Let’s choose the best Electric Smoker in 2017
Smoking is the process of cooking meats at a low temperature for extended periods of time. This helps in preventing the meat from going bad and also adds additional flavor. If you enjoy smoked food, then you should buy an electric smoker. You can smoke food without having to monitor the time taken if you are making use of an electric smoker.
At the left side is represented top 5 electric smokers on the market available in 2017. By clicking on the image you can read the full review of each product, including pros and cons.
Benefits of Having a Smoker
Electric smokers are steadily gaining popularity. There are different advantages of making use of an electric smoker. The most important one is that there are different smokers available for every price range. There are several electric smokers that will fit a budget of different individuals. An electric smoker will help you in making delicious, mouth-watering food that has an amazing smoky flavor. Not only are they easy to use, but they have various other benefits as well.
Controlling the temperature with ease
The main advantage of making use of an electric smoker is that the units come with an automatic temperature controller. All you will need to do is adjust the settings according to what you want, and the same will be maintained for the entire duration of the cooking process. This is definitely much easier to control than any of the traditional charcoal or wood smokers. There is no need for constantly feeding or even monitoring the unit for maintaining a constant temperature.
These units are considered to be the safest of all even though some models have been recalled for certain hazards. Most of the electric smokers don’t necessarily make use of any wood or even charcoal for cooking your food. This reduces the potential of burning any food. Since there is no scope for the emission of any embers, these can be safely used on a balcony in an apartment or a condo. There are some smokers that include the provision of pre-setting the cooking time. This prevents the probability of starting an electrical fire or even overheating.
There are different electric smokers that are available in various sizes. You get to choose the size. There are really small and portable models and also much larger ones that you can make use of for smoking a lot of meat or other foodstuff for a larger crowd. The number of cooking racks that are available will also depend upon the model type. The trays in most of the smokers are removable and this will enable you to smoke larger quantities if you get rid of these racks. The smokers will always provide you with evenly and consistently cooked food items all the time. The cooking is always even since the heat tends to spread out in a smoker. Unlike any of the other outdoor cookers, the quality of the food cooked in a smoker stays consistent. A large smoker will certainly help you cook food that would be sufficient to feed an entire party. Given the different advantages that a smoker offers, this is definitely a good investment.
Best Electric Smokers Reviews 2017
Now, when you are fascinated by the electric smoker, it is a time to choose the best for you. Believe me, it is not so easy, as all of them have their cons and pros. You should choose your favorite, depending on the needs you have. The main factor is the amount of food you want to cook. There are three different sizes for smokers: small, medium and large. Small ones have around 505 square inches of cooking space and the height of the main part (excluding legs) is about 26 inches. Medium sized models have approximately 730 sq. in. of cooking surface and the height of 30″. Large ones offer you 975-1000 square in. of usable area and are 40″ tall. Use this information to find the best match for you.
Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller, 30-Inch
- Window: This model has a large viewing window which allows you to see the state of your meal without opening the door and therefore letting all the heat and smoke out. This will save you some time as the smoker will not need to heat up again.
- Large space: Enjoy your favorite meals at once as this smoker has 730 sq. inches of cooking space and 4 racks. Fill them with meat and vegetables to make your dinner even better.
- Meat probe and Remote: Now it is not necessary to stand in front of the smoker during the whole cooking process. View and control the temperature, time and meat temperature while doing something else around the house.
- External chip loader: Avoid opening the door and add wood chips using the convenient chip loader. Slide it out, fill the tray, put it back and turn. It is as simple as it sounds.
- Extended warranty: Based on product’s quality, it is a good idea to spend some extra money and buy 5-Year Protection for around 40$. It covers all the expenses for breakdowns and malfunctions
- Mediocre quality: Many users have complained about the problems they faced while using 20077515 model. In most cases, it is either a remote control or digital display that breaks down and the replacement parts are expensive and hard to get. So buy it at your own risk.
- Frequent wood refill: Chip tray is quite small which results in the customer reloading it often. So do not leave the smoker unattended for long period.
Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker
This is one of highly (if not the highest) rated e-smokers on the market. Unique design makes it noticeable among other representatives. It is made from stainless steel and has a cubic shape. Four removable wheels and side handles make it very easy to move around. You can load it with 22 pounds of meat at once and 400-watt heating element will cook it remarkably. The only minuses are the maximum temperature, which is only 250 degrees Fahrenheit and the high price, that seems quite alogical, considering the small size if the unit. It comes with drip pan, smoke box and three grilling racks, however, there is a room for one more.
Unlike many other competitors, this model has a replaceable heating element, but it is hard to find a person who needed the replacement, as this unit can last over five years without malfunctioning. Another thing that talks about its quality is the NSF certificate for restaurant use. In addition, the door is compression fit so you can forget about those problematic gaskets. As for safety, two wheels can be locked to avoid rolling, the door is insulated meaning that it will not burn you. Model #1 is the smallest of all Smokin-It electric smokers, but it does its job brilliantly.
- High quality: The smoker is made of stainless steel for extra durability. Door’s sealment will not allow smoke to come out. Fiberglass insulation reduces heat loss and slightly warms the sides and the back, so you will not burn yourself. NSF Certificate for Restaurant use adds more points to the overall quality.
- Compactness: With the dimensions 15″ x 19″ x 20-3/8″ you can easily place it on the table and open/close door without crouching.
- Ease of use: Just put the meal on the racks, add wood chips, close the door, adjust the temperature and wait. You do not need to refill chips at all.
- Replaceable heating element: Not many smokers have this feature which is a bit strange. As we already hailed the quality of this product, it is unlikely that you will need a replacement. However, if you need one, it only costs 30$.
- Weak heating element: Many other competitors have either 800 or 1200 watt heating element, but this model comes with 400-watt h.e. meaning that the cooking time increases.
- Temperature: This aggregate can heat up from 100F (37 C) to 250F (121 C), losing to other smokers of the same price category.
- Small Capacity: You can load this smoker with up to 22 lbs (appr. 10kg) of meat per load, which is 4 times less than rivals can offer.
Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Elecdivic Digital Smoker
Yet again, Masterbuilt appears in this list of best electric smokers. It proves that they have something to offer their customers. This time they came up with a rather cheap unit, however, low price does not affect the quality. It has a user-friendly digital control panel, which is used for setting the timer and temperature. What’s more, it has a shutdown timer, so the whole meal will not get ruined, if you forget to turn it off in time. 800-watt heating element can make this unit reach massive 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Mediocre 730 square inches of cooking area with four racks is more than enough for a large family feast.
Like its 40-inch predecessor, this model has everything for easy and efficient cooking process: water and drip pans, side mounted wood tray and thermostat temperature control. But as this is a cheaper model, it does not have RF controller, meat probe and the window, to see the food while it is being prepared. However, this might be even better, because several customers reported that the units without window are able to maintain the temperature better. This is an old generation electric smoker, but many users believe that they have fewer problems than new ones. If you are looking for something cheap and big at the same time, this should be your choice.
- Low price: Considering the size of the smoker, the price is pretty low. It is good for people who are making first steps in electric smoking.
- High temperature: For some rival smokers it is problematic to reach high temperatures. However, this model can work from 100F to 275F (37C – 135C), which significantly decreases cooking time.
- Spacious: Gather your family and friends to serve them various tasty meals with 730 square-inches of cooking space.
- Easy chip refill: Now you do not have to open the door to add more wood chips. Use outside loading tray for more convenience.
- High power: Thanks to its 800-watt heating element, this smoker can heat up quickly and maintain high temperature with ease.
- No viewing window: You will not be able to check the condition of the dinner without opening the door. Some heat will be lost because of this, resulting in increased cooking time.
- Lottery-like quality: If you are lucky, the smoker will last long but malfunctions are not rare. There are electric parts that have problems. Warranty lasts only 90 days, which makes the situation even worse.
Bradley Smokers Original Smoker
- Automatic wood loader: Refill special compartment with wood bisquettes and forget about them for eight hours. The system will add new bisquette to the tray once in 20 minutes.
- Multiple cooking options: In Bradley’s Smoker, burners for oven heat and smoke generation are separated so you can have heat without smoke, smoke without heat or heat with smoke. You will be able to cook a large variety of meals, thanks to this technology.
- Stainless steel interior:It helps in retaining heat inside and prevents outside temperature from getting in. So cook anytime without depending on the weather.
- Warranty: Feel protected from breakdowns with a 1-year warranty after purchase.
- Small interior: 520 sq. inches of cooking space will not allow you to prepare meals for very large feasts. However, it is more than enough for small gather-ups.
- Low temperature: Because of just 250F (121 C) of maximum temp. you should say “no” to some dishes. Also, the overall cooking time is bigger than in more powerful models.
- The risk of inflammation: Several users have complained that this product had caught on fire and burned down completely.
- Faulty puck feeder: Although being a great feature, it still has problems. Most breakdowns are related to it and even replacements can’t solve the issue sometimes.
Smoke Hollow 26142E Electric Smoker, 26-Inch
- Powerful: One of the best, 1500-watt heating element will create a real inferno behind the closed doors.
- Max. temperature: This absolute beast can reach 325F (162 C) and cook your food sooner than its rivals. In addition, if you love crispy meat, then look closer to this smoker.
- Affordable: The price tag of 100$-140$ definitely draws one’s attention. In case you want to buy your first electric smoker, but have some doubts about the taste and the usage, then it is better to buy a cheaper one.
- Clean-up: The interior is not made of stainless steel and the cleaning process takes quite a lot of time.
- Poor isolation: Some people reported about some smoke and heat coming out from the edges of the door. What’s more, in cold weather conditions, it needs more time to heat up.
- The absence of wood loader: Even though it cooks quickly, chip reload is still necessary. Without an external loader, you must open the door every time and lose some heat and smoke.
- Small size: Some might say that small is equal to compact but this is not the case. The width of racks does not allow you to cook big slices of meat without cutting them into pieces.
How best to use an electric smoker?
Select the type of smoker you would want to use
You will need to select the type of smoker you will want to make use of. The vertical water smokers are comparatively cheaper and they also tend to work well even during warm weather. However, they won’t be able to maintain their core temperature during cold weather. Before you purchase a vertical water smoker, you will need to take into consideration whether you will want to smoke meats only during the summer or even during cold weather. The cabinet style electric smokers are shaped like a small fridge. Most of these cabinet smokers also have a temperature gauge that will enable you to control the core temperature. When you are making use of an electric smoker to cook, it is incredibly important that you control the temperature.
Read the instructions
There are different types of electric smokers that are available and each of these has a different set of directions for operating them. While you are making use of an electric smoker, you should understand the instructions that are specific to the model.
Follow the directions
You will need to follow the directions given by the manufacturer for seasoning or curing in a new smoker. This process helps in getting rid of any funny smells, dust and different types of solvents, while you are making the smoker suitable for cooking food. Before you get started with cooking, you will need to season it first. Start out by coating the racks and the entire indoors of the electric smoker with any cooking oil that you use. Now, turn the smoker on and leave it for another 2 hours. Once this is done, you should let the hood out and let the smoker cool off for a while.
Preparing your meat
You will need to prepare the meat that you are cooking in the smoker. This helps in ensuring that the meat to be smoked is going to be cooked properly.
You should always season your meat with a dry rub. It could be a sugar or a salt mixed with herbs rub, or even an acidic marinade. This will help in ensuring that the meat is infused with flavor.
Let the meat rest
Once you have rubbed the meat with the seasonings that you want, you will need to let the meat sit in the rub or the marinade for a while. Most of the recipes call for resting the meat overnight.
Turn the smoker on
You will need to turn the smoker on so that it is at the right temperature for smoking the meat. It the electric smoker has a water receptacle, then you will need to add water to it.
You will need to purchase the necessary wood chips. You can find these at a local grocery or a hardware store. These days, you can even order the necessary wood chips online / add any additional flavor adding agents like cherry, apple, plum or maple to the container of wood chips. For smoking food for about 3-5 hours, you will need around 950 ml or 4 cups of wood chips.
Checking the temperature of the smoker
Whenever you are making use of an electric smoker, you should always make sure that you are cooking at an ideal temperature. You will need to monitor the internal temperature of the smoker. However, most of the smokers available these days come with a temperature gauge. This simplifies your work. Some electric smokers also have a dial for adjusting the smokers. So, make sure that you have adjusted the temperature depending on the recipe. You will need to wait for the smoker to reach the temperature you desire. Whenever you are cooking with an electric smoker, you will need to wait until the ideal temperature has been obtained.
Place your meat in the smoker
Once your smoker has reached the temperature that you desire, then all that is left to be done is to place the meat in it. The meat needs to be smoked until it is perfectly tender. This could take a couple of hours or even more than that, depending on the meat used and also the model of the electric smoker. You can check whether your food is ready by inserting a meat or a food thermometer into the meat.