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Electric smokers are a perfect choice if you want a set-it-and-forget-it smoker. This ease of use also makes them an excellent option for beginners, especially if you're moving on from experimenting with your kettle grill. Much like gas smokers, electric models use wood chips to get that smoky flavor, and since there is no flame, just a heating element, you won't have to check your fuel before starting. They also don't require constant monitoring like charcoal, pellet, and offset smokers.
If you’re looking to smoke your favorite meats and veggies with ease, we recommend the Masterbuilt 30-Inch Electric Smoker.
There are many electric smokers to choose from, and top-rated ones have many excellent features, including easy-to-use controls, durability, and price points. Here are the best electric smokers for your needs.
Best Overall: Masterbuilt 30-Inch Electric Smoker
What We Love: Easy-to-use digital display, side wood chip loading system, integrated thermostat temperature control
What We Don't Love: Limited accessories, only a 90-day warranty
Masterbuilt is known for producing high-quality barbecue equipment, tools, and accessories. Its 30-inch electric digital smoker is no exception for quality and performance. This economical smoker features four chrome-coated interior racks with a full capacity of 530 square inches, which roughly equates to two whole turkeys, six whole chickens, four racks of ribs, or four pork shoulders.
This 50-pound smoker has a top mount digital panel that displays all the information needed to adjust temperature and cooking time without the risk of accidental burns. A loader on the side allows you to add wood chips without opening the smoker, ensuring minimal heat and smoke loss. Clean-up is also simple with removable racks and a drip pan.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 19.9 x 20.5 x 33.3 inches | Capacity: 530 square inches | Wattage: 1500 W
Best Budget: Dyna-Glo Vertical Analog Electric Smoker
What We Love: Built-in meat probe, side handles for mobility
What We Don't Love: Small, poor drip can design
The Dyna-Glo Analog Electric Smoker offers a convenient smoking experience with several features to simplify the cooking process. This no-frills analog smoker features a 505-square-inch capacity and a temperature gauge with a smoke zone that makes it easy to learn the best heat range for infusing smoke flavors.
Dyna-Glo designed the 1500-watt smoker with three adjustable chrome-plated cooking grates and a side access wood chip loader to minimize smoke loss during reloads. The double-walled firebox helps retain heat while cooking. Best of all, it's simple and easy to use right out of the box. This is a great smoker for beginners or those who do not smoke many items.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 18.4 x 23.5 x 35.9 inches | Capacity: 505 square inches | Wattage: 1500 W
Best Digital: Char-Broil 19202101 Deluxe Black Digital Electric Smoker
What We Love: Built-in meat thermometer, large smokebox, removable temperature gauge, wheels for ease of transport
What We Don't Love: No side-loader for wood chips
The Char-Boil Deluxe Black Digital Electric Smoker comes with a generous 725-square-inch capacity and an easy-to-use digital control panel that allows you to monitor your cooking temperature and make adjustments if necessary. Unlike many smokers, the Char-Boil Deluxe has a glass door that allows you to monitor the inside of the smoker without having to let the heat and smoke out.
The glass door does not affect the seal; once the door is latched, the smoke will not escape. In addition to its roomy interior, four adjustable racks offer you various cooking options, ranging from racks of ribs, hams, or even smaller turkeys. The smoker does not have a side-loader for wood chips, but its smokebox holds enough to allow you to smoke for up to seven hours before you need to refill it.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 16.5 x 18.1 x 32.5 inches | Capacity: 725 square inches | Wattage: 750 W
Related: The Best Smokers
Best for Beginners: Cuisinart 30-Inch Electric Smoker
What We Love: Internal analog thermometer, side handles, temperature gauge on the front
What We Don't Love: Heavy
The Cuisinart 30-inch electric smoker is perfect for casual or first-time smokers because it is convenient and easy to use. This smoker has 548 square inches of cooking capacity with three chrome-coated removable racks, which is spacious enough to smoke enough meat for a large crowd. At 19 x 22 x 37.5 inches, it's also compact enough to use regularly for smaller dinners.
This smoker is ready to use with only minor assembly required. After it has been seasoned, place your meat on the rack, set the temperature, and let the smoker do its job. The 1500-watt smoker can get up to 400 degrees and features an easy-to-read thermometer on the front door. Best of all, the grates, water pan, and wood chip tray are all removable for easy cleanup.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 19 x 22 x 37.5 inches | Capacity: 548 square inches | Wattage: 1500 W
Related: The Best Electric Grills
Best Bluetooth: Masterbuilt MB20074719 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker
What We Love: Stainless steel and chrome-plated construction, tight-sealing door, digital control center, Bluetooth wireless monitoring app, side pull-out wood chip tray
What We Don't Love: Expensive, large
If you are ready to up your smoker game, the Masterbuilt Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker is a top-of-the-line appliance built to last. This professional smoker has a sleek chrome finish, a generous 970-square-inch capacity, and a glass door so that you can witness all the smoky goodness as the meat cooks.
A state-of-the-art digital control center makes it easy to dial in the exact temperature and smoke density you want. But its star feature is its Bluetooth compatibility. You can check what is happening in the electric smoker at a moment's notice from your smartphone.
This comes with four interior racks and a side-loader for wood chips. If your food takes longer than expected, there's an interior light for low light conditions. It also comes with a rear handle and wheels should you need to move it.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 19.7 x 25.2 x 41.7 inches | Capacity: 971 square inches | Wattage: 800 W
Related: The Best Pellet Smokers
Best Heavy-Duty: Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker
What We Love: Stainless steel construction, wheels for mobility, side handles
What We Don't Love: Small, expensive
The Smokin-It electric smoker may seem basic initially, but it is a well-insulated, heavy-duty appliance with stainless steel construction. This is a professional-level smoker designed to smoke up to 35 pounds of meat.
This 17.25 x 21.5 x 24-inch smoker is NSF Certified, which means it has been tested by respected independent product testing organizations and safe for restaurant use. It's made from 18-gauge stainless steel and has four interior shelves that can be easily rearranged at any time, depending on what you cook. The 800-watt smoker does come with removable casters if you need it to be portable. This smoker is not intended for beginners and is ideal for serious smokers.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 17.25 x 21.5 x 24 inches | Capacity: 300 square inches | Wattage: 800 W
Related: The Best Grill Thermometers
Best Upgrade: Bradley BTDS76P Digital 4-Rack Smoker
What We Love: Extra-large capacity, programmable up to 8 hours, internal thermostat
What We Don't Love: Expensive, bisquettes not included
The main design feature that distinguishes this Bradley Digital Smoker is the ability to create significant smoke automatically. It uses a digital controller to measure the main cooking chamber's temperature and smokiness to determine when to release one of Bradley's proprietary wood bisquettes into the burning area. This feature allows you to leave the smoker unattended for up to eight hours.
The 2,288-square-inch smoker's digital interface is intuitive to use, helping you create delicious, consistent, and high-quality, pure smoke flavor. You simply set the timer and temperature, and it does the rest. Bradley Digital Smokers offer a more effortless and better way to roast, smoke and barbecue outdoors.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 14 x 17 x 31 inches | Capacity: 2,288 square inches | Wattage: 500 W
Related: The Best Grilling Tools
With its easy-to-use digital display and side wood chip loading system, the Masterbuilt 30-Inch Electric Smoker (view at Amazon) would make a welcome addition to anyone's backyard setup. Anyone who's just getting started using an electric smoker should pick up the Cuisinart 30-Inch Electric Smoker (view at Amazon) for all the right flavor without too much of an investment.
What To Look For in an Electric Smoker
If a smoker is not big enough for your needs, it will not be a worthwhile appliance no matter what its features are. Electric smokers usually have three to four racks to hold enough meat to feed a family of four to six people. The capacity will vary depending on the size of the meat you are cooking. If you want to smoke whole ribs, briskets, or other large cuts of meat, choose a smoker that can be configured to fit the meat without cutting it in half first.
Smokers come with various control options, from simple dials and buttons to digital controls. Some smokers include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can adjust the smoker's temperature or check the internal meat temperatures remotely. The more features the smoker has, the higher the cost.
An excellent electric smoker will have a temperature range of 100 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This range consists of all the appropriate temperatures to make it easy to smoke meat and grill all kinds of foods. The better the heating element the smoker has, the better the level of smoke it will produce.
Cleaning the smoker is a necessary task to keep it working well for years, and a smoker easy to maintain will make it faster to prepare for each meal. Electric smokers with easily removable cooking grids, racks, panels, wood chip trays, a drip pan and a water pan make cleaning easier. Eventually, you have to reorder these parts, so make sure you can reorder them from the manufacturer.
Can you use an electric smoker in your garage?
You shouldn’t use an electric smoker in a garage. "Although the risk for fire is significantly lower than a traditional smoker, the dangers of carbon monoxide inhalation would be serious, even with the garage door open," warns Chef Tim Hastings.
Do you place the meat directly on the racks in electric smokers?
Generally, yes. "Meat is typically placed on the racks like a traditional smoker, but check the manufacturer specifications for each model," says Hastings.
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Debbie Wolfe is a freelance writer and online shopping expert who spends hours researching and comparing household items, so you don't have to. She is the proud owner of countless appliances and can help you choose the right one, regardless of your needs.
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