Coming home to a tender, smoked, juicy meal is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Of course, to do that, you’ll need a smoker or grill that doesn’t require any babysitting on your part. Set it and forget it – that’s what you need. Which means you need an electric smoker. No charcoal to light or fuel supply to check. You can set it up, crack a brew, and go binge on Netflix while you wait. You can even take a nap and awaken to beautifully cooked meat with that delicious smokey flavor. Naturally, not all electric smokers are made equal. To ensure you get the tastiest results every time, you’ll need to get the best electric smokers that suits your needs. And we’ve got just the list to help you find it.
Top 6 Electric Smokers Of 2019 Reviewed
- Top 6 Electric Smokers Of 2019 Reviewed
- Electric Smoker Buying Guide
1. Masterbuilt 20078715 Electric Digital Smoker Front ControllerBest Electric Smoker For The Money
This electric smoker from Masterbuilt has just about everything you’ll need in an electric smoker. Its walls are 100% insulated and able to maintain temperature consistently which makes the smoker energy efficient. The temp and timer controls are easy to use. Plus, the digital control panel is easy to read, even in direct sunlight. You can even control temperature (ranging from 100 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit) from a distance, using an RF remote.
The side-loading wood chip tray makes it easy to add your any smokey flavors you like without losing heat or smoke. In case you’re curious, this smoker has 721 square inches of cooking space divided into 4 chrome-coated racks. You can easily cook food fit for an army or enjoy a wide variety of smoked meat. And, the front access drip pan makes cleaning up this smoker a breeze. However, there are drawbacks. For one, this smoker doesn’t feature a meat probe so you’ll have to have your own on hand. And two, moving the smoker from storage to patio and back again isn’t easy due to a lack of wheels.
- Holds consistent temperature
- Front access drip pan
- Easy-to-use wood chip loading system
- No wheels
- No meat probe included
2. Char-Broil Vertical Electric SmokerBest Electric Smoker For Turkey
The Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker may look simple and “old school” compared to a lot of other offerings in the market. But that doesn’t affect its performance at all. In fact, this smoker comes with a 1,500-watt variable heating element which provides you with a wide range of temperatures. It has insulated, double-walled construction which makes it excellent at holding temperature consistently.
The lid-mounted temperature gauge allows you to monitor temperature. Other features include 3 adjustable cast iron cooking grates, a chrome-plated handle, and a wood chip + water pan. However, because the door uses a magnet for sealing, it isn’t so easy to close it all the way. Also, it can take a bit of time to heat up. Another thing that we also noticed is the fact that the heating element turns off in order to maintain the desired temperature which means that it isn’t able to produce a lot of smoke
- Powerful heating element
- Cast iron cooking grates
- Poor quality door
- Takes time to preheat
- Does not produce enough smoke
3. Smoke Hollow 3016DEW 30-Inch Digital Electric SmokerBest Electric Smoker For Fish
If you like watching your food cook, then you’d best get the Smoke Hollow 3016DEW 30-Inch Digital Electric Smoker. This electric smoker features a window that enables you to check on your food without letting any of the heat or smoke out. And that’s not all this smoker can do. The 3016DEW features digital electronic controls as well as an LED display which makes temp control easy-peasy.
The external loading wood chip tray also helps ensure that there’s no heat or smoke loss. The smoker has a large capacity at 2 cubic feet with 3 chrome-plated cooking grids. These grids are height-adjustable, by the way, so you can cook meats of various sizes. However, the wood chip tray is on the small side so you may need to keep refilling it if you plan on smoking meat for more than an hour. Also, there have been complaints of moisture from the cooking chamber getting into the control panel. To prevent that from happening, you’ll need to get food grade silicone to replace the rubber gasket it comes with.
- Features a window
- Large capacity
- Easy to use
- Small wood chip tray
- Controller can get easily damaged due to moisture
4. Smokin-It Model #1 Electric SmokerBest Electric Smoker For Brisket
If a portable electric smoker is what you need, then you shouldn’t look any further than the Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker. One of our favorite things about this smoker is its 12-foot power cord which means you won’t need to hunt down a nearby socket. The smoker also comes with 3-inch diameter rubber casters plus side handles which makes it easy to transport from one place to another.
The smoker has a load capacity of 22lbs and 3 removable shelves (though you can fit 4, if you want). The smoker is made of 18 gauge stainless steel with fiberglass insulation. The entire smoker is NSF-certified for restaurant use. However, you do pay quite a bit of money for that certification and solid construction. And it doesn’t offer a lot of cooking space.
- NSF-certified for restaurant use
- Solid construction
- Small cooking space
5. Char-Broil Analog Electric SmokerBest Electric Smoker For Jerky
When it comes to controlling temperature, nothing beats the Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker. Yes, it’s a little bit old school without digital controls. But it comes with double-walled insulated construction that is great at keeping the heat in. It features dual exhaust ports for controlling temperature. The door-mounted temperature gauge allows you to check the temperature inside the smoker.
And the door features dual latches which seal all that heat in. Aside from keeping consistent temps, this electric smoker comes with easily accessible trays for the wood chips, water, and grease. You also get 3 chrome-plated cooking grates that provide you with 544 square inches of cooking space. However, it doesn’t come with wheels (though it does have carrying handles) so you’ll have to put your back into it when carrying the smoker too and from your garage.
Also, the wood chip tray is a bit on the small side. We also heard some reports that the smoker does get easily dented during shipping. That being said, this smoker is still a top choice for us since it’s so easy to use AND we really can’t say enough about its awesome temperature control which is key in low and slow cooking.
- Dual exhaust ports
- Easy to use
- Consistent temperature
- Small wood chip tray
- No wheels
- Can get easily dented during shipping
6. Dyna-Glo DGU732BDE-D 30″ Digital Electric SmokerBest Electric Smoker For Beginner
The Dyna-Glo DGU732BDE-D 30″ Digital Electric Smoker also looks “old school” but it’s definitely a lot more modern than our Char-Broil pick. This smoker features an LED display and push-button controls for easy set up of time and temperature.
Beginners won’t have a problem operating this unit. Unlike other smokers on our list, this one comes with an integrated meat thermometer so you can keep a close eye on your food. The wood chip loader is accessible from the side which ensures you keep all that heat and smoke inside where it should be.
The high-temperature door seal, as well as double-walled insulation, also help in maintaining a consistent temperature. And if you’re planning to feed a horde, don’t worry. This smoker comes with 732 square inches of cooking space (4 chrome-plated cooking grates)! However, we did notice that the wood chip is pretty small so you need to refill it quite frequently. There are a few leaks around the door and it doesn’t produce enough smoke.
- Easy to use
- Integrated meat thermometer
- Lots of cooking space
- A few leaks around the door
- Wood chip tray is a bit small
- Doesn’t produce much smoke
Electric Smoker Buying Guide
Buying a smoker, whether it’s electric or not, isn’t a walk in the park. There are a lot of things that you’ll need to consider if you want to find one that suits your needs and cooks meat beautifully. To ensure that you don’t go into a store blind, we’ve created this informative guide on electric smokers and what to look for.
Should I buy an electric smoker?
There’s quite a lot of debate as to whether electric smokers are any good. Now, there’s no question that traditional smokers (the ones that use charcoal or pellets) produce seriously delicious eats. After all, that’s what makes traditional grills incredibly popular among backyard chefs. Electric smokers can also produce tasty meats. Of course, when you compare the two, traditional will beat electric hands down. But for those who aren’t able to play with fire (you know what we mean) or if your lifestyle is more suited to a set-it-and-forget-it kind of cooking, then you definitely should get an electric smoker.
If you’re not convinced whether you should go electric or not, we’ve listed some of the benefits of electric smokers that you won’t find anywhere else:
- Electric smokers are easier to use and maintain. There is no need to clean up ashes or worry about running out of fuel while you’re cooking. It really is a set-it-and-forget-it smoker which makes it ideal for low and slow cooking.
- Electric smokers are considered safer than all other types of smokers. This is because it has less inherent risks. Leaving it on for hours on end isn’t as dangerous as leaving a charcoal or gas smoker running while you’re out of the house.
- Electric smokers are perfect for beginners. You don’t need years of grilling experience to handle one of these babies, especially if you get a digital electric smoker.
- Electric smokers are more environmentally friendly. Electricity is a cleaner form of energy compared to charcoal and gas. Aside from the fact that you’re not burning anything which contributes to pollution, you also aren’t exposing your food to as many contaminants.
How much cooking space do I need?
It depends. Most of our picks, like the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker, have more than 500 square inches of cooking space which enables you to cook enough meat for a group of 5 or more. Anything over 700 square inches like the Masterbuilt 20078715 Electric Digital Smoker Front Controller can feed a group of 8 or more people. The Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker, on the other hand, has half the capacity and can only feed around 2 to 4 people.
How portable is it?
Since this is an electric smoker, it’s not one that you can keep out in your backyard. If you plan on keeping this in your garage and cooking there, portability isn’t something you need to consider. However, if you need to transport the smoker from one part of your house to another, you may want to consider a unit that comes with carrying handles such as Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker. Now, if you want something truly portable, you need to look for a unit that features wheels and maybe a long electric cord such as the Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker.
What should the electric smoker be made of?
Just like traditional smokers, an electric smoker should be constructed of a material that handles heat very well such as stainless steel. This also ensures the smoker’s durability and makes maintaining temperature easy. Some electric smokers are made of aluminum which is great for portability but they can also get easily dented.
Digital or analog?
You may have noticed that electric smokers come in two kinds. Analog electric smokers feature a temperature gauge and a knob you can turn to set temperature, similar to an oven. Digital electric smokers, on the other hand, are much easier to use since they feature a control panel with push buttons for easy setup. These smokers sometimes also feature a timer along with an automatic shut-off feature.
Do I need to choose a specific temperature range?
It also depends. The temperature range of your electric smoker will determine the types of food you can cook with it. Those that can stay as low as 100°F can be used to cook cheese. Large birds like turkeys need an electric smoker that can reach up to 275°F. The Masterbuilt 20078715 Electric Digital Smoker Front Controller, for example, has a range of 100 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit which makes it perfect for cheese and small items as well as large turkeys for Thanksgiving.
How many racks do I need?
Most electric smokers come with 3 to 4 racks. Some like the Smoke Hollow 3016DEW 30-Inch Digital Electric Smoker will have height-adjustable racks which means you can configure the space to fit meats of various sizes. Take note that most racks are chrome-plated but a notable few such as the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker feature cast iron cooking grates.
Any other features I should consider?
Unlike traditional smokers, an electric smoker will need to add wood chips to create the smokey flavor you’re looking for. There are typically two ways to load chips. Some will require you to open the door of the smoker to refill the tray which means some of your heat and smoke will escape. Others like the Dyna-Glo DGU732BDE-D 30″ Digital Electric Smoker have a side-loading system which prevents heat and smoke loss.
While electric smokers are perfect for a set-it-and-forget-it kind of cooking, that doesn’t mean that you won’t want to check on your food once in a while. However, opening the door of your smoker means letting the heat and all that delicious smoke out. Fortunately, some manufacturers include a window with their smoker like the Smoke Hollow 3016DEW 30-Inch Digital Electric Smoker. This enables you to monitor your meat without opening the door.
What about the price?
Any backyard chef will tell you that buying quality outdoor equipment is an investment. Of course, not everyone has the same amount of money available for investing. The great thing about electric smokers is that a lot of them are affordable with an average price of $250. In general, a model at this price would have a lot of the necessary features a cook is looking for. Of course, there are models that cost a lot less but the quality may not be to your liking (i.e. poor heat retention, fluctuating temperature). High-end models may seem better but, unless you have money to spare and require the bells and whistles, we suggest sticking to those in the middle tier.