Best Electric Smokers
Smoking meat and fish is a time-tested way to lock in flavor in culinary traditions around the world. Traditional smokers are usually filled with charcoal or wood chippings to gain that smoked flavor, as the food is cooked slowly over long periods to ensure that the taste is packed with smoky juiciness.
In this article, we decided to look at electric smokers to see how they stood up to scrutiny, and ultimately crowning the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker our HowToHome pick. Join us as we take a look at three of the most popular electric smokers.
- 725 sq inches of cooking space
- Insulated double-wall construction
- Glass door to see cooking action
- 4 racks for multiple cooking
- 1-year warranty
- 1.3 cu ft of cooking space
- 1500-watt heating element
- Porcelain coated water and wood chip pan
- Fully adjustable temperature control
- 1-year limited warranty
This Char-Broil digital smoker has an enormous 725 sq inches of cooking space over four adjustable racks. That’s over 11 cu ft of capacity, dwarfing the Cuisinart Electric Smoker capacity by more than 3.5 cu ft. This model also benefits from its unique double-wall construction, which means there is less heat loss and better insulation. That should equate to a reduction in the amount of power used to cook your food, so it is better for the environment and your energy bills.
Another great thing about this smoker is that it has a glass door, which can save you money because you aren’t constantly dropping the temperature in the smoker every time you open the door to check on your food. It also comes with a large control panel and an easy to read blue LED display.
On the downside, many have reported problems with the thermostatic controller, with some saying it has failed entirely and others complaining that it is inaccurate. Plus, this model only has 750 watts of power, meaning that it has the largest capacity and the weakest motor. Given its pedigree and popularity, though, we still believe this smoker is the best around.
- Hold the heat better than the competition
- Huge oven capacity
- Removable thermometer
- Great for large family gatherings
- Issues with the thermostat controller either failing or inaccurate
- Only 750 watts of power
If you are on a budget, this Smoke Hollow is a great option. It has an internal cookbox height of 26 inches, which equates to 1.3 cu ft of cooking space, so you may have to get used to smoking in smaller batches, but it does have two chrome-plated cooking racks that are fully adjustable, which means that you can cook medium to small cuts of meat. The water and wood chip pans are coated in porcelain to protect them from the punishing heat, which means that they stay in excellent working condition. It also means you get greater heat transference, so you get a better smoky result.
The best thing about this electric smoker is that you can set it and forget it. With fully adjustable heating controls that put you in the driving seat, and with a maximum temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit, the Smoke Hollow should handle almost any smoking task. It also means that you get the juiciest food with the minimum amount of fuss.
On the downside, some have reported that the paint on the inside of the door peels under the heat pressure, and the heating element has the tendency to overheat or fail since the fat that drips from the food lands directly on it. Despite this design flaw, we think the Smoke Hollow electric smoker would be an excellent entry-level model for beginners because it is practical and offers value as it retails for significantly less than the others featured.
- Great entry level electric smoker
- Fully adjustable cooking racks
- 175-degree to 375-degree Fahrenheit temperature range
- Internal heatbox measures 26 inches in height
- Lightweight at just 34.7 lbs
- Issues over the element failing
- Reports of paint peeling off inside door
- Less capacity than more expensive models
Cuisinart is synonymous with great products in our kitchens, so it comes as no surprise that they should also produce reliable electric smokers for outdoor cooking as well. Like the Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker, this model also has a 1500-watt heating element and complete temperature control. Furthermore, Cuisinart claims that this model is the ideal smoker for beginners because of its set-and-forget capabilities and simplistic design.
This Cuisinart electric smoker has seven and a half cubic feet of internal space, making it ideal for smaller family gatherings and special occasions, as it gives you the capacity smoke medium batches of food. While it is heavier than the Smoke Hollow, the Cuisinart still only weighs 51.5 lbs (compared to 34.7 lbs). As you would expect, this Cuisinart also has water and wood chip pans to give your food that lovely smoky flavor, and with a built-in thermometer on the front door you can easily keep an eye on the temperature.
Unfortunately, many have reported that the temperature settings can be inaccurate, and because the heating element is located at the base of the smoker along with the water and wood chip pans, the water boils dry very quickly, removing any moisture content from the inside of the smoker. Given its large capacity and no-fuss operation, though, we still recommend this product for beginners who want a smoker that’s easy to use and can handle a lot of food.
- Ideal for beginners
- Weighs 51.5 lbs
- Built-in thermometer
- Ideal for medium gatherings
- Inaccurate temperature settings
- Water pan is too close to the heating element
Electric smokers might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they can be ideal for those that want the experience of smoking their food without the hassle.
If money is no object and you want the best quality, then look no further than the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker. This model, which is featured as our HowToHome Pick, has the highest cooking capacity and four cooking racks to give you that option to cater for large groups of people.
The more cost-conscious among you might like that the Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker retails at far less, making it our HowToHome Budget Pick. It may not have the capacity of the Char-Broil, but it is a lightweight and portable entry-level smoker for beginners.
It would be worth checking out the Cuisinart Electric Smoker if you are looking for a more basic design that is perfect for beginners. It is a capable smoker with three cooking racks and a powerful 1500-watt motor.
Whichever electric smoker you choose, we are sure that you will be delighted with your purchase and hope that we’ve made that choice easier to make.