Everyone loves perfectly smoked meat. There is nothing quite like perfectly smoked jerky, brisket, or pork butt.
However, not everyone wants to deal with messy, expensive propane smokers. That is why in this article, we are going to be looking at some of the best electric smoker options on the market today.
In addition to looking at five high-quality electric smokers, we are also going to include a buying guide. In the buying guide, we will explain the most important things to consider when shopping for an electric smoker.
If you just want a quick recommendation, we recommend the Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker with Window.
Chck Out Some of The Best Best Electric Smoker in 2019
Best Electric Smoker 2019:
Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
Char-Broil is probably best known for their barbeques, but as this smoker shows, they are capable of producing a smoker that is good enough to be featured on our best electric smoker review list. As you will see in this review, the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker is an extremely high-quality smoker that everyone should check out.
For starters, it is an extremely well-constructed electric smoker. The walls of the appliance are made out of very thick steel. This double-wall construction has two main benefits. First off, the thicker walls obviously make the smoker as a whole a lot more durable.
Secondly, and arguably more importantly, the thicker walls help to prevent residual heat loss. Even smokers that seem very solid can often let heat escape through the sides of the walls, which is why extra-thick smokers like the Char-Broil are helpful.
Of course, when looking for the best electric smoker, one of the first things that you want to ask is how well it performs. In this regard, the Char-Broil performs decently well. It has a cooking space of 725 square inches and a cooking power of around 800 watts.
There are bigger and more powerful electric smokers out there, but this is definitely no slouch either. In fact, we think that most people will have no issues with this smoker when it comes to capacity or cooking power. Only the most serious of serious smoking enthusiasts will find themselves needing more power or capacity.
Like a lot of other really high-quality electric smokers, the Char-Broil has a really handy glass door on the front of smoker, which makes checking in on your food while it cooks a lot easier (you can also check on your food without opening the door and thus losing heat, which is also a major bonus).
Really, the only major complaints that we have with this smoker have less to do with the smoker itself, and more with the other components that come with it. First off, the thermometer that comes with the Char-Broil is junk and you should replace it with another one ASAP. Secondly, the remote control has a really bad range and it isn’t all that responsive. Still, despite the flaws with the other components, the smoker itself performs really well.
- Good cooking power.
- Decently large cooking area.
- Double-walled construction keeps heat in.
- Solid stainless-steel exterior.
- Glass door for easy viewing.
- Thermometer needs to be replaced.
- Remote control isn’t responsive.
Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker
If you are looking for a good electric smoker, that also happens to be exceptionally portable, then look no further than the Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker. As you will see in this review, the Smokin-It manages to deliver surprisingly good performance, all while remaining relatively small.
When you compare the size of the Smokin-It to the previous entry on our best electric smoker review list, the Char-Broil, you will understand just how remarkable this smoker is. It is shaped sort of like a mini-refrigerator; it is a large square, as opposed to being shaped like a cabinet, as the Char-Broil was.
It also comes with a set of wheels, which makes it easy to push the smoker around. So, you can cook food in one area, then wheel the finished product somewhere else to serve. If you live in an area where it snows, then storing the smoker will also be extremely easy because you can just push it to where you need it.
With three, good sized racks the Smokin-It has a fairly good cooking capacity, despite its size. It can cook a maximum of up to 22 lbs. of meat at once. Bigger pieces of meat like brisket may require you to remove one of the racks, which is unfortunate but to be expected given the size of the unit.
In terms of cooking power, the Smokin-It comes equipped with a heating element of around 400 watts. That may seem weak compared to some of the other entries on this best electric smoker review list, but when you take into account the smaller cooking area, it is actually quite good. Not the most powerful electric smoker of course, but pretty good overall.
It is also worth mentioning that the smoker is extremely well-built. The walls are made of thick stainless-steel, which makes it tough and great at keeping heat in.
- Relatively compact and portable.
- Thick walls are both durable and capable of keeping heat in the smoker.
- Decent-sized cooking area.
- Wheels for added mobility.
- May be a bit too small for people who want to cook really large volumes of food at once.
Old Smokey Electric Smoker
Next up on our best electric smoker review list, we have the first cylinder-style smoker on this list. Cylinder-style smokers look and operate differently than the other kinds of smokers that we have reviewed so far, but plenty of people actually prefer this style of smoker.
For starters, one of the nice things about the Old Smokey, and this style of smoker in general, is that they are on the smaller side. This makes it easy to stick them anywhere you want, unlike cabinet-style smokers, which are often so big that they need to be placed in certain areas.
We wouldn’t call them very portable because they can be quite heavy, and they don’t have wheels to be pushed around on. However, definitely a good option for those of you with space concerns.
It is a very powerful smoker to be sure. With a heating element that can exceed 1000 watts (it has a maximum power output of 1250 watts to be precise), it is the most powerful entry that we have looked at on our best electric smoker review list.
The smoker is also designed so that juices are never falling into the smoker itself. It has a flat top, so the juices just drip right back onto the food. This is good because otherwise juices would be constantly dripping downwards and causing an awful mess. Putting in more woodchips is also pretty easy as well.
The issue with the Old Smokey is that it is hard to check up on your food or to add more/take things off while cooking. A lot of cylinder-style smokers come with a secondary door to make this easier, but that doesn’t appear to be the case with the Old Smokey.
This issue alone is what holds us back from declaring this to be the overall best electric smoker. Still, a very high-quality option to be sure.
- Powerful 1250-watt heating element.
- On the smaller side.
- Can easily add woodchips during cooking process.
- Designed to be easy to use.
- Not easy to access food.
- Can’t check on food easily.
Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker with Window
Going back to cabinet-style smokers, we are going to be reviewing the Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker with Window. This is the not the only Masterbuilt smoker that you will be seeing on our best electric smoker review list.
We found that this smoker and another one from them were both worthy of being reviewed. Also, we should mention that there are two different sizes available, 30 inches and 40 inches. We are reviewing the 30-inch model, but most of what we mention applies to the 40-inch model as well.
For starters, this is definitely a powerful smoker. With a powerful heating element (it has a power output of 800 watts) and very thick walls, the smoker heats up incredibly fast and cooks very quickly.
In terms of cooking area, the Masterbuilt has a total cooking area of 730 square inches. This is fairly par for the course and makes it about equal with the other cabinet-style smokers that we have reviewed before on our best electric smoker review list.
The actual cooking racks inside the smoker should also be mentioned. The cooking racks are chrome coated. They are tough, easy to clean, and food doesn’t seem to stick to them all that easily, which is a great thing to have.
As with a lot of other cabinet-style smokers, keeping an eye on your food is made easy by the presence of a really clear glass window on the front of the smoker. This may sound like a really minor feature, but you really shouldn’t underestimate just how useful this can end up being.
There are two, relatively minor issues with this smoker. First off, the chip tray is a bit on the small side. It would have been nice if it could have held more woodchips. Secondly, the remote control could afford to be better.
- Great cooking racks.
- Durable exterior.
- Minimal heat loss.
- Good cooking power (800-watt heating element).
- Good cooking area.
- Small woodchip tray.
- Remote could be better.
Masterbuilt 20073716 Portable Electric Smoker
To end off our best electric smoker review list, we wanted to review one last Masterbuilt smoker. Why two Masterbuilt products in a row? Well, despite the same brand names, the two smokers are actually quite different. This smoker, as you can tell from the name, is meant to be a portable electric smoker. It is smaller and more compact than most other smokers on this list, which is why we decided to include it.
Let’s start with the size, which is the defining feature of the smoker. It is very small; in fact, it is the smallest smoker on this list. While it could have sued some wheels to make it more portable, it is still fairly easy to move around thanks to two very convenient handles on the sides of the smoker.
Despite the small size, it is still a Masterbuilt smoker and thus still packs quite a punch. It comes with a 1400-watt heating element. This makes it among the most powerful options on this entire list. It may be small, but it can cook some pretty thick pieces of meat in a very quick amount of time.
- Easy to carry thanks to handles on the side.
- Powerful 1400-watt heating element.
- Easy to fold up and store.
- Very simple control scheme.
- Could use some wheels.
- Small cooking area.
Electric Smoker Buying Guide
Way back at the start of our best electric smoker article, we mentioned that in addition to reviews, we were also going to include a buying guide. In this buying guide, we are going to explain some of the advantages of electric smokers over propane smokers.
Likewise, we are going to explain some of the most important things to consider when shopping for an electric smoker.
Advantages of Electric Smokers
Electric smokers have quite a few advantages over their propane counterparts.
In terms of pure convenience, there isn’t a contest between the two, electric smokers just blow propane smokers out of the water. With propane smokers, you have to constantly buy refills and manage gas levels.
Likewise, you have to be very careful when it comes to managing things like heat because propane isn’t as precise when it comes to achieving heat levels. This all leads to more work for you and it also means that it is much easier to make mistakes.
Electric smokers are easy to use. You just have to plug them in, and that’s it. No fiddling with gas lines, no refilling propane tanks, nothing difficult. You just plug and start cooking. Also, because electric smokers use heating elements, they are a lot better at reaching an exact temperature. You can just set the temperature and the smoker will do the rest.
In terms of flavor, there isn’t really much, if any, difference between the two kinds of smokers. While propane does add a certain distinct flavor that electric smokers can’t achieve, when you consider that electric smokers make it easier to cook something to perfection and when you consider all the spices and flavorings you will be using, it doesn’t really end up making a difference what smoker that you use.
What to Look for When Buying the Best Electric Smoker
Alright, so let’s say that you don’t like any of the products that we reviewed on our best electric smoker review list, for whatever reason, and have decided to go shopping for a smoker on your own, what should you be looking for? In this part of the buying guide, we are going to explain how to evaluate an electric smoker that you find while shopping.
We all want a powerful electric smoker. A powerful smoker cooks faster and it cooks better, so it isn’t surprising at all that power matters. Thankfully, evaluating the power of a smoker is quite simple.
Just look at the heating element and find out how many watts it is. On our best electric smoker review list, we looked at a variety of smokers with different power levels. Generally speaking, the most powerful electric smokers had power levels in the 1200-1500-watt range. If you are looking for commercial electric smokers, you probably aren’t going to find wattages higher than that.
Just as important as cooking power is cooking area. Cooking area is almost always measured in square inches, but you do get some smokers that measure it in lbs. instead. There is no “perfect” cooking area.
Instead, you want to find a smoker with a cooking area that best fits your need. A smaller cooking area is better for smaller households, while a larger cooking area is good for people who like to host parties or who like to smoke things like jerky en masse.
Finally, you also want to make sure that any smoker that you buy has really thick walls. We mentioned this earlier in our best electric smoker review list, but we will mention it again here. Thick walls are good because they help to keep heat in. Even walls that may seem sturdy often have some residual heat loss.
Residual heat loss can really mess with the cooking process, so you want to make sure that you are doing your best to minimize it. Make sure that if you buy a smoker, that it has what is called “double-walled construction.” This refers to how thick the walls are, and these types of smokers are the best at stopping residual heat loss.
If you have any further questions regarding either our best electric smoker review list or our buying guide, we want you to leave a comment.