In A Rush? Here’s Our Top Choice:
Masterbuilt Digital with Front Controller
For those looking for a solid feature set and digital controls, Masterbuilt’s 20078715 Digital brings cooks a fully insulated design with plenty of room to cook.
There’s nothing quite like a good smoked cut of meat.
Whether it’s a perfectly done brisket or fresh filet of salmon, there’s something about that smoky flavor.
But smoking isn’t easy.
You need charcoal and wood and lots of time.
The good news is: electric smokers have made smoking a whole lot easier.
Before you balk at an electric appliance producing flavors anywhere near what a charcoal smoker could achieve, just remember that this model have come a long way. Many of them are now putting out smoked flavor that rivals more traditional methods.
If you’re thinking about picking up this appliance, keep reading for deep dive into how to pick the right electric unit and some of the top options available.
Top Electric Smoker Reviews
- Lined interior helps keep temperatures even and consistent
- Four chrome plated grills slide easily in and out and are dishwasher safe
- Simple push button controls. Built in meat thermometer for accurate cooking
- Multiple functions that will help feel more relaxed and clean than ever before
- Unique wood supply method of consistent smoke with fully insulated design
- Made completely of 18-gauge stainless steel Included caster wheels make it easy to move
How to Choose For Your Needs
If you’ve never owned one before, finding the right model can be half the battle.
There’s a lot to choose from. From price to features, this appliance come in all shapes and sizes–whether you just want a basic, inexpensive model or really want to go all out.
Who are these for?
The first question you’ll want to ask yourself is if an electric smoker is right for you.
The great thing about electric smokers is the simple convenience of an electric unit. For many people, the time and effort involved in traditional charcoal or wood smoking is just too much. Preparing and using a traditional smoker can take most of a day to get a cut of meat done right.
An electric powered smoker cuts out much of the prep time needed for traditional smoking and typically doesn’t require as close of monitoring. So, if you want to smoke your own brisket with a lot less work, an electric smoker is the way to go.
Controlling the Temperature
When shopping for an smoker, one of the first things you’ll want to consider is the temperature control.
Most units have a digital or analog temperature control, allowing you to set temperatures between 100 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. But, some basic smokers only smoke at one set temperature.
Other more advanced units allow you to insert a thermometer right into the meat and control the temperature right where it counts.
Pick the Right Size
Smokers come in many sizes.
From tiny, portable units with just enough space for a small family to large, commercial size units, you can get as much space as necessary. Most smokers are between 500 and 700 square inches, which provides plenty of space for most items like brisket, ribs, or a turkey.
Ability to Add Wood Chips or Charcoal
It might sound a little backward, but many electric smokers allow you to actually add wood chips or charcoal to the smoker. This allows users to infuse some extra, real smoke flavor into the meat.
As great of a job as electric smokers can do, they don’t do quite as well at infusing real smoke flavor right into the meat.
Another thing you’ll want to consider when looking at electric smokers is your budget.
Electric smokers start at a little under $100 and go all the way up over $500 for household units. Commercial smokers can, of course, go much higher in price.
For a good digitally controlled unit, expect to pay between $200 and $300.
Ease of Use and Maintenance
Just like any other cooking appliance, it’s important to know how easy it is to maintain and clean an electric smoker before buying.
Many units have removable trays which make for easy cleaning. Others have doors that swing open widely, allowing quick access to every nook and cranny of the unit.
Most smokers also have cooking grates that can be quickly removed for cleaning.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when buying a smoker is how well it performs.
One of the keys to properly smoking meat is the ability to maintain a consistent temperature. If the temperature is constantly changing it’s tough to get the meat done at the right tenderness and flavor.
Before buying, make sure the smokers you’re looking at is well insulated and can maintain the right temperatures for the foods you’d like to smoke.
Top Choice by Purpose
What do you plan to use your smoker for?
That’s the most important question, right?
Whether you want a highly portable unit or the biggest model you can find, finding the right one for your needs is the most important part. Let’s take a closer look at the top choice for every purpose.
Top Digital Choice: Masterbuilt 20078715 Digital
If you’re looking for something with a little more processing power, a digital model provides cooks with a lot more features than the traditional model.
With a robust set of features and controls, the Masterbuilt 20078715 Digital is one of the choices out there for shoppers looking for digital model.
Available in 30 or 40-inch sizes, this Masterbuilt allows users to control the temperature of the smoker on a digital control panel, right on top the unit. Temperature can be moved from 100 degrees, right up to 275.
Users can also monitor the internal temperature of the meats they’re smoking. This ensures a perfect smoke every time with sensitive meats like brisket. This Masterbuilt also incorporates a side loading wood chip container, making it easy to refresh or add wood while smoking.
Masterbuilt Digital Specifications:
Top Small Choice: Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load
If portability is your goal or space is at a premium, you’re in luck. There are still grill small enough to meet your size and smoking requirements.
One the top choices out there for a small model is the Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load.
The Little Chief is just 24 inches tall and a little under 12 inches wide. That makes it one of the smallest grillers on the market.
With a 250-watt heating element and four burners, it heats nicely at its single heat setting of 165 degrees. While 165 degrees is an optimal temperature for smoking most meats and foods, the lack of adjustability could be an issue for some buyers.
Smokehouse Products does claim the Little Chief can smoke up to 25 pounds of meat, which is pretty impressive given the size of this appliance.
Smokehouse Products Little Chief Specifications:
Top Insulated Choice: Dyna-Glo DGU732BDE-D 30″ Digital
For those who want to really hold in the heat and keep the temperatures consistent while smoking, an insulated model helps provide a controlled cooking area.
The Dyna-Glo DGU732BDE-D 30″ Digital is an insulated electric smoker with a lot of great features. With double wall insulation construction, it really holds the heat—and smoke—in.
With this model, users get a digital thermostat with a push button control panel. A meat thermometer is also built right in to aid with closely monitoring your work.
This Dyna-Glo is 30 inches tall and has over 700 square inches of cooking space within the unit. Wood chips and flavoring elements can be quickly and safely accessed through an integrated panel on the side of the unit, allowing you to keep heat and smoke in.
Dyna-Glo Digital Specifications:
Top Choice for Beginners: Char-Broil Analog
While it provide some really great features, they’re also a bit more complex to work with. And a bit more expensive. For beginners or first-time users, it’s often easier to stick with something a little more simple.
If you’re buying your first unit, the Char-Broil Analog is simple and easy to use while still providing plenty of power and features.
This Char-Broil has 1000-watt heating element, 544 square inches of cooking space, and double wall construction. All of these give cooks plenty of power of and space for most items.
Chrome plated cooking grates make cleaning easy. And a removable water tray, grease cup, and wood chip tray allow cooks to quickly make adjustments.
Temperature is controlled externally with an analog dial and can be monitored by the temperature gauge mounted on the door.
Char-Broil Analog Specifications:
Top Choice for Home Use: Char-Broil Deluxe Digital
If you’re looking for appliance to use right at home with your family, the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital gives you everything you need to get smoking today.
With an insulated glass door that allows you to easily see what you’re cooking, the Char-Broil Deluxe is loaded with features to help you make the most of your time and food. Temperature inside the unit is easily controlled with a digital control module and meat temperatures can be monitored too with the integrated meat thermometer.
It has over 700 cubic inches of cooking space and four adjustable racks. Double wall insulation keeps heat inside and consistent.
A box for wood chips is also included along with a catch tray for grease.
Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Specifications:
Top Choice for Commercial Use: Bradley BTDS108P Digital 6-Rack
If your cooking needs extend beyond the average family gathering, you may need one made for more serious or commercial use.
The Bradley BTDS108P Digital 6-Rack is a large, heavy duty model made to cook for a crowd. With six racks and nearly 800 square inches of cooking space this appliance can slowly cook meats and other foods for up to eight hours.
This Bradley has fully digital controls, allowing cooks to adjust temperatures up to 280 degrees. Double wall insulation helps keep temperatures consistent.
It also features a system that feeds wood bisquettes into the smoker at set intervals. This provides for consistent smoke production throughout the cooking process. While other units allow the use of wood chips, The Bradley’s consistent feed of wood to the smoker really helps create an authentically smoked flavor.
Bradley Digital 6-Rack Specifications:
Top Portable Choice: Bradley BTDS108P Digital 6-Rack
If you want to take your appliance on the go, you need something compact and easy to maneuver.
While most units don’t exactly scream portable, the Smokin-It Model #1 is a surprisingly portable model. With a compact shape and the addition of heavy duty caster wheels, it can be moved quite easily.
The Smokin-It Model #1 is made completely of 18-gauge 201 stainless steel, making it a surprisingly tough little unit. The included three-inch rubber caster wheels make it easy to move.
The 400-watt heating element allows for temperatures ranging from 100 to 250 degrees. Three removable, stainless steel cooking racks provide flexibility and plenty of space for most meals.
Smokin-It Model #1 Specifications:
Top Choice by Brands
Masterbuilt has been making smokers and outdoor cooking equipment for over 40 years. They’re a family company based in the US.
While Masterbuilt makes a number of other outdoor cookers, they’re known for their smokers. From propane, to charcoal, to electric Masterbuilt makes all styles of this appliance.
One of their top choices is the Masterbuilt 20077615 Digital. It is one of the top choices out there for shoppers looking for digital model.
With an 800-watt heating element and over 700 square inches of cooking space, it can handle even the largest of gatherings. This Masterbuilt can monitor the internal temperature of meat and can even be controlled remotely with the included controller.
Food can also be monitored through the insulated glass door.
Though it’s not the most inexpensive unit, you get what you pay for with this Masterbuilt model.
Bradley Smoker is an innovative manufacturer focusing solely on cheap electric smokers. These appliances make use of an innovative design that feeds small discs of wood into a smoke generator, automatically producing a consistent aromatic smoke.
One of Bradley’s most popular products is their Digital 4-Rack. This unit gives cooks plenty of room to cook with four removable cooking grates.
Temperatures can be regulated from 100 to 280 degrees with a digital control panel. The interior temperature of meat can also be monitored with the included thermostat.
The interior of this Bradley is 100% stainless steel and completely insulated for optimal heat regulation. Users can also operate this unique model as an oven with the built-in oven burner.
Though Bradley Smoker’s do cost a bit more, their wood feeding, and smoke production system is truly unique among electric smokers.
Char-Broil has been making grills and smokers for over 60 years. From charcoal grills, to electric and more, Char-Broil makes just about everything you could want for grilling and smoking.
One of Char-Broils top model is the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital. It packs a lot of features into a relatively inexpensive package.
This fully insulated smoker gives cooks a glass door to view their work through and an integrated meat thermometer to monitor progress and get the meat out of the appliance at the right time.
Inside, you’ll find four removable cooking grates and over 700 square inches of space. A box for wood chips is also included, making it easy to infuse real smoke into your cooking.
Smoke Hollow 30162E 30-Inch
As the name implies, Smoke Hollow is a maker of smokers of all kinds. Not limiting themselves to the electric smoker market, they also makes charcoal and gas units.
One if their models is the Smoke Hollow 30162E 30-Inch. This unit, while still relatively compact, can handle all but the largest of gatherings.
With an interior height of 30 inches, it includes three removable cooking grates. Temperature is controlled by an external knob and can be monitored with the built-in thermostat. Solid steel construction ensures that this unit will last for years to come.
A wood chip box and water pan are also included. Plus, a drip pan is located below the unit.
For the price, it’s hard to go wrong with this dead simple electric smoker.
Top Choice by Price
It all comes down to price.
Budget is often the most important concern when it comes to making a purchase.
Here’s a look at the top choice for every budget.
Under $100: Masterbuilt Portable
For under $100, it’s hard to go wrong with the Masterbuilt Portable.
At just 24 inches wide and tall, this is one of the smallest smokers you’ll find. The legs even fold up for easy transport.
For those on a budget, or who just want something simple, the Masterbuilt Portable provides a great compact option.
Under $200: Masterbuilt 20071117 30″
A perennial best-seller at the sub $200 mark is the Masterbuilt 20071117 30″ Digital. And it’s easy to see why.
Masterbuilt brings digital controls to this unit, allowing cooks to quickly adjust cooking temperatures. A fully insulated interior with four cooking racks makes it easy to cook for a crowd at a consistent temperature.
Under $300: Masterbuilt 20072115 Bluetooth Smart
For those with a budget under $300, a Masterbuilt model is again one of the top choices.
The Masterbuilt 20072115 Bluetooth Smart Digital gives cooks the power of a digital model plus Bluetooth connectivity so you can control your appliance right from your smartphone.
And with an 800-watt heating element and 700 plus square inches of cooking space, there’s plenty of power and space for your next cookout.
Under $500: Bradley BTDS108P Digital 6-Rack
If you want to keep your appliance purchase under $500, it’s hard to go wrong with the Bradley BTDS108P Digital 6-Rack.
It is built to last with double wall, stainless steel construction and a unique wood feeding system that provides a consistent stream of smoke to your food.
Check out the Best Electric Smoker Under $1000 here.
Our Top Choice
Picking just one is never easy.
And in a market with so many great choices, it can be even more difficult to narrow your decision down to a single product.
But, if you want a solid performer packed with great features, it’s hard to go wrong with the Masterbuilt 20078715 Digital. It gives you digital controls and plenty of cooking space. Plus, an easy to use wood chip feeding system and an integrated meat thermometer.
If you want to keep it simple Masterbuilt’s Portable is also a great choice for a smaller, inexpensive unit.
For those looking for something truly innovative, Bradley’s products are worth a look.