Best Electric Smokers in 2021
Updated 06-04-2021 – kavita sharma
Electric smokers or electric grills are quite versatile and also comes as a combo. So, you can use an electric pellet grill as a smoker as well. The process and working of these appliances are simple. The difficulty arrives when one has to research to find the best electric smoker in the market.
Don’t fret, we have done all the leg work for you. So, whether you need an electric smoker for domestic or commercial use, keep scrolling.
Why Do You Need an Electric Smoker?
Better Temperature Control
If you’re no stranger to smokers, you’d be aware of the fact that sometimes it’s tough to keep the temperature inside a smoker consistent. Evenly cooking your food is a major concern when using a smoker and so maintaining a consistent temperature ensures you’ll get this result. Electric smokers give ultimate control over the temperature you want to use through some digital or analog controls.
When it comes to cooking, sometimes it’s a pleasure to have an appliance that offers hands-free operations. Electric smokers do just that by not requiring constant supervision by the user. It’s very much a set and goes type of appliance. All you need to do is put in the settings and let the food cook. However, it’s still good practice to keep some supervision on devices that can cause an accidental fire hazard.
In our times, air pollution is one of the key issues that you should keep in mind. Since this type of smoker uses electricity, it uses a clean source of energy and reduces the carbon footprint you leave behind.
It doesn’t cost an arm or a leg to purchase a decent electric smoker. They come at a price range as low as $200 or less. Caution should be had, however, as the cheaper you go the more likely the electric smoker is to be of bad quality.
Things to Consider When Buying Electric Smoker
If you’ve chosen to go the electric smoker route, now comes the part where you’d probably want to know what to look out for when purchasing one. With so many options out on the market, it complicates the shopping process because you may not know what you’re missing out on with other competing smokers. A general rule of thumb, the more you’re willing to spend, the more features the product you’ll buy will have. As mentioned before, electric smokers offer the most convenience out of all the smokers available. Some offer better convenience. Let’s get started and look at some features and factors you want to look out for.
Analog Vs Digital Electric Smoker
Digital electric smokers, as you might have guessed, use digital controls to set up the smoker. They offer more control by letting you set the time, temperature, smoke amount, and the duration it should run for. This is usually done through a digital screen.
Analog electric smokers, however, use a different set of controls to let you operate the smoker. The main control is through the use of a thermostat dial. Temperature is measured through a temperature gauge. It offers less control over how you want your smoker to operate.
Size and Capacity
As they say, size makes a difference. If you’ve ever had a cookout or a small gathering, sometimes you don’t have the space to cook more food to save time. That’s why it’s important to check the size of the electric smoker. For those times when you need to cook a lot more, having a smoker that can fit a lot of food will make your life much easier. Also, make sure its trays are sizeable enough too.
You want the electric smoker to be durable and have an appropriate enclosure to not let an excessive amount of smoke out of the smoker. A majority of good electric smokers will be made of stainless steel or cast iron. Furthermore, also check the material that is used to manufacture the accessory of the smoker. For example, grates, drip plates, etc.
When buying a smoker, for many, budget is a big limiting factor in your decision. The most expensive electric smoker out there will probably be the most pleasing to you, but consider this, do you need it? If you do, many options on the market may offer the same features for a lower price. If not, go for the more moderately priced smokers that will most likely not disappoint. You don’t want to go for smokers that are too cheap as they probably won’t last as long.
Although we mentioned capacity is important, for some, big gatherings aren’t an issue to consider. If you live in an apartment, having an electric smoker that can be moved anywhere is probably one of the most important factors to consider.
If you regularly cook food that requires high temperature, looking at the temperature range an electric smoker offers are extremely important. You don’t want to buy one and find out it doesn’t offer enough to achieve the results you want. Some electric smokers can offer temperatures from 100 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on your needs, look for a range that’s ideal for you.
Internal Temperature Probe
Temperature is an important element to keep in mind when cooking meats. You want to provide a consistent temperature to let the food cook evenly throughout. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track, so an internal temperature probe might be something you should consider. It’ll let you know if the smoker is doing what it should be.
For those that want the most convenience possible, some electric smokers even offer Bluetooth control. If you want to kick back and mess with settings from a distance, look for an electric smoker that offers remote control options.
Of course, the dreaded part of any device comes maintenance to factor in. Look for an electric smoker that has features like a grease tray and water tray to prevent dripping. Those that don’t will give you a harder time to maintain as well as might make for bad cooking conditions.
|MasterBuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker 30 inches||Best basic||9.5|
|Char-Broil 192020101 725 Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker||Best value||9.6|
|MasterBuilt MB20073519 Digital Electric Smoker with Boiler 30 inches||Best budget with remote control||9.8|
|LANDMANN MCO 32954 Smoky Mountain Electric Smoker 26 inches||Bet budget option||9|
|Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker||Best analog electric smoker||9.3|
|Bradley Smoker BS611 Electric Smoker||Best overall||9.5|
|Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill & Smoker||Best premium||9.5|
|Traeger Ironwood 650 Pellet Grill & Smoker||Best for every weather||9.5|
|Traeger Timberline 850 Pellet Grill & Smoker||Best for families||9.2|
|Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 20||Best lightweight premium option||9.6|
|CampChef Woodwind WiFi 24||Best large budget-friendly||9.8|
|CampChef Woodwind WiFi 36||Best for commercial usage||9.9|
1 MasterBuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker 30 inches
Are you new to the world of electric smokers? And do you want to get a simple and easy to use electric smoker just to try out smoking recipes? If yes, then getting a very expensive feature-packed electric smoker might not be good for you. Don’t stress, we have got the right product for you. The MB20071117 digital electric smoker from MasterBuilt is a basic appliance that anyone can use. But at the same time, it contains all the necessary features one needs.
To start with, the smoker is made of high-quality steel that offers a durable body. The simple and straightforward digital panel is easy to use and helps you turn on/off the smoker and control the temperature.
Sometimes when you want to add pellets to the smoker but you are too slow, the smoker can lose its smoke. And then it takes longer to get the preferred taste. Fortunately, with MasterBuilt this is not the case. It features a patented side wood chip loading system. With this system, you can add more pellets without opening the door at all.
In terms of space, you can fit 6 chickens, 4 racks of ribs, 4 pork butts, or 2 turkeys in it. And the maximum temperature this smoker offers is 275 F.
One downside of this smoker, however, is that it does not have a window. This makes it hard to comprehend the state of the meat. Other than that, this product is suitable for newbies who are looking for an easy to use a digital electric smoker.
2 Char-Broil 192020101 725 Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
If you are trying to find a large electric smoker at reasonable prices but do not care about premium features then this is it. Char Broil’s deluxe digital smoker might be the one for you. As it offers 725 square in. of the cooking surface at such a low price, it will be a good addition to your kitchen.
Let’s start with the easy to use LED control panel at the top of the appliance. You can use it to on/off the appliance and change the temperature. This leads us to the insulated walls. No matter which temperature you choose, the well-insulated smoker will maintain it and gives an even flavor. It features a clear glass window, so you can see the meat smoking without opening the door that causes the temperature to fall. Lastly, the large steel lock prevents smoke from escaping so you get the smokiest meat you have ever tried.
3 MasterBuilt MB20073519 Digital Electric Smoker with Boiler 30 inches
Best Budget with Remote Control
If you are not sure which electric smoker to buy and also do not have any personal preferences then we would suggest getting MasterBuilt MB20073519. This smoker offers all the necessary features you need at a reasonable price. In addition to that, you also get some premium features. For instance, this MasterBuilt electric smoker is Bluetooth enabled. You can connect it with any Android or iOS device and enjoy controlling the appliance remotely. This feature allows you to change the temperature, lighting, monitor meat, and even power off the smoker.
When it comes to temperature control, MasterBuilt is not behind in the game. The smoker contains meat probes that check the temperature for you. And the thermometer control maintains your preferred temperature throughout the cooking process.
Just like the other MasterBuilt smoker on our list, this one also offers a side wood pellet feeding system. This allows you to feed pellets without opening the door and hence prevent smoke from escaping. The large glass window enables you to watch the meat getting smoked.
Lastly, the four chrome coated smoke racks can fit 2 chicken, 4 ribs, 4 pork butts, and 4 turkeys.
4 LANDMANN MCO 32954 Smoky Mountain Electric Smoker 26 inches
Best Budget Option
There is nothing more disheartening than wanting to make smoke meat at home but not being able to afford an electric smoker. Well, today is your lucky day. Because Landmann MCO smoky mountain might be the product that you were looking for all this time. Why? Well, this is one of the most budget-friendly electric smokers in the market. But mind you, being available at an affordable price does not mean that Smoky Mountain lacks any features. It contains all the feature that one need for smoking meat.
First of all, this Smoky Mountain offers a suitable cooking area. The 3 chrome-coated steel grates can easily fit 3 chickens to smoke simultaneously. In terms of temperature control, the smoker has analog temperature control. In addition to that, the temperature gauge on the door shows temperature in both Fahrenheit and Celsius for ease of use.
Furthermore, the smoky mountain’s door has a glass window. So, you can watch the meat getting smoked in real-time. Due to its lightweight, this product is easy to move around. As it has adjustable legs, you can even place it on an uneven surface without worrying about the smoker tripping over.
But there’s a catch. The smoker doors are non-insulated which means they might not be as competent in terms of holding warmth.
In conclusion, Landmann Smoky Mountain electric smoker is a good small size budget-friendly option for seasonal users.
5 Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
Best Analog Smoker
This next electric smoker recommendation is especially for people who are looking for an analog smoker. The Char-Broil analog electric smoker is one of the most feature-packed yet budget-friendly electric smokers in the market. First and foremost, unlike most of the other analog smokers, Char-broil features an integrated analog controller. This saves you from the hassle of plugging in and plugging out the controlling.
The thing which we love the most about the Char-Broil analog smoker is that it is large enough. With 544 sq. inches of cooking space, you can prepare a meal for 5 people. It features 3 porcelain-coated racks that offer a 593 sq. in cooking space in total. Comparing the cooking area with the price makes Char-Broil one of the most affordable analog smokers on this list.
This analog electric smoker is well-insulated and retains warmth during cooking. Lastly, the water tray and grease tray catches all the water and grease drips and prevents the smoker from getting dirty.
6 Bradley Smoker BS611 Electric Smoker
This product from Bradley Smokers is for those who want an overall good product that comes with good features and serves the purpose. And Bradley Smoker electric smoker does it efficiently. First of all, this smoker is made with high-quality stainless steel. This means not only this smoker looks good but it will also last you longer. Then comes the equally well-made 4 grates which are large enough to fit meals for 4-5 people at once. Furthermore, these racks are dishwasher safe. Now you can enjoy smoking the meat without worrying about cleaning a big mess afterward. This smoker also features a water basin that collects grease and hence lessens your cleaning chore.
In terms of hopper capacity, you can store up to 9-hour worth of wood pellet easily. This allows you to enjoy your time while the meat smokes. This leads us to the smoke vent. Due to this vent, the dirty smoke escapes, so you do not have to manually check the meat every few minutes.
7 Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill & Smoker
Most of the products from Traeger and CampChef are considered premium. However, Traeger Pro 575 got the official rating because it is a pro appliance that most people can afford. So, to start with, this grill smoker has a cooking space of 575 sq. in. This so enough to cook a meal for 5-6 people and would be suitable for a small to medium family. Now, let’s talk about the pro features.
Traeger Pro 575 is WiFi-enabled, you can control the temperature remotely and even turn on/off the appliance from anywhere. The porcelain-coated racks prevent food from sticking to the racks and hence save your cleaning time. The internal meat probe also helps you evaluate the temperature.
Finally, this smoker grill comes with all-terrain wheels. So, you can move it on any type of surface easily.
8 Traeger Ironwood 650 Pellet Grill & Smoker
Best for Every Weather
Smoking, barbequing, or searing in summer is easy as the weather is hot and hence it helps the appliance is reaching the target temperature. But the problem comes when you want to do these same things in winter. If you also hate how your grill is enabled to maintain its warmth when the surrounding is cold then you need Trager Ironwood pellet grill. This appliance features a D2 ironwood controller. Due to it not only the grill heats up quickly but it also remains war and fastens the cooking process.
Furthermore, this product features WiFire. By this we mean it is WiFi-enabled and you can connect it with your phone. This feature comes in handy during winter when staying out feels like a punishment. So, let the meat smoke outside, while you can control the device from the comfort of your cozy home.
9 Traeger Timberline 850 Pellet Grill & Smoker
Best for Families
Traeger Timberline 850, for many reasons, is a perfect product for a family that loves meat. Yes, the price is a bit expensive but it offers premium features that you would love. For instance, Traeger Timberline is equipped with a D2 timberline controller. This controller not only maintain your preferred temperature. But with its Super Smoke mode, you can activate extra smoke to get the richest flavor possible.
In terms of the cooking area, you get 3 tiers of stainless steel grates that offer 850 sq. in of space for cooking. With this much space, you can easily cook for your whole family. Furthermore, due to the Traeger app, you can now control your electric pellet grill through your phone. So, enjoy your time with your family, while your meal cooks slowly.
Lastly, this appliance is fully insulated. This allows you to cook even when it is cold outside.
10 Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 20
Best Lightweight Premium Option
Let’s be honest, who does not want an electric smoker with premium features. After all, they not only make our food tastes better. But also due to the convince factor, they make our life easier. However, the one factor that stops people from getting these premium smokers is their heavy bodies. Most of these premium products are heavy and difficult to move. But with CampChef woodwind 20 that’s not a problem. This product is lighter than smokers of a similar range. In addition to that, the high-quality tire makes moving CampChef 20 easier. And due to the folding side shelf, you can store Woodwind 20 in a small area.
When it comes to the cooking area, this grill offers 501 square in. of space in total. This area is large enough to cook for 5 people. So, you can easily throw a small party at your house. The temperature range of CampChef woodwind 20 is also great. It can heat up to 500 F which is also great for grilling and sliding.
Lastly, the ash and grease management system lessens your burden of cleaning the system after use.
11 CampChef Woodwind WiFi 24
Best Large Budget Option
It can be difficult to find a feature-packed smoker that not only has a large cooking area but is also cheap and affordable. This is where CampChef Woodwind comes into play. This product has got the best of both worlds. Yes, it is not as affordable as the other affordable options on our list. However, when you compare the features, the cooking area, and the price, CampChef woodwind 24 is available at a reasonable price.
So, let’s start with the cooking area. Woodwind 24 has 800 square in. of total cooking area. With space this big, you can easily cook a meal for 6 people. Then comes the construction. Just like any other product from CampChef’s woodwind series, this one is well-constructed and comes with a 3-year warranty. In terms of temperature, Woodwind 24 offers a wide range of 160-500 which makes smoking easier. In addition to that, due to this temperature range, you can use Woodwind 24 for grilling, searing, smoking, and more.
Just like other grills from the woodwind series, this one is also WiFi-enabled. You can easily connect it with the CampChef’s app and control the appliance remotely. This allows you to enjoy your time with your family while the meat is smoking in the background.
12 CampChef Woodwind WiFi 36
When it comes to business, people try to get the best product in the market to improve their food quality. If you are also trying to make it big into the culinary world and want a commercial-grade smoker then CampChef’s woodwind would work great for you. Whether you cook in a restaurant or cook your orders from home, Woodwind 36 is a perfect product for chefs. And here is why;
To start with, CampChef woodwind 36 offers the largest cooking area among its competitors. With the rack space of 1236 square in., you can easily smoke multiple chickens, turkeys, and burgers in the smoker simultaneously. Furthermore, with the pellet hopper capacity of 20 lbs., you can set the Woodwind 36 and forget it. This leads us to the WIFI functionality. As this smoker features WiFi, you can connect it with CampChef’s app and control the appliance remotely. Work on other dishes, while the meat gets ready outside.
In terms of temperature control, CampChef WIFI 36 is precise. The PID controller offers consistent temperature ±5 F throughout the process for better cooking. It has the range of 160-500 F but the grill can reach 650 F.
Buyers Guide for Best Pellet Smokers
How does an Electric Smoker Work
Now you’re probably wondering, how does an electric smoker work? What procedures does it go through to get the food cooking? To give you a good reference, think toaster ovens. Once the smoker is plugged in, electricity powers and heats the electric component in charge of heating. Depending on your model, the component will then heat up the tray holding wood chips, pucks, or pellets. With the increasing temperature, the smoke source will then start to smolder which fills up the smoker with smoke.
Some electric smoker models even have a steam compartment that will help keep meat moisturized. For those that hate cleaning, it might make your cleaning routine just a tad bit easier.
As mentioned before, it depends on the manufacturer on what type of fuel source you need to give your food the smoky flavor. Sources include pucks, pellets, or plain wood chips. In general, the best electric smokers will most likely have an easy to access loading port to add wood chips in whenever you’d like. Some even have automatic dispensers that load wood as needed.
Does this mean you’ll some of the flavor a typical wood/charcoal smoker would produce? Yeah, of course, but everything has its costs. As far as the environment goes, an electric smoker is a better option to keep using.
The difference an electric smoker has over the others is its control and ease of use. Unlike others, it’s far easier to handle an electric smoker as long as you follow manual guidelines. Once you’ve become comfortable with the guidelines, it’s really simple to set up and not even have to look over as it cooks your food. What you’ve lost in flavor, you’ve gain extra in convenience and accessibility. You don’t need to put in as much work using this type of smoker as you would when working with others.
How to Get More Smoke from Electric Smoker
The common complaint of an electric smoker is that it doesn’t produce a smoky flavor that a wood/charcoal smoker would. So how can we work around this problem and get the most of an electric smoker? Can an electric smoker even compete with the big guys? To give you a straight answer, that’s a hard maybe. Depending on the person, the answer will vary as some might have a different definition of what a true smoky flavor is. What may be good enough for you, might not be enough for another? However, it’s still worth a shot to try some tips to get more smoke out of your electric smoker.
Use your wood tray: If you’ve owned an electric smoker before, you’ll know how much of a pain wood chips can be when smoking. They’ll often need to be refilled several times throughout the process. Considering how much a problem this is, it might be in your interest to go for an alternative such as a small tube or box that provides smoke for hours. This way, you’ll have a consistent and inexpensive source of smoke for your electric smoker.
Pre-seasoning: Like other types of cooking appliances (i.e., cast iron skillet), seasoning before use will provide a better cooking experience for you. Seasoning the electric smoker when you first get it will also ensure you get rid of any residue left behind by the manufacturer. Seasoning will also leave a dark coating on the inside of the smoker but do not worry, this will just add to the flavor of the foods you decide to cook inside the smoker.
More is not always better: When it comes to smoke, we all love the smoky flavor that it can provide but more doesn’t always mean better. As most things go, too much smoke will most likely make your food come out inedible. Make sure you read up on the proper timeframes and cooking procedures for whatever you want to cook to get the most out of it.
How to Use an Electric Grill as a Smoker
Smoking meats is a time-consuming process, but the results are great. You might’ve thought that a smoker is an absolute must when smoking meat, but what if I told you, you could smoke meat at home with an appliance you probably already have? Well, it might come as a surprise, but you can use an electric grill to smoke meat. How can you do that? Let’s go through the process of making your electric smoker using an electric grill.
Although it is important to point out the differences between an electric smoker and an electric grill. While they both use electricity to operate, the thing that separates the two is their heat source. Smokers, as you may already know, are more for low and slow processes of cooking. Grills, on the other hand, offer fast cooking on an open flame.
Depending on the model, some electric grills can come equipped with their chambers to add wood. However, this is not the case for every electric grill, so what should you do if you’re stuck with an older model? Well, the solution to this problem, comes in the form of a smoker box.
Of course, not all smoker boxes are made to fit an electric grill so it’s important to look for one specified to work with a grill. Once you’ve found one that works, all you need to do is place the smoker box on top of the heat source. The chips should start smoking and it’s at this point that you should move it on the cool side of the grill. Smoker boxes are typically filled with wood chips, pellets, or charcoal.
Some general tips to keep in mind is to soak the wood you will be using before cooking to let it last longer. After the wood starts to smoke, the back of the grill is generally a good area to keep the smoker box in. This will push smoke toward the food that’s cooking. As far as meat goes, if you want that indirect heat effect, keep the meat away from the source of heat.
Common Electric Smoker Problems & Solutions
Like most appliances, there may come a time where you run into problems. Whether you need a professional to fix it or not, some common problems have simple solutions. To save you some time and effort, we’ll list a few common problems that you might’ve run into.
Smoker won’t startup: Make sure to check everything is plugged in properly. It happens to the best of us sometimes but makes sure the smoker is plugged into an outlet. Apart from that, check for any faulty wiring and make sure all connections are secure. Should it still not start up, check your power breaker to see it’s tripped and have your wires checked. Make replacements should you need to.
Not burning properly: Before use, make sure to check for any potentially trapped wood chips in the smoker. It’s good practice to thoroughly clean your smoker to get rid of any residue or chunks that could be left behind. Too much build-up and your smoker will most likely not function properly.
Another reason your smoker might not be burning properly is that you might be using an improper type of wood. The typical types of wood used for smokers include cedar, cherry, alder, hickory, and maple wood chips.
Lastly, there might be a bit of rust build-up that is preventing your smoker from burning properly. If so, make sure to get rid of it using a wire brush or some sandpaper.
Under-Cooked Food: If your food is not coming out completely cooked, there could be many issues at hand. When it comes to cooking, there is only a certain amount that an electric smoker can handle. Make sure to not overload the smoker as this will not let it perform at its best. Pre-heating is also important since some electric smokers need time to elevate their temperature to the settings you’ve made. Once it provides a consistent reading of the temperature you want, put in the food you’d like to cook. The smoker’s placement is also important to keep in mind as the smoker can be fighting weather conditions to try to maintain its temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What are the best electric smokers on the market?
It depends on what you are looking for. For commercial use, CampChef Woodwind WiFi 36
would be great. Meanwhile, for people on a budget, there is nothing better than LANDMANN MCO 32954 Smoky Mountain Electric Smoker 26 inches.
Q2. Who makes a good electric smoker?
When searching for good electric smokers, sometimes it’s tough to pick one out as they can all seem great. If you want to narrow down your search, some well-reputed brands manufacture electric smokers. The price point of the brands will vary. To name some, MasterBuilt, Char-Broil, Smokehouse, Smokin-It, and Bradley are some good brands to consider. Meanwhile, Traeger and CampChef are famous for their smoker and grill combos.
Q3. Are electric smokers any good?
To give you a straight answer, yes they are. They might not offer the best smoky flavor of all the smokers available, but they do offer a ton of convenience which is something you won’t get too much when it comes to cooking. If you want to be given some flexibility, electric smokers give you a ton of control with little effort on your part. Set the smoker to the settings you’d like and watch it cook while you handle other business.
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