A smoker is a healthy and safe cooking product that avoids using oil, using wood and steam together to smoke your food. There are a variety of sources of heat for a smoker, like charcoal and hardwood, gas which uses propane or natural gas and electric. Each one produces different results and some may prefer one fuel source against another but the popular one for the modern home is the best electric smoker. You don’t need to keep looking around for bags of wood or gas bottles, no more lighting up coals waiting for them to catch, refilling when it gets low, you have complete freedom with the electric smoker.
The electric smoker is much safer than the other popular home smoker that gets plumbed into the gas or uses gas bottles. There are no risks of explosion or high winds blowing it out. They are safe enough to need little or no attention once the food has been prepared. Remember that all smokers are to be used outside, not indoors; they become your barbecue smoker and you become the gourmet.
Barbeque is a cuisine that is unique to the American South. The origins of barbeque stemmed from low-income citizens only being able to afford the toughest cuts of pork and beef. These ingenious peoples discovered that slow cooking the meat would tenderize it and fall off the bone. Smokehouses and portable smokers used scented woods, such as hickory, maple or apple, to cook the meat a low temperatures.
The phrase “low and slow” is derived from the usage of smokers at temperatures under 200 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours. The problem with smokers is unless you have a decently sized outdoor area, the smoke that permeates from cooking can offend neighbors and passersby. This is why portable smokers are not often seen in densely populated urban areas. However, the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker helps solve many of these issues and can be used on a small outdoor area without causing complaints.
You have a lot of control and the ability to just ‘set it and forget it’ with the electric smoker that isn’t available with other fuel sources. This kind of BBQ smoker is ideal for the busy professional or family that is time and health focused, you don’t have to keep checking it every five minutes. You can prepare the food, set it up, leave it and come home hours later, the food ready and smoked to succulent perfection.
You have an interesting variety of wood flavor sources too to experiment with. The flavors that are popular are hickory, mesquite, alder, apple, cherry, maple, oak and pecan. This gives you complete freedom to smoke cook your choice of juicy slabs of ribs, delicious shoulders, moist whole briskets, succulent spare ribs, tender baby back, big roasts of chicken, turkey breast, beef, pork loin, sausages, fish like smoked salmon, oysters, vegetables, peppers and even cheese.
Top 5 Best Electric Smoker Reviews and Buying Guide 2018
Being fanatical about smoked food we have researched the best electric smokers that are on the market at this moment in time. We come up with a list of the five we think are the best and tell you why.
1. Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse Smoker With Window
It seems Masterbuilt have thought of everything with this smoker, everything is under control – but how does it look after the smoke has cleared? The Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse Smoker with Window has a cabinet design with a window on the front for seeing how the food is doing during the smoking. Is this ideal for the party? Imagine the window of this Masterbuilt Electric Smoker tantalizing your guests with the juicy ribs or brisket and succulent party food smoking away. Inviting you to open the door and serve at the perfect time.
This is the top electric smoker, big enough to hold a party, programmable enough to set it and forget it, with a huge window on the front to see your food smoking without having to open the door. This will definitely be a major point of discussion when you entertain.On top of this there is a remote to keep on top of the barbecue smoker outside without missing the game on TV, it’ll tell you the time left to cook, the temperature of the meat and leave you in complete control. All this with a good brand, solid cabinet and much more, it has earned its top place in our picks – it is the best electric smoker.
Read the review: Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse Smoker with Window
2. Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker
If you want complete power over everything, then this electric smoker will go some way to fulfilling it. It lets you control the actual time that the food is smoked for as well as the usual time and temperature offered by the other smokers. It has the highest temperature too, which means you can use this smoker for more conventional cooking before programming the smoking to go on. This is another quality offering by a well-known brand.
The 3.5 star Amazon-rated Bradley Digital Smoker is an electric smoker with 4 racks. The temperature is controlled up to 320 degrees Fahrenheit and can cook food up to 8 hours at a time. The multiple racks allow the user to smoke different meats at the same time.This is similar to the Masterbuilt in just about every way except it requires to be hooked up to a generator that is separate from the actual smoker.
Read the review: Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker
3. Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Electric Smoker
This BBQ smoker is easy to use, easy to clean and maintain, energy efficient, big, programmable, great for both novice and expert, to name just a few of its qualifying features. It comes at a really reasonable price too, for the budget conscious. This one is much like our number one position electric smoker but without the window and remote control, but has all the other important features. Both these BBQ smokers have a good named brand behind them too.
This Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Electric Smoker might be the perfect one for setting up a range of tasty food at the beginning of the day, setting it up, going to work, coming back and it is done ready and waiting for you when you get back hungry. Maybe you get confident with this kind of cooking and organize a get together straight after work, knowing that your delicious snacks will become the talk of the company.
Read the review: Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Electric Smoker
4. Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker
This electric smoker just does its job and that’s it, no frills and automation, just smokes your food with the quality you would expect. It is the most compact of the smokers in our picks but still a good size for a family. Add to that this is one of the cheaper and best electric smoker on the market and you can see that you get really good value with it.
The 5 star Smokin-It Electric Smoker can cook up to 22 pounds of meat in a single load and is constructed of stainless steel with fiberglass insulation. This makes cleaning easy but also means that the smoker will get quite warm while in use, even with the fiberglass keeping the heat in.
The maximum temperature is 250 degrees Fahrenheit and with adjustable and removable shelving, this can accommodate any cut of meat within reason.
5. Cookshack Smokette Elite Electric BBQ Smoker
If you really want quality and willing to pay for it then this is made by the same company that is well regarded for its commercial smokers in places like restaurants. You get the top quality in everything and it shows in the specifications for this electric smoker. On top of all that it is also backed up by Cookshacks confidence by having a two year warranty on it. That’s a lot of parties with a lot of peace of mind.
This Cookshack Smokette Elite SM025 comes in a stainless steel cabinet design that seems to pack a lot of power inside. Is this the quality offering you are looking for in the home, one that comes with a brand and reputation that is instantly known in the industry?
Read the review: Cookshack Smokette Elite BBQ Smoker
Electric Smoker Buying Guide – Features To Look For
- Thermostat vs. rheostat – The cheaper electric smokers usually feature a rheostat that reduces the electricity flow towards the coil without turning it off. Those with a thermostat are better, both when it comes to electricity consumption and to the smoking results, considering that they heat the coil and smoke the wood better.
- Energy consumption – Of course, if you live in a rented apartment and electricity is included in your lease, you won’t care about this, but since a reliable guide does not take into account special situations, we thought it necessary to point out that some smokers consume half the electricity required by others, which can have a major influence on the electricity bill – not to mention that smokers with high electricity consumption may overload the circuits and make the premises prone to fire hazard.
- Sealing – It may seem too insignificant to discuss this in our buying guide, but it is very important when it comes to smoking cheese, vegetables, fish, chicken or beef and, basically every type of meat where moisture retention is crucial.
- Smoking drawer capacity and structure – You know better than anyone if it takes a huge drawer to satisfy your family’s needs or just a small one for your bachelor meals. As far as the materials are concerned, stainless steel might be a great choice because it is easy to clean.
- Extension cords – They are not exactly the first thing you consider when you go out shopping, but we believe they are worth mentioning and are even twice as essential selection criteria in our electric smoker buying guide. If you consider the distance from the place you had in mind for the smoker to the power supply, you will see that most extension cords are too short. The other characteristic to pay attention to is their capacity, because if they cannot carry the juice it takes to keep your smoker running and they heat up, they can easily turn into a fire hazard. It might be best to have one custom made, according to your needs.
- Warranty period and conditions – They are usually the same for most models, but any differences are worth considering, since they may later turn into considerable value on the repair bill.
- Design – Since it is going to animate your kitchen for a long time, it is important for your electric smoker to match the rest of the appliances in your kitchen and even allow some remodeling freedom.
- Price – Smokers are a long-term investment, and paying a little more when buying them might extend their life period with a couple of years, reduce the electricity bill or improve the smoking results.With that, we complete the set of eight criteria which this buying guide is based on.
There are several different things to consider when selecting a smoker. First is the amount of food that will be smoked at once. A small smoker is sufficient for a family of 4 whereas something resembling a 55 gallon oil drum is required when tailgating. This is in relation to the amount of space available for a smoker to be used. A small balcony/patio at an apartment building may just be large enough for a smoker on the small side.
In addition, an electric smoker versus a wood burning smoker should be considered, again, depending on the amount of space available. Finally, the construction of the smoker is important. The smoker’s design should mention how it is insulated to keep the heat inside the smoker. Typically, the smoker should have double walls and may include fiberglass or Styrofoam for additional heat retention and to prevent the heating element from working too hard to maintain the desired cooking temperature.
Being able to barbeque your own meat allows you to experiment with different cuts of meat, seasonings, wood chip combinations, and how lean you prefer your meat. Many cuts used for barbeque are fatty, especially brisket and pulled pork, but if you prefer a leaner cut, owning your own smoker allows you to choose for yourself.
In addition, the option between a wood burning and electric smoker depending on your living arraignments gives you the flexibility and option to barbeque your meat in a manner appropriate with your surroundings. Finally, hosting a barbeque with meat your painstaking prepared is a feeling of accomplishment and pride once your guests bite into your perfectly smoked ribs and gush at how moist and tender they are.
How To Buy The Best Electric Smoker
In our research we looked at what makes an electric smoker the best and even refined our ideas as we discovered more. Here we put together the factors you need to consider in buying the ideal BBQ smoker for you. There are many aesthetic reasons we left out to save you time reading through and only put here the most vital things to be aware of.
Are you a gourmet, an experienced smoker, or just someone who would love to join in and try out this healthy and tasty alternative to food cooking? Many of the electric smokers have a programming facility where you can set the temperature and time of the cooking. The fact you can set up everything in the beginning according to instructions created by the experts makes even the beginner quickly skilled in creating delicious smoked dishes. If you are new to this or you want complete freedom while cooking, then choose a smoker that is programmable with meat temperature sensors. More experienced or hands on cooks will not require any programming and the more functional smoker will suffice.
Capacity and Size
Are you cooking for yourself, your family, or even for a party at some time in the future? Think about whether you want a large or compact smoker, it would be a waste to have a massive smoker only to place a few items in each time. On the other hand maybe with your new found skills you might want to hold a party but be stuck with a compact smoker. In reality even the most compact electric smoker will hold a family sized portion of food and the larger ones in our list are energy efficient enough even when partly filled.The other factor to size of course is where you intend to place the smoker and where it will be stored when not used, if different. Consider the space you have and the dimensions of the smoker.
Budget and Quality
Fortunately all of the electric smokers in our list fulfill the need for quality and durability. However there is still a variation in having a quality brand name with great specifications against the popular and cheaper electric smoker, we include both ends of the scale in our list of the finest smokers. Sadly budget is a major factor for many, especially when they are beginners who have not yet experienced cooking like this and choosing the cheapest is the only option practical to them. We have left in the electric smoker reviews links to one of the most trusted sources on the web, Amazon, who do have deals at times even on the most expensive products, they are worth checking often.
Trusted Reviews of the Smoker
We looked at reviews around the web, on various sites and forums and reported back on the most trusted ones. It is so important to get a true impression of owners of products to help make your choice and to tell between a genuine review and sales copy. The stars rating and number of reviews at Amazon are a good indicator of how well a product is doing, but you do have to delve deep to get a real picture. We research and report the good and bad in our reviews of the best electric smokers, telling you only the most important facts.
Choosing The Best Electric Smoker
Before you select you the best electric smoker for BBQ, the following are important considerations that make an electric smoker an unbeatable choice:
Great Temperature Control
The thermostat prevents major temperature fluctuations.
Due to the stable temperature, you know exactly how long it takes for the meat to be ready and you can set the smokers to have it done just in time for your meals.
You just set the smoker and get back to it when the cycle is complete.Resource savings: only 2-4 ounces of wood is required to ensure the so much treasured smoky flavor and the energy consumption can fall under 1 kilowatt/2 hours.
As a result, electric smokers can be safely used throughout the winter.Flexibility: with the possibility to adjust temperature and set the timer, electric smokers can be used for any type of meat, fish and even cheese and peppers.
Assuming your choice is already made or will pose no difficulties, we have a tip you may find useful: since electric smokers don’t always deliver the pink appealing color we all love, you can lend yours a hand by enriching the wood box with one or two charcoal briquettes.
Barbeque has been around for centuries and many major grill manufacturers offer a wide-range of smokers. Bradley, Char-Broil and Smokin-It are no exceptions and each offer electric smokers similar to the Masterbuilt.
Hoping you have found our electric smoker buying guide helpful, we wish you happy smoking and bon appétit!