Holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics, loves traveling and learning new languages. Fluent in Spanish, is learning French and Czech at the moment. Enjoys exploring national cuisines every time he visits new countries.
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous online and offline grilling masterclasses runs his own BBQ accessories shop.
Last updated: March 14, 2021
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Who doesn’t love a piece of smoked meat? Slow roasted for hours, infused with delicious wood flavors, smoked meat is a rare treat. If you’re tired of pining over this delicacy and want to start enjoying it, whenever you want to, now’s your chance to find the best electric smoker. Gone are the days when you need to stick around, anxiously finding the perfect meat temperature. Instead, you can simply plug in your electric smoker, have it work its magic, and enjoy the end results.
There is a lot to consider with your purchase of an electric smoker. You’ll want to consider how large the cooking area is. The number of grates is also important, as this will dictate how much food you can smoke at one time. Not everyone will have infinite space, so the dimensions and weight of your electric smoker should also be considered.
To help you find the best electric smoker, we’ve consulted manufacturer websites, online reviews, and our own personal observations. The result is a list of the ten best electric smokers. These products can all be found in simplified table which lists the best attributes of each smoker. There are then more in-depth reviews. Finally, there is a buying guide which explains all the features you might consider. Together, your search for the best electric smoker just got a lot easier.
The Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker is one of the best products on our list. Not only is it well made, but it is also in an affordable price bracket. If you’re looking for a quality, dependable electric smoker, you can count on the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker.
With 505 square inches of cooking area, you can get a lot done with this device. Whether it’s ribs, chicken, or even jerky, you can fit it all in the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker. The smoker comes with three adjustable cooking grates that are chrome-plated. They are rust-resistant and are easy to clean afterwards. Simply spray with a cooking oil and cleanup will be a breeze.
Also included with the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker is a wood chip pan and a water pan. The water pan is always a nice extra as it allows you to better regulate the internal temperature. Another feature is the chrome-plated handle that adds a bit of elegance to the product.
The temperature gauge is easy to navigate as it is placed firmly on the lid. Previous users have commented how accurate it is, which is essential to avoid any burnt food.
For the design, you can’t beat the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker. It is easy to check on your food and you don’t have to bend over or pry amongst the inside. Simply open the door lid and have a quick peak at your delicious food.
The only major complaint from previous users is that you do have to start the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker off at a high temperature to get the wood chips started. This isn’t a problem as long as you monitor the entire device and turn the temperature down to your desired heat so as to avoid burning.
If you’re looking for an electric smoker that everyone else loves, then be sure to check out the Old Smokey Electric Smoker. It is one of the top rated electric smokers on Amazon and once you learn more about it, you’ll understand why.
The Old Smokey Electric Smoker may look a bit different than the standard cabinet smokers on our list, but its design is meant to create the best tasting food. Let’s start with the top. The lid is flat so when the juices and condensation hit the top, they will slide right back down onto the food. This is smoking marinade at its finest.
There’s honestly not much to be done with the Old Smokey Electric Smoker which means even the least experienced home chefs can create something delicious. Simply add your meat, add your wood chips, set your desired temperature and then go about your day. When the time comes for dinner, you’ll have a mouth-watering meal.
Cleanup with the Old Smokey Electric Smoker is fairly easy, although has been recommended by multiple people to make sure you spray the cooking grates with oil before you use them. Once you do, cleanup will become a breeze.
This electric smoker is not massive, but it will create a feast for the whole family. There are two cooking grates and enough room for everything you could desire. It is also lightweight, at only 24 pounds, so you can easily move it from the garage to the patio.
While all this sounds great, you do need to be careful about the external temperature. The lid and base can become quite hot, so leave plenty of room around it, and always supervise young children.
When it comes to electric smokers, Masterbuilt is the king of manufacturing. They have plenty of models, but the best Masterbuilt smoker is the Masterbuilt MB20073716.
The convenience of this model is what sets it apart. It’s not a massive smoker, but with two grates and a large cooking area, it will get the job done.
The smoking grates are chrome-coated, which allow for easy cleanup. The temperature control is an easy to use dial which makes it handy to set the temperature and not have to worry again.
If you are looking for a more portable electric smoker option, this is the way to go. The Masterbuilt MB20073716 only weighs 21.8 pounds so it can be conveniently moved from storage, or if you want to impress a friend, can be moved to the car and back again. The legs even fold under for better transportation and storage.
For those worried about a big mess when it comes to electric smokers, you don’t have to worry with the Masterbuilt MB20073716. Its instructions are clear. Just spray with a mixture of warm water and apple cider vinegar. The vinegar will neutralize any unwanted bacteria and any leftover drippings are easy to remove afterwards.
If you’re wondering how previous users feel about the Masterbuilt MB20073716, the results are all positive. From the easy to position racks, to the versatility of this smaller size unit, the end was all about the delicious food this electric smoker can create.
The only major issue with the Masterbuilt MB20073716 was its temperature gauge. Many previous users ended up purchasing a separate thermometer for a more accurate reading. These are relatively inexpensive to buy.
Masterbuilt obviously paid attention to the build of this particular model. Right from first glance, it is clear that this is a top option. It is made of 304 stainless steel that ensures durability and gives a classy look.
Apart from that, we observed that this model has a digital control panel that allows you to determine the temperature and smoke density of the food. As if that weren’t enough, this also comes with Bluetooth compatibility and a meat probe. Thus, you can monitor whatever you are cooking without opening the door of the smoker.
The interior consists of four steel racks. These have enough space to care for different sizes of meat.
The appliance is pretty easy to put together despite its bulky appearance. You can set everything up in less than 1 hour.
The grilling performance is the most important consideration, and the good news is that this does not disappoint. It comes with very handy features like the probe for checking the temperature.
With all its features, you will enjoy better consistency from your cooking.
The only downside of this appliance is that it does not have any way to attach food to the ceiling of the main smoking chamber.
Other than that, there is almost nothing else to worry about when it comes to the appliance.
New to the world of electric smokers but ready to dive in? The LANDMANN MCO 32954 is the perfect answer to all your smoker needs. While some electric smokers are a lot more cumbersome than others, and need a lot of expertise to understand, this product is perfect for any skill level.
One of the reasons the LANDMANN MCO 32954 is great for beginners is thanks to its large front viewing window. While some electric smokers are completely closed in, this can cause a bit of anxiety, not really knowing the state of your meat. While you can just open the door of any smoker, this lets cold air in, hot air out, and can even lessen the potency of the flavor.
Another reason the LANDMANN MCO 32954 is perfect for beginners is thanks to its size. Weighing just 35 pounds, this is an electric smoker that is easy to transport. It also has iron side handles, making it less of a burden to move around.
While you might think its weight means it is small in size, have no fear. Inside are three grates with almost 150 square inches of cooking area. You can create quite the feast in the LANDMANN MCO 32954!
Out of all previous customers, the one complaint that seems to surface is with the temperature control. Unfortunately, a lot of electric smokers have this issue. It’s best in this case to purchase your own thermometer for inside use. These are inexpensive to buy and are easy to use. It might take a bit more effort to monitor the temperature, but still worth it in the end. However, it’s important to note that if you have issues, be sure to contact Customer Service. They will hopefully send you a replacement for any imperfect parts.
Looking for the best electric smoker for the money? Look no further than the Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker. Nicely priced and highly affordable, this electric smoker has it all.
Inside are three grates for a total of 544 square inches of cooking area. That is pretty amazing! You can feast for days on all the smoked meat you will create! Bonus features include a water pan and a drip tray that don’t take up too much extra space. These pans make clean up so much easier while also better regulating the internal temperature.
At almost 50 pounds, the Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker is not the most portable smoker. It does have side handles, though, so as long as there are two people to transport this device from the garage, you can manage just fine.
The door of the Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker is sealed nicely, thanks to the dual latches. You don’t want any heat or flavor escaping from your smoking session, and the construction of this device prevents that.
The wood chip box is rather large, which makes smoking so much easier. You can fill up the box and allow the wood chips to burn the whole day through. This means you don’t have to constantly monitor the smoker, and instead can sit back and relax.
Overall, the construction is really nice with the Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker but you do have to open the door to add more wood chips. Opening the door does cause the temperature to drop momentarily, so try to fill the wood chip box as high as possible to minimize disturbances.
New to the world of electric smoking and want to be sure your meat is still in there? The Smoke Hollow 30162EW has you covered. While other electric smokers have solid doors that leave you wondering if anything is actually happening, this smoker is designed to set you at ease. This is because almost the entire door is made from glass.
Yes, you can see right into the Smoke Hollow 30162EW and know just what is going on with your food. As for insulation and temperature control, there is no need to worry. The construction includes double-walled building. And the front glass is made to retain heat.
Inside the Smoke Hollow 30162EW you will find three removable grates and plenty of cooking area. It comes with a porcelain-coated water pan which allows for easy cleanup. The element is powered up to 1,500 Watts, which is quite impressive. There is, however, no drip pan. This is easily remedied by an aluminum pan you can pick up at any grocery store, but it will take up some space inside the smoker. If you forget about the pan, the drippings can become messy and make cleanup harder than it should be.
At 47 pounds, the Smoke Hollow 30162EW is not heavy but it is also not light. It is best used for patios under cover as you wouldn’t want to have to drag this unit back and forth from the garage all year long.
The seal for the Smoke Hollow 30162EW is quite nice and there were very few issues with the lock and handle. You will want to be careful as over-use can lead to wear and tear. Thankfully, the glass door makes it easier to see your food, and will cause less stress over constantly opening and closing the door.
Are you an organized person? You like to lay out everything according to size and type, even your food? Then the Masterbuilt MES 130B is perfect for you. While most other electric smokers on our list have two, and maybe three grates, this impressive device has a whopping four grates. Yes, you can easily separate your chicken from your chops, and not have to worry about juggling items around.
The Masterbuilt MES 130B is solid contraption that is fully insulated. You don’t have to worry about heat escaping, which could drastically alter the cooking time and quality of your food.
As for the wood chips system, simply add more from the side loading system. You don’t need to open the entire smoker to add more wood chips, which is a serious way to loose heat.
The temperature gauge of the Masterbuilt MES 130B is built well and provides an accurate reading. It is mounted on the door and is easy to ready. Inside you will find both a water pan and a drip tray. The water tray is a nice feature as it helps to regulate the internal temperature.
There aren’t too many issues with the Masterbuilt MES 130B but you might want to have a look at all the internal and external parts before getting started. There some issues with denting, which can always happen when a large item is shipped. As well, the bottom area has some sharp edges. When placing your grates inside, take care so at to not get cut. As with any new device, it might take a bit of time to find the right temperature and right amount of wood chips to produce the food you’re dreaming of. Thankfully, practice is pretty delicious with the Masterbuilt MES 130B.
Why pay hundreds of dollars for an electric smoker when you can find one just as good for a fraction of the cost? The Smoke Hollow ES230B is an affordable, well-made device that will meet all your smoker needs.
Inside this device you will find three chrome-coated smoking racks. It’s always nice when the racks are chrome-coated as this allows for much easier cleanup. However, it is still recommended to spray the surface with oil to make cleanup that much better. Also inside is a drip pan that further aids in cleanup. There is also a removable water pan. Having water inside an electric smoker allows for better temperature regulation. It can also increase the moisture of your meat, and the flavor.
Together, the racks provide a whole lot of cooking area. Think massive feast proportions. Yes, you can have the whole neighborhood over and have plenty of meat to go around.
To help regulate the internal temperature, there is an integrated thermostat. This results in consistent smoking and delicious food.
The body of the Smoke Hollow ES230B is fully insulated to no heat can escape. If you’re worried about smoke control, there is an adjustable air damper. You can release any pent-up smoke without releasing the hot air.
When it comes to electric smokers, most people store them in their garages or sheds during winter and then bring them out to the patio in the summer. This can result in a lot of moving. The Smoke Hollow ES230B is a fairly average size, weighing 46.5 pounds, but the issue is there are no side handles. You wouldn’t want to pick up this item on your own, and without side handles, it is even more cumbersome to move. While not a deal breaker, this is an issue to consider if you have any mobility issues or health concerns.
We get it. It’s hard to think about décor and accessories when all you want to do is create a delicious smoked meat. Thankfully, you can add a bit of cool to your backyard with the Royal Gourmet 28 Inch Electric Smoker. With the bold outline of a majestic eagle on the front, your can show your true patriotism with this electric smoker.
Inside is just as nice with three cooking grates and an impressive 490 square inches of cooking space. The temperature control is fully adjustable and if you need to reach a high temperature, no worries as there is a 1,500-Watt heating element. Yes, even in the coldest of weather, you can get this smoker working.
When it comes to appliances, it’s always nice when they are multi-functional. Such is the case with the Royal Gourmet 28 Inch Electric Smoker. Not only is it a smoker, but it can also function as a barbecue, a steamer, and a drying rack. That’s pretty versatile.
As for it manufacturing, the Royal Gourmet 28 Inch Electric Smoker has a solid seal on its latch system. The door handles are cool to the touch so you don’t have to worry about inadvertent burnings. Outside there are two handles to make it easy to transport. The Royal Gourmet 28 Inch Electric Smoker does weigh almost 50 pounds, so you’ll definitely want to find a partner to help you.
While there are many positives with the Royal Gourmet 28 Inch Electric Smoker, the construction is not the most stable. The grate system could use some improvement, as previous users have commented that their grates actually fell down. It’s recommended to go through the whole smoker before using it. If anything seems unsteady or not quite right, contact the manufacturer immediately to ask for a replacement.
What we liked:
Very cool eagle design
Handle and latch are good construction
Extremely large cooking area
What could be better:
Grate system not always stable
Things to Consider
Hopefully, you’ve found an electric smoker (or two?) that meets your needs. There’s certainly a lot to choose from. If you’re still wondering about the world of electric smokers, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together a list of features you will encounter with electric smokers, and what they all mean. The more information you have, the better you can find the perfect fit.
What is so special about smoked food?
Smoked food has layers upon layers of flavor inside. Whereas traditionally cooked food might have a bit of seasoning, or if you’re lucky, a marinade, smoked food is cooked for a long time so that all of the flavors surrounding it become infused into the food. The biggest problem with smoked food is that to achieve the layers of favor, you need a large among of time. The food must be cooked very slowly at a very low temperature so that nothing burns. The consumption of time is one of the largest hindrances when it comes to smoking food.
Advantages of electric smokers
Thankfully, electric smokers produce the results you want with a lot less hassle. Traditional wood smokers need a lot of experience to run. You need to know how much wood to burn, for how long, and at what temperature. Constant adjustments are needed to ensure you get the perfect meal at the end.
With electric smokers, a lot of the guesswork is eliminated. Simply turn the machine on, set the desired temperature and time, and you can get on with the rest of your day.
Traditional smokers take years to perfect. Electric smokers can be used effectively, even by beginners. You can show off your delicious eats in no time and not have to worry if what you’ve made is edible.
Features to consider while choosing an electric smoker
There are many features that will determine whether an electric smoker is right for you. We’ve put together a list of the top features to consider.
Total cooking area
The total cooking area is all the available space to cook food in a smoker. Now, the best way to think about how much cooking area you will need, is to think about the purpose you have for smoked food. Are you planning on feeding just your family on a regular basis, or hosting large parties? Do you want to create the occasional snack, or do you want to do batch smoking and preserve it for later? There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s best to think carefully about your future smoking needs. This way you can find the right product that fits both your space parameters and your budget confines.
On our list, the total cooking area varies from rather small to very large. On the small end you have the Presto 06013 Electric Indoor Smoker. This is a countertop product that can only hold 6 quarts of food. It’s equivalent to a large roast or small turkey. At the large end you have the Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker with a massive 544 square inches of cooking area. This is a smoker meant for business.
The only thing to really look out for with total cooking area is that it’s not always specified in inches. Instead, the manufacturer will list all the types of food that could possible fit. This is a marketing tool and can lead to a bit of a guessing game on your part.
Number of grates
Inside your electric smoker, there will be grates to put your food on top. The area of each smoker grate is added up to produce the total cooking area. Having multiple grates allows you to better organize your food. As well, if you plan on smoking different types of food, that needs different cooking times, it is much easier to just remove one grate, rather than try to shuffle a bunch around.
The products on our list range from having one grate to four grates. The Presto 06013 Electric Indoor Smoker is a smaller product, and only comes with one grate, although it is three-tiered. On the other end of the spectrum is the Masterbuilt MES 130B with an impressive four grates. For the most part, the larger the electric smoker is in size, the more grates it will have.
Dimensions and weight
Electric smokers come in all shapes and sizes. There are some, like the Presto 06013 Electric Indoor Smoker which can fit on your kitchen countertop. There are others, like the Smoke Hollow 30162EW that need their own dedicated outdoor space. For the most part, electric smokers are meant to be outside. They smell (like smoke) and take up a lot of space. They are a great accompaniment to a BBQ, so will go well on your patio, as long as there is an outlet.
As with any large item, be sure to measure your intended place. Make sure your electric smoker will have enough space and will also be able to fit near an outlet. You might also want to ensure there are a few inches of space between the smoker and other objects, in case the walls become too hot.
As for weight, check the product specifications as you will most likely have to carry your new electric smoker from the front door to the backdoor. It’s best to ask for help and carry the delivery box with a partner, just in case of any strains or injuries.
Wood chips and water pans
Wood chips are the secret to success with electric smokers. You can purchase a wide variety of wood chips, and each wood variety will produce a subtly different taste. Do a bit of research, or ask around to decide which type of wood chips to use. Experimenting is one of the best parts of electric smokers, especially if you are the taste tester.
A water pan is very different from a drip pan. Drip pans collect the meat drippings, stopping them from spreading around the inside of the electric smoker. Water pans are placed usually over the heat source, and help to regulate the temperature inside the electric smoker. If you’re worried about heat fluctuations or heat flareups, a water pan will help with both issues.
In addition to the basic features we’ve already discussed, you might find some electric smokers with some extra features. A lot of electric smokers will have advanced control panels. This allows you to set the temperature, set a timer, and not have to do much more. The Presto 06013 Electric Indoor Smoker, a countertop indoor smoker, goes a bit further with multiple cooking options. Control panels are great, but they can have issues. Be sure to check your warranty status and talk to Customer Service as soon as any issue arises. If you are past the warranty period, you might have to supplement your fancy control panel with a basic meat thermometer. It’s a bit back to basics, but it will ensure the right cook.
Another extra feature you might find in your electric smoker is a drip pan. Built in drip pans catch all the goodness from your meat. You could possibly even save the drippings for a gravy. However, the best part about a drip pan is it makes it much easier to clean at the end. Instead of having a bunch of dripping splattered all over your smoker, you can just remove and wash it.
One final extra feature comes in the form of the construction of your smoker. You might overlook the importance of a viewing window, but if you stumble upon the best electric meat smoker that allows you to see what you’re cooking, it might be a game changer. Viewing windows are great for a number of reasons. For beginner chefs, it’s a nice reassurance that yes, your meat is cooking. It will stop you from constantly opening the door to check on things, which can cause the temperature to fluctuate.
Viewing windows also offer a bit of entertainment. It takes a long time to smoke meat to perfection. You’re hanging around the backyard, socializing, and in the corner is your smoker, with all the glorious food sitting there, waiting to be consumed. It all fits together in a pretty nice scene.
How to clean your electric smoker
Cleaning your electric smoker will ensure it lasts for a long time to come. Before starting the cleaning process, be sure to remove all of the internal parts. This includes the grates and the drip pan. For the internal chamber, start by sweeping out any large pieces left behind. Start from the top and work down. Once the larger pieces have been removed, it’s time to wash the inside down. Warm soapy water and a scrub brush are all you need. Again, start from the top and head to the bottom. Once you think you’ve gotten all the surfaces, take clean water and give the inside a good rinse. If you see any remaining debris, start the cleaning process again.
As for the grates and drip pans, warm soapy water will do, as well. Try to avoid metal scrub brushes as they can lead to scratch marks. If your grates or drip pans are particularly dirty, you might want to soak them overnight to help with the process.
One final part of the smoker that needs to be cleaned is the outside. Again, use warm soapy water. The outside of the smoker is prone to dirt, insects, and ozone. Give it a thorough cleaning to ensure it stays together for a long time.
Electric smokers are meant to be used outdoors, but like anything, they are best if stored indoors through the winter. Unless you live in an area where you plan on grilling or cooking year-round, once the frost hits, it’s time to store your summer accessories. Give your electric smoker a thorough cleaning and find a place for it in your garage or shed. Be sure to find a place that is dry and not prone to a leaky roof. If you have a clean drop cloth, you could use it to cover the smoker, just to prevent any unnecessary grime settling on it.
Then, once spring hits, give your electric smoker a wipe down and you can start the journey to delicious food all over again. Most electric smokers will have side handles on them. Manufacturers know you will need to move their products, and the handles make it that much easier. Watch out for weight and dimensions if you have any health issues. If you can’t liv heavy weights and don’t have anyone to help you move your electric smoker, it might not get used very often.
While most people prefer to use wood chips in an electric smoker, you can use charcoal. The trick is to keep the charcoal contained. You can use the wood chip pan and place the charcoal inside this. Another way is to place the charcoal in aluminum foil and fold it into a pouch. The idea is to contain the charcoal so it doesn’t make too much of a mess.
Altogether, though, most electric smokers were designed for wood pellets. You can experiment with a few products, but it’s best to find the best electric pellet smoker and just enjoy what it has to offer.
Well, you certainly don’t want to use your electric smoker in the middle of a thunderstorm. Electric smokers are electric appliances. And electricity and rain do not mix. While the cord is covered and there are no exposed wires, it’s always best to take a few precautions. Besides, do you really want to be running out in the rain to check on your smoked goods?
When it comes to general maintenance, too much rain can lead to rust and corrosion over time. The products on our list are all made to the highest standards, which weatherized outer layers, but even the most well-constructed products can suffer overtime. If your electric smoker has a run-in with a slight April sprinkling, it will be just find. But don’t expect it to relish an October storm.
Congratulations! You are one step closer to achieving all your smoked meat dreams! There are a lot of products to choose from, so we’ve narrowed down our top three favorites. Our overall Editor’s Choice is the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker. It is large enough for a neighborhood BBQ and easy to cleanup afterwards.
If you like to keep up with the Joneses, then look towards the Old Smokey Electric Smoker as it is one o the top rated smokers on Amazon. Its unique build and quality craftsmanship are why people continue to flock towards this smoker. You can create all the delicacies you can imagine, and have a few leftovers for the next day.
When it comes to electric smokers, Masterbuilt is one of the leading manufacturers. The best item from this company is the Masterbuilt MB20073716. It is strong, durable, and a perfect edition to your summer BBQ. No matter which best electric smoker you go for, one thing will hold true. Everyone will be following their noses to your backyard.