An electric smoker could take your food prep up a few notches in 2019. Even though using this kind of smoker is considered cheating by many purists in the smoker world, it is still the most widespread smoker used today due in part, to some major advantages it has going for it.
For starters, an electric digital smoker has the easiest temperature control out of all the models, which in meat smoking is the one of the best features a smoker can have. Furthermore, you won’t have to keep adding fuel into it to keep the fire burning, as you have to for a charcoal or pellet smoker; it’s electric, just plug it in and you’re good to go!
Oh, on that note, yeah… You will need an electric supply.
This is the Achilles’ heel of these smokers, highlighted in many electric smoker reviews. With the rest of the models, like charcoal grills and gas grills, you can literally go anywhere and fire them up (except maybe some propane and pellet models), but here you have to have a power supply. Sure, you can bring an external battery, but it still isn’t as convenient. An electric smoker also tends to also be a bit heavier and has more serviceable parts that can eventually break and need replacing.
Our top rated electric smokers are easy to use and clean, of an affordable price, and good at maintaining their temperature.
How, then, will you know which model is best for you? This in-depth review is a great place to start!
Here is a complete list of the best electric smokers in 2019, that will help you find the right one for you to try out your many recipes and meet all your smoking needs.
10 HIGHEST RATED ELECTRIC SMOKERS
|780 sq in||60lbs.||5/5|
|450 sq in||33lbs.||4.5/5|
|725 sq in||50lbs.||4.9/5|
|720 sq in||50lbs.||4.8/5|
|400 sq in||47lbs.||4.6/5|
|721 sq in||54lbs.||4.3/5|
|300 sq in||75lbs.||4.8/5|
|280 sq in||23lbs.||4.2/5|
|595 sq in||76lbs.||4.4/5|
|730 sq in||46lbs.||4.5/5|
1. Bradley BTDS108P
This Bradley smoker is the perfect combination of quality materials, perfect dimensions, and brilliant technology. This electric digital smoker can smoke on its own for a full 8 hours straight, making it an excellent choice, and one of the best electric smoker models available.
It requires no previous knowledge of meat smoking, making it a very good electric smoker for beginners.
The Bradley electric digital smoker has tons of customizable features and, with its digital display, is the only smoker out there capable of both hot and cold smoking. It has good dimensions, is built exceptionally well and maintains a steady internal temperature, giving the meat products a nice smoke flavor.
The Bradley electric smoker will ensure you’re always on top of your meat smoking game. We do wish that it had wheels so that, with its dimensions it was easier to move. We also felt that this Bradley smoker is better suited to a more sheltered area on the porch or patio rather than outdoors.
Bradley smokers have multiple cooking racks, six in all, which provide plenty of space for smoking, especially if you intend to cook your products, for instance multiple pork ribs simultaneously.
The digital controls and display make for a simple cooking process without all the guesswork of analog models. There is even an easy to remove ash tray that makes the clean-up of this unit a breeze.
Bradley smokers clock in at right around 60 pounds but their units don’t have any wheels or rollers that can be used to position them properly. This electric smoker is an outdoor model, but heavy wind does affect the overall performance, making this appliance a poor choice for outdoor use.
- Affordable price
- The unit is easy to use and clean
- One of the best for beginners
- Perfect for cooking large barbecue, and for trying our multiple recipes
- This electric smoker has a unique and pre-set feeder system for consistent smoke
- Excellent, fully controllable electric digital settings
- The unit includes a set-it-and-forget-it option
- A downside to this electric smoker, is that it has no wheels, so not highly portable
- Heavy wind can affect the performance of the unit outdoors
2. Landmann USA Smoky Mountain
Landmann has always been known to produce some of the top electric smoker models. The Smoky Mountain is no exception to this rule, as it covers everything a basic meat smoker unit should do.
This electric smoker has relatively good heat insulation and internal temperature control and doesn’t mix up different flavors when cooking fish and chicken together, for example. If you don’t want to rip a hole through your pocket, but also want to enjoy meat full of flavor, go with the one of the best – choose the Smoky Mountain.
This electric smoker is a budget-priced powerhouse of a smoker that handles temperatures between 100 and 260 degrees Fahrenheit. It also has four separately adjustable feet that allow you to ensure the unit is fairly portable and maintains its upright position at all times even on uneven ground.
The 3-in-1 water pan, multiple cooking racks, wood chip box, and grease drip tray make operating the Landmann Smoky Mountain unit a simple process. Clean-up is also easy thanks to the 3-in-1 compartment setup. The window in the door is also nice; you can keep an eye on your meat without opening the door and letting out all the accumulated smoke flavor on your products and dropping the internal temperature.
On the downside, the power chord is rather short, and the controls don’t allow for much fine-tuning. The door of the appliance is also prone to leaking smoke due to its loose fit.
- Affordable price
- A sturdy unit with one of the best construction
- A relatively lightweight and portable unit
- Has a window for checking in on your food
- Multiple smoking racks
- Good heat insulation
- Comes with a short power cord
- Lack of advanced digital and electric controls
- The unit door can sometimes leak smoke due to fitting loosely
3. Char-Broil Deluxe
This Char-Broil Deluxe unit part of the electric smoker char broil series, offers you a great user-friendly experience that will take all the hard work or trying out smoking recipes away. The unit has a gorgeous design and is made out of best top-quality materials that customers tend to look for.
The heat and smoke with which it operates ensures that the meat coming out of it will be nothing but professional-kitchen-quality. It’s affordably priced and comes with features like Wi-Fi that customers would usually expect to pay more for. In fact, it’s one of the better smokers with Wi-Fi that we’ve come across.
The Char-Broil Deluxe is a great electric smoker for beginners, this electric smoker definitely won’t break the bank. Bear in mind if you’re into high-temperature cooking, the electric smoker char broil is not the best option. It reaches a maximum temperature of 275°F, however, so is an option that is well worth considering if you prefer slow-cooking. Throw in some pork into the racks and you are all set for the weekend.
- Easy to clean
- Well-insulated appliance
- Compact unit with lots of racks for cooking
- There’s not a lot of volume in this electric smoker if you want to make a bigger barbecue
- We encountered some Wi-Fi reception issues
- You will have to clear and clean the front glass window often
- Not particularly portable
- Limited to smoking food between 100°F – 275°F
4. Masterbuilt 20078715
It is rare to see a product as good as Masterbuilt electric smokers, which do almost everything right, but Masterbuilt have seemingly “mastered” this process.
The electric smoker masterbuilt series have built-in thermometers so you can choose the perfect temperature every time. It ranges in temperature from 100° F – 275°F.
The controls for this electric smoker are on a digital electric panel at the top of the unit, so they are easy to read. There are four racks in total giving you plenty of cooking space.
If you don’t feel as though that’s enough, upgrade to one of the 40-inch models instead. You do need to be careful when using the wood chip insert on Masterbuilt electric smokers because it’s not as strong as we’d like. That’s also, according to our experience and considered review, is where a chip tray could come handy to allow you to add chips or bisquettes easily to the appliance.
We’d also have preferred the models to have at least a year-long warranty (you get a 90-day guarantee).
The Masterbuilt 20078715 electric smoker has all the bells and whistles an electric smoker can have, but as a for a much lower price than its competitors.
- Leak-proof cabinet construction
- Fairly easy to use
- Produces top-quality smoked meat
- Can be fairly customizable
- Great temperature and smoke control
- You can add wood chips without opening the surface door
- Long service life
- Requires some maintenance, but cleaning is still fairly easy
- Not a highly portable electric smoker
5. Smoke Hollow 30162E
This electric smoker isn’t as fancy as all the rest on our list, but the guys over at Smoke Hollow didn’t want it to be. All it has to do is give you the pleasure of producing perfect smoky meat products, without having a steep learning curve.
If you want to get a cheap first meat electric smoker, which will guide you deeper into the world of meat smoking, opt for the Smoke Hollow. This is smaller than the Masterbuilt, so if you need an appliance with more space, it’s best to go for the 30-inch model.
It does have the best chrome plated racks, but there are only two of these, which means it’s not ideal if you’re cooking a lot of food, for instance multiple large pork butts at once.
If you’re cooking for smaller groups, however, it’s perfect! Although chrome plated racks have been quite popular for sometime , it is important to remember the heating and power elements on electric smokers, required when cooking for a big group of people.
You get a reasonable smoker, reviewed quite favorably in many guides, and you’ll save a few bucks.
If you’re short on space, though, this smoker model is the best option. It’s compact, works well, and is easy to use. Like the Masterbuilt smoker, though, it only has a 90-day warranty which was disappointing.
- Easy to maintain
- One of the best for BBQ beginners
- Made out of sturdy materials
- Has a long service life
- Great temperature control
- Has handles that make it highly portable
- Doesn’t have a big enough volume to sustain larger barbecues
- Lacks advanced digital controls
- Lacks a window to allow you to check on the progress of the meat
6. Masterbuilt Bluetooth Smoker Model
The Masterbuilt Bluetooth Smoker is a great little piece of equipment for making homemade smoked meat. It offers the ability to monitor and control the cooker from afar using the smart device app, making it one of the best electric smoker brands online.
The app is a bit finicky, but the functionality is very handy when you can get it to work. This electric smoker Masterbuilt model also packs a punch with its 800-watt heating element that helps keep the temperature constant during long cooking sessions.
However, it does have a max temperature of 275°F so that might be a deal breaker for some customers. I prefer to smoke my meats at low temperatures over a long duration, so this wasn’t a problem at all for me.
Due to the Bluetooth functionality, this Masterbuilt Smoker is a little bit pricier than similarly sized products thanks to the “high end” feature it has, that impress many a customer who reviews Masterbuilt.
Personally, I could do without the Bluetooth and smart device functionality after spending some time with the rather frustrating app they made for it. If the app worked better and was more reliable, it would be a much easier recommendation. If you’re into Bluetooth, however, this electric smoker Masterbuilt model comes with the choice of using Bluetooth and it was one of the best on the market. Overall, I’d say the unit is worth the price and will certainly get the job done.
- Easily the best Bluetooth technology that lets you control and monitor the unit from your smart device.
- 800-watt heating element for consistent temperatures.
- 721 square inches of cooking space for tackling large quantities of barbecue
- Has a front-fcing window to allow you to check on the progress of your meat products
- This electric smoker has a maximum temperature of 275°F, not ideal for high temperature smoking
- Pricier than other similar-sized and capable smokers
7. Smokin-it Model 2
The Smokin-It Model 2 electric smoker is a very well-built and sturdy piece of equipment that is sure to provide you with a solid at home smoking experience for which to try out numerous recipes.
The construction is top notch with all the components being quite sturdy and reliable. The form factor of this smoker also makes it perfect for storing in tighter spaces, and it’s really easy to move the whole smoker around thanks to the wheels and stainless steel handles on the sides.
This thing weighs quite a few pounds though, so using the wheels is a must, and if you need to pick it up, you should probably have a buddy help you out.
While this electric smoker does cook like a champ and offers good square inches in size, it is a fair amount pricier than other models with similar sizes and capabilities due to the build quality. It is considered one of the best BBQ smokers for commercial enterprise.
The temperature gauge is really close to the heating source which can result in temperatures in the majority of the smoker being lower than what is read by the gauge. The entire unit is a little on the small side and only has four racks on which to add food, which means you won’t be able to use this for big productions.
- Compact and portable thanks to the wheels and side handles
- Full stainless steel construction for extra durability.
- 800-watt replaceable heating element with superb insulation.
- High price due to stainless steel construction.
- Temperature control isn’t the most accurate thing in the world.
- Only four cooking racks and on the small side.
8. Old Smokey Electric Smoker
The Old Smokey electric smoker isn’t the prettiest thing ever, but it gets the job done. This model is a reliable piece of equipment that should help you make meat products with a delicious flavor for years to come.
It is made with a very utilitarian design without any unnecessary frills or features. The Old Smokey was perfect for me as a novice to the world of smoking, thanks to its simple design and no fuss operation.
It can be a bit of a chore to clean compared to the units with easy cleaning features like drip drawers and an ash tray. However, the lack of features keeps the price down, and this baby works great.
It is a bit on the smaller side so the square inches of cooking will be rather small and you won’t be cooking up a storm for huge crowds with it, but it will definitely get the job done for whole turkeys or a couple racks of ribs at the same time.
- Low-cost thanks to the no-frills design of the unit.
- Does its job without fail and is sure to provide great food.
- Perfect starter smoker for those just getting into the hobby.
- Small size and lack of features means you’ll want to cook one thing at a time in it.
- Cleaning this piece of equipment is a bit of a chore due to the design.
- No window to check on the progress of your meat products as they smoke
BEST ELECTRIC SMOKERS BY BUDGET
9. Best Electric Smoker Brand Under $200 – Char-Broil Vertical
Finding an electric smoker that comes in at under $200 on many guides is not all that easy. This is a simple, budget-friendly model. Naturally, the trade-off for the great price is a very simple device. You’ll also need to factor in that it’s a little smaller than some of the more expensive options you may find on Amazon or elsewhere.
That said, it’s an excellent option for a beginner who just wants to test the waters, itching to try their hand at new recipes. You can read below to find out why this brand is one of the best electric smokers for under $200.
- Simple to operate and easy enough to clean
- Comes in at an excellent price
- Capable of handling a reasonable quantity of food, but will frustrate you if you have a lot of people to cater for
- Performs tolerably well, especially when you consider the price
- Very simple
The downside is that the door can be difficult to shut correctly at first. Once you get the hang of it, though, it becomes simpler to operate.
It’s also not the best model if you’re looking for heat insulation and so would not be ideal if you’re in an area that gets very cold in winter.
There is some insulation, but this does not stand up too well to extremes of cold. Also, the lack of insulation does mean that it can cost a little more to operate regarding power.
It’s not a huge difference, though, and certainly not a deal-breaker. We do think that if you enjoy smoking your food, you’ll want to swap it out for a more advanced model at a later stage. If you’re only going to use it occasionally, this model is perfect.
- Easy to use
- Lightweight (coming in at around 50 pounds)
- Cooks great food with a delicious flavor
- Short power cord
- Lack of fine-tuned temperature control
- Door doesn’t seal well and requires some modification to get a tight fit
10. Top Smoker Brand Under $300 – Masterbuilt 20070910
If you’re a more experienced smoker or are going to use the smoker often, it makes sense to up the ante a bit when it comes to price and quality. This model performs well and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
It has some handy features that make it easy to use.
- Complete with a built-in thermometer. This electric smoker ranges in temperature from 100°F – 275°F, and you can set the temperature to what suits you
- A set-it-and-forget-it option – it will maintain the desired temperature automatically.
- Well-built. The exterior is made of stainless steel, and the interior is aluminum for maximum heat control properties
- A pretty good-looking model and reasonably compact, coming in at just 46 pounds
- Capable of handling smaller racks of ribs and pieces of meat. You could, for example, fit in six whole chickens.
- Not capable of handling a full rack of ribs or a more substantial cut of meat unless you can roll them up
We don’t particularly like the tray that you put the wood chips in. We do feel that this tray could have been made a little stronger. Still, as long as you’re careful when using it, it should be fine.
Another issue is the temperature range that this model is capable of. It only goes up to 275°F, so it won’t work if you want to try some high heat cooking.
All the same, for the price, you’re getting a pretty good deal. It’s more than enough for someone who is just starting, and it can handle a reasonable amount of food in one go.
- Side-load opening, in which to add wood chips
- Removable drip tray for easy cleaning
- Digital timer control for a set-and-forget functionality
- Smokes great and maintains temp well
- Can only do temperatures from 100°F – 275°F
- No viewing window for keeping an eye on the food
- Warranty lasts only 90 days
Electric Smokers Buyer’s Guide
Before we lay out the criteria you have to follow in order to get the best electric smoker for you, let’s introduce you to the four major types available in the market. They are categorized by the type of energy or fuel they use to generate heat and are the following:
– Electric with a pellet/bisquettes auger system
– Propane or Gas Grills
– Charcoal Grills
Obviously this guide will be concentrated on electric smokers, but should be looking for a different kind of smoker be sure to check out our guide. There is a reason that today the most commonly used is the electric smoker, and you will see why in a second.
What Defines The Best Electric Smoker to Buy
There are a lot of boxes that have to be checked when searching for the perfect smoker for you. That’s why we’ve arranged and listed them all in one place. Make sure you go consider all of these factors before, and when making your purchase.
- Total Capacity
This is one of the most important aspects of an electric smoker. Always check for this first. Even if the smoker has tons of other amazing features, if it is not big enough for your needs it just won’t be useful. If you often cook for big crowds or parties, make sure you get a big enough electric smoker to fit all the food inside.
- Ease Of Use
Make sure that the model you choose is user-friendly and a breeze to operate. Make sure the control panel gives you enough options and the cooker has a window that lets you monitor the situation inside the cooker. Extra points if there is a Bluetooth interface or even a remote control.
- Build Quality
What you want is a durable cooker, which will be by your side for years to come. Avoid electric smokers that have bad reviews or proven short longevity.
- Temperature Range
Make sure the electric smoker goes from around 100 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This range consists of all the right temperatures to smoke and grill all sorts of meats.
This seems like a weird thing to point out but trust us, if you want to use your smoker at different places there are three things you need out of it – to be lightweight and portable, to have a long-enough power cord, and to have wheels.
If you’re serious about smoking meats, you’ll want to find the best smokers with the good features, built to smoke, grill and roast foods. These combination smokers will allow you to prepare foods in multiple ways without shelling out the cash for extra equipment.
- Ease of Maintenance
Quick and easy maintenance always does the trick. Go for an electric smoker with easily removable grids, racks, grids, panels, water pans, and ash trays, and check with the manufacturer to see that replaceable parts are easily available.
- Remote Controls
Remote controls give you the freedom to barbecue and grill, without staying near your electric smoker all day. Simply adjust temperature internal light, or check internal meat temperature at a distance. Keep tabs on the progress of your meat as it smokes, by pressing a few buttons on your remote control. Having a remote control can make things much easier for you while trying to prep your meals.
Affordability does not mean cheap. There are plenty of well-built electric smokers out there that won’t break the bank with their decent price, and have a decent amount of in-built advanced feature. Affordable units are constructed to last long, even if they don’t have all the advanced features of expensive smokers.
Make sure you get a good warranty on your product. Most smokers have a warranty between 1-5 years, but we suggest getting the longest possible one. After all it’s an electric appliance and everything can go wrong within its circuits, as you grill your meats.
Advantages Of Owning An Electric Smoker
- Temperature Control. Charcoal grills are famous for being hard to maintain at the right temperature. Gas grills are quite better, but still not as good as the electric models. They simply have tons of heat-regulating mechanisms, which all do the job for you. There is a required temperature for smoking each kind of meat and the electric models make sure you maintain that temperature for the perfect results.
- Safety. These smokers are the safest out of all the types, as there is no possibility of burning wood jumping out and setting things on fire (especially if you are indoors). Even if something happens to the thermostat and the temperature goes beyond its set point, there are built-in prevention mechanisms that kick in and shut the unit off.
- Not Having To Start A Fire. All you need to do here is plug and play, and that’s pretty much it! With charcoal grills you will have to actually build a fire and maintain it properly.
- Not Having To Supervise the Electric Smoker. Electric cookers require minimal to no supervision. If you can’t have your whole day wasted in maintaining the smoker, this is the right choice for you. You just set up the ideal temperature or program for you, and go do whatever it is you were doing in the first place. One thing, though – since the temperature in the electric models goes from the bottom of the unit towards the top, the whole process might be a bit slower, but even then, as experienced smokers say, “the longer the smoking is, the better the flavor”.
- Heat Convection. Electric cookers are the best at heat convection and spreading, a unanimous champion in that category. Most units cannot distribute their heat properly (especially when outdoors), and usually cook only one side of the meat. Electric models have excellent heat convection capabilities which results in a nicely cooked and smoked flavor.
A variation of the electric smoker is the pellet smoker. It still uses electricity but maintains its temperature by burning compressed wood chips. They are great as they tend to add a bit more flavor to the food, but they are far more expensive.
All that aside, electric smokers are what easy smoking should be all about. You place the meat inside and go prepare the rest of the dinner in the kitchen and enjoy your family-time. Nothing to maintain, nothing to worry about.
Gas grills rather close to this, but we’d suggest always keeping an eye on your unit just in case the fuel runs out mid-cook.
Tips For Using Smoker
Electric smokers provide you with the ability to smoke delicious, meats, vegetables, and cheeses at home while taking out a lot of the guesswork that goes into traditional smoking. Cooking smoked food is a great hobby that your family friends, and neighbors are sure to love, but getting into it can be pretty much trial and error at first. We’ve put together some helpful pointers that will help you hit the ground running with your new electric smoker.
- Season Your Electric Smoker for First Time Use
This is important. Seasoning ensures that any dust or oil left over from the manufacturing process is completely removed. You don’t want this going onto the food, as these residues will render the food inedible and unpalatable. To season your electric smoker, first wipe it down with a damp cloth, and then coat with a light spray of cooking oil spray. Open the top vent all the way, and fire it up at 275°F for 3 hours, adding 8 – 12 wood chips every 20 minutes. Once you’ve done this, you can safely begin to use your electric smoker.
- Invest in a Dual Probe Thermometer
Your smoker will probably come with a dial-in thermostat, but we also recommend investing in a dual probe thermometer setup. Temperatures vary wildly in a lot of places within the smoker, so you’ll need to measure the air temperature right around where the meat is cooking to get accurate readings, and ensure your meat is smoking evenly.
- Less is More
When it comes to smoking food, too much smoke is not a good thing. Ideally, you want to see a thin trail of blue smoke coming out of the vent on your smoker during the entire process. It doesn’t take a whole lot of smoke to imbue your food with the lovely, rich and smoky flavors you want. Make sure you aren’t going too heavy on your wood chips when smoking. This is especially true for chicken or turkey, as they are more prone to soaking in the smoke and can even become inedible with too much smoke.
- Foil Is Your Friend
Lining the bottom of your smoker and the racks with aluminum foil, will make for much easier clean-up and help prevent grease and fat from burning onto the bottom of your smoker, making a right mess. Speaking of cleaning your electric smoker…
How To Best Clean Your Smoker
First of all, make sure the smoker has had plenty of time to cool completely because you don’t want to burn yourself! Using a cloth with warm, soapy water is generally the best solution for cleaning out the inside of the smoker.
Different models have various removable compartments like drip pan drawers and wood chip trays, so make sure you take out all the racks and compartments first, cleaning them separately – this will make the process much easier. After wiping everything down with warm, soapy water, it’s generally a good idea to dry everything off before putting it all back together again.
Prevent food from burning onto the components by spraying down racks with vegetable oil before smoking.
Other Types Of Smokers
Pellet smokers seemingly are on the rise lately, but are nowhere near as popular as their pure electric competition. Even so, they can maintain temperatures rather well. The pellet smoker is basically a modified electric smoker. Most of them have an auger system that has a thermostat attached to it. That way, whenever the temperature drops, the auger system automatically places a few more pellets into the fire. If you want the choice of that system in your smoker though, you will still need electricity. Those models are made for people who want their meat to be smoked over true wood (not that there is much difference in the taste).
Pellet smokers don’t have cheap models, so honestly, if you are a beginner, the pure electric smoker is the best way to go.
Speaking of flavor, charcoal smokers and grills produce quite the unique combination of tastes embedded into your meat, but the whole process of starting them up and later on maintaining their temperature is a huge deal-breaker for many. Instead of being with your friends, you will have to sit next to the smoker constantly in order to produce the same result an electric model would do all on its own. A variation on the charcoal smoker or grill is the ceramic smoker. This highly-insulated smoker grills and smokes food for longer, with minimal fuel, because of its thick and sturdy construction.
BBQ purists will say that charcoal smokers and grills are the only true way of smoking and grilling, but we’d strongly and respectfully disagree, as the meat which we tasted out of some of the higher-spec electric cookers was brilliantly tasteful, and equally delicious.
Electric Smokers FAQ
Q: How do electric smokers work?
A: Simply put, electric smokers are ovens with smoke. Heat is supplied through a built-in electric heating element, which burns the wood chips above it, producing smoke. Instead of the heat being controlled by limiting the flow of oxygen using vents, electric smokers have digital controls that change the flow of electricity into the unit.
Q: What is the water pan for?
A: The water pan is used to help prevent food from drying out during the smoking process. You can add water or fruit juice in the pan for extra flavor, but make sure you clean out the pan between uses, ensuring to only use and add fresh water with every use, to prevent toxic bacteria from building up.
Q: Are electric smokers better than charcoal smokers?
A: This is very much a subjective question and points really to what kind of barbecue style you prefer. If you like tinkering around your smoker, adjusting the fire and smoke levels as you grill, and have the know-how to do this, then charcoal smokers or grills are a better option. However, if you’re still learning the ropes, prefer a more laid back style of smoking, and prefer to just “set-and-forget”, then smokers will suit you better.; they literally do all the work for you! Electric smoking has come a long way, and no matter how much BBQ purists disavow them, they nowadays produce professional quality barbecue.
Q: Are electric smokers better than propane smokers?
A: Electric and propane or gas smokers are very similar. They are both suited to the “set-it-and-forget-it” style of smoking, which makes it perfect for beginners or those who’d rather not manage a fire. Both smokers also create smoke through the burning of wood chips. However, with an electric smoker, you don’t run the risk of running out of fuel as with propane smokers (except maybe in a power outage, and in any case you could use a battery). They’re also cheaper to run than propane smokers, with propane being more expensive, considering both the price of the unit, and the constant need to refuel with gas.
Q: Why don’t electric smokers produce a smoke ring on the barbecue?
A: An electric smoker does not produce as much combustion as a charcoal grill. Wood chips burn at lower temperatures than charcoal, hence the gases that help in forming the “bark” on the smoked meats, are not produced. This doesn’t mean the flavor isn’t there – electric smokers produce professional-quality results that amateurs can be proud of.
Q: Can electric smokers be used indoors?
A: Not without a super-powerful extraction system installed. Using your electric smoker in the house will leave a permanent and smoky smell on all your precious furnishings. Keep your electric smoker outside and if you want to avoid harsh weather while smoking meat, use it on your patio or porch.
Q: What kind of wood chips should I use to smoke with?
A: The type of wood chips you choose is based on taste preferences, and different types of foods have some classic pairings. Mesquite is popular for cooking pork, hams or bacon for instance, and oak for cooking brisket. You should use either wood chips or pellets specifically designed for smokers when using your electric smoker.
Q: Are there other things a smoker can be used for besides smoking meat?
A: Absolutely! Cheese is a popular food for smoking, but you can also use your electric smoker without any wood chips or pellets and just use it as a way for slow cooking or dehydrating to make beef jerky or similar items. The smoker is a versatile piece of equipment great for making all sorts of dishes other than smoked meats.
Q: Are electric smokers safe?
A: Yes , electric smokers are very safe too use. With temperatures that are around 100-275 degrees. The bradley smoker is the only electric smoker on the market that allows the cooking process to be done in hot or cold temperatures. There are many guides on the internet that can show you the safety and use of an electric smoker.
Q: How do you prepare and cook a brisket in an electric smoker?
A: The steps are fairly simple in learning how to prepare a good brisket and cook it in an electric smoker. Follow these steps to add your brisket correctly to your electric smoker and prepare it right.
- You want to choose a good meat, the more tender the better. You want to look for a brisket around 10 pounds. The size and pounds are important for the amount of food you will get out of it and for the cooking.
- Next you are going to get the brisket prepared to be cooked. You will want to take the 10 pounds of your brisket and getting ready to rub and massage it on the meat. You can also add in any specific flavors you may want.
- Remove the brisket from the fridge once it is fully prepped and you can turn on your electric smoker. Letting the smoke flavor the meat in the electric smoker is the way we like to cook it.
- Finally, you can enjoy your fully cooked and flavored brisket right from your electric smoker just grab a plate and enjoy. If it needs anymore flavor or seasoning you can always add more.
Some Final Words
Electric smokers are a subjective choice; everybody has different requirements out of their cooker! Every smoker we looked at is efficient and reliable, and we hope that the points laid out in this review will help you choose the perfect one for you.
Even so, the models we presented are the current market leaders and we fully vouch for them, as they’ve been tested thoroughly in all sorts of conditions, and have passed our every test, necessary to be included in our guides, with flying colors.
And since we now live in a digital world, where everything is connected to the internet of things, an electric smoker has the unique ability to give you the freedom and flexibility to control your smoking using smart-phone apps. This cannot be done with a traditional charcoal smoker.
Overall, the right model for you will depend on what features you’re looking for, how much BBQ you regularly cook, and what level of pit-master skills you possess.
If you’re into controlling every aspect of smoking yourself, in our opinion the Smokin Tex Pro is the best option. It doesn’t have a timer, so you get to manage every stage as you smoke your foods.
If you prefer to just set-it-and-forget-it, instead, consider looking into the Bradley model.
And further still, if you’re looking for something that can handle a lot of barbecue, Masterbuilt models have got you covered.
The most important thing is to just choose the most important features to you.
With any of the options listed above, however, you’ll be a BBQ pit master in next to no time.