When it comes down to choosing the top electric smoker it can often be a very long and hard decision. There are endless amounts of them on the market, it’s hard to know which one will work best for your needs. Luckily, I have put together an extensive guide that will help you make the best decision. This guide will provide you with all of the information that you will need to make an informed decision on your next BBQ smoker. Whether this is your first time buying one or you are simply adding a new one to your collection, this all-in-one resource will assist you on your journey to find the best one that fits your needs!
Ultimate Electric Smoker Guide
I have organized the top 10 best electric smokers in the comparison chart below, this chart makes it easy to quickly see all of the specifications for each individual unit. Picking the top electric smoker for your needs can be hard, but the chart below should make your life a little easier. It puts all of the basic information about each meat smoker in one place to streamline the research/buying process.
|Smokers||Racks||Cooking Space||Max Temp||Price||Rating|
|Smokers||Racks||Cooking Space||Max Temp||Price||Rating|
|Smokin-It Model #3 Electric Smoker
||4||6,600 Sq. Inches||250F||$$$$||5|
|Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Electric Digital Smokehouse Smoker
||4||730 Sq Inches||275F||$||4.2|
|Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker|
|4||2,288 Cubic Inches||280F||$$$||3.8|
|Brinkmann 810-7080-8 Gourmet Electric Smoker and Grill||2||189 Sq. Inches||220F||$||4.2|
|Smokehouse Products Big Chief Front Load Smoker||5||576 Sq. Inches||165F||$||4.3|
|Old Smokey Electric Smoker||2||280 Sq. Inches||250F||$||4.5|
|Smokin Tex Pro 1400||5||630 Sq. Inches||250F||$$$$||4.1|
|Cajun Injector Stainless Steel Electric Smoker||5||734 Sq. Inches||275F||$$||3.9|
|Landmann USA 32910 Smoky Mountain Vertical Electric Smoker||4||768 Sq. Inches||275F||$$||3.7|
|Meco 5030 Electric Grill and Combination Water Smoker||2||351 Sq. Inches||250F||$||3.4|
How Electric Smokers Work
Unlike most smokers that use combustion to heat up the wood chips and produce smoke, electric ones use hot coils. These heat up the wood chips that end up producing all of the smoke that will cook whatever you are making. There are all kinds of different types of wood chips that you can burn that will provide a variety of different flavors. When these wood chips start to smolder it creates the smoke that will provide whatever you are cooking with a delicious flavor. Since these smokers use electric power to create the smoke, you will never have to tend to it to make sure the temperature stays constant, it will stay constant all by itself without any help from you.
Advantages of Using an Electric Smoker
- Convenience Factor - They are pretty much ready to go right out of the box, no need to fuss with getting a fire going and heating up your smoker. Just turn it on, take a seat in your lawn chair and wait for it to reach the desired temperature. It is as simple as that, then once the temperature is where it needs to be just place whatever you are smoking right into the smoker and let it do its thing. No need to monitor the temperature because that is all taken care of for you, it will maintain its desired temperature without any extra help from you. In terms of convenience, there is no match to smokers that are powered by electric.
- Cost Effective - Not only can you pick up a high quality electric smoker for under $200, but you also save money by not having to pay extra money for fuel. Since it is electric you won’t have to buy propane, gas or wood to heat up your unit. All of the heat is produced from electricity which in the long run will save you a ton of money as well as countless runs to the store to pick up more fuel.
- Safe - Since their is no actual fire, you will never have to worry about fire hazards while smoking. This makes using an electric unit a very safe machine to operate at all times.
- Easy to Use - One of the best advantages that it has over all of the other types of smokers is how stupidly simple they are to use. They are perfect for beginner since they don’t need to be babied while cooking. All you have to do is set the temperature, set the timer and relax. Then come back to some perfectly cooked ribs, juicy brisket or whatever you are smoking! When it comes down to it, there isn’t another type of smoker that can compete with electric smokers when it comes to ease of use.
What to Consider When Buying an Electric Smoker
If you are in the market for a new smoker, which I assume you are since you are reading this, then there are some important things that you should think about and consider before purchasing. You should be as prepared as possible before you go and make any decisions on which one you want. I will cover some of the most important things you should think about before making any purchases.
- Your Experience - Your experience with smokers and barbecuing in general will be an important factor to consider before buying. If you are a beginner you should try and buy a one that is simple and doesn’t require much skill to use. The good news for you is that almost all electric BBQ smokers are beginner friendly and can be used to make great food without too much skill needed.
- Price - There are a wide variety of prices for electric smokers, so knowing what price range you are in can make the buying decision a lot easier. There are plenty of good electric meat smokers for around $100 but the more you pay the more features it will come with. That is something that you are going to have to decide on, the price vs. the quality and features.
- Size of Smoker - This is going to greatly depend on what you plan on smoking, if you are planning on smoking full slabs of ribs then you better make sure that you get a big enough unit that will accommodate your needs. On the other hand, if you are only going to be smoking nuts, fish, and other small items you can get a smaller, less expensive one. This is something that you should know before you make any sort of purchase because it is so important.
Reviews of the 7 Best Electric Smokers
This thing is a tank. Simply put this smoker is built like a brick house, with its 18 gauge stainless steel build you will not mistake this for a cheap, inexpensive one. The space that this beast of a smoker has inside is amazing, it has 4 heavy duty stainless steel shelves that have enough room to smoke anything you could ever desire. You won’t ever have to worry about cutting your rack of ribs in half to make it fit on the racks. This unit has enough room for 6-8 full slabs of ribs!
The temperature is controllable from 100F to 250F which provides plenty of heat to smoke almost anything. One of the best things about this thing is that it is fully insulated with fiberglass, which will make sure all of the heat stays inside for a nice and even smoke throughout. There is nothing worse than checking on your turkey butt after 6 hours of smoking and finding out that one side is still raw.
The Smokin-It Model #3 electric smoker has the build and the features of a $2,000 plus unit but for a much more affordable price. You will be hard pressed to find another digital electric smoker of this quality for a better price. You will definitely get your moneys worth and there is no other smoker that will provide you more bang for your buck. That is why it is currently sitting at the number one spot on our list, the Smokin-It Model #3 is the best electric smoker on the market.
The Masterbuilt 30-Inch Electric Smoker is one of the most popular units currently on the market and is arguably THE most popular digital electric smoker. It has good reason to be, it has a digital control pad that allows you to easily set the temperature that you want, 730 square inches of cooking space and some of the best customer support out there. Any problems that you might encounter will be quickly handled by their support staff and if for some reason a part is defective, they will have a new one shipped to you the next day.
The temperature is controlled by a thermostat which makes sure the heat is even and consistent throughout all of the four racks. You can control the heat from 100F all the way up to 275F easily with the digital control pad. It also boasts a neat auto shut-off feature which will insure that your meat is never overcooked. Smoking meat, nuts, vegetables and pretty much everything else couldn’t be any easier with this high quality unit, it makes it easy enough for beginners to be able to make high quality food that they can show off to their friends and family while still getting praise from some of the most experienced smokers/grillers out there.
If you are looking for a high quality, consistent BBQ smoker for a very good price then you don’t have to look any further. Masterbuilt provides you with a great piece of equipment that will have everything you need to start smoking like a master without too much of a learning curve. This is overall one of the best BBQ electric smokers currently out there to buy.
The Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker has some of the most advanced technology and that is why it made its way into the top 3 on our list. The advanced technology I am talking about lets you have full control over the temperature, the time it cooks for and the smoke. Yes, the Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker allows you to control the amount of smoke that your meat gets while it cooks. This way you can finely tune the perfect amount of smoke for each type of meat that you are smoking.
The Bradley 4-Rack also allows for both hot and cold smoking right out of the box, you will not have to buy a cold smoking kit like a lot of other units need. This baby comes fully prepared for whatever your smoking needs are, whether that be cold smoking some bacon or hot smoking some pulled pork. This great machine will cater to your every need.
Another unique feature that this unit has is that it uses Bradley flavor briquettes instead of normal wood chips, the cool thing about these briquettes is that they will never be heated up when they are ash since the briquettes automatically exchange after 20 minutes. This feature makes it so that your smoke will never come from ashy briquettes, this will make sure that you will never get any sort of bad aftertaste from burnt briquettes. Only the all natural taste from the meat will be tasted and not any ash. This is important if you want the maximum flavor out of each item you smoke.
The Bradley Digital 4-Rack is known for heating up slowly but this shouldn’t be too much of a worry. Even though it heats up slowly for an electric smoker it will still heat up faster than most other types of smokers. The slow heat up times can be easily forgotten when you look at all of the neat features that this awesome unit boasts. This beast of a machine allows for the ultimate control over your smoking and that is why it is considered one of the top digital electric smokers currently for sale.
The Brinkmann 810-7080-8 Gourmet Electric Smoker and Grill isn’t a traditional electric smoker, it is both a smoker and a grill. This makes it very convenient since you will only need one machine to serve two purposes. You might be thinking that since it is both a smoker and a grill that it won’t do a very good job at smoking, but let me tell you, you are dead wrong.
This thing can smoke up to 50 pounds of food at one time with its two rack system and it does a great job at it. This is a great meat smoker for a beginner since all you have to do is add water and wood chips to start smoking, it couldn’t get any easier than that. You won’t have to worry about setting the temperature because it will consistently run at 220F without any extra work from you. With that being said, you will not have any control over the setting of the temperature since it doesn’t have any heat control.
If you are a beginner and you are looking for your first one, then you can’t go wrong with this unit. It will provide you with a great smoke every time and then when you are wanting to grill up some burgers you can use the same machine to grill those up. Overall this is a very solid unit and the best part is that you can pick one of these up for around $100. You will not be able to find a higher quality smoker for that price anywhere besides in this Brinkman unit.
This is another fairly inexpensive unit that does its job very well. The Smokehouse Products Big Chief Front Load Smoker has five chrome plated racks that will provide you with plenty of space to smoke almost anything. These racks are awesome because they slide in and out like oven racks, this makes it very easy to load and unload whatever you are cooking. This is truly a “set and forget” unit since it will run at 165 degrees Fahrenheit very consistently all throughout the smoke.
This was originally designed to smoke things that aren’t considered BBQ, such as fish, nuts, jerky and cheese but will still do a great job smoking more traditional things such as ribs and turkey. If you are looking for a smoker that will be mainly used for fish, nuts, jerky or any other non-BBQ item then this is the best electric smoker for the job. It will be everything you need and more all for a very reasonable price.
Old Smokey has been making barbecue equipment since the 1930′s and have produced some high quality smokers throughout the years. This electric unit is no different, with its simple design and easy to use functions you can’t really go wrong with the Old Smokey.
This Old Smokey is made of aluminized steel and is extremely durable. It is also very portable at around only 20 pounds which makes moving it around the yard or to a friend’s house a breeze. Nothing worse than having to move a several hundred pound smoker around!
The lid is sealed tight during the smoking process and is flat on top which allows for the meat juices to flow right back onto the meat for added flavor. It has two racks, 14.5 inches and 12.5 inches, which will provide you enough space for most meats, it won’t be able to fit a whole slab of ribs but most other things will fit no problem.
This unit does come with a thermostat that will help you control the heat but I would highly suggest that you get a temperature gauge for better control of the heat. The stock thermostat can sometimes become inaccurate and having a separate gauge will help you smoke with precision.
If you are looking for simplicity and high quality smoked foods then this Old Smokey unit would be a great fit for almost everyone.
The Smokin tex pro 1400 is one of the best all-around electric meat smokers that you could buy, if that’s the case then you might be wondering why it is so far down on our list. I’ll tell you why, the price. If the price was not a factor when it comes to buying a new smoker than the Smokin Tex pro 1400 would be sitting top 3 easily, but since the price does matter it has found itself currently sitting at number 7 on our list. This unit is going to run you upwards of $500 but is well worth it if you can afford it.
This beast of a smoker comes fully decked out in stainless steel, four wheels for easy transportation and is fully insulated. Since it comes fully insulated the outside temperatures will not affect the heat inside, so whether you are cooking in a 12 degree snow blizzard(That’s dedication!) or a 90 degree scorcher, the inside of the smoker will stay the same. This is very important when it comes down to smoking the meat just right.
Despite being a fairly large unit, it takes a very small amount of wood chips to make this thing run for hours. You won’t have to waste money on always buying new wood chips because this unit does a great job of conserving the amount of wood chips it uses. The Smokin Tex pro 1400 also comes with three grills that can be placed within the unit, the cool thing about Smokin Tex pro 1400 is that you can adjust the placement of the grills easily with the different settings inside the oven. This makes smoking long sausages, ribs or jerky possible.
When it comes down to the features you will be hard pressed to find a better unit, but since the price tends to run above $500 it will cost you a good chunk of money. The price is easy to overlook when you see all of these features, so it comes down to quality vs. price. Which one is more important to you?. If you are looking for quality then the Smokin Tex 1400 might just be the one for you!
I am hoping that this guide I have put together has helped you decide on which electric smoker would be the best fit for you. I know it can be a hard choice and you are doing the right thing by researching. I would suggest that you take a look around the site and read the full reviews for each individual unit. This will provide you with more information about each different one. I am constantly updating this site with new reviews so if there isn’t a review for the a unit that you are looking at just let me know by sending me an email. I will gladly add a review for whatever you are looking at and I wish you the best of luck on your journey of buying one of these awesome machines. Safe smoking!