For outdoor entertaining, it is hard to beat the succulent flavor of freshly smoked fish and meat. Now you can have that without the hassle and mess of traditional smokers. With an electric smoker, you just load it up, plug it in and let it do all the hard work for you while you relax!
Electric smokers have a large capacity so you can cater for all your friends and family and they are very versatile. You can use different types of wood chip and they produce a consistent supply of smoke so you get even cooking throughout. When they are done, they are very easy to clean. To help you decide which would be the best electric smoker for your yard or garden this summer, here is our useful guide.
The Best Electric Smoker
This is a 30 inch digital electric smoker that is versatile enough to suit a beginner or a professional chef. You can achieve top-quality results in your own yard without having to bother with the mess of charcoal or propane. This smoker is electrically powered so you just plug it in and it’s off.
This Masterbuilt electric smoker is big enough to fit all the meat that you will need for your family so you can fit 12 whole chickens and even 48 sausages in this smoker because it has a full 700 square inches of cooking space and four handy chrome racks. It also features an LED display as well as a drip deflector and a drip pan that you access from the front. The door locks easily and the inner lining is highly effective at keeping in the heat and flavors. To maintain the seal, you are able to add more wood chips without opening the door. There is even a damper for smoke control on this Masterbuilt electric smoker which has everything a beginner could need.
Will suit beginners or professionals
Can accommodate four whole chickens
Woodchip loading without opening the smoker
- Weight57.6 pounds
This is a versatile smoker that provides 548 square inches of cooking space so you’ll have plenty of space where you can smoke whole poultry and large meat cuts. All you have to do is plug it in and set the temperature and it is ready. It contains a powerful 1500-watt heating element and a thermostat which can be set at anything from 100 to 400 degrees F. The external thermometer display will let you know what temperature it is operating at.
This is a lightweight unit that is very easy to move around and comes with a spring door handle made out of matching chrome. You can use it for a whole range of fruit and vegetables and with any woodchips of your choice.
548 square inches of cooking space
Operates at 100 to 400 degrees F
External temperature display
- Weight51.5 pounds
With this electric smoker, you can get up to eight whole hours of continuous smoke that is both controlled and cool and can reach temperature of up to 320 degrees F. It’s designed to be used outdoors and is made from high-quality powder epoxy steel with an interior made from stainless steel to prevent rust and to make it easy to clean.
This Bradley electric smoker is very quick and simple to assemble and the internal cabinet measures 17 x 14 x 31 inches with four internal racks. This is big enough for plenty of chicken, pork or fish for outside entertaining. You control the temperature and smoking time using a digital display.
Eight whole hours of smoke
High-quality powder epoxy steel exterior
- BrandBradley Smoker
- Weight57.5 pounds
An electric, digital smoker that has plenty of room for two whole turkeys or 24 burgers up to a total of 80 pounds of food! Using the digital control panel, you can set the time and temperature and sit back and let the smoker do all the hard work. Inside, there are four chrome-coated smoking racks which are easy to clean.
Thanks to a side loading system for the wood chips, you can load more without having to open the door. The thermostat is integrated to give you an even temperature and consistent smoking. All the heat and flavor is sealed in thanks to the fully-insulated construction.
Can accommodate 80 pounds of food
Digital control panel
Even and consistent smoking
- Weight46 pounds
This digital electric smoker is just what you need if you love the taste of smoked food but can’t be bothered with the hassle. It’s for outdoor use and gives you a full 725-square inches of internal cooking space. Inside there are four smoking racks which can be adjusted.
It can be used for large or small quantities and will smoke for up seven hours before you need to refill it. The smoker features a temperature gauge that you can remove so that you can monitor the heat and you can make any adjustments using the control panel that has an LED display. There’s a porcelain-coated water pan that slides in and an 8.5 cup grease tray which makes cleaning hassle-free. Once they are fully smoked, it will keep your meats warm until you are ready to serve them.
725-square inches of internal cooking space
Control panel with LED display
8.5 cup grease tray
Porcelain-coated water pan
- Weight50.2 pounds
This front-loading, compact electric smoker is manufactured right here in the USA and can accommodate 25 pounds of food so it will easily cope with a catch of salmon or a batch of elk jerky. It has a tough, aluminum exterior case and inside there are chrome plated grill shelves that slide in and out for easy access. The drip pan is dishwasher safe for an easy clean up.
There is no temperature adjustment on this barbecue smoker so the unit smokes your food at a consistent 165 degrees F for reliable results without the danger of cooking the food and ruining the flavor. It is also vented so you get adequate dehydration. It requires no assembly and comes with a recipe booklet and a bag of smokehouse natural wood chips to get you started.
Can accommodate 25 pounds of food
Drip pan is dishwasher safe
Operates at a consistent 165 degrees F
- Weight12.16 pounds
There’s plenty of capacity in this 30 inch electric smoker which features a digital control panel with an LED display and a side wood chip loader so that you can top up the chips without opening the door. This puts you in control of the time and internal meat temperature. There’s even a shade over the LED display so that you can see it in bright sunlight.
You can fit in 12 whole chickens or four racks of ribs on the four chrome-coated cooking racks. The main feature of the smoker is that it will connect to your smartphone or tablet device via Bluetooth and it becomes a remote control for the smoker. You will be able to turn it on and off and set the temperature and time as well as check the internal meat temperature from your device.
30 inch electric smoker
Four chrome-coated cooking racks
Connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth
- Weight63 pounds
You will achieve even and consistent smoking with this 800 watt smoker that gives your food an authentic, wood-chip smoke odor and taste. The body is fully insulated and there is an adjustable air damper to control the smoke. Also inside, there are three chrome-coated racks that will comfortably fit nine chickens and a removable drip tray.
You are in complete control of the smoking process thanks to the digital control panel and the thermostat control. Add your favorite flavor to the removable water bowl for perfect results every time.
Body is fully insulated
Gives your food an authentic, wood-chip smoke odor
Removable drip tray
Digital control panel
- BrandSmoke Hollow
- Weight46.5 pounds
There’s plenty of internal smoking space inside this 505 square inch electric smoker. The food is arranged on the three adjustable chrome-plated racks so that the smoke can circulate evenly. At the bottom, there is a wood chip pan and a water pan.
The heat is provided by a 1,500 watt temperature heating element that can be adjusted. The whole unit has a double wall to keep in the heat and maintain an even smoking temperature. It comes with a chrome-plated handle and there is a temperature gauge on the lid.
1,500 watt temperature heating element
Adjustable chrome-plated racks
Double wall for insulation
Temperature gauge on the lid
- Weight49.6 pounds
You get two devices in one with this smoker that converts into a grill. Inside, there are 351 square inches of space that accommodates two chrome-plated grids. The base and body interlock which makes it easy to set up and take down. Thanks to the vented lid and sealed door, there is a constant and even supply of smoke flowing over the food.
At the base of this smoker grill, there is a water pan that holds 5.5 quarts to ensure that all your food is juicy and tender. The handles are heat-resistant and the access doors slide open so that you can add water or woodchips when you need to. You can also use it as a grill and the reflector pan will redirect heat to ensure thorough and even cooking.
Smoker that converts into a grill
Two chrome-plated grids
Water pan that holds 5.5 quarts
351 square inches of smoking space
- Weight 23 pounds
Best Electric Smoker Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Consider When Buying an Electric Smoker
Here are some of the features that you should consider when you are choosing your electric smoker. It’s worth reading the electric smoker reviews to see what you are getting.
The internal capacity is important. If you want to smoke large quantities of food, you need a large smoker. Many manufacturers will give you the internal dimensions but will also indicate what this means in terms of real food! They will tell you how many chickens or how many sausages you can get in the smoker.
- Smoking racks
Several racks are always a good feature so that you can get plenty of food in. Also, it’s a good idea if you can take them out for cleaning and move them around.
A drip tray is a very useful feature when it comes to cleaning! It will collect all the grease for easy disposal. If it can be put in the dishwasher, that is even better.
- Digital display
An LED display with digital controls puts you in total control of the smoking process. Electric smokers will have a thermostat to control the temperature but some will also have meat thermometers which are very handy.
- External wood chip door
It’s very useful if you can add the wood chips without having to open the main door. This allows you to keep in all the flavor and moisture.
- Extra features
Some electric smokers come with extra features such as smartphone compatibility via a Bluetooth connection and this can be very convenient.
Why You Should Use an Electric Smoker
The main motivation for using an electric smoker is a love of smoked food! Some people adore the succulence and flavor that smoking in a bbq smoker gives to meat and fish. Electric smokers are great for beginners because there’s not that much that can go wrong. Here are some of the main reasons that people use an electric smoker.
- Accurate control of the temperature
Meat needs to be smoked at a certain temperature and that is easy to do in an electric smoker. You simply set the temperature and a thermostat will keep it constant for you. Some smokers just have one set temperature which is usually quite cool. You can be quite precise about setting the temperature thanks to a digital display panel.
- Speed of setting up the smoker
You don’t have to spend ages lighting an electric smoker because you just plug it in and turn it on! It starts cooking right away and carries on as long as the electricity supply is not cut off. Electric smokers are designed to smoke food at low temperatures so it will take very little time to reach its operating temperature.
- Requires little input from you
You really do set up these appliances and then walk away and let them get on with it. They monitor and control their own temperature and carry on working until the timer tells them to stop. There will be a constant temperature and a steady stream of smoke. You will probably have to top up the wood chips though.
- A clean power source
Because you just plug them into the electricity, there is no mess associated with charcoal or pellets. There will be no ash to clear away. The grease gets deposited in a drip tray which is easy to clean out.
- Large cooking area
When comparing by price, an electric smoker will give you a larger cooking area. Many of them can fit up to 12 whole chicken or 48 sausages and that should be enough to cater for even a large party!
- Safety concerns
The heat in electric meat smokers is provided by an electric element which is a very safe and highly controllable source of heat. To turn it off, you simply unplug it. There are no naked flames so the risk of fire and burns are reduced.
Different Types of Smokers
Smokers can either be powered by electricity or by charcoal or pellets. The charcoal/ pellet smokers can be one of the following:
- Vertical water smoker
- Horizontal off set smoker
- Box smoker
- Drum smoker
- Smoker oven
- Kamado grill
- Pellet grill
Tips for Using Your New Electric Smoker
To get the best results from your char broil smoker, it is important that you use it in the right way. Here are some top tips for using electric meat smokers.
- Cure the smoker before you start using it
Start off by wiping down the inside of the smoker to remove any dust or residue left over from the manufacturing process. Then, place the wood chip box and water pan in position. Plug in the smoker and turn it on. If you can adjust the temperature, set it to 275 degrees F and set the timer for three hours. Let it run for two hours and then add two cups of wood chips for the final hour. Once the cooking time is up, let it cool down. Now it is ready to use.
- Choose the correct wood chips
Different types of wood chips suit different types of food so choose wisely. Oak chips are fantastic for lamb and beef because they have a medium to heavy flavor and a BBQ taste. Maple wood chips go very well with poultry and pork because they have a sweet and light flavor.
- Preheat the smoker
Add the woodchips and then turn on the smoker. Most will take around half an hour to heat up from cold. Then add in the meat or poultry. Don’t forget to add more chips when they have been used up.
Best Electric Smoker FAQ:
Q: How do electric smokers work?
A: Electric meat smokers are a very popular household appliance that allow you to produce beautifully smoked meats, fish and vegetables without the mess of a traditional smoker. The heat is supplied by electricity and the time and temperature of smoking can be controlled.
When heat is applied to wood chips, they produce smoke which circulates around the food and penetrates it. The food is cooked and flavored at the same time.
The smoker consists of a metallic body that contains a number of racks. At the bottom, there is space to add the water and the wood chips. Without sufficient water, the food will be very dry and tasteless so this needs to be topped up. There is usually a drip pan to collect the juices dripping from the meat.
Q: How Long Should Wood Chips Last?
A: It is vital that you have sufficient wood chips to last throughout the whole smoking period. There are several different flavors to choose from and it’s a matter of personal taste. Some delicious options are cedar, hickory and cherry plum chips. Some smokers have an external loading feature so you can top up the chips during smoking without having to open the door and let the heat and smoke out.
The quantity of wood chips that you have to add and how long they last varies between smokers so have a good read of the instructions before you start smoking. On average, you can expect your smoker to go through around four cups of wood chips in around five hours but it can less than this.
Q: Do I Have to Soak Wood Chips Before Using Them?
A: This is a matter of considerable debate and comes down to personal preference and trial and error. Why not try both and see what you think. The aim is to produce a constant supply of steady smoke so that you get an even smoking effect.
If you are going to soak your wood chips, you need to do so for several hours. How much water they actually absorb is open to question and is likely to not be very much! Some types of wood chip may absorb more than others.
Q: Can I Use an Electric Smoker in the House?
A: Electric smokers are designed to be used outside. This is because they produce smoke! Whilst it is true that an electric smoker may have a chimney that can be used to direct smoke outside, smoke and poisonous gas is very likely to escape.
Not only will this present a health hazard, but it will also make the whole of the inside of your house smell and it will be very hard to get rid of the odor. The best advice is to stick to outdoor smoking!
Q: How Do I Clean an Electric Smoker?
A: The best plan is to let your electric smoker cool down whilst you are eating and then clean it right away. It will be easier to clean when the juices and greases have not dried on to the interior. Most smokers have removable chrome plated racks which can be taken down and cleaned with a kitchen detergent. Use the same for the inside of the smoker.
Hopefully, most of the grease will have been collected in the drip tray and can be discarded. Some drip trays can be placed in the dishwasher.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick of the best electric smoker is a 30 inch digital model that will help you achieve top-quality results in your own yard. It’s big enough to fit 12 whole chickens or 48 sausages because it has 700 square inches of cooking space
The Masterbuilt electric smoker comes with four chrome racks and an LED display and drip deflector. The door locks easily and the inner lining is highly effective at keeping in the heat and flavors. You can add wood chips without opening the door.
- How To Use An Electric Smoker - BBQ Focus