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 electric smokers 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 a smoker, keep reading for deep dive into how to pick the right electric unit and some of the best options available.
In A Rush? Here’s Our Top Choices:
Best Small Electric Smoker: Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load
The Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker is an impressive little performer with plenty of power, a simple and durable design, and an expensive price. If you’re looking for a simple starter smoker, the Little Chief is worth a look.
Best Digital Electric Smoker: Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker with Front Controller
For those looking for a solid feature set and digital controls, Masterbuilt’s 20078715 Electric Digital Smoker brings cooks a fully insulated design with plenty of room to cook.
Best Electric Smoker for Beginners: Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
With a dead-simple design and controls, this smoker has a fully insulated interior with over 500 square inches of cooking space. Simple analog controls make this Char-Broil smoker easy to use and maintain.
Best Portable Electric Smoker: Bradley BTDS108P Digital 6-Rack Smoker
If you want a truly unique machine that really automates the smoking process, look no further than the Bradley BTDS108P Digital 6-Rack Smoker. The smoker gives users a digital control panel plus an innovative wood chip feeding system.
How to Choose the Best Electric Smoker for Your Needs
If you’ve never owned an electric smoker, finding the right model can be half the battle.
There’s a lot to choose from. From price to features, smokers come in all shapes and sizes–whether you just want a basic, inexpensive model or really want to go all out.
icon-checkmark Who are Electric Smokers 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.
icon-checkmark 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.
icon-checkmark 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.
icon-checkmark 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.
icon-checkmark Your Budget
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.
icon-checkmark 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.
The Best Electric Smokers 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 electric smoker you can find, finding the right smoker for your needs is the most important part. Let’s take a closer look at the best electric smokers for every purpose.
Best Small Electric Smoker: Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load
If portability is your goal or space is at a premium, you’re in luck. There are still electric smokers small enough to meet your size and smoking requirements.
One the best choices out there for a small electric smoker is the Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker.
The Little Chief is just 24 inches tall and a little under 12 inches wide. That makes it one of the smallest electric smokers 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 smoker.
Smokehouse Products Little Chief Specifications:
icon-info Just 24 inches tall and 11.5 inches wide
icon-info Weighs only 12 pounds, so is highly portable
icon-info Four chrome plated grills slide easily in and out and are dishwasher safe
icon-info Includes pan for flavoring elements like woodchips
icon-info 250-watt heating element operates at a steady 165 degrees
Best Digital Electric Smoker: Masterbuilt 20078715 Electric Digital
If you’re looking for something with a little more processing power, a digital electric smoker provides cooks with a lot more features than the traditional smoker.
With a robust set of features and controls, the Masterbuilt 20078715 Electric Digital Smoker is one of the best choices out there for shoppers looking for digital smoker.
Available in 30 or 40-inch sizes, this Masterbuilt smoker 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 smoker also incorporates a side loading wood chip container, making it easy to refresh or add wood while smoking.
Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker Specifications:
icon-info Available in 30 or 40-inch sizes
icon-info Integrated digital control panel makes temperature adjustment and monitoring a snap
icon-info Lined interior helps keep temperatures even and consistent
icon-info Holds up to 80 pounds of meat
icon-info 800-watt heating element provides plenty of power
icon-info Four chrome cooking racks are durable and easy to clean
Best Insulated Electric Smoker: 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 smoker helps provide a controlled cooking area.
The Dyna-Glo DGU732BDE-D 30″ Digital Electric Smoker 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 smoker, 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 Electric Smoker Specifications:
icon-info 30 inches tall
icon-info Over 700 square inches of cooking space inside unit
icon-info Simple push button controls
icon-info Built in meat thermometer for accurate cooking
icon-info Side access panel for wood chip loading
Best Electric Smoker for Beginners: Char-Broil Analog
While digital electric smokers 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 electric smoker, the Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker 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 Electric Smoker Specifications:
icon-info 544 inches of cooking space
icon-info Simple, analog controls
icon-info Removable wood chip tray
icon-info Double wall, insulated construction
icon-info Dual exhaust ports for proper air flow
Best Electric Smoker for Home Use: Char-Broil Deluxe Digital
If you’re looking for the best electric smoker to use right at home with your family, the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker 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.
This smoker 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 Electric Smoker Specifications:
icon-info Large 725 cubic inch capacity
icon-info Insulated glass door for easy monitoring of food
icon-info Double wall insulation helps keep temperatures consistent
icon-info Removable wood chip and grease trays
icon-info Digital LED control panel makes monitoring food a snap
Best Electric Smoker for Commercial Use: Bradley BTDS108P Digital 6-Rack
If your cooking needs extend beyond the average family gathering, you may need a smoker made for more serious or commercial use.
The Bradley BTDS108P Digital 6-Rack Smoker is a large, heavy duty smoker made to cook for a crowd. With six racks and nearly 800 square inches of cooking space this electric smoker can slowly cook meats and other foods for up to eight hours.
This Bradley smoker has fully digital controls, allowing cooks to adjust temperatures up to 280 degrees. Double wall insulation helps keep temperatures consistent.
This smoker 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 Smoker Specifications:
icon-info Large 780 square inch capacity and six cooking racks
icon-info Unique wood supply method of consistent smoke
icon-info Fully insulated design
icon-info Simple to use digital control panel
icon-info Oven feature for other types of cooking
Best Portable Electric Smoker: Bradley BTDS108P Digital 6-Rack
If you want to take your smoker on the go, you need something compact and easy to maneuver.
While most electric smokers don’t exactly scream portable, the Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker is a surprisingly portable model. With a compact shape and the addition of heavy duty caster wheels, this smoker 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 the smoker 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 Electric Smoker Specifications:
icon-info Powerful 400-watt heating elements with adjustability from 100 to 250 degrees
icon-info Made completely of 18-gauge stainless steel
icon-info Included caster wheels make it easy to move
icon-info Holds up to 22 pounds of meat
icon-info Built in box for wood chips
Best Electric Smoker Brands
Masterbuilt 20077615 Digital Electric Smoker Reviews:
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 best known for their smokers. From propane, to charcoal, to electric Masterbuilt makes all styles of smokers.
One of their best electric smokers is the Masterbuilt 20077615 Digital Electric Smoker. This smoker is one of the best choices out there for shoppers looking for digital smoker.
With an 800-watt heating element and over 700 square inches of cooking space, this smoker 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 smoker.
Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker Reviews
Bradley Smoker is an innovative manufacturer focusing solely on electric smokers. These smokers 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 Smoker’s most popular products is their Digital 4-Rack Smoker. 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 Smoker is 100% stainless steel and completely insulated for optimal heat regulation. Users can also operate this unique smoker 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 Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker Reviews
Char-Broil has been making grills and smokers for over 60 years. From charcoal grills, to electric smokers and more, Char-Broil makes just about everything you could want for grilling and smoking.
One of Char-Broils best electric smokers is the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker. This smoker 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 smoker 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 Electric Smoker Reviews
As the name implies, Smoke Hollow is a maker of smokers of all kinds. Not limiting themselves to the electric smoker market, Smoke Hollow also makes charcoal and gas units.
One if their best electric smokers is the Smoke Hollow 30162E 30-Inch Electric Smoker. This unit, while still relatively compact, can handle all but the largest of gatherings.
With an interior height of 30 inches, this smoker 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.
The Best Electric Smokers for Every Budget
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 best electric smokers for every budget.
Under $100: Masterbuilt Portable Electric Smoker
For under $100, it’s hard to go wrong with the Masterbuilt Portable Electric Smoker.
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 Electric Smoker provides a great compact option.
Under $200: Masterbuilt 20071117 30″ Digital Electric Smoker
A perennial best seller at the sub $200 mark is the Masterbuilt 20071117 30″ Digital Electric Smoker. 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 $300L: Masterbuilt 20072115 Bluetooth Smart Digital Electric Smoker
For those with a budget under $300, a Masterbuilt smoker is again one of the best choices.
The Masterbuilt 20072115 Bluetooth Smart Digital Electric Smoker gives cooks the power of a digital electric smoker plus Bluetooth connectivity so you can control your smoker 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 Smoker
If you want to keep your smoker purchase under $500, it’s hard to go wrong with the Bradley BTDS108P Digital 6-Rack Smoker.
This Bradley Smoker 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.
The Best Electric Smoker for Your Money
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 Electric Digital Smoker. This smoker 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 Electric Smoker is also a great choice for a smaller, inexpensive unit.
For those looking for something truly innovative, Bradley Smoker’s products are worth a look.