Once upon a time, if you wanted to enjoy some flavorful meat cooked to perfection, you’d have to go to a restaurant with a smoker on the premises. Even the finest cuts covered in the world’s most delicious rub wouldn’t have the same depth of flavor if they were cooked slowly for hours in an oven. It’s just not the same.
Have you ever wished there was an easy way to replicate that savory smokehouse taste at home?
Well, there is! Welcome to the world of electric smokers. These days, you don’t have to own a restaurant to have access to a smokehouse. There are plenty of electric smokers by top brands available to give you a fast pass to flavor right in your backyard.
You don’t even need mad kitchen skills to serve up tasty plates. In this guide to finding the best electric smokers, many of the name-brand models that made our list are quite easy for you to master on your own.
We know—many of you may have been smoking meat, fish, poultry, pork, and even veggies like a champ for a while. No worries. There’s still room for you to level up your game and enhance your cooking process with one of these smoking hot devices.
- 1 Best Electric Smokers Roundup
- 2 Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
- 3 Masterbuilt 35B Electric Smoker
- 4 Smoke Hollow SH19079518 Electric Smoker
- 5 Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker
- 6 Landmann MCO 32954 Mountain Electric Smoker
- 7 Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
- 8 Bradley Smoker BS611 Original Smoker
- 9 Old Smokey Electric Smoker
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Smokers
- 10.1 Are Electric Smokers Any Good?
- 10.2 Can I Use An Electric Smoker In My Garage?
- 10.3 Can I Use Pellets To Power My Electric Smoker?
- 10.4 How Often Do I Clean My Smoker And How Do I Do It?
- 10.5 Can I Use An Extension Cord With My Electric Smoker?
- 10.6 Does An Electric Smoker Use A Lot Of Electricity?
- 10.7 Can I Use My Electric Smoker In The Rain?
- 10.8 Do Electric Smokers Cook Faster?
- 11 How to Buy the Best Electric Smoker
- 12 Get Fired Up to Use Your Electric Smoker
- 13 A Word Before You Start Smoking
From poultry to pork to beef to fish and more, the best electric smoker gives you all the heat and smoke you need to create the perfect meal. Once you take that first bite, you’ll wonder how you went for so long without buying an electric smoker of your own.
Even if you’re addicted to your grill, you have to admit that the whole process can be rather time-consuming. First, you have to fire up the propane or the charcoal. Then, you’ve got to keep an eye on the food so that nothing burns or dries out.
Can you set and forget your meat on the grill? Absolutely not. But you can with an electric smoker! It’s so easy that all you have to do is plug it in, heat it up, add some chips to the wood chip tray, and let it go. You don’t have to do much more than that.
There is one thing you have to do: Get some napkins and get ready for some of the juiciest, most flavorful food you’ve ever tasted.
Best Electric Smokers Roundup
Now that you have some background about how to live the electric smoker life, it’s time to dive into our top choices for the best electric cooker. We’ve picked eight of the top smoking appliances and given you a run-down of each to make it an easy choice for you.
Keep in mind that “best” doesn’t mean “most expensive.” Some of these models made our jaw drop when we saw the price tag—in a good way. This means that not only will it be easy to stick to a budget, but you might even have some wiggle room to buy the model that has all the features you really want in an electric cooker.
Without further ado, here is our list of the best electric smokers of 2020.
Attractive design with a large cooking space, this device is solidly built, this double-walled smoker is well insulated to keep as much heat in as possible.
It is a cheaper smoker than many out there, quickly found for under $250 type, and comes with four adjustable cooking racks to give you plenty of flexibility no matter what cut of meat you are looking to smoke.
Its special feature is its glass door that allows the user to view foods while it cooks. Let’s be honest; we all struggle with the urge to look inside, thus letting the heat and smoke out. But the downside to this is glass windows need to be cleaned frequently.
It offers a blue LED display screen to help you view the cooking temperature of the food and make adjustments as necessary. You can also remove its thermometer, which is nice because I have yet to see an accurate thermometer included with one of these.
It comes with a grease tray for trapping grease and juices when cooking and a large stainless steel locking latch for keeping the door tightly locked when cooking.
Finally mobility is made easy with its wheels and integrated handles, so if you plan to move it about frequently, this will come in handy.
The Masterbuilt 35B Electric smoker is a fantastic option for backyard chefs of all levels. It has easy-to-use temperature control settings and a variable control so you can keep things as hot as they need to be. With a 1500-watt heat element, you’ll get the even smoking you are looking for—just adjust the air damper to get the cooking temperature you need.
This Masterbuilt model is easy to clean between smoke sessions, too. A wood chip tray slides out easily for quick ash clean up. A grease tray in the front catches food drippings without worry. Fill the removable water bowl to add moisture to any meat.
No charcoal or propane is needed to get this smoker going. Just plug it in, set the desired temperature, and let it do its thing for meal after savory meal. With three chrome-coated cooking racks, you’ve got plenty of room for meals—three chickens, two turkeys, three racks of ribs, or three pork butts.
The Smoke Hollow SH19079518 Electric Smoker makes it even easier to get that smokehouse taste you crave right in your backyard. This fully insulated smoker has an integrated 800-watt thermostat for a consistent and even smoke. With a digital panel that controls the smoker and indicates temperature and cooking time, you are the master of your outdoor kitchen.
An adjustable air damper on the Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow makes it easy to control the smoke, and a pull-out drip pan ensures a quick clean-up. For even more moisture and tons of flavor, fill the water bowl.
Three chrome cooking racks allow you to cook more at once. You can smoke nine chickens, two turkeys, three ribs, or three pork butts all at the same time. Are you having a casual BBQ? You can smoke 36 sausages or 24 burgers for the whole crowd.
If this is your first electric smoker, you’ll be cooking like a pro in no time with the Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker. This model is so useful that seasoned backyard chefs will love it, too. All you have to do is arrange your meat on the racks, set the temperature control, and wait for the magic to happen.
A 1500-watt heat element gives you a temperature range from 100°F to 400°F. Whether you want to cook it low and slow or crank the heat, you can do it all with the Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker.
If you’ve been saying, “I want a smoker, but have no place to put it,” then the Landmann Mountain Electric Smoker is for you. Whether you have a small yard or just want to streamline your household appliances, you’ll be thrilled with how this baby performs.
With a three-in-one tray for your wood chips, water bowl, and grease tray, it’s easy to get yourself ready for a smokin’ good time. This smoker might be small, but the optimized cooking space with three chrome-plated grates allows for plenty of room for all of your meat and more.
The Landmann Mountain Electric smoker has a window on the door, so you can check on your food without having to open the door and let heat escape. The smoker is lightweight, too, so you can quickly move it wherever you need it to be. You can also trust that it will remain steady on any surface, thanks to its adjustable feet.
With solid stainless steel construction, a 1500-watt heat element, and independent temperature control, the Landmann Electric Smoker could be the one you’re looking for.
You know the Char-Broil name for grills. Now the brand’s superior reputation extends to the electric smoker field, too. The Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker is reasonably priced, but that’s because there are no frills with this model.
What you do get is an insulated, double-wall structure with two exhaust ports and a 1200-watt heat element. Three chrome-plated cooking grates allow enough space for you to cook up generous platters of food. The analog temperature gauge is conveniently located right on the door, which has a double latch to keep in all that smoky goodness while cooking.
If you’re looking to get your feet wet with smoking meat, the Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker is a great option.
Bradley is synonymous with top-notch smokers, and the Bradley Smoker BS611 Original Smoker is proof. Its stainless steel interior contains four wire racks that allow you to smoke plenty of meat at the same time. The racks have supports, so there’s no danger of them tipping when you pull them out—a safety feature that both novice and experienced smokers will appreciate.
If you like appliances that offer more than one function, you’ll want to take a closer look at this Bradley Smoker. Not only does it smoke meat, but it also works as a slow roasting oven and a slow cooker.
With other smokers, there’s a risk of moisture damage to the heat switch, but not with the Bradley—the heat control is situated by the smoke generator instead. The temperature function is easy to use, making this smoker the right choice for first-timers. This smoker doesn’t get as high in temperature as other smokers on this list, so if you’re in the market for a cold smoker, this one might do the trick.
Simple and sturdy are two words that come to mind when you first lay eyes on the Old Smokey. The steel gray electric smoker might not win any household appliance beauty pageants, but what it lacks in first impressions you’ll forgive and forget when you taste the mouth-watering food that comes out of it.
There’s not a whole lot to do with Old Smokey other than adding some wood chips to the chip tray and plug it in. The thermostat is easy to adjust so that you can put in a wide variety of meat cuts with minimal effort.
The flat lid—which fits nice and tight on the smoker—ensures that juices drip down and get reabsorbed by the food, so there’s no fear of dried out chicken or turkey here. Speaking of which, this is the ideal smoker for both chicken and turkey, but you can comfortably smoke brisket, pork, seafood, and other game in it as well.
Often under $200, this workhorse is a good option for someone new to smoking. But it’s not a bad option for someone who wants to expand their smoking capabilities with a second appliance either.
Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Smokers
How to Buy the Best Electric Smoker
There are a lot of electric smokers on the market, all at different price points. That’s great news because no one likes to see their hard-earned cash go up in smoke.
If you’re not sure which one is right for you, or maybe your friends have sacred you away with several myths about electric smokers.
We’ve got some key features and characteristics that you should consider when you’re thinking about buying an electric smoker.
Strength and durability
Strength and durability are two core characteristics you should always look for in everything you buy. In an electric smoker, they’re must-haves.
We bet you’ll fall in love with your electric smoker’s cooking capabilities, so opt for one made by a reputable brand. That way, you’ll be able to keep Old Smokey around for a good long while. Look for one with sturdy construction that looks like it’s up to the task of taking on massive amounts of food. Models made out of stainless steel and coated in porcelain are an excellent choice, as this duo of materials is more than tough enough to stand up to high heat.
You don’t need a commercial-sized smoker for your home, but you do want one spacious enough to smoke at least a few rounds of food at a time. Many of the electric smoker reviews in this guide provide specifications as detailed as the square inches of cooking space in the interior. Some will tell you the actual amount of space in the unit, but read the instructions to see just how many racks of ribs, chicken, and other meats you can smoke at once.
Just like with all cooking appliances, there are some pricey models out there when it comes to electric smokers. But don’t worry—you can also find plenty within your budget. Start by listing your must-have features, then find electric smokers in your price range.
We suggest choosing one with a mid-range price. Treat it well, and you’ll have a smoker that lasts for years.
We know you’re big on flavor—after all, you are in the market for an electric smoker. The smoker adds flavor to your food thanks to the wood chips it burns while cooking protein to perfection.
That’s why you must choose a smoker that includes a wood chip tray—if it doesn’t have one, it’s a deal-breaker. The magic happens when you fill that box with hickory, mesquite, alder, and infuse the meat with those exquisite flavors.
Get Fired Up to Use Your Electric Smoker
Now that you have a better idea of what’s on the market, we’re convinced that you’ll find the model you like. But for those of you who are unfamiliar with smoking as a cooking technique, we’d like to give you some guidance for getting started with your new favorite household appliance.
A Word Before You Start Smoking
Your smoker won’t come in a million pieces, but there will be some assembly required. For the parts that are assembled, you’ll want to make sure that the screws are tightened. Place the unit down on an even surface. Some units have adjustable legs so you can even out your electric smoker even though it’s on an uneven surface. Take the time to do this—the last thing you want is a very hot household appliance in danger of tipping over.
Now that your electric smoker is set up, it’s time to grab that rack of ribs, right? Wrong.
Look, we know you’re excited to get cooking with your smoker. But aside from assembling the parts, there’s also something else you should do before you put any meat in it: season.
There’s a Reason for the Season(ing)
We don’t mean grabbing some salt and pepper and sprinkling it all over your new electric smoker—save all that for the meat itself. The practical reason for seasoning your new electric cooker to remove any oil and residue that got left behind during the manufacturing process. That’s why you don’t want to put any food in it the first time you turn it on. If you do, that gross residue will be all over your meat.
Seasoning a smoker is all about prepping the interior coatings, otherwise known as curing, and preventing any rust from forming. What will build up—and go ahead and let it!—is a thin black film, which means big things for the flavor of your food.
That’s why I wrote this quick how to season your electric smoker guide.
Whether you're brand new to the electric smoker game or have just upgraded to a better model and are ready to put it to good use, here’s some useful info to enhance your experience.
For those that are for outdoor use only, you should place your smoker at least 10 feet away from any house or building.
Do not use harsh chemicals or cleaning agents on your smoker. Masterbuilt recommends a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar and hot water. Put both in a spray bottle and shake well to combine them. Spray and wipe away any residue with a soft cloth or sponge. Simple.