Last Updated on June 6, 2020
Smoking meat allows you to retain all the flavorful juices inside and add a rich touch of smoke flavor at the same time. While you might think that the top models cost $700 or more, you can get one for a lower price.
Our top pick for those who want to spend $500 or less is the 40-Inch Digital Electric Smoker from Smoke Hollow.
Many shoppers like that this one has a bright red cabinet rather than the standard black cabinets that other feature. It also has a meat probe and other useful tools.
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Though you can settle for a standard smoker with a black cabinet and limited features, you can get this Smoke Hollow model for less than $500 and get access to more features than you ever expected.
Not only does this model have a full-length window built inside its door, but it also comes with an LED light inside. With one touch of a button, you can turn on that light and view all the food inside.
Many shoppers will find the modern look of this model appealing too. It features a bright red cabinet with metal accents around the edges and a black handle that fits comfortably in your hand. The drawers on the bottom feature the same design.
Those drawers allow you to add more wood chips when needed, and you’ll find a built-in water port on one side of the smoker. Smoke Hollow added its Smoke-Tronix technology to this model, which works with Bluetooth to let you control the smoker anywhere you go.
Also included is a built-in meat probe that you can slide inside any type of meat to watch its internal temperature. You can use this model for faster or hotter smoking and for cold smoking too.
Bradley Smoker has a strong reputation for the smokers it makes, which includes this Digital Smoker that comes with four racks.
Those racks feature thin pieces of metal that allow smoke to rise up and over your food without the food falling through the slats. Depending on how many racks you use, you’ll have room for seafood, sausages and even full chickens.
Though this model lacks the window that many others have, it features steel elements on the inside and out. The exterior uses a powder-coated steel that can withstand the highest of temperatures. As this model works with wood pellets, it comes with a sleeve that will both hold those pellets and automatically feed the wood into the hopper.
The top reason to invest in this model rather than a cheaper one is because of the controls located on the firebox. A digital screen shows you all the selections you made and take the guesswork out of picking a temperature.
Capable of reaching up to 320-degrees Fahrenheit, this model can produce a smooth and even amount of smoke for up to eight hours without requiring any adjustments on your part.
No matter what you want to smoke, you can use the 1100 Pro Series from Smokintex and save room on your patio. Designed for outdoor use, this model is much more compact than any of the others that we found.
You can set it up anywhere outside and still have room for all your party guests.
Made from stainless steel, this model features several layers of insulation inside that help regulate the temperature. It has a small pan inside that you can fill with water or any other liquid to keep your foods moist.
You will also find a chip pan that fits inside that allows you to use either chunks of wood or wood chips.
This model can really help you save money on smoking because it works with just an ordinary 70W light bulb. The three racks inside are perfect for ribs and vegetables, but you can remove one or more of those racks to smoke larger items.
Retailing for just $300, this Masterbuilt Bluetooth Smart Digital Smoker will help you stick to your budget as you smoke all the foods that your family loves.
Masterbuilt lets you turn any Bluetooth-enabled device into a remote control for this model, which allows you to turn on the timer or make any other adjustments when you’re not standing right beside it. You’ll also find bright digital controls and a digital screen on the top that are easy to see and use.
Though this model is only 30-inches-tall, it comes with four plated racks inside and 721-square-inches of space. You can use any combination of racks that you need based on your foods and what you want to smoke, and you can smoke dishes at up to 275-degrees Fahrenheit for hours at a time.
The manufacturer also added elements that allow you to add more water or chips while keeping the door firmly shut.
Another option from Smoke Hollow that is a little more affordable is this 40-inch digital smoker, which provides you with more than 1,000-square-inches of cooking space inside.
Smoke Hollow designed parts that sit on each interior side to hold the racks in place. Those metal parts keep the shelves from slipping and make it easier for you to slide them out as needed.
Unlike other models that use just one heating element, this one uses two elements that help the smoker come up to temperature faster and retain that heat. You can also use three different smoke options with this model, including a fast smoke and a hot smoke. The cold smoke option preserves foods and imparts a smoking flavor without using any heat.
As one of the largest models on the market, this smoker is quite heavy, but it features wheels along the bottom that make transport much easier. This model has an LED light and a meat probe inside.
It also features a fill port on one side and a chip drawer on the base. This lets you add all the water and wood chips that you need for smoking without ever opening the door.
After looking at a number of models, we picked the Smoke Hollow 40-inch digital model as the best electric smoker under $500.
Standing 40-inches tall, this model comes with a stand that increases its height to help you add and remove foods without bending or stooping. It also features a bold red cabinet that makes this smoker the instant focal point of your lawn or patio.
Capable of doing three different types of smoking, this model has a fast smoke and a hot smoke setting as well as a cold smoke setting for cooking without heat. The integrated meat probe and large viewing window make it easy to keep a watchful eye on your foods and the temperature of your meats.
Some of the other top features of this model include an LED light inside and digital controls that you can access via any Bluetooth device.