Pros and Cons of Electric Smokers 

We all love barbequing; however, not everyone likes staying outdoors and waiting for the BBQ to be ready, particularly when freezing outdoors.

For this reason, you should consider getting an electric smoker.

Are you aware that one of the benefits of using this electric smoker is that you do not need to rely on fire to produce smoke?

And unlike contemporary models, you do not have to be an expert to use this unit. In addition, it’s user-friendly.

Moreover, when it comes to controlling temperature, there’s no need to regulate temperature regularly. Set it and continue with other chores.

Considerations Before Buying Electric Smokers

Material

It is important to take into consideration the construction quality of electric smokers before purchasing them.

What materials were used to make it? Are they aluminum? Or stainless steel? Or both?

The material used to make an electric smoker will play a significant role in its durability.

Most are made with stainless steel material. Stainless steel is the best material, especially the interior of an electric smoker.

The material helps in controlling and maintaining the interior temperature. In addition, stainless steel is easy to clean and durable.

It is best to ensure proper insulation of the smoker’s internal area. By doing that, you will maintain an even and right cooking experience.

And on the external, manufacturers use aluminum materials. The reason is, aluminum materials are very durable and will resist extreme conditions. 

Features

Another essential thing to consider is the features you would like in your new investment.

Modern units have several features, such as sensors, cooking mode, temperature settings, time settings, etc.

Usually, the more features, the higher the cost.

Inexpensive models do not have lots of features. So, know the purposes of various features and buy an expensive electric smoker if you require those.

Temperature range

This is a factor to consider as well. Residing in freezing conditions will force you to buy a model that features a high-temperature range and is consistent with the heat.

Usually, the temperature of an electric smoker will range from 100 degrees Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you reside in an area without extreme temperatures, a standard smoker with a constant temperature is the best option.

Capacity

This will determine the quantity of food you will be able to smoke at the same time. Usually, the majority of these models have a huge capacity.

You should ensure that you get a model that has adequate space. Bigger electric smokers will handle more than 50lbs of meat at a go.

You should ensure that you get a model that has adequate space

This makes it ideal when you are hosting a large group of people.

But if you’re cooking for a small crowd, then you do not require a big capacity. The idea is to get a model that will suit your specific cooking area.

Price

This is an important consideration. Luckily, you can get a different array of smokers within the size of your pocket.

Avoid low-cost electric smokers as many are created with inexpensive materials with uncertain quality.

These often do not last for longer. Instead, get a smoker that will be budget-friendly and provide you with your preferred feature.

What are the pros and cons of an electric smoker?

Electric smokers have pros and cons; you’ll find some things they are good at, and some are below par. An electric smoker is, without a doubt, user-friendly.

But you’ll still find more things you need to know before purchasing one. A smoker is also categorized as a cabinet smoker.

They can come with a heating element positioned at the bottom, a bowl or tray for water, a front door for opening the unit, a wood chips container, and a few interior racks for placing food on.

In addition, these smokers come with an analog or digital temperature controller for managing the heat.

Also Read: Grilling Time And Temperatures For Different Foods

Here’s a list of the different pros and cons of an electric smoker.

Pros:

  • You do not need to purchase and store charcoal or propane every time you want to grill. You need to have a stable electricity source.
  • Portable and simple to ignite
  • Even distribution of heat thanks to the cooking surface
  • Easy to maintain
  • There’s no need to monitor food always as you can set it, and it does everything. But you should monitor food with water-based electric models to ensure the water doesn’t dry out.
  • You can use it indoors.
  • Temperatures are often very stable and constant in electric smokers.
  • Inexpensive to use
  • There’s no need to learn how to light the coal; you have to switch it on and allow it to do all the work.

Cons:

  • As anticipated with electricity, electric smokers will not produce as much smoke in comparison with a charcoal model.
  • At times, assembling can be difficult.
  • You cannot use it outdoors if there are no electric outlets.
  • Smoke can be an issue sometimes.
  • It would be best to clean it up so that the grease build-up on the plates will not cause a fire.
  • Low-cost smokers with no insulated walls or sealed doors might not hold their temperatures properly during windy or freezing days.
  • Electric smokers’ maximum temperatures are fairly low in comparison to charcoal or propane models. Many reach 300 °Fahrenheit or over.
  • Some are costly; however, it depends on the size and model.

Does an electric smoker use a lot of electricity?

An electric smoker does not use lots of electricity. Most use 800W per hour. If you were to smoke the meat for 7 hours each day for one month, the charges would be.

You take 800 multiplied by 7; this gives you 5600 W-hrs or 5.6 kilowatt-hours. After that, multiply this by thirty to get the total monthly use of 168-kilowatt hours.

Multiply this by the cost of your area’s standard kilowatt-hour; you’ll find that an electric smoker is relatively inexpensive.

For instance, a standard rate of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour will cost less in a month to smoke food the entire day, daily.

So you can certainly use this unit regularly and not worry about having huge bills. 

Is it safe to leave electric smokers unattended?

Yes, you can leave your electric smoker unattended and return and check the food when you think it is ready.

Do I need to add water to my electric smoker?

You can use water to help in controlling the temperature of your electric smoker.

And if it is hot outdoors and your electric smoker is becoming warm, adding cold water helps keep the smoker’s temperature where it suits you.

If it is freezing outdoors, you can add boiling or hot water to the pan. By doing this, it helps the unit reach the right temperature fast.

In addition, water in the pan will help add humidity to the chamber and help to keep the meat surface from drying out.

1. Masterbuilt  Digital Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker, 30", Black
  • Digital panel controls on/off, cooking temperature and time
  • Electric Smoker dimensions – 20.47" W x 19.88" L x 33.26" H | Max temperature setting – 275ᵒ F | Inside capacity – 2 Turkeys, 4 Pork Butts, 4 Racks of Ribs, 6 Chickens
  • Patented side wood chip loading system allows you to add wood chips without opening door
  • Thermostat-temperature control for even, consistent smoking
  • Fully-insulated body retains heat

This electric smoker gets the job done most efficiently and effectively. This smoker features an electric cord that you can use to power the smoker.

Aside from that, its black color makes the smoker look classy.

This is an easy-to-use smoker with a heating system of 800W and cooking space of 730 sq. inches.

This front-loading model will work with a cooking range of 100°F – 275°F. There are four easy-to-remove racks for fitting a turkey in or cleaning up.

You will also find a detachable drip tray at the bottom of the racks. This tray slides in and out quickly and handles the surplus that comes off the turkey.

Although the meat drips the juices, the water tray underneath will give out uniform moisture throughout the unit.

You might not see the meat through this smoker’s solid black door; however, you can use digital controls to track temperature and time.

Airflow is controlled by the top air damper that’s located next to the control panel. The smoke stays inside when it is time for reloading the wood chips, thanks to the side access tray.

Features:

  • Powder-coated external surfaces for long-lasting stunning looks
  • Retains heat thanks to the entirely-insulated body
  • Detachable lower drip pan to help catch meat drippings
  • Thermostatic control will keep the temperature 
  • It comes with four cooking racks
  • The Control panel is at the top with a digital display
  • Refiller on the side for loading wood chip and tray to remove ash easily

Pros:

  • Huge capacity interior
  • Offers oil tray
  • Has a thermostat for better control of temperature
  • Thermostat for constant smoking and temperature control
  • User-friendly
  • Has stability thanks to adjustable screw legs
  • It comes with an appealing woodchips loader
  • It has a remote control feature
  • Offers four stainless steel grate racks to offer the suitable space

Cons:

  • Not ideal for wet conditions
  • It does not come with wheels and will sit a bit lower on the ground
  • No window

2. Char-Broil Deluxe Black Digital Electric Smoker

Char-Broil 19202101 Deluxe Black Digital Electric Smoker, Large, 725 Square Inch
  • Insulated, double-wall construction
  • Advanced control panel with easy-read, blue LED display
  • Removable food thermometer
  • Glass door allows you to monitor the smoke without opening the door
  • Large, steel locking latch for smoke-tight seal

This is the best electric smoker if you want a model that will offer lots of cooking space with digital control. 

It comes with a cooking space of 725-sq.inches with four adjustable racks. This makes this smoker ideal for small family events and other occasions.

In addition, this model comes with a double insulated wall that locks the smoke and heat inside the smoker.

The unit is much more efficient when using wood chips in comparison with other units.

Additionally, this electric smoker has a full-size glass window to allow you to keep an eye on the meat without opening the unit’s door.

This smoker comes with a side latch to help lock the door and ensure the flavor and smoke won’t drip.

The smoker also comes with a detachable temperature gauge. This feature helps you keep an eye on the interior temperature and adjust the control panel easily.

Additionally, it has a detachable meat probe to insert into the meat. Then, the unit will let you know if the meat is done, depending on its interior temperature. 

Features:

  • Easy to move thanks to wheels underneath
  • Weighs 50lbs 
  • Cooking space of up to 725 sq. inches
  • Has interior meat thermometer probe
  • Remote control

Pros:

  • It has a state-of-the-art, easy to use control panel
  • Big viewing glass door
  • Four adjustable cooking racks
  • LED display
  • Sliding porcelain-coated water tray
  • It has a secure latch

Cons:

  • Difficult to see the digital display in direct sunshine
  • Limited distance on remote
  • Not quite durable
  • Remote created with more fragile materials
  • A little heavy

3. Bradley Smoker Electric Smoker

Bradley Smoker BS611 Electric Smoker, One Size, Black
  • Stainless steel interior
  • Rack supports keep racks from tipping over when pulled out
  • Heat control moved to smoke generator which will eliminate moisture damage to switch
  • Inside dimensions-19 inch above drip tray

Are you looking for a top-quality build, sleek design, and lots of extras? Then it would be best if you considered getting this electric smoker.

The interior of this product is stainless steel, which is corrosion-resistant and a breeze to clean. 

Extras include four racks you can use for cooking and an intelligent smoking diffuser system that will keep smoke flowing.

This will help produce a tasty, clean grilling experience.

This smoker is self-feeding, adding fuel, and monitoring the cooking progress while you do other chores.

You can fill up to 9 hours of fuel into the container, then set the temperature and timer, and forget about the food until it’s ready. 

Heat in this electric smoker can get up to 320°F thanks to the powerful heating element.

Features:

  • 1-year warranty
  • User-friendly full digital controls
  • Four removable cooking racks
  • Up to nine hours without refilling wood
  • Interior thermostat
  • Polished, insulated stainless steel inside construction
  • It will stay stable on different ground
  • Provides a waterproof build

Pros:

  • Provides waterproof build
  • User-friendly temperature controls
  • Two heat and smoke burners
  • Four dishwasher racks
  • Easy temperature controls
  • Inside is stainless steel
  • Thick insulated walls
  • Huge cooking surface
  • Good stability no matter the terrain
  • Simple to install and use
  • Automatic smoke generator

Cons:

  • Heats slowly
  • Might have an issue getting to higher temperatures in freezing conditions
  • At times generates lots of smoke

4. Cuisinart Electric Smoker 

Cuisinart COS-330 Smoker, 30" Electric
  • 548 SQUARE INCHES OF INTERIOR: The spacious 548 square inch interior means there is plenty of room to smoke a variety of meats and vegetables. The vertical footprint makes it a perfect size for patios and barbecue kitchens.
  • Product Dimensions: 19.88" L x 17.32" W x 33.3" H | Weight: 59 lb
  • THREE REMOVABLE STAINLESS-STEEL SHELVES: Three stainless steel racks can be easily removed for smoking large cuts of meat. Racks are dishwasher safe, making cleanup easy.
  • BUILT-IN THERMOMETER: Features easy-to-read thermometer on the front door for accessible monitoring of the internal temperature.
  • 1500-WATT HEATING ELEMENT: Featuring a heating coil that provides the 1500-watt heating element able to produce a temperature from 100°F to 400°F easily controlled with a dial.

This product will provide you with a lot of conveniences because of its compact size.

Despite being a space-saving product, you will get a total rack area of nearly 555 sq. inches if you want to grill for a few guests or a small family.

Not only is this electric smoker compact, but the vertical structure will mean that it will fit nicely on small decks or patios.

As a result, you will get enough space to smoke food without using up lots of space.

The heating element in this model is very powerful, which has a rating of 1500W.

This provides you with sufficient oomph for heating the unit from 100°Fahrenheit through 400°Fahrenheit.

In addition, this provides you with lots of flexibility and the ability to make different recipes.

It comes with three stainless steel removable shelve, making them last, easy to clean, and rust-resistant.

All you should do is use warm soapy water to clean them after every use.

In addition, the trays are stainless steel to help hold the wood chips and water needed for smoking tasks.

Though you benefit from an incorporated meat thermometer, you might find precision is doubtful. 

Extra features include an easy to clean and durable water holder, dishwasher-safe grates, an integrated thermometer mounted to the smoker’s front door, and a stainless steel wood chip tray.

In addition, this is a budget-friendly smoker, which makes it the perfect starter package for newbie budget grillers.

Installing is fast and straightforward. First, fill the water pan to raise the cooking chamber’s interior humidity.

Next, select the wood chips or try out a blend. After that, set the temp range, begin the timer, place the food, and forget about it. This model will get the job done for you.

Features:

  • Portable thanks to the lightweight frame and two side handles
  • It has the ideal shape and size for feeding your loved ones and is user-friendly
  • Accurate monitoring of the cooking thanks to an interior analog thermometer
  • Simple to set the temperature, and it functions effectively
  • The heating temperature fast rises from 100 degrees Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros:

  • Great construction quality
  • It will accommodate nearly all kinds of wood chips
  • Eco-friendly
  • Affordable and versatile
  • Three-year warranty
  • It has a built-in thermometer

Cons:

  • No wheels or legs
  • A bit leaky door seals
  • The dripping pan does not catch 100 percent of the grease
  • Racks susceptible to scratching
  • Constant monitoring of temperature control

Also Read: Types of Smokers