Top Pick: Smoke Hollow 40″
Why We Chose It:
- Large capacity wood chip loading system.
- Fast and even cooking.
- Easy to fill water port.
- Made with quality materials.
- 4.5 cubic feet of cooking space with light.
- 3 smoke options.
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Electric Smokers
- Top Pick: Smoke Hollow
- Runner Up: Masterbuilt 4-Rack
- Also Great: Masterbuilt Front Controller
- Noteworthy: Masterbuilt Bluetooth Smart Digital
- Not Bad: Char-Broil
Do you enjoy smoked meat, but don’t enjoy sitting around outside tending to a fire?
With an electric smoker, you get the perfect balance between delicious smoked meat and an easy “set it and forget it” cooking experience. They can even be used indoors under the right circumstances – particularly if you are fortunate enough to have a heated garage for the winter.
The best electric smokers are extremely user-friendly, and they maintain a consistent temperature for long periods of time to give you great tasting food.
With an electric smoker, you also don’t have to worry about your fire dying out or the mess that can come with a propane or charcoal smoker. You only have to worry about the great food you’re to make. Our electric smoker reviews have gathered everything you need to help you find the best one for your next back yard barbecue, so kick back, relax, and enjoy.
Best Electric Smokers of 2023
|Top PickTop Pick||Smoke Hollow||CHECK LATEST PRICE →|
|Runner UpRunner Up||Masterbuilt 4-Rack||CHECK LATEST PRICE →|
|Also GreatAlso Great||Masterbuilt Front Controller||CHECK LATEST PRICE →|
|NoteworthyNoteworthy||Masterbuilt Bluetooth Smart Digital||CHECK LATEST PRICE →|
|Not BadNot Bad||Char-Broil||CHECK LATEST PRICE →|
Smoke Hollow 40″ Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker
This bluetooth digital electric smoker can give you an easy, enjoyable, set and forget smoking experience. The mobile app lets you operate your smoker from any type of smart device. With dual elements, the 40″ cabinet provides faster smoking so you can cook even more.
This electric smoker also features the first ever “cold smoking” setting allowing you to smoke cheese and fish low and slow without worrying about overcooking. With the “fast smoke” setting, you can have smoking chips within fifteen minutes instead of waiting forever for your chips to start to smolder. The 40” cabinet gives you 4.5 cubic feet of cooking space and includes a light for good visibility as well as an integrated meat probe and a large digital display.
Dual elements let you cook faster and feature three smoking options including hot smoke, cold smoke, and fast smoke. It also features a heavy-duty stand, wheels for easy mobility, and an easy-fill side water port and large capacity wood chip drawer. For all these reasons and more, this model comfortable secures its seat at the top of our list of today’s best electric smokers.
Masterbuilt 4-Rack Digital Electric Smoker
There’s not a lot of variation when it comes to smoker design amongst electric smoker brands. Just having a color other than a standard metallic finish seems outrageous, yet changing up styles really helps to define Masterbuilt’s Digital Electric Smoker, the runner-up on our list of today’s best electric smokers. It certainly has a lot in common with more traditional units when you look under the hood, but the small changes to the traditional design do help it to stand out in a crowded pack.
Beyond being green (or whichever color you choose), this smoker does have a few nice selling points. It has an RF remote, which allows users to make changes on the fly. It’s also lifted a fair bit off the ground compared to most other smokers, which is nice for those who don’t want to constantly bend all the way down to check on their food. Beyond that, the major selling points are fairly typical – the design promotes heat retention well while giving space for up to eighty pounds of meat. The extra touches are nice, but it’s the solid design that really helps to sell this unit.
The biggest complaint against this smoker is that it isn’t weather resistant. While that’s not something you should expect from an electric digital smoker, it is still fairly easily remedied with a good cover. Otherwise, you’re looking at a smoker that works well, will provide heat retention with relatively little babysitting, and has enough new features that you’ll find it hard to go back to a more traditional smoker.
Masterbuilt Front Controller 30″ Digital Electric Smoker
The next product on our list of today’s best electric smokers comes from Masterbuilt. If you love the full flavor of food that has been slow-smoked in an outdoor cookout, the 30-inch Masterbuilt Front Controller Digital Electric Smoker gives you that same low and slow smokehouse flavor as if you had spent hours outside grilling. Equipped with a blue LED display that you can easily see in the sunlight, the Masterbuilt Smoker gives you more than 700 square inches of complete cooking space that also contains four cooking racks. It also includes a front-access drip tray, a drip deflector, and a locking door that features an inner lining to help keep the heat and smoke flavor inside.
Perfect for a beginner or a professional, the Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker allows you to make competition-ready meat in your own yard without propane or charcoal. This easy to use front controller smoker just needs to be plugged in and the digital control set for it to start working. It also comes with four smoking racks and an integrated thermostat temperature control that gives you consistent and even smoking.
Masterbuilt Bluetooth Smart Digital 30″ Electric Smoker
Sometimes it’s nice to have a little extra technology on your side. While smokers are about as simple as you can get when it comes to cooking food, that doesn’t mean that a few modern conveniences won’t make the experience better. Masterbuilt’s Bluetooth Smart Electric Smoker combines everything that makes a good smoker work with a handful of technological innovations that really take some of the guesswork out of set and forget cooking with a smoker.
The big selling point here is the Bluetooth control, and it should be. This is exactly the kind of technology that makes cooking easier without overwhelming the core concept. The technology in this smoker allows you to control the unit’s temperature and timer from your phone, giving you a few options when you’re not able to get directly over to the smoker. It doesn’t allow you to make any revolutionary changes to the cooking process, but the smart controls do provide you with a greater degree of freedom while your meal is cooking. Combined with a time-tested design, this smoker gives you the best of the past and the future.
As you might expect, the bulk of the problems with this unit also have to do with the Bluetooth technology. It only works in a limited range and the app is a bit too finicky for most users. At the very worst, though, this means you’ll have to use the smoker’s control panel to make changes to your cooking process – something that’s still much easier than using the average controls available on most of today’s best smokers.
Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
The perfect appliance for outdoor smoking, the Char-Broil Deluxe is a smoker with 725-square inches of cooking space. It includes four adjustable smoking racks making it versatile enough to cook a wide range of meat. Whether you are cooking for a large or small group, this is a great electric smoker to have in your backyard for entertaining.
The large capacity smoke box makes it possible to get 4 to 7 hours of smoke before you need to refill it. Plus, there is no guesswork when using the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker allowing you to make meat that is perfectly cooked each time you use it.
It also features an integrated meat probe that is both removable and washable, which also makes it easy to use. Just place the probe inside the meat and the smoker will let you know when the meat is done without opening the door. The warming feature will also keep your meat warm inside the smoker until you are ready to serve it.
The double-wall, premium insulated construction of the Char-Broil smoker makes it up to ten times more efficient in comparison to its competition. You can fill the four cup capacity wood chip box and get up to seven hours of smoking. Featuring a full-size glass window, you can easily watch your cooking meat while the side-locking latch makes a smoke-tight seal that guarantees that the smoke and flavor stays inside.
The remote control and removable temperature gauge allow you to monitor your meat while you relax and make simple adjustments using the advanced control panel that features an easy-to-read blue LED display. Plus, the slide-in water pan is porcelain-coated and is easy to refill.
Masterbuilt 30″ Digital Electric Smoker
The 30” Masterbuilt electric smoker is another of today’s best electric smokers for the professional or beginner alike, allowing you to accomplish competition-ready results right at home. You don’t have to worry about propane or charcoal, you just plug in the smoker and go. Smoking is simple with the digital panel control featuring an on/off switch, plus time and temperature controls.
The Masterbuilt also includes four smoking racks and a patented wood chip load system on the side, allowing you to add chips without opening the door of the smoker. The thermostat temperature control is integrated for consistent and even smoking. The easy to use digital control panel allows you to quickly set the timer and control the temperature set point so you can sit back and relax while the smoker does all the work for you.
Dyna-Glo 30″ Digital Electric Smoker
It’s really amazing how little even the best electric smokers have changed over the years. It’s at a point where any change seems revolutionary, even if those changes are minor. If you take a look at this smoker, you’ll see a design that wouldn’t have been too out of place a few decades ago. The only real nod towards modernity is the digital control panel, which really does make a huge difference in how the unit works.
While it’s possible to go on about how nice it is to have a digital control panel, there’s actually a fair bit to like with this unit beyond that. Its design is simple and sleek, yet provides plenty of space for cooking. The integrated meat thermometer makes it easier than ever to monitor your food, and the double-insulation really helps to keep the heat and smoke where it belongs. Yes, the digital control panel is nice for making sure that you have your settings precisely where you need them, but the double-wall insulation is really just icing on the cake.
There aren’t a lot of negatives to this unit. Some have complained about moisture build-up, but that’s par for the course when it comes to smokers. If that’s the biggest fault you can find with this kind of product, that’s more of an endorsement than almost any positive review can give the device.
Smoke Hollow 30″ Digital Electric Smoker
With two cubic feet of cooking capacity, this 30” smoker gives you professional quality backyard BBQ with delicious food for your next cookout. Enhanced features include a huge viewing window that is easy to clean and a large wood chip tray with external-loading to instill that delicious smoke flavor. Plus, the chrome-coated cooking grids are adjustable allowing you the versatility to cook a wide range of food including poultry, pork, fish, cheese, meat, or even vegetables.
The 1500 watt heat source is digitally controlled allowing you to use the preferred smoking temperature for your meat, plus you can smoke in a variety of temperatures all year long. It also features an LED display with cooking temperature, time, and on/off buttons. This is a meat probe compatible smoker that also features a viewing window with tempered glass that makes it easy to watch the progress of your meat without opening the door, so all you have to do is add water and wood chips (without openeing the door) and then sit back, relax, and enjoy.
Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker
For a convenient and easy way to smoke all types of food, the vertical Char-Broil Electric Smoker features a huge smoking chamber with three adjustable cooking grates and provides over 500 square inches of cooking surface. This is a perfect smoker to maintain a consistent heat and smokewith its doubled walled and insulated construction. Plus it has a 1,500-watt heating element that has variable temperatures to heat water and wood chips for smoking. It may just be the best budget electric smoker amongst other contenders for today’s best electric smokers.
The Char-Broil Electric Smoker also features a temperature gauge that is front mounted and a wood chip pan. It also includes a handy water tray, grease cup (drip tray), and porcelain ash pan.
The best feature about this smoker is that it is perfect for an inexperienced cook that wants to try smoking foods at home, With its simple design, it is easy to operate and will not give you any problems as you try smoking meat for the first time. The simple operating process relieves you from having to manage every single detail so you will be able to enjoy delicious smoked foods at home.
Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker
Without needing coals or fire, the Little Chief front-loading electric smoker lets you smoke up to 25 pounds of meat or fish. With the electric-powered, self-contained smoker, you have a heating element that is equipped for slow-cook smoking with the ability to hold a steady heat of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This provides you with the consistent temperature that you need to smoke food properly. The aluminum smoker is durable and features a fuel pan to infuse the maximum amount of smoke flavor into your food.
Vented for the right amount of dehydration, the Little Chief front load electric smoker also features chrome-plated cooking grates are easy to slide and easy to load and unload from the front, similar to a regular oven. You can also easily clean up the dishwasher-safe drip pan found at the smoker’s bottom. The Little Chief comes with complete instructions and a recipe booklet as well as a 1.75-pound bag of Smokehouse natural wood chips to make your next barbeque simple and relaxing.
Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
Simplicity is an important trait in a smoker. It’s not just that it makes it easier to use – which it does – but it also helps to reduce the chance of something going wrong. Smoking your food doesn’t need to be a complex process and it often seems like too many options will quickly spoil your attempts at making something delicious. That’s why it’s important to find something like the Char-Broil Analog electric smoker when you really want to get to the essence of what a smoker’s all about.
There really is a lot to like in this unit. Perhaps the first thing that will catch your eye is the incredible amount of cooking space available. Even if you’re not looking to cook a lot at once, having the extra space is nice. There are also a few little conveniences scattered here in there, like a thermometer on the door that allows you to read the internal temperature or the high-capacity wood chip box for easy wood chip loading. It’s full of little things that make cooking easier without compromising the simplicity and strength of the overall design.
There really aren’t a lot of faults here, unless you feel like you need a professional-grade product. The lack of bells and whistles will be a plus for most, but those who need very particular settings might be disappointed in the lack of options here. All in all, this is an excellent smoker that does its job very well.
Masterbuilt Portable Electric Smoker
This Masterbuilt Portable Electric Smoker is ideal for use at home or on the go. This large capacity smoker can easily smoke a ham or whole turkey as well as racks of ribs and any of your favorites for tailgating (who doesn’t love racks of ribs on game day?). This is also an easy to use smoker that you can take along on camping and road trips.
With the 1,400-watt heating element, the Masterbuilt is easy to use and features two smoking racks. With simple controls, it’s easy to choose from a low, medium, or high setting, plus it features an easy to read temperature gauge, a removable water pan and wood chip tray, and legs that are easy to fold for storage.
This is actually quite a compact smoker when you compare it to other electric smokers on the market which makes it great to travel with. It produces a clean and steady smoke that won’t smoke up your entire house or yard. It is a hardworking and quiet smoker that does its job without requiring a lot of fuss.
Smoke Hollow 30″ Electric Smoker with Window
Smokers don’t have to be very complicated devices. In all honesty, they just need to cook meat well – no frills, no fuss, and no complicated settings needed. While there are plenty of devices on the market that add bells and whistles to this sort of machine, some of the models – like this 30-Inch electric smoker – stick to the basics.
Simplicity is probably the biggest selling point for this 30-inch electric smoker. Not only is it very easy to put together, but it’s very easy to use. There’s really no fuss or mess involved with getting the smoker set up, and actually operating the device is easy for even a novice. Not only is it easy to get working, but it’s easy to keep working – there is very little maintenance involved and the smoker is reliable enough that you don’t need to watch it every second of the cooking process. In short, it provides the kind of cooking experience that you’d want from a good smoker.
Perhaps the most common complaint about this particular model is that it needs to get very hot to actually start smoking. Of course, that’s generally what you’d expect for this kind of product, so it’s hard to really count that against the smoker. More reasonable are the issues with shipping – getting a smoker that arrives with dents is never fun. Still, the smoker works quite well and holds up to repeated use – exactly what most people are looking for in this kind product.
Smoke Hollow 26″ Electric Smoker
With a fully-welded steel cabinet, this smoker features cooking grids that are chrome-plated and adjustable for a variety of cooking heights in the grid track system allowing for lots of versatility in the foods that you can smoke. The unit has a 1.3 cubic foot cooking capacity, and it includes a removable and adjustable 1500 watt heating element that allows for includes temperature control. With the full range heat indicator, you can tell whether or not your food is getting enough smoke inside the smoker.
This smoker also contains draft controls that are adjustable and side handles that are cool to the touch. The spring wire handle is also a nice addition allowing you to open up the door without having to put on gloves. This affordable smoker also features a water pan and a chip tray that are both porcelain coated. This smoker is also the perfect sized smoker for any yard, and it is easy to travel with should you need to.
Masterbuilt Electric Bullet Smoker
Without worrying about the hassle of propane or charcoal, you just need to plug in the Masterbuilt Electric Bullet smoker and it will do all the work. With 395 square feet of interior cooking area, you can smoke a turkey, a chicken, or a brisket.
The analog controls allow you to easily choose your preferred settings for the 1,650-watt heating element allowing you cook the meat evenly and consistently. The easy to read temperature gauge in the lid allows you to monitor temperature as you cook. It also includes a drip pan, water bowl, and a removable wood chip tray that is porcelain-coated.
This compact and easy to clean smoker takes up very little counter space and is easy to store.
Electric Smoker FAQs
Think about the juicy smoked salmon, the luscious smoked turkey breast, or the salivating smoked meat; what can beat the tastes? Of course, smoking remains the tastiest and healthiest form of cooking food. The rich aroma that comes from smoked foods is something that everyone still appreciates despite being one of the oldest cooking styles. Despite the goodness, many people don’t have the time and expertise to bring the best out of smoked foods, making the experience more of a dream than reality.
Traditional smoking methods take time, and with busy schedules, it’s not easy. But technology and the invention of electric smokers have made everything relatively easy, and now everyone, whether busy or not, whether experienced or not, can enjoy the savory of smoked meals. Let’s see how it works.
How Good Are Electric Smokers?
Unlike wood and charcoal smokers, electric smokers come with a lot of advantages. Electric smokers are more time saving and do not require a professional to operate. Other reasons why you should consider getting yourself this device include the following.
More Tasty Foods
Electric smokers come with the option of cold smoking and hot smoking. Cold smoking is the best way to control the flavor of any food, and being able to choose whether to cold smoke or hot smoke is a feature you would love.
Require Less Attention
Unlike traditional smokers, these devices are automatic and don’t require you to keep watching the fire or add anything during the cooking process. Once you set the desired temperature and heat, you can relax or get busy with other things while your food processes.
Most electric smokers come with removable cooking grates and very few components. That makes cleaning less tedious and taking a shorter time. Similarly, it doesn’t produce colossal smoke that’s responsible for staining most charcoal and wood grills.
The electric smoker walls are well-insulated with thick steel that absorb heat and redistributes it in the cooking chamber. This is even more true with double-walled designs. That way, the system controls heat loss and uses less energy for heating.
Good For Health And Environment
Burning charcoal and wood produce gases that are dangerous to human health. The smoke from wood and charcoal combustion also contributes to haze, hence leading to air pollution.
How Does Electric Smoker Work?
Unlike wood smokers that burn wood, charcoal smokers that burn charcoal, and gas smokers that burn propane for fuels, the electric counterparts use hot electric rods for heating. The operation of an electric smoker is more like that of an oven or a toaster.
After placing your food on cooking racks or trays inside the smoker, the electric rods heat the cooking space, and the circulating air heats your food through a convection effect.
The woods you place in the wood chip tray also burn from the electronic heat and smoke to produce the juicy, smoky aroma that you enjoy.
Components of An Electric Smoker
An electric smoker consists of a cooking chamber comprising of grill racks, and an electric heating element. The device also has a wood chip tray and a water pan.
The stainless steel rack is where you place your food while cooking; the water tray is below the wood chip tray. In the water tray, you put cold water to regulate and prevent the internal temperature from rising too quickly. The water also creates steam, which helps in the cooking process since a smoker heats through convection.
In the wood chip tray or the firebox, you will add wood chips or chunks. This is where the sweet, smoky aroma comes from.
While cooking, you can directly place foods like chicken or turkey breasts and steak in the cooking area. However, small food items such as cut vegetables can’t comfortably sit on the grill racks. As a result, you can use a cast-iron skillet to place them in the cooking racks.
Most models of electric smokers also come with rheostat and thermostats for temperature control. The rheostat works by regulating the amount of electric power that gets to the heating element. On the other hand, the thermostat has temperature feedback and allows the device to regulate temperature internally. These digital controls, plus the well-insulated steel walls, ensure that your food cooks evenly.
They also come with a push-button digital control panel for temperature settings. The temperature range is mostly from 100 to 275 degrees F. Most models also come with a 24-hour timer and an automatic turn-off. That means that once you have set your desired temperature and time, you can comfortably sleep and wake up to a deliciously smoked steak the following morning.
How Much Electricity Does An Electric Smoker Use?
The electricity consumption in an electric smoker is relatively low. The device comes with a thick steel wall that acts as insulation and also absorbs the heat and smoke produced in the furnace. The heat absorbed in the insulator redistributes back into the system leading to low energy consumption.
On average, most electric smoker models have an 800 watt heating element and therefor consume 800 watts per hour. Suppose you spend eight hours every day cooking using the smoker. That will be 6400 watts per day or 6.4-kilowatt-hours. In one month, you’ll use 192-kilowatt hours. Now let’s say the rate of power charge in your area is like 12 cents per kilowatt. That brings you to around $23.02. To mean, if you use the smoker every day for eight hours, you will still pay less than $25. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing extensive cooking or you’re just making a single-family meal.
Are Electric Smokers Safe?
Yes. Electricity is a clean energy source, and it’s relatively safe for your health and the environment. Burning charcoal produces carbon monoxide, an odorless and colorless gas that currently forms the silent killers’ list.
Scientists also relate to burning wood and charcoal to the production of carcinogens, which they believe causes cancer. On the other hand, electricity produces clean energy and brings no health hazards, mainly if you use it moderately. That generally shows that electric smokers are safer than charcoal and wood burners.
Can You Have An Electric At An Apartment?
The straight answer to this question is “NO.” Smoking produces carbon monoxide, which is very harmful to your health. Confining the smoke inside a roof will put you at a higher risk of inhaling the dangerous gas.
Similarly, a digital smoker is a form of fire hazard, and using it inside your apartment can risk the whole unit to fire hazards. The smell of roasting meat is only sweet when you’re eating the meat. The situation gets from sweet to sour when your whole unit smells of smoke and smoked meat.
The only slight option is to use the device on the balcony. However, this still depends on the rules in your apartment unit. Most landlords don’t accept tenants to use smokers on their patio for fear of staining the unit and being a fire hazard.
Which Electric Smoker Is The Best To Use At Home?
Most electric smokers are good and function well. However, some have features and functions that may not favor every individual’s needs. When shopping for the best electric smoker, think of your family’s size, and go for a capacity that fits well. The other factors to consider are temperature control, the viewing window, door access, and maximum insulation.
The Masterbuilt electric smoker brand ranks high as the best digital electric smoker. Below Masterbuilt, other electric smoker brands have prodcuts such as Bradleys Digital Smoker and Char-Broil Deluxe form part of the highest-rated electric smokers.
The electric smoker is generally good and a worthy investment at every home. We can agree that smoked foods are rich in both taste and health benefits to you in ancient times. Now that you’ve also learned the benefits of using a smoker, how to use it, and how less costly it is in terms of energy consumption, you now have a decision to make.
Should You Go Electric? A Comparison of Meat Smoking Technologies
Clearly we love all things electric here at This Electric Home, and when it comes to smokers we feel no different. However, just because we favor electric smokers doesn’t mean that they are the only options out there. Here’s a quick recap of some popular technologies, and some thoughts on why an electric model might be best for you.
Despite the inconveniences involved with using this type of smoker, some food purists and meat preparation specialists still prefer it to other types even if it will get their hands dirty. A big advantage of a charcoal smoker is affordability – they can be among the least expensive options, and if you have cost constraints they may be your best bet.
The biggest reason some users have stuck to charcoal is because it offers traditional flavor and great natural taste. It is also very portable so it can be used for picnics and for other outdoor events in remote locations. However, charcoal smokers can be quite difficult to clean and the process of preparing the charcoal embers can be a handful. Starting a fire isn’t easy and it is even more difficult to keep it burning evenly. This can be even more difficult for beginners and it may discourage them from becoming a seasoned pit boss entirely. Another problem with charcoal smokers is that it can take some practice to learn how to control their temperature. If you are inexperienced, this means that you’ll probably need to check your meat frequently as the chances of burning your food can be much higher.
A ceramic smoker is an unpopular version of charcoal smoker. Although it is much more efficient and it cooks faster, it still uses charcoal and has the same problems as with traditional charcoal smokers. Ceramic smokers are available with temperature settings which can make them very expensive. Unfortunately, poor handling and use can lead to cracks in the ceramic. Also, they are very heavy and not very easy to move around.
Wood burning smokers are very similar to charcoal smokers. The main difference is that a charcoal smoker tends to cook faster. Wood-burning smokers also provide traditional flavors and natural taste. These types of smokers themselves are not usually expensive, but firewood certainly can be. Wood tends to burn faster than charcoal so you may need to feed the fire periodically, and the higher temperatures will require frequent monitoring to prevent your food from burning.
Pellet smokers are quite common for a number of reasons. Most importantly, they offer more consistent temperatures than the two technologies we have discussed above, making them much easier to cook with. This is because they are usually equipped with a thermostat, which puts you in control of the heat so that you will be able to regulate the temperature depending on the kind of food you are smoking. However, pellet smokers have one big drawback – in certain occasions they can get jammed while in use. Pellet smokers are also quite expensive when compared to charcoal and wood-burning alternatives.
Gas or propane smokers are very easy to use. You only need to set the temperature and you can go and do other things while your food is being cooked – you won’t have to keep checking it every 5 minutes. Since gas smokers usually have the ability to generate a temperature higher than 450-degrees, they can also be used as ovens. Another advantage of a gas smoker is that it is very portable so it can be taken for picnics, camping, and other outdoor events.
Don’t forget that a gas smoker will run out of fuel once in a while, so you’ll need to watch the level while in use. It’s best to keep extra fuel on hand so you don’t end up mid-smoking with no more fuel. The biggest problem with gas smokers is that they can be difficult to maintain. This is because parts can break easily and can be difficult to replace.
Electric smokers are the “latest and greatest” and they come as an improvement on other types of smokers. For a better comparison, here are the features:
Ease of Use
Electric smokers are very easy to use. In fact, they are considered the easiest. This is why they are recommended for beginners. You don’t have to keep checking on your food while it is being grilled like you do with charcoal smokers.
Since electricity is in regular supply, you don’t need to be keeping tabs on your energy source like you do when you’re burning charcoal or firewood. You just need to plug it to an outlet and it will run for as long as you want. That is nothing but convenience – there is no fuel to monitor at all.
Electric smokers give you total control with switches, buttons, and dials that allow you to control both the time and temperature of smoking. This is why this type of smoker is commonly used in restaurants, hotels, and other commercial entities. To appreciate total control, you need to understand that when you cook for too long, your food may get charred or dry. When the cooking period is too short, your food will be undercooked and when you cook with inconsistent heat and smoke, this will lead to uneven cooking.
None of the three situations is pleasant. They can even be described as culinary nightmares. Being able to set the precise time and temperature from the beginning reduces the chances of the occurrence of any of the three scenarios described above.
With this equipment, you can still cook like a pro even with little cooking experience. Think of it, unless you’re Francis Mallmann, your preparation of charcoal or firewood is unlikely to be professional. So, you’re less likely to achieve professional results with other kinds of smokers. In addition, it is easier to follow recipes with an electric smoker.
Smokers give great flavor. Even though a lot of people believe that charcoal smokers offer better taste, this is nothing but a mere belief that has not been proven. In addition, some models of meat smokers now come with a tray-like pan where you can add wood chips to get the feel of charcoal grilling.
Smoked Food Remains Moist and Tender
Electric smokers are equipped with small vents for smoke to escape. These vents prevent grilled food from losing its temperature so your food will retain its moisture and remain tender. This is why electric smokers are the best type for cooking food like tender meats, brisket, ham, bacon, sausages, fish, and more.
Easy To Clean Up
Unlike charcoal smokers, an electric model is very easy to clean up. It is also very easy to set up electric smokers. You can make cleaning even easier by using non-stick spray.
Simply put, electric smokers offer all the attractive features of the other smokers while avoiding many of the drawbacks. Considering all the advantages of electric smokers, it is very clear that they are the best choice.
Buying Guide: How to Choose Your Electric Smoker
Here are some common features that you’ll want to look for in:
Thermostat vs. Rheostat
You will usually find that inexpensive electric smokers have a rheostat that lessens the flow of electricity towards the coil without turning it off. Electric smokers with a thermostat are better for both consumption of electricity and smoking results due to heating the coil and better smoking of the wood.
Make sure your smoker seals well. As you are smoking your fish, beef, chicken, vegetables, and cheese, you want to make sure that all the smoke stays in the smoker and doesn’t leak out.
Capacity of the Smoking Drawer
Depending on your smoking needs, you may need a very large smoking drawer if you have a family or a small one just for yourself. Look for a smoker with a stainless steel smoking drawer as that is the easiest type to clean.
You can have total power over your smoker with a remote control. A remote control will be able to control the internal light, the smoker’s temperature, and the meat temperature. With a remote control, you can relax a lot more and worry less about inconsistencies than you would with a charcoal smoker that you have to closely monitor.
Make sure that the design is user-friendly and has features like easy to move cooking racks, a wood chip box that is easy to fill, and a temperature that is easy to set. If you plan on setting up your smoker in your kitchen, it is also important that the smoker matches the rest of the appliances in your kitchen.
How to Cook With An Electric Smoker
Once you have your smoker picked out and set up, it’s time to conquer your first barbecue. To help you avoid common mistakes we figured we’d put together a primer to get you up and running with success as soon as possible.
Understand The Technique
Smoking is the use of smoke to cook and flavor meat with either wood or gas, with newer electric smokers allowing for vegetables and nuts as well. Modernization has brought about the electric smoker which doesn’t require charcoal, wood, or propane and doesn’t require you to break a sweat either. What follows are some things that can be done in order to get the best results from cooking with an electric smoker.
The first thing that you need to do is to decide which smoker you would like to purchase to meet your needs – hopefully, if you’re reading this you’ve already gone through our reviews and buying guide and found a perfect fit. To recap, options include vertical water electric smokers, which are better for the warm seasons. Refrigerator-shaped cabinet electric smokers, which have gauges for controlling core temperature, are also an option. The most basic and important thing is to read the directions to ensure that you use your smoker correctly.
Reading the manufacturer’s directions will not only help you understand the way your smoker functions, it will also teach you how to correctly season your smoker. Seasoning a smoker is done to remove dust, odors, and solvents that are present as a result of the manufacturing process so that it is prepared for use. Cooking oil is usually used to coat the racks and other surfaces before turning the smoker on for two hours, then turning it off and opening the hood to aid in cooling.
Season the Meat, Heat the Smoker
Your meats will show the best results if you prepare and season them the way you want, then allow them to sit overnight to absorb the flavor. Heating a smoker to the temperature required for the meat before placing it on the rack is important, then you want to cook the meat until a thermometer tells you that has reached the correct internal temperature. Meat thermometers need to be inserted directly into the meat as close to the center of the thickest parts in order to read the temperature correctly.
It is not advisable to use an extension cord with your smoker because of the dangers they present. Ensure that you have a convenient outlet outside or the ability to add an additional outlet. If you have no choice but to resort to an extension cord make sure that it is heavily insulated and rated for the amount of electricity that the smoker will draw.
Ensure that an extension cord has heavy wiring such as twelve gauge that allow it to provide adequate power. Do not use a long cord and ensure that it is placed so that you will not trip over it. Place the smoker so that you will not come in contact with the cord, and where there is nothing that could short it out.
The Cooking Process
Do not place the meat directly over the source of heat to avoid uneven cooking. It is best to give the meat about six to eight hours to cook thoroughly – though cooking times will vary depending on the type of meat that you have chosen as well as the cut. Meat takes time to smoke, so leaving yourself adequate time will ensure that it turns out how you would like. Things like brisket can take up to twenty-two hours to smoke with certain techniques – just do some research and keep in mind that the times will vary for the different meats that you smoke.
Baste and Cover
Basting throughout the smoking process ensures that the meat remains moist once all is said and done. The recipe that you choose will determine the amount basting required. Whether or not a covering is required would also depend on the recipe that you are using. It is far less risky to use a recipe when you first begin smoking meat in a smoker, so we highly recommend that you seek one out before you start.
It is of utmost importance to monitor the temperature of the meat while it smokes. Remove the meat when the meat reaches the correct temperature. Then you’ll want to cut into an inconspicuous piece of meat to check for perfection. If done correctly, there will be a pink ring under the crust when you cut the meat. This is called a smoke ring. If you see a smoke ring you can rest assured that your meat was smoked correctly.
Tips and Cautions
Read the manual and instructions for the electric smoker before you start cooking.
Begin by following recipes. You can experiment as your skills develop to a higher level.
It takes a long time to properly smoke meat. Plan ahead and set aside ample time to smoke the meat until it is completely done according to the internal temperature when measured by a meat thermometer.
Consuming raw or undercooked can be dangerous for your health. Make sure that you monitor the meat while you smoke it and that the meat reaches sufficient internal temperatures prior to consumption.