Today, we’re reviewing the 7 best electric smokers for 2021.
So, let’s get into it.
Now more than ever people are staying in and cooking at home due to COVID-19. Using an electric smoker allows you to easily cook and prepare delicious bbq food at home.
Electric smokers are easy to use, efficient, and provide ample cooking space.
Here in this article we have reviewed the 7 best electric smokers and sifted through hundreds of reviews to give you our recommendation. From top brands such as Masterbuilt, Char-Broil, Bradley, Pit Boss, and more.
We have separated these electric smokers into different categories, and they are Analog, Digital, and Bluetooth. I will go into detail about the pros and cons of each so you can decide which electric smoker is best for you.
So, now let’s have a quick look at the 7 best electric smokers.
Quick Summary: Our Top 7 Picks
|Masterbuilt Digital Bluetooth Enabled Electric Smoker||Check Price|
|Landmann Smoky Mountain Electric Smoker||Check Price|
|Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker||Check Price|
|Masterbuilt Smart Analog Electric Smoker||Check Price|
|Little Chief Front Load Smoker||Check Price|
|Bradley Digital Smoker||Check Price|
|Char-Broil Simple Smoker with SmartChef Technology||Check Price|
Reasons Why You Should Get An Electric Smoker
I am sure you all have no idea which route you should take for your cooking needs since there are so many options out there on the market.
It is hard to answer that question because there is more than just one reason.
So review our reasons listed below and it will hopefully help you in your decision-making process on which would work best for you.
Reason #1: You Can Smoke All Types Of Food:
The heating element is the power source so it is easy to control the desired temperature and the time of smoking by your desires.
That means it is easy to prepare any type of food in an electric smoker than in a charcoal or gas smoker where you can’t control the temperature that easily.
Reason #2: Easy To Use:
The easy temperature control and ability to set the time of smoking makes the electric smoker perfect for beginners. All you need for a great smoked meal in the electric smoker is a recipe.
It doesn’t matter if it is your first time handling the electric smoker or the first time making that type of food.
Reason #3: Smoking Foods is Hassle-Free:
Another reason why an electric smoker is a better option is that you don’t have to pay attention to the fire like charcoal or gas smokers.
Also, you don’t have to think will there be enough fuel because you are using the electricity of your household for the smoker.
Everything else, the temperature and the time are set by the smoker.
Reason #4: You Don’t Have To Handle Fire:
There is a very small chance that you will hurt yourself when you are handling an electric smoker because you aren’t dealing with fire.
There is no open fire with electric smokers like there is with charcoal or gas smokers which means you can leave it unattended.
Smoking in the electric smoker is more like cooking in the oven then grilling when it comes to safety.
Reason #5: Easy To Maintain:
When you are using the electric smoker you can forget about wood and charcoal which means – NO MESS.
You don’t have to clean up the leftovers of charcoal, but an electric smoker does have a wood chip tray.
So, when you are done with smoking just remove the wood chip tray and toss the leftovers of wood chips in the trash.
The inside of the smoker is also easy to maintain because most of them are made from easily cleaned materials like “stainless steel”.
Also, all smoking racks and trays inside the smoker are removable and you can easily clean them. You can also put them in the dishwasher just make sure they are dishwasher safe.
Reason #6: It Is a Good Investment:
Electric smokers use electricity as a power source which makes it affordable and a great investment.
You will spend less money smoking meat and more time doing other things while the meat is smoking in the smoker.
Most electric smokers don’t spend that much electric energy which makes them a great investment when it comes to costs.
They aren’t an additional expense since they use electric energy from your household.
Now, that doesn’t mean you won’t feel that in your bills, they are just more convenient than running to the store for some charcoal or gas.
After everything you can see that you will have less work to prepare and maintain the smoker, you will have a stable temperature for smoking and it is in the cooking process you will be able to do something else without worrying about setting the house on fire or burning the meat.
All that you can achieve only with electric smokers.
Best Electric Smoker Reviews:
Now, let’s get started with an in-depth product review.
An electric smoker for families can have a Bluetooth option and a great example of that is the Masterbuilt Bluetooth Electric Smoker.
It has 721 square inches of cooking space which is more than enough for you and your family with the 800-watt heating element. That is room enough to fit about 6 chickens.
The Bluetooth on the digital control panel will offer you the possibility to set the time and the temperature with your smartphone so you don’t miss hanging out with your family because you don’t have to be near the smoker.
If you would like to have a Bluetooth electric smoker take a look at the Masterbuilt electric smoker post because there are more versions of it.
Analog electric smokers are the cheapest because they don’t have that many features in their offer, BUT trust me, they can really smoke their meat.
This cheap electric smoker has 443 square inches of cooking space and uses a 1500-watt heating element, which is more than enough for every type of food to smoke.
The price of the Landmann electric smoker is low which makes it very affordable and the fact that it can smoke meat makes it a best-buy.
So, if you are looking for a cheap or best-buy electric smoker, read this Smoky Mountain electric smoker review.
The perk of having an analog smoker is that it is simple and easy to use. It has minimal electronics in the system which means that it is practically unbreakable.
I choose Char-Broil electric smoker because it has good performance and it really gets the job done.
There are not many surprises in the design because it looks like other analog electric smokers.
It has a 1500-watt heating element which is more than enough for 505 square inches of cooking area so you can expect great smoking ability.
If you are interested in learning more about the Char-Broil Analog Smoker read the full review.
This small but strong electric smoker has a 1400-watt heating element and 280 square inches of cooking area.
What makes it great are the foldable legs you can spread during smoking and fold when it is time to go home after a great field trip.
It is an analog smoker which is a far better solution for a portable smoker than a digital Bluetooth or smart smoker.
If you want to find out more about the portable smoker, you can read it in the full post about Masterbuilt electric smokers that we linked above on the 1st product.
The Little Chief has that design for ages and it hasn’t changed because it is a good design.
It is made for slow smoking and that is why it has only a 250-watt heating element, but the meat you make in it ends up very juicy and tender.
You can choose a front or top load for this smoker which can really come in handy from time to time and if you want to hear more about it, visit Smokehouse Products, electric smokers.
The temperature and the time meant for smoking are set on the digital control panel on the side of the smoker where you can control two heating elements because Bradley has then two.
It has also two purposes, it can be a smoker and an oven.
Every Bradley electric smoker has a special self-feeding system for bisquettes and if you want to read more about it, read my Bradley electric smoker post.
7. Char-Broil Smart Smoker – Smartest Smoker
The best way to use that is to download their app on your smartphone (Apple or Android) and connect it to your smoker.
On that app, you can find guides and great recipes made for this particular smoker.
As you can see from the picture this smart smoker is not a rectangle and it has a special feature – a heating element incorporated in the walls.
If you want to see what else this smoker has to offer, visit my Char-Broil electric smoker post.
Types of Electric Smokers:
Coming towards the right type of electric smokers it can be quite confusing. As there are several types, each with its own features and functionalities.
Hence we jotted down these basic types of electric smokers for your ease. Let’s take a look at these.
1. Little Chief and Big Chief Smokers:
These smokers come with a permanent set thermostat. This temp may not be hot enough for most of the smoking.
So the temp remains maintained at about 160 degrees. But for real cold smoking and small amounts of fish and jerky.
2. Cabinet Style Smokers:
Next, another type of electric smokers we have here is cabinet style smokers. The design includes a small door that opens to the front.
These are similar not in size but in shape to the compact refrigerators. Even this type has several sub-categories of smokers.
3. Bradley Electric Smokers:
Bradley smokers involve a smoke generator that creates smoke for the food. Moreover, these electric smokers can be only used with specific wood disks.
Hence Bradley makes certain biscuit shaped wood disks. Coming with all temp control, you can opt from low to medium to high temperatures.
4. Vertical Water Smokers:
If the conditions are good, vertical water smokers can do a pretty satisfying job. Though these usually lack the temperature control features.
Hence air can impact the temperature and so does outdoor climate.
The most common type of electric smokers is vertical water smokers. These have a dome-shaped removable lid with a cylindrical shape.
If you want to get your hands on a cheaper electric smoker, this is for you.
But if you want to prepare fish or chicken these are a great deal. In fact, for large cuts of meat needing slow cooking, you can rely on these.
5. Cookshack Residential and Commercial Smokers:
If you are a host and want to smoke meat in large quantities then this one is for you.
Made with premium quality, these smokers come with insulated dual-wall sides and top.
Hence making them quite efficient for large quantities.
6. Masterbuilt Electric Smokers:
If you want a variety of electric smokers then refer to Masterbuilt.
They even have analog smokers along with Bluetooth smart digital smokers. So you can control and monitor the process from anywhere.
Best Electric Smoker: Complete Buying Guide
There is no perfect electric smoker and every person chooses their best electric smoker by their desires, wishes, and expectations.
But, to be able to choose one of them you have to know more about electric smokers. Due to that I have prepared XY things you have to know before you start looking for an electric smoker.
Here you can learn everything you need to know about an electric smoker like the most important parts, performance, or the design of the smoker.
Those things I am about to show you can help you decide on one smoker in the sea of smokers on the market.
They will help you figure out what you can change or what you have to look for in a smoker if you want to satisfy your needs and wishes.
What Size Electric Smoker You Need?
To make sure that you have picked the best smoker for you and your family, think about the size of the smoker. That mostly focuses on the capacity of each smoker.
Pick a small electric smoker if you want to cook only for your family. Small smokers have the capacity to prepare a meal for 3-4 people which is enough for a family.
If you want to cook for your family and friends I would suggest that you get a medium electric smoker.
Most medium smokers can prepare a meal for more than 8 people which is a great amount of family and friends.
There are bigger smokers, but those are mostly heavy-duty smokers that can prepare a meal for a group of people, and most are used for catering and I believe that is not something that interests you.
The Best Place to Put Your Electric Smoker:
Now that I have shown you what are the basic things you can expect from a smoker I want to move one step forward. I want you to picture the smoker in your home.
Before you buy an electric smoker think about where will you put it.
This is a smart move because you can plan in advance the amount of space you need for the smoker.
You can put it in the garage, your backyard, or on the patio. Every electric smoker is made to be outside, but they have to be under the roof because they work with electricity and you can’t make them wet.
It is a smart move to cover them with protective smoker covers while you aren’t using them to prolongate their life. Electricity and moisture don’t play well.
How Important Is The Price Of The Smoker?
There is a price range you have to expect when you are buying an electric smoker.
That price range is from $100 to higher, depending on the brand, quality, size, and other requirements.
It is not hard to determine if the price of one electric smoker is too high or just right. The first thing you have to consider in that ratio is the quality of the materials used in the smoker.
A good quality smoker should be stable and heavy without any plastic. Also, keep in mind that the more features the smoker has it is more expensive.
You can’t compare a smoker with Bluetooth with one simple smoker without features.
If you are looking for a simple, analog electric smoker then you will be satisfied with the ones that have a price of around $100.
But, if you want a digital electric smoker with many features, don’t look at the smokers that are under $200, or even $300 depending on the number of features.
If you are confused between digital and analog electric smokers then read my complete guide on both of them to get complete guidance.
Top Manufacturers and Brands of Electric Smoker:
The best electric smoker brands are setting the standards high by competing with each other who will be the best.
Some of the best and most famous electric smoker brands are Masterbuilt, Char-Broil, Old Smokey, Pit Boss, and Bradley Smokers.
Each of those brands produces high-quality electric smokers for a special occasion.
Their task is to provide the best smoking experience for every person no matter how skilled are they in preparing food in an electric smoker.
Masterbuilt Electric Smokers:
Masterbuilt is one of the biggest brands in the barbecue world. They make a whole range of products including smokers, grills, and fryers.
We’ve done a full review of Masterbuilt electric smokers and think that they are a top manufacturer of electric smokers.
They have a wide range of electric smokers including analog smokers, digital smokers, and Bluetooth smokers.
They also make them in a dizzying array of sizes and variations.
Char-Broil Electric Smokers:
Char-Broil is another powerhouse brand in the barbecue world. They are also one of the oldest brands and have been around since 1948.
See our full write-up on Char-Broil electric smokers which reviews all their electric smokers.
Char-Broil is widely known for its outdoor cooking appliances like propane and charcoal grills.
But they also have a good selection of high-quality electric smokers.
Their electric smokers are affordable and come in a wide range of sizes. Not only are they durable but most of them are portable as well.
Other brands which are of lower quality, can be found at lower prices. They can prepare a pretty good meal too and are a decent option, but not as good as those above. Smokin-It, Little Chief, Smoky Mountain, and Smoke Hollow are some of these brands.
They aren’t the best on the market, but they have a great price-quality ratio which makes most of their models best-buy or even budget-friendly options.
Where to Buy Your Electric Smoker?
Our preferred way to buy an electric smoker is online because there are many honest reviews on the internet made by experienced people like me.
The most common online retailer for all kinds of products is Amazon and its popularity grows every day because it gives people what they need.
Other benefits of ordering online are lower prices for most products and fast, free shipping.
Every product you order will be delivered to your home in about a week. That means you don’t have to think about how heavy or how big the smoker is and how complicated it would be to transport it home.
Walmart, Lowes, or Home Depot:
The most popular stores to get electric smokers from are Walmart, Lowes, and Home Depot. All 3 stores offer electric smokers online and in-store. You’ll likely find one of these stores near you.
While it is nice to be able to walk into a store like Home Depot to look at the electric smokers in person, the benefits stop there.
There are three key disadvantages to buying an electric smoker from a store that prevents you from getting the right electric smoker at the best price.
When you buy from a big store like Lowes, you are faced with a limited selection, higher prices, and unknowledge salespeople.
These stores won’t carry a wide selection of electric smokers inside their stores, which means your choices are limited.
They’ll also likely stock the higher-priced items to make a bigger profit. Finally, the salesperson likely won’t be knowledgeable about electric smokers and will probably steer you towards the more expensive models.
The likely result of this shopping trip would be you buying an expensive electric smoker that is more than you need.
The only time I recommend buying an electric smoker from a store is when you have done your research, know exactly which model you want to buy, and found that exact model at your local store at a lower price than what you can get online.
Maybe you have a coupon or your desired electric smoker is on sale. That would be how you get the job done.
Pros and Cons of Buying An Electric Smoker:
These are some of the pros of these amazing products.
1- You Will Finally Get Started:
If you are a novice and this is your first smoking experience, nothing can beat electric smokers. In fact, those who intend to learn smoking can rely on these.
Rather than having to learn about building a fire and managing it. These smokers cut you some slack and directly takes you to the smoking part.
All you need to do is turn the switch on and voila! Your electric smoker is all set to smoke delicious food.
2- Set It and Forget It:
With traditional smokers, one needs to stick around all the time.
But thanks to the electric smokers, you won’t be bound anymore. Instead, these can work without requiring any continuous attention.
This doesn’t mean to leave the electric smoker all alone for hours.
As it might end up catching fire due to grease or electricity. But overall these are far more reliable and don’t need constant attending.
3- Acceptable Footprint:
It is obvious to fall for the larger, traditional offset smokers. But the issue arises when you can’t find enough space. Or simply are not allowed to have smokers in your apartment.
This is where the small electric heaters jump into action. Without having concerns like a burning fire, stacking wood, etc.
You can get a good quality electric smoker and the rest it will do. Hence there would be perfect, smoky, bbq every time without any hassle.
4- Lower and Slower:
Maintaining a certain low temp with traditional smokers is a tough cookie to crack. But thanks to these electric smokers you can smoke any food that needs slow cooking or low temp.
Especially the digital electric smokers are the real saviors.
These come along with temp control options. So you can enjoy summer sausage and smoking jerky.
Such meat requires 150F for smoking out to perfection. And this temp can’t be maintained with traditional smokers.
Whereas for electric smokers it is an easy temp.
5- Attractive Prices:
For only $300 you can get a high-quality electric smoker. Now, this can be a bit hard in the case of a traditional smoker.
On top of that, you need to buy fuel in bulk to stack beforehand.
So getting a great bbq for only $300 is something we all would prefer.
Then you won’t have to pay for the fuel or maintenance like other smokers need.
1- Temperature Hostage:
If you live in a place with a low temperature outside, electric smokers are useless. With a bare temp fluctuation, these won’t get to the right temperature.
The main concept behind electric smokers is slow and low cooking.
So you can simply cut out the meats or food requiring a high temp. With the cold outside, these won’t be able to do you any good and the result would disappoint you.
Even if the weather is slightly windy, these tend to be a real pain for users. Within seconds a mere gush of cold wind will suck out the heat.
2- Watch Out for Rain:
Apart from cold or wind, another factor alters the working of these smokers.
Yes, that’s right, rain is the enemy here. We all know how water and electricity are not compatible together.
So even a drizzle can cause you real pain, either it trips a GFCI or throws a breaker.
3- Smoke Ring:
With electric smokers, forget the decent smoke ring you dreamed of.
This is the issue with any sort of electric smoker, they are simply not the device for the smoke ring.
For a smoke ring, you need combustion of fuel and this can never be achieved with wood chips.
Though electric smokers can bring out a decent flavor of smoke in the meat. But that is pretty much it, say goodbye to the smoke rings.
These may be quite affordable and space-saving, etc. But these are bound to a certain capacity.
Hence you can never get to prepare a massive amount of food.
If you are hosting a party or family dinner this is a major setback.
These might be great for jerky, sausages, or chicken but that is it. You can’t smoke a whole slab of ribs or bigger cuts in one go.
How Do Electric Smokers Work?
If you thought these smokers also have some complex working, you are mistaken.
These have pretty simple functionality despite the range of features offered.
The interior comes with a heating element that surrounds most of it. So the heat travels to every corner for uniform distribution and the temp rises.
This helps to cook any food evenly without overdoing it.
This smoking element comes due to the wood chip present in the container.
When it heats the result is smoke created to cook the food inside the smoker.
Thanks to this smoke you get to enjoy that particular flavor which we all love. With the completely sealed design even on the inside, there won’t be any smoke escape.
These two features when combined allow you to cook any meat.
From poultry, fish to even veggies comes out perfectly smoked. And that best part is you need to put in minimal effort.
How to Use An Electric Smoker?
An electric smoker is simple and easy to use, but it is still good to learn some tips and tricks. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your electric smoker:
- Remove unwanted odor from the electric smoker first. There will be instructions from your manufacturer on how to remove odor from the smoker so that it doesn’t seep into your food.
- Do not over smoke. All you need is a very fine smoke to get the best flavor out of your food. Over smoking, food might ruin the natural flavors of the meat, especially when smoking white meats.
- Smoke poultry at a higher temperature. While red meat is smoked low and slow, poultry needs to be smoked at a higher temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Be aware of temperature swings. The temperature inside an electric smoker will swing up and down, especially during the beginning stages of cooking. As a rule of thumb, set the temperature 10-15 degrees lower than your target temperature to prevent overcooking. For example, if you are targeting a temperature of 220 degrees then set the electric smoker thermostat to 205 – 210 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use wood chips to enhance flavor. Using wood chips is a great way of injecting more flavor into your food. Soaking the wood chips in water for 15 to 30 minutes before you start smoking will allow for a slower burn, allowing the wood chips to flavor the food for a longer period of time.
Is Electric Or Propane Better For Smoking?
If you take a look at different types of smokers, there would some similarities between these two. Gas and electric smokers. For instance, the usage is pretty easy, with no hard and fast rules.
Then both are a great option for small budgets like $200-$300.
But you can see that both use varying sources of fuel to prepare the food.
Electric smokers come with the stunning temp control aspect. Hence you can rely on these with different types of food or meats.
Hold your horses, did you think about the power shortage? Well, this is a major issue with electric smokers, if you live in such an area.
Here the gas smoker is far more versatile with a range of low temp options.
A gas smoker can reach a high temp with ease and are highly portable.
Yet again the issue with these smokers is you need to be around them.
They need more attendance compared to electric smokers as the temp can spike up anytime. Also, insulation in gas smokers is not as reliable as an electric smoker.
To put it into a nutshell, if you want to get hands-on slow cooking, low temps. And also save power usage, then refer to electric smokers.
Whereas for higher temp options and portability you can prefer a gas smoker.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both types of smokers have their pros and cons but electric smokers are much more convenient. You can control the temperature easier, there are no combustible gasses that you need to worry about, and they can be converted into cold smokers a lot easier than gas smokers.
Like any good thing, it is going to cost you a little bit of money. But, considering the convenience and all of the great things you can do, I’d say that they are absolutely worth it! And I’m not just talking about the price tag in general, but you get long-term value for your buck!
Electric smokers are typically used to smoke a wide array of meats. You can smoke anything from chicken to pork, to salmon. It really just depends on what kind of food you want. You can play the meat up too, with marinades or spices.
Different folks might have different opinions on this one. It’s all about finding your groove with smoking and just having fun with it. However, that being said, pork seems to be mostly agreed upon as ‘easier meat’ to smoke.
The answer to this one is rather dependent on the person buying it, as well as their smoking needs. A smoker can cost anywhere between $100 – $10,000! When it comes to a smoker, you’ve got to do your homework. There are all different kinds and they can do a variety of different things. Your best bet is to find the kind you want and then don’t settle for the cheapest one. Find a good one, in the middle range.
Electric smokers can range in price. It’s all dependent on what you want and what you are looking for. They can run for as cheap as $150 and go up to over a grand!
Yes, you can add water to an electric smoker to help control the temperature as well as to help the smoking process. You can also add seasonings and spices to the water as well, to give your meat a little extra flavor and pizzazz.
Typically, an average electric smoker will use between five hundred and fifteen hundred watts.
The more high-end ones though will use between eight hundred and twelve hundred watts. It just depends on whether or not you choose to get a high-end one.
A grill is designed to cook very hot, very fast. A smoker can cook things at a much lower temperature and for much longer periods of time. Certain meats tend to taste better when they’ve been simmering for hours and hours. This slow process brings out more flavor and it cooks the meat in such a way that a grill simply can’t do.
It isn’t something that should be recommended exactly, but if you had to, you could! Unlike regular smokers, electric ones do not give off combustible gasses. However, it can still be a very big fire hazard and the smell might stick around your home for a long time. In essence, you can, but the question is whether or not you should.
Also, if you’ve any questions then simply comment below.
For people with small budgets and less space in their apartments. Nothing else can be as reliable as an electric smoker without making a mess.
A plus point is you will be saving a lot that otherwise you spend on fuel. We hope you can find a suitable electric smoker from the list jotted down for you.
We tried to cover each possible aspect relevant to electric smokers. For further queries, feel free to contact us and get the doubts cleared out.