Best Electric Smoker – Comprehensive Buying Guide 2020

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The Best Electric Smoker of 2020

Smokers give the meat an amazing flavor that nothing can beat. The smoky flavoring is amazing on salmon, perfect on brisket, or great with ribs. It used to be that people would have to spend hours at a time smoking whatever meat they chose using wood or charcoal. But those days are over. Now you can use an electric smoker and have that same great smoky flavor infused throughout your meat in no time.

Want the down-low on the best electric smoker on the market today? Keep reading to find out which ones made our list. We also provide a comprehensive buyer’s guide for the best electric smokers so you can make an educated decision on which smoker is right for you!

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Top 6 Best Electric Smokers

The Grill Kings research, test, and recommend the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

1. Masterbuilt 30-Inch Top Controller Electric Smoker

If you are looking for an electric smoker for a beginner or an advanced grillmaster, the Masterbuilt 30-Inch Top Controller Electric Smoker makes a perfect choice. This smoker has a thermostat temperature control for uniform cooking between 100 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit along with a built-in meat temperature probe.

The RF Remote controls and monitors the temperature, time, internal light, on/off and meat temperature. There is a convenient side-loading for wood chips, removable drip pan, and top air damper. You can even watch the food being cooked through a viewing window and internal light.

The 730 square inches of cooking space with four chrome-coated smoking racks can smoke up to 100 pounds of food at once! The heating element is 800 watts in this unit. The unit weighs 50 pounds and measures 19.7 x 16.9 x 32.1 inches.

Pros:

  • Great for beginners or advanced smokers
  • Easy to clean
  • Accurate smoking can be precisely done on this model
  • Comes in a 30 or 40-inch model
  • 90-day warranty

Cons:

  • A bit on the pricier side
  • Handle placement is odd

2. Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker

Char-Broil Analog Electric SmokerThe Char-broil Analog Electric smoker is our number two pick on the best electric smoker list. With 544 square inches of cooking space spread across three chrome-plated cooking grates, you won’t be short of space.

It has a double-wall insulated construction with dual exhaust ports, a front-access water tray, a grease cup, and a wood chip tray.

We find this electric smoker to be perfect for those of all experience levels. There are a lot of great features on this smoker, but none of them are too complex.

We love how sturdy this model is. There are two-door latches, one at the top and one at the bottom, making it very safe. If you have children that will be around during smoking sessions, this smoker is an excellent option.

This electric smoker measures 20.7 inches W x 33.5 inches H x 15 inches D and has a 1,000-watt electric element.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Sturdy
  • Fog resistant thermometer
  • Energy efficient

Cons:

  • Poor placement of the temperature knob
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3. Bradley Digital 6 Rack Electric Smoker

Bradley Smoker BTDS108P 990223 Bradley Digital 6 Rack Smoker, 11.50" L x 33Made of the highest quality materials, the Bradley Digital 6 Rack Electric Smoker is one beast of an electric smoker. We love that this heavy-duty model has digital controls.

The largest electric smoker on our list, it has almost 800 square inches of cooking space inside!

This electric smoker can feed a small army. With plenty of room for racks of ribs, whole chickens, brisket, and more. We also find the double wall insulation will keep cooking temperatures consistent and uniform throughout.

We also appreciate that the Bradley smoker flavor bisquettes can be fed into the smoker at set intervals. These wood pieces provide a great smoky flavor to all of your favorite foods.

It has exterior dimensions of 17 W x 14 D x 39 H inches and interior dimensions of 15 W x 11.5 D x 33 H inches.

Pros:

  • The size and sheer capacity
  • Wood bisquette feeder
  • Easy to read temperatures

Cons:

  • The price tag is a bit steep
  • There are only 500 Watts for power
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4. Smoke Hollow 26-Inch Electric Smoker

Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature ControlSide handles and a cool-touch spring wire door handle with a latch system are just two amazing features of this smaller sized electric smoker. The Smoke Hollow 26-Inch Electric Smoker is perfect for a small family that doesn’t need a huge amount of space.

This electric smoker is also a great way to slowly work your way up to a larger unit if you are just entering the smoker world.

It comes with a porcelain coated chip tray, a water tray, and a fully welded steel cabinet. Chrome-plated cooking grids can be adjusted to variable cooking heights in the grid track system. As well as adjustable temperatures between 175 Fahrenheit and 325 Fahrenheit.

This smoker has a height of 35.5 inches and a width of 19 inches. It has a 1500 watt element and 1.3 cubic feet of cooking space.

Pros:

  • Easy setup
  • Amazing heat control

Cons:

  • Warranty is too short
  • The heater element is hard to clean if you splatter meat juice on it
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5. “Smokin-It” Model #2 Electric Smoker

Smokin-It Model #2 Electric SmokerWith the ability to cook up to 22 pounds of meat at once, the Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker has a 400-watt heating element, 8 amps, and a 120-volt single phase. There are 3-inch diameter rubber wheels for easy transport.

It has space for 4 shelves, with 3 removable shelves included. There is also a built-in box for wood chips.

This smoker is NSF certified for restaurant use. It is constructed out of 18 gauge 201 stainless steel. The heat retention in this unit is great, with temperatures ranging between 100 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

We appreciate how easy this model is to move. While it is a smaller model, you should not underestimate its power.

Pros:

  • Easy to move
  • Perfect heat retention
  • Simple design
  • Durable construction

Cons:

  • The price could be better
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6. Landmann USA Smoky Mountain

Landmann USA 32948 Smoky Mountain Electric Smoker, 26"Rounding out our last spot on the best electric smoker review list is the Landmann USA Smoky Mountain. This smoker features a 3-in-1 combination tray for wood chip boxes, a water pan, and a grease pan. There are adjustable feet for accurate leveling on uneven surfaces and a rear damper port.

Weighing 33 pounds, this smoker has a 1500 Watt heating element. We appreciate that the 26-inch electric smoker has a full view window that allows one to check the progress of the meat without letting the flavorful smoke or essential heat out of the smoker door.

We find this smoker to perfectly combine affordability and quality of materials.

If you want a smoker but have limited space to put one, this is the best electric smoker for you.

Pros:

  • Very durable unit
  • Great price
  • Excellent heat retention

Cons:

  • The power cord is on the short side
  • Not easy to transport
Buy on Amazon

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Buyer’s Guide for the Best Electric Smoker

Electric smokers are wonderful pieces of equipment to have if you value delicious smoked food. They make sense to purchase if you are always in charge of the holidays or if you love putting on BBQs, family picnics, or entertaining your friends. We have compiled a comprehensive buyer’s guide for you to help assist you in making an educated decision about which electric smoker is best for you.

Types of Electric Smokers

There are four types of electric smokers on the market today. These include:

  • Electric
  • Electric with wood pellets/chips
  • Propane or gas grills
  • Charcoal grills

Electric smokers have a convenience factor that propane, gas, and charcoal smokers do not. With an electric smoker, you can set the temperature and be done. Electric smokers are much easier to use than propane, gas or charcoal grill smokers. This type of smoker also allows you to do cold smoking.

Factors to Consider

Before purchasing an electric smoker, there are some factors that you must take into consideration.

Capacity

If you have a lot of people to feed, you are most likely going to need a large smoker. Always look at the total capacity of a smoker before purchasing it. No matter what brand or features the smoker is, if it does not hold all your meat, then it will not be helpful to you.

Ease of Use

It will be much more helpful for you to pick an electric smoker that is easy to use. Chances are, you will also use it more. Be certain it is user-friendly in all aspects. Is it easy to clean? Is it easy to set the temperature and timer? All of these things should be met when looking at the ease of use for an electric smoker.

Portability

If you plan on using your electric smoker at various places, is it portable? This may not be a huge deal to you if you do not plan on taking the smoker anywhere.

Tips for Your Electric Smoker

With the following tips below, you can be sure that you will get the most out of your smoker for years to come.

  • Do not over smoke the foods you are cooking. Only a bit of smoke is needed to get an amazing flavor. Poultry can become over smoked to the point where it is not edible.
  • If you like the crispy skin-on poultry, consider smoking it first, then tossing it in the oven to make the skin crispy.
  • Always use the right wood. Never use wood that is scrap or you don’t know where it came from. Hardwoods make great woods, such as Hickory or Mesquite.
  • If using bagged wood chips, soak them in water first. This will keep the wood chips from flaming up while maintaining the correct temperature.
  • Always preheat your electric smoker. Do not stick your meat or vegetables into a cold chamber.
  • For the most flavorful meats, use a brining solution.
  • Use a dual probe thermometer. This meat probe will ensure that the temperature inside the meat is consistent.
  • Clean your smoker regularly to have the best-flavored meats and vegetables. Apple cider vinegar and hot water mixed half and a half in a spray bottle work great. This is because this solution will not only clean grease but it will also help with rust. Once you have sprayed the inside, wipe it clean with a sponge.
  • The first time you use your electric smoker, you will need to season it. By doing this you will make sure that any dust or oil is removed that was transferred there from the manufacturer. Simply wipe down your smoker with a cloth dipped in warm water, and then coat your electric smoker with a light coating of oil. You can then open the top vent, set the temperature at 275 degrees, then let it cook for 3 hours. Every 20 minutes you will need to add 8-12 wood chips.

Advantages of Using an Electric Smoker

There are many wonderful advantages to using an electric smoker. These include:

  • Electric smokers don’t need to be constantly supervised.
  • Most electric smokers don’t use a lot of electricity.
  • They are safe to use.
  • They produce healthy meals.
  • Electric smokers use clean energy.
  • Most are very sturdy.
  • They are easy to clean.
  • They come in a wide variety of sizes.
  • Many have large cooking capacities.

Wood Chip Pairing Guide

  • Applewood chips (mild and fruity): Pairs well with turkey, fish, lamb, ham, bacon, or chicken.
  • Alder (mild and sweet): Pairs perfectly with seafood, game birds, pork, and poultry.
  • Oakwood chips: Pairs nicely with beef, pork, or poultry.
  • Hickory wood chips: Pairs well with a variety of meats, especially beef, pork, and chicken.
  • Cherry wood chips (sweet and fruity): Pairs up excellently with fruits and vegetables. Tastes wonderful with duck, venison, game hen, pork, beef, and poultry.
  • Peachwood chips (sweet and fruity): Pairs up perfectly with white and pink meats, such as fish, poultry, or pork.
  • Pecan wood chips: Pairs up well with lamb, beef, duck, turkey, and pork.

Frequently Asked Questions about Electric Smokers

Who should purchase an electric smoker?

Electric smokers can be for anyone that loves smoked ribs, pork chops, roasts, and more. Those that enjoy vegetables will also find that smoked veggies are equally delicious. Electric smokers are generally easy to clean, and they can feed several people, so if you have a lot of individuals to serve, an electric smoker could be a wise investment.

Can electric smokers be used indoors?

Yes, you certainly can use an electric smoker indoors. However, steer clear of those smokers that use wood, gas, or charcoal for fuel. These materials are highly combustible and are not safe for indoor use.

How do you make a brining solution?

Mix salt with the seasoning of your choice. Place your meat in this salt mixture, leaving it to sit for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Do electric smokers produce carbon monoxide?

Yes, electric smokers do produce carbon monoxide due to the smoke they produce.

Do you have to put water in an electric smoker?

Yes, you will have to put water in your electric smoker. If you don’t want to add water, you can also add apple juice, wine, or beer to give whatever you are smoking a great flavor.

What type of wood chips are the best to use?

The wood chips that you use are a personal preference. There is not a right or wrong choice, but some foods go better with a specific type of wood chips. Pieces of pork, bacon, and hams are great with a mesquite wood chip. Many prefer to have their brisket smoked with oak chips.  No matter what kind of wood chips or pellets you use, make sure they were designed to be used in the type of smoker that you have.

Is an electric smoker just for meat?

No! You can use your electric smoker for a variety of things. Many have used it for vegetables, such as corn, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, squash, zucchini and more.  Others feel that cheese is great smoked in the smoker.

If you opt to not use wood chips, you can use your smoker as a dehydrator to make beef jerky or deer jerky.

Final Verdict – Best Electric Smoker

We hope you’ve enjoyed our reviews of the best electric smokers on the market today. Our number one choice, the Masterbuil 30-Inch Top Controller Electric Smoker, is the best overall when considering all factors.

The Char-broil Analog Electric Smoker is a great pick for those that have children around and prefer to play it safe.  This has a locking mechanism on the top and bottom door for extra protection.

If you love cooking for larger crowds or have a big family, the Bradley Digital 6 Rack Electric Smoker is perfect.

Our number one goal was to ensure that you know how to pick the correct and best electric smoker for your needs. We believe our comprehensive buyer’s guide can help you pick the model that you need based on what you’re looking for.

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