7 Best Electric Smokers in 2020

After carrying out over 13 hours of research and testing, we’ve found that the Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker is the best electric smoker for cooking barbecue. It comes with a thermostat controlled, 1500-watt heating element and removable water pan, plus it has an easy to clean, dishwasher safe stainless steel racks.

To help you pick the best electric smoker for cooking barbecue, we’ve looked at what’s out there and rounded up the best performers and those that deliver the best value. We looked for electric meat smokers that were easy to move and clean, made from high-quality materials, and that featured digital controls. We also looked at square inches of the cooking area as well as the temperature range. Read on to see more high-quality electric smokers available for purchase.

Top 7 Best Electric Smokers

 #1  Cuisinart 30-inch Electric Smoker

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This outdoor electric smoker has a small enough footprint to be used on most patios or decks, yet packs over 500 square inches of cooking space and puts out a powerful 1500-watt heating element.

Pros
  • Steel drip pan for easy clean-up
  • Built-in thermometer on door
  • 1500W heating with 100-400º F range
Cons
  • Door must be opened to add wood chips
  • Lacks full digital control panel

A small footprint and a useful 548 square inches of cooking area make this one of the best easy to move outdoor electric smokers for use on patios, decks, and barbecue kitchens. The heating element is a stout 1500W unit, letting it maintain any desired temperature between 100 and 400º F with ease in cool weather as well as on warm days.

Digital controls let you set the temperature and cooking time, and the removable steel drip pan is easy to clean. A convenient thermometer display built into the door lets you quickly check the smoker’s internal temperature. The three chrome-plated racks are dishwasher safe and easy to clean.

 #2  Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: Compact dimensions and a useful side loading system for adding wood chips make this a convenient and easy to use electric smoker.

Pros
  • Lightweight, so easy to move
  • Side loader lets you add wood chips without opening the door
  • Digital thermostat and timer
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with a broiler
  • Cold smoke generator not included

This electric smoker benefits from easy to clean and durable chrome-plated racks, plus a convenient side-loading system that lets you add wood chips without opening the door. This is great if you’re looking to experiment with flavor without altering the cooking process. It holds the desired temperature well, maxing out at 275º F, though it should be noted that it doesn’t come with a cold smoke generator.

The drip pan is removable for cleaning, and it comes with four racks. Each rack measures about 18 x 18 inches. The interior space is 30 inches tall, giving enough cooking capacity for two turkeys, six chickens, four pork butts, or four racks of ribs.

 #3  Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-inch Electric Smoker

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: A great value, this compact electric smoker for barbecue comes with some upscale features like a cool-touch spring door handle, porcelain-coated water pan and chip tray and adjustable temperature control.

Pros
  • Powerful 1500-watt heating element
  • Easy to clean porcelain-coated chip tray
  • Adjustable height cooking racks
Cons
  • At 1.3 cubic feet of space, too small for some cuts of meat
  • Lacks a broiler

A compact footprint and powerful heating element help make this a good value if you’re looking for a moveable outdoor electric smoker. One of the best electric smokers under $300 we’ve seen, it comes with some useful convenience features like moveable racks that can be set to different heights, and a spring wire door handle that stays cool to the touch.

While interior capacity is somewhat limited at 1.3 cubic feet, compared to other smokers out there, the small size does give it an advantage when it comes to making it easy to move, as well as helping to maintain a consistent temperature. Porcelain-coated water pan and drip trays help make it easy to clean.

 #4  Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker

Award: EASIEST TO CLEAN

WHY WE LIKE IT: This electric smoker features quality all-steel construction, great insulation for maintaining temperature, and an easy to read temperature gauge mounted right in the door. The wood chip pan and grease tray are removable and coated for easy cleaning.

Pros
  • Well-insulated for temperature control
  • Removable grease tray for easy cleanup
  • Works with any type of wood chips
Cons
  • Only comes with three cooking racks
  • No digital thermostat control

While the “analog” name may suggest low-tech, this char-broil electric smoker is a highly effective tool for cooking delicious barbecue, even if it lacks programmable digital controls. It does have a thermostat and a super easy to read, aesthetically pleasing temp gauge with temperature probes mounted in the door. It has three 16.9 x 13.66-inch stainless steel cooking racks. The interior cooking capacity is 544 square inches.

A well-insulated body and dual latching door hinges help maintain the desired temperature and increase flavor, while a removable steel grease tray helps make cleaning up easy. An aluminized water pan affords great corrosion resistance. The dual carrying handles help make it easy to transport.

 #5  Landmann Smoky Mountain 26-inch Electric Smoker

Award: MOST PORTABLE

WHY WE LIKE IT: This small electric smoker for barbecue is lighter and more portable than most, weighing just over 33 lbs. It also features convenient handles and a viewing window so you can check on the cooking process as you go.

Pros
  • Analog thermometer built-in
  • 3-in-1 combination wood chip, water and drip tray for easy cleaning
  • Adjustable feet for placing on uneven surfaces
Cons
  • Not as spacious as some other electric smokers
  • Non-insulated

Great for cooking barbecue or smoking fish, this is one of only a few electric meat smokers in its class that offers a built-in viewing window as well as an analog thermometer in the door. It’s also light and easy to move, weighing just 33 lbs, which is less than most electric smokers. It has two wrought iron handles for easy carrying.

The heating element is 1500 watts and is controlled by a simple dial that sets the temperature. There’s no digital control panel as on some of the options we’ve seen, but this smoker does allow you to check on the cooking process using its nifty viewing window. The 3-in-1 drip pan, water pan, and wood chip tray is convenient for cleaning, but it does require you to open the door in order to add wood chips.

 #6  Old Smokey Electric Smoker

Award: BEST HEAVY DUTY

WHY WE LIKE IT: This traditional and heavy-duty meat smoker is great for cooking barbecue, especially if you have some expertise or the motivation to experiment with the cooking process. It uses a top-loading design with a flat top that helps juices drip down and increase the flavor.

Pros
  • Rugged heating element works in winter
  • Flat-top design helps add flavor
  • Durable all-steel construction
Cons
  • Lacks built-in thermometer
  • No easy way to add wood chips

Of a simpler, more classic design than many of today’s electric smokers, this flat-top type of smoker is great for cooking barbecue and produces juicy, flavorful meat and fish. It’s capable of smoking a half dozen trout or salmon filets in as little as about 40 minutes. The relatively compact size and cylindrical shape let it use heat a little more efficiently than most electric smokers.

You can set the temperature control using its thermostat, and it provides a wide range for different styles of cooking. It doesn’t have a built-in thermometer, however, but it’s possible to add temperature probes on your own.

 #7  Bradley Digital 4-rack Electric Smoker

We're sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock

Award: BEST FOR BEGINNERS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This stainless steel electric smoker features four dishwasher-safe racks and uses a convenient set-it and forget digital control system, making the best electric smoker for beginners that we’ve seen.

Pros
  • Great flavor thanks to ash-free wood chips
  • Easy to clean with dishwasher safe racks
  • Digital control panel makes it easy to control the cooking process
Cons
  • Not the most spacious meat smoker we’ve seen
  • Limited ability to add wood chips for custom operation
  • Less powerful 500 W heating element

This stainless steel charcoal smoker is easy to move and easy to set up. It comes with full digital cooking process control including time and desired temperature, making it the best electric pellet smoker for its size. The temperature range is up to 320º F, and as a bonus, you can also use it for cold smoking. As a pellet-type smoker, it uses the Bradley “pucks” which are designed to emit a constant amount of smoke, with the benefit of being ash-free. However, this does limit your ability to experiment with different kinds of wood chips.

The exterior dimensions are 14 by 17 inches wide and 31 inches tall. It includes space for meat hooks to hang sausages and more, plus four stainless steel racks measuring about giving you roughly 830 square inches of cooking space. So while it may not fit the largest cuts of meat, it’s a versatile and easy to move outdoor smoker for cooking barbecue, fish, cheeses and more.

How We Decided

In order to select the best electric meat smokers, we looked for materials quality, versatility, and portability, as well as ease of cleaning and maintenance. We preferred smokers that were made of durable materials like powder-coated iron or stainless steel. A glass viewing window was considered a bonus, as were built-in thermometers.

We only included smokers with at least two cooking racks, and we limited our search to those that had at least 300 square inches of cooking space. A thermostat with a digital control panel was considered a bonus.

For the most part, we looked for smokers that featured a removable drip tray and grease tray for easy cleaning. We liked models that gave you the option of adding wood chips without having to open the door.

Best Electric Smokers for Cooking Barbecue Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Thermostat
    Depending on what type of smoker you’re looking for and what you plan to cook, you may want the ability to set the temperature to different heat levels. A reliable built-in thermostat takes some of the guesswork out of smoking.
  2. Removable Drip Tray
    A removable drip tray makes it far easier to clean your electric smoker. For best convenience, look for a smoker that has a removable water pan and grease tray, and make sure they’re coated or made from materials like stainless steel and preferably dishwasher safe.
  3. Pellet vs Wood Chip
    Traditional wood chip smokers, like a charcoal smoker, allow you to add wood chips and experiment with different flavors such as mesquite, but they also require more attention. A smoker that uses manufactured “pucks” designed to emit a certain quantity of smoke and then self-extinguish before they turn to ash may be easier for beginners, with the caveat that you might have to buy a certain manufacturer’s wood pucks, which adds costs and limits versatility.

Electric Smokers for Cooking Barbecue FAQs

Do electric smokers make good barbecue?

While some insist on propane, electric smokers have their value when it comes to convenience and portability for barbecue. The best electric smokers are also more than capable of producing rich, flavor-enhancing smoke, on par with the flavor you get from the best propane smoker.

What is the best electric smoker on the market?

Different chefs and grillmasters have their preference when it comes to smokers, but according to much research and many electric smoker reviews, some of the top-rated products are the Cuisinart electric smoker and the Masterbuilt 20075315 electric smoker with broiler.

Which BBQ smoker is best?

It depends on the type of smoker you’re looking for. The Bradley smoker is often recommended among the best pellet smokers, while the Old Smokey brand produces some of the more traditional electric smokers on the market.

What is the best Masterbuilt electric smoker?

If you’re looking for a good portable basic electric smoker but with a built-in broiler and digital control panel, the Masterbuilt 20075315 may be a good choice.

Also why not check out:

Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close