Just about all cooking enthusiasts can agree that there’s nothing quite like a good smoked piece of meat. Whether you’re making a savory roast, a smoky rack of ribs or some classic hamburgers, smoking is far and wide the best way to cook anything from beef to pork even to fish.
If you’re a beginner to the smoking world, you might be a little bit intimidated by all of the models and scales of smokers available. While you probably don’t need a top of the line industrial grade smoker, you also don’t want to sell cheat yourself out of a good pick.
So what’s the best way to choose a good smoker? Most shoppers weigh the pros and cons of size, price, ease of use and reviews from other users when picking the perfect machine. After comparing all of the options, cooks often choose the electric smoker.
Below are the 7 best electric smokers of 2020.
Why Use an Electric Smoker?
Some meat experts swear by traditional meat smoking with charcoal heat. However, many busy households are realizing that electric smokers are more ideal for their hectic lifestyle.
While charcoal powered smokers have to be closely monitored to ensure that the meat is being evenly cooked, electric smokers are more independent. They can be turned on and left to do their low-and-slow magic while you go about your day.
Other benefits of these smokers include being easier to operate for beginners, allowed in residential areas with fire/open flame bans, and tend to be more affordable than traditional options.
Best Electric Smoker in 2020: Cookshack AmeriQue Electric Smoker
This American-made vertical cooker is our pick for top-of-the-line electric smokers. Its stainless steel double-walled insulation is unbeatable, so the heat of your cooker isn’t lost while cooking. The outside, however, remains cool to the touch so that people and pets in proximity aren’t in danger of burns from accidental contact.
This smoker has a cooking range of 140-300 degrees, making it ideal for many varieties of food, including beef, fish and vegetables.
Once your meat reaches the desired temperature, the AmeriQue smoker automatically kicks into a hot-holding cycle at a low temperature to keep your food warm until you’re ready to serve.
You can feed your whole family and then some with this machine because 50 pounds of meat can be smoked at one time. For perspective, that’s ten average-sized chuck roasts, or over ten average full racks of ribs, or dozens of hamburger patties.
This smoker comes with a user-friendly digital controller on an LED panel, which communicates with an internal probe to easily preset meat temperatures.
- Price - $1,500+. While the price of this bad boy may be daunting, it has the full package of features for electric smokers. The smoker will come with casters for effortless moving, a cookbook, and five pounds of hickory wood.
- Ease of use - This smoker is perfect for beginners, with its incredibly simple LED panel and included meat probe. The drip pan on the bottom provides for easy cleanup, and the stainless steel material is ridiculously easy to wipe clean.
- Dimensions - 20.5” wide, 21.5” deep, 39.5” high
- Weight - 150 pounds
- Number of racks - 4
Best Party Hosting Electric Smoker: Smoking-It Model #2 Electric Smoker
This Smokin-It Model #2 electric smoker from Smoking-It is another great stainless steel option. It’s not as roomy as our first place pick, and can’t get as high in temperature as the AmeriQue smoker, but it is more lightweight and is a great choice for those who want a smaller-scale version of the AmeriQue.
This smoker has a food capacity of 35 pounds and a temperature range of 100 to 250 degrees. Its LED indicators are not as sophisticated as AmeriQue’s, but it is insulated with fiberglass to provide heat retention that is hard to beat.
- Price - $500+, depending on where you purchase the smoker from, plus shipping costs.
- Ease of use - The Smoking-It model is definitely more mobile than our first choice, coming in at just 86 pounds with recently added side handles for effortless movement. Smoking-It also has an extensive line of accessories to customize your smoker.
- Dimensions - 17.25” wide, 21.5” deep, 26.75” high
- Weight - 86 pounds
- Number of racks - 4
Best Top Loading Smoker: Little Chief Top Load Electric Smoker
The Little Chief Smoker Top Loader Smoker is a little different than the others.
It’s a top-loading electric smoker, which means you put that rack in from the top versus opening a door. This might take two people the load the first few times you use it.
- Price - $106.04
- Small and Lightweight - The Little Chief smoker weighs in at 15 pounds and a little over 2 feet tall makes it extremely easy to maneuver and carry with one hand if need be.
- No Assembling - This smoker is made from aluminum and no assembly is required.
- Loads of Meat - Despite the size of this smoker, it can cook up to 25 pounds of meat at a time.
- Voltage - 250-watt heating element, 120-volts
- Dimensions - 27.38 x 12.38 x 12.38 in
- Number of Racks - 4
Best Analog Electric Smoker: Char-Broil Analog Vertical Electric Smoker
The Char-Broil Analog Vertical Electric Smoker is a great smoker for cooks who are true novices to cooking meat. With an easy-to-read temperature gauge right on the center of the door, you’ll never worry about over- or under-cooking your meat.
The smoker is double-wall insulated to keep heat inside, and great for cooks who need to accommodate a compact cooking space.
This smoker features a black finish, which is notably better at hiding spills and stains than stainless steel. The finish, however, may chip off over time.
- Price - $125+, depending on shipping costs
- Ease of use: This smoker is incredibly easy to use, with access to the grease dripping and wood chip tray from the outside.
- Sturdy and Child Safe - With two latches, one on the top and one on the bottom, this smoker retains heat very well and is much more child-safe than other smokers.
- Temperature Gauge on Door - Conveniently located in the door, so no need to open it to release heat and mess with the evenness of cooking.
- Voltage - 1,000-watt heating element, 10-amps
- Dimensions - 28.54 x 16.9 x 13.66 in
- Number of Racks - 3
Best Tailgate Electric Smoker: Masterbuilt 20073716 Portable Electric Smoker
Being able to have smoked meat before a football game is a huge game changer. Take your food wherever the party is with the Masterbuilt 20073716 Portable Electric Smoker.
You will definitely need to be prepared for strangers stopping by for some samples with this portable electric smoker.
- Price - $217.85
- Compactible - The foldable legs on this smoker make it easy to set up and use for tailgating, camping or having a BBQ at the park.
- Three Temperature Settings - High, Medium and low temperature settings, which makes it simple to use on the go.
- Fully Equipped - It comes with a temperature gauge on the door, a removable wood chip tray and water pan.
- Voltage - 1,400-watt heating element
- Dimensions - 15.94 x 23.62 x 23.42 in
- Number of Racks - 4
Best Indoor Electric Smoker: Presto 06013 Electric Slow Cooker Indoor Smoker
Some people want that smoky flavor on their food, but don’t have space for a large smoker in the backyard. Maybe you live in an apartment and don’t have a backyard. You are not out of luck.
The Presto 06013 Electric Slow Cooker Indoor Smoker is a great option for creating that smoky flavor on your food indoors.
- Price - $99.99
- 6 Quarts - This indoor smoker holds 6 quarts of food and weighs 11 pounds.
- Similar to a Slow Cooker - This is a traditional slow cooker that infuses smokey flavor into your food. You can put it right on your kitchen counter.
- Digital TImer - Set up a timer and the smoker will notify you with an alarm when it is done cooking and will also turn off by itself.
- Dishwasher Safe - Similar to a crockpot, the inner removable pot is safe to wash in the dishwasher.
- Voltage - 120 volts AC, 500 watts.
- Dimensions - 19 x 11.5 x 12.2 in
Best Electric Smoker Gun: TMKEFCC Smoking Gun
Smoke guns don’t actually cook food the way smokers do. The TMKEFCC Smoking Gun is a great investment to get that smokey flavor with minimal effort.
You need to cook your food first, but the smoke guns add the flavor of smoke afterward.
Typically, you put your food or even drinks under a little dome. The smoke gun has a tube that blows smoke into the dome and your food will absorb the flavor.
- Price - $69.99
- Barely There - Weighing in at 1.36 pounds, this is the smallest and lightest smoker on our list.
- Versatile - You can use real wood chips, tea, herbs, spices, hay and dried flowers to produce cold smoke for your food or drinks. However, none of those are included.
- Voltage - Battery operated with 4 AA batteries, not included.
- Dimensions - 6.1 x 3.1 x 3.1 in
Which Electric Smoker is Most Budget-Friendly?
There are many smokers available for less than $200, for the barbeque enthusiasts on a budget. Keep in mind that different features and functions are typically sacrificed, the cheaper a smoker gets.
Our honorable mention from Char-Broil above is a great pick for affordable smokers, and we also recommend this model from Masterbuilt, which retails at just under $200.
Picking Your Electric Smoker
When choosing the right smoker for your household, here are some important things to keep in mind: how many people you typically feed, how much space you have to put a smoker in, the user-friendliness of the model you choose, and your budget for a new smoker.
When you finally pick a smoker to bring home, make sure you also stock up on different types of wood for smoking, all of your favorite meats, and a cookbook or two to get you started.
Whether you are looking to make a full-sized brisket in your back yard or add a smoky flavor to your bourbon cocktail, there are a lot of electric smoker options for you.
Explore the word of smoked food without all the hassle and grab an electric smoker today. Your friends and family will be very thankful.