The Pros, the Cons, and the Facts About the 10 Best Electric Smokers For 2018.

While surely you can find a hefty number of smokehouses in your area offering a menu of excellence, nothing compares to smoking your own meats from the comfort of your backyard.

Smoking at home also means getting to cook what you want, when you want, with the rubs and wood chips you want.

It’s all about the personalization that makes it special.

For that reason, I’ve sourced out the top 10 electric smokers of 2018, so you don’t have to.

In my burning desire for fueling summer barbeques with the best tasting smoked meats around, I reviewed a ton of electric smokers and come out the other side with a wide range of top picks that cover the best electric smokers on the market today.

Everything from high-end models that will let you sit back and relax while the cooker does all the work for you, to high quality, yet budget-friendly smokers and just about every iteration in between.

Why Did I Choose Electric Smokers For This List?

But first, you may be thinking, “Why should I consider purchasing an electric smoker over a charcoal, pellet, or propane smoker?”  Good question.

For one, electric smokers are incredibly easy to use as it offers push-button operation.

While the flavors are generally as rich as other smokers, they do cook faster and offer adjustable temperature dials.

Due to its overall ease of use and general convenience, electric smokers are a great pick for many.

If you think an electric smoker is right for you, let’s begin looking at the best electric smokers 2018 has to offer.

Through the process, we’ll be highlighting each smoker’s top features and covering the pros and cons of each to help you make the best pick.

Before we get started If you want to familiarize yourself on how a smoker works and what to expect to achieve from using them, take a few moments to read this article first: How Does A Smoker Work? – A Grillers Guide To Using An Outdoor Smoker.

Why This Guide Will Be Helpful For You

With so many electric smokers on the market, it can be a daunting task sifting through customer reviews and manufacturer sites in an attempt to select the best one for you.

“That’s where I come in.”

I’ve already reviewed all of the latest smokers from the top manufacturers, and can confidently say the following line up represents the best electric smokers on the market today.

“As always, my goal is to save you time and money by doing all the research and testing for you, so you don’t have to.”
Let each product overview act as your buyer’s guide to the top performing electric smokers on the market.
”Make sure to keep reading after the final review for a buyer’s guide to help you with your decision when it’s time to make your purchase.”

The Top 10 Best Electric Smokers

I’ve compiled a list of the 10 best Electric Smoker options to act as your guide.

“The list includes a variety of options, prices, sizes, and features. You should always perform your own due diligence, however.  Never buy a smoker on sight and don’t be swayed by pushy salespeople.”

“Editor’s Choice – Best All Around Electric Smoker”

#1 Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller, 30-Inch

First up, let’s cover a smoker that has earned Amazon’s Choice recommendation on Amazon.com for its well-priced and favorable customer ratings and overall popularity.

Masterbuilt definitely went the extra mile with this electric smoker to make it to the top of our list and tops in the market to date.

It offers a classy chrome color with an attractive glass-paneled viewing to monitor your meats.  It also features a remote control and an LED display to make monitoring and controlling your smoke even more convenient.

With 730 square inches of cooking space and four racks to work with, there’s a lot you can smoke in this Masterbuilt electric smoker.  In turn, this is a great smoker for those who want to cook for large groups of people.

While the product we’re featuring is the 30-inch version of the Masterbuilt 20077515, they also offer a 40-inch version as well.  As expected, the larger version does cost more but is worth it if you wish to have even more cooking space.

In the end, the Masterbuilt Front Controller Electric Smoker is on the pricier end of the electric smoker spectrum.

But from the overall appearance of this smoker to the technology it is equipped with along with its general function, the price point is worth it.

More importantly, it smokes meats like a champ!

Top Features:

✅ 4 chrome cooking racks

✅ RF remote to monitor and control internal light, temperature, time, meat temperature, and on/off

✅ Blue LED display

✅ Viewing window

✅ Front access drip pan

✅ Built-in meat probe

✅ Rear wheels

✅ Handle

“Top Pick”

#2 Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 725 Square Inch

This next smoker on our list is just as attractive if not more so than the Masterbuilt 20077515 Electric Smoker and is similar in price.

The Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, however, isn’t quite as popular but nevertheless is still considered one of the best electric smokers out there.

Besides its gorgeous appearance, this Char-Broil electric smoker offers a durable, double-walled body with a stainless-steel locking latch to ensure you get the smoke-tight seal you need for optimal flavor.

While not required for smoking but can be incredibly convenient, it also has a viewing window to keep you drooling during the entire cook.

Technology-wise, this smoker has an LED display and a removable temperature probe for food. Sure, it’s not as tech-y as the last one we looked at, but hey, sometimes less is more when it comes to technology as long as the quality and value are there.

To top it off, the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker offers a lot of cooking space: 725 square inches over a total of four adjustable, removable racks.

So yes, this is a bigger smoker, but with its integrated handle and wheels, you’ll be lugging this bad boy around smoothly.

Top Features:

✅ 4 removable racks

✅ Double-walled construction

✅ Stainless steel locking latch

✅ Blue LED display

✅ Removable temperature probe

✅ Glass viewing window

✅ Integrated handle

✅ Wheels

“Top Pick”

#3 Smokin Tex 1400 Pro Series Electric BBQ Smoker

Before we delve into this next electric smoker, let me warn you that this one costs almost $600.

But let me also tell you that it has an average 4.3-star review on Amazon or anywhere else you care to look and is made by a trusted company.

That all said, this smoker is worth taking a look at.

Appearance-wise, this electric smoker is simple yet clean.  Being constructed with double-walled, insulated stainless steel, you can trust that the Smokin Tex 1400 Pro Series Electric BBQ Smoker will be durable and bound to last for many years.

Unlike the majority of smokers out there, this model is capable of housing up to five shelves.  Meanwhile, the average number of shelves tends to be three or four for other smokers.

As a bonus, this Smokin Tex electric smoker only requires 110 volts to operate and can easily be maneuvered thanks to its smooth wheels.  Considering that, if you plan on smoking food a lot, that’s a definite money saving benefit with this smoker.

To give you the most bang for your buck, Smokin Tex also throws in five different flavors of wood samples to get you started.  Receiving these samples encourages smokers to experiment with flavor, that’s for sure.

Top Features:

✅ 3 cooking racks (holds up to 5 cooking racks)

✅ Dishwasher-safe racks

✅ Stainless steel construction

✅ Double-walled, insulated body

✅ Easy-to-read thermostat

✅ Warming feature

✅ Wheels

✅ Two-year warranty

✅ Includes 5 varieties of wood samples (pecan, cherry, grape, apple, and bourbon)

“Best Buy”

#4 Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker

This next electric smoker, the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker, offers a slick, black design with a double-walled, insulated, steel body that’s beautifully decorated with a chrome-plated handle.

Setting aesthetics aside, the Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker is equipped with 504 square inches of cooking space among three adjustable chrome cooking racks.  This is just enough space for most backyard chefs.

It doesn’t offer wheels, but this Char-Broil electric smoker is still easy to move around as its just under 50 pounds.  This makes it perfect for users with a smaller footprint to work with as well.

The versatility is also there.  This smoker’s thicker body ensures even cooking temperatures and faster cooking times, which is essential for whipping up a plethora of foods.  It also means you can cook through the colder months without an issue.

Best of all is the price for this electric smoker, being available for under $150.

It may not be incredibly huge or super tech-y, but the point is, it’s priced favorably while still offering quality.  In general, this is especially a great device for those just getting into smoking.

Top Features:

✅ 3 adjustable chrome cooking racks

✅ Double-walled, insulated body

✅ Chrome-plated handle

✅ Temperature gauge integrated on the lid

✅ Water pan and wood chip tray

“Top Pick”

#5 Bradley Smoker BTDS76P Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker

For those wanting an electric smoker with a lot of added versatility, the Bradley smoker BTDS76P Digital 4-Rack Smoker may be the best option for you.

Although it is pricier than the average electric smoker at about $360, I assure you the quality is there.

With the time, temperature, and smoke completely controllable, this electric smoker gives the user a lot of flexibility to achieve the smoking they want.

Due to this, I’d say this smoker is an excellent option for smoking fanatics and for those who are a little pickier with their smoking, wanting their foods to come out just right.

You’ll even get the flavors you want with this electric smoker as Bradley Smoker uses a unique compressed wood briquette, or “Bisquette” as Bradley coined them that are fed to the heating element that leaves meats tasting like no other.

Focusing on aesthetics, this is probably one of the most attractive smokers we’ve looked at by far as it offers an expensive appearance.  Even the interior of this smoker offers a gorgeous, stainless-steel polished interior.

Overall, with an easy-to-read digital interface, durable construction, and plenty of cooking space, Bradley Smoker did well with this smoker model no doubt.

Top Features:

✅ Digital interface

✅ Internal thermostat

✅ Bisquette feeding tube

✅ Powder epoxy steel construction with polished stainless-steel interior

✅ 4 cooking racks

✅ Full digital temperature, time, and smoke control

✅ Up to 8 hours of controlled cool smoke

✅ One-year warranty

“Best Buy”

#6 Masterbuilt 20071117 30″ Digital Electric Smoker

We’re back with another great Masterbuilt electric smoker

It’s clear to see why Masterbuilt offers smokers among the best on the market.  After all, this company is known for providing smokers constructed with durable, high-quality materials – and that’s exactly what they do.

The Masterbuilt 20071117 30” Digital Electric Smoker meets the latter criteria with its four chrome cooking racks and efficiently insulated smoker body.  It also features an integrated thermostat for convenience along with an easy-to-read digital control panel.

Perhaps one of the best features of this Masterbuilt machine is the fact that it offers a patented side wood chip loading system, so you can add chips without opening the door and disrupting your smoke.

That’s a big deal when it comes to smokers.

The food capacity of this smoker is pretty impressive as well. It can fit 6 whole chickens, 2 whole turkeys, 8 racks of ribs, 64 sausages, 24 burgers, or 4 pork butts at a time.  Not bad at all.

While this Masterbuilt smoker is more basic in appearance as it offers a black door without a viewing window, it’s hard not to be happy with this smoker in general.

Plus, the less-extravagant appearance means a more affordable cost, which this smoker does have.

Top Features:

✅ 4 chrome cooking racks

✅ Digital control panel

✅ Insulated smoker body

✅ Patented side wood chip loading system

✅ Integrated thermostat

#7 Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker

For those wanting a compact, moderately-priced electric smoker due to limited space or easy storage, consider the Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker.

While compact, it still offers a decent meat capacity at 21 pounds as well as a favorable temperature range from 100 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

But like I said, this smoker isn’t huge, but its simple operation and heavy body make it tough and reliable even for restaurant settings.

It also has large wheels and side handles to ensure you can transport it and store it with ease. This is definitely a benefit as many electric smokers aren’t all that portable.

Quality is also a big bonus with this electric smoker, which is noted by the materials its constructed with.  The Smokin-It Model #1 has a sturdy, stainless-steel body along with easy-to-clean, stainless-steel shelves that will stand up to the elements for years.

With all that in mind, go for the Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker if you want a smoker that isn’t a space hog but has just enough cooking space at the same time along with great portability and simple operation.

Top Features:

✅ Stainless steel construction

✅ LED indicator light

✅ 3 stainless-steel, removable shelves (can fit 4 total)

✅ 3” diameter rubber casters

✅ Side handles

✅ NSF certified for restaurant use

#8 Old Smokey Electric Smoker

The next product on the list appears different from others we’ve looked at.

It offers a vertical, barrel-like design that is as efficient as it is simple.  Its flat lid design is said to be essential for providing drippings to make your meats moist and tender. Due to this, Old Smokey claims that a water pan isn’t necessary.

However, some may claim that the Old Smokey Electric Smoker is pricey for what it is – especially without an LED or LCD display or other high-tech features.  But being just under $130 and with an all-star performance, I’d say this smoker is priced right where it needs to be.

This smoker may only be equipped with two cooking racks, but the benefit of going for a vertical smoker is that you can typically cook slabs of meat that are larger in height such as whole chickens or turkeys.  This definitely comes in handy around the holidays!

While the Old Smokey Electric Smoker is overall very simple in design and in function, it can be controlled via a heat thermostat to provide a variety of cooking styles and times.

Heck, it even reaches high temperatures (300+ degrees Fahrenheit) and will cook your meats quickly.  Time is never wasted with the Old Smokey Electric Smoker.

Top Features:

✅ Corrosion-resistant aluminized steel body

✅ 2 cooking racks

✅ Controllable heat

✅ Carrying handles

✅ Wood chip tray

✅ Drip pan

✅ Flat top for juice drippings

✅ Made in the USA

#9 Masterbuilt 20070411 30-Inch Top Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller

With 730 square inches of cooking space, the Masterbuilt 30-Inch Top Controller Electric Smoker is capable of smoking up to 100 pounds of food at any given time.

That’s pretty darn incredible for a smoker.  Oh, and did I mention that this smoker earned Amazon’s Top Product Choice on Amazon.com?  The company is called Masterbuilt for a reason!

At first glance, it’s easy to see why this is one better electric smokers on the market.  It looks really nice, and it has a quality viewing window to make smoking a little easier.  But of course, aesthetics is just a bonus.

As for the function of this Masterbuilt electric smoker, it sure does get the job done.  Whether you’re new to smoking or a smoking champion, you’ll smoke meats like a pro with this cooker.

To allow you to control the internal light and on/off operation of your smoker along with the internal temperature, time, and meat temperature of your smoking session, Masterbuilt added a  convenient RF remote.

Making things even easier on your end, Masterbuilt also includes a side loading station to add more wood chips to their 20070411 30-Inch Top Controller smoker.

I’d say yet again, Masterbuilt has done a fantastic job in providing a quality, versatile electric smoker that is easy to manage and use.

Top Features:

✅ Thermostat temperature control (100 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit)

✅ RF remote to monitor and control internal light, temperature, time, meat temperature, and on/off

✅ Built-in meat probe

✅ Side loading station for wood chips

✅ Glass viewing window

#10 Smokehouse Big Chief Front Load Smoker

The last electric smoker we’ll cover is the Smokehouse Big Chief Front Load Smoker.

This electric smoker, while only capable of cooking up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, offers quality low and slow cooking up to 50 pounds at a time.  Plus, it only requires 110 volts to use.  Can you say energy efficient?

But don’t let its smaller appearance fool you. This Smokehouse electric smoker, even with its compact design, still has enough space for five shelves.  In turn, you still have the space you need if you need to separate different foods in one, big smoking session.

While the price is affordable for electric smokers, going for about $115, the two-year warranty that’s also included with it is well-appreciated.  On top of that, Smokehouse also includes a bag of hickory wood along with a recipe booklet.

Smokehouse also claims that because their Big Chief smoker has been around since the 1960’s and has only ever been manufactured in the United States that their smokers have the top-notch quality capable of offering ease of use, convenience, and consistency.

It’s up to you whether or not you trust their statements but I am a believer.

Top Features:

✅ Embossed aluminum construction

✅ Holds up to 5 shelves

✅ Dishwasher-safe drip pan

✅ UL, CAS, and CUL listed

✅ Handles (on sides and on top)

✅ Includes a 75-pound bag of Chips n’ Chunks hickory wood and a recipe booklet

✅ Two-year limited warranty

Electric Smoker FAQ: (User Pro Tips And Product Care Guide)

Before settling on an electric smoker, it’s first important to ensure your choice is the best for your wants and needs.

The following frequently asked questions and answers will help you decide if an electric smoker, in general, will be easy and convenient for you, and most importantly, that you are able to pick out and purchase the right one from the start.

Why Use An electric smoker?

Using a smoker, in general, is a great option for those who want to experience smoking a variety of meats with the flavors they wish.  Having a home smoker is also a great option if you want to conjure up a meal for the family, friends, or party guests, showing off your skills in the process.

Using an electric smoker over another type of smoker may be the way to go as they are easier to operate and fast to use.  The learning curve is small and they are a great option for anyone with a busy lifestyle who still craves the flavor of smoked meats without having to babysit the cooking process.

Combined, this makes electric smokers great for newbies with little to no smoking experience.

Are Electric Smokers Better?

Electric smokers, when compared to propane, pellet, and charcoal smokers, are not necessarily the better option as they all have their benefits.  Whether or not one believes electric smokers are better comes down to their personal styles and preference.

However, electric smokers are generally better than other smokers in terms of speed, ease of use, and sometimes cost – but every smoker can vary in these aspects.  In the end, each type of smoker has its trade-offs to fit your lifestyle.

What Electric Smoker Is The best?

There isn’t a single electric smoker out there that is going to be most suitable for everyone.

However, Masterbuilt, Char-Broil, Smokin Tex, Bradley Smoker, Smokin-It, Old Smokey, and Smokehouse are all electric smoker brands that are highly-rated, as noted by the above top 10 list.

But before purchasing any electric smoker, consider the following:

  • Max cooking weight
  • Temperature range
  • Size, weight, and material of the smoker
  • General features (e.g., LED screen, temperature gauge, etc.)
  • Reviews from other customers (weighing pros and cons and preferably long time owners)
  • Warranty
  • Price

How To Use An Electric Smoker?

Electric smokers are very easy to use, especially when compared to other types of smokers.

Using an electric smoker consists of plugging it in (since it is electric) and turning on the smoker to your desired temperature, adding water to the water tray and wood chips to the wood chip tray.  Then, simply place your food on the cooking tray(s) after your smoker preheats.

After finishing cooking, the food is removed, and the electric smoker is turned off and unplugged.

Because every smoker is different, be sure to refer to your device’s user manual for more specific instructions.  But ultimately, smoking with an electric smoker is one of the easiest options out there.

Can Electric Smokers Be Used Indoors?

Unlike other types of smokers that tend to get too smoky when it use, and let alone aren’t as portable, many electric smokers are certified to be used in indoor settings believe it or not.

However, not every electric smoker is able to be used indoors.  You should clarify with the owner’s manual that your electric smoker can be used indoors first.  Also, ensure to follow any specific safety guidelines when using an electric smoker indoors.

How To Clean An Electric Smoker?

Every smoker may have its own specific cleaning procedure.  For that reason, refer to your smoker’s user manual for tips.

But generally, electric smokers are cleaned after the device has cooled down.

You will need to clean both the interior and exterior of your smoker.  Focus on emptying your electric smoker’s excess water and/or wood chips as well as removing ash, soot, and other deposits from your smoker without the use of harsh chemicals.  A simple wipe down will usually do the trick.

What Else Should You Know Before Buying An Electric Smoker

The sudden popularity of electric smokers and manufacturers rush to improve technology to keep up with the competition has made this a great time for outdoor smoking enthusiasts.

But it has also made it super hard to find the best value for your money.

While basic features can be found on most electric smokers, several qualities should stand out from the rest.  It comes down to these qualities that separate average value and performance from the best.

Know how much you want to spend.  For the serious enthusiast who understands their smoker is a long-term investment, the higher price may be the way to go.  For those who are a little more wallet conscious, the budget electric smokers on this list are still solid and proven options.

They may not come with as many bells and whistles, but they’ll definitely get the job done better than most.

Lastly, take a close look at the materials used to construct the smoker and pay close attention to the quality of the build before making a decision.  A quality smoker should and will last for years with a little attention.

Final Verdict – Which Electric Smoker Is Best?

Once again, Masterbuilt Smokers dominated this year’s list with the Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker being my top choice.
Without a doubt, Masterbuilt provides quality and performance in the electric smoking cooking world.  In fact, Masterbuilt has several other models that could easily have made my list, but in order to provide a healthy variety of quality smokers, I limited them to only three models.

But you really won’t go wrong with any of the electric smokers on this year’s list.  You will still get great value and smoking performance from all the models above.

It really comes down to your needs vs your budget.  I am confident enough with the choices that I know you will enjoy the outcome.

Now It’s Your Turn

Now I want to hear from you:

Which outdoor smoker have you used before?

Have you used an electric smoker and have any tips to share?

What features do you typically like to see in an electric smoker?

Are you going to be purchasing a smoker in the future?  Or do you plan on looking at a pellet grill, built-in or standalone gas grill, or charcoal model?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment below.

If you still have questions, please feel free to send me a message.

Cheers,

Patrick

Disclosure

At The Grilling Life, I am committed to researching and writing thoughtful, informative and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your outdoor cooking needs.  If you like what I do, you can support me through my chosen links, which earn me a commission.  This allows me to continue sharing with you my love for all things barbecue.  Your support is truly appreciated.



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