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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. But first, check our list of the best grills out there.
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.
A small footprint and a useful 548 square inches of the 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.
Related: In case you like this unit, you will definitely enjoy reading our guide on the best burger press.
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.
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.
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.
Related: Go over our list of the best raclette grills.
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. If you’re contemplating cooking capacity alongside quality cooking quality, consider one of the best built-in gas grills as well.
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, chip tray, and adjustable temperature control.
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. If smoking isn’t your idea of BBQ, check out our list of the top-rated electric grills. Or, for regularly cooking outside, you’ll want the best electric grill.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 are convenient for cleaning, but it does require you to open the door to add wood chips.
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.
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 of different styles of cooking. It doesn’t have a built-in thermometer, however, but it’s possible to add temperature probes on your own.
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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 it the best electric smoker for beginners that we’ve seen.
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 top 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.
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.