The Best Electric Smoker for Sale: Electric Smoker Reviews 2018

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What is an Electric Smoker?

Smoking food is a method of cooking and flavoring food by exposing it to smoke and very low heat for a long time.  An electric smoker is typically a metal box with a heating element where meat can be exposed to heat and smoke for a long period of time.  Backyard BBQ smokers are popular to cook meat and fish in, but cheese and vegetables can be quite delicious as well.

The best electric smoker will have a heating element at the bottom of the unit and can provide even controlled heat with fine temperature control.    Many electric smokers for sale also include a place where you can put wood chips into the smoker.  This ability to add wood chips will add flavor to the smoke and help flavor the meat.

Electric meat smokers do not tend to get the “smoke ring” on meats as deeply as other types of smokers.  However, they do tend to produce superior and more reliable results since you can keep the temperature even for long periods of time.  The amount of control that you have with an electric smoker is the #1 reason why you should get one.

Why buy an Electric Smoker?

If you wish to buy a smoker, you should strongly consider an electric smoker. This is especially true if you are new to smoking food.  Other popular options are a charcoal smoker or a grill with smoker.  A charcoal smoker requires constant management to keep the temperature right and even.  A grill and smoker combo is very practical if you only want one, but results aren’t as good as an independent smoker.

If you are thinking of buying a smoker to use in a BBQ competition, you should know that many competitions do not allow the use of electric smoker grills.  If you are looking for the best smokers for home use, keep reading.

 

Our Guide to Best Electric Smokers for Sale 2018

If you are looking for the best electric smokers for sale, refer to this guide to help you make a decision on the best smoker to buy.

NameImageWeightCooking CapacityPriceRating
Masterbuilt 20077515 30" Electric Smoker53730 square inchesSee Price4.5
Masterbuilt 20075315 Electric Smoker, 40-Inch73975 square inchesSee Price4.5
Masterbuilt 20071117 30" Digital Electric Smoker40730 square inchesSee Price4.4
Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker12484 square inchesSee Price4.2
Smoke Hollow 30162E 30-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control55504 square inchesSee Price4.2
Bradley Digital 6-Rack Smoker60.5780 square inchesSee Price4.0
Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 725 Square Inch50.2725 square inchesSee Price
4.0

Electric Smoker Features

Electric Smoker Temperature Control

Temperature control is the whole reason that you want an electric smoker.  Without excellent control, you could purchase a charcoal smoker.  The temperature control piece of the electric smoker is incredibly important.

Some smokers have an external control that is on the cable connecting the smoker to electricity.  Others smokers have controls right on the box that can monitor internal temperature as well as set the temperature.  This, of course, it the gold standard in temperature control mechanisms.  There are other bells and whistles, which include fancy remote controls and even apps that you can use to control temperature.  These embellishments are usually accompanied by a control that is on the box.

Electric Smoker Temperature Range

The temperature range of electric smokers should be variable.  Different types of foods should be smoked at different temperatures.  For example, meats should be smoked at 200-225 degrees, fish at 200-225 degrees and vegetables 225-275 degrees.  The best smokers on the market should be able to accommodate all of these temperature ranges.

Electric Smoker Heating Power

Electric smoker heating power is measured in Watts.  If an electric smoker has 1000W, that is how much power the smoker will use in 1 hour.  Typically, the more powerful, the better.  The best home smokers have wattage in the range of 1000-1200W.  Though a small electric smoker can get by with less wattage because it is a smaller space.

Electric Smoker Meat Probe

Some of the best BBQ smokers come with a meat probe.  This is a built-in thermometer that can be inserted into the meat while it smokes.  It lets you tell the current temperature of the meat without having to open the smoker. Some electric smoker reviews have said that these thermometers are not accurate, but sometimes user error can be involved.  These thermometers are nice to have, but certainly not necessary for your home electric smoker purchase.

Electric Smoker Remote Control

Some of the top rated electric smokers come with a remote control.   The remote control will let you control time, smoker temperature, and monitor internal meat temperature.  Having an electric meat smoker with this feature is handy as it lets you monitor things much easier.  BBQ smoker reviews love this feature, but it is nice to have and not required.

Electric Smoker vs Charcoal Smoker

Charcoal smokers typically are larger than electric smokers.  This is due to the fact that a charcoal smoker has to have room for charcoal and wood, where an electric smoker will only need room for the electric element and some wood.  A grill smoker combo can be even larger.

A charcoal smoker requires knowledge of how to build heat and keep it even.  This is more difficult than it sounds. But because of this, you can get the heat in a charcoal smoker much higher than you can in electric meat smokers.

The best home smoker can infuse a lot of flavor.  Charcoal smokers excel at this.  While an electric smoker uses wood, a charcoal smoker does a bit better job at infusing that smoky flavor.  Many electric smoker reviews will give tips on how to infuse more smoke flavor.

Electric Smoker vs Grill Smoker Combo

One of the main differences between an electric smoker and a grill and smoker combo is the power source.  An electric smoker uses an electric heating element while a grill with a smoker with use propane.  Some meat smoker reviews say that propane gives the meat a better and smokier flavor.

Electrical smokers are typically vertical while the grill and smoker combo is usually horizontal or sometimes even an offset smoker grill.  Vertical smokers tend to be more portable and easier to move around.  The best offset smoker can be very large, sometimes hundreds of pounds.  The horizontal and offset smokers are also much harder to clean.

If you want to cook large volumes of meat or perhaps enter competitions, we think a horizontal or offset smoker would be a good choice.   They can sometimes be towed behind a trunk as well to transport them to a competition site.  They can smoke hundreds of pounds of meat at a time.  If your needs are smaller than this, we would recommend an electric smoker.

The Best Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt 20077515 Electric Smoker

This Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 20077515 is our pick for the best electric smoker for sale.  It is a full featured product that has some of the bells and whistles that most people would want.  This smoker also comes in two versions, 30″ or 40″.

The Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 20077515 30″ has 730 square inches of smoking capacity, while the 40″ version has 975 square inches.  The power of the heating element in the 30″ is 800W and the 40″ is 1200W.   Both versions have wheels, which make it easy to move the electric bbq smoker from place to place.

Some of the terrific features of a top rated smoker include a LED display for temperatures, Rf remote control, internal light, and a wood chip loading mechanism.  The Masterbuilt Electric Smoker has all of these features and more.  Read our full review of the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 20077515 here.

Pros
Large capacity
Side wood loader
Window in Door
Remote control
Internal Light
Easy to clean
Midrange Price

Cons
90 day warranty only
Will occasionally trip the circuit it is plugged into

The Best Electric Smoker under 200 Dollars

Masterbuilt 20071117 30″ Digital Electric Smoker

The Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 20071117 is the best cheap smoker on the market.  The cheap electric smokers can often have quality problems or suffer from less than ideal smoking conditions.  This Masterbuilt Digital electric smoker doesn’t encounter those problems.

We love the digital control panel, side loading wood mechanism, and well-insulated box.  Typically, a cheap electric smoker doesn’t have such good insulation, but that isn’t the case here.  The 730 square inches of smoking capacity is quite large and a good value for such a well-priced product.  And while this electric digital smoker doesn’t have wheels, at 40 pounds, it isn’t too heavy to move from place to place.

At this price point, we find the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker to be the best electric smoker under $200.

Pros
Large capacity
Side wood loader
Easy to use
Easy to clean

Cons
90 day warranty only
Will occasionally trip the circuit it is plugged into
Solid door

The Best Small Electric Smoker

Little Chief Front Load Smoker

The Little Chief Electric Smoker is a high quality small BBQ smoker.   At just 12 pounds, it is truly portable and you might even call it a mini electric smoker.  It also has 484 square inches of smoking capacity, so you can still fit quite a lot in this smoker, up to 25 pounds of fish.

The Little Chief Smoker is a basic smoker without a lot of features.  This small electric smoker has its temperature control on the power cable.  It typically smokes products at around 165 degrees F.  This is perfect for fish.  However, you might consider other smokers for meat.  It also has a solid door that you cannot see through.

This best small smoker is affordable and a perfect choice if you want something portable and plan to smoke lots of fish or cheese.

Pros
2 year warranty
Lower cost
Easy to clean

Cons
No digital control panel
Solid Door
Lower temperature
250W heating element
Cannot be used for meats, only fish

Other Top Rated Electric Smokers

Smoke Hollow 30162E Electric Smoker

The Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker is a great entry level smoker.  While it doesn’t have wheels, it does have 2 handles that allow you to move this 55 pound smoker from place to place.  The smoker is made of steel and has 3 temperature settings.  It isn’t a large electric smoker at just 504 square inches of smoking capacity but should be large enough for most home cooks.  The size is much closer to a small meat smoker.

Some electric smoker reviews report not getting very much smoke with this unit.  The trick is to fill the wood tray with chips and start on very high heat until the smoke builds up.  Then you turn the temperature down to your desired heat level and start your meat.  Depending on the level of smoke you want, you may have to add wood chips several times during your smoking cycle.

The temperature control is less fine-grained than with a digital electric smoker. You also need to be careful with this smoker and cover it when not in use.  The steel can rust and deteriorate over time if exposed to the elements or not properly cleaned between uses.  Read our full review of the Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker 30162E.

Pros
Well insulated
Lower cost
Easy to clean

Cons
No digital control panel
Solid Door
Can trip your electrical breaker
Only 3 temperature settings
Rust potential

Bradley Digital 6 Rack Smoker

The Bradley Digital Electric Smoker is a large smoker with 6 racks and 780 square inches of cooking capacity.  Its digital interface allows fine grain control of temperature and time. It has an internal thermostat to help it monitor and maintain even temperature as well.

We can report that this is one of the best smokers for meat.  You do need to watch the temperature and compare the internal temperature to what you set as it can vary.  Try and keep the temperature even for the best results.

Bradley makes a 4 rack version of this smoker which is slightly cheaper, but has less capacity.  In terms of quality and results, we give the 4 rack version similar reviews.

Pros
1 year warranty
Large capacity
Easy to clean

Cons
Expensive
Solid Door
Temperature can be lower than the thermometer indicates

Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker

This Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker is great value as one of the best midrange BBQ smoker for sale.  If you want an Electric smoker with a glass door so you can see your food, this is one of the better priced models.  It also has an easy to read LED control panel, large capacity at 725 square inches, and a warming feature.  For a mid-priced model, it is surprisingly well featured.  If this capacity isn’t enough, they do have a larger version.

We find that the stainless steel finish makes it very easy to clean.  We also find this smoker very easy to use.  The chip box for the wood chips is very convenient as well.  Smaller wood chips see better results than larger ones in this smoker.  We think this smoker is one of the best barbeque smokers for sale for beginners and more serious hobbyists.

The customer service has been less than stellar and we have had to replace a few parts.  Quality seems to be variable and that is holding back our rating.  Read our full review of the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker.

Pros
Easy to use
Midrange cost
Easy to clean
Glass door
1 year warranty

Cons
Can trip the circuit breaker
Poor customer support
Variable quality of the heating element

Masterbuilt 20075315 Electric Smoker

This Masterbuilt 20075315 electric smoker is the same model and design as the 20077515 smoker.  The main difference is that this is 40 inch smoker.  This increases the capacity from 730 square inches to 975 square inches.

We love the wood loading system and the easy to clean up drip tray.  At 1200W the heating element is plenty powerful.  The digital LED panel is fantastic for controlling the temperature as is the RF remote.

We consider this to be on of the top electric smokers on the market.

Pros
Large capacity
Side wood loader
Window in Door
Remote control
Internal Light
Easy to clean

Cons
90 day warranty only
Will occasionally trip the circuit it is plugged into
More expensive

Using Wood in an Electric Smoker

The best wood smokers typically have a pan to put wood chips in.  Not all electric smokers come with such a pan, but many do.  If your smoker doesn’t have a smoker pan, you can line the bottom of your smoker with aluminum foil for the wood chips.  We find that the aluminum foil method works fine, but can leave you with a bit of mess to clean up.  As a substitute, you can use a clean tin can or 2 to hold your wood chips and eliminate some of the mess.

Popular types of wood to smoke with include applewood, cedar, alder, hickory, maple, mesquite, and cherry.  There is no wrong or right on picking a wood, it is up to your personal flavor preferences.

Should you soak your wood chips?

There is some debate on if you should smoke your wood chips before putting them in an electric smoker.  Some people think that if you soak the wood chips, you will get more smoke from the moisture in the chips and that they will last longer.  This is a myth.  You want the smoke to flavor your meat, not steam.  If you soak your wood chips, you will get plenty of steam.  The wood chips will last longer if soaked, but they will likely bring the internal temperature down of your smoker.  We recommend using dry wood, even though you may need more of it.  It will result in a superior flavor.

Electric Smoker Accessories

There are plenty of accessories that are sold with Electric Smokers and really any other type of smoker.  These are the ones that we consider to be essential.

Thermometers

There is a couple type of thermometers that are useful.

A good meat thermometer will help you test the internal temperature of the meat.  This is needed to know when you are done smoking the meat.  Too low a temperature and you risk food poisoning and too high a temperature you risk chewy or dry meat that doesn’t taste good.  There are many to pick from and they are quite reasonably priced, but this is one that we like.

An internal thermometer can be placed inside your smoker unit to monitor the internal temperature.  As you get to know your smoker, you might find that it runs hot or cold and this will help you get the best results.  Be careful not to mount the thermometer next to the heating element.  Somewhere in the middle of the unit is probably best. These are also very affordable and will really help you get the most out of your smoker.

Electric Smoker Covers

Since smokers are used outside primarily for safety reasons and they are made of metal, they can be vulnerable to the elements.  In order to keep your smoker in top condition, we recommend buying a cover to protect it.  They are also affordable and since the best electric smokers can be a big purchase, it is worth protecting that investment.  There are many on the market, but here is an example of a decent cover.

Electric Smoker Recipes

Smoked Fish

Ingredidents:
4-5 lbs. hearty, skin-on fillets (salmon, mackerel, or sea bass)
1 quart water
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Paprika

Directions:
Mix water, sugar, and salt over low heat until salt and sugar dissolved. Let cool.
Put the fish in brine and in the refrigerator overnight.
Remove fish and lightly rinse. Pat dry with paper towels. Season with paprika.
Preheat smoker and add wood chips. Smoke fish for 3 hours at 175°F-200°F or until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 160°F.

Smoked Beef Brisket

Ingredients:
1 10-12 pound brisket
1/4 cup of salt
1/4 cup of pepper
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne

Directions:
Trim the fat off the brisket.
Mix all the seasonings together.
Season the meat all over with the mix. Let meat sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Heat your smoker to 225°F. Add wood chips as needed.
Place brisket in the smoker. Keep temperature steady at 225°F. Check wood chips every 45 minutes or so, and add chips as needed.
Keep smoking the brisket until meat is tender but not falling apart and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of meat registers 195°F. It should take about 10-12 hours.

Smoked Pork Ribs

Ingredients:
1 rack of baby back Ribs
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:
Preheat your smoker to 225°F.
Remove membrane from the inside of the ribs.
Combine all the spices together and rub on the ribs
Put your ribs directly on the racks for 3 hours.
Remove the ribs from the racks and tightly wrap them in aluminum foil. Pour 1/8 cup of beer into the foil packet.
Put the ribs in the smoker for 2 hours.
Remove the ribs and coat both sides of the ribs with lots of your favorite BBQ sauce.
Put the ribs directly on the racks for 1 hour.

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