, the 26142E generates heat and smoke with ease and has a working temperature range of 150 to 250°F.

It comes with two chrome-plated grids, 4 sturdy-looking legs and a single-latch, cool-touch door handle.

It has an adjustable analog temperature control, and a porcelain-coated water pan and chip tray. An extension cord is also provided.

Specifications and Important Features

  • Cooking capacity: 1.3 cu.Ft.
  • Dimensions: 16.5″ x 19″ x 16.5″
  • Temperature range: 175 to 325 F
  • 2x cooking grids and supports
  • 1500-watt heating element with fully adjustable temperature control
  • 2x adjustable height chrome-plated cooking grids
  • Integrated thermometer
  • Door latch kit, side handles and cool-touch spring wire door handle
  • Porcelain-coated water pan and chip tray
  • Damper / smoke vent
  • Grease pan
  • 1 year limited warranty

What We Like

Smoke Hollow 26142E  26-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control

Great directions for assembly in the manual so you can be up and running in short time.

We also like the powerful heating element for what is essentially a smaller unit, so it gets up to temperature very quickly and stays there.

Finally, ease of use is up there with the simplest (hmmm, I think we might become repetitive with this as ALL electric smokers are simple to use!)

What We Don’t Like

The lack of a catch pan, which can lead to grease leaking out. Something to keep in mind if you don’t want to stain your patio!

Because of the narrowness of the cooking space, you would have to slice very large cuts in half, such as a whole packer brisket

Is this the Right Model for You?

This should be your pick if you want to smoke on a budget, are happy to accept that it’s an entry-level model, and not a premium best of the best product. However, it works well!

Another model may be better suited if you’re looking for something a little more ‘premium’ or advanced, or if you want a smoker capable of accommodating whole packer briskets without having to halve them.

However, there are still some affordable smokers with larger cooking capacities, some of which you can find in our guide to the best electric smokers under $200.

Summing up

Affordability seems to be the strongest strongest suit of this BBQ. Concerns over the power can be remedied by following the guidance set out in the user manual.

If the Smoke Hollow sounds like it could be your new smoker, you can read more in our Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker review, or take a closer look and see prices at Amazon:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Best High End Electric Smoker – Masterbuilt 20077515 with Window and RF Controller

Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller, 30-Inch

Another entry from Masterbuilt in this list, the 20077515 is arguably the most ‘premium’ smoker we feature, with the highest build quality, an extensive feature list…and a price to match.

You must have recognized by now that electric smokers pretty much all do the same thing? Well, this one stands out with the addition of an RF remote monitoring and control system.

The RF control panel allows you to monitor and control the smoker temp, meat temp, internal light, and turn the unit on and off, from a short distance away, so you are no longer tied to the smoker.

Unlike many smokers on the market, it also comes with a meat probe so you can monitor the cooking temperatures of your meat from afar too.

On top of this unit is a blue-lit LED digital display with a digital control panel you use to set up temperatures and the cooking time.

On the inside are 4 adjustable chrome-plated cooking plates that offer flexibility for height and configuration of different smoking foods, and providing 730 sq. in. cooking area.

This unit has foam insulation to ensure it holds heat well, with a lockable door and viewing window so you can see your meat smoking.

There is a removable, front access drip pan making grease removal and clean up a cinch once you’ve finished cooking.

Wood chips can be added with ease through a convenient side-loading system, meaning no need to open the smoker door just to refill with chips and add more smoke to the cooking process.

Finally, there are side and top vents provided, so you have complete control over airflow and smoke generation, plus a rear handle and wheels making it easily portable for you to move it just where you want to cook in your yard, and easy to move into storage.

Specifications and Important Features

  • Dimensions: 20.3” x 19.7” x 32.1”
  • Weight (lbs.): 53.35 lbs
  • Capacity: 730 square inches of cooking space
  • No. of cooking grates: 4x Chrome coated
  • Temperature range: 275 degrees Fahrenheit max
  • 800-watt electric heating element
  • Control panel with Blue lit LED display for easy reading, even in direct sunlight.
  • RF remote controller to control and monitor the smoker from a distance.
  • Fully foam insulated to prevent heat loss
  • Integrated meat thermometer probe
  • Drip pan, drip deflector, water bowl, grease tray and bucket
  • Wood tray for chips, housing and loader
  • 2x adjustable screw legs, 2x front feet and 2x wheels
  • 90 day warranty

What We Like

Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller, 30-Inch

There’s A LOT to like about this unit.

First of all, it’s a very good looking bit of kit, while being spacious and able to cook for a large crowd, while still being maneuverable with the addition of a rear handle and wheels.

The adjustable smoking racks, simplicity of the digital control panel to set the temperature, easy to read blue-lit LED screen, front access drip pan, and side loading wood chips all make this model a joy to use and easy to clean.

The remote RF monitor and control system also means you can watch and manage your cook while away from the smoker.

What We Don’t Like

Our biggest gripe is that the 800W heating element isn’t the most powerful, so the unit can take up to 45 minutes to reach the highest cooking temperatures.

Some owners have also stated that the assembly has many steps and could be easier if it arrived in fewer parts and was more ‘partially assembled’ in the factory.

Is this the Right Model for You?

If you want a high-quality feature-packed electric smoker with a premium feel and features to boot, with ample room to cook for large crowds, this may be the one for you. The unit looks classy, and I’m sure anybody would enjoy owning and producing great smoked food on this unit…if the price tag isn’t off-putting.

Another model might suit you better if you are budget conscious or have little need for such a large cooking space. I can think of no other reasons not to own this smoker, though, if an electric model is your thing.

Summing up

If ‘only the best will do’ and money is no object; if you want to monitor your smokes while not actually being at the smoker; if you want a spacious, efficient, well built and quality electric smoker, then this masterbuilt electric digital smoker just may be the premium model for you.

 

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Best Portable Electric Smoker – Masterbuilt MB20073716

Masterbuilt MB20073716 Patio-2-Portable Electric Smoker, Black

This mini-marvel from Masterbuilt is our favorite portable electric smoker.

Although relatively small, with it’s 2x smoking racks you can easily smoke 4x medium-sized chickens, a couple of racks of ribs, or 2x pork butts which is easily enough to feed a medium gathering.

However, the main appeal of this little cooker is its portability.

At just under 2 feet tall and with folding metal legs, this is a compact unit that folds away into a square shape that is easy to pack inside your trunk, making it the perfect model to take tailgating, camping, or perhaps to store in your RV for road trips.

Basically, you can take and use it anywhere that there’s an electricity supply.

The compact size also makes it an excellent option for small apartment dwellers or those who do not have a lot of space for an outdoor smoker.

Surprisingly, this model comes with a 1,400-Watt heating element, more powerful than many much larger models from the same brand! It enables this smoker to get up to cooking temperature quickly.

On the door, you will find a built-in temperature gauge, and to control the temperature is an analog dial, simply labeled: low, medium and high. As is usually the case with all built-in thermometers on smokers though, it’s not the most accurate.

And somewhat unfortunately, the vague analog temperature controller does mean control isn’t as simple and intuitive as on digital models where you simply key in an exact temp. You will instead have to ‘guesstimate’ the temp with the dial, use a digital thermometer and make fine adjustments after the temp settles to get it to the temperature you want.

The water and wood chip trays sit at the bottom of this smoker, just above the heating element.

They are easy to access, top-up or remove and clean, but you do have to open the door to gain access. This does mean heat will escape if you need to top it up, but this is to be expected in such a small, portable model.

Specifications and Important Features

  • Dimensions: 15.9 x 23.6 x 23.3 inches
  • Cooking space: 280 Sq. In.
  • Cooking racks: 2 chrome plated
  • Temperature range: 100 to 275 deg F MAX
  • Heating element: 1,400 watt
  • Weight: 21.81 lbs
  • Controller: Analog dial, with settings of low, medium and high.
  • Built-in temperature gauge with bezel
  • Folding legs for transport or storage
  • Grease tray, water bowl with supports, wood chip tray
  • Air vent
  • 90 day warranty

What We Like

Masterbuilt MB20073716 Patio-2-Portable Electric Smoker, Black

Most of the desirable, standout features relate to portability, hence it is our pick for the best electric smoker in the portable category.

It is compact and square, great for packing and travel. Small but with a capacity to cook for a crowd, very simple to use with minimal features, and quick and easy to clean

What We Don’t Like

The analog control will need learning as no actual temperature scale is stated, just low, medium, and high. And the 90 day warranty period can be considered somewhat short.

Is this the Right Model for You?

If you want a compact unit to take with you if camping or tailgating, or if you have minimal room in which to place an outdoor cooker, then this really is one of the best portable electric smokers you can find.

But another model might suit you better if you do not intend to take a smoker traveling and instead want a large unit that will stay at home with you.

Summing up

A fantastically compact and straightforward smoker, if it’s something small and simple you desire, you’ll be hard pushed to find better.

This is a great little travel smoker, and if you can get past the lack of features when compared to larger and more advanced units, then you won’t be disappointed with this little beauty.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Best Large Capacity Electric Smoker – Bradley BTDS108P Digital 6 Rack Smoker

Bradley Smoker BTDS108P 990223 Bradley Digital 6 Rack Smoker, 11.50' L x 33' H x 15' W, Silver

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

This 11.50″ L x 33″ H x 15″ W 60-pound smoker has a powdered epoxy steel exterior and a polished stainless steel interior. Six removable smoking racks are in the 780-square inch cooking space.

This Bradley features separate burners for smoking and oven; 125 and 500 watts, respectively, and it’s capable of temperatures up to 280°F.

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

Generally, it’s easy to use and easy to put together. You need only insert the racks and connect the smoke generator.

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

Specifications and Important Features

  • Dimensions – With generator on side: 24 ½” W x 14” D x 39 ¾” H
  • Cooking space: 780 Sq. In.
  • Cooking racks: 6 chrome plated
  • Temperature range: 280 deg F max
  • Heating element: 500 watt Cooking Element – 125 watt bisquette burner
  • Weight: 60.5 lbs
  • Controller: Fully digital with LED display.
  • 8 hours of controlled cool smoke
  • Air / smoke vent.
  • Sensor cable, short jumper chord & long power chord
  • Drip tray and  drip bowl
  • Top and lower door hinges for a tight seal
  • 1-year warranty

What We Like

Bradley Smoker BTDS108P 990223 Bradley Digital 6 Rack Smoker, 11.50' L x 33' H x 15' W, Silver

The sheer size of this unit means it can cook for a very large crowd.

6 cooking racks provide incredibly flexible cooking options. There isn’t a cut of meat you cannot fit inside this smoker – except maybe whole animals!

It’s easy to operate, with push-button start, stop, timer and temperature settings. It really couldn’t be simpler.

Bradley provides 9 different flavor woods for their bisquettes, so there are many options for adding different flavor.

Dishwasher safe racks, drip pan, and bowl.

What We Don’t Like

The heating elements aren’t exactly powerful, particularly for a smoker of this size. Some owners report the low wattage proved to be insufficient for smoking when outside temps are in the 30s or below.

As far as workmanship, some owners who use the smoker often have had to replace the heater element after 2 to 3 years, longer for infrequent use. But this is perfectly reasonable and to be expected.

The door seal tends to crumple and even separate from the frame after a time, but these are a ‘perishable item’ and to be expected from most smokers. They are cheap and easy to replace and should be considered ‘normal maintenance.’

Because this unit is so tall, there is a temperature gradient inside the smoker, with the bottom of the unit nearer the heating elements being hotter. Therefore, rotating the racks is necessary for a more even cooking experience.

The timer has a max of 9 hrs 40 min, so has to be reset for long smokes, e.g., 10+ hour pork butt or brisket.

Is this the Right Model for You?

It is if you want a HUGE cooking capacity above all else in an electric smoker. But you’d better off with a different pick if you will rarely, if ever, be cooking large quantities of food.

So unless you know you will smoke meat in large quantities, 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.

Summing Up

The many cons have easy remedies. The popularity of this Bradley is probably because it’s so easy to set up and use. If you’re interested in more details you can check out our more in depth bradley electric smoker review, or check it out along with current pricing by clicking the link below:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Best Technologically Advanced – Masterbuilt MES 130P Bluetooth Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt MB20073519 MES 130P Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker, Black

If, like me, technology is your thing, then you’re going to love this next smoker from Masterbuilt: It has Bluetooth technology, enabling you to monitor and control this smoker from an app on your smartphone!

This means you can smoke meat while you can chill out elsewhere, as long as you are within Bluetooth range, enabling you to socialize with guests, or perhaps put your feet up in front of some sport while smoking food from your phone. What’s not to love about that?

The app allows you to both monitor and adjust the temperature of the smoker, to check on the internal temperature of your meat, and to turn the smoke on and off.

The Masterbuilt MB20073519 MES 130P has 4x adjustable height, chrome-plated smoking racks, which provides enough cooking capacity for, in Masterbuilts own words: “…up to 6 chickens, 2 turkeys, 4 racks of ribs, or 4 pork butts.

If that’s not enough, then there is a 40” model, large enough to smoke “…up to 16 chickens, 2 turkeys, 8 racks of ribs, or 8 pork butts.” That is BIG.

This smoker also has Masterbuilts signature, side-loading wood chip feature, so you do not need to open the smoker to add more chips when you want to generate more smoke.

There is an 800 watt heating element that can bring the cooking chamber up to a respectable 275 degrees fahrenheit, and there are two vents / dampers on the top that allow you to control the flow of smoke around your food.

Specifications and Important Features

  • Dimensions: 19.9 x 20.7 x 33.5 inches
  • Cooking space: 720 Sq. In.
  • Cooking racks: 4 chrome plated
  • Temperature range: 100 – 275 deg F
  • Weight: 61.8 lbs
  • Controller: Bluetooth smart controller
  • Built-in thermometer probe and temperature gauge to measure the internal temperature of meat
  • Removable Wood chip and drip trays for easy clean up and ash removal
  • Water bowl for increased moistness
  • Patented side loading wood chip system
  • Handle and wheels make moving smoker easy
  • 2 air dampers for smoke control
  • 90 day warranty

What we Like

Masterbuilt MB20073519 MES 130P Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker, Black

The standout likable feature for this unit is the smartphone app for monitoring and control, truly bringing the most modern of tech to the world of electric smokers. But of course, first and foremost this is a smoker, and we like it’s essential features and how it performs.

We like the digital, top mounted, push-button controller with lit LED display. We like its large cooking volume, so you can easily cook for a large crowd. The simple side loading of wood chips without having to open the smoker door is a fantastic idea, and its highly insulated cooking chamber for good heat retention, stable cooking temperatures and fuel efficiency is worthy of praise.

The easy access, removable water pan, drip tray and grease collector for easy cleaning are of course going to make regular use less of a chore, and the rear handle and wheels make it easy to move around.

What we Don’t Like

Although a fantastic feature, the Bluetooth range is quite limited. We’d have preferred to see WiFi, as then you could even monitor and control the smoker while away from home.

Again, a 90 day warranty period is somewhat short.

Is this the Right Model for You?

If you want a good-sized, feature-packed, effective smoker with the latest Bluetooth technology, this might be the model for you. And that really is it’s standout feature, the Bluetooth and smartphone app. If this isn’t something you desire, you’d probably be better off with our number one pick above.

This smoker is packed with features that make it easy and fun to use and can cook up a meal for a large crowd, and you don’t have to use the bluetooth. Just be aware you are paying a little extra for it.

Another model might suit you better if you’re a technophobe or would just prefer not to have so much tech integrated into your outdoor smoker. There’s some truth to the fact that the less moving parts or tech there are in a product, the less can break or go wrong. If you’re of that mind, this isn’t the smoker for you.

Summing it up

This is a great little electric smoker, with many features making it easy to use, with a very generous cooking capacity making ti very versatile.

Electric smokers are all about being plug n play, and that’s what you get here. It’s good at doing what it’s supposed to do. However, it’s the addition of Bluetooth is what makes this smoker stand out from the crowd. It’s not just for show, it is a great feature, with real-world benefits.

Just be aware that you are going to be restricted to the normal range of Bluetooth, somewhere in the region of 15 to 20 feet.

But this should be ample, because with the wheels this unit has, you can move it the window closest to where you intend to be sitting indoors, and have your phone nearby to monitor and control from within your home.

For more information and current prices on this bluetooth digital electric smoker, please click here:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 725 Square Inch

Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 725 Square Inch

This ‘Deluxe’ model from Char-Broil is a desirable looking, well-built stainless steel electric smoker with many features that make the smoking process as easy and almost hands-free as possible.

At just a shade over 50 lbs in weight and standing just shy of 3 feet, it’s a medium-sized unit offering a respectable 725 square inches of grate area and cooking space.

If that’s not enough, 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 that provides push-button control of temperature and time, as well as an easy to read LED display.

It also has an integrated meat thermometer probe to monitor the internal temperature of meat, so you know when your cook is finished scientifically, not just by look and feel. But that’s not all…

This smoker comes with a remote control that allows you to see the pit and meat temperatures remotely, as well as providing 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 window door, so you can see what’s going on with your cook, wheels for portability and being able to move it easily around your yard, a large wood chip box that provides up to 8 hours of smoker, and removable water and drip pans for easy cleaning.

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

Specifications and Important Features

  • Dimensions: 18.1 x 16.5 x 32.5 inches
  • Cooking space: 725 Sq. In.
  • Cooking racks: 4 chrome plated
  • Weight: 50.2 lbs
  • Controller: Digital, push-button control with LED display
  • Built-in meat thermometer meat probe
  • Large wood chip box providing up to 8 hours smoke
  • Insulated for good heat retention.
  • Glass door
  • Wheels for portability
  • Easy to remove and clean drip pan and water pan
  • 1-year limited warranty

What we Like

Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 725 Square Inch

This electric smoker has a large and flexible cooking space that can accommodate any traditional cut of meat for smoking. It’s easy to use, intuitive digital controller makes setting cooks up a breeze, and the integrated meat thermometer probe saves on buying one 3rd party!

Remote monitoring and control mean you get to spend more time with guests instead of at the smoker, while its larger than average wood chip box compared to most, providing up to 8 hours of smoke without a top-up, makes it even more hands-off.

It comes preassembled – a blessing for many –  and it has a desirable, dual-tone black and stainless steel look with a glass door. Not many electric smokers look this pleasing.

What we Don’t Like

It’s not wholly waterproof, so you would need to place it undercover in the rain.

Some users have complained about a limited range for the remote control, particularly if you head inside, and the signal must go through walls.

Though personally, I think it should be OK. The unit has wheels, so you can move it to the closest window to where you’re sitting inside, and it should be good from there.

Is this the Right Model for You?

If you want a straightforward, incredibly easy to use electric smoker, that has many thoughtful features to make smoking a breeze, from setting up (it’s preassembled), through use (it’s plug n play), and at the end of it all, cleaning (removable grates, water, and drip pans), this smoker really is simplicity at it’s finest.

It’s also a good choice if you want to cook for large parties while spending time with your guests as you can control it from the remote control.

Another pick might suit you better if you want to be more ‘hands-on’ with your cooks. If you like to be involved, monitoring, tweaking, and nursing meat through a smoking session, this really isn’t for you. It’s almost entirely set it and forget it hands-off.

Also, if you want to cook enormous quantities of meat, there are bigger options on this list.

Summing Up

I’m happy to recommend the Char-Broil Deluxe 725 electric smoker.

For me, it’s on the better-looking models on the market, and it has a feature set and thoughtful design to rival any other at this price point.

The build quality seems decent, so the unit should last. And the combination of an integrated meat thermometer and remote control set it apart from many of its competitors when it comes to user-friendliness.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Char-Broil Vertical Electric Digital Smoker

Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker

There’s a lot to be said for the simple approach. Sometimes we can get so caught up with specialized bells and whistles we fail to focus on basic functionality.

Char-Broil is a commonly found brand in home improvement and department stores. Its Vertical Electric Smoker is purely bare bones.

Made of porcelain-coated wood, this 14 x 14 x 31, 58-pound unit provides 520 square inches of cooking space, ample room to cook for a large party.

It has a variable digital timer with auto shut-off, configured by way of 6 buttons found near the LED display. But the temperature is controlled with a dial simply labelled: OFF-LOW-MED-HIGH

The interior is stainless steel and has separate burners for smoking and oven cooks.

The nearly identical water and chip trays can be used interchangeably, and its double walls are insulated, which enables it to do an 8-hour cool smoke.

It comes with a built-in temperature gauge, but you may want to purchase a separate digital thermometer as almost all smokers built-in analog thermometers are known to be somewhat inaccurate.

Specifications and Important Features

  • Dimensions: 20″W x 17.5″D x 37.8″H
  • Weight (lbs.): 49.6 lbs
  • Cooking Area: 504 Sq. In.
  • No. of cooking grates: 3, adjustable
  • Grate material: Chrome plated wire
  • 1,500-watt electric heating element
  • Double-walled interior insulation
  • Integrated temperature gauge on door
  • Grease cup assembly
  • Wood chip box with lid
  • 1-year limited warranty

What We Like

Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker

This is a highly affordable, very easy to use smoker, that almost made it to be our best budget model. It’s large enough to cook for a good crowd, pretty much plug ‘n’ play (after assembly), and produces fantastic food.

What We Don’t Like

Some people have complained of minimal ventilation, as well as too great a sensitivity to ambient air temperatures. However, the number of times this has been said is very few.

We would have liked to have seen a meat probe included, and perhaps a way to add wood chips without having to open the door and letting the heat escape.

The OFF-LOW-MED-HIGH temperature dial instead of clearly labelled measurements can mean some tweaking before you hit the temp you want.

Is this the Right Model for You?

It is if you want a simple, medium-sized, no-frills electric digital smoker that does the job, without any fancy features.

It’s large enough to cater for medium-sized parties, while not being too oversized – or energy hungry – to make it suitable for couples or a small family.Another model might suit you better if you want to feed very large crowds, or it’s only ever you and one or two others because at this size and with a 1500w heating element, there will be more economical models to run if cooks are always small.

Summing it Up

The company seems accommodating, the smoker is priced right for small budgets, and delicious food can be produced. Those are among the best reasons to purchase this model.

You can see my more in depth review of the char-broil electric smoker, or get current prices and more info at the following link:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Smokin-It Model #2 Analog Electric Smoker

Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker

I’ll readily admit that I’m a stainless-steel snob. There is a clean, surgical look about it and in my experience, it’s durable, and stainless steel cookware is known for its ability to quickly 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 17 x 22 x 24 behemoth glides along 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 provides convenient grip when moving the unit.

It is one of the few, perhaps 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 outright on some other smokers, the Model 2 has solid latches that ensure the door closes tightly, leading to an enhanced smoking experience.

The four SS cooking racks racks hold around 35 pounds of food. The 800-watt heating element manages a temperature range of 100 to 250°F. 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. It is one of the few models in this review to have a drip pan underneath the unit too. The weight, material, design, and cost all signal that this is a model for those who are serious about smoking.

Specifications and Important Features

The Smokin it Model #2 is made from 100% 18-gauge, 201 stainless steel designed for ease of use and portability. here are the more important smoker features:

  • Dimensions: 17 x 20-1/2 D x 24-1/4 Inches (plus 4″ for casters and 1″ for control knob)
  • Weight (lbs.): 114 lbs
  • Cooking Area: 841 Sq. In.
  • No. of cooking grates: 4x, room for 5.
  • Grate material: Stainless steel
  • Temperature range: 100 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 800-watt electric heating element, with LED indicator light
  • Fiberglass insulated, double-walled construction
  • Smokebox and drip pan that slides under smoker
  • 2x strong door latches for compression sealing
  • 2x side handles and 4x heavy-duty locking casters for portability
  • 12-foot extra long power cord, with integrated hangers on the rear
  • NSF certified for restaurant use!
  • 3-year warranty

What we Like

Many of the comments you find online about the Smokin-It range of smokers use descriptions such as ‘reliable,’ ‘very steady,’ ‘predictable results every time’ and ‘truly set and forget.’ Owners find once you get it to temp, it just stays there. This is what you want for consistent, predictable results with your smoking.

It has a relatively large capacity for such a small footprint, easy start-up, and operation, has a 100% stainless steel construction, no gaskets to wear out and need replacing and an extra-long power cord – which many competing products fail at!

It has configurable shelf positions so you can cook food of varying heights and removable water and drip pans that are dishwasher safe making cleaning simple.

I also read one owner had taken measurements of the temperature gradient from top to bottom of this smoker, and it was 7 F. This is negligible and far better than most other smokers, including my Webers and ceramic kamados.

Finally, being certified for professional restaurant use makes this the best electric smoker in our list for commercial use.

What we Don’t Like

It could be argued that the thermostat is placed too close to the heating element, instead of up near where the food is.

Also, I prefer digital controls instead of analog, but this does keep the cost down and is fewer things that can break or go wrong.

Finally, it’s very low to the ground without purchasing a cart as an accessory. All the bending down can be a pain. Literally.

Is this the Right Model for You?

If you like a combination of user-friendly features and excellent construction, in fact, restaurant-grade and certified build materials, then this is potentially the pick for you.

It’s also for you if you want to cook large amounts of food because, despite its appearance, this smoker has a large capacity. 

This unit will also appeal to you if you like a more industrious looking, ‘this means business’ type of appearance, rather than a product that’s been beautified and dressed up to look nice.

However, you might want to consider other models if you want something that looks a little more modern and sleek.

Also, another model might suit you better if you only ever cook for small numbers, or indeed want to smoke for huge numbers. This model sits right in the middle, being able to smoke just north of 30 pounds of meat in one go. Finally, if you are looking for a budget pick, there are many cheaper models you may want to consider as this is priced ‘toward the top of the lower end’ and is one of the pricier models on my list.

Summing Up

Many people say, “bigger is better.” But, the Smokin-It Model #2 proves the alternative saying that: “good things come in small packages.

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 that’s made to last. What’s not to like?

The Model 2 isn’t the cheapest option in this list, but anyone interested in investing in something that will consistently perform for more than a few years should consider this a good option.

You can learn more about this compact unit in our smokin-it model 2 review, or click here for further details and prices at Amazon:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Buying Guide for the Best Electric Smokers – Features that Matter

The best electric smokers are widely known as the perfect entry point for beginner smokers. They are very easy to use, with simplicity and ability to produce quality smoked meat without any steep learning curve being a huge selling point for beginners.

But being easy to use, doesn’t necessarily mean they should be featureless. There are still features and qualities that some models have that make them stand out against the crowd and worthy of recommendation.

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

Top-Loading or Front-Loading Electric Smoker?

Top-Loading Smokers – Also commonly known as ‘vertical water smokers,’ suspend food over a pan of water that sits over a heating element. The design uses water as a thermal mass stabilizer to hold a steady temperature for a long period., and to create a moister atmosphere. Water captures smoke, so the more moisture food has, the more deeply ingrained the smoke flavor can become.

Top-loading is the original design of smokers. A barrel or can-shape with a fire on the bottom, a pan to keep drippings from meeting the fire (and possibly creating a larger, unwanted fire), and a rack or two to hold the food: simplicity at its finest.

Vertical water smokers are considered to work well in warmer weather, but can struggle to hold a steady temperature in colder seasons. So it can pay to consider your local climate, or what time of year you shall be cooking. However, because the heat works its way up from the bottom with no window or door seams to leak air, the temperature tends to hold steady for longer.

Some disadvantages to this design though, are it may be necessary to remove the top rack to get to the bottom rack, while both racks may need to be removed to replenish the wood chips. This can make maintaining long cooks a bit of a chore. Front-loading models are far easier to use.

Front-Loading Smokers – These newer, more popular style of electric smokers offer access as simple as opening a refrigerator. Many have a glass window for viewing, or the entire door can be made of glass. A thermostat is often included, along with water pan and wood tray.

Not every door has a sensible handle. Some models have to be pulled from the top or side after throwing back one or two latches that hold the door to the body. How tightly these two are held together can impact temperature regulation and cooking speed.

Build Materials, Durability and Longevity

The materials used in the construction of a smoker can dictate how well it can hold an optimal temperature and overall durability. Commonly, the materials used are:

  • Powdered steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum

The racks can be made of:

  • Chrome
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless steel

When it comes to the body, stainless steel and Aluminum have better rust-resistance and should last a lot longer.

When it comes to the cooking grates, stainless steel will have the best longevity, but it comes at a pretty price. Chrome plated are more common as they are 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 will last is a sensible consideration when spending a few hundred dollars.

Product reviews are a good resource for getting an idea of how long you can expect to enjoy your smoker. You may also get an idea of what to expect based on the environment where you live plus the material used (e.g., light metal and high humidity probably equals a short life span).

Also, consider the number of parts which can breakdown. Sometimes, especially for more budget models, simpler can often be better.

Door Construction

The doors can be either solid metal, may have a thermostat or window set in, or can be entirely made of glass.

Consider:

  • How well the seal keeps out cold air and prevents smoke and warm humid air from escaping.
  • Whether there is a door handle – some models have latches that are awkward to use.
  • Whether the small view afforded by a window is worth the potential for air leakage, or the loss of thermal insulation.

Drip and Water Pans

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

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

However, the smokers featured in this guide have all 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 too much.

Performance and Effectiveness

Performance is determined by so many factors, 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 800 watts being about the sweet spot and best compromise between sufficiently capable, yet not too 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 of the smoker coming up to temp, this is somewhat the norm and a standard that many aim for.

Temperature Stability

Many electric smokers come with temperature probes, and some even have wireless thermostats enabling you to monitor the temp on your smartphone. These are great features, so you know the temp of your cooker, and can 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 capacity of the smoker – 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.
  • 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 in the electric smoker, users complain of the inability to hold a good smoking temperature of 225 to 250 F once the weather outside hits freezing or below. So pay attention to design features aimed at temperature stability.

Ease of Use and Provided Instructions

Clear instructions can impact the usefulness of any product. Especially if the smoker has to be assembled, then clear wording and pictures are a must. Luckily, comprehensive instructions isn’t a deal breaker with so many resources to be found online, but it is a consideration for some people.

Other important information can include use of automated wood chip feeders; the need to replenish 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.

Ease of Cleaning

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

And realistically, if you know you’ll be a long time scrubbing, scraping and wiping afterward, your smoker isn’t going to get as much use as 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 easier than that.

Portability

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 easily move it from storage to cooking spot (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 manoeuvrability without heavy lifting.

Height

Height may not seem like a big deal when looking to buy an electric smoker, but a lot of stooping or crouching to see what’s going on or when removing food could be bothersome, possibly painful, depending on your overall health and range of movement.

This can be easily remedied by placing the smoker on a raised surface, while some models have legs or, for an additional cost, will provide a stand. These will raise the unit about a foot and a half off the ground.

Electric Cord Length

These can be 3 to 12 feet in length. Proximity to an electrical outlet has to be considered. This can be remedied with the use of an outdoor extension cord of sufficient amperage.

Be sure the outlet has a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), an electrical device that protects against severe electrical shocks. If an extension cord has to be used, it should state that it’s for outdoor use, be a 12/3 or 14/3 grounded cord of at least 15 amps.

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 there are to go wrong.

Some manufacturers will go beyond the mostly standard one-year warranty. Some may even offer extendable contracts which you may consider worthwhile based on how much you invested and how much use of your smoker you mean to be regular in your life.

Overall Looks and Desirability

Function is the main thing but, if offered, why not go for the pretty too? After all, we eat with all of our senses, eyes, and touch, and that can include what we use to prepare food. Manufacturers recognize this and will offer things that, while not necessary to the mechanics of properly smoking food, can make it more pleasing.

A few examples of nice touches included can be: Windows to see what’s cooking, remote control and monitoring, and a recipe book

How do Electric Smokers Work?

You can pretty much equate them to your kitchen oven.

Whereas charcoal smokers and wood-burning offset smokers burn solid fuel, and have their temperature controlled by intake and exhaust vents that limit airflow, electric smokers quite simply have an electronically controlled, electric heating element.

On the outside of an electric smoker, 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 when the desired temperature cooking temperature is reached.

This is all done electronically, with no input required from the cook. No fires to manage, no vents to control. There are usually one or two vents, but this is to allow smoke to escape before it goes stale, it is not for temperature control.

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 are not to provide heat, they are for adding smoke only.

Electric Smoker FAQs

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.

Electric smokers have a lot more technology compared to basic charcoal or even gas smokers. This is both a benefit and a disadvantage.

The technology makes electric smokers by far the easiest of all smokers to use, but it also means there is more that can break and go wrong. A charcoal grill may last for decades. An electric smoker will likely 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 an entirely personal thing. Most people will say you cannot beat the flavor produced by a charcoal smoker. 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.

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

But where do gas smokers fit in? Somewhere in the middle. They tend to produce a similar end product to electric, while not having to be tethered to an electricity line, though you do have to make sure you have a ready supply of gas. Check out gas vs electric 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 entirely different beasts and produce food with altogether different flavor profiles.

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

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

Electric smokers run on electricity to provide heat. Pellet smokers burn wood for heat, but use electricity to light the wood. The smoky flavor from a pellet grill is stronger and more defined.

They are entirely different types of cookers.

How Does an Electric Smoker Produce Smoke if There are no Flames?

When smoking, we do not want a roaring flame from our wood, we want just a gentle smolder. It is the smoldering that produces smoke. If fully alight, almost no smoke is generated from properly dried wood.

In the electric smoker, there is a wood chip tray that sits at the bottom of the cooking chamber, 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.

Can You Use an Electric Smoker Indoors?

No. It is a smoker, and you do not want and cannot have a smoker inside 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 quite a significant addition to your kitchen. A bit unsightly even.

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

So no, do not use it inside. It’s an outdoor smoker only.

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

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

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

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

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. Plenty hot enough for low n slow smoking, which is the purpose they are made for.

Do You Need to Season 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 how to do so written in their manuals. And we also have a guide which you can find here: How to season an electric smoker.

Summary and Conclusion

Alaska Granny gives a nice summary overview of the features and functionality of an electric smoker; although she demonstrates a Bradley smoker, the principles extend across most models.

 

There’s a lot to be said for electric smokers! They produce tender, smoky goodness without a lot of fuss. But I find it disturbing that so many owners find it necessary to make design improvements -replacing or adding hinges, drilling holes, and adding handles. Epoxy for the door seals and several remedies to keep smoke from escaping.

If I’m paying for something, the price had better acknowledge the need for these “after market” fix-ups.

Of these 9 products reviewed – and snobbery aside – the Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Digital Smoker is our top choice.

It’s sturdy, is 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 also looks impressive.

Perhaps you’ll find another model more suited to your taste but for us, the Masterbuilt is an investment worth making. You can find more details and check current prices here:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

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

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

 

Product image credits: © Amazon.com

Mark Jenner

Hi. I'm Mark Jenner, owner and creator of FoodFireFriends.com. I grill and smoke food outdoors at least three days a week on a wide range of equipment, have done so for years, and love nothing more than cooking good food, over live fire, enjoying it with friends. The aim of this site is to educate and help others to do the same.

2 thoughts on “Best Electric Smokers in 2020 – With Reviews and Buying Guide”

  1. 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!

    • 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.

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