The 10 Best Electric Smokers

Updated May 07, 2018 by Jeff Newburgh

10 Best Electric Smokers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. No longer solely the domain of Southern chefs or salmon fishermen, smoking has moved into all kinds of cuisine using every kind of food you can imagine. Our selection of convenient electric smokers includes something for everyone, from the backyard amateur, to the restaurant professional, and even the road traveler. We've rated them here by precision, durability, and overall value. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best electric smoker on Amazon.

10. Masterbuilt Portable

Whether you're planning a camping trip, tailgating party, or you just want to cook on the road, the Masterbuilt Portable is what you need. It has enough room to smoke a turkey or a rack of baby back ribs for the family. But it's a real pain to keep clean.
  • legs fold for easy storage
  • high medium and low settings
  • poor internal insulation
Brand Masterbuilt
Model 20073716
Weight 26.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Smokehouse Little Chief

Made in the USA, the Smokehouse Little Chief boasts an embossed aluminum construction with 4 easy-slide, chrome-plated smoking grills that support up to 25 pounds of meat or poultry. A 2-year warranty is provided against component and manufacturing defects.
  • vented design for proper dehydration
  • drip pan is dishwasher safe
  • wood chip cup is very small
Brand SmokeHouse
Model 9900-000-0000
Weight 15.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Smoke Hollow 30162E

The Smoke Hollow 30162E is a rather basic, but reliable, option with a magnetic door-latching system and a front-mounted, traditional-style thermometer dial to help you keep an eye on your cooking temperatures. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to put it together.
  • side handles make it easy to lift
  • very durable construction
  • no integrated wood injector
Brand Smoke Hollow
Model 30162E
Weight 47.7 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Bradley 4-Rack

The Bradley 4-Rack is equipped with independent smoke and oven burners, giving you a range of available options for preparing fish, meats, and poultry in both hot and cold conditions. Unfortunately, the door hinge doesn't hold up very well with extended use.
  • maximum temperature of 280 degrees
  • automatically feeds smoke bisquettes
  • thermostat isn't very accurate
Brand Bradley Smoker
Model BTDS76P
Weight 59.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Masterbuilt Smart Digital

Powered by its 1,200-watt heating element, the Masterbuilt Smart Digital produces even and consistent cooking results, regardless of food type. Its side wood chip loading system lets you add your fuel without the loss of smoke. However, the unit is quite heavy.
  • built-in meat thermometer
  • internal led makes food easy to see
  • bluetooth range is limited
Brand Masterbuilt
Model 20070115
Weight 89.3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Char-Broil Deluxe

The Char-Broil Deluxe delivers 725 square inches of internal cooking space across 4 removable racks. The large-capacity smoke box burns 4 cups of your favorite wood chips for up to 7 hours before you have to refill it. But the removable thermometer isn't very accurate.
  • attractive dual-tone exterior finish
  • porcelain-coated water pan
  • it's rather difficult to clean
Brand Char-Broil
Model 17402004-A1
Weight 60.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

4. Smokin-It Model #2

The Smokin-It Model #2 comes with four sturdy 3-inch diameter casters and integrated side handles, which make it easy to transport. The double-latching door system is designed to create a strong seal against its steel body, so as to minimize the loss of necessary heat.
  • no assembly required
  • nsf certified for commercial use
  • it's a bit on the pricey side
Brand Smokin-It
Model #2
Weight 96 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Smoke Hollow Smoke Tronix

Setting the Smoke Hollow Smoke Tronix apart from much of the competition is its integrated Bluetooth functionality that lets you control its operation from your smartphone. The unit's cold smoke setting makes it an ideal choice for preparing fish and cheeses.
  • large led display
  • wheels for easy mobility
  • 2 heating elements for even cooking
Brand Smoke Hollow
Model D4015RS
Weight 51.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Masterbuilt 40-Inch

Achieve professional-quality results at home using the Masterbuilt 40-Inch. Its front viewing window makes it easy to keep a close eye on your meals, while the included RF remote control can monitor your remaining cooking time and the internal temperature of your foods.
  • side wood chip loading system
  • 975 square inches of interior space
  • 4 smoking racks
Brand Masterbuilt
Model 20075315
Weight 73 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Bradley BS916

In addition to the convenience of real-time control from a variety of Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, the Bradley BS916 features integrated touchscreen operation that makes it easy to set the time, cooking temperature, and the amount of desired smoke.
  • color-coded temperature probes
  • comes with 4 adjustable feet
  • 2 separate heating elements
Brand Bradley Smoker
Model BS916
Weight 71.5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Choosing Your Perfect Electric Smoker

Traditional smoke cooking means dutifully adding just the right amount of this or that wood and keeping the coals at the perfect heat to ensure foods are cooked safely while remaining moist and flavorful. It's a hands-on process that many cooks find daunting; others are unwilling to even try it. Thanks to technology, gone are the days when great smoked meat meant hours spent tending a fire, not to mention years of experience. Modern electric smokers make the process of balancing heat, smoke, and timing almost effortless. And if you're willing to sacrifice a bit of the romantic charm (and a lot of the effort) that comes with a wood-fired smoker in favor of amazing, reliable flavor, then an electric smoker is a smart move.

Once you have committed to buying an electric smoker, there are two primary considerations. As with many products, these considerations are price and size. The more cash you spend, the more cooking capacity you will get. But in fact, many electric smokers are too large for some homes, so size can be as much of a liability as an asset.

There are excellent compact electric smokers that take up about three square feet of "real estate" and there are behemoths that measure well over two feet across and weigh in at nearly 100 pounds even before you add meat. Make sure you take into account where you will be putting your electric smoker, especially if you plan to move it around.

Most electric smokers use wood chip trays that are filled before the cooking session. Some units offer access to these trays during the smoking process without the need for opening the main door, and these are good options for the chef who plans for extra long smoking. If you want the benefits of a long smoke cooking session without the hassle of periodically adding fresh wood, then consider an electric smoker that can be programmed to automatically add wood. These digitally controlled options make the process of slowly smoking foods blissfully easy and essentially remove the potential for human error.

Why Electric Smokers Are The Right Choice

Anyone who has used an electric smoker will admit that they are superior to wood fired smokers in several ways.

Ease of use is arguably the largest benefit an electric smoker affords its user. Even the basic process of igniting charcoals and/or hardwood can be a chore, and once the fire is lit, heat maintenance becomes a constant struggle. It's imperative that you not let the coals burn out entirely, ending the smoking process, and that you not let the heat grow too intense, overcooking your meats.

And even with a steadily smoldering smoke box, the maintenance of temperature control is a delicate dance with a standard smoker. With an electric smoker, however, the process of ignition is as easy as the flip of a switch, and maintaining a desired heat level is as easy as pushing a button or turning a dial.

If you are interested in cold smoking foods -- a process that imparts smoky flavor but does not actually cook a meat, perfect for preparing foods to be cooked later or for adding taste to already cooked meats -- then an electric smoker allows you to easily establish and maintain those lower temperatures perfect for the task. You can reliably cold smoke foods at or below 120 degrees Fahrenheit in your electric smoker, adding smoky aroma and taste but not affecting proteins or fats.

A Few Words On Marinades

The hours spent smoking a piece of meat are the end of a process, not the entire process itself. Making great smoked meats starts with picking great quality cuts of brisket, pork, turkey, and more. But the next step isn't putting the meat in the smoker, it's marinating that meat for hours, if not overnight or longer.

The general rule of thumb is to allow a piece of meat to marinate for about two hours per inch of thickness. So if you have a slender, tender piece of fillet mignon or a few pounded chicken breasts, a two hour marinating session should be fine. For thick pork chops or a robust roast beef, you need to give the meat at least four hours to soak up the flavors. And for larger food items, such as whole turkeys or full racks of ribs, you should let the mean marinate all day or over night.

You can buy plenty of great marinades from the store, or you can make them yourself. If you do make your own marinade, plan to use it all in short order, as it does not tend to keep well. (The ingredients separate over time, and marinades made with fresh herbs and spices are subject to spoiling.)

For an amazing, easy steak marinade, combine a half cup of red wine vinegar, a half cup of red table wine, and a half cup of oil (vegetable, grape, or safflower oil all work well) with a tablespoon of park, a tablespoon of dried mustard powder, a tablespoon of garlic powder, and a tablespoon of salt. Whisk away and then soak your meat for hours.

A tasty and basic brine great for poultry consists of just three ingredients: salt, sugar, and water. Mix a quarter cup of salt and a quarter cup of sugar (brown sugar works best) with three to four cups of water. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved and then submerge the turkey or chicken in the mixture and let it rest overnight.

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Last updated on May 07, 2018 by Jeff Newburgh

A dedicated writer and communications professional spending his days lost in the intricacies of both proposal and freelance writing. When not sharing the knowledge of both fully and self-insured medical benefits to employer groups of all industries within California, Jeff Newburgh can be found at home spending time with his family and 3 dogs, pondering the next chew toy to be thrown, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.

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