Check out the best electric smokers
Below we take a look at electric smokers. Here are a few of the most popular products on the market.
Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 Electric Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, Bronze, Extra Large
- Overall – 4.6/5 (1,600+ reviews)
- Easy to clean – 4.5/5
- Easy to use – 4.4/5
- Easy to assemble – 4.4/5
- Temperature control – 4.2/5
Enhance your outdoor cooking experience & take your cooking talents to the big leagues with the Traeger Pro 22 from perfect pork ribs, to a better brisket, the Pro 22’s digital Pro Controller with advanced grilling logic will take your grilling game to new heights. Easily Check your food’s temperature without opening the lid with the built-in, dual meat probes. Durability is not even a question with its Sawhorse chassis, powerful steel construction & built-to-last powder coat finish. Quickly switch out your hardwood pellets by simply opening up the hopper Cleanout. Easy-to-clean porcelain grill grates give your food better flavor, without old grease marks.
Masterbuilt 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker with Window
- Overall – 4.3/5 (1,800+ reviews)
- Flavor – 4.3/5
- Easy to use – 4.2/5
- Easy to assemble – 4/5
- Temperature control – 3.8/5
The Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker is perfect for the beginner or the pro. Simply plug this smoker in, set the digital controls, and it does the work! The patented side wood chip loader lets you experiment with flavor without opening the smoker door.
- Temperature reaches up to 275˚F
- Digital panel controls on/off, cooking temperature, and time
- 711 sq. in. of smoking space to feed the whole family
- Four chrome-coated smoking racks
- Thermostat-temperature control for even, consistent smoking
Cuisinart 30-inch Vertical Analog Electric Outdoor Smoker with 548-Sq.in. Cooking Space, Black
- Overall – 4.5/5 (5,400+ reviews)
- Quality of material – 4.4/5
- Easy to assemble – 4.4/5
- Easy to use – 4.2/5
- Temperature control – 3.6/5
Get that smoky flavor without using a traditional charcoal smoker! The Cuisinart 30-inch electric vertical smoker is lightweight and user-friendly – great for beginners and seasoned users alike. Set the internal temperature to the exact degree, and the smoker will do all the hard work. Three chrome-coated racks provide 548 square inches of cooking space which is spacious enough to smoke meat for a large group of people. The removable water pan and wood chip tray allow for quick start-ups and clean-ups. Convenient and easy to use, you’ll enjoy smoking meats, fish, cheese, and more with Cuisinart’s electric smoker.
Ninja OG701 Woodfire Outdoor Grill & Smoker 7-in-1 Master Grill BBQ Smoker and Air Fryer with Woodfire Technology
- Overall – 4.7/5 (1,500+ reviews)
- Versatility – 5/5
- Easy to use – 4.6/5
- Flavor – 4.6/5
- Value for money – 4.6/5
Meet the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill & Smoker. Now you can get the ultimate outdoor cooking experience with a powerful grill that Master Grills, BBQ Smokes, and Air Fries with 100% authentic smoky flavor. Powered by electricity and flavored by real burning wood pellets, Ninja Woodfire Technology allows you to easily create a rich, smoky flavor you can see and taste with just 1/2 cup of pellets.
Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, Silver
- Overall – 4.3/5 (3,000+ reviews)
- Maneuverability – 4.6/5
- Easy to assemble – 4.5/5
- Easy to use – 4.2/5
- Temperature control – 3.8/5
This Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker 725 is designed for those who love the classic, rich flavor of smoked foods but want a more modern, hassle-free option. Use it for ribs, chicken, turkey, or a pork butt. The Char-Broil smoker comes with four adjustable racks so you can customize the cooking chamber to meet your needs each time. You can set it to cook the meat to a target temperature or to cook for a designated amount of time. Once the meat reaches the target temperature, it will automatically reduce to a warming temperature to keep your food hot. The digital smoker features a remote control, viewing window, internal light, easy-to-read LED light panel, and intuitive control panel. It is easy to use and you will appreciate the technology. The Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker 725 produces an old-fashioned smoky taste with modern convenience.
If you’re on the hunt for a new addition to your culinary arsenal, one that will take your barbecue game to the next level, you’re in for a treat. We’re here to help you navigate the world of electric smokers, shedding light on the different types, features, and techniques that will make your smoking experience nothing short of sensational. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a novice looking to explore the art of smoking, this article will steer you in the right direction to find the best electric smoker.
Types of Electric Smokers
Let’s kick things off by exploring the wide array of electric smokers available on the market. The type of smoker you choose will greatly influence your smoking experience, so it’s essential to understand your options.
Cabinet-Style Electric Smokers: These smokers are the go-to choice for many barbecue enthusiasts. They resemble a tall, vertical cabinet with multiple racks for smoking. Cabinet-style electric smokers are known for their excellent temperature control, making them suitable for smoking a variety of meats, from brisket to ribs.
Pellet Electric Smokers: If you’re seeking a more hands-off approach, pellet electric smokers might be your answer. These smokers use wood pellets to generate both heat and smoke, offering a convenient way to smoke your favorite dishes. The automated pellet feeder ensures a consistent temperature, but some purists argue that they lack the traditional smoke flavor produced by wood chips.
Portable Electric Smokers: Perfect for those who love to smoke on the go, portable electric smokers are compact and lightweight. They’re ideal for tailgating, camping, or simply for those with limited space. Despite their small size, they can still produce impressive results, making them a versatile choice for beginners and experienced smokers alike.
What is Better: Electric or Pellet?
Now that we’ve explored the types of electric smokers, you might be wondering whether an electric smoker or a pellet smoker is the better choice for your needs.
Electric Smokers: These are known for their simplicity and ease of use. With precise temperature control and consistent heating, electric smokers are perfect for beginners. They’re also incredibly versatile, allowing you to smoke a wide range of dishes. The smoke produced by electric smokers may be milder than that of traditional wood smokers, but it’s still delicious.
Pellet Smokers: Pellet smokers offer a convenient way to smoke your food without the need for constant monitoring. They provide a rich, wood-fired flavor that many barbecue enthusiasts love. However, they tend to be more expensive than electric smokers, and you’ll need a ready supply of wood pellets, which can add to the operating cost.
What Are the Disadvantages of Electric vs. Pellet?
Every choice comes with its pros and cons, and electric smokers are no exception. Let’s delve into the disadvantages of electric smokers compared to their pellet counterparts.
Limited Smoke Flavor: Electric smokers produce a milder smoke flavor compared to traditional wood or pellet smokers. If you’re a die-hard barbecue aficionado, you might find the flavor profile less intense than what you desire.
Less Versatility: While electric smokers can handle a wide variety of meats and dishes, some pitmasters prefer the versatility of pellet smokers. Pellet smokers allow you to experiment with different types of wood pellets, imparting unique flavors to your smoked creations.
Power Dependency: Electric smokers rely on a power source, which means you’re limited in where you can use them. If you plan to smoke in remote locations without electricity, you may need to consider alternative options.
Features and Components
Now that you have a better understanding of the types of electric smokers and their pros and cons, let’s dive into the essential features and components that make these machines tick.
Heating Element: At the heart of every electric smoker is its heating element. This element is responsible for generating the heat needed to cook and smoke your food. It’s essential to choose a smoker with a reliable heating element that can maintain consistent temperatures.
Temperature Controls: The ability to control and monitor the temperature is crucial for successful smoking. Look for smokers with digital thermostats and temperature probes, which allow you to set and maintain the desired cooking temperature with precision.
Wood Chip Tray: Electric smokers use wood chips to produce smoke. A wood chip tray or box is where you place your chosen wood chips. Some smokers come with convenient features like automatic wood chip feeders, while others require manual reloading.
Water Pan: Many electric smokers include a water pan to help regulate humidity and maintain moisture in the cooking chamber. This is especially important for smoking meats like brisket and pork shoulder, which benefit from a moist environment.
With these features and components in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision when shopping for the best electric smoker.
Smoking Techniques with Your Electric Smoker
Now that you have a solid understanding of the different types of electric smokers and their key features, it’s time to dive into the art of smoking itself. Proper smoking techniques are essential to achieving mouthwatering results that will have your guests begging for more.
Preheating: Before you start smoking, it’s crucial to preheat your electric smoker to the desired temperature. This ensures a stable cooking environment from the beginning and helps prevent temperature fluctuations during the smoking process.
Wood Chips: The choice of wood chips can significantly impact the flavor of your smoked dishes. Experiment with different types of wood chips, such as hickory, mesquite, apple, or cherry, to discover the flavors that complement your favorite meats and dishes.
Temperature Control: Keep a close eye on the temperature throughout the smoking process. Most electric smokers offer digital controls, allowing you to set and monitor the temperature with precision. Aim for the ideal temperature range for the meat you’re smoking, as it can vary from dish to dish.
Adding Wood Chips: To maintain a steady stream of flavorful smoke, you’ll need to replenish the wood chips periodically. Follow your smoker’s instructions for adding wood chips, whether through a dedicated tray, box, or feeder. Remember that adding too many chips at once can lead to excessive smoke, so pace yourself.
Patience is Key: Smoking is a slow and steady process. Avoid the temptation to open the smoker’s door frequently, as this can lead to temperature fluctuations and extended cooking times. Trust the process and allow the smoke to work its magic.
Recipes and Smoking Tips
Now that you’ve honed your smoking techniques, it’s time to explore some mouthwatering recipes and smoking tips to impress your friends and family.
Classic Smoked Brisket: A true barbecue favorite, smoked brisket requires patience and skill. Season your brisket generously with a dry rub, then smoke it low and slow until it reaches the perfect tenderness. Wrap it in foil for the last part of the cook to ensure it’s incredibly juicy.
Savory Smoked Ribs: Whether you prefer baby back ribs or spare ribs, the key to fantastic smoked ribs lies in the rub and sauce. Apply a flavorful rub to the ribs and smoke them until they are fall-off-the-bone tender. Finish with your favorite barbecue sauce for a mouthwatering glaze.
Delicate Smoked Salmon: Smoking salmon imparts a delicate smoky flavor that pairs beautifully with the fish’s natural richness. Use a brine to season the salmon, then smoke it at a lower temperature to preserve its moisture and texture.
Experiment and Explore: Don’t be afraid to get creative with your smoking adventures. Try smoking vegetables, cheeses, or even desserts like smoked chocolate brownies. The possibilities are endless, and experimentation can lead to some surprising and delicious results.
Maintenance and Cleaning
To keep your electric smoker running smoothly and ensure its longevity, it’s essential to follow proper maintenance and cleaning routines.
Regular Cleaning: After each use, clean the grates, drip pans, and other removable components to prevent the buildup of grease and residue. A clean smoker not only performs better but also reduces the risk of flare-ups and unwanted flavors.
Empty Ash and Debris: If your smoker uses wood chips, be sure to empty the ash and debris from the chip tray or box regularly. This keeps the smoke flowing smoothly and prevents any potential blockages.
Inspect and Replace Parts: Periodically inspect the heating element, temperature probes, and other essential components for signs of wear or damage. Replace any worn-out parts promptly to maintain consistent performance.
While electric smokers are generally safe and user-friendly, it’s essential to keep safety in mind when using them.
Proper Placement: Place your electric smoker on a stable, non-flammable surface, and ensure there’s enough space around it for proper ventilation. Never use your smoker indoors or in an enclosed space.
Electrical Safety: Ensure that your smoker is properly grounded and that the power cord is in good condition. Avoid using extension cords unless they are specifically designed for high-powered appliances.
Handling Hot Surfaces: Electric smokers can get hot during use, so use caution when opening doors or access panels. Always wear heat-resistant gloves or use long-handled tools to avoid burns.
Accessories and Upgrades
To take your smoking experience to the next level, consider investing in accessories and upgrades that enhance your smoker’s performance and convenience.
Wireless Thermometers: Wireless meat thermometers allow you to monitor the internal temperature of your meat without opening the smoker’s door. This helps maintain consistent cooking temperatures and ensures your dishes are cooked to perfection.
Smoke Generators: Some smokers can be equipped with additional smoke generators to intensify the smoky flavor. These devices can be particularly useful if you crave a stronger smoke profile.
Temperature Controllers: Temperature controllers can help automate the smoking process, making it easier to maintain precise temperatures throughout the cook. They’re especially valuable for long smoking sessions.
With these accessories and upgrades, you’ll have the tools and knowledge to become a true smoking aficionado. Whether you’re smoking for family gatherings, tailgating parties, or simply enjoying some delicious barbecue at home, your electric smoker will be your trusted companion on your culinary journey.
In conclusion, choosing the best electric smoker and mastering the art of smoking is an exciting adventure for any culinary enthusiast. Armed with the knowledge and guidance provided in this article, you’re well on your way to creating mouthwatering smoked dishes that will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds and those of your lucky guests. Happy smoking!