If you love the taste of smoked food, but don’t have the space or time to tend to a traditional smoker, an electric model may be the best choice for you.

Why are electric smokers so popular? Because they’re:

  • Set it and forget it. There are no coals to tend to or pellets to refill.
  • Easy to use. Assemble it, plug it in, and start smoking.
  • Choose the temperature you want, and let the smoker take care of the rest.
  • Ideal for most living situations. Whether you live in a home with a large yard or a small apartment with a tiny balcony, an electric smoker can work for you. If you have strict fire codes in your area, an electric smoker may be your only

You may hear people complain that electric smokers offer inferior flavor to charcoal or pellet options, but today’s models are designed to smoke meats that taste just as good as traditional methods.

best smoker

If you’ve decided that an electric smoker is the right choice for you, you may be wondering how to buy one. What should you look for? What makes one model better than another?

We’ll cover it all in our detailed guide.

How to Find the Best Electric Smoker

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when looking for an electric smoker. Some of the most important include:

  • Price: Your budget is probably the first and most important thing you need to consider. The more you have to spend, the more features you can take advantage of.
  • Temperature Control: Nearly all electric smokers offer some form of temperature control be it a simple thermostat or digital controls. Ideally, you want to be able to set the exact temperature, but a simple dial or thermostat will suffice. Knowing the internal temperature is crucial in preventing over- or under-cooking.
  • Heat Distribution: Look for models that offer even heat distribution. If one area of the smoker gets hotter than other areas, the food will cook at different rates. Uneven heating may also interfere with temperature regulation.
  • Temperature Range: What’s the maximum temperature offered? If it’s a cold smoker, you’ll be limited in the foods you can cook. Generally only fish, vegetables and cheeses can be smoked at such low temperatures. Higher temperatures will allow you to smoke thicker cuts of meat and turkeys. You may even be able to sear a steak or caramelize sauces if you can crank the temperature up high enough.
  • Safety: Another important thing to consider is safety. Are electrical components protected from the elements? Are the handles cool? Do the wheels lock to prevent the smoker from rolling away?
  • Capacity: The smoker’s capacity is another essential thing to consider. If you’re only cooking for a small number of people, a small smoker will get the job done. But if you host the occasional backyard party, you may want to invest in a smoker with a higher capacity.
  • Size: How much space do you have? If you have a small yard or live in an apartment, you’ll need to choose a smoker with a smaller footprint.

These are the most important considerations when choosing a smoker. Other factors, like accessories, wheels and movable shelves, may be important to you as well. Understand your needs first, and then search for a smoker that can meet your standards.

Our Top Electric Smoker Picks


Still not sure which smoker to choose? We’ve done all the hard work for you. Our top 5 electric smoker reviews will help you find the right model for your needs and budget. These are models you won’t find at your local BBQ Galore.

Smokin-It Model #1

Smokin-It Model #1 may have a simple name, but it’s far from simple when it comes to features and flavor quality. Rated one of the best electric smokers on the market, this model is priced just right and features a generous capacity.

With enough room to smoke up to 22 pounds of meat, this smoker can easily handle the demands of your next barbeque or backyard party.


  • 400-watt heating element
  • 18 ga., 201 stainless steel
  • NSF certified for use in restaurants
  • Rubber casters with 3” diameters
  • 3 Movable shelves with space for 4 shelves total
  • Side handles for easy lifting and movement
  • Hickory wood sample included to season the smoker
  • Temperature control with range of 100F to 250F
  • Weight: 60 pounds
  • Interior Dimensions: 17-1/4” tall x 12-1/2” wide x 13-1/2” deep

The Model #1 is ready to go right out of the box. Fully assembled, the only thing you have to do is season the smoker with the included free sample of hickory wood.

Equipped with three stainless steel grilling racks and three movable shelves, you’ll have plenty of space to smoke your favorite meats. There’s enough space to add a fourth shelf, too, if you’re cooking for a large crowd. A drip pan is included, too, which slides right under the smoker.

Smoking meats doesn’t get any easier than this. The Model #1 is a smart choice for anyone who is just getting started with smoking or experienced veterans.


  • Great for medium-sized families and parties (can smoke up to 22 pounds of meat at a time)
  • Rubber casters allow you to easily move this smoker wherever you please
  • Affordably priced
  • Easy to use
  • Comes with a free sample of hickory wood to season the smoker
  • Arrives fully assembled


  • Not ideal for large gatherings

If you’re hosting a really big gathering, this may not be the right smoker for the job. But for most parties and for medium to large families, the Model #1 is a smart choice.

Oh, did we mention that you can cold smoke (just like the big chief smoker) in this model with a cold smoking plate? This means that you can easily smoke cheese, vegetables and fish.

Smokin-It Model #3

Another favorite from the Smokin-It brand, the Model #3 is a big step up from the Model #1. A high-end vertical smoker, the Model #3 offers more power, fiberglass insulation, and a larger interior.

Simply put, the Model #3 is the best choice for people who are serious about smoking meat. With this model, you can smoke up to 45 pounds of a meat at one time.


  • 1200 watt heating element
  • 210, 18ga. stainless steel
  • 4” rubber casters
  • 4 removable stainless steel shelves
  • Temperature range of 100F to 250F
  • Side handles for easy lifting and moving
  • LED indicator light
  • Fiberglass insulation to reduce heat loss
  • 12’ power cord
  • Can cook up to 45 pounds of meat at a time
  • Restaurant quality – NSF Certified
  • Interior dimensions: 22” tall x 15” wide x 20” deep
  • Weight: 135 pounds

The Model #3 is already fully assembled and ready to go right out of the box. Like other Smokin-It models, this one comes with a sample of hickory wood, so you can season your smoker and start using it right away.


  • Great for large families and parties (can smoke up to 45 pounds of meat at a time)
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Fiberglass insulation keeps heat inside
  • Certified for restaurant use
  • Rubber castors make the smoker easy to move
  • Powerful 1200 watt heating element smokers foods to perfection
  • Comes with a free sample of hickory wood to season the smoker
  • Arrives fully assembled


  • Pricey

Sure, the Model #3 is one of the more expensive models on our list, but it’s worth the extra cost. With fiberglass insulation and a powerful heating element, this smoker produces delicious food with maximum flavor.

SmokinTex 1100

The SmokinTex 1100 is a Pro Series Electric Smoker that’s durable, efficient and so easy to use. A great option for beginners, the 1100 gives you plenty of space to smoke meats, vegetables and just about everything in between.


  • Stainless steel construction
  • Fully insulated
  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • 110-V
  • Uses the power of a 70-watt lightbulb
  • Compatible with any kind of wood chips or chunks

Ideal for smaller families and gatherings, the 1100 is fully insulated to keep heat inside and is nearly foolproof to operate. Just plug into any 110-V outlet, and start smoking.

Affordably priced, this is one of the best meat smokers for beginners who are just getting started with smoking foods. While it may not be as cheap as the Brinkman electric smoker, it’s one of the better quality models under $500.


  • Foolproof design
  • Energy efficient
  • Insulation keeps smoke and heat in for maximum flavor
  • Durable with a stainless steel construction
  • Easy to maintain and keep clean
  • Compatible with all types of wood chips and chunks


  • Cannot be left out in the rain or snow

The only drawback with this smoker is that you can’t leave it out in the rain or snow uncovered. To extend the life of your smoker, consider moving the 1100 into a garage or shed after each use once it’s cooled down.

Aside from this minor gripe, this is an excellent smoker for smaller families, beginners and casual users.

SmokinTex 1400 Pro

The SmokinTex 1400 Pro is one of the brand’s most popular models because of its convenience, ease of use and high capacity. Double-walled and a complete stainless steel construction make this one of the best smokers for sale.


  • Can smoke up to 38 pounds of meat at a time
  • All stainless-steel construction
  • Double-wall insulated to minimize heat loss
  • Temperature range of 100-250F
  • 800-watt heating element
  • 3 stainless steel cooking racks with five slots

The 1400 Pro offers consistent results in a smoker that’s so easy to use. Whether you’ve been smoking food for years or this is your first smoker, you’ll have no issues using the 1400 Pro.

The double-walled design helps keep smoke and heat inside, so food cooks evenly and at the right temperature. With the ability to cook up to 38 pounds of food at a time, you can easily use this smoker for a backyard barbeque or a big family dinner.


  • Easy to use
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Double-walled insulation minimizes heat loss and temperature fluctuations
  • Ideal for medium to large size families and gatherings (can smoke up to 38 pounds per load)
  • Plenty of space and shelving
  • Convenient “set it and forget it” design
  • Heating element can be replaced


  • Heating element may burn out quickly

A few users had an issue with their heating element burning out quickly. While rare, this can happen with any electric smoker. However, SmokinTex responded quickly and send out replacements to any users who had their heating elements burn out prematurely.

If you’re looking for a consistent, well-made smoker that can handle large loads, the SmokinTex 1400 Pro is a great choice.

Masterbuilt 30 Electric Smoker

The Masterbuilt 30 is one of the more affordable smokers on the market, and it’s backed by thousands of positive reviews. With numerous options, plenty of cooking space and precise temperature controls, it’s no wonder this is one of the best-selling smokers around.


  • 730 square inches of cooking space
  • 800-watt heating element
  • Removable water and drip pans
  • Temperature range of 100-275F
  • Four chrome-coated cooking racks
  • Side-loading wood chips
  • Analog, digital, window options available

One of the great things about this Masterbuilt smoker is that you have quite a few options. You can choose an analog smoker with no window, or a digital model with a front controller and window. While each comes at its own price point, you have more options and the luxury of choosing the right features for your needs.


  • Plenty of cooking space
  • Numerous options (window, digital control, etc.)
  • Side-loading of wood chips is convenient
  • Drip and water pans are removable for added convenience
  • Precise temperature control
  • Powerful heating element
  • Easy to use
  • Durable construction
  • Backed by thousands of positive reviews


  • Size may be too small for some users

Some users may find that the Masterbuilt 30” model is simply too small for their needs, and getting their hands on a 40” model from the brand isn’t always easy. That being said, this is an excellent smoker that’s well designed and offers numerous options to you, the user.

Final Thoughts

There are several electric smokers on the market now-a-days, and each one has some great features and some potential downfalls.   Overall, the industry is growing by leaps and bounds and for 2016 are poisted to expand there technologies with German manufacturer Storz & Bickel, a medical vaporizer company (see their award winning Volcano here).

The good news is that there is a smoker for every price range and experience level. The best way to figure out which smoker best fits your needs is to read plenty of BBQ smoker reviews.

First things first, do you need an electric smoker or a charcoal smoker?

An electric smoker uses metal heating elements to heat the wood chips that then smoke the meat. You must have a source of electricity available to use this type of smoker.

A charcoal smoker uses charcoal to heat the wood chips. A charcoal smoker is more portable, so it might be a better choice if portability is important to you (i.e. to take it camping).

In both types of smokers, the wood chips are soaked in water before being placed in the smoker.

Based on our comprehensive survey of editorial and user electric smoker reviews, we have rated the following electric smokers the best overall values.

Before making a final decision on a smoker, read plenty of smoker reviews to figure out which one is the best smoker to buy for the money.

Do you want a smoker you can use inside? Do you want a small smoker that can prepare just the right amount of meat and is still easy to carry?

Are you an expert smoker looking to prepare restaurant quality smoked meat, regardless of the price? Consider all of these points as you read through our reviews, and find the smoker that most closely fits your needs. As you can see, there are plenty of great options to choose from when it comes to electric and charcoal smokers.