With these best electric smoker reviews, we look at the top options available in 2021. Electric smokers bring ease, convenience, and affordability to the table. More often than not, they are easy to control and store heat pretty well.
As things stand, there are a lot of options available on the market. We look at the best to find one that fits the best.
Top Electric Smokers And Reviews
- Masterbuilt Electric Smoker MB20071117
- CUISINART COS-330 Electric Smoker
- Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
- Smokehouse Products Big Chief Electric Smoker
- Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker
- Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker 30162E
- Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker
- Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 990216 Digital Electric Smoker
- Char-Broil 19202101 Deluxe Black Digital Electric Smoker
- Masterbuilt MB20074719 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker
Masterbuilt Electric Smoker MB20071117
Masterbuilt Electric Smoker has been the darling of electric smoker picks since forever. There is a good reason for all that love. This smoker could very well be the gold standard of what to expect and want from an electric smoker.
One of the reasons for its popularity is its relative ease of use. It’s an excellent pick for beginners and the ease of use is quite attractive for experts too. After all, pitmasters don’t want to put in extra effort if they can get things done just fine when working with ease.
A fully insulated body makes sure that the smoker retains heat. The smoker has digital controls with a built-in thermostat to manage and maintain the temperature effectively. Masterbuilt MB20071117 has its highest temperature setting at 275°F. That’s good enough for most applications and will, in fact, cover pretty much all ranges required by a smoker.
Within its compact dimensions, you can use trays to make the most of the available space. And it does use that space wisely. There’s enough capacity in the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker MB20071117 to hold 2 Turkeys, 4 Pork Butts, 4 Racks of Ribs, 6 Chickens.
Careful smoking mechanisms are a necessary part of any electric smoker. There is no use for a system where users have to open the smoker to add wood chips. No such problem exists with the Masterbuilt. A wood chip loading system is placed on the side of the smoker. Simply pull out the tray and add the wood chips to your personal preference.
Masterbuilt says they hold a patent for their wood chip loading system. As another benefit, the use of this simple mechanism also makes it easy to change the type of wood chips you want to use. Cleaning is convenient too.
- Powerful, 800 Watt heating element.
- Easy loading mechanism for wood chips.
- The digital control panel is easy to use and manage.
- Insulated body helps maintain temperature and makes cooking more efficient.
- Excellent pricing and good value for money.
- There have been several instances of the unit’s paint peeling off.
- The smoke tray is small. For some uses, you might end up having to replace it every 30 minutes or so, which is very annoying when using a smoker.
CUISINART COS-330 Electric Smoker
Cuisinart is a very well-known name in the world of appliances and cooking gear. That stands true in the case of CUISINART COS-330 Electric Smoker as well. All things considered, this is an excellent budget electric smoker. Even with that category, the Cuisinart Cos-330 manages to offer a decent range of features.
This is an analog electric smoker. No digital controls here, but the overall process remains quite similar. Although, you will have to keep a closer look at the temperature needs. To that end, the unit includes a thermometer on its door. The easy-to-read thermometer makes it convenient to keep an eye on the smoker’s internal temperature.
Again, despite its budget pricing, the Cuisinart shows off quite an impressive build. It feels quite sturdy and dependable. The interiors are spacious enough to allow for a good volume of cooking and smoking. Plus, it’s set up in a way to use all that available space efficiently, so there’s good room for excellent usage of space.
Cuisinart COS-330 has three racks for smoking and a total of 548 square inches of cooking space. That’s generous to whatever you’d like to shove inside this smoker! Pair it all up with a 1500 Watt heating element and you know this smoker means business.
Thanks to the powerful heating element, you could take the temperature anywhere from 100°F to 400°F. You can set the exact temperature using a dial, though expect some variations over the set temperature.
CUISINART COS-330 Electric Smoker has only a single door. So, every time you have to change the wood chips, you’ll have to open the main door and watch the smoke flow out. Although this isn’t that big a problem since the smoker doesn’t require changing wood chips often.
- Excellent budget-priced electric smoker.
- Good build quality and sturdy construction.
- Easy to assemble.
- Has a powerful, 1500 Watt heating element.
- Good warranty compared to most other smokers (3-year limited warranty).
- The temperature controls are a bit finicky and somewhat problematic.
- It has only one door, so the main door must be opened any time you want to change or manage wood chips.
Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
Though thoroughly modern with interesting features, Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker has something of that old-world rustic look. I almost expect this electric smoker to declare “I’m too old for this s***” at any random time. But electric smokers don’t speak, they smoke. And this one does its job with dedication.
Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker has 544 Square inches of cooking space. Now that’s plenty of room to do a lot of things and smoke a lot of good food. The chrome-plated cooking grates are relatively easy to clean and manage.
Char Broil’s dual exhaust ports make handling it easier. Plus, there’s the double-walled construction that makes it relatively easy for this smoker to maintain its temperature. A thermometer on the door makes it easy to read the temperature. It isn’t very accurate, but it does the job.
Dual latches on the front door keep it shut quite well. With the double-wall construction and the dual latches, you’d think that they take the desire to keep the smoke inside the smoker seriously. Somehow, they decided that the water tray and the wood chip tray should be accessible by opening the front door.
Thankfully, there’s a 1200 Watt heating element that helps speed things up. You’d still have to open the front door and change chips occasionally. I’m no fan of the process, but still, it isn’t exactly a fatal flaw. It is pretty good at its job and handles the smoking necessities quite effectively.
- Budget electric smoker that offers excellent value for money.
- Has dual exhaust ports for good airflow.
- Dual door latches and double-wall construction mean that the smoke and heat are kept well contained inside the smoker.
- Solid and sturdy construction.
- Side handles make it easy to move and relocate.
- The unit includes basic necessities like grease cup, latches, water pan, temperature gauze, double-wall construction.
- Has a fairly powerful 1200 Watt heating element.
- It has a small wood chip box, which can only be accessed by opening the front door. That means you’d be opening the door every hour or so.
- The accuracy of the thermometer is somewhat questionable.
- Although the unit is double-walled, its budget construction means there are constraints on its efficiency. It may not work as well in colder climates.
Smokehouse Products Big Chief Electric Smoker
A basic, no-frills smoker, Smokehouse Big Chief Electric Smoker has been a popular choice for decades now. Theoretically, you could use the ample space inside the unit to smoke 50 pounds of meat or fish. Practically, it’s best suited for smoking fish.
There is no customizable temperature setting here. Once you switch it on, its 450-Watt element takes things to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. So yeah, you could use that temperature for a lot of things, but usually (and for best results), those things should be fish.
As we know, Smokehouse has a long history of making these products, and they’ve managed to use that time to improve the smoker. It’s just convenient and simple to use one of these.
The consistent, simple temperature setting means you don’t have to worry about overheating or overcooking. Its engineered “premium” ventilation too adds a good recommendation to this smoker.
Big Chief, though convenient and dependable, isn’t built to be rugged. You might even find the construction to be flimsy. But all of that is besides the point. The smoker isn’t built to be tough or insulated. It’s rather single-minded in its application.
And if you understand that point, this electric smoker is a dependable unit that will last years. And if this one’s too big for your requirements, Smokehouse also offers another variant, the Little Chief that should be just the right fit.
While this is a front-loader, Smokehouse Big Chief has thought well on its wood chip management. The chips are accessible through a separate door, so there’s no need to open the entire unit (and front door) to change chips. A top-load version of the Big Chief is available as well.
- An excellent price point ensures value for money.
- The unit has no trouble maintaining a consistent temperature.
- Though this is a no-frills smoker, it is fairly well made and can last several years.
- Lightweight and simple machine is easy to move and has ample cooking space.
- Good management for exhaust and airflow.
- Very basic construction that can feel flimsy at points, even though it has proven quality credentials.
- No temperature settings, so it is limited to very specific uses and requirements.
Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker
Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker is very interested in getting things moving the right way. It puts a premium on function, so its rather unassuming form includes all the frills and necessities one could want from a smoker.
Its heating element is a reliable 800 Watt unit. Now that may seem lower than some of the other entries on the list – especially when they’re priced lower – but there’s a good reason for it.
This smoker isn’t solely focused on power, it’s more about getting things right. Given its careful construction and design, even the 800 Watt element will feel more than satisfactory for its role. Smokin-It Model #2 isn’t just about being quick with the smoke. This is designed as a resilient, heavy-duty smoker that will last a long time.
Completely made out of stainless steel and built almost like a tank. This is a heavy-duty smoker that’s designed to last for a really long time. Smokin-It is targeted for commercial use and its element is NSF Certified for Restaurant use.
As a commercial-grade smoker, this has quality and prolonged use built into its form factor. This smoker is a good choice for commercial use. It’s an elegant choice for home use too, provided you love smoking food enough to justify this purchase.
The available interior space is large enough to smoke 35 pounds of food. The included rheostat temperature control enables managing the temperature from 100F to 250F degrees with relative ease and accuracy.
While it has wheels and clamps that make it easy to move around, remember that this unit weighs 114 pounds, so it’s not exactly a light one. If you do plan to move it, also consider the weight of the food/meat in the smoker.
- Excellent, commercial-grade construction that’s made to last.
- The 800 Watt heating element is NSF-certified for restaurant use.
- Made from high-quality 201 stainless steel.
- Easy to manage external drip pan.
- Double-wall construction for excellent insulation and efficiency.
- The front door of the smoker must be opened to add/manage wood chips.
- Smokin-It suggests using a smaller amount of wood placed in the box to avoid overly thick smoke. While this isn’t exactly a negative, it may require a learning curve for this product.
- Slightly more expensive than several competing electric smokers.
Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker 30162E
Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker 30162E fits in its pricing at somewhere close to the upper end of the “budget” range. It’s less expensive than the Smokin-It Model #2, which is a heavy-duty electric smoker. Yet, it is more expensive compared to several other options, like the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker MB20071117.
Overall, it’s placed in a range where you wonder if you should put in a few more dollars and get a better unit, or save some and get a smoker that’s squarely in the budget range. And well, not to miss it, but this is a pretty good smoker in its own right as well.
Its build tries to look like something reliable and dependable. Yet, there is the unmistakable air of the 30162E being a budget smoker. A thermometer on the door lets you know the temperature inside the smoker. It’s not something state-of-the-art but it is acceptable. Inside, the smoker is spacious enough and has plenty of room to place meats and food.
The heating element on this smoker is fairly good. It gets to work quickly, has a good life, and allows easy replacement when necessary. Although, it can make things go beyond the desired temperature very quickly too. Smoke Hollow 30162E isn’t an electric smoker you can set and go. Users will find it necessary to check the temperature ever so often.
Three temperature settings are available for the element. While it is quick to respond, it is important to keep an eye on the temperature nevertheless. The magnetic door-latching system works well. Smoke Hollow has included some insulation on the door and it’s fairly average in quality.
Oh, and just in case you’re wondering why the smoker wears the “Masterbuilt” name, it’s because Smoke Hollow was acquired by Masterbuilt in 2017.
- Incredibly easy to assemble and put together. Perhaps the best electric smoker for ease of assembly.
- Easy to move and carry around thanks to well-placed side holders.
- Relatively good price point.
- The wood chip box is vented and built in a way that makes it easier to add wood.
- Adjustable temperature controls.
- The temperature controls aren’t exactly dependable. Users should keep an eye on the smoker’s temperature irrespective of the set temperature.
- Changing/adding wood chips requires opening the front door.
- There is some undesired leakage of smoke. It might be necessary to take extra steps to manage it better.
Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker
Another popular offering from Masterbuilt, MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker (Masterbuilt-MES-35B) covers ground on budget and quality. Its build is simple and very typical of the budget electric smokers. That said, as budget analog smokers go, this one has all necessities included.
The greatest strength of this electric smoker is that it’s simple, effective, and comes with a very attractive price tag. A 1500 Watt heating element puts the MB20070210 on the fast path of heating (and smoking) wood chips.
Temperature management is easy to handle. Simply rotate the included dial to set the temperature, and you’re done. You get plenty of temperature settings and can find that sweet spot that is just right for your taste. However, there are no temperature markings on the dial. It will need some guesswork before you hit the desired temperature setting.
There’s a thermometer on the front panel to show the internal temperature of the smoker. As with most budget smokers, this thermometer isn’t terribly accurate, but it does the job and provides a fairly good idea of the temperature.
Interiors of the Masterbuilt Analog Electric Smoker MB20070210 have three cooking grates that provide an area of 536 square inches. That’s plenty of space to cook your favorites. The included wood chip tray slides out, so there’s no need to open the smoker. It also makes cleaning and disposing of ashes easier.
The included water tray is easily removable too, which bodes well for cleaning and refilling. Small touches like this make this an easy to manage unit, which is quite a welcome aspect of the Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker.
- Very attractive budget pricing.
- Removable and easy to access wood chip pan and water tray make it easy to handle.
- Convenient to assemble.
- Runs on a powerful, 1500 Watt heating element.
- The analog smoker has convenient temperature management using the included dial.
- It has a basic construction that makes its longevity questionable.
- The analog dial doesn’t show the temperature in degrees, so it takes guesswork to get the desired temperature.
Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 990216 Digital Electric Smoker
As set and forget smokers go, Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 990216 Digital Electric Smoker is an excellent pick. Pack up the wood smoking bisquettes in the feeder, set the temperature, and leave the smoker to its machinations. Things don’t get simpler than this!
The construction is interesting too. The interiors are made from polished stainless steel and the exterior is made from powder epoxy steel. It’s a four-rack smoker with plenty of room for whatever you’d wish to cook. Well, there is a limitation on what you can smoke in here. This is a cold smoker with the maximum temperature at 320 degrees F.
Additionally, this is best suited for warmer climates. Sure, there is some insulation on the smoker, but it doesn’t hold up well when temperatures drop. Besides, the heating element is at 500 Watts, so there is a definite limit to the temperature.
Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 990216 Digital Electric Smoker doesn’t use conventional wood chips. Instead, you’ll have to buy Smoker Bisquettes in your preferred flavor. These are part of Bradley’s CleanSmoke Technology. Here, the bisquettes are automatically put out before they turn to ash. The conveyor system then places the next bisquette for smoking.
According to the company, burning the wood to ash releases “bitter, foul, acidic toxins”. So, the automatic system keeps the bisquettes moving and removes them before they turn to ash. At this point, it is worth noting that buying this smoker means you’ll have to buy specific bisquettes as well.
Another thing is that the control system is placed right at the base of the smoker. Seeing/reading the control panel or changing settings is inconvenient. Perhaps not a deal-breaker, but it is an inconvenience to consider.
- Well-built electric smoker made from quality materials.
- Set and forget smoker doesn’t require constant attention from the user.
- Simple to manage and easy to use.
- Once the feeder is fully set with bisquettes, it can work for up to 9 hours without intervention.
- Full digital control over temperature (maximum at 320°F).
- Doesn’t generate ash, so there is less cleaning to do.
- Users need to buy Bradley Bisquettes compatible with this electric smoker. They are more expensive than conventional wood chips and might not last as long.
- Not suited for colder climates.
Char-Broil 19202101 Deluxe Black Digital Electric Smoker
If you need to cook a larger amount or volume, Char-Broil 19202101 Deluxe Black Digital Electric Smoker is worth a look. There’s 725 square inches of available cooking space, so you can get cooking for a party! Plus, it offers some digital convenience, so there’s more freedom to do what you want and to get fine-tuning on the controls.
Char-Broil has placed the control panel and digital display right at the top of the smoker. So they’re relatively easy to access and manage. A removable temperature gauge makes it easy to monitor the cooking heat. You can as easily make simple adjustments based on that information by using the control panel.
Need more convenience? Well, this unit can be operated via remote control. You could pretty much use this smoker while lazing around or enjoying a party. However, the remote isn’t included with this smoker and will have to be purchased separately.
Char-Broil 19202101 Deluxe Black Digital Electric Smoker has an insulated double-wall construction to better retain the heat. It also features a glass panel on the front so you can keep an eye on the food being cooked/smoked. These little conveniences have a way of making things a lot easier! Another such convenience is the slide-in water tray, which is easy to manage and refill.
The wood chip box has a four-cup capacity. Char-Broil claims the large capacity wood chip box, coupled with the efficiency of the smoker can last for seven hours. That’s an interesting claim, but slightly over the top. Assuming a 4-5 hour time is a better estimate.
In the same spirit, the unit also has a high-capacity grease tray (8.5 cups). Unfortunately, the grease often loses its way to the tray. Much of it finds its way to the water tray instead.
- Well-placed controls make this digital smoker easy to manage.
- Includes removable food thermometer/probe.
- Can be managed via remote control, but it has to be purchased separately.
- Has four adjustable and removable racks.
- The smoker is easy to clean.
- Double-walled construction allows better insulation for the smoker.
- The grease doesn’t get to the grease tray easily, so cleanup and grease management could be a problem.
- Doesn’t work that well with low-temperature smoking.
Masterbuilt MB20074719 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker
When going digital with the electric smoker, might as well take an extra step and get some more convenience. Masterbuilt MB20074719 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker connects to a smart device (smartphone) via Bluetooth and makes all necessary functions available on the phone app.
You can use the app to power the smoker on/off, manage temperature, and operate the light. The same controls are also available on the control panel of this electric smoker. While I like the app, perhaps Bluetooth is not the smartest choice for connectivity.
Bluetooth limits the range to a few meters. While there is a definite convenience to Bluetooth controls, perhaps choosing WiFi would be a better option and offer a wider range. Unfortunately, that’s not available with this smoker. Other than that little issue, Masterbuilt MB20074719 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker performs admirably well.
This is a large smoker and its four removable cooking trays offer a generous cooking area. The smoker is made from stainless steel and has a glass window at the front so that you can observe the smoking process. It’s double-walled insulated for better temperature management and efficiency.
Masterbuilt Bluetooth Digital Smoker has the company’s patented side wood chip loading system. This makes it possible to add wood chips without having to open the smoker’s door. An interior light comes on when the door is open and adds a touch of convenience, especially when you’re using it in the evenings or any low-light setting.
The temperature management is convenient and dependable, though the control itself leaves something to be desired. Masterbuilt has made the control panel convenient and easy to use too. However, the screen isn’t very bright and isn’t clearly visible in the sun. That’s a big drawback considering the smoker has to operate outdoors.
- Well-built smoker with good quality construction.
- Double-walled for better insulation and efficiency.
- Bluetooth connectivity makes it possible to control and monitor meat temperature with some convenience.
- Masterbuilt’s side wood chip loading system is a convenient way to add wood chips without having to open the smoker’s door.
- Includes a meat probe thermometer.
- Since connectivity is Bluetooth only, you can operate the smoker via phone app within a few meters only.
- The Masterbuilt app has some bugs and can be unreliable.
- The smoker takes some effort to clean.
Things To Know When You Buy An Electric Smoker
Small Electric Smoker Or Large? Take A Deeper Look At The Space And Capacity
Many smokers offer 3-4 racks and boast large cooking areas. While they are right theoretically, the practical aspect needs to be front and center for the consumer. All of the cooking racks and cooking areas are no good if you can’t put your favorite meat on the racks. This is a problem with small electric smokers and 30-inch smokers in general.
The width of the smoker should be large enough to handle the meat you want to place inside it. While workarounds exist in the form of folding and cutting, it isn’t a wise choice to rely solely on workarounds. Want smoked ribs? Make sure the smoker is wide enough to hold them!
Design And Durability
Consider the design of the smoker to go beyond just its looks. It must encompass the functionality aspects of the smoker. Consider the power of the element and its durability. Ideally, it should also be easy to replace the element when necessary. This is also an excellent point for durability.
If the element isn’t easily available for replacement, or requires way too much effort, it might be a good idea to look at another smoker. Similarly, heating elements that are too slow to get to work (or for that matter, too fast) aren’t the most dependable choice.
The build quality of the smoker is an obvious point here. It should be strong and have a reliable construction. After all, we expect a smoker to last years. Yes, that includes the budget options as well.
The wood chip loading mechanism is important too. A lot of smokers will require you to open the smoker’s door to change or refill wood chips. This is a straightforward system, but it affects the temperature and smoke in the unit. Some smokers make it possible to change wood chips without opening the door, which is a useful option.
In the same vein, the amount of wood chips that go into the smoker should be considered too. It is going to take hours to smoke the meat. Having to check the smoker and wood chips every 30 minutes or so isn’t really an attractive option.
Remember that electric smokers are good only for smoking the food. If you’re interested in BBQ and grilling as well, you’ll have to consider other options. Something like a smoker grill combo could be a good choice, though many pit masters prefer to get individual units for their requirements.
Additional Features And Controls
Most electric smokers feature controls to manage the temperature. Analog smokers have dials, while digital smokers accomplish this using buttons on the control panel. It’s a good idea to take a closer look at the kind of controls you prefer.
Many analog controls don’t explicitly show the temperature setting, so you’re either doing guesswork or setting a range. In a way, this is true for digital temperature controls too. They aren’t exactly precise and usually fall into a larger temperature range. Of course, this also depends on the quality of the smoker, because some have better temperature management than others.
Several modern smokers also offer additional technologies for controls like WiFi and Bluetooth. These make it possible to control the electric smoker through smart devices like your phone app or digital assistants like Amazon Alexa.
Portability, Vents, And Ease Of Use
You will have to move the smoker around, even if it’s just to place it at the right spot for smoking meat. These are heavy units, so portability is an important concern.
If it is an especially heavy unit, something with durable wheels to make movement possible is desirable. Others usually have clamps at the side that you can use to move the smokers. See if the clamps are sturdy and built in a way that makes lifting easier.
Some smokers have those recessed clamps/handles placed inside the body. They look sleek but can be a pain when moving the smoker. My preference is with the good, old-fashioned handles at the side of the smoker. They’re usually robust and more intuitive for portability.
Take a careful look at vents too. While we don’t want the smoker leaking smoke all over, we do want it to have well-designed vents that can work to manage the temperature and to maintain it as desired. Poorly crafted vents lead to a bad smoker.
What’s Good About Electric Smokers?
Convenience is a big draw for using electric smokers. While general convenience is a given feature for most electric smokers, many allow the convenience of “set and forget”. Set the smoker to your preferences and go about your day as the smoker does its job for several hours without requiring any supervision.
General temperature management through simple movement of dials is another worthy aspect here. You can easily preheat the smoker and manage it as per your preferences or requirements.
Can I Use An Indoor Electric Smoker?
Short answer, no. Electric smokers often don’t have any open fires or flames, which makes them somewhat safer as compared to other options. Electric smokers will often also need shade and proximity to outlets.
However, none of this means that you have an indoor electric smoker. They must be placed in open air. Placing them indoors, at the very least, brings the risk of smoke damage to your home. They are a serious health hazard and fire hazard when used indoors.
Irrespective of how clean the smoke is or how there isn’t much smoke, never use one of these indoors.
Seasoning The Smoker And Maintenance
For best results, don’t forget to season the smoker and maintain it regularly. Many users don’t bother seasoning the smoker and will get to cooking right away. There isn’t anything wrong with it, but seasoning definitely ups the flavor and taste from the smoker.
Similarly, general maintenance is necessary. Keep your smoker under a good, water-tight cover when it’s not in use. Clean the grates and the smoker after every use and wipe it down well.
So Which Is The Electric Smoker To Rule Them All?
As we see in our discussion here, there is no single best pick. However, given your specific requirements and needs, the best electric smoker reviews can make it easy to pick the smoker suited for you.
Our top recommendation for the best overall electric smoker is the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker MB20071117. For a commercial-grade, heavy-duty smoker, look at the Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker. You can let your choice of meat decide on the smoker. Something like the Smokehouse Products Big Chief Electric Smoker is very effective if all you want is to smoke fish.