We all have our moments: you are sitting on your back porch outside, your eyes closed and your face turned toward the moonlight as you reflect on an issue you had at work earlier that day, or a small argument that you had with a friend. The stress is bearing down on you and you are hoping that a little alone time, a little meditation, will help you clear your mind, put you at ease. You are looking for that happy place in your mind, and that is when the smell of BBQ begins to permeate your senses. It is a strong, but delightful smell.
Is that… is that real? You ask yourself, as you sink deeper into peace, believing it to be a figment of your imagination. And then your grumbling stomach breaks your concentration, and you slowly open your eyes to the sight of smoke obscuring the night sky. And that’s when you look over at your neighbor’s porch and see them cuddled together outside, talking around their electric smoker.
That’s how I figured out two years ago that my happy place was with a smoker grill, and it was then that I made the decision to pool my money together to buy the best electric smoker out there! But, there was just one, rather big problem… Which one should I get? You can rest assured that the first people I asked were my neighbors, but I did not want to get the same smoker that my neighbors had, so I asked some other friends and family, did some research online. It took a while, but I was hell-bent on getting the right smoker and in the end, I did just that.
So, I put this website up to help you find the perfect electric smoker so you can reach your happy place, without the hassle of all the research I went through!
What You Will Get Here
- Why Should You Trust Us?
- Who Are Electric Smokers For?
- Which Factors Make a Good Electric Smoker?
- How We Picked And Tested our Electric Smokers
- Our Pick: Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Smoker
- Our Budget Pick: Old Smokey Electric Smoker
- Upgraded and Affordable: Masterbuilt 20077615 Digital Electric Smoker
- Best For Beginners: Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker
- 4 Other Electric Smokers We Found Good
- Electric Smokers We Did Not Like
- Get the Best Out of Your Electric Smoker
Why Should You Trust Us?
There comes a point in time in everyone’s internet browsing life when they stumble upon a website that they like, that offers great reviews and information on the products they like, and then they think to themselves: Who is to say that these guys are experts? I mean, just because they say a grill is good, that doesn’t mean that they really know what they are talking about!
And everyone is entitled to doubtful thoughts, but you can squash those when you come to Grills Forever! We pride ourselves on our genuineness.
First off, we, yes, you and I, have a lot in common! We both love using smokers to cook up some of the most tender, succulent, and mouth-watering BBQ around (of course, we will probably clash when it comes to whose BBQ is the best, but that is what a cook-off is for)! And, we too, like many of you, were once novices. But through years of hard work, a lot of eating, and research, we have molded ourselves into what we consider “Genuine Kings of the Grill!” Experimentation has led us to some of our favorite products on the market, and our goal is to help you find your favorites as well, without all the trial and error we went through.
Here at Grills Forever, we are not endorsed by any grilling company; we only promote the best of the best, and give you the nitty-gritty on the worst of the worst. We offer feedback based on our own personal experiences, so that you can get the electric smoker that works best for you.
The other cool thing about us is that we take recommendations, so if you are dying to know how a new smoker works and we have not yet reviewed it, drop a line and we will get it done for you!
Who Are Electric Smokers For?
Have you ever been to a restaurant and ordered smoked meat that, when you bit into it, just seemed to melt in your mouth, so tender and juicy? Well, electric smokers slow-cook meat to make sure that it does not get dried out, but remains succulent and tender with that great BBQ taste we all love.
You might consider an electric smoker if:
You are looking for an Upgrade:
For those of you who often find your meat black and charred, it might be time for an upgrade! With the low prices, ease of use, and large rack sizes, the electric smoker is that upgrade. Just plug the bad boy in, slap your slabs of meat on the rack, set the temperature, and let it cook!
You Don’t Have Much Storage Space:
Electric smokers are good for those who do not have much storage space for a large grill and bags of charcoal or wood pellets: they are relatively small smokers and only require the power chord for fuel! If you are living in an apartment, it is tough for you to place a gas, charcoal or wood fueled smoker in that. In this case an electric smoker can be the best choice for you.
You Don’t Want to Spend an Arm and a Leg:
While more expensive than your stereotypical charcoal grills, electric smokers are comparatively cheap to higher-end grills and smokers on the market. We love electric smokers because the cheaper price does not mean a 100% sacrifice in quality.
To be honest you will not get the richest taste of pork ribs, pulled pork, turkey when preparing it an electric smoker. The taste is somehow inferior to gas, charcoal or wood fueled smokers. But you will find smoked fish, cheese, steaks and bacon surprisingly awesome when done in an electric smoker. But this opinion does not stand on when you are using a high end electric smoker.
You Are An Everyday User:
With the large rack sizes, smokers can cook any kind of meat: whether you plan on cooking pork ribs, turkey, beef briskets, or grilled vegetables, the electric smoker will get the job done!
One of the disadvantages of using an electric smoker, however, is that it is very hard to get that traditional smoke ring (that pink layer of meat on the outside), even if you use a couple of charcoals or wood pellets. Now, this is not going to affect the taste of your meat, but nothing screams “Southern BBQ” like a good ol’ smoke ring!
Another consideration is that electric smokers are not typically permitted in BBQ competitions for being too easy! So if you are after an easy to use smoker, pick the electric one without any hesitation.
Which Factors Make a Good Electric Smoker?
Like we said, the relatively low price of electric smokers does not mean that you will be taking a hit in quality as well. But, like anything in life, you have to be conscious of what you are buying, and when it comes to buying grills and smokes, I will admit, it sometimes gets hard to tell the difference between competing products.
That is why you have to know beforehand what you are looking for. Purchasing power means knowledge, so the next time you are looking to buy a smoker, look for these five features:
The top electric smokers on the market come with temperature control features such as a rheostat. I would say that if you are looking to buy an electric smoker, this feature is a must! A rheostat usually comes in the form of a knob or digital display, and allows you to actually control the internal temperature of your smoker.
The caveats are the small ventilation systems in the combustion chamber of your smoker which allows for the release of heat and smoke. This is important to help maintain a stable internal temperature of your smoker, ensuring that your meats will not burn or char. Consequently, you will be left with a juicier, more tender after-product.
When you are purchasing a new electric smoker, you want to make sure that you know how the heat flows within the smoker while your meat is cooking. I would not say that there is a particular heat structure that is better than another, but you should be aware so you know how to arrange your meats on the rack. More heat sources (such as convection from the bottom of the smoker and the sides) can mean shorter cooking times, but it may also mean overcooked meat. So make an informed decision!
Here, layer structure refers to the setup of the grill racks in the smoker. As you browse the market, you will see that some smokers are more vertical, and some are horizontal. Also, some smokers have stainless steel racks, and others have chrome-plated racks.
We have found that the orientation of the racks, whether more vertical or horizontal, does not make much of a difference. It mostly depends on the shape of the meats you will be cooking. For example, if you are going to be cooking long slabs of pork ribs, you may want to buy a horizontal smoker. But you will not get an offset electric smoker in the market. Best possible solution is to buy a smoker with large cooking space.
Also, the material of the racks is not as important as making sure that the racks are hollow and straight: the hollow racks retain heat better, giving you those nice grill marks.
Addition of Woodchips or Charcoal
When you are buying an electric smoker, you also want to make sure that it includes a tray where you can burn some wood chips or coal as well. This may seem counter-intuitive, but being able to use charcoal or wood pellets will help you get a smokier, more traditional BBQ taste, and can also help with that smoke ring!
If you are really going to buy a smoker, I think you need to ask these 8 questions to yourself.
How We Picked And Tested our Electric Smokers
Hand-picked! To us, there is no other way.
If you could not tell by now, we are very passionate about what we do, and what we do is we grill! Our reviews are based first on our experiences cooking with the smokers: tasting the quality of the food, testing the durability of the smokers, and exploiting the features.
Second, we look at other reviews online, get feedback from renowned BBQ experts, and talk to people we know who have used the smokers and grills. There are only four of us, but we are BBQ experts and outdoor grilling buffs: nothing makes us more excited than putting a new smoker to the test!
And trust me when I say, we go to just about any lengths to get our job done right. Just last week my friends and I took a camping trip up in the mountains and we were planning on trekking a few miles to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, so we ended up having to take my pickup truck with a portable generator for night camp.
Well, with all the gear we had, all four of us could not fit in the truck and I ended up having to sit in the bed of the pickup, since I was also the one that insisted that we take my friend’s Masterbuilt electric smoker. It’s funny because I guess my friend did not see one of the speed bumps as we were driving up the mountains, so he hit it at about 35mph and everything in the bed of the truck jumped: the grill almost flew out the truck. I literally had to catch it from crashing on the ground, and almost flew out the truck myself!
The point is we have fun with what we do, and what we do is gain these first-hand experiences so that when you go to buy a smoker, you know the superior from the mediocre. We do not have an endorsement, nor are we sponsored by any brand, so you can rest assured that our reviews are legitimate: from one griller to another.
Masterbuilt 20075315Check It on Amazon
Best Smoker for The Price
With a grilling space of 975 sq. inches you can smoke anything you want. And the 5 in 1 RF remote control makes smoking much easier than any other smoker.
Our number one pick for the best electric smoker on the market right now is the Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Smoker, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before I give you the review on the electric smoker, I first want to tell you why we chose this great smoker for our number one slot!
- We chose the Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Smoker as our No. 1 pick because it combines all the luxurious features and incredible performance of a high-end smoker but at great, low price! This Masterbuilt 20075315 is one of the best “Set & Forget” smoker grills that you can find on the market!
- The smoker offers the largest grilling space available on any other electric smoker on the market for this price, measuring 975 sq. inches! This large grill space offers a lot of versatility when it comes to what you can cook, and makes this smoker well worth the $500!
There are 2 variants of this smoker: the 30-inch & 40-Inch versions, which offer a $10 price difference. With the 30-inch smoker, you will get 730 sq. inches of cooking space while the 40-inch smoker offers 975 sq. inches of cooking space. I personally liked the 40-inch version of this smoker more because when I grill, I like to do it big! So the larger grill space is a must for me. But other than the cooking space, the two smokers are essentially the same.
- This Masterbuilt smoker also offers its users RF (radio frequency) remote control, a feature which is typically included with smokers that are priced well over the $500 range. The remote is actually a 5-in-1 device, allowing you to turn the smoker on and off, control the internal temperature, set a cooking timer, toggle the internal light, and check the meat temperature as well! From my experience, From my experience, I can easily say this remote control works really well among all other RCs and offers the user a great level of convenience.
- What we loved about the design of this smoker is that it has a smoothly operating wood chip loading system on the side of the smoking cabinet. This means that you do not have to open the door for adding in order to add wood chips so no smoke or heat is lost. Also, we did not have to monitor the wood chips like we did with some other smokers: the smoker does a great job of not burning the wood chips too quickly.
It has a sleek, steel body, it is easy to use with a small wood chip loading system that doesn’t take away from the aesthetics of the grill.
I do not have to advocate for this electric smoker. The features for this smoker speak for themselves:
Remote Control and Front View
I lump these features together because the remote control along with the front view access allow your to easily manage your meats and make sure that they do not overcook. The remote control allows you to turn the smoker on or off, turn the internal light for the smoker on or off, to control the internal temperature, and set the cooking timer.
High Level of Control
The Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Smoker really gives the power of grilling to the user. The smoker allows you to remotely and accurately control the internal temperature of the meats and the cook timer. You may forget you are even cooking!
As we mentioned, the Masterbuilt 20075315 offers a large cooking area of 975 sq. inches with 4 grilling racks. But, if you feel that this is too big, the grill is also available as a 30-inch smoker (with 730 sq inches of grill space). With the large size of this electric smoker, the grilling possibilities are endless!
The Masterbuilt 20075315 just looks great. It is a simple-looking, sleek, steel machine that offers users a great amount of control and functionality. This smoker makes grilling look easy. It also features a small pellet feeder tray and a built-in meat prober which are highly functional and do not take away from the aesthetics of the smoker. Have I even mentioned the internal lighting feature yet? That is right, while you are grilling, the smoker has a light that you can remotely turn on or off to check the progress of your meats.
Easy to Clean
Like I said, the drip catching system makes clean-up a cinch! The racks featured in the smoker are also very easy to remove and replace. The wide door panel for the smokers and the removability of these racks makes accessing the inside of the grill very easy. Furthermore, as if cleaning this grill sounds too difficult, the racks and most of the other components are dishwasher safe!
- The large grilling space (975 sq. inches)
- Wood chip tray
- Easy to clean drip catching system
- Remote control and front view makes
- Internal lighting system
- Built-in Meat Probe
- Dishwasher-safe components
- The front controller is not waterproof
- Front view window can fog up
The only small flaws that we experienced when cooking with this smoker is that sometimes the moisture generated from the meats can fog up the front view window of the smoker. Also, as tempted as you might be to throw caution to the wind on a rainy day and smoke some meats outside, the front control panel is not waterproof. So you are going to want to make sure that you cover the display. These are small setbacks, in my opinion, however, and do not affect the BBQ.
Other than that, this is a great electric smoker and our No. 1 Pick!
Our 2nd Best Choice: SmokinTex 1100 Pro Series Electric Smoker
2nd Best Choice
Smokintex 1100 ProCheck It on Amazon
Better Than The Rest
The SmokinTex 1100 Pro Series is one of the most durable electric smokers on the market! It offers users the luxury of using any woodchips you want so you can get the authentic BBQ flavor you desire!
For slightly less money, the SmokinTex 1100 Pro Series Electric Smoker clocks in as our 2nd Best Choice Smoker! Why didn’t it make No. 1? In short, the SmokinTex 1100 Pro Series performs just as well as the Masterbuilt 20075315, but without all the bells and whistles:
Stainless Steel Drip Pan
This smoker features a stainless steel drip pan that covers the base of the smoker. This makes the process of cleaning up after grilling exponentially easier.
Like the Masterbuilt 2005315, this smoker allows users to easily control the internal temperature of the smoker. All you have to do is set the knob to the desired temperature and walk away to live another day!
Closed Cooking Environment
The stainless steel construction of the SmokinTex 1100 Pro Series ensures that your meats are smoked in a closed cooking environment: this means that the temperature control is accurate and effective, and that heat will be evenly distributed throughout the smoker. No need to flip your meats!
Along with the stainless steel drip pan, the racks featured in the grill are dishwasher-safe and easy to remove. Done grilling? Just stick everything in the dishwasher!
The SmokinTex 1100 Pro Series Electric Smoker is much lighter than our No. 1 Pick, weighing approximately 45 pounds. This means the smoker is exponentially easier to maneuver, though it does not feature wheels.
- Temperature Control
- Stainless Steel Drip Pan
- Closed Cooking Environment
- No Front view
- No remote control
- No Wheels for portability
All in all, the SmokinTex 1100 Pro Series Electric Smoker is a great, quality smoker! While it does not include some of the user friendly features that our No. 1 Pick does include, it does not suffer in quality, and that is what matters at the end of the day!
Our Budget Pick: Old Smokey Electric Smoker
If you have not guessed it yet, then let me be the first to announce it to you: Our Budget Pick is the Old Smokey Electric Smoker! But before we delve into the full blown review, I just want to highlight some of the key reasons why this particular smoker made our Budget Pick list.
Why We Chose This as Our Budget Pick
Old Smokey Electric SmokerCheck It on Amazon
Best Bang for The Buck
This smoker has one of the most functional builds. Its airtight construction does not require water: your meats will come out moist and delicious every time! Made in the USA: for the American in you!
The Old Smokey Electric Smoker is one of the best smokers on the market within this price range. When choosing our Budget Pick, we also compared this smoker to other low priced smokers like the Smoke Hollow 30162E 30-Inch Electric Smoker and the Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-Inch Electric Smoker, but found that these smokers had some significant issues which knocked them out of the running.
Smoke Hollow 30162E is a feature rich smoker that is priced approximately $30 more than the Old Smokey. Outside of the higher price we found that the Smoke Hollow 30162E is not well sealed: after BBQ’ing a couple of times with this smoker, we found that grease from the meats will leak out of the cabinet where the legs are connected and smoke will leak from the cabinet door.
When smoking with the Hollow 26142E, we found that smoke escapes the cabinet door of this smoker as well. Again, this takes away from the taste of your BBQ, causing inconsistent heating conditions and making cooking indoors impossible.
The Old Smokey Electric Smoker, however, does not leak smoke or grease, and we found no major issues when smoking meats with this smoker. The Old Smokey Electric Smoker gives you the most consistent performance with about 10% of the effort of a good charcoal smoker!
For less than $150 you cannot get a better electric smoker! Now, do not get me wrong, at this price, you cannot expect all of the bells and whistles that more expensive smokers may offer, but this smoker get the job done right. Some of the eye catching features which make this smoker really stand out from all the other low priced smokers are:
- Its innovative design (flat top) which allows the juices to drip right back onto the food. My mates and I were quite surprised after we tasted the smoked foods made by the Old Smokey: we could tell that the flat top design really helped the meat retain the juices and capture that authentic BBQ flavor.
- The placement of the wood chip tray is intelligent. It is placed right on the heating element, which is why you will always get enough smoke to generate that great, smoky flavor. This smoker is able to keep a turkey more moist than a Big Green Egg!!
- The Old Smokey Electric Smoker is controlled by a heat thermostat to allow a wide variety of cooking times and styles. With a sturdy build and no leakage of smoke or juice, this smoker is really worth the price, just over $100! Amazing!
- With more than 70% of the reviews on Amazon having a five star rating, we did not have to worry whether or not we were selecting a poor budget pick when we bought this smoker. It is rare for such a low priced smoker to have this kind of rating; we were very, very impressed. It just goes to show that this smoker has been well-received by the grilling community, and for good purpose!ing the flavor inside the smoker.
- It would be a great injustice if I did not mention what you will not get in this smoker: you will not get any built in thermometer or digital display here, which is a bit of a bummer since almost 95% of smokers, like the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker and the Masterbuilt 20073716 Portable Electric Smoker, come with these features, even at this price. But one thing I tell you, if you buy a built in thermometer and display on a cheap smoker, you will get what you paid for: they often need replacement. Nothing but a crap.
For this I recommend you to get a wireless thermometer, especially since this smoker can get very hot during use. With more expensive smokers, you will not typically run into this problem.
Even though this smoker lacks some features, I would still highly-recommend it as the best budget pick because of the quality of smoked food it makes. I still grill with this smoker all the time!
Old Smokey Electric Smoker Review
Old Smokey is one of the oldest manufacturers in the industry, established in 1953, with an extensive history of producing some of the best electric smokers in the market, so it is a no-brainer that the brand made it on our list of the best electric smokers around! The Old Smokey Electric Smoker is a reliable smoker that delivers a consistent, quality BBQ experience.
Construction and Design
The smoker is made entirely of aluminized steel to support its 1250W of heating power. The Old Smokey was also designed with a tight-fitting lid to ensure that no heat is lost, so that the cooking time is reduced and the flavor of the wood chips is well-infused with the meat.
Also, to ensure that users get the maintain the perfect temperature when cooking their meats, the smoker has a thermostatic controller that lets you monitor the internal heat. There is no digital temperature control in this smoker, however, so in order to adjust the temperature, the user must dial the knob (the settings range from “Off” to “High”). Heating is distributed evenly throughout the grill, and the tight seal ensures that the meats are cooked evenly with the best possible flavor.
Wood Chip Tray
The Old Smokey Electric smoker is also an ideal smoker for those who like to use scented wood chips: the smoker features a chip tray above the heating element where one can input your wood chips for the desired flavor.
The Old Smokey Electric Smoker has an upper and lower grill, the diameters measuring 14.5 inches and 12.5 inches respectively. Both grills are equipped with handles, making inserting and removing them is a simple and easy task. Both of the cooking grills on this smoker provide a large enough work area to cook almost any meal with ease, and the smoker comes with additional racks for further food storage.
Easy to Use
Overall, the smoker is not only easy to use, but the smoker has been designed to be highly convenient and portable with a total weight of just 23 pounds. Old Smokey made this smoker with simple plug and chug functionality: you just plug in the smoker to an outlet and let her rip!
One thing you will find difficult, this smoker has no front loading door. If you need to add more wood chips in the halfway of your cooking time, it is a real mess by taking all the foods out and get back in again. Add sufficient wood chips when you start and you are all set to go!
If you are confused which wood chips you need to add, I believe this blog post on different types of wood chips will surely help you.
For monitoring, grab a wireless thermometer to easily monitor the meat temperature.
- The smoker is lightweight and has side handles for portability
- Tight-seal lid to ensure that heat does not escape
- The grills come with handles so they can be easily installed/removed
- Thermostat control allows you to monitor the internal temperature
- No water tray required
- The exterior of the smoker can become hot when in use
- No digital display is included
The biggest concern we had with this smoker is that it can become very hot when cooking, so if you have little kids running around, you may want to be conscientious so that they do not burn themselves. Other than that, this is a very good smoker, and one of the only lateral smokers you will see on our list. It provides a consistent cooking experience which means delicious BBQ all the time, every times!
Upgraded and Affordable: Masterbuilt 20077615 Digital Electric Smoker
Masterbuilt 20077615Check It on Amazon
Improved & Affordable
The 800 watt heating element in this smoker offers an even and consistent smoking experience. The redesigned drip pan and smoker cover lets you grill from the recipe CD without worrying about cleanup!
The Masterbuilt 20077615 Digital Electric Smoker made our list for the Most Upgraded Version Smoker within an affordable price range because it offers a lot of great features for a very competitive price. Masterbuilt has made some major improvements with this model as compared to their previous smokers. So let’s get into what makes this smoker something special!
- When I got this smoker, the first thing I noticed was its redesigned front access drip pan. This significantly reduces the amount of juice and grease that leaks outside of the pan, and makes it much easier to access for cleaning purposes. This also helps the taste become richer by evenly spreading the flavor inside the smoker.
- The Masterbuilt 20077615’s chrome-coated racks are also a major improvement: the chrome coating does not grab the meat substance on it so cleaning of racks has is exponentially easier. This also extends the life of the smoker, because this means less wear and tear on the racks due to harsh cleaning substances or scraping of the grill racks.
- Another improvement I noticed with this smoker is that the Masterbuilt 20077615 comes with a digital thermostat for more precise temperature control. Most people will say that as long as the thermostat maintains the internal temperature of an electric smoker to 10 degree of the set temperature, it is good enough. But I was surprised to see that this thermostat held the temperature within the range of a couple of degrees!!!
- The most outstanding thing about this smoker is that it includes a cabinet cover and a book of smoking recipes with a CD. Two rare additions at this price!
Let me state in depth what I actually think about this smoker.
This smoker also offers upgraded RF remote control functionality so that you can change the internal temperature of the smoker, set a timer, or turn the smoker on/off, all without getting up from your seat! This feature makes the smoker very competitive in the market, also, because for this price, there are very few smokers out there that offer the remote control feature. Major props!
Built-In meat Probe and Thermometer
In addition to the front window view, you can monitor your meats with the digital display thermometer and the built-in meat probe. One of the things we really liked about the digital display is that it is very easy to see, even in the sunlight. With some of the other smokers we have reviewed, it can sometimes be difficult to read the display in the summer sun. No problems with that here!
Even Heat Distribution and Inner Lining
This is a well-sealed smoker that is great when it comes to maintaining the internal temperature! The front window view and the digital thermometer display also help the even heat distribution because it means that you do not have to open the cabinet door to check your meat. So look forward to some thoroughly cooked and uncharred BBQ!
Large Grill Area
This Masterbuilt 20077615 offers four chrome-plated cooking racks which total a 721 sq. inch cooking space! This gives you the durability and freedom to cook virtually anything you want. No longer will you have to worry about the number of guests you invite to your house: the Masterbuilt 20077615 will be able to accommodate all the food you need!
- Great LED display: Able to display under direct sunlight.
- Ease of use with the remote control
- Built-In Meat Probe and Thermometer
- Consistent cooking experience
- Superb heat distribution and inner lining
- Large Grill Area (721 sq inches)
- Some reported issues with the remote control though we found it good enough
- Instruction manual can be vague at times
In full, the Masterbuilt 20077615 Digital Electric Smoker is a great smoker! Some people have reported issues with the remote control, but from personal experience cooking with this smoker for weeks, I have experienced no such issues. Also, the instruction manual that comes with the smoker can be a little vague at times, but the smoker itself is very easy to use and the controls are intuitive. Neither one of these issues takes away from the consistent quality of cooking that this smoker offers.
Best For Beginners: Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker
Best For Beginners
Smokin-It Model #1Check It on Amazon
Best Smoker for Beginners
The NSF-certified Smokin-It Model #1 is made of 18 gauge stainless steel and insulated with fiberglass. So rest assured there will be no leakage of smoke or heat! Consistency is the name of the game!
We chose the Smokin-It Model Smoker as the best electric smoker for beginners because it offers a simple and sleek design with high portability, great insulation, and other important features, all for a competitive price. I think this smoker is best for beginners because in a journey towards a Smokin’ Pro from beginner, you should learn how to smoke without bells and whistles.
As a beginner you will love this detailed guide on how to smoke meat. Believe me, this is much simpler than you thought.
Smokin-It has a reputation of building some of the best BBQ smokers on the market, and the Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker really lives up to the expectations of the meat-loving community.
The Smokin-It Model #1 is very light when it comes to electric smokers, weighing only 58.8 lbs, and is also equipped with 4 heavy-duty casters. The smoker is functional with a 12-foot power cord with installable electric power cord hangers that are made of stainless steel and side handles. This makes the grill easy to move, and perfect for a camping trip!
This smoker also offers one of the best warranties available: The entire unit is backed by a 3-year warranty, valid for workmanship and parts. But, honestly, this smoker has great build quality and features a design that should ensure maximum durability and long life, whether indoors or outdoors.
This electric smoker comes with 3 stainless steel grilling racks, each with a 12”x13” rack size. The smoker can also accommodate an additional 4th rack, but this must be purchased separately if desired. And with its large cooking area, the Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker can hold over 21 pounds of meat or seafood at one time!
The smoker is powered with a 400W heating element and the rheostat (with a temperature range from 100 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit) allows for users to easily monitor and control the temperature of the meats they are cooking. The fiberglass insulation on the inside of the smoker makes the process of cooking quicker and reduces the amount of energy or heat that the smoker will need to generate.
- Fiberglass Insulation for temperature consistency
- Large grilling area
- Rheostat for temperature control
- Drip Pan that slides conveniently underneath the grill
- No digital temperature display
- No secondary storage/work space
The cons to this grill are not too bad at all: though there is no digital temperature display, the knob does accurately indicate the temperature and secondary work space can always be created with a make-shit table. The important part is that this grill serves up consistent, succulent BBQ! A great beginner’s smoker!
If you are craving for a digital display then buy a ThermoPro TP07 Remote Wireless Digital Thermometre. Problem solved! You can use this thermometer in any condition. A handy & supportive BBQ tool for all. Even I use one of these.
4 Other Electric Smokers We Found Good
We have ranked these according to their performance.
There are a few other smokers that we felt were worth mentioning, but that did not make the top of our lists for various different reasons, whether it be price or performance. Below are some other smokers you might want to look at, listed in terms of performance quality:
Cookshack SM009-2Check It on Amazon
The Best Insulated Smoker
While this smoker is a bit pricey, it guarantees a great, quality BBQ experience. And if you have a reputation for destruction, we would like to see you trying messing up this well constructed smoker!
Another smoker that we tried out was the Cookshack SM009-2 Smokette Electric Smoker. While this smoker does produce some great quality BBQ, it was not ranked higher on our list because it is a little pricey, clocking in at about $699. Still, this smoker offers some great features with awesome performance.
Double-Walled Steel Interior and Exterior
The Cookshack SM009-2 Smokette Electric Smoker features double-walled steel interior and exterior layers that make a noticeable difference for the grilling experience. The interior layers ensure that heat and moisture do no escape, creating juicier BBQ. The exterior layers are also important because they make sure that the smoker is not hot to the touch.
Consistent BBQ Experience
The steel interior and exterior layers also help produce a very consistent, high quality BBQ experience. Because heat and humidity cannot escape the smoker cabinet, you will get a thoroughly, and evenly-cooked meal every time!
Power Cord Length
The Cookshack SM009-2 Smokette Electric Smoker also features one of the longest power cords on the market, measuring an approximate 63”. This just makes smoking meats outside that much more convenient and adds to the portability of the smoker.
With four lockable casters, this grill is easy to manipulate and move. The long power cord also makes this smoker very convenient, so you can put it almost anywhere you want. While it does weigh 74 lbs., the lockable casters make the grill easy to move, and the double-walled steel exterior layers make it possible to move while cooking, if need be!
Aluminum Drip Pan
The aluminum drip pan featured with the Cookshack SM009-2 Smokette also makes the process of clean-up easy. When you are done cooking, you simply remove the aluminum drip pan and clean it. One and done!
Another important feature is the temperature control: while it does not offer a digital display, the Cookshack SM009-2 Smokette does have a temperature control dial to manage the smoker’s internal temperature. With the internal steel double-walling, you can rest assured that the temperature reading is accurate!
- Portability (lockable caster wheels and cord length)
- Interior/Exterior Steel Double-walling
- Cooking and heat Consistency
- Easy clean-up
- Relatively small cooking space
- This is a pretty pricey smoker!
While this smoker offer a relatively large grilling area (of about 588 sq. inches) and only holds about 25 lbs of meat, the Cookshack SM009-2 Smokette Electric Smokers offer a great, consistent BBQ experience. The only thing that may disappoint is the price!
Masterbuilt 40Check It on Amazon
The “Master View” Smoker
As Masterbuilt’s newest addition to the electric smoker market, this smoker offers a well-sealed insulation design so your meats come out tender and juicy. All you have to do is set it and forget it!
The Masterbuilt 40” Electric Smoker with Window and Remote is one of the latest smokers out on the market! And as such, it comes with some great, modern features that can make this smoker very easy to use. With its stainless steel body, the grill even looks very modern.
Large Grill Area
One of the great features that I really like about this smoker is the extensive grill size, measuring a total of 973 sq. inches! You can cook just about anything you need to on the smoker and you can rest assured that your meats will be thoroughly and evenly cooked to perfection.
Viewing Window and Internal Light
The Masterbuilt 40” Electric Smoker also has a viewing window so you can monitor your meats without opening the smoker and causing heat inconsistency. It is also equipped with an internal light in case you are smoking your meats at night and cannot see inside the smoker cabinet.
The remote control uses radio frequency that allows you the freedom of controlling the smoker from up to 25 feet away! The remote control manages the internal temperature and the smoker timer. This makes cooking with the Masterbuilt 40” Electric Smoker very convenient!
The digital display on the Masterbuilt 40” Electric Smoker comes in handy when it comes to monitoring the internal temperature of your meats. The digital display is also very intuitive, making the process of setting your timer and temperature very easy.
- Large grilling area
- Viewing Window and Internal Lighting
- Sleek, stainless steel body
- Radio-Frequency Remote Control
- Meat probe included
- Removable Drip pan
- Pellet Feeder on the side of the grill
- You must clean the window with each use
- The timer actually shuts down the grill
One of the drawbacks we noticed with this smoker is that you really have to clean the front view window after each use. The window gets steamed fairly easily and can hold odor from previous smoking sessions. Also, one of the newer features with this grill is that, when the timer goes off, the grill actually shuts down. This is different from your traditional smokers, so just a heads up in case you did not know.
All-in-all, this is a great smoker! All of the cons we have mentioned just require that you remain a little more diligent when grilling with the Masterbuilt 40″ Electric Smoker with Window and remote.
Smoke Hollow 3616DEWS 36-InchCheck It on Amazon
Smoker with Sure Lock door Latch
This smoker’s 1500 watt heating element lets you find the perfect temperature. The tempered glass window makes it hard to overcook your BBQ. It is easy to clean and has a large external woodchip tray.
The Smoke Hollow 3616DEWS 36-Inch Digital Electric Smoker is another smoker that we tried out. It is a competitively priced smoker (for about $250) that offers some valuable features which a lot of other smokers in its price range do not. This particular electric smoker is offered in two colors: stainless steel/silver or black. But if you feel like you must have the black version of this smoker, be prepared to come a little more out of pocket!
The Smoke Hollow 3616DEWS offers a user friendly digital display that is vibrant and easily seen on a sunny day. The digital display allows you to toggle between internal temperature and time settings. One of the cool things about the digital display is that it also offers a “Fast Smoke” option that has a preset temperature and time setting.
“Sure Lock” Door Latch
The “Sure Lock” door latch ensures that there is no heat or smoke leakage while you are smoking your meats. This ensures heat consistency during the cooking process and tender, flavorful and thoroughly cooked BBQ.
This electric smoker also includes a fairly large wood chip tray so that you can load it and forget it, no matter how long you plan on smoking your food. A lot of electric smokers that we have used in the past will burn the wood chips up too quickly, but smoker does not seem to have that issue.
Fully Adjustable Grilling Racks
Another cool feature that this electric smoker offers is its fully adjustable grilling racks. This means that the cabinet of the smoker offers an extensive array of grill brackets so you can rearrange the height of the grilling racks or remove them as needed.
Sufficient Cooking Space
In addition to the fully adjustable grilling racks, this grill offers a large grilling area, measuring 3 cubic feet. So you should run into no problems with a large number of guests: just throw it all in the smoker!
- Tempered glass front view window
- Large Grilling area and Adjustable Grilling Racks
- Large Wood Chip Tray
- “Sure Lock” Door latch
- Easy-to-Use Digital Display
- “Fast Smoke” Setting
- No Remote Control
- Price difference between Stainless Steel and Black
- Does not include a Meat Probe
Though it lacks some key features, the Smoke Hollow 3616DEWS is a great, quality electric smoker!
With Auto Shutoff
Masterbuilt 20070910 30-InchCheck It on Amazon
Best Temperature Range Smoker
If you want control over your cooking experience, this smoker’s for you! The temperature control is accurate and offers a wide temperature range. The smoker also has a 24-hour timer and auto-shutoff.
With two of its products in line for the best electric smokers on our site, it is undeniable that this brand has some of the best electric smokers around. The Masterbuilt 20070910 is one of the larger capacity BBQ smokers that is easy to use, even for beginners, with a wide range of features that can even cater to the needs of professional BBQ’ers.
Wide Temperature Range
The Masterbuilt 20070910 offers a wide temperature range so that you can cook your meats however you need. Whether you want to sear your food or slow cook it, you can do it with this electric smoker! The Masterbuilt 20070910 operates from 100 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Perfect Cooking Space
This grill also has a wide grill area: the Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Smoker comes with four chrome-plated racks that offer a total of 730 sq. inches. Not only do you have versatility when it comes to how you cook, but also what you cook. With 730 sq. inches of grill area, “too much food” is a thing of the past, just put it all on the grill and let this Masterbuilt do the hard work!
For easy clean-up, The Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Smoker includes a drip pan and grease tray so that you do not have to worry about scrubbing grease out of the bottom of the smoker cabinet. You simply have to remove the drip pan and clean it before grilling again.
The chrome-coated racks also make it easy to clean up after the fact. The beauty about chrome-plated grilling racks is that meat does not cling to this material easily. So if you maintain the racks well, you will never have to worry about scraping them clean!
- Digital display for controlling the temperature and cook time
- Wide Temperature Range for searing or slow cooking
- Great for novices and advanced users alike
- Easy and hassle free cleanup
- Lacks durability when it comes to shelf brackets
- The instruction manual is vague at times
- The edges of the spill shield are quite sharp so be careful when handling
The biggest concern for us was the durability of the shelf brackets, but as long as you check them before smoking your meats and do not throw your meats on the rack, you should be fine. Again, this is another great smoker at a great price!
Electric Smokers We Did Not Like
Smoke Hollow D4015B 40-InchCheck It on Amazon
Worst Bluetooth Control Smoker
The Smoke Hollow D4015B is not the best smoker out there: the mobile app and Bluetooth connectivity are intermittent and hardly ever work. The “fast smoke” setting also burns woodchips too quickly.
Now, do not get me wrong, there are a lot of good quality electric smokers out there, but we have also come across some electric smokers that are not work the salt we put on our BBQ! The Smoke Hollow D4015B 40-Inch Digital Smoker with Smoke-Tonix Bluetooth Technology is one of those smokers. It may have a lot of bells and whistles, but what does it matter if the BBQ is no good?
One of the few things that we did like about this grill when we were testing it out are the temperature preset features that it comes with. The Smoke Hollow D4015B offers three presets: “Cold Smoke”, “Fast Smoke”, and “Hot Smoke”. Still, we felt like the inclusion of the “Cold Smoke” preset was good enough: the other two seemed redundant
The Smoke Hollow D415B 40-inch Digital Smoker surely does not feel hollow: this is one of the heaviest electric smokers we have come across, weighing in at 88 pounds! You are probably thinking: ok, it’s 88 lbs, but you can still wheel it around. No big deal. Sorry, but this bad boy has no wheels on it!
While the inclusion of an LED display on this electric smoker sounds good, we have a lot of difficulty actually reading the display in moderate sunlight. There is little contrast when the LED display is actually on and the background of the LED display.
This feature caused the most aggravation: rather than bringing convenience to the grilling experience, the Bluetooth control on this smoker hardly ever works. First off, we could not sync our phones with the smoker, and we ended up having to use a tablet. Then, it seems that the Bluetooth connection does not stay established for very long, and once your tablet falls out of sync, good luck getting it reconnected!
We also experienced issues when it came to generating smoke using this electric smoker. If the smoker did begin to smoke, it did not do so until about two hours into the smoking session. This results in a less authentic BBQ taste: why buy a smoker that does not smoke your meats?
- Temperature Presets
- 4.5 cubic feet grilling area
- Cooking Timer
- Not very portable
- Difficulties with Bluetooth connectivity
- Lack of Smoke Production
I would love to see some of these features improved on an update and better grill, but this one just doesn’t seem to cut it.
Do Not Buy
Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-InchCheck on Amazon
Worst Build Design
Offers you porcelain coated chip tray & water pan for longevity. Due to poor design, smoke and grease often leak from the cabinet. But, on the upside, it offers a full range heat indicator.
Another electric smoker that we would not recommend is the Smoke Hollow w261442E 26-inch Electric Smoker. We touched on some of the issues we experienced with this smoker when we were reviewing our No. 2 Budget Pick (the Old Smokey Electric Smoker). But let’s get into the nitty-gritty of this electric smoker:
Porcelain Coated Water Pan and Wood Chip Tray
The Smoke Hollow 26142E comes stock with a porcelain coated Water Pan and Wood Chip tray. The instruction manual that comes with this electric smoker instructs users to place the wood chip holder directly on the wood chip holder, which is a huge issue. Not only will this damage the porcelain and cause the wood chips to burn too quickly or catch fire, but this will also eventually mess up the heating element.
Cool-Touch door handle and Latch System
This electric smoker also has a spring action, cool-touch door handle and latch system. While this is an essential to have on a smoker, we have seen much better designs on other smokers within this price range. The door handle and latch system are nothing to brag about: we would have much rather preferred to see a stainless steel outer layer that prevents the outside of the grill for getting too hot.
Adjustable Cooking Grids
One of the good features that this smoker possesses is the adjustable cooking grids. This allows you to easily remove and rearrange the cooking grids as necessary. But one of the things we had to end up doing when cooking with this smoker is use one of the rack as support for a homemade drip tray, since the grill does not include one. Considering that there are only two chrome-plated grids, this is an issue.
In general, the Smoke Hollow 26142E is just poorly designed. We experienced a lot of grease and water drippage from where the legs connect to the smoker cabinet. This decreases the amount of humidity in the smoker, disrupts the temperature consistency, and takes away from the quality of the BBQ. As if that was not enough, we also experienced a lot of smoke escaping from the door apparatus.
- Adjustable Cooking Grid Brackets
- Decent Rack size (250 sq. inches)
- Full Range Heat Indicator and Temperature Control dial
- Poor Design
- Water and Grease Drippage
- Smoke leakage
- No Drip Tray
- Water is burned too quickly
- Porcelain Wood Tray Placement
The poor construction of this electric smoker is unacceptable. The leakage of smoke, water and grease alone are safety hazards.
Get the Best Out of Your Electric Smoker
As with anything you buy, you the most bang for your buck. This does not just mean buying to best product on the market for the best price available, it also means taking care of your smoker:
Know Your Smoker
This knowledge comes with experience: the more you cook with you smoker, the more you learn about what it can do efficiently and what it cannot. For example, while some smokers are able to cook meats at very high temperatures, these temperatures may eventually cause damage to the interior of your smoker. Become one with your smoker!
Preheat Your Smoker Before Use
Preheating your smoker before using it can also help increase the life span of your equipment. When you put your food in the smoker before it is warmed up, the thermostat recognizes that the internal temperature does not meet what is set, and it takes longer for the smoker to reach the desired temperature, making the smoker work that much harder.
Clean Your Smoker Regularly
There are two main benefits to thoroughly cleaning your electric smoker. First, it ensures that your BBQ comes out fresh: so no odor from previous smoking sessions persist. Second, cleaning and drying the components of the smoker ensures that the smoker is operating efficiently and reduces rust. Here are some cleaning tips:
- If you have a front view window, use a cleaning solution to get any fluid or grime off the window. We suggest cleaning the window after every use, as the window can also maintain odor.
- Clean the interior of the smoker cabinet with a cloth, some soap, warm water, and bleach if necessary.
- Frequently clean the wood chip tray. Make sure that there are no left-over wood chips from previous grilling sessions.
- After every use, clean the drip tray of your electric smoker with mild detergent and a cloth.
- Most electric smokers feature dish-washable grill racks. If your grill rack cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher, make sure to scrub them free of grease and any meat.
- If your grill includes a meat probe, you definitely want to clean this after every use as well. Especially if you have used it to probe relatively raw meats.
If you think cleaning manually is a hassle, I recommend you to get a Grillbot Automatic Grill Cleaner. Though I do not like it as the best grill cleaner, it will certainly reduce your cleaning time & hassles. Often you need manual scrubber to get rid of food residuals from your grill grates.
Be Patient and Careful
When it comes to cleaning your electric smoker, or cooking food in it, make sure that you are always patient and careful. Show your smoker the love you want your smoker to show your BBQ!
Well, at long last, we have made it to the end of the electric smokers! I hope you enjoyed reading up on them because we definitely enjoyed grilling with them! Overall, I would say that the Masterbuilt brand offers some of the best electric smokers, along with the SmokinTex 1100 Pro Series Electric Smoker. But for our No. 1 Pick, we chose the Masterbuilt 20075315 because of its large grilling size, front view window, and the multitude of other features it offers.
But, if you do not have to have the window and are fine working with a smaller grill area, then we would recommend the SmokinTex 1100 Pro Series Electric Smoker because, again, it offer a quality BBQ! If you ask me personally anyway, I believe that the SmokinTex 1100 Pro Series Smoker will end up being more durable, and outlast the Masterbuilt 20075315. But, hey, that’s just me!
Good luck to all the griller enthusiasts and I hope this helps you on your journey to excellent, mouth-water BBQ!