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This way you’ll turn into a professional cook with a push of a button. The main question you have to ask yourself is – Can I achieve the same results with the electric smoker as I can with the conventional one? The answer is – yes! That said, modern smokers work flawlessly. Here are some of our top picks.
5 Top Rated Electric Smokers for 2018 Reviewed
Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker - Best Electric Smoker for Brisket
- The first thing people notice about this unit is its quality. This device is one of the best electric smokers available on the market.
In fact, this is the number one bestseller in the Outdoor Cooking category on Amazon. The price-to-quality ratio is fantastic. This is one of the cheaper high-quality ones on the market.
The main characteristic of this unit is the volume. It has four racks, and it will allow you to cook up to 80 pounds of meat. This product has a thermostat, so you’ll get an insight into the temperature readings in real time. If you are thinking about smoking brisket, this is the unit you want to purchase.
Also, you don’t necessarily need to cook meat. Vegetables and, for example, beef jerky are also an option. The possibilities are endless, and this is the right thing for you if you’re looking for a quality electric smoker.
Char-Broil Deluxe Digital - Best for Smoking Chicken
- This product is designed for those who want the classic, rich flavor of the smoked meat but want a more modern design of the product.
This particular one features a remote, internal light, and a viewing window. You don’t have to hassle much with this electric smoker. You can smoke pork, chicken, and even vegetables with ease. The high capacity wood chip box provides up to six hours of smoke.
There is no guesswork with this unit. It will alert you when your food reaches the desired internal temperature. Once finished, your food is kept warm until you decide to serve it. The mobility is something people often overlook and don’t pay attention to as much as they should.
This unit has wheels and handles for improved mobility. So if you want to move it from one side of the yard to another – it’s a piece of cake. Just stroll it down the yard and grab yourself a beer along the way. This is one of the best electric smoker for chicken on the market today.
Bradley Smokers Original - Best Electric Smoker for Cheese
- Bradley’s Original Smoker comes with a clean and shiny design thanks to its polished stainless steel housing.
It has four chrome-coated racks, and it offers more than enough space for your meat, vegetables, or whatever you want to smoke in it. Another great feature of this smoker is that it’s an outdoor product which means you can use it anywhere if an electric outlet is available.
You have the full control over the quantity of smoke, the temperature, and other variables necessary for perfect meat smoking. Automatic smoke generator helps to eliminate any significant temperature changes and disruptions in smoke production to preserve the quality of your food. Its Non-Stick Magic Mats allows you to smoke food freely without getting it all stuck. That is why this is top choice unit for smoking cheese.
It’s insulated from inside so you can use it in all seasons from summers to winters, with proper maintenance of course. The interior is also quite easy to clean because of its smooth and brushed surface. This electric smoker comes with individual burners to generate oven heat and smoke.
Masterbuilt Front Controller - Top Choice for Jerky Smoking
- This unit is perfect for smoking meat and vegetables. It features a LED display and RF remote controls.
It’s quite straightforward because it’s equipped with essential features mandatory for top-quality meat smoking. Once you start using this unit, you’ll forget about all the issues you have had before with older units. The new era of digital smokers has arrived, it’s on you to join the hype train and become a member of this community.
The four chrome-coated racks allow you to find more than enough space to smoke your meat. It has 975 square inches of space which will be enough for a lot of meat and even more vegetables. Some say that this is the best electric smoker for jerky and we couldn't agree more.
Masterbuilt has used radio frequency technology in this smoker. The high-tech remote controller allows you to turn on or shut down the unit with your fingertips. You can also control the internal light with it and use it for the inside temperature adjustment.
Masterbuilt Electric Analog Smoker - Best for Turkey Smoking
- The significant upside of this product is that it can heat up to the desired temperature rather quickly. It is also able to maintain the temperature you want once it reaches it.
This ability is the crucial difference between modern devices over traditional ones. One of the best things about any electric smoker and this one as well is the capacity to maintain the temperature. The hardest part with old conventional smoker units is keeping the temperature at a constant level.
So, the consistency in temperature values is flawless with this product. It comes with three racks, and every rack is chrome-coated. It has a temperature range of 100 degrees up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The only possible downside of this smoker is that it can be hard to get used to an analog thermostat. Other than that, this product has no major flaws. You can even use it at yours family weekend BBQ or for Thanksgiving since this is considered to be the best electric smoker for turkey.
What is Considered a Good Price Range?
One of the things that are going to influence your choice is the price tag. Before you rush to purchase one, make sure you determine the upper limits of your budget. Electric smoking units come with a huge diversity in price depending on their quality, materials used in production, brand name, warranty, safety features, and more. That said, when it comes to the price – it’s not always the quality that sets it. Many times it’s the additional features, thermostat sensitivity, and more.
You need all the additional features you can get when buying an electric smoker. You never know when you’re going to need some of them. Although, if you don’t have the possibility due to low budget, choose only the most important features for yourself. For example, if you don’t need a lot of mobility, buy a unit without any wheels.
>> To conclude, every price is right if you have enough money and you still get the exact thing you’re looking for. <<
Different Types of Electric Smokers
You need to pick the kind of smoker you’ll enjoy using the most. Also, your budget is going to be the first and only obstacle.
There are mainly two types:
- Vertical water electric smokers and
- Electric cabinet smokers.
For example, vertical water electric smokers offer the design that allows a constant flow of fresh smoke within the unit. It’s perfect for smoking meat to a tangy finish. The heating units boil water to produce steam and burn wood chips to generate smoke.
There are lots of things like temperature and pressure control and heat evaporation facilities to think about while buying an electric smoker. It all comes down to personal preference in the end. Both of these types have their upsides and flaws.
Before choosing the type, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I buying it for a household use?
- Do I like spending time in front of the unit or do I need to cook the food in a quick manner?
Vertical Water Type
In this case, the chamber is directly above the burning wood, but the two are separated by a bowl which contains water, seasoning, beer, wine, and so on. The water evaporates due to the heat of the wood and helps maintain the constant temperature inside the unit. Once the unit reaches the desired temperature, there are almost no fluctuations in temperature which can jeopardize the taste of the meat.
Another upside of this type of electric smokers is that the steam helps the smoke to penetrate deeper into the meat giving it an authentic and smoky flavor. Also, the meat retains its moisture and doesn’t get dry. Furthermore, the bowl with water collects the oil and fat dripping from the meat preventing possible issues. The heating element is directly below the bowl, so by catching the oil drops, the bowl helps to prevent a mess.
That said, there are also some flaws you need to consider before buying a vertical water smoker. First of all, the power consumption. These things consume a massive amount of electric power to keep the water warm, even in the summer. So, using it in winter months is not efficient in any way. The constant effort to maintain the water temperature requires a lot of electric power, so the efficiency drops drastically.
Also, because of this, many vertical water smokers with low power won’t be able to maintain the constant temperature or they’ll struggle to the point where it’s not worth. Hence, these ones are best for summer days.
You need to keep in mind that, during the summer, these smokers can reach critical temperatures. However, most of the modern vertical smokers have mechanisms like temperature control and thermostats to prevent this from happening. These things combined will ensure that the temperature doesn't reach a critical point.
These cabinets come enclosed from all sides, so there’s a minimal amount of heat loss. Also, compared to other types, cabinet smokers are larger and bulkier. As far as the mobility goes, these don’t thrive in mobility. Once you find a place for this unit, keep it there. That said, these units do come with their benefits which can make them a favorite among people with peculiar demands.
These units are built for durability and performance. These factors influence the price. That’s why this type of smokers tends to have a sky-high price, but they’re worth every penny. First of all, they can last for years without needing a replacement. You should buy these smokers if you want to enjoy the full benefits of an electric smoker. Although you’re going to have to pay a hefty price, you won’t regret a single moment.
One of the benefits of these smokers is that they come with a temperature unit built into them. These units allow you to control the temperature in different ways. For example, the LED display provides the temperature readings, based on the reading you can determine if your meat needs more or less heat. If it needs less heat, simply open the cabinet and let some of the heat out. If it needs more heat, turn up the temperature.
Furthermore, modern cabinet smokers have a temperature control mechanisms built into them. This means you can simply set the temperature at which the meat should be heated and walk away. When the device reaches the desired temperature, the thermostat won’t allow it to drop. Also, if it falls below the value, you set, the thermostat turns on the heating unit and tries to reach the desired temperature value.
What are the Benefits of Owning an Electric Smoker
1. No making fire
So, the first benefit is not having to hassle around making a fire. All you have to do is plug it in, and you’re ready to smoke some meat. They are quite convenient and have some advantages over other types. Be sure to revise these benefits before you decide to purchase an electric smoker.
2. Temperature - controlling
The temperature accuracy with charcoal smokers is quite hard to maintain and control. For instance, gas smokers are much more precise and better at controlling the temperature.
Electric ones have thermostats and temperature-controlling mechanisms, so it’s quite easy to reach and maintain the desired temperature.
When it comes to safety, they are the safest ones. With charcoal and pellet smokers there’s always a possibility of burning wood jumping out and setting something on fire, especially indoors. With electric, that’s not an issue. Because of the prevention mechanisms, these things have integrated, a possibility of fire is quite low. Also, there’s always a risk of overheating to the point of bursting. Once again, the temperature regulation mechanisms prevent overheating thus preventing a potential explosion.
4. Cooking speed
Regulating the speed of cooking is pretty important for some people. With the electric type, you’re the one who’s controlling the speed. Other commercial smoking unites tend to force the heat from top to bottom. On the other side, electric smokers force the heat from the bottom up which is usually a slower process. However, it’s known that slow-smoking offers much better results than smoking meat on high temperatures.
5. No supervision needed
These devices need minimal supervision. So, if you don’t have a whole day to commit, this is the right thing for you. Electric smoking units come with timers which can be used to set the time for which it operates. Automatic shutdown allows you to prevent over-smoking the meat. You don’t need to check often to see whether or not the meat is done, set the time and move along with your day. Once you’re done with your obligations, there’s a fine lunch waiting for you.
6. Heat spreading
Spreading the heat property is crucial. Most outdoor cookers perform poorly when it comes to spreading the heat. Because of the ability to spread the heat, the meat comes out perfectly cooked and smoked, unlike with the outdoor cookers which cook one side of the meat and leave the other side half-raw.
So, the benefits are more than obvious. If you’re looking to cook and smoke meat with top-quality smokers, don’t hesitate to choose the electric smoker. Although they might be more expensive than others.
The electric smoker is obviously a better choice compared to it's rivals. However, that doesn't mean the other kinds aren't worth anything. It all depends on your individual needs. If you want to install your unit outside, feel free to buy a pellet or charcoal smoker. For everything else, the electric one is better. And these are the best smokers for home use. They are convenient, easy to use, and modern. The integrated methods of temperature control offer perfectly cooked and smoked meat every time you turn your smoker on. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, and you love quality smoked meat, it's the right tool for you.