Start your search for the best electric smoker here. Compiled in this guide is this year’s top choices. Included are in-depth reviews and recommendations geared to make choosing the best electric smoker to match your expectations and budget easier.
From smoked spices to sides to meats and fish, that charred essence and tender juiciness is dynamite. Whether you’re a total novice or grilling pro, smoking is quite the labor of love. But with one of the best electric smokers, it’s much simpler.
We rated our top 17 picks based on — cooking space, construction, temperature control, cleaning ease, and affordability. The list consists of electric smokers that are best for your buck, and get the job done the easy way. We also deep dive into helpful information for using, cooking with, and cleaning your electric smoker of choice.
Consider this the ultimate guide to your best and easiest smoke meat. We’re excited to make the action of imperfect buying easier — plenty of information awaits in this page.
What is an Electric Smoker and How Does It Works?
An electric smoker is a cooking device that uses hot electric rods to smoke food. Ease is the main advantage of electric smokers over traditional models. Electric smokers offer portability, simple temperature monitoring, cleaner operation, and innovative designs. Most are very well-insulated, durable, and rust-resistant due to stainless steel or cast iron construction.
These smokers differ based on cooking area, temperature control options, and apparatus. Apparatus vary across digital electric models and include one-touch power buttons, remote controls, Bluetooth connectivity, digital control display, automated preheating, and cool-down cycles. But, every electric smoker will have a main heating element, heating rods, drip pan, water tray, grill racks, air vent, damper, internal temperature gauge, and wood chip container. The overall beauty of this technology is its ability to combine the delicious results of charcoal and wood grilling with easier monitoring and cleanup.
An electric smoker is like an oven, but with smoke. It works by using electricity to heat the element at the bottom of the smoker. The wood chip tray is directly above the heating element where it can smolder to give the food fascinating, aromatic smoked flavors. Food that is inside is heated via convection as air and smoke circulate. If the smoker has a rheostat, it allows temperature control by controlling the flow of electricity.
BEST 17 Electric Smokers of 2020 (Updated)
- Best Overall: MasterBuilt Bluetooth Electric Digital Smoker
- Best Runner Up: MasterBuilt Black Electric Digital Smoker
- Best Price: Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
- Best Insulated Choice: Dyna-Glo Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker
- Best Beginner’s Choice: Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
- Best for Commercial Use: Bradley Digital 6 Rack Electric Smoker
- Best Cooking Capacity: MasterBuilt Front Controller Smoker
- Best Versatility: Pit Boss Grills 2.2 Digital Smoker
- Best Value: CookShack Electric Smoker Oven Model
- Best On-The-Go Design: MasterBuilt Portable Electric Smoker
- Best Professional Look: Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker
- Best Portability: Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker
- Best Moist Meats: Old Smokey Electric Smoker
- Best Reliable Quality: Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker
- Best Small: Smoke: Hollow Electric Smoker
- Best Viewing Window: Smokin Tex Pro Series 1400
- Best Affordable Analog: Masterbuilt Black Electric Analog Smoker
The Masterbuilt 30’ Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker is the best choice for this year’s overall pick. If you’re looking for smoking consistency with Bluetooth connectivity, this is the choice for you.
Equipped with an 800-watt heating element and 730 square inches of cooking space, this smoker can cook large quantities. And has the capacity for two turkeys, four racks of ribs, or four pork butts. Of course, this is ideal for barbecues and family dinners.
The Bluetooth feature and the built-in thermometer makes temperature monitoring a breeze while socializing and relaxing. It also reduces the need to open the door, just like the side-loading wood chip container. Talk about convenience! The Masterbuilt 30’ Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker is a digitally advanced smoker, worth the investment, and that serves barbecue portions of smoky flavor.
- Durable powder-coated steel construction
- Programmable for set and forget cooking
- Set and forget smoking style
- Insulated cooking chamber
- 800-watt heating element for quick heating
- No viewing window
- Cumbersome bottom handle
- A bit pricey
It’s the Masterbuilt Bluetooth minus the Bluetooth connectivity. A better choice, if you don’t fancy, advanced technology. Like our #1 pick. The capacity is 730 with four chrome-plated smoking racks. All features, pros, and cons are similar to that of the Masterbuilt Bluetooth (mentioned above). It’s another reasonably priced, premium product from this US-based family company.
This smoker is ideal for smokers of all experience levels with generous cooking portions.
If your dad is an expert or you consider yourself a pro, the Charbroil is the best, affordably priced analog smoker. But, for those who are beginners, it’s rather complex. If you’re a first-time user, it’s best to go with a simpler model.
Sturdy and water-proof, the Charbroil Analog can smoke all your favorite proteins. While, design features like dual exhaust port, double-wall construction, and dual door latch seal in smoke and heat. It’s easy to use and packs plenty of heating power and cooking space. Though heavy for its size, this analog smoker is great for no-frills, hassle-free backyard barbecue smoking.
- Durable construction
- Straightforward analog design
- Competitively priced
- No internal meat thermometer
- Must open door to reload wood chips
Its technology made for laid back smoking, easy cleaning, and compact for storage. We would recommend beginners get the model with windows. With 732-square inches of cooking space and 4 four chrome-plated grills, the Dyna-Glo Digital provides more room than the average gas or charcoal grill.
Once connected to smart devices, through Bluetooth connectivity, set and monitor the temperature remotely. Built to hold in heat, the model has double-wall insulation and flexible, high-temperature door seal. An easy-access outer drawer housing the wood and flavor trays lets you reload each without smoke or heat escaping. And the digital thermostat and control panel display aids in closed-door temperature monitoring.
Think sleek exterior, lots of great features, and high heat retention. It’s an economic bargain compared to top brand smokers.
- Retains heat for several hours
- Removable components for easy cleaning
- Very economical
- Small wheels
- Small, unsecured grease tray
- The heating element sags after a few uses
- Releases more smoke than top pick models
If you’re a slow-cooking novice, you can’t go wrong with this model. The Charbroil Deluxe is a competitively priced unit that ticks all the barbecue boxes. You can go from purchase to smoking in an afternoon.
Designed for ease, the unit cooks to your desired temperature, shuts down, and keeps your food warm until retrieved. At less than 3 feet tall, the unit fits well in tight spaces with a surprisingly big cooking space of 725 inches and 4 adjustable racks. It’s arguably a small smoker, but it delivers a great price and consistent temperature for a delicious, smoky flavor.
- Double-walled sealed cooking chamber for high-quality heat retention
- Removable temperature gauge
- Remote temperature readings via sensitive meat probe
- Large grease tray
- Competitive, budget-friendly price
- Connectivity issues
- Inflexible high temperature
Are you looking for a sleek design that smokes large quantities? You’re in luck! The Bradley Digital provides 858-inch cooking capacity and a good looking stainless exterior. Of course, it serves a crowd. We liked the easy to read, clearly labeled buttons. Plus, the oven mode option extends its use beyond smoking. This smoker’s capacity makes it great for commercial use. But there are a few design flaws.
- User-friendly temperature reading and digital display
- Durable, resistant construction
- Serves more than an average family gathering
- No wheels, lack portability
- Inflexible high temperature
- Expensive, with a high-priced recurring cost
For those on a budget, or who want simple digital features, the Masterbuilt Front Controller provides a good value. The fully insulated interior makes it easy to cook for crowds at a consistent temperature. And it’s easy to see why. The unit houses 925 square inches of cooking space, four cooking racks, at just a height little over 40 inches. Meaning there’s plenty to go around at your next cookout, no matter your level of smoke mastery.
- Heavy-duty, durable build
- Hands-free control via remote
- Wheels provide portability
- Ample ability to serve 40+ guests
- Consistent, accurate temperature controls
- Viewing glass fogs during cooking
- Inaccurate digital thermometer
- Battery operated remote control
Ever had to serve 18 people at your barbecue? The Pit Boss 2.2 does so comfortably with a 593 square inch cooking chamber. With the multiple cooking options to smoke, roast, grill, or bake several of your favorite recipes. For ease of portability and high smoking temperature, the device has locking caster wheels, a powerful heating element, and blanket insulation. Its streamlined design and simple digital features make it one of this year’s best backyard picks.
- Easy moving and storing, locking caster wheels
- Powerful 1650-watt heating power, achieves high temperatures of 400 degrees F
- The elevated stand makes cleaning easy
- Needs close temperature monitoring
- Reports of a defective heating element
At a glance, this oven styled electric smoker looks like a vault. The welded, double-walled construct is just as impressive at holding heat as the Spin Glass insulation inside the cooking cabinet. We doubt you’ll be disappointed by the ability to set and forget, even in winter. Well built expect fall off the bone tenderness.
Though not the largest, the CookShack delivers a quality cook every time in small batches. Comfortably cooking 18lb turkey, 9lb salmon, or squeeze in 3 individual racks of ribs. That’s why it is fairly popular with backyard chefs. There is no bell and whistle tech like Bluetooth or a meat probe. The unit is a little expensive but a worthwhile investment for a flawless performer that lasts for decades.
- Reliable, consistent temperature
- Compact, movable unit
- Durable stainless steel construction
- Exceptional smoking consistency
- Expensive pricing
- No meat probe or programmable timer
Portability and storage that goes from home to wherever you go. It lives up to its name! Compact, with foldable legs, and weighing only 20lbs, moving from the backyard patio to a camper, yacht or RV is a snap. So, of course, this means the smoker is small.
The analog controls are a drawback making the process a bit of a challenge as there is no internal meat probe. If you so desire, you can invest in a meat thermometer. Overall, the Masterbuilt Portable designed for taking masterful smoky flavor on-the-go.
- Durable metal construction
- Easy temperature dial settings
- Lightweight, compact design for portability
- Limited cooking space
- No integrated digital timer or meat probe
- Inadequate tray capacities
The Smokin-It Model #1 screams easy maneuvering and portability. Everything from the four heavy-duty, three-inch, rubber caster wheels to the compact frame. The temperature goes from 100 to 250 degrees F. And the removable, stainless-steel, cooking racks also provide flexibility.
This smoker is perfect for someone who enjoys cooking for family and friends. Or is an entrepreneur as the 18-gauge stainless steel construct is similar to smokers used by restaurants.
- Highly durable build
- Insulated interior
- Compact frame fits in a small kitchen
- Caster wheels for easy maneuvering
- No digital features or built-in thermometer
- Weak 400-watt element
- Price is not competitive to other digital electric smokers
- Tiny cooking capability for busy restaurant
When easy storage and portability are your priority, choose the Little Chef. One of the smallest top choices on the market. A decent size under 12 inches wide and 24.5 inches tall.
The no-frills design makes smoking simple. With a 250-watt heating element, it’s built to give you a consistent low temperature of 165 degrees F. This is a small, basic smoker, great for beginners and persons who smoke fish and lean meats.
- No assembly required
- UL and CUL certifications for safety
- Zero temperature control
- Aluminum construction
A trashcan style smoker is very affordable for those on a budget. It’s another great no-frills option offering a hands-on approach to getting the job done. The Old Smokey brand has been around since 1923, for quick part replacing. The straightforward design is sure to be noticed. The lack of a water pan also makes the model unique. A temperature gauge is sold as an optional accessory. It’s a cost-effective smoker for wood-fire wild-game, meats, or seafood results.
- Budget-friendly and lightweight
- High max temperature of 300 degrees F
- Replaceable heating element
- Hard to clean
- Extremely hot exterior
- Inconvenient to refill wood chips
Expect quality smoke meats every time! The Char-Broil Electric Vertical Smoker is great for smoking all your favorite proteins in large quantities. You can make one yours, without breaking the bank.
The 505 square-inch cooking chamber is well-insulated to maintain even temperature. It is also ideal for keeping food warm after smoking. And the three adjustable grates that facilitate positioning for absolute best spacing while cooking.
The unit has a 1500-watt heating element and a front-mounted temperature gauge. And is constructed with one less reason to open the door. As located on the exterior are the porcelain ash pan and grease cup. Enjoy well-built construction, steady temperature performance, and a wealth of cooking room time and time again.
- Simple, sturdy design with high performing insulation
- External temperature gauge
- Very affordable model
- Visually pleasing, chrome-plated door handle
- Generous cooking capacity
- Mounted on legs for easy access
- No exterior access for wood tray
- The door requires extra effort to close.
- Not great for smoking in extreme weather conditions
Quite the compact smoker! It’s a steal when on sale. The 26″ Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker is a packed top pick. The unit comes with a very traditional design. You get a 1500-watt electric heating element at the bottom with the good-sized water pan and wood tray above it.
The cabinet style interior has 1.3 cubic feet of cooking capacity. If you are cooking in a large volume, spare a few extra bucks and opt for the 30″ model. Both the 30″ and 26″ have similar specs, but the latter is a bit smaller.
Located on the front door is a commercial-quality temperature gauge. The cool-touch, spring wire, latch door is child-proof and allows you easy access without burning yourself. So, you can safely smoke your family’s perfectly portioned meals. Overall, it is a no-frills smoker with fantastic temperature control.
- Durable porcelain-coated construction
- High-quality temperature gauge
- Safe, easy to handle door
- Straightforward, minimal setup
- 1500-watt heating element for quick heating
- No viewing window
- Short warranty period
- Troublesome cleaning
Typically priced higher than Masterbuilt models, it is a quality electric smoker. With enough room to feed a family. Made in China, this double-walled, stainless steel Smokin Tex is sturdy and lasts well into the future.
It has three steel racks, a fish rack, and five positions to place each. With this model, you can achieve a temperature range of 100-250 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the internal thermometer is not 100% accurate. So, you will need to get yourself a meat probe.
For this price, it is still a valuable package given the two-year warranty and 14.5 x 14.5-inch racks. Make tender, smoked food on an old-fashion style with this smoker.
- Product warranty
- Four wheels for quick relocation
- 588-square inch capacity
- Easy to assemble
- Value for money temperature control
- No tech controls
- Inaccurate thermometer
If you are a home chef who loves easy and convenient, you will fall in love with the Masterbuilt Analog. Bonus? There aren’t any tech or set-and-forget features for your dad or granddad to frown over.
It has a sizeable cooking space for an entire family. The dual-wall comes in handy when slow smoking to keep the heat evenly maintained. Though front-loading, the wood chip tray and drip pan provide smoky, tenderness to your cooking.
Replacing older models are newer tech-savvy units, but with this Masterbuilt, you can continue to enjoy the simplicity of analog. Because for some of us, technology advances will not be a reason to put down our analog generation of smokers.
- High-temperature range perfect for various meats
- Large cooking area
- Built-in temperature control
- No wheels or digital features
- No side drawer for loading wood chips
What to Look For When Buying an Electric Smoker
Size and Capacity. Always consider the width of the smoker. This detail helps choose a model that is easy to store and can hold a good serving of food. Small capacity is an issue with most units, fold and cut meat as a solution. If your model has multiple cooking racks, take the top one out to create more for a large turkey.
Portability. When moving and maneuvering is a priority look for specifications that include wheels, lightweight, and handles.
Price. You can pick up an electric smoker for under $100, but you can get new, high-quality ones in the $200-$350 range. Expect to pay $500 and higher for new models with Bluetooth.
Features. We prefer and recommend smokers like our top pick and runner up that lets you refill chips without opening the door. Almost all of the 13 cookers allow you to set and monitor the internal temperature, with only a few exceptions. We think the internal meat probe is a nice feature to have.
Electric vs. Charcoal and Gas Smokers
Ease of use. Electric and gas smokers have many commonalities, both are simple, and you’ll find good models under $200. There’s no need to manage a fire or light charcoal. So, the wood-fire flavor is created by adding wood chips to a tray. Both use the set it and forget it style of operation.
Temperature. Gas and charcoal smokers achieve higher temperatures than electrics. Because of this, charcoal and gas cookers need to be closely monitored to ensure the food doesn’t burn. So, electrics offer greater ease of use in regards to temperature control. Whereas, gas is very low tech.
Heat. All smokers produce heat through combustion. But, electrics produce heat with a glowing, heating element. The reliance on electricity means they never run out of fuel (except during power outages) and makes electrics cheaper to run than gas smokers. The need to run an extension cord for power might be bothersome.
Taste. What’s not so great about the electric smoker is that in comparison to live-fire, the smokiness isn’t as intense as charcoal and gas alternatives. The results of gas smokers taste closer to that of a charcoal smoker. Nevertheless, the food turns out amazing. Plus, electric cooker brands are always evolving to give you the most delicious results.
The Bottom Line. There is no perfect model. The right one depends on your priority. If you’re after intense smoky flavor, then the charcoal smoker is your ideal choice. If you want cheap, tech-free convenience with faster cooking times, then consider the gas smoker. For cleaner, simple use, smoky, tender results go with the electric.
How to Smoke a Brisket in an Electric Smoker
A tasty little background. One of the best things you can slow cook in an electric smoker is beef brisket. The rave reviews just pour in with this smoked brisket.
It’s melt in your mouth tender, full of flavor. The only hard part is waiting as it cooks to perfection. Plus, it complements all sides most notably, mac and cheese, coleslaw, and cornbread.
Once you achieve success with this simple process, you’ll itch to smoke another.
- Select Your Brisket
First thing. Choose your brisket. There is the pointcut, flat cut, or best of both worlds known as the packer cut or Texas brisket. The pointcut has a fat cap and is rounder and more tender. The flat cut is leaner with a more uniform shape perfect for nice even slices.
Aim to purchase the packer cut. It has both the flat and point muscles included. This way, you have the option of using the point section to make burnt ends, while the flat section gives you restaurant-level plate presentations. In any case, meat grade matters. Prime beef has more fat marbling, which means more juiciness throughout slices than a choice graded brisket
- Trim Your Brisket
Here are the basics. Store in the fridge until time for shaping. Cold briskets are much easier to trim.
Remove from the package and clean. Then trim the excess fat off the flat part. If you’re using the point or packer cut, trim down the fat cap as well. Just enough to see the meat under a translucent layer of fat. That’s roughly 1/3 to 1/4 of an inch of fat.
Flip and repeat the trimming on the other side. It doesn’t have to be exact. We would encourage you to spend the needed 20 minutes or more properly trimming
- Rub In Dry Seasoning
The Texas-style of seasoning, however, requires only coarse salt and coarse black powder. You can variate with onion or garlic powder to add extra spiced goodness. If you prefer the Texas-style mix two teaspoons of each.
Whichever spice mix chosen, shake the spices out about 2 feet above to create a nice even layer across the entire surface. Rub into the meat and distribute it on all sides. Do make time for marination.
We have featured a spice mix with plenty of flavors. The yellow mustard serves a binder. This helps the dry seasonings to stick to the meat. Its acidity also helps break down the meat surface creating a finished product with a brilliant bark.
- Begin Smoking
The smoky taste comes from the wood chosen. If you’re looking for intense flavor, avoid fruitwood chips like apple or cherry. These impart a mild sweet flavor. Hickory and maple wood impart bolder, more overpowering rich flavors. The best of both worlds comes from a mixture. We use hickory as the base wood with apples mixed in and on top. No matter the selection, the goal is to maintain steady heat and smoke.
Try not to focus on the long cooking time. Focus on the meat reaching the correct internal temperature. Remember. Varying cooking times apply here, as well. A good rule of thumb is 50 to 75 minutes per pound at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. If your brisket is half the size of our featured recipe (6 pounds), reduce the cook time and ingredients to half.
- Wrap the Brisket
An important step. Wrapping is necessary to help the meat achieve higher internal temperatures. Once the smoked brisket reaches between 160 to 170 degrees, wrap tightly with foil or butcher’s paper to get to 190 to 200 degrees.
Wrap it like a present. Folding over edges to keep it tightly sealed. Without the wrapping, the temperature will plateau at around 175 degrees.
Yes, it’s okay to use butcher paper or foil to wrap the brisket. Both assist in creating the juicy tender brisket with delicious, dark bark. But foil maintains a lot more moisture inside the meat.
- Rest Your Brisket
Another important step. Resting allows the hot and bubbly juices to settle down to the perfect serving temperature for easy slicing.
- Slicing Your Brisket
Grab a large cutting board. Set your brisket down. Admire your time and dedication. The feel of pride and joy is tangible when you place your non-dominant hand on the point and press gently. Your dominant hand will hold the knife. You can feel the tenderness!
Touch it in circular motions until you feel a small layer of fat separating the point from the flat. This fat is the dividing line between the point and flat where the grain changes. Cut the brisket in half here. Since you always want to be slicing against the grain.
Focus on the flat first. Use a long, smooth stroke to cut each slice at 1/4 inches (about the width of a no.2 pencil). Cut against the grain in the same direction ensuring each slice gets a piece of deliciously, seasoned bark. Most of the smoky flavor lives in the bark. So, everyone deserves a piece.
Head over to the point. And cut it in half to see the grain. Like you did with the flat, cut against the grain with pride. Enjoy serving each beautiful smoked piece to friends and family.
If someone requests lean brisket, they’re referring to the flat cut. If someone requests fatty, they’re referring to the brisket point. We always suggest serving with sauce on the side.
Serving Size. When shopping, the rule of thumb is 1/2-1 pounds of brisket in the typical serving size for a person.
Either side cooks fine. There’s no difference. Cook with the fat side up or down, the flavors just the same. Place on the side you prefer.
Tender Smoked Brisket Recipe
- 1 12 pound brisket
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1/4 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or Aleppo pepper flakes (alter to your liking)
- 8 cups of water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and apple juice (optional)
- Lump charcoal
- Oak wood chips
White bread, barbecue sauce, pickles, coleslaw, potato salad, mac and cheese, etc.
Total time:16 hour – Resting Time:1 hour Prep time:1 hour – Smoke time:14 hour
- Place the brisket on a large sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.
- Clean any connective tissue or silver skin from the lean side. Trim excess fat down to approximately 1/4 inch thickness, leaving enough on for moisture and flavor.
- In a small bowl, mix all of the dry seasonings. Dry rub the spice mix on all sides, pat the generous coat into the meat.
- With the fat side up, cover the meat with plastic wrap. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 12 hours. While you prepare your side dishes.
- Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees F.
- Fill 1/2 the water bowl or aluminum pan with the apple cider vinegar mix (optional). Add wood chips to the side tray.
- Place the brisket fat side up on the middle rack directly over the aluminum pan.
- Insert the digital thermometer into the thicker end of the meat, not the fat.
- Close the door and cook until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F. About 4-5 hours.
- Every hour, check and refill the wood chip tray as needed to maintain the heat.
- When the meat reaches 170 degrees F, remove and wrap tightly in foil or butcher’s paper. Place the meat back in the smoker until it reaches between 190 degrees F and 200 degrees F. About 9-10 hours.
- If you desire, speed up cooking, by increasing the temperature to 275 degrees for the last set of hours.
- Once 200 degrees F, transfer the meat to a cutting board.
- Let the meat rest covered for a minimum of 10 minutes covered. Then rest for 5 minutes and up to 2 hours uncovered before slicing and serving.
- Slice on a large cutting board against the grain. Serve with BBQ sauce and sides.
Calories per serving: 404
Tips and Tricks for Cooking in an Electric Smoker
Smoking with electrics is remarkably easy as the cooker does most of the work for you. With these simple tricks, you can elevate your slow-cooking game for restaurant-level smoky tasty at home!
Large enough cooking space. It’s best to have a smoker that is a bit too large, rather than too small. To make sure you can simultaneously cook different foods and serve your barbecue crowd. Tall vertical smokers double and triple your patio cooking area in square inches and are easier to transport to tailgating events. All of which makes you more professional.
Season your grill. Before your first use, season your cooking chamber. The aim is to burn off dust and solvent residue buildup on the trays, racks, and interior from the manufacturing process. To begin, lightly coat the interior surfaces with cooking oil. Run the device at 250 to 275 degrees F for 2-3 hours. Add wood chips during the final hour to prime the device for future use. When done, power off, and allow it to cool. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as not all models require seasoning.
Allot plenty of time to the process. Designed to cook meat at lower temperatures than charcoal and gas grills, electric smokers take several hours for racks of ribs to a full day for ham or a whole turkey. For briskets, cooking times average about 75 minutes per pound.
Use your digital temperature probe. Built-in thermometers and thermostats are often of the lowest-quality. To avoid this issue, top BBQ chefs invest in a digital meat thermometer.
Cook at the appropriate temperature. Be mindful of the heat requirements for the type of protein you smoke. Not all proteins cook at the same temperature range. For instance. Brisket, ribs, pork butt, and pork shoulder smoke well at 225 degrees F. While chicken and turkey smoke well for multiple hours at around 275 degrees F.
Maintain your smoker’s appearance. Take some time to clean after each cooking session, from the interior to the removable surfaces. The use of your drip tray helps to keep the base of your cooking chamber clean. Even if, rust-resistant cover and properly store. To maintain the fresh, new look for years to come.
Finish birds in the oven. If your electric grill has a max temperature of 275 degrees or lower, it can’t add a crisp texture to the skin. So, complete the last 10 minutes of poultry and turkey cooking in a hot oven. To get the skin nice and crispy.
Use foil on your interior surfaces. This tip saves you clean up time. Apart from this, clean grills burn clean, which means better barbecue results. When your manufacturer advises against foil, coating the removable surfaces with oil.
Replace the wood chip tray. Very easy to do when your front-access wood chip tray alcove in the smoker. It’s a solution for inadequately small chip trays that force you to open the door and refill often. Replace the chip tray with a small smoker tube or box.
Don’t oversmoke your food. Less is more, even in the process of smoking. It generally takes very little smoke to create top-notch flavor. Over-smoked food, especially chicken, can become inedible. You will need about one tray of chips or pellets when cooking chicken.
Control temperature swings. When your grill records temperatures up to 20 degrees F above and below the set temperature, it has a swinging issue. That is, the temperature will rise to your set temp. But the heating element only stops once your temp is reached. The slight lag, in the case, means the temperature will rise above your set temperature. To control swinging, try setting the smoker some degree above or below the regular degree fluctuation.
Cold smoke your food. This option is available via your cold smoker attachment. If you can’t find one for your brand, look for attachment in a similar size.
How to Clean Your Electric Smoker
Before cleaning, ensure that your electric grill is unplugged and cold. Remove the racks, drip tray, smoker box, and water pan. If you’re sure the removable parts are dishwasher-friendly, load them inside for washing. If not, wash them in warm, soapy water with a sponge, rinse, and dry.
Return your focus to the smoking chamber. Sweep out particles at the bottom of the grill and wipe excess residue on the walls with a soft fully-dry cloth. It’s important to avoid harsh chemicals and large amounts of water. Instead, use a damp sponge or eraser pad.
Or plastic bristle brush and spray bottle with a combination of water and vinegar or mild dishwashing liquid. Now use it to gently brush (not scrub) the chamber, internal thermostats, and temperature probe until clean. Dry the entire area with paper towels. If possible, leave the door open for further air drying.
Move on to the exterior. Use only the cleaners approved on the inside and outside of the glass window. Gently wipe down the door seal, control panel with a damp cloth to get rid of residue. Wipe dry.
Tip: Your electric grill will darken with each use. As such, the dark silver color is completely natural and doesn’t mean your smoker is dirty. While this may not be your favorite shade, the darkening inhibits rusting and improves the performance of the infrared cooking system.
Read the manual and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. These are safety rules common to most outdoor electrics.
- Must be at least 10 feet away from any structure.
- Do not operate under any overhead construction such as roof coverings, tree overhangs, or awnings.
- Make sure the smoker is on a level surface.
- Do not operate a smoker on a wooden deck without a heat resistant mat underneath.
- Do not use glass, plastic, or ceramic cookware in smokers.
- Be sure to cover the smoker when not in use and do not use it in wet weather.
- If an outdoor extension cord is needed, make sure it is a grounding -type 3-wire cord, marked with a “W” and with the statement “Suitable for Use with Outdoor Appliances”.
- The electrical rating of the extension cord should be at least as great as the electrical rating of the smoker.
- Do not leave smokers unattended.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you decide which of this year’s electric smokers is right for you. All the models are great for different reasons to fit varying priorities.
For most, we would recommend the MasterBuilt Bluetooth Electric Digital Smoker or its less-tech savvy alternative MasterBuilt Black Electric Digital Smoker in either the 30 or 40″ depending on your size requirements.
Whichever you choose, it’s a good buy to take your cooking to a new level of flavor, and we’re excited for you to try our brisket recipe and meet your barbecue needs.
Frequently Asked questions
Which is Better: Wet or Dry Wood Chips?
Use dry chips. Dry chips create thin, blue smoke that imparts tasty flavor easily. While wet chips produce billowy steam. The humidity of this smoke can interfere with temperature control and cause your smoker to rust.
Can I Buy An Electric Smoker On Amazon?
Yes, of course, just be careful. You have to be very thorough on eBay and Amazon. Many of the models are outdated and include confusing descriptions. Some brands have updated their logos, so look out for this detail in images. For instance, the old models of Masterbuilt are a little easier to spot because the company changed its logo. The old logo had a sun coming over some mountains.
Should You Open or Close Vents?
The rule of thumb is fully open vents while smoking. To avoid creosote buildup on your food. Once finished, close your vents to raise the internal smoker temperature. This will keep your food warm until removed.
Can You Use Your Smoker in the House? No. It is a fire hazard. Plus, the smoky aroma would be in your home for a while after cooking, unless you install a restaurant-grade extraction system.