There are situations where an electric smoker is a much better solution than a traditional smoker, which most of all requires a lot of skill as well as attention throughout the entire smoking process.
The main advantage of this type of smoker is convenience and ease of use, all you have to do is pick the temperature and you’re done. You don’t have to worry about temperature control, fuel or anything else, and on top of that, it is a great choice for those who are just starting their journey with meat smoking.
Out of many different models, we tried to pick few best electric smokers available at different price ranges. The guide, on top of objective reviews, also includes a lot of valuable information and tips that will allow to better understand this type of smoker ( its upsides and downsides ).
For those who are in rush, we have also prepared a simple table that includes all of our suggestions.
Within the last few years, the technology of electric smokers has advanced significantly, improving the results and efficiency, which had a positive impact on reviews from people who love to smoke meat.
In order to help as many people as possible, we have chosen several models that significantly differ from one another. For those who are completely new to the topic, we have also prepared special tips that will make it easier to match the right model to your cooking and life style.
The research we have conducted turned out to be very time-consuming but it was necessary as it formed the basis of our reviews and all the tips you’re going to find in this guide.
The Best Electric Smokers Reviewed
1. Best Overall Masterbuilt 30 inch Digital Electric Smoker
Masterbuilt has been a pioneer in electric smokers for many years, their offer includes several models, but right now let’s focus on this one. Masterbuilt 30″ is a simple construction that includes what’s most important without unnecessary expensive frills. What was focused on here was the most important things, temperature control, efficiency and quality.
Responsible for temperature adjustment is a digital controller that is located on top of the smoker. It makes it possible to set the temperature within the range of 100 to 275 degrees F, although plenty of people complain about a small amount of smoke at lower temperatures ( below 180-200 degrees ).
It is a common occurrence in many models which is why we always encourage to purchase a Cold Smoking Kit for Masterbuilt Digital Smokers. That way you’re going to get the best out of all possible results during any type of smoking, even at very low temperatures.
We chose the 30” size that offers enough space for most people ( 730 square inches ). Located inside are 4 food racks, right below them the rest of essential elements (water bowl, wood chips container and heating system). Smoke flow control utilizes a throttle located on the top of the smoker.
During our tests, we have noticed that this model is very well insulated which prevents the smoke or heat from escaping uncontrollably. One very nice solution is the side loading system for wood chips, it also prevents temperature losses by eliminating the necessity to open the front door.
A downside to this model is mostly its very poor warranty, only 90 days which is definitely too short.
Masterbuilt 30″ Digital Electric Smoker isn’t something perfect, but for this kind of money everyone should be more than happy with what they get. If you expect something bigger or with a more interesting structure, then we invite you to read our next review below.
2. Masterbuilt Front Controller Smoker 40 inch
This time a slightly more expensive suggestion that, among other things, offers much more space for food and a front glass that in theory allows to observe the smoking process. In practice, however, we all know that smoke is pretty effective at preventing this by obscuring everything inside. It also comes with slightly wider abilities than Masterbuilt 30 inch Digital Electric Smoker.
Inside you will find whole 975 square inches of the main meat smoking area on four shelves that you can rearrange or remove as you please. If that’s too much space for you, you can choose the smaller 30 inch version that offers 735 square inches of food space.
The digital controller makes it possible not only to adjust the temperature but also to set the timer, turn on the light or plug in a meat probe. The last one might be an interesting feature for many, especially that the basic controller comes with a remote. It has all the same features except that you can use it while away from the smoker. If it happens that the main controller breaks down, you can still control everything using the remote.
When it comes to the rest of equipment, it all looks just like in other competitive models, as in a water bowl, wood chips container, heating system and dripping tray.
In this model, Masterbuilt also utilized the possibility of refilling the wood chips container without having to lift the lid (wood chip loading system ). This model also makes it possible to use a Cold Smoking Kit that was designed especially for electric smokers from Masterbuilt. Take this solution into account, as most of other manufacturers don’t offer this kind of accessories.
Large cooking area, design, features, digital controller, and you get it all for a decent price. The product is most definitely worth the money, a large upside is the popularity of electric smokers from Masterbuilt. On the Internet, you will find a lot of guides from other owners of those smokers and in case of any malfunctions you won’t have to worry about availability of spare parts.
3. Smokin-It Model 1 Electric Smoker
It is sadly a pretty obscure model that turned out to be a huge surprise to us. Its great advantage is not just its simplicity of use, but also the quality. Most electric smokers break down in a pretty short time, in that case it is completely different.
A very simple construction without unnecessary gadgets and excessive electronics turns out to be a very solid product. Even if a malfunction does happen to something like the heating system, the repair is incredibly cheap, and spare parts are available at low prices right from the manufacturer.
It is also one of the easiest to use electric smokers. There is no digital controller or remote here. You simply plug it in, set the temperature using a knob and done, there are no other unnecessary elements here.
Of course the set includes such essential elements as a smoke box, drip pan or few racks.
The basic version is slightly poor in terms of technology for today’s standards, but the manufacturer offers plenty of useful accessories. Another very important issue is the warranty which is whole 3 years, it is a whole lot especially compared to competitive models that only offer 3 months to 1 year.
At this price, it might be too small a smoker to many, but if we take the quality of workmanship and efficiency into account, we are truly impressed.
Among electric smokers, it is an exception when it comes to quality, which is why we recommend this model for those who value high quality of workmanship, durability, ease of use, efficiency and most of all, a price that is adequate to all that.
4. Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
The last suggestion from us that is an alternative to other popular competitive models. A modern, more eye-pleasing design with a front glass, a lot of space and several gadgets are all things that this electric smoker can be liked for.
Inside you will find 725 square inches of meat smoking area at your disposal together with four racks under which you will find all the necessary elements that every electric smoker should have.
The first thing we see is the water bowl, then the wood chips container and right below it the heating system. On the sides of the smoker, on the other hand, right at the bottom, is located a removable grease tray.
When it comes to the digital controller located on top of the smoker, it makes it possible to adjust the temperature, turn on the light, set the timer and monitor the meat temperature thanks to a probe. The set also includes a remote that enables the same features as the main digital controller.
The front glass seems like an interesting solution at the first glance, but in reality it requires cleaning and doesn’t give much to see when there’s a lot of smoke inside the smoker.
The results of meat smoking turned out to be very good, but in the end, operating the digital controller wasn’t very obvious and intuitive for us, plus we have doubts as for durability of the remote. The whole construction, on the other hand, is pretty stable and well insulated.
Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker not only looks good, but is also well built. It was equipped with many useful features, although it does lack the kind of solutions that can be found, for example, in Masterbuilt ( side wood chips loading system or separately sold dedicated cold smoking kit ).
Electric smokers have significantly grown in popularity in recent years, mostly thanks to the convenience they provide. For many years now, the leader in this industry are models from Masterbuilt, although our guide also features other great competitive suggestions. Compared to few years back, we have noticed a substantial progress in this category of smokers when it comes to features, quality and most of all efficiency.
Each of the models presented by us comes with many upsides as well as few downsides. We didn’t evaluate them based on the brand but based on what the manufacturer offers for a particular price.
This guide was mostly created with beginners in mind, which is why we presented four models differing from one another that are in different price ranges. Of course, advanced users will also find something relevant for themselves here.
When it comes to buying a new electric smoker, you have many options available and there’s plenty of things to pay attention to. First and foremost, don’t buy with your eyes, instead, carefully analyze your choice, spend some time on thinking about what you really need.
If you don’t know what to pay attention to then we have prepared a lot of valuable tips for you that will definitely make the task easier for you. All the information related to the upsides and downsides of electric smokers as well as useful tips can be found below.
What to pay attention to before buying an Electric Smoker
- The Size
- The Price
Perfect Size – The truth is that each model offers a lot of space, and most models are available in similar sizes.
For example, Masterbuilt 30 inch meets the expectations of most people, but if you expect even more space, you can easily take the 40 inch version.
The construction of an electric smoker itself is simple enough not to take much space around the house regardless of size.
The price – We have to admit that there aren’t that big differences in prices, but if you have a limited budget you should choose a model that is free from an interesting design or unnecessary features.
Just go for the basic version that has everything necessary ( like Masterbuilt 30 inch ).
Features and Gadgets – You have plenty of gadgets at your disposal, but look for a model that offers few that are truly very useful.
We’re talking about accessories like a cold smoking kit or adding wood chips without having to open the smoker’s door. Not all manufacturers have such accessories in their offer, which is why you should make sure about that before the purchase.
In the era of today’s technologies, it would also be nice for your model to have a digital controller complete with a remote.
Why an Electric Smoker?
Easy to use – You don’t need adequate knowledge or experience in order to start your smoking adventure. You just start the smoker, refill the water and wood chips container, set the temperature and start smoking meat. To adjust temperature, you use a digital controller that is also very easy to use.
Convenient – An electric smoker is a very convenient device, it comes with no responsibilities that occur in a traditional charcoal smoker. No temperature control, fuel control, air flow control, ash removal etc.
Cold smoking – The most basic smoking is mostly associated with all the different kinds of delicious red meat. However, it has to be clearly said that one can also smoke other types of food like fish or cheese for example. Such smoking requires a fixed low temperature which is a difficult task when it comes to a traditional smoker. In electric smokers, on the other hand, it is possible to set a very low temperature in order to start cold smoking of cheese for example. If you want to achieve even better results, we recommend buying a special cold smoking kit that will allow you to generate as much smoke as you need.
How did we test?
We mostly focus on practical tests that allow to discover in the simplest way nearly all the upsides and downsides of each of smokers. We try to conduct versatile practical tests that consist of not only smoking few pieces of meat. We conduct many non-standard actions like for example smoking meat in difficult weather conditions etc.
Of course all of that is very time-consuming, but we decided to go with it in order to provide you with reviews based on experience and objective ratings from few people.
Therefore, as always with tests like these, we start with a simple analysis and listing all the available electric smokers, then we gradually rule out most of them in order to pick few models that we will put to tests.
We prepare selected models in the backyard while taking a careful look at every detail. In simplest words, we check the quality of workmanship not just for the construction as a whole, but also for individual elements not visible at the first glance.
Looking for all those models takes a lot of time, whereas the tests consisting of smoking meat were luckily not so difficult. As we are perfectly aware, electric smokers are easy to use so we didn’t have to worry about anything.
We started each of the models, refilled the water and wood chips tank, then with use of controllers we set the required temperature. In the next step, we placed the pre-prepared meat inside the smoker and with that moment started the meat smoking process.
In the last step, all that was left for us to do was monitoring the entire smoking process and comparing the efficiency relative to other competitive smokers. On top of that, from time to time we would refill the water and wood chips container.
Especially when smoking meat, we could experience for real how useful some of the manufacturers’ solutions are. For example, the side wood chips loading system present in models from Masterbuilt or a remote controller monitoring the temperature inside meat thanks to a probe.
Why trust us?
It is not our first time coming across grilling or meat smoking, and it’s not our first guide either. We’ve been through not only many years of experience while grilling in the backyard as often as few times a single week, but also a lot of projects together meant to educate beginners.
That’s the main reason why we created this website. We’re people who have always wanted to perfect their BBQ related knowledge and we did so by browsing different other websites, videos and talking with friends. The Internet is spacious, but we still had problems finding a lot of the information we were interested in which was simply hard to reach.
We decided to create a clear and simple website that would include properly prepared guides. Plenty of BBQ websites are out of date by now and their structure is not adapted to modern standards. That’s why we also focused on technical development so that everyone regardless of whether they use a computer, laptop or cellphone could comfortably read everything they find interesting on our website.
Our team relies not only on knowledge and experience but also on the way we present it to you. We want our contents to be as clear and understandable as possible and available on any device. That’s why, on top of conducting practical tests or simple grilling, we also take care of technical development of our website so that everything is top-notch.
When writing a guide, we try to include what you actually need the most. For example, in reviews we include many different suggestions available in different price ranges.
We are perfectly aware that everyone has different needs, requirements, tastes or simply a budget. That’s exactly why, when it comes to electric smokers, we chose what we believe to be the four top models that differ from one another.