The Best Electric Smokers Reviewed and Rated

Best electric smoker from Masterbuilt

If you love authentic barbecue, then you know what a great addition an outdoor smoker is to your cooking arsenal.

Good food smokers give your meat a rich flavor that is deliciously irresistible, not to mention a rich texture and unbeatable tenderness.

When it comes to electric smokers, the biggest advantage is they they let you smoke meat without the usual tending that’s required when using other types of smokers.

This is a huge convenience for cooks who want great results, but don’t want to have to work so hard to get them.

So, what is the best electric smoker to buy?

This is where things get a little tricky. There are numerous manufacturers out there, and while this is a good thing, all of them claim to have the best features, quality and easiest products to use.

In this buying guide, we give you our top 10 carefully selected options so you can find a quality product that you fall in love with every time you use it.

What We Looked for in Reviewing Electric Smokers

With so many different models on the market today, it is not an easy task to come up with a guide to what is best.

Every manufacturer is trying to build a strong brand with the best features for their products and the bar for benchmarking goes higher each day.

However, we come up with criteria that informed our choice of the top 10 electric smokers.

Our decision was informed by the following metrics:about electric asmokers

  • Versatility
  • Material Used and Construction
  • Size of Cooking Area
  • Portability
  • High Client Ratings and Good Reviews
  • Performance
  • Temperature Control
  • Ease of Use and Maintenance
  • Versatility

Every customer wants an appliance that they can use for more than one purpose.

Most of the smokers that we evaluated can be used for smoking and grilling.

In addition to this, most can also be used for chicken, beef, pork, sausages and for dehydrating fruits and vegetables.

Cooking different types of food at once is one major way of saving time.

Smokers that can also be used for grilling are most preferred by customers because they save on space in the kitchen too.

Material Used and Construction

The material used in constructing one of these products is important as it determines its appeal and durability.

Most of the electric smokers we reviewed are made of stainless steel or aluminized steel with chrome plated cooking rids and racks.

Stainless and aluminized zinc are preferred because they protect the smoker from rusting. Chrome also ensures that the smoker is safe from corrosion.

Some have double walls to enhance the retention of heat inside the smoker for better cooking.

Size of Cooking Area

Electric smoker cooking racksMany smokers are meant to be used outside the house.

This goes hand in hand with the need to have a large cooking area that can accommodate food for the whole family or host parties and dinners in the garden.

Most of the products that we have reviewed have 2-4 cooking grids which can hold up to 16 servings.

A big cooking area ensures that you can smoke all the food you want at a go no matter the number of people to be served.


PortabilityNobody wants an appliance that can only be used at a fixed location.

Most customers who buy smokers use it either over the weekends for entertaining or whenever they are travelling, going for picnics or camping.

Portability is determined by the weight of the appliance.

Most of the smokers we reviewed weigh between 25- 60 pounds. This shows that one can carry them around the compound or to whichever location they want.

Size is also important in determining portability.

Always go for a unit that occupies less space and one that you can comfortably put at your car trunk.

High Client Ratings and Good Reviews

One of the best ways to rate the performance of an appliance is to check how high it is rated and reviewed by the customers.

Clients are a good source of honest feedback since they talk about their real experience with the product.

The products we have reviewed have customer ratings above average and have been reviewed by many customers as good and effective.

With this, we are sure that the testimonials are a good source of feedback to the manufacturers and prospective buyers.


This was a big key factor when coming up with our criteria.

All the products that we reviewed have registered amazing performance with no cases of unexplained failure.

They have excellent temperature and smoke control features that ensure that all is well during cooking.

Some of the features that the smokers in this reviews have for enhanced performance include vents, doors, thermostats, rheostats, water pans, drip pans and extra insulation.

The wood ship loader is also in all the reviewed products to ensure that you get that lovely smoked food.

Temperature Control

Controlling electric smoker temperaturesFor one to get quality smoking results, there needs to be a way of controlling the temperature.

The smokers we reviewed have doors that are designed to lock tightly and securely to ensure that very little smoke and next to no heat escapes while cooking.

A good number of the products here has thermostats and a few have rheostats to make sure that you use the right temperature for the food being cooked.

Ease of Maintenance

This solely depends on the customer preferences.

We focused on the ease of assembly, cleaning and availability of replacements for spare parts.

A good number of the smokers we reviewed have removable cooking grids and racks for easy cleaning.

These grids and racks are also dishwasher safe.  There is very little assembly needed and the spare parts are easily available from the manufacturers.

In addition, the electric smokers have handles while some also have wheels for easy transportation and safety while lifting.

10 Best Electric Smokers


1. Masterbuilt 20075315

The Masterbuilt 40” Digital Electric Smoker is built for both the pro and the beginner in the cooking industry. This is because unlike other electric smokers in its league, it is simple and easy to use.

It makes smoking simple and it allows you to achieve competition-ready results without the inconvenience of propane or charcoal, right at your backyard. You just need to plug in this electric smoker, set the digital controls components and enjoy the fabulous smoking experience it gives.

With the RF remote and digital control panel, you set the temperature and time, and the smoker does all the work for you!
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Features and specifications

Front access drip pan.
975 square inches of cooking space.
Smooth operating wood chip loading system.
Drip catching system for easier clean-up.
Internal light and 4 cooking racks.
1,200Watt Heating Element.


It's a pricey possession but worthy in terms of the benefits derived from it. The product is also shipped free of charge.


This Masterbuilt Electric smoker allows you to prepare and enjoy the delicious taste of slow-smoked dishes all the year-round. Its remote controls allow you to monitor the internal meat temperature, cook time, and smoker temperature.
  • Digital panel and RF remote control
  • Four chrome-coated smoking racks
  • Has a patented side wood chip loading-system
  • Integrated thermostat temperature control for even and consistent smoking
  • Has a full viewing window for easy monitoring of the food as it gets smoked
  • Parts are made of delicate material thus prone to denting
  • May produce little smoke if poorly operated

2. Smokin-It Model #1

Smokin-It Model #1 is a great option for restaurants or large-scale meat smokers. This appliance has a big food capacity and wheels for easy transportation from one location to another.

For outside catering, it is the ideal product to invest in. The best thing is that this smoker comes already assembled and with a sample of wood to use. You can use it quite a distance from the power source since its power cable is long enough for that. This unit has changed the smoking experience for many hoteliers and caterers with its unbeatable features.
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Features and specifications

It weighs 58.8pounds
A power cable that is 12ft long
Cook’s up to 21 pounds of seafood and meat.
It has an insulation of fiberglass.
Its NSF certified hence can be used in restaurants.
The heating element holds up to 400 watts and has an LED indicator.
It has side handles for easy lifting.
It has a smoke box, 3 grilling stacks and 4 heavy duty casters with a 3inch diameter each.
It has a rheostart that regulates temperature from 100F- 250F.


The product is pricey but it has the highest ratings of excellence. It never disappoints.


Its ease of use and ability to smoke up to 21 pounds of food at a huge plus. It is suitable for restaurant use, camping, entertaining guests and family cooking.
  • It is insulated with fibre glass to reduce heat loss
  • It has wheels and handles for easy transportation
  • The power cable is long enough to allow for a perfect outdoor smoking experience
  • Apart from just meat, one can adjust the temperature and use it to dehydrate fruits and vegetables
  • It does not get too hot on the outside
  • The wheels are removable
  • No thermometer on the lid
  • Assembling this product can be a bit tasking

3. Masterbuilt 20070910

If you love exciting barbeque smoking and grilling experience? The Masterbuilt Electric Digital smoker attracts you like a magnet. The austerity of unit begins with its intuitive digital pushbutton control panel, which includes temperature settings ranging from 100 - 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperature is easy to set and remarkably consistent such that your food cooks just the way you like it. The smoker’s walls are 100 % insulated to create an even and energy efficient cooking, meaning the moment you invest in this grill, you will no longer have to deal with chunks of overcooked meat on one side while the other side is raw. The unit’s control panel has a 24-hour timer that automatically shuts off to prevent over smoked or over-dry meat.

The smoker is spacious inside and has four interior smoking racks that give seven hundred and thirty square inches of combined cooking surface.
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Features and specifications

730 square inches of cooking surface with 4 chrome-coated racks.
Has an 800watt heating element.
Digital timer and temperature controls.
Thermostatic temperature control for even cooking (100 - 275 degrees Fahrenheit).
Removable drip pan, top air damper, and convenient side loading wood chips.
An ideal smoker for all levels of experience.


This electric smoker is quite pricey but absolutely worth the money. Acquiring this smoker is a great upgrade from the ordinary smoking experience and a long-term investment.


We would greatly recommend it for ardent barbeque smoker who deal with large numbers of people. It can also be used to prepare a large variety of delicacies. The pleasant aroma that pervades from this electric smoker makes family and friends flock to it in the spirit of good food and good times.

4. Char-Broil Deluxe

The Char-Broil Deluxe has to be one of our top models selected here based on quality and convenience factors. This smoker is built for efficiency, and is what really sets it apart from other electric smokers. It’s robust and durable construction tightly locks in heat and smoke so it can cook faster and provide tastier results in the process.

This smoker scores a lot of points when it comes to general ease-of-use. This is made possible by a few helpful features. First, is the highly accurate and trustworthy temperature probe. Reading how hot your meat is on the front display is a reliable progress indicator.

You can also do visual checks on your food through its large, mostly glass door. There is some minor heat loss through this glass (compared to a solid panel), but it’s nothing to be concerned about. The large opening also makes the interior pretty easy to clean.

Depending on what you’re smoking, you have the luxury of moving around up to 4 included racks. Each is good sized and can hold quite a bit of food when you’re fixing large quantities. Attached wheels and handle make this smoker easy to move around as well.
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Features and specifications

Includes 3 removable racks that can be quickly adjusted to fit your needs
The smoker has a warming mode after cooking to keep your food warm until you’re ready to go
Use its handy meat probe make smoking easy; simply insert it into your meat, and the smoker notifies you when a set temperature is reached
Highly insulated and securely locked box provides smoking efficiency and means fewer wood chip re-fills during long smoking sessions
Large see-through window provides additional monitoring along with you’re the removable thermometer.
The Char-Broil Deluxe measures 18.1 (width) by 16.5 (depth) by 32.5 (height).


For the size, nice digital control panel and overall great looks, the Deluxe is a decent value. Not the cheapest model, but an excellent choice if you have up to a couple hundred dollars to spend. This smoker can be shipped absolutely free.


This is a great looking smoker that is surely to catch the eye of your friends and guests. It’s not an enormous smoker, but still a good size if you’re preparing smoked meat for good sized groups of people of 8 or more. Four racks extend its versatility to prepare meat for a family or backyard party. You don’t have to worry about getting distracted either as you’ll be alerted when the internal temperature is at your desired level – the convenience of the temperature probe is invaluable. You also won’t have to monitor wood chip replacement as the Deluxe’s claim to fame is extremely efficient construction that allows it to make the most of the smoke its using. This adds up to less work for you in adding chips. Move it from place-to-place easily with its on-board wheels and built-in handle. This all adds up to a great user experience and eating experience, making this one of our favorite backyard smokers available today.
  • Well-made with quality materials, providing strong seal for more efficient operation
  • Meat thermometer is accurate enough to depend on throughout cooking process
  • May only require one re-loading of wood chips during long smokes
  • Modern functions and intuitive enough for beginning smokers
  • Nice, stylish design with convenient wheels and grip handle
  • Display hard to read in sunlight
  • Can only set temperature and time for programming

5. Masterbuilt Digital

This is one of the best innovations as far as electric cookers are concerned. For a relaxed meat smoking experience, add it to your kitchen, you will not regret it. This electric smoker is one of the easiest and less engaging appliance to use when roasting or grilling your food.

It makes smoking a very simple and stress-free. Its big cooking area with four racks is also something worth admiring. For many users, once they start using this product they never go back to the old way of smoking or other grill. It gives a unique experience that’s hard to break from.

It comes with digital control that make it “the in-thing” among both beginners and pros BBQ aficionados. Just plug it and set the temperatures and time. It will do the rest as you enjoy watching or doing other tasks around.
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Features and specifications

Digital control panel for powering on and off, time and temperature.
Its body is fully insulated.
Side wood chip loading system
Four cooking racks that are chrome plated.
Large food capacity of up to 64 sausages, 8 rib racks, 6 whole chicken, 24 burgers, 2 whole turkeys and 4 pork butts.
Thermostat temperature control.
It weighs 39 pounds which makes it portable to desired locations.
The product comes with a 90-day warranty.


This product is pricey but it is a guaranteed start to a lifetime of smoking excellence. It is a worthwhile investment.


What makes this product worth buying is the ease of cooking that it gives, and the its large cooking area that can serve a big party. Having high customer ratings and reviews, this product is highly recommendable for purchase. It is suitable for big dinner parties, family cooking and picnics. The product can also be used for meal prepping ahead of a busy schedule as well as individual regular cooking.
  • The wood chip system can be operated without opening the door
  • It has a large cooking area that can allow for entertaining
  • The chrome plating on the racks protects the smoker against corrosion
  • It has a water pan that minimises the smoke emanating
  • Even cooking of the food
  • It does not need further assembly upon purchase
  • It is not recommended for indoor use

6. Old Smokey Electric Smoker

If you’re one of those people who can’t get over the love of biting juicy chunks of smoked steak or chicken, the old smokey electric smoker is exactly what you need to prepare such juicy bites indoor or outdoor. This electric smoker is made of aluminized steel meaning it’s corrosion and rust resistant.
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Features and specifications

It is grey in color.
Made of aluminized steel.
Flat top that allows juices to drip back.
It has a chip tray where wood chips are put.
It has a thermostat for automatic temperature control
It has two cooking racks.
Has a drip pan and 2 carrying handles which make it safe to use.
It has a lid for closed cooking.
It power rating are 120 volts and 1250 watts.


This product is affordable and since it’s durable, you can be sure you will get value for money.


Though this smoker doesn’t look modern, it’s a worth investment. The one thing that makes it a darling to many BBQ lovers is its portability. Whether you are going for parties, picnics, or camps, it will always come in handy. It always makes the event more fun especially with slow smoked chicken and meat.
  • It is easily portable
  • It can be used as a grill
  • It’s made of aluminized steel
  • You can adjust temperature according to what you’re cooking
  • The sealed lid captures juices from the meat for great taste
  • The flat top base provides an even and constant basting to give great results
  • The smoker gets very hot while cooking

7. Smoke Hollow 30162E

The first Smoke Hollow on our list is very convenient for entertaining quests with smoked chunks of meat at outdoor parties, picnics or even during leisure travels. It gives awesome smoking experience, regardless of whether you’re smoking beef, chicken or fish. You will seriously love its speed and ability to prepare many food servings at the same time.

It has 3 cooking grids that are chrome plated and large enough to allow you to smoke as much meat as you want. If anything, no one wants to be smoking meat for a whole afternoon. The unit has enough space for you to smoke multiple types of food at once. The chrome plating is very good at cutting maintenance costs because it prevents rusting and corrosion which may occur over time.
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Features and specifications

2 cooking grids that with adjustable heights.
3 temperature settings that range from 175F-325F.
2 carrying handles for safety.
It measurements are 17x19x36 inches
Has a heater wattage of 1500 W.
It has a painted steel box where wood chips are placed.
Porcelain coated water pan.
Its black in color and made of steel.
It weighs 38.7 pounds
It has a power cord that is 5ft long.


The product is pricey but worth the money. The quality of cooking it renders is worth spending on.


We love everything about this product. From durability to ease of maintenance, they are things that should make you buy it. Its suitable for picnics, outdoor parties and caravanning.
  • One can adjust its temperature to suit the food being cooked
  • It is easy to assemble with the help of the user guide
  • It can cook food for a large number of people
  • The door ensures that all juices are trapped inside for rich flavor
  • It can be transported with the use of the 2 carrying handles
  • It can be very smokey if used indoors

8. Smoke Hollow 26142E

The Smoke Hollow 26142E is made with long lasting materials which you can depend on for long hours of cooking meat. It does not run out of gad and is designed with a 1500Watt Heating Element which aids in maintaining the optimal cooking temperature for any kind of meat you are could be cooking. It has the following salient features.
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Features and specifications

The temperature is controllable and can be adjusted.
Steel cabinets with side handles and a cool-touch spring wire handle.
It weighs about 33 lbs. Hence it is fairly-easy and light to use.
Includes 1500-watt heating element and a fully adjustable temperature control
Porcelain Coated Water Pan and chip tray.
Measures 36.5" x 19" x 16.5" inches which is plenty of cooking surface area


Easily affordable for smoking enthusiasts.


If you want a straightforward type of an electric smoker that can work well without any difficulties, this is a perfect choice. We highly recommend it for ardent smokers working on a budget but something that doesn’t compromise on smoking quality. This electric smoker is definitely one of the best for that kind of budget.
  • Easily available and affordable
  • Cooks much faster and performs well
  • Can be easily cleaned
  • It does not use any gas
  • It gives a wonderful smoky taste to all your meats
  • It is recommended by many users
  • Limited warranties

9. Bradley Digital 4-Rack

The Bradley Digital Smoker is more versatile and easier to control than any other smoker, and both chefs and sportsmen alike can rely on it to consistently produce tasty smoked foods. The unit comes with an insulated cabinet, electronic control, and an Automatic Smoke Generator, all of which reduce temperature interruptions and fluctuations in smoke production that negatively affect the smoked foods’ taste.

This electric grill is all about giving grilling enthusiasts rich flavors! It is wholly insulated such that you can smoke on cold or hot days while still maintaining the desired cooking temperature. This smoker is easy to clean up and it has a high heat retention thanks to its complete stainless-steel interior.
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Features and specifications

Has a Digital Interface.
Maximum temperature of 280 degrees Fahrenheit.
Separate burners for oven and smoke.
Completely insulated stainless steel interior.
Internal thermostat.
Four fully supported and removable racks.
Can retain up to 8 hours of smoke.


The smoker is pricy but the benefits are worth the dimes invested.


This electric smoker has all the features of the Original Bradley Electric Smoker, along with the benefits arising from using digital technology. It allows you to prepare a variety of dishes and delicacies. I would greatly recommend this product to barbeque smokers who want to smoke delicacies for large groups of people. It is also suitable for use in family gatherings and special occasions.

10. Smoke Hollow 30162EW

Ever seen a smoker that operates almost the same way as an electric oven? Smoke Hollow 30162EW is the real deal; it is the ultimate upgrade from the normal electric smokers. It has a double walled cabinet, that makes it very important for retaining the right temperatures for the food that is being cooked. This technology makes it easy to attain better results and is an improvement from the traditional way of making electric smokers.
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Features and specifications

It has a wood chip box that is fitted with a drip pan.
The smoker has a 1500watt heating element.
It has a glass latch-system window.
It is made of steel and is black in color.
It weighs 47 pounds.
It has 3 cooking grids and holes made for sausages.
It is a standalone smoker.


This product is affordable even to people of the low economic brackets. It gives great cooking results for every type of food it is used for.


For a smoker that doesn’t disappoint in terms of performance and quality results, this is the product to buy. Its double wall technology has really improved the quality of smoked foods that is cooked in it. From the client reviews, it’s clear that it is a great product. It is suitable for outdoor parties, family cooking and camping.
  • The double walls ensure that the right smoking temperatures are retained
  • Adjustable heating element
  • Fitted with a temperature control that is easily removable
  • The 3 cooking grids ensure that many and different servings of food can be smoked at the same time
  • Porcelain coated water pan
  • The glass door becomes discoloured with continued use
  • This smoker cannot be used for cold smoking

Other Factors to Consider When Buying An Electric Smoker

Factors to considerEase Of Use

There are tons of choices when it comes to add-on accessories.

If you don’t want to manually mess around with temperature settings and smoke production, then you need to buy a smoker that lets you program these things.

Modern day models come with things like timers and temperature sensors to help you cook up the perfect piece of meat.

If you’re experienced with the smoking process, you might not need a bunch of bells and whistles; you can probably get by with fewer accessories.

Smokers that are listed in the table above all have this ability.

Budget vs Quality

It’s important to find a smoker that cooks your meat well, but you don’t want to spend a fortune getting the quality you need.

If budget plays a role in your decision, then you need to find the best quality smoker for a price that you can afford.

Fortunately, there are tons of decently priced units on the market; you just need to figure out which one will give you the cooking experience you desire.


Electric smokers come in different shapes and sizes, and when you choose a unit, you need to make sure that it’s big enough for the amount of food that you’re going to be preparing.

Always check a smoker’s capacity before buying it.

You don’t want to buy a huge smoker if you only plan on preparing personal meals regularly, and you don’t want to buy a compact smoker if you’re preparing meals for lots of people at once.

Generally speaking, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so if you have extra space, it can’t hurt to buy a unit with a larger capacity than you think you’ll need.

Advantages of Electric Smokers

When you use an electric smoker, you don’t depend on a flames to produce smoke.

These higher tech plug-in machines use coils to produce heat, and this comes with many advantages that traditional smokers don’t have:

Easy to Use

Conventional smokers take a long time to get going; you need to get the flame going, regulate air flow and make sure that the unit stays at the right temperature.

With that management comes an initial learning curve you you are either up for or not.

Some people simply don’t have the patience for that and just want to cut to the chase of buying food, loading it in with some wood chips and hitting “go”.

using an electric smoker

With an electric model, you simply plug it in, set the temperature and then cook your meat.

An electric unit levels the playing field between novices and experts. Any novice can use an electric unit to produce a quality piece of meat without any knowledge or skill, and they can do this while leaving the meat completely unattended.

So, say you’re hosting a party at your house. Do you want to be strapped to your smoker during the many hours it takes to create your delicious meat?

The answer in most cases is no, unless you’re more of an introvert and don’t mind being tethered to something that takes you away from entertaining.


Electric smokers are much safer than traditional smokers.

Traditional smokers rely on fire to produce smoke, and this fire needs to be left on for hours at a time.

If something knocks over your traditional unit, the fire can spread. If you have kids or pets, you’re probably better off using an electric unit; it’s just a lot safer.

This type of smoker is perfect for areas where open flames present a danger.

Additionally, with smokers that are powered by propane you have the added concern of leaking gas.

While this is not common, any time you cook with a volatile substance your level of risk increases.

Low Cost

smoked meat

It doesn’t cost a lot of money to run your digital smoker.

If you get a traditional unit, you constantly need to buy charcoal or wood to keep the flame going, and after a couple of hours, the cost of fuel really starts to add up.

With any of the smokers reviewed here, you don’t have this problem; you simply plug them in and let them run.

They don’t draw much power even over time, so they end up costing you less to run.

And you don’t have to buy propane to run your smoker all day either. This truly is the cheapest way to make smoked meat.


Conventional smokers need a lot of babysitting; you need to keep up air flow, temperature and the flame.

With an electric unit, you plug it in and let it run; there’s nothing else that needs to be done.

If you don’t have the time to watch your unit all day, then you need to get the best electric smoker for you and know you’re saving yourself some time and possible stress while cooking.

Disadvantages Of Electric Smokers

Not Traditional

Many home chefs believe that tending to their smoker is part of the fun when they are smoking meat.

For these purists, a set it and forget it system just doesn’t work; they feel like they are cheating when electronic equipment takes care of the smoker’s temperature and smoke production.

This is the same phenomenon that happens with instant pot multicookers; they cook by themselves for periods of time without any intervention by the cook. This is something a real chef would never sign up for.

If you really want to tend to your unit to make sure that it’s running, then an electric unit probably isn’t for you.

But if you don’t mind leaving it unattended, then you should be fine with an electric model.


Digital smokers are a little more complicated than traditional ones when it comes to their components; there are more electronic elements inside of them, so you have a bigger chance of malfunction.

Some users have reported erratic behavior with either their remote control or the “brain” on their unit itself.

Like any electronic device with a computer running it, things can go wrong.

It’s best to stick to reputable brands like Masterbuilt where a quality track record is in place along with proven customer support should anything go wrong.

When you use a traditional smoker, it’s just a piece of metal, so there is nothing inside of it that can break.

Electric smokers have programmable timers, thermostats and heating elements that can malfunction.

The manufacturers make the electronic elements easy to replace, but it takes some time to figure out how to do it.

Lower Temperature

It takes a little longer for foods to cook in an inexpensive model; this happens because cheaper units can’t always reach the high temperatures that traditional smokers can.

Cheap electric smokers teach people the value of patience when it comes to smoking meats; if you use an inexpensive electric smoker, you might need to wait a little longer for your meat to finish.

How to Use an Electric Smoker

Here’s a great demo video so you can really get to know how easy it is to use this wonderful cooking appliance.

How to Smoke Brisket in Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

Gas vs Electric Smokers

Smoking is one of the popular methods of cooking foods such as meat, fish, seafood, sausages, and others.

People are usually attracted to smoked foods due to some characteristic attributes they possess.

Some of these attributes include browning, unique taste and aroma, soft interior and hard exterior, amongst others.

There are different types of smokers in the market today but I will be comparing two in this post. The Gas and Electric smokers.

They both do the job perfectly well but for related reasons, one may be preferred over the other.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the reasons below.

Ease of Operation

In the ancient days, smoking simply involved getting the raw meat or fish and rotating it over burning woods until it is cooked.

Quite easy right?

These days, things have changed and there are various appliances you can use to smoke your food.

The easiest to operate is an electric smoker and the reason is because most of them come with electronic controls and sensors.

All you need to do is place the food in the oven and set your heat level just as you would with a microwave.

In fact, recent models are equipped with wireless connectivity allowing you control the oven from your mobile device.

Gas smokers on the other hand are also easy to operate but nearly as much as its electronic counterpart.

If you have never used one before, you will need to have a basic idea on how it works.

Unlike electric versions that don’t need any special procedure to operate, you need to take some procedures as well as precautions into account when using gas smokers.

Working Mechanism

electric vs gas smoker

You have to decide on the type of smoker to buy depending on where you intend using it.

Both can be used for outdoor events, probably for commercial purposes, but only the electric gas cooker should be used indoors.

Electric smokers are designed with heating elements that radiate high intensity waves across the interior of the oven.

You can use the controls on the oven to increase or reduce the intensity of the heat as required. Most models on the market use thermostats to ensure that the heat within the oven never goes beyond a set level.

The possible downside of electric smokers however is the fact that they can begin to develop faults after few years of usage.

The main source of heat for gas smokers is propane or natural gas. Just as I pointed out above, using them requires that you learn the technique.

Unlike plug-in types, thermostats are absent in gas smokers. You will therefore need to control the heat manually throughout the smoking session to achieve best results.

The good part is that gas smokers are flexible.

They can provide you with extremely high temperatures which may be useful in smoking some foods or achieving certain results.

You will hardly get these fine-tuned ability with the smoker reviewed on this page. And maybe that’s okay.

Size and Price

There are various sizes of electric and gas smokers ranging from small countertop types to medium sizes and to smokehouses.

Electric varieties are usually more expensive than gas smokers for all sizes due to the electrical components in them.

Various electric models of similar sizes could also have varying prizes depending on their level of sophistication.

Branded units could cost as much as $300 and beyond while propane smokers of the same size could cost about half or less.

When calculating average expenses that could incur from purchasing and using these machines over time, don’t forget to include cost of electricity bills.

Take note of the smoker’s power consumption capacity before purchasing it.

Propane smokers are relatively easy to construct and as such are not too expensive to purchase.

Various sizes are available for you to choose from depending on whether you want to use if for a commercial or private purpose.

1 gallon of propane is equivalent to 27kWh of electricity.

It is a good idea to compare the cost of using gas smokers with that of electricity in your vicinity before deciding on the most economical to purchase.

Safety Procedures

A lot of people fret at the thought of using gas cookers probably because of the many gas explosions they have seen in movies.

As long as you follow the right procedures when using gas burners, you have nothing to be scared of.

One of the most important safety precautions that you must always be conscious of is the presence of fire on the burner at all times when in use.

If you are using your gas smoker outdoors then wind can easily put off the fire without your knowledge.

This could result into a dangerous buildup of gas within the cabinet.

In all reality, there is absolutely not much you can do in terms of safety.

Some may argue that the heating element within the smoker could malfunction leading to shocks.

But again, these hazards are well accounted for and properly taken care of. Like any electronic kitchen appliance, rigorous tests and certifications must be passed before they can be made widely available to the public.

The smokers of today come with sophisticated features that promote safety and ease of operation.

With such brands, you can basically place your food in the oven, go back to your movie or whatever you are doing, and check back at time intervals.

The appliance will use its sensors, thermostats, and other technology installed in it to ensure that your food achieves your desired texture.


The right type of electric smoker to buy depends on a lot of considerations.

We have covered the most important ones above. If you intend on using your smoker indoors, then it’s best to purchase an electric model.

Electricity is readily available indoors of course, so there is an added convenience there.

And of course, the smoke from gas smokers would be way to strong to be used inside.

As a general rule, gas smokers are cheaper than electric ones.

If you care less about technology, sophistication, and above all, you are on a tight budget, then a gas smoker should be your preferred choice.

If on the other hand, you don’t want to be tied down to your cooking activity, you should consider purchasing one with a cord like we’re covering here.


Do I need to wet the wood chips?

No. This creates additional moisture inside the smoker.

Can my smoker be left outside the house for long?

Yes, you can leave it but you’d be wise to buy a cover from the manufacturer to protect it from rain and dirt.

Most recipes I find fro smoking food recommend non-iodized salt. Why is it so?

Iodized salt gives the food a bitter taste.

Does the food from an electric smoker have an authentic taste?

Freshly smoked food from electric smokerYes and No, While the smoked taste is authentic, it is not noticeably  different from food smoked in other types of smokers.

What is the best thing to do should I ever need to replace a part?

It is always advisable to contact the manufacturer for original spare parts.

What is the purpose of a water pan that used in a smoker?

A water pan is meant to retain moisture in the food while its being cooked. It’s not a must for you to use it but most people do.

It’s advisable to fill it with at least one cup of liquid before you start cooking. The liquid can be water, beer  or a juice of your choice.

Most water pans are coated with porcelain. Do not leave any acidic liquids in the water pan for extended periods of time to prevent corrosion.

What is the drip pan for?

The drip pan is primarily meant to hold any moisture that drips past the water pan during cooking.

It’s usually located at the bottom of the smoker.

To ensure that all moisture condensation is trapped, ensure that the smoker is tilted back slightly off level when in use. Lining the bottom with foil also helps to simplify cleaning.

Is it possible to use the smoker without smoke?

Yes. Just do not put any wood chips in the loader, and you will be able to use it for home brews, as a slow cooker or for proving bread.

How do I pre-season the electric smoker for the first time after assembling?

First, ensure that the water pan is in place but without water. Plug in power and set your smoker to 275F.

Run it for 3 hours and put in the wood chips during the last 45 minutes.

How do I control moisture in my electric smoker?

The vent is the one that controls moisture in the smoker. Leaving it more closed allows more moisture to be retained inside and vice versa.