Digital electric smokers are smoker which has digital controls and you can set the time and temperatures just by pressing the button. The basic digital controls have 3 options: turn the smoker on/off, set the cooking time and set the temperature control. Every other option is considered an upgrade for digital electric smokers.
Now, the main question is do you need a digital electric smoker or is analog enough for you? In this article, I will show you the pros and cons of having a digital electric smoker along with the most common types so you can know what you have to look when you are searching for your future digital electric smoker.
Pros and cons of digital electric smokers
Digital electric smokers are made for people who love technology. The digital controls are only one part of the digital electric smokers and I will show you now what you can expect from that kind of smoker so you can see if it is the model for you or not:
Digital Electric Smokers Are Precise
The first and probably the most important feature of digital electric smokers is their precision. Those smokers are more precise than analog electric smoker because they have a small screen where the internal temperature is displayed. That means you don’t have to look at the temperature gauge and wonder if the temperature range is 130° or 131°. The digital controls come with a small digital screen and there you can easily read the temperature in the smoker.
Digital Electric Smokers Are User-Friendly
This may not be the case with every model but most models allow you to control the temperature. That means that you can set the desired temperature and walk away and is very hassle free. When you set the temperature the smoker with digital controls and the smoker controls the heating element which produces heat and smoke. It means when you set the time and the temperature you can go do something else while the smoker will do the smoking. That is a feature analog smokers don’t have and it makes digital electric smokers more user-friendly.
Digital Electric Smokers Can Have Problems With Controls
A digital smoker isn’t always perfect and I don’t want you to think that. There are problems with them and the most common problem is connected to the digital controls and that is not weird at all. The more electricity you have, you can expect more problems. This is the category where analog electric smokers win. They can’t break that easily and if something breaks, it is usually a heating element or power cord. Electronic part of the smoker. That is why you have to look for a great quality digital electric smokers which are made from good and durable materials.
Types of digital electric smokers
The digital electric smoker is a basic type because it has a digital control and nothing more. Every other „upgraded“ digital electric smoker has something more and due to that, I have separated digital electric smokers into 3 categories. The basic digital electric smokers, the Bluetooth digital electric smokers, and Smart digital electric smokers.
Basic Digital Electric Smokers
The most common digital electric smoker is the basic one and that is the one I have explained to you at the beginning of this post. It is an electric smoker that has digital controls. You can set the timer, the temperature and turn the smoker on or off. Depending on the model, there are some basic digital electric smokers which have some other features in the digital control panel, but that still puts them in the basic category. Some of those features can be: auto shut down, fast-smoker etc.
Bluetooth Digital Electric Smokers
The second category I want to show to you is the Bluetooth digital electric smokers category. As you can assume, this is a basic digital electric smoker with Bluetooth connection. That connection allows you to connect your smartphone and acts like a remote control to your smoker and that is actually pretty cool. It means that you don’t have to be around the smoker during the cooking process to set the temperature or adjust the time of smoking. But, I have to warn you that people have had trouble with connecting to their smoker through Bluetooth, so buy only good digital electric smokers, from well-known brands.
Smart Digital Electric Smokers
Smart digital electric smokers are the last category I want to share with you and this category is another lever above the Bluetooth digital electric smokers. It works on the same principle but the link between the smoker and your smartphone. For smart digital electric smokers, you have to download the application made by the brand and synchronize the smoker to your phone. That application turns your phone into a remote for the smoker and it uses Wifi, not Bluetooth.
Best digital electric smokers on the market
Here are the best digital electric smokers on the market at the moment. I wanted to give you at least one of each category above. That means you can pick one from basic, Bluetooth and smart digital electric smokers. Now that you know what you need to look for, check out my personal best pick and find the one for you.
Smoke Hollow Digital Electric Smoker
Smoke Hollow has analog and digital electric smokers, but now I want to focus on their digital electric model. This is a basic digital electric smoker which means it doesn’t have Bluetooth nor wifi. This smoker is made for families and you can set desired food on 4 cooking racks in the smoker. With that amount of cooking area you can easily fit a brisket, a few pork butts and whatever your heart desires. With the glass door on the front, you can keep an eye on your meats without having to always open the door keeping a consistent temperature when smoking meat. It allows any first time smoker seem like a pro. It is great for outdoor cooking, just remember to use a smoker cover to help preserve the quality of your smoker.
But, let’s focus on digital controls of the smoker, after all, that is why we are here. This digital electric smoker has digital controls located on top of the smoker. I like the fact that the smoker has stood so it is elevated from the ground. That means you don’t have to squat when you are smoking and the location of the digital controls are well positioned.
If the smoker doesn’t have the stand then the location of the controls wouldn’t be too good because they are at the back. It means that you would have to stand up, set the time and the temperature then squat again to check out the smoker. If you aren’t sure what I am talking about, take a look at the picture and you will understand.
This basic digital electric smoker has one special feature on the digital controls. It is called fast-smoker and it is connected to the smoke production. You can choose the design of this smoker because it comes in different colors, sizes and type of doors which means if you are interested in it, you can adjust it even more. It also has a built in meat probe so you when the cooking temperature is up to par.
All in all, it is a good digital electric smoker and if you want to learn more about it or other Smoke Hollow smokers, I suggest you take a look at my Smoke Hollow electric smokers review.
Char-Broil Smart Digital Electric Smoker
The first smart smoker I am about to show you is the Char-Broil smoker. It doesn’t look like the rest of the vertical electric smoker and that is why it is so interesting. You will get 2 cooking grates and one basket with this smoker which is very interesting because most of the time you only get cooking racks. The basket is made for turkeys so you can prepare a delicious turkey for Thanksgiving day. There is an external smoke box which allows for wood chip loading to be a breeze. Wood chips will offer your food a great smoky flavor. There are multiple flavors you can choose from, our top two picks are hickory and mesquite.
The Smart digital electric smoker has SmartChef application for this smoker. You have to download this application to your smartphone and use the application to control what smoker does. Everything you do with the smoker you can set with your smartphone. That means that the digital controls on the smoker are not important, but it is good to have them there.
With the SmartChef application, your smartphone becomes remote for the smoker and you use it to set the temperature and the time. What I like the most about this application is the fact that it notifies you when the meat is almost done. So, if you have ever forgotten about the turkey in the oven, this application can make sure it won’t happen again.
Char-Broil has other digital electric smoker and if you want to check them out you can visit my Char-Broil electric smokers post. There you can read the full review of this smoker and check out other models.
Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker
Masterbuilt is a brand which has a lot of smokers and each and every one is really good. I will review my personal best, but I strongly suggest you take a look at my Masterbuilt electric smokers post so you can see other models.
My personal best is the Masterbuilt digital electric smoker you can find under the code MES 130B. This smoker features a basic digital electric smoker made from good quality materials and impressive performance. It is made for families which you can see in the 708 square inches of cooking space and 4 cooking racks in the smoker.
The digital controls are actually very simple to the Smoke Hollow digital electric smoker I have reviewed above. It means that they are also located on the top of the smoker. You can easily set the time and the temperature with their digital controls, but this one doesn’t have the fast-smoker option and I personally don’t mind.
The best part about this smoker is the fact that you can precisely set the time and the temperature and with the built-in probe you can know what is the temperature inside of the smoker at any time. All you need to do is press the right button and read the temperature.
I am not a fan of complicated digital electric smokers and that is why I like this one. It is simple to use, easy to understand and you can easily have a good smoked meal without complications.
If you are like me and you like basic digital electric smokers then I suggest you take a look at a full review of this model. But, if you want something more, visit my Masterbuilt electric smoker post because there you will find the full review of this model and detailed reviews of other Masterbiult smokers on the market.
Masterbuilt Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker – MES 230G
Like I have already mentioned, Masterbuilt is a big brand and I want to show you another model from them. The Masterbuilt Bluetooth digital electric smoker is a good smoker made for families but it has built-in Bluetooth. Like every other model, this one comes in different sizes with a viewing window, and I want to share with you the smaller size, made for families and friends.
This Bluetooth digital electric smoker has an 800-watt heating element which means you can smoke any type of food in the smoker.
This smoker is actually made of stainless steel and it has a window on the doors which means that you can see what is happening in the smoker. The digital controls are located right on top of the smoker, above the doors. That location is much better than the one I have shown you in the Smoke Hollow because it is at the front of the smoker.
The digital control is easy to use and you can set the timer and the thermostat. That is not that important because I want you to focus on the Bluetooth. The small Bluetooth button is right on the digital control so you can easily connect your smartphone and smoker.
It is easy to establish a connection and it can hold a certain distance but I wouldn’t recommend you to go too far from the smoker. The Bluetooth connection works different from one smartphone to the other which means that even though I didn’t have a problem connecting, you might and that is why I am not a fan of Bluetooth digital electric smokers.
But, if you still want to check out other high-quality Masterbuilt models I suggest you look at my review because they have every type from analog to digital and you will find what you are looking for.