Buying an electric smoker can be a little daunting. There are so many options out there, that you may be left wondering which smoker is gonna produce the best results, time and time again.
Well, I have tested some of the most popular choices to shed some light on what the best electric smoker on the market is. Read on.
WHY AN ELECTRIC SMOKER?
It's been a few months since I switched from a charcoal smoker to an electric smoker, and I haven't looked back since. The advantages of an electric MES smoker over charcoal, gas and even all wood smokers are the following:
- You pretty much can set it and forget it.
- You have digital controls, just like an oven.
- It's better insulated, which makes a big difference in cold or windy weather.
- No more driving to go get bags of briquettes. (this was a big one for me!)
- It's cheaper. Note: this point is debated, but I have generally found electric smokers to be cheaper.
Windowed Smoker vs Non-Windowed Electric Smokers
Why is this important? Well, a windowed smoker allows you to gauge the level of cooking of your meat, as well as being able to check that your meat thermometer probes are still in place. It also just makes for an overall better-looking electric smoker, in my opinion.
But, windowed smokers are known to have much higher temperature fluctuations. In my reviews I haven't found that that caused any issues, but if you wanna be super-precise about your cooking, non-windowed is what I'd go with.
30-inch Smokers vs 40-inch Smokers
This is pretty straightforward: if you cook large quantities of stuff at once, you may want to opt for a bigger smoker. I can smoke 16 whole racks in my 40" smoker!
I have smoked everything from chicken to turkey to pork to cheese on these bad boys. Usually for meat you wanna stay around 225-250°F for the whole cooking time, and usually you wanna ramp it up for the last 30 minutes. It's up to you.
A good technique to follow when smoking is the famous 3-2-1 method (3 hours of smoking unwrapped at 225 degrees, 2 hours of cooking wrapped in foil, 1 hour of cooking unwrapped at a higher temperature). It works really well for ribs and it's my standard suggestion to all the people who have just bought their first electric smoker.
THE BEST OVERALL ELECTRIC SMOKER
THE EASY-TO-USE ELECTRIC SMOKER
The Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker is by far the easiest to use electric smoker I've tried. Its innovative "wood bisquettes" loader allows you to really set it and forget it. I've found that this is a great option for newbies and people who love smoked meat but who are a little lazier. I find that the Bradley makes me smoke meat more often, as I don't have to do nearly as much work.
THE MORE AFFORDABLE ELECTRIC SMOKER
The Smoke Hollow 30-Inch Electric Smoker is an analog smoker which keeps it real. No fancy displays, no loaders, just a solid, affordable electric smoker. Temperatures inside this smoker are always suprisingly consistent thanks to its windowless design. A good option for a beginner on a budget.
There you have it. The Masterbuilt is the hands-down winner here.
More reviews are coming soon*!
*although maybe a little later than I'd like to: I just got my self balancing scooter and I can't get off the darn thing, it's so much fun!