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Back in history, whenever people want to store uncooked meat, they had to smoke it first. Some of our ancestors even dried the meat, and it was a brilliant idea. Storing meat was a nightmare which is why most people just hunted what they could eat for a day. However, with these simple meat-storage techniques such as salting, smoking and drying, the stake would last for several days without going bad.
Today, a lot of things have changed- technology is hitting its all-time high and food storage is far much advanced. And, while we’ve invented several techniques, the idea of smoking meat for aroma and storage still ensues!
Electric smokers are appliances that help distribute, instill and infuse smoke into meat. The wood chips are burnt and the smoke is made to get into the meat. However, the smoking process aims at improving the taste of meat as opposed to preserving it.
Our top 10 best electric smoker review analyses some of the high quality smoking equipment that you can find. Here, we bring you different smokers for your budget. And, we don’t shy away from telling you the good and the bad of each of these smokers.
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Masterbuilt is one of the top companies with the great reputation for the manufacture of home appliances. Their MB20071117 digital electric smoker is certainly one of the best you can find in the market. That from being easy to maintain it gives a great grilling and smoking his experience. And you can even inject be your fuel and wood chips without necessary opening the door.
As one of the best electric smoker under 200, this appliance gives you the great experience and a series of features that you might want to try out. First, its smoking performance is excellent and depends on the insulation. Good insulation holds the temperature through the smoking process and the Masterbuilt mb20071117 smoker has the perfect feature to control the temperature.
MB20071117 has a large cooking area with four trays of different items that you can use at any time. If you are grilling or smoking for four or five people, this Masterbuilt cooker does the work without compromising the taste. In addition, you can customize the position of the tray to allow you cook a full chicken.
Cleaning and maintenance the Masterbuilt smoker demands that you remove the two trays and clean them. The first tray is supposed to collect the oil or grease that and pour other keeps the ash. Once you remove then you can get rid of the oil and the area will be good to go.
And, because you don’t want to buy a smoker today and then have to replace it tomorrow if you put me that you purchase high quality smokers ways a tough strong construction.
The Masterbuilt smoker with that give you lots of trouble when handling it and maintaining it.
If you are looking for one of the best electric smoker under 200 then the Cuisinart COS-330 electric smoker might be just what you looking for. You realize that Cuisinart has got a good reputation in the manufacture of appliances and you don’t expect the electric smoker to disappoint you in any way. Apart from high-quality appliances, they also go ahead to make sure that their smoker actually feeds you with the best possible features.
You realize that in just less than an hour or even a half, you will already have assembled your Cuisinart COS-330 smoker and you will be ready to start grilling and barbecuing.
The propane tank can take up to 12 hours continuously especially one that is supposed that you need to calculate depending on your speed. And if you have, different tastes of wood chips we need to make sure that you ask them because the Cuisinart electric smoker actually allows you to use a wide variety of wood chips.
But for honesty’s sake, we have to agree that most of its users are disappointed with the fact that the propane Cuisinart smoker actually tends to perform better than the electric smoker. But when you consider that one of them is just supposed to run on electricity you might let that pass, won’t you?
The temperature control units of the equipment allows you to smoke you are takes between 100 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit which is quite a great thing because you’re able to monitor how you are smoking is happening. And, you can use the analogue temperature monitor to show you exactly how much heat is inside the chamber.
The smoker is quite versatile and you can use it for different foods or different wood chips and it will still give a great aroma. The grill allows users to have a wide space for several people. And, once you putting your meat and do you’re seasoning, you will only close the door and sit back.
Infuse your meat with a whole new rich flavour of carefully selected wood smoke with the Char-broil smoker. There are hundreds of brands out there but sometimes, you want something to get you to the next level of your grilling and smoking. This insulated and double-walled smoker comes with a removable food thermometer as well as an LED display as and a control panel that gives you all the control you need.
The glass door and stainless steel finish is not only tough and durable but also give you the versatility and ability to control what happens inside.
If you’re looking for one of the best electric smoker under 300 then the Char-broil the big digital electric smoker could be exactly what you want. Its portability and lightweight nature allows it to be good for camping and other outdoor use. Its mocha weighs just over 50 lbs with economic handles and wheels that not only fit in trucks but also gives you the shape that allows it to be movable.
Then, you also have all the control you need especially its temperature because you can check in the glass. The heat controls change electric coils just like what you find in ovens.
However, because the Char-broil deluxe digital electric smoker is not exactly a barbecue appliance, the high temperature that you find in other brands. But, the smoker can become hotter than their own and can even reach 300 from 60 to 450°.
This smoker tends to struggle with heater temperature but that does not mean that all is lost. Remember, the main reason you need the suppliers is to smoke your meat and not cook it.
But, when it comes to the capacity, you get worst cooking surface. In fact, there is 725 square inches of cooking surface where you can smoke your chicken fish or beef. If you want to smoke meat whose height is a little higher then you want to remove some of the grills to give space.
The rectangular shape of the smoker allows it to fit perfectly in your garage and it does not consume too much space. However, you might realize that it is not the cheapest smoker in this list mostly because of its digital features. But, when it comes to performance, this smoker actually gives other appliances run for their money.
When money is not a problem, then you can go ahead to find a smoker that actually makes sense to your needs. It’s at this juncture that the Bradley BTDS76P Digital brings a whole new smoking experience. First, it does not mean that you will have to break the bank because in the end of it all it will only cost less than $500. And, if you look at the features that you get with Bradley, you going to realize that it’s a steal!
Bradley is a household name when it comes to appliances. The American company creates some of the best smokers and kitchenware that you are going to like. This unit comes with a highly polished shiny stainless steel finish that is not only sleek but also tough enough.
The sturdy construction is especially due to the heat it produces. Yes- the controls are simple and it’s super portable with minimal maintenance requirements.
The smoker normally has four main cooking racks and trays which provide plenty of space for you to smoke your seafood, poultry or beef. An outlet allows you to connect it to any source of power which allows the smoker work pretty well outdoors.
You get full digital control with Bradley so you won’t burn your fingers in the process. The controls are easy to understand and you can monitor the temperature without opening the door.
Plus, the interior is fully insulated make sure that no heat is lost. So, you can use minimal heat and energy and yet get the best results possible. And still, this insulation is ensures the interior does not get to affect the other exterior parts.
The separate burners evenly distribute the heat within the smoker. And, the automatic advanced technology buys you the right to relax while the Bradley smoker does the work for you. With other units, you have to keep close check but with this one, you can just check palate burning at the 20-minute intervals.
If you decide to find an affordable simple electric smoker, then the smoke hollow electric 26142E is one of the best that you can get. With the Smoke Hollow 26142, you get an adjustable temperature control that gives you the power to smoke your meat comfortably. You’re going to find it easy to use this simple electric smoker and yet the results are going to surpass your expectations. The real hardwood chips heat up to release delicious smoke flavor and the electric heating systems work automatically without you having to fiddle or mess around charcoal.
As long as you have electricity, you don’t need any propane or charcoal. The Smoke Hollow has manufactured high backyard and camping gear since 2005. The Missouri-based company provides high-quality budget-friendly pellet grills charcoal grills BBQ accessories and smokers.
The Smoke Hollow is made of steel that’s welded along the seams to make sure that it neither breaks no allows any heat to get away. Therefore, the heat remains inside and this optimizes the effect. Again, the smoke does not disappear into the air but instead traps within the hollow space to ensure that your meat gets every breath of it.
It’s so easy to use that you don’t even need any special skills. In fact, if your complete newbie to small think you are still going to make a great deal from this. In a snap, your wood chip tray will be loaded and you will be ready to get in the process.
You won’t have to worry about maintaining this unit because you just need to wash it in hot soapy water and then rinse it. Once leave it out to dry, everything will be ready for the next time to start smoking. It’s important to season it after washing. This makes it ready for the next smoking process.
And if you ever need support (we hope you won’t!), you can just contact Smoke Hollow through the form they provide. Then, they will offer replacement or even repairs.
However, the fact that there is no digital readout means that you may not find it so easy to operate this unit. Again, this unit comes with no who else for maneuverability. But the fact that you will not run out of gas and everything else is easy gives it a head start among other electric smokers.
If you’re looking for a restaurant-quality smoker, then the Smokin-It model #2 electric smoker is one of the best in the market. It doesn’t come with all the fancy digital specifications like its counterparts, but; it’s good for business.
It has been made with the solid construction of a restaurant grade appliance. In fact, the heating element is as powerful as 800W which is quiet massive for smokers of its type and price.
Then, it’s got massive space amounting to 4 racks. You can actually hold 35 pounds of meat without any problems.
The thermostat comes with a temperature control feature that allows you to heat to 100 and 250 degrees. This is enough for your smoking requirements.
Also, it has a double arch closure with upgraded features to help you keep the smoking process sealed. Therefore, all the smoke from your chips goes straight to the meat and nowhere else.
For even more versatility, you get a 12-foot power cord that for outdoor smoking. And in case you’re worried about moving this smoker around, you going to enjoy the four wheels at the base which allow maneuverability. So you’re not going to have to worry about the 70 lb weight.
As you’ve already seen above with masterbuilt smokers, you get both quality and durability for a low price. Cooking with the masterbuilt kitchenware give you an awesome experience. And if you’re looking for a top masterbuilt smoker, then you should consider the masterbuilt 20071117 Bluetooth smart digital.
Ease-of-use and a great user experience are probably the best strongest points of this masterbuilt smoker. It has been made with the user in mind which is why you will get up to 721 square inches of peace. This means you can have several chunks of meat getting smoked for the entire family.
And if you are no major or complete newbie, you don’t have to worry because this unit offers you the perfect experience and you don’t need any advanced skills. You will simply stuck in the meat, wood chips or pellets and start your smoker.
The Bluetooth Smart technology lets you use handheld remote control that coordinates the cooking options. With it, you can control the on-and-off options as well as time and temperature. If you are an enthusiast of technology, you’re going to love the experience of cooking with your remote control. In fact, you can synchronize your smoker with your smartphone. Basically, you can cook using your smartphone!
This unit comes with a built-in thermometer that helps you to keep the right temperature. Therefore, the meat does not get overcooked.
The smoker’s window lets you see what’s happening inside the unit system and it is designed with an electric ignition and air damper. It runs on an 800-watt power that is able to produce up to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you ever want to get an electric smoker with a wide range of features for a good price, then you should consider Masterbuilt smokers. Masterbuilt smokers normally offer ease-of-use and minimal maintenance. But also, you don’t ever have to break the bank if you’re buying high-quality masterbuilt electric smokers. The Masterbuilt 20070910 is one of the best that you going to get in this series.
First, this unit provides you with other more statically control and energy-efficient construction that is not only tough and durable but also 100% insulated. All the heat is directed towards cooking and smoking. The inner lining maintains the smoky flavour.
Plus, the 730 square inch cooking space lets you smoke enough meat for your family and guests. The smoker has got for chrome coated cookware want to which you can place enough for a party in your yard.
Masterbuilt smoker comes with an intuitive digital control dashboard and an efficient damper. So, you can use the control panel to set temperatures between 100 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit. And, this helps you maintain the ideal temperatures for optimum results. Then, there is an automatic shut-off feature that turns of the unit while they smoking process is complete.
The unit runs on an a 800w heating element that not only provides high temperatures of up to 225 degrees Fahrenheit but also burns the wood chips conveniently. Then, the process is clean because the wood chip loading system does not leave too much charcoal or ash.
And, in case you want to clean it up, just trip the tray where the ash or oil goes. Then, remove the tray and clean it out.
However, you might have some trouble trying to make the shelf brackets last long. Also, you may want to be careful with the edges which might be sharp.
If you are looking for one of the best electric smoker for under $200, then the Landmann Smoky Mountain might be just want. Measuring 27 by 17 by 13 inches, this unit is not only going to provide you with enough space for your smoking needs but also give you several features that might make you like outdoor barbecuing.
Many people believe that barbecue is all about avoiding me trees are low temperature and juicy ingredients. However, smokers need to be more advanced than just that. It’s important for you to consider the smoking space as well as performance and ease-of-use because that’s how you get the best taste and results.
First, it is kind on your budget because it is one of the cheapest high quality electric smokers in the market. Your budget plan in just ok and we’ll give you a good unit. If you are on a tight budget, you can still get a small smoker instead of an industrial oven. All you need to do is cut your expectations especially for the digital automation features.
In addition to the trays, you’re also going to get adjustable wheels that help you level this unit accurately. Thus, you can use the Landmann outdoors because you can always adjust and level uneven surfaces.
The three chrome plated steel grates help you talk without getting worried that they could be destroyed by the heat. In fact, the unit is able to conserve the heat and direct all of it towards enhancing the taste and aroma of your steak.
Then there are ergonomic wrought iron handles on the sides for easy transport. And, in case you want to clean it up, just remove the grease pan without dismantling anything.
You can control the smoker’s temperature using the control feature and temperature gauge on the door. Landmann Mountain has one of the most powerful heating element at 1500 w. This means that you can actually increase the temperature to heat up the meat to more than 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
In conclusion, the Landmann USA Smoky Mountain electric smoker has adjustable leg levelers and a built-in temperature gauge. Then, the clearance on a 1500-watt heating element provides enough heat for smoking bacon and other tough meats. However, there is no window or glass for you to view what’s happening. But for less than $200, this unit is worth the price.
Buying Guide: How to Buy the Best Electric Smoker
Scouring the internet in search for the best electric smoker for jerky is not an easy thing. You see, there are hundreds of brands in the market and not all of them are good enough for you. So, you must have a list of the features you want, and then find one that matches your requirements.
In this part of the article, we’ll help you find the ideal smoker for your situation. Whether you want one for restaurant, yard or kitchen use, we’re going to help you get exactly that!
Smoking requires accurate heat measurements. Sometimes, you just want to smoke without burning your steak. And this will require a good mastery and control of the heat output. To make sure you don’t burn your eat, you must have enough control of the process. A smoker without a temperature control gauge might be as good as functionally useless.
How often are you going to be grilling? It’s a very important question because your answer will help you know whether you need a heavy duty or just the regular smoker. If you are inviting your friends over quite often, then you will certainly want to get a more expensive and advanced smoker.
You need to look at your regulator to be able to tell how much power the unit is going to use. And, in most cases, if you are looking for a smoker for three or four times a year, then we just need a light duty cheaper brand.
But when it comes to doing it for five times a month then you will need to look for a more durable equipment.
Always get a cooker which you can easily assemble without advanced skills. Realize that already, several parts might come with the unit. You might want to research on each of the brands that you intend to choose from.
Then, scan as many options as possible to be able to find the cookers that come and complete units. If you want to save yourself effort and time, just make sure to buy those cookers that come with full assembly. But if you would want to use your skills on this, then you can go right ahead and choose those come with different parts.
Source of electricity
When purchasing the best electric smokers for camping, you must always be sure to be looking straight at ways in which you can save your energy.
I recommend charcoal or propane smokers when camping because they are a little more naturally available than electricity. This will especially suffice when you are camping deep in the woods.
If you are using electricity to smoke your barbecue, you must always be ready for a hefty bill at the end of the month. But, that doesn’t have to be the case if you use efficient machines and that save on your power.
The good thing is that advanced electric smokers are going to give you all the functionality that you get with a charcoal smoker. Also, you get the same experience at a far cheaper price from that of charcoal smokers because these ones don’t need the oven or other advanced chambers for the fuel.
Instead of buying charcoal, what you need is to get the flavored wood chips that will add some aroma to your meat. Of course, this means you get to save a lot of fuel and that’s good for the environment.
Your available space
Always take great consideration of the space in your house or your yard before you buy any barbecue accessories. You can only buy a size that fits well in the space you have. So pay close attention to how much space you have to end up with a machine that actually saves on your space and just fits well.
Sturdiness and durability
One thing I’m very sure is that you don’t want to keep going back to the shop for another electric smoker every other month. In fact, you want one that can last a lifetime if possible, which is exactly the reason why you shouldn’t compromise on the quality.
The pressure of buying something sometimes can trick you into just getting a cooker just because it looks fantastic. But, you must always invest in a durable electric smoker that’s not only going to last long but also serve you right.
And, the durability or resistance of an electric cooker or smoker depends on its construction. So, make sure to find electric smokers that have heavy-duty cast iron stainless steel or porcelain. This way, your smoker is not going to rust or break easily.
Pricing versus quality
I know you will want to stick to a restrained budget especially when shopping during the festive season. But, the same time it’s always important to appreciate the fact that what you pay for is what you get. If you spend a few more bucks you going to get a better quality of an electric smoker.
Fortunately, we’ve looked on the internet and all the stuff to make sure we can get the best electric smoker under $200 just to make sure that if you have a tight budget you can always find a low-priced smoker that hasn’t compromised the quality.
Best Electric Smokers Review: FAQs and Related Questions
Can I leave my electric smoker outside?
Electric smokers are not exactly fashioned for outdoor storage but some people still do that so this is a good question. If you do make sure to cover it appropriately so that no water seeps into the electrical part system also protected from water and resting by keeping it dry.
So if you asking whether that you can use your electric smoker in the rain there is no sense of doing that in the first place. While rain will not directly damage the smoker, I’m sure you’re not going to enjoy the process. And, electric smokers are not meant to be used in the rain because their electrical components might get damaged in the end.
So, yes- you can leave your electric smoker outdoors depending on its construction. The most important thing is to find out if the electric smoker is made of iron because it can rust. Also, be sure to check if the electrical cables are insulated because you don’t want them to be exposed to children, pets, or rainwater.
Then can I use my electric smoker indoors?
Sometimes when it’s raining or snowing outside, you might still want to go the extra mile and enjoy your BBQ. But you need to be careful especially when you want to use your electric smoker indoors. You should not use your smoker indoors because it produces a lot of smoke and might raise carbon monoxide levels in your house which might affect your health. To avoid these risks, you can mitigate them by making sure you have enough ventilation.
Do electric smokers use a lot of electricity?
The majority of electric smokers run on 800 watts per hour. So, in case you want to run it for about 10 hours a day it means that every day you will be 8kilowatts hour. And in the case you want to smoke your meat every day, you will have used up to 240 kilowatts of power by the end of the month.
Then, electric smokers normally draw about 7 amps of power as long as there are no added resistance extension cords. This means that if you use an analogue 1500w element, you must get an amp breaker of up to 20 amperes.
Can I do cold smoking in an electric smoker?
Many electric smokers will need an additional accessory to makes them good enough for cold smoking. You see, cold smoking is not about cooking the food again but rather to infuse it with the smoky flavour at minimal heat.
And like hot smoking, your objective is just to add the sumptuous flavor to the fish or steak. Therefore, you will need to hit a temperature of 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the majority of electric smokers are not designed for that. The good thing is you can fetch the additional kit for cold smoking at a good price.
How should I clean my electric smoker?
First, you need to consider your safety and the durability of your smoker. So, when you decide to clean your electric smoker, turn it off and wait for it to cool down. Then, remove the drip tray and wash that in the sink.
Brush away the debris from the smoker before wiping the sides gently with soapy water. Then, use a plastic scrubber because the metal would damage the interior parts of your cooker. Return every component back to its place and enjoy your smoking spree!
How can I use my smoker especially for the first time?
The first thing is to clean and season your smoker. This is just to make sure you’re your electric smoker is ready for its first BBQ. Once you have seasoned it, follow the instructions in your user’s manual and you’ll be good to go.
Which to choose: wet or dry chips for my electric smoker?
Many people will use wet or dry chips for their electric smokers depending on their preferences. Dry chips will burn faster which means that you get more intense smoke while wet chips burn slower and produce smoke that’s a little less intense.
But this also depends on whether you using soft or hardwoods. Fruit and nut woods will likely absorb more water when you soak them while hardwoods will be a little resistant.
In-depth research and studies conclude that when you soak hardwoods for the recommended 2 hours, it does not penetrate but instead sips into the cracks. Antagonists argue that when placed on a grill, the wood first has to give up steam and most people confuse that with smoke and gases. Scientifically speaking, soaking your food is just a tradition and that does not exactly add any flavours to your meat.
Should I cook beef before making jerky?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that you have to heat beef to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit for some time before you begin the dehydration process. When you’re making jerky, you have to understand that drying meat alone does not kill the bacteria. Most smokers and meat dehydrators including the oven itself do not have enough temperatures to kill microorganisms in it.
So, even though your fried jerky or mocha might make your beef look ready it’s not safe to eat until you expose it to a little more heating. You can do this before or after the drying process but the recommendation is that before you eat you must make sure it has gone through ultra-heating.
You should first heat it to make sure that the beef is free of any pathogens. Therefore, after the bacteria are destroyed, you can then begin making your jerky. So, yes- you may want to cook your beef before making jerky.
Does outside temp (cold weather) affect electric smoker?
Smoking meat in the winter is usually a challenge because the snow might actually ruin your barbecue. And, when the outside temperature lowers, it is likely to start absorbing heat from your heater. This makes it a little slower.
However, the majority of electric smokers are designed to prevent and minimize the effect of outside temperature and environmental changes. As long as you keep your smoker closed, you should not find any problem. And if you ever feel you need to be sure, then you can find the best electric smoker for cold weather.