Electric smokers that the hassle of cooking and smoking your meat, fish, or chicken. Some hardline barbeque enthusiasts might find themselves laughing at the statement that an electric smoker can do the job as well as a traditional setup.
Before you dismiss the electric smoker, you might want to rethink your decision. Today’s electronic smokers have precision temperature management, and perfect cooking times to produce tasty and flavorful meals, without you standing over the smoker monitoring the progress of the meal.
There are hundreds of electric smoker models available online. Trying to wade your way through all of the brands and models can take days of your time you don’t have. We decided to make it easy for you to make your decision on the best electric smoker for your yard.
Our Top Picks
- 1 Our Top Picks
- 2 Electric Smoker Reviews
- 2.1 Masterbuilt 30-Inch Electric Analog Smoker – The Best Overall Electric Smoker
- 2.2 Masterbuilt Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker – The Best Premium Electric Smoker
- 2.3 Smokehouse Products Big Chief – The Best Budget Electric Smoker
- 2.4 Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker
- 2.5 Old Smokey Electric Smoker
- 2.6 Masterbuilt Portable Electric Smoker
- 2.7 Smokin-It Model 1 Electric Smoker
- 2.8 Smokin-It Model 2 Electric Smoker
- 2.9 Z Grills ZPG-450A Wood Pellet Smoker
- 3 Electric Smoker Buyer’s Guide
- 3.1 What are the Features of an Electric Smoker?
- 3.2 Temperature Controls
- 3.3 Heat Distribution
- 3.4 Layering Structure
- 3.5 Functionality and Versatility
- 3.6 Woodchips or Charcoal or Woodchips? – Which is Better?
- 3.7 Additional Features
- 3.8 Power Output
- 3.9 Size and Portability
- 3.10 Who Can Benefit from Buying an Electric Smoker?
- 3.11 Upgrading Your Smoker
- 3.12 Compact Models
- 3.13 Budget Conscious Buyers
- 3.14 Everyday Smokers
- 4 Electric Smoker FAQ
- 5 Conclusion
In this review, we look at the best electric smokers. However, if you don’t have the time to go through all of our top listings, then you can rely on our top picks when choosing your smoker. We selected the best of the best for our top three.
Best Pick: Masterbuilt 30-Inch Electric Analog Smoker
- 548 sq. inches of cooking space with 3 chrome-coated racks and 1500 watt heating element
- Dual-wall insulation
- Front-loading wood chips tray, removable water and drip pan
- Temperature gauge in door
If you’re looking for an electric smoker for the yard, then The Masterbuilt 30-inch is everything you need to feed the largest family gatherings. This electric smoker comes with compact design and insulated walls that prevent the exterior from heating up.
Premium Pick: Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker Front Controller
- Bluetooth Smart technology allows you to monitor and control your meat and smoker temperature from your smart device or digital control panel
- One meat probe thermometer included (with capability to support two)
- Patented side wood chip loading system allows you to add wood chips without opening smoker door
- Four chrome-coated smoking racks
- Interior light illuminates food in low light when door is open
Those homeowners looking for the best electric smoker available can take a look at the Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker. This model has everything you need in a smoker. It includes a window on the front door to check on your meat without opening the smoker.
Budget Pick: Smokehouse Products Big Chief
- Front loading electric smoker comes with recipe/instruction booklet and 1.75-pound bag of Chips n' Chunks hickory flavor wood fuel
- Non-adjustable heating element operates at 165 degrees Fahrenheit
- Easy-slide chrome-plated grills; maximum capacity flavor fuel pan; dishwasher safe drip pan
- Durable, embossed aluminum construction; for outdoors use only
- UL, CUL, and CSA listed; no-assembly required; 2-year limited warranty
If you’re working with a budget for your electric smoker, then consider buying the Big Chief model from Smokehouse Products. This model is compact and small, and it’s the ideal smoker for small gatherings of around 4-people. The affordable price isn’t cheap, but we feel that this model offers the best value for your money.
Electric Smoker Reviews
Now that you have an idea of the best electric smokers available let’s unpack them in further detail. We’ll take a look at a few other models that you might think better suit your needs.
If you find yourself sitting on the fence after reading through the reviews, check out the buyer’s guide section for some more useful information on selecting the right electric smoker.
Masterbuilt 30-Inch Electric Analog Smoker – The Best Overall Electric SmokerThe Masterbuilt 30-inch electric analog smoker is the top of our list for the best overall smoker. This model is the ideal choice for newbies to using a smoker.
Masterbuilt is one of the leading brands in smokers, and they have a reputation for producing affordable, effective, and efficient smokers that last a lifetime. This smoker offers you low maintenance, even when smoking fatty cuts of meat, like Boston Butt.
This Masterbuilt model has plenty of positive reviews on Amazon, and people have only good things to say about using this smoker in a variety of conditions for different meats.
This smoker features a large cooking chamber, allowing you to cater for the largest crowds at your cookout. While this smoker has a high-capacity cooking chamber, it remains compact, allowing for smooth movement around the yard.
One of the most impressive features of the Masterbuilt series is the insulated oven walls. The insulation traps heat inside the smoker, ensuring consistent cooking temperatures in cold outdoor conditions. The insulation also keeps the outside of the smoker cool, preventing any burns.
The insulated cooking chamber also means that you can bring this smoker indoors. If you’re a homeowner looking for a good smoker for your family cookouts this summer, the Masterbuilt electric analog model is a top choice we highly recommend.
- Adjustable temperature control
- Consistent cooking temperatures
- Manageable cooking area
- User-friendly operation
- Easy cleaning and maintenance
- A bit heavy on the electricity consumption
- The temperature gauge is not 100% accurate
Masterbuilt Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker – The Best Premium Electric Smoker
Homeowners looking for the best premium smoker need to look no further than the Masterbuilt Digital Smoker. While this smoker has all the bells and electronic whistles, it still manages to come in at under $200, making it fantastic value for money.
This Masterbuilt smoker comes with a front window to let you check on the progress of your meal. This smoker comes with full electronic control that makes a delicious masterpiece out of any meat you want to smoke.
You also get a remote control for the smoker, meaning you can sit at the table and chat with friends, while still keeping your cooking commitments. This machine is so easy to use that first-time BBQ smoker enthusiasts will cook their meals to perfection.
This model also features insulated walls, making it suitable for indoor or outdoor use. The insulated cooking chamber maintains a steady operating temperature. The convenient window on the door means you don’t have to open the cooking chamber and release the heat when you want to check on your food.
You also get an automatic woodchip dispenser that funnels the chips into the cooking chamber without the need to open the door. With a cooking chamber of 700-inches, this smoker is a mid-range model that will accommodate up to 8 to 10-guests, depending on your appetite. The four chrome cooking racks are spacious and easy to clean.
The blue LED control panel gives you all the temperature information you need to ensure you cook your cuts to perfection every time. You can access the drip pan through the front of the machine without opening the door, and the 800-watt heating element provides quick heating times.
The thermostat temperature control helps maintain a consistent cooking temperature, even with outdoor use in cold weather.
- Digital control panel
- Accurate temperature readings
- User-friendly operation
- Comes with a variety of woodchips included
- Thermostat provides efficient and consistent cooking temperatures
- Clear front panel to check on your meat
Smokehouse Products Big Chief – The Best Budget Electric SmokerThis smoker is a fantastic portable option to take with you to a cookout at the park or a friend’s house. This front-loading model from Smokehouse Products is all you need in a smoker at an affordable price. It’s for this reason that we decided to name the Big Chief, our best budget electric smoker.
You get five chrome cooking racks that are easy to set up and clean, as well as a flavor fule pan and a packet of Alder woodchips for your first BBQ using your new smoker. The chromed trays slide easily in and out of the smoker, even when warm.
We would prefer to see an adjustable temperature regulator on this model, as the element only offers fixed cooking temperatures of 165F. The chrome cooking racks and drip pan are dishwasher-safe, allowing for easy clean up after your BBQ.
This model features design and construction with lightweight aluminum, making it portable and compact. The embossed look of the exterior is eye-pleasing, but the smoker doesn’t feature insulated walls. This lack of insulation isn’t an issue since the maximum operating temperature is 165F, but that still hot to the touch.
You can’t use this model indoors, as the lack of insulation will heat your home. The smoker comes fully assembled, and Smokehouse Products provide you with a 2-year limited warranty.
- Affordable and excellent value
- Attractive design
- Come with woodchips included
- High-quality components and design
- Only suitable for outdoor use
Smoke Hollow Electric SmokerThe Smoke Hollow Electric smoker is another premium model worth reviewing. This model is another Amazon top choice that’s great for large cookouts where you invite all your friends and family over for a delicious meal of smoked meats.
There are so many advanced features with this model that we don’t know where to start. The Smoke Hollow has an enormous 1.3-cubic foot cooking chamber that will cater to the largest get-together. The matte black look of the exterior has more in common with a home safe than a smoker.
However, the steel design of this smoker makes it durable and weather resistant – the ideal smoker for outdoor use. The model comes with a stand, and the drip pan slides out from the underside of the smoker for easy access.
The front door features a stylish chrome handle and a chrome temperature gauge that lets you keep an eye on your food. The sides of the smoker feature convenient handles for moving it around the yard, and despite is design and construction, this smoker isn’t as heavy as you expect.
The two chrome cooking plates in the smoker are fully adjustable, allowing you to move them to the preferred cooking height for different cuts of meat. The porcelain-coated drip tray and chip tray are easy to clean, and dishwasher safe.
If you’re looking for the best outdoor electric smoker for large meals, then this model is your top choice in this review.
- Easy to assemble and use
- Temperature control for consistent cooking
- Decent size for large cookouts
- Stand included
- The temperature drops when you open the door to check on the meat
- Small water pan
Old Smokey Electric SmokerThe Old Smokey electric smoker is more of a traditional-style model. This smoker features a top-loading assembly that allows the juices of the meat to drip back on itself as it falls from the lid. The compact design of this smoker is fantastic, and it’s a lightweight model that you can take with you to the park or a friend’s house for a cookout.
The powerful element and thermostat control the cooking temperature inside the smoker, providing consistent heat throughout the cooking process. There is no insulation on this model, so it’s for outdoor use only.
The lack of insulation also means that cold weather may affect the temperature control of the smoker. We don’t like the top-loading design of this smoker, but it makes for a compact model that’s easy to store away and move around. Still, we would prefer a door, so we don’t get a face full of smoke when checking on the meat.
There’s a woodchip tray positioned above the heating element, allowing you to add your woodchips of choice for a flavorful experience to your meal. The two carry handles on the sides of the smoker make it easy for one person to move around. The lightweight design makes it easy to transport to other venues, and there are two cooking levels for your food.
The chromed cooking racks are a nice touch, and the steel design of the smoker adds to its durability and service life.
If you’re looking for a traditional-style smoker that has everything you need for a simple cookout, this model is your top choice.
- Large cooking area
- Minimal supervision required during use
- Portable and easy to transport
- Flat-top design for optimal heat distribution
- No fixed thermometer
- Top-loading design is inconvenient
- The exterior gets hot during use
Masterbuilt Portable Electric Smoker
If you’re looking for a top-quality electric smoker that you can take around with you to any venue, the Masterbuilt Portable is your best option in this review. This electric smoker features a 1,400-watt element that cooks the largest and thickest cuts to perfection every time.
If you’re planning a tailgating party at a football game, then take this smoker with you on the road. The simple controls on this smoker allow you to cook at low, medium, and high temperatures, depending on the meat.
We like the easy-to-read temperature gauge on the front door, providing you with a clear indication of the temperature. As with all other Masterbuilt electric smokers, you get a rheostat that controls the temperature, ensuring that you get consistent heat throughout the cooking process.
Don’t let the compact size of this electric smoker fool you. The cooking chamber is massive and can accommodate enough food to feed up to 10-people. Despite its power and durable design, this smoker weighs just over 20-lbs, making it a lightweight model that you can put in the back of our truck on the way to a BBQ at the local park.
The legs of the smoker fold underneath the unit for easy transport, and the handles on the sides of the smoker make it easy to pick up and move around. The internal; cooking chamber features chrome smoking racks that are dishwasher-safe and won’t stick even when the smoker heats up to its maximum operating temperature.
You also get a drip pan and a chip tray, with easy access on the side of the smoker. Overall, this model is an excellent choice for people that enjoy camping or getting out into nature but still want to cook tasty smoked meats while on vacation.
- Small capacity suits 2 to 6-people
- Portable and easy to transport
- Features a removable drip pan and chip tray
- Easy assembly
- Small size
- Limited warranty period
Smokin-It Model 1 Electric SmokerThe Smokin-it Model 1 is a portable smoker with wheels for smooth movement around the yard or venue. This smoker features a user-friendly operation that makes master chefs out of novice BBQ enthusiasts.
Model 1 comes with two stainless steel cooking racks that are dishwasher-safe and easy to clean. You also get a stainless steel drip pan and a smoke box with your smoker. The simple design of the Model 1 makes it attractive for new BBQ enthusiasts that are starting their adventure into smoked meats on the grill.
This smoker comes with wheels mounted to the steel frame, providing you with the smooth movement of the smoker around the yard. The design and build quality of this electric smoker makes it robust and durable.
The interior walls of the Model 1 come fitted with a fiberglass coating that insulates the cooking chamber. As a result, you get a consistent cooking temperature that produces the most flavorful food you’ll ever have the pleasure of eating.
The insulation also means that you can use this smoker indoors without worrying about it heating your home. You also get some stainless steel cooking racks with this model, allowing for easy cleanup after your BBQ.
The exterior of the Model 1 features design and construction with stainless steel. This smoker is a bit heavy, but it’s a sturdy model that will last you a lifetime. The interior of the cooking chamber measures out to a whopping 2,911-cubic inch capacity, making it suitable for the largest cookouts.
When in operation, this smoker allows you to adjust the temperature range anywhere between 100F to 250F, offering you plenty of versatility for cooking any cut of meat. This smoker also features an LED light for easy reference to the internal cooking temperature.
We love the robust design and construction of this smoker, and if you want a model that lasts you a lifetime, we would say then the Model 1 is an excellent choice. Model 1 is the best option for people that are looking to entertain and feed plenty of guests at a pool party or a cookout at the park.
While we feel the Model 1 is a good choice, the chances are that you won’t need an electric smoker with this vast capacity. If you’re cooking for two people, then this electric smoker is inefficient and will drive up your electricity costs.
- Large cooking area for many guests
- Durable and sturdy design
- Plenty of racks
- Insulated walls to trap heat and keep the exterior cool
- Controlling the temperature is challenging
Smokin-It Model 2 Electric SmokerModel 2 is the second offering from Smokin-It. This electric smoker comes with stainless steel racks that prevent the meat from sticking while offering you an easy cleanup after your meal. The durable design of Model 2 echoes the same top-quality materials and durability of the Model 1.
Smokin-It makes electric smokers handle the largest volumes of food. The 2,911-cubic-inch cooking chamber is enormous and can accommodate up to 22-lbs of meat in a single cookout. The positioning of the racks in the smoker allows for the cooking of the largest cuts, and there’s still plenty of room for other meats.
This 8-amp electric smoker works on a 120-volt connection, making it easy for plug-and-play operation anywhere you go. The powerful heating element warms up the cooking chamber quickly and efficiently, with the fiberglass insulation keeping the heat in the smoker. This model does well in all climate conditions and all temperatures.
This smoker operates at temperatures of between 100F to 250F, allowing you to cook a wide variety of meats and recipes. With dimensions of 20.4″ x 15″ x 19″, this smoker makes for an ideal home model that’s suitable for cooking meals for large gatherings.
The fiberglass insulation also reduces the heat permeating to the exterior of the smoker, preventing burns if any kids accidentally touch it during operation. The smoker also comes mounted on 4-casters, providing you with smooth movement around the yard.
The Smokin-It model 2 is a nice upgrade to the Model 1. However, we feel like it might be too big for home use. We think that this smoker is an excellent choice for catering firms that need a compact but powerful smoker that they can take with them to any venue.
- Durable inner racks
- Suitable for large cookouts
- Insulated walls to optimize temperature inside the smoker
- Insulation also keeps the exterior cool during use
- Somewhat inefficient temperature control
Z Grills ZPG-450A Wood Pellet Smoker
We had a tough time choosing our top premium model for this review. The Z Grills ZPG-450A wood pellet smoker was a serious contender for the best premium electric smoker. The Grills ZPG-450A has the look and design of a traditional smoker, making it an attractive choice for BBQ enthusiasts that want an authentic look to their smoker.
However, this model is nothing like a traditional smoker. The digital temperature controls give you full command over the cooking process. The Z-Grill also features wood-fire technology that increases the amount of smoke produced by the woodchips, releasing the flavor into your cuts of meat as they cook.
This model works at really high temperatures, ranging between 180F to 475F, making it the most powerful model in this review. With these temperatures, you can grill, roast, or smoke your meat to perfection.
The automatic ignition starter for this model makes it easy to fire up the smoker, and there’s no waiting for the coals to finish burning before the smoker is ready to cook your meal. The LED temperature control allows you to keep an eye on the meat as it cooks, ensuring that you get consistent cooking temperatures throughout the process.
The Z-Grill features design and construction with stainless steel. Therefore, this grill is durable and weather resistant, and the ideal model for outdoor use at cookouts.
You also get an automatic wood pellet dispenser for your woodchips, meaning you don’t have to open the smoker while it’s running to add more chips.
The stainless steel racks on this smoker offer a total cooking surface area of 454-square-inches and a hopper capacity of 15-lbs for your woodchips.
- More of a traditional-style smoker
- Consistent cooking temperatures
- No grease accumulation
- No flare-ups during cooking
- No thermometer included
- No smoker box for low-temperature smoking
Electric Smoker Buyer’s Guide
Choosing the right electric smoker for your yard is more challenging than you think. The amount of variety on offer in this review might seem a bit intimidating. In this section, we’ll look at the characteristics of the best electric smokers to help you with your purchase decision.
What are the Features of an Electric Smoker?
When selecting your electric smoker, it’s a good idea to check out all of the features on offer with the model you’re interested in purchasing. However, if you don’t know what you’re looking at, then you have no basis for a reference to determine if it’s a good buy.
Here are all the features you need to look out for when purchasing your electric smoker.
When selecting your ideal electric smoker, choose a model that includes temperature controls. A rheostat controls the internal cooking temperature of the smoker, ensuring that the heat stays consistent throughout the cooking process.
Some smokers, such as the Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker Front Controller, come with features like electronic monitoring. This component makes adjusting the temperature easy. The rheostat is a critical part of the smoker, and if you want to let the meat smoke away while you entertain your guests, it’s an essential feature you need to look for in your electric smoker.
Some models also include a thermometer to help you take the internal temperature of the meat to see if it’s cooked the way you like it.
The heat structure of your smoker is another critical feature to look for in your electric smoker. Choose a model that features even heat distribution throughout the cooking chamber.
We recommend you go with an electric smoker that produces an upward airflow, allowing the heat to circulate evenly in the cooking chamber. Most smokers come with the heat source at the bottom, which is the ideal positioning for even heat distribution.
The layering structure refers to the type of layer and tray system in the model. Some smokers have a horizontal and vertical tray system, allowing you to turn the smoker to its side if you have plenty of meat to cook.
We recommend you go for a smoker that offers thick hollow grids that allow your meat to absorb more of the smoky flavor from the woodchips.
Functionality and Versatility
Electric smokers are versatile machines. Some electric models offer you the opportunity to use the smoker as a grill or oven as well. Not everyone is going to need this level of cross-functionality from their electric smoker.
These additional functions may add to the price tag as well. Therefore, make sure you have a clear understanding of your BBQ and cooking needs before you purchase your electric smoker.
Woodchips or Charcoal or Woodchips? – Which is Better?
The smoky taste of the meat from a smoker comes from the woodchips or charcoal you burn in the smoker while the food cooks. When purchasing your electric smoker, check that it provides you with the functionality of using coal and chips.
A charcoal fire adds a delicious char-grilled taste, while the woodchips create smoky flavors that taste amazing. Woodchips or pellets are available in different varieties, such as cedar, that change the flavor profile of the food while it cooks.
Some of the more expensive electric smokers feature interesting accessories that make your BBQ a pleasure to host. Automatic chip-fillers will send woodchips to the smoker automatically. This accessory helps you avoid the need to monitor the process actively or open the door of the smoker.
Some models feature apps you can load onto your phone, providing you with data on the cooking process. If you want total control of your electric smoker while sitting around the table with your friends, look for a model that includes a remote control.
It’s important to note that additional features will end up costing you more for your electric smoker. However, if remote and effortless cooking is your dream, then choose a model that offers you these convenient features.
The heating element of your electric smoker is where the rubber meets the road. The element heats the air around the food, and a 700-square inch smoker should feature a heating element with around 800-watts.
Larger models for big cookouts have elements that operate at up to 1,200-watts. Make sure that you choose a model that offers efficient, effective, and even cooking.
Size and Portability
If you enjoy cooking for friends and family on your smoker, then consider buying a portable model. Compact smokers allow you to take them on the road with you to a cookout in the park, or at a friend’s house. If you can’t get enough of that smoky flavor, then a portable electric smoker is a good choice for you.
Who Can Benefit from Buying an Electric Smoker?
What are the benefits of buying an electric smoker? Are they worth the money? Will your meat taste as good as it would with a traditional smoker? There are plenty of benefits to owning an electric smoker. Here are our top reasons why you should purchase a model for the coming summer.
Upgrading Your Smoker
If you already own a traditional smoker, then you understand the hassle involved with cooking your meat to perfection. Traditional smokers require you to embrace and monitor every step of the cooking process.
If you would rather spend your time chatting to friends and family, then look into an electric smoker as an upgrade to your current model. An electric smoker cooks your meal to perfection every time, with minimal effort involved in the cooking process.
There is less mess with an electric smoker, and cleanup is a breeze after finishing your cookout.
Electric smokers come in a variety of models to suit your needs. If you only cook for you and your partner, with the occasional guest coming over for a meal, then get a compact model.
Compacts are great for small households and singles that don’t want to waste time and energy heating up a large model.
Budget Conscious Buyers
Organizing a BBQ is an expensive affair. Not only do you have to provide the meat, but you’ll also need charcoal, firelighters, and woodchips if you’re using a traditional smoker. All of these costs add up.
An electric smoker might be slightly more expensive than a traditional model. However, the heating elements are much cheaper to run than buying charcoal and firelighters.
Electric smokers are available at different price points, depending on the size and features of the machine.
If you use your smoker frequently, then you understand the effort involved with cleaning up the mess after you finish cooking. The charcoal dust, the grease, all of these things take time to clean up.
With an electric smoker, you don’t have to worry about setup and cleaning. Flip a switch to get power to the machine, and then let it do its thing.
If you use your smoker regularly, then an electric model offers you all the benefits of a traditional model, without any of the hassles.
Electric Smoker FAQ
By now, you should have a better idea of the right electric smoker that meets your BBQ needs. In case you’re still sitting on the fence, we put together this list of frequently asked questions to help you settle on your purchase decision.
Can I use an electric smoker indoors?
As long as you’re using electricity to fuel your smoker, there’s no problem with using it indoors. However, check that you purchase a model with insulated walls to contain the heat.
Models that don’t have any insulation in the walls could be a potential fire hazard, and they’ll turn your home into an oven with the way they radiate heat.
Do I need to put water in my electric smoker?
Any smoking requires you to add water, wine, or some form of liquid to the smoker before you heat it. Pour your chosen liquid in the drip pan, but don’t overfill it.
What are the top features to look for in an electric smoker?
When selecting your ideal electric smoker, make sure you consider how you’ll use this piece of equipment. If you’re using it for large cookouts, you’ll need a bigger model than someone who only cooks for two people.
Look for rheostats to control the temperature. Insulated walls are a must if you’re going to cook inside or under the awning on the patio.
Enjoying a lazy summer afternoon with family and friends is the best part of the summer. Gathering everybody for a delicious meal is easy when you have a smoker. Your smoker lets you mingle and chat while it does the work of cooking your meat to perfection.
If you’re still struggling with your decision, why not rely on our top picks? Buildmaster makes some quality products, and you’ll love the Masterbuilt 30-Inch Electric Analog Smoker if you need the best model available for your cookouts.
If you want to take your smoker to the next level, then check out our best premium buy – The Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker Front Controller. This machine is the Rolls-Royce of smokers, and it cooks meat perfectly every time.
If you’re on a budget, then the Smokehouse Products Big Chief model offers you the best value for your money. This smoker suits fewer guests, and if you’re intending on cooking for more than 5-people, we suggest using one of the Buildmaster models.