Best Electric Smokers Consumer Reports

8 Best Electric Smokers Consumer Reports of 2022 – Review

A wide variety of delicious meals, from ribs and brisket to smoked turkey and even cold-smoked salmon and cheese, can be prepared with the help of an electric smoker. BBQGuys Chef and Product Expert Tony Matassa argues that grillers shouldn’t be put off by the fact that electric smokers produce a more muted flavor than traditional smokers.

When compared to traditional smokers like charcoal, gas, and pellets, electric smokers “certainly hold their own,” as Matassa puts it. They heat up faster than most other techniques, require little maintenance, and are simple to set up and use. Most people won’t even notice the slight change in flavor between an electric smoker and a traditional one because the flavor is so delicate. But they make up for it by being reliable and as near to “set it and forget it” as we have in the kitchen right now.

With the help of tips and insights from experts like Matassa on electric smokers and our own investigation, we were able to narrow the field down to the top models available today.

Top 10 Electric Smokers Consumer Reports: Editor Recommended

The 8 Best Electric Smokers Consumer Reports Review:

1. Masterbuilt MB20070421 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker

Sale
30-inch Digital Electric Smoker
  • Temperature reaches up to 275˚F
  • Digital panel controls on/off, cooking temperature and time
  • 711 sq. in. of smoking space to feed the whole family
  • Four chrome-coated smoking racks
  • Thermostat-temperature control for even, consistent smoking

This Masterbuilt workhorse is deserving of first place for numerous reasons. It has a large capacity, an easy-to-use digital control panel, and a glass window that lets you see inside to gauge the cooking progress. With the straightforward digital control panel, even novice smokers would have a hard time botching the process of getting their tobacco smoked.

In order to maximize the smoky flavor and experiment with different amounts, the wood chips can be loaded through a side loader, which means that the front door does not need to be opened. This smoker provides plenty of room for a BBQ party with its four generous racks. The grill has enough space to cook four racks of ribs, seven birds, and a mountain of grilled vegetables. Also, smoking cheeses and nuts is a great way to give them a new, interesting flavor profile.

Pros:

  • Spacious interior
  • Heats up quickly
  • Side loader for wood chips

Cons:

  • Display hard to read in sunlight

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2. Cuisinart COS-330 Vertical Electric Smoker

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Vertical Electric Smoker
  • 548 SQUARE INCHES OF INTERIOR: The spacious 548 square inch interior means there...
  • THREE REMOVABLE SMOKING SHELVES: Three chrome plated steel racks can be easily...
  • BUILT-IN THERMOMETER: Features easy-to-read thermometer on the front door for...
  • 1500-WATT HEATING ELEMENT: Featuring a heating coil that provides the 1500-watt...
  • STAINLESS STEEL TRAYS HOLDS WOOD AND WATER: Stainless steel trays hold the wood...

This smoker has 548 square inches of smoking space, spread across three chrome-coated racks that are immune to rust and corrosion. You’ll get a wide range of options for gradual cooking or speedy roasting, since the temperature may be set anywhere from 100 to 400 degrees. A simple design allows for quick removal of the wood chip tray and water pan for cleaning.

The two side handles make it easy to transport this smoker to the ideal location in your backyard. First, set the temperature you want to cook at by rotating the dial, and then press the “Start” button. If you want to be sure your food is cooked properly, a front-mounted thermometer will enable you check the temperature with a quick glance.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Chrome-coated racks
  • Spacious interior

Cons:

  • No glass door
  • Poor grease pan design

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3. Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker

Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
  • 544 Square inches of cooking space spread across three chrome-plated cooking...
  • Double-wall insulated construction with dual exhaust ports.Wash cooking grate...
  • Door-mounted temperature gauge, and dual latches to keep door sealed shut
  • Front-access water tray, grease cup and wood chip tray
  • Measures 20.7 in W x 33.5 in H x 15 in D. 1, 000 watt electric element

Even while Char-Broil is well known for its gas and charcoal grills, its smokers are well worth investigating. Featuring 544 square inches of total cooking space, this model boasts three chrome-plated cooking grates. The smoke and heat are kept inside the insulated cook chamber, and additional options for opening and closing the door are provided by the twin door latches.

The exterior door features a temperature thermometer for simple temperature monitoring, and the smoker’s side handles make it simple to move from one location to another. When it’s time to replenish the wood or water, or to clean up afterward, you can simply open the front of the smoker and gain access to the aluminized steel water tray, grease cup, and wood chip tray.

Pros:

  • Lots of cooking space
  • Dual door latches and carry handles
  • Large-capacity wood chip box

Cons:

  • Trouble reaching high temperatures
  • Have to open door to add wood chips

Buy on Amazon

4. Bradley Smoker Digital 4-Rack Electric Outdoor BBQ Smoker

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Electric Outdoor BBQ Smoker
  • High-Quality Material: Arm yourself with a Bradley and open new horizons for...
  • Dimensions: Bradley Smoker's multi-rack design allows for smoking a variety of...
  • Large Capacity Oven: Digital smoker is specially designed to accommodate 4...
  • Easy To Clean: Our stainless steel interiors are easy to clean and will not...
  • Specially designed for your Bradley Smoker

Bradley smokers are well-known for the special briquettes they use, which can be fed into the smoker without making as much of a mess as chips or pellets would. If you want extra smoke for your favorite smoked fish or a particularly long smoking session, you can easily monitor how many are left and feed more.

This model’s four shelves are engineered to remain in place even when partially removed, making it easy to check on or remove food without risk of spillage. The Bradley electric smoker can emit smoke for up to nine hours without adding more wood, so there’s no need to baby your food while it cooks. Because it is made entirely of stainless steel, the interior never rusts and can be cleaned quickly and easily. Bradley also makes a similar 6-rack smoker that is perfect for hosting large gatherings of smokers.

Pros:

  • Automatic feed system for briquettes
  • Supports give racks stability when removing
  • Smoke for up to nine hours without refilling wood

Cons:

  • Briquettes are expensive
  • Issues operating in cold weather

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5. Smokehouse Products Big Chief Electric Smoker

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Big Chief Electric Smoker
  • Capacity: smokes up to 50 pounds of meat or fish.
  • Ventilation: engineered for Premium smoke ventilation for Premium smoke...
  • Safety: smoker comes with UL and cul certifications.
  • Consistent low temperature setting using a 120V, 450W heating element for...
  • Easy to use... plugs into standard household outlet and has easy to use wood...

Smokehouse’s Big Chief Electric Smoker is a no-frills appliance. It can accommodate up to 50 pounds of meat or fish on its chrome-plated racks, but its embossed aluminum structure and fixed, fixed-temperature heating element are not desirable qualities.

In addition, you may pick between top-load and front-load models, the former of which is typically more practical if you plan to cook a lot of meat at once because you can load it up in advance and then lower it into the smoker. The smoker’s design prioritizes optimal smoke ventilation, which imparts a robust smokey taste and tender, juicy texture to the food smoked in it.

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Front- or top-load options
  • Holds up to 50 pounds of meat or fish

Cons:

  • Only operates at one temperature
  • Somewhat flimsy construction

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6. Char-Broil 17202004 Digital Electric Smoker

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17202004 Digital Electric Smoker
  • Insulated, double-wall construction. Wattage-750
  • Advanced control panel with easy-read, blue LED display
  • Removable food thermometer
  • Glass door and stainless steel, dual-tone finish
  • Large, stainless steel locking latch for smoke-tight seal

The Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker is ideal for hands-free smoking. The digital control panel on this model makes it simple to keep tabs on the oven’s temperature and make adjustments as needed throughout cooking. You won’t have to worry about your meat getting overcooked thanks to the built-in meat probe.

You can get four to seven hours of smoke from the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker after filling its high capacity wood chip box, and you get 725 square inches of cooking surface over four movable racks. Test results showed that the Char-Broil had trouble reaching its promised maximum temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit and performed best at temperatures closer to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros:

  • Simple interface
  • Compact enough for small spaces
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • No high-heat option
  • Uses up smoking fuel quickly

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7. Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker

Model #1 Electric Smoker
  • Up to 22 lbs. of meat capacity per load
  • 400 watt heating element, 8 amps 120 volt single phase
  • 3" Diameter rubber casters and 3 removable shelves included with space for 4...
  • All 201, 18 ga. stainless steel construction. NSF Certified for Restaurant use.
  • New Side Handles for easy movement or lifting of smoker.

Different people have various needs and wants when it comes to their automobiles. The flare and power of a sports car may appeal to some, while the low-maintenance reliability of a family sedan may appeal to others. These two perspectives are, once more, equally valid. Smokin’ It’s first prototype prioritizes performance over aesthetics. It appears like a commercial appliance and has the practical design approved by the National Sanitation Foundation for use in food service. If you want a conversation starter, seek elsewhere; if you want a functional smoker with accurate heat control and a medium capacity, keep reading.

The insulated, double-walled design maintains a steady inside temperature and prevents heat loss to the exterior. Each of the three shelves may hold up to 22 pounds of food. Because of the vertical space between the racks, capacity diminishes as food preparation height increases. There’s a wide temperature range, from 100 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for both hot and cold smoking. Wood may be burned for several hours without having to open the smoker to replenish because of the big wood box.

Pros:

The ability to burn hardwood frees the owner to experiment with a wider variety of woods without the restrictions of commercially available chips or pellets. The heavy-duty casters allow for easy moving for space or cleaning.

Cons:

No access to the wood box from the outside of the smoker means opening the unit to reload the wood and losing temperature. The wood box is located directly below the cooking racks, allowing grease and meat drippings to fall on it, which may prove challenging to clean.

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8. Pit Boss Grills PBV3A1 Electric Smoker

Sale
Grills PBV3A1 Electric Smoker
  • Integrated analog controls
  • 4 porcelain coated cooking racks
  • 684 square inches of cooking space
  • 1,650 watts
  • External access front loading wood chip tray

When we compared prices to features, we found that the Pit Boss 3 Series was the best overall. The Pit Boss has a moderate capacity, is resistant to corrosion thanks to its porcelain-coated racks, and is heated by an element that uses 1650 watts of power, but it only has analog controls and lacks the bells and whistles of more expensive brands.

In addition to the porcelain-coated cooking chamber, the chip box and water pan are both accessible from the front of the machine. By combining the analog thermostat with the air damper, you may get the highest degree of precision in your temperature settings. In order to prevent opening the smoker and losing heat, it is equipped with a glass window in the door and a thermometer that is mounted on the door. Along with the smoker itself, an analog temperature probe is included so that you can keep tabs on the temperature of anything you’re cooking.

If you compare all of these features to the Pit Boss’s suggested retail price, you’ll see that it’s a great value.

Pros:

The porcelain-coated racks and pans make cleaning easy and help stave off corrosion. External access to the chip box allows for refilling the chips without losing temperature in the smoker.

Cons:

Some users have reported issues with the heating element and the element control board, and the in-door thermometer requires regular calibration.

Buy on Amazon

Buying Guide: What to Consider When Select an Electric Smoker

a) Cooking Capacity

Approximately how much food do you intend to smoke all at once? You don’t need a huge smoker if you’re only going to smoke a few ribs or a turkey breast every so often, but if you’re going to be smoking a lot of food that needs a long time to cook, you’ll appreciate the extra room that a larger smoker provides.

b) Portability

When in operation, an electric smoker must be placed close to a power outlet; however, is that always the case? It’s best to look into portable models with wheels and a solid handle if you plan on transferring your smoker from storage to the cooking spot and back again. Having a stationary location for the smoker eliminates the need for portability.

c) Controls

Similar to many modern home appliances, smokers come with a wide range of control options, from basic dials and buttons to sophisticated digital interfaces. Some even have built-in Wi-Fi for use in conjunction with remote access. Consider your personal tastes and make a decision.

FAQs

i) How are smokers different than standard grills?

Expert griller Paula Stachyra says that whereas traditional grilling is “done over direct high heat and requires shorter cooking periods,” smoking meat uses a combination of smoke and heat at low temperatures. A smoker’s “chamber is situated alongside the heat source to maintain the temperature, so no smoke or heat is lost except through the chimney,” allowing you greater control over the smoking and cooking process. When cooked low and slow, meat acquires the signature “smoky tastes that are soft, juicy, and fall off the bone.” We suggest a smoker over a regular grill if you’re looking for a more nuanced flavor and crispy bark.

ii) What’s the difference between a pellet smoker and an electric smoker?

Set it and forget it smoking is possible with either a pellet smoker or an electric smoker. In her article, “The Difference Between the Two,” Paula Stachyra explains why the former “permits a wide range of cooking methods including baking, smoking, charring, grilling, roasting, and more to be carried out with a distinctive wood-smoked flavor. In contrast, a vertical electric smoker uses an electric element similar to an oven to generate heat, making it ideal for smoking. Next to it is a wood chip pan that spreads smoke throughout the cooking chamber and a water pan that helps keep the meat moist. The end result will be a softer bark and a milder smoke flavor.”

iii) How do you clean an electric smoker?

One method that Paula Stachyra recommends is “Use a mild, food-safe detergent on a soft cloth, or scrub away at tough stains with a brush made of plastic bristles. It’s important to remember to remove the water/drip pans and soak them in warm, soapy water to clean them. It’s time to get a scrub on and a shower.”

Conclusion

With its digital control display and side-loading wood chip drawer, the Masterbuilt MB20070421 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker is a great option for someone who often smokes a lot of food. The Cuisinart 30-Inch Electric Smoker is a better buy and simpler to use for novice smokers.

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